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Join Bill Whittle in Season Two of What We Saw, the popular history series on DailyWire+. Explore the Cold War's ideological clash in 13 comprehensive episodes, discovering key players and pivotal moments that shaped history for decades.
Watch Now

Only on DailyWire+

Join Bill Whittle in Season Two of What We Saw, the popular history series on DailyWire+. Explore the Cold War's ideological clash in 13 comprehensive episodes, discovering key players and pivotal moments that shaped history for decades.
Watch Now


The Cold War began in Berlin, where World War II concluded. It pitted Joseph Stalin's communist ideology and heavily armed Eastern side against a war-weary alliance of capitalist countries led by the United States, symbolizing individual rights. In Part 1 of What We Saw: The Cold War, the book unveils the enigmatic Kremlin-run terror state while witnessing America's initial foray into global leadership.
After the defeat of Nazi Germany, the fragile alliance between the Allied countries in the west and Joseph Stalin’s battle-hardened Red Army, came to an end. Stalin looked for opportunities to expand communism and exploit a divided Europe, hoping America would return to isolationism and withdraw its troops. But this didn’t occur. And when America dropped two atomic bombs to bring a swift end to the war in Japan, Stalin switched gears.
After World War Two, Germany and Berlin were divided into four parts: British, Russian, American, and French. In 1948, the Soviets blocked Allied access to Berlin, triggering the Cold War and setting the stage for the next four decades. While the western allies were surprised and angered, the Russians saw the Berlin Blockade as part of their anti-capitalism agenda. The question remained: How far would Joseph Stalin go? Would he authorize shooting down allied planes flying over the blockade?
Although the entire Cold War passed without shots being fired between the two superpowers, the Cold War was anything but bloodless. The Korean conflict marked the beginning of proxy wars, regional conflicts backed by the full military might of both the United States and the Soviet Union. A brilliant amphibious landing turns the tide on the Korean Peninsula; meanwhile, America raises the stakes with a bomb so powerful it takes an atomic bomb to simply light the fuse.
Joseph Stalin, the architect and instigator of the 42-year Cold War, has died five years into the conflict. Across the Atlantic, a new Republican President, who had worked closely with Uncle Joe during World War II, is a mere two months in office. As the knives come out for the succession fight inside the Kremlin, will a brief window of opportunity be enough to completely reset the conflict?
In the years after World War II, Dwight David Eisenhower was arguably the most popular man on the planet. His patriotism on the battlefield was matched only by his initial reluctance after the war to become Commander-In-Chief. With enough persuasion General Eisenhower would become President Eisenhower, and face a brace of unknown Soviet leaders named Malenkov and Khrushchev. But no one was prepared for the anti-military, anti-war statements and policies from the man who’d fought so hard just a few years before.
The man who returned to his native country with Che Guevara on a leaky tub, bringing communism to the Western Hemisphere with him. Fidel Castro was a thorn in every president’s side from Eisenhower, to Obama, turning Cuba into a potential launching pad for Soviet nuclear missiles. But his first and greatest test would be to repel an American-backed invasion at Playa Giron, a beach on the southern coast of Cuba at the mouth of an inlet called the Bay of Pigs.
US reconnaissance flights over Cuba resume after a pause following the Bay of Pigs invasion. Startling analysts, Russian medium-range, nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching the East Coast are discovered. To avoid declaring an act of war, President Kennedy opts for linguistic sophistry, announcing a "quarantine zone" instead of a blockade. As US Navy warships intercept the missiles, the fate of the world rests on a single individual stationed beneath the waves at the edge of the quarantine zone, rather than in The White House or the Kremlin.
With the mechanisms of apocalypse firmly in place, both sides accelerate their efforts to determine the actual capabilities of the other. But The United States and the Soviet Union diverge in regard to intelligence gathering. The massive US lead in technology leads to spy satellites, hypersonic reconnaissance planes and the most ambitious intelligence operation in human history. The Soviets, on the other hand, play to their strengths as well: the ability to turn individual human assets. One of these paths will lead to the biggest intel haul of the Cold War.
They stepped out of a big, air-conditioned silver bird, into the kind of heat, and humidity that even Americans raised in the Deep South weren’t prepared for. Once the immensity of the war in Vietnam hit, someone with more time on the ground might greet them with a wry "Welcome to the suck." An apt name as any for the burgeoning war fought to contain communism in Vietnam. But this policy of containment, and a fatal underestimation of the enemy became a quagmire that plunged the United States into its darkest years of the Cold War.
Mired not only in the jungles of Southeast Asia but, but from outdated, rigid doctrine, fossilized tactics, and declining morale, a light appears in the middle of America's darkest night. A swaggering fighter jock, married to a movie star, turns an undertrained and under-led group of dispirited American flyers into a snarling Wolfpack that pulls off a supersonic ambush in one of the greatest military operations of all time. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the hopeful spring of Prague’s liberal reforms gets crushed by a Russian bear that remains in full possession of a nasty set of teeth and claws.
Despite a belated change of command in Southeast Asia, Richard Nixon's 'Vietnamization' program cannot undo the situation. However, a new generation of liberators emerges, aiming to rescue American tactics, weaponry, and doctrine. Confronting arrogance, ignorance, and resistance, an unrefined warrior's Pentagon briefings bring about a permanent shift in how America develops fighter aircraft. Additionally, a determined individual from Arkansas, shaped by hunting experiences, revolutionizes ground tactics through bravery and determination, marking the advent of the Special Forces era.
Nixon goes to China and in a masterstroke of diplomacy turns a two-power Cold War into three-power triangular diplomacy. But before anything meaningful can come from it, Watergate destroys the administration and reduces American morale to its lowest point during the entire conflict. The Soviet perception of American weakness leads to their invasion of Afghanistan quickly becoming a quagmire like the one America emerges from in Vietnam. It is against this backdrop that America's oldest President brings youthful vigor, renewed optimism and a plan to resolve the forty-year running stalemate and end the Cold War with a win.

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