Some photographs from the National Cold War Exhibition at RAF Cosford.
By employing the atomic bomb for the first time against Japan, humanity demonstrated its newfound capability to annihilate itself completely. Winston Churchill remarked, following the conclusion of World War II, that an “Iron Curtain” had descended upon Europe.
Following more than five years of intense warfare in Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East, there ensued a period of over 40 years during which the East and West found themselves on opposite sides of an ideological chasm, with the terrifying specter of nuclear devastation keeping them apart. This era became known as “The Cold War.”
During the early years of the Cold War, the responsibility for Britain’s nuclear deterrent rested with the Royal Air Force, utilizing the “V Force” and “Thor” missiles. Eventually, this deterrent was transferred to the submarines of the Royal Navy. The National Cold War Exhibition explores the ideologies of both sides, delves into the social history of the era, showcases the technological advancements born out of the East-West competition, and examines the eventual dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, which has shaped the world we inhabit today.
Consequently, the Cold War narrative extends far beyond aviation alone. This national exhibition strives to enlighten and educate present and future generations about the immense threat that jeopardised global peace and security during this pivotal period of the 20th century.