National Cold War Exhibition at RAF Cosford

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.


Cold Flames of War

As well as the Brown Water Navy announcement in Battlefront’s Flames of War State of the Union, they announced a new period based on the Cold War.

October sees us diving into a brand new period as we release Fulda Gap. The period of the modern war when tensions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact were running high is a wonderful theatre to develop as the forces arrayed on both sides boast some of the coolest-looking equipment in history. And with the advances in technology, we are looking forward to seeing forces of M1-Abrams covered by A10-Thunderbolts pitting their might against the swathes of T-72s and BMP-mounted infantry. We plan for this to be a complete period with books covering nations and plastic sets for all the main vehicles of every nation. October is just the start and 2016 will have more books and additional miniatures.

Though there is very little information in the announcement, there is a mention of T72s and BMP-1s for the Warsaw Pact forces. So what of the NATO side? It appears that the US Army will be done first, with M1-Abrams and A-10 Thunderbolts, but I am looking forward to seeing the models for the BAOR.

British Chieftain Tanks

It would make for a good game to have Chieftains, FV432s and Harriers in action against T80s and the odd Hind D Attack Helicopter.

As the announcement mentions the M1-Abrams, which entered service in 1980, we can assume that the period for the games will be the 1980s, the height of the Cold War. If Battlefront do decide to go with some BAOR British forces, we may also see the Challenger I which entered service in 1983.

As well as fighting across Europe, another possibility will be to recreate the original Red Dawn film and have Soviet forces fighting on US soil.

I might also look at doing some alternative history British Civil War games set in the same time period, this setting was described in an article I had published in Wargames Illustrated in the 1990s.

I also wonder what other nations we will see in 2016, the French possibly?