20 episodes

November 9, 2019, is the 30th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came crashing down, freeing East Germany from communism, and marking the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. But when did the Cold War start? Why does it matter 30 years later? Find out in this ten-part series, transport back in time, feel what it was like to live through the end of the Cold War, and understand why that struggle was a battle for civilization itself. Bill Whittle narrates this compelling series about two competing ideologies battling for global supremacy in the ashes of World War 2.

The Cold War: What We Saw Esoteric Radio Theatre

    • History
    • 4.6 • 49 Ratings

November 9, 2019, is the 30th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came crashing down, freeing East Germany from communism, and marking the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. But when did the Cold War start? Why does it matter 30 years later? Find out in this ten-part series, transport back in time, feel what it was like to live through the end of the Cold War, and understand why that struggle was a battle for civilization itself. Bill Whittle narrates this compelling series about two competing ideologies battling for global supremacy in the ashes of World War 2.

    A Pizza Hut Parade | Part 13

    A Pizza Hut Parade | Part 13

    Nixon goes to China and in a masterstroke of diplomacy turns a two-power Cold War into three-power triangular diplomacy, giving the United States the leverage for Détente, a chance for a soft landing for the Cold War in the 1970s. But Watergate destroys not only the Nixon administration; it reduces American morale and determination to its lowest point during the entire conflict. The Soviet perception of American weakness leads to their invasion of Afghanistan, and the likelihood of nuclear Armageddon unleashed in a picturesque German town named Fulda. 




    And then, seemingly overnight, the situation reverses itself: engaged in their own quagmire in Afghanistan, mired in the Brezhnev Stagnation, and plagued by an embarrassing series of fossilized leaders, the Soviets fall ever farther behind. And across the Atlantic, America's oldest President brings youthful vigor, renewed optimism and unprecedented resolve to a dying national identity, and decides on a plan to resolve the forty-year running stalemate and end the Cold War with a win. 

    • 1 hr 28 min
    The Liberators | Part 12

    The Liberators | Part 12

    A change of commanders comes too late to reverse the situation in Southeast Asia as Richard Nixon's program of 'Vietnamization' eases America out of its worst-directed war. But long before the last American serviceman leaves Vietnam, a new generation of liberators rise to the challenge of saving American tactics, weaponry and doctrine from themselves.




    Thirty thousand feet above the Green Spot at Nellis Air Force Base, a loud, uncouth, unpleasant warrior / poet emerges. Starting with his almost supernatural feel for what a fighter jet can and cannot do, he will spend a decade teaching himself the engineering skill and mathematical language necessary for him to quantify what works in the lethal world of aerial combat, and what does not. Fighting an uphill battle against arrogance, ignorance and intransigence, his legendarily irrefutable Pentagon briefings will forever change the way America builds the fighter aircraft that will guarantee the Air Superiority needed to prevail on the Cold War battlefield of central Germany. And a fellow liberator, just a kid who grew up hunting in his native Arkansas, will just as effectively revolutionize American ground tactics through sheer courage, concentration and willpower, and usher in the age of Special Forces.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    From The Jaws Of Defeat | Part 11

    From The Jaws Of Defeat | Part 11

    Mired not only in the jungles of Southeast Asia but, worse, mired in outdated, rigid doctrine, fossilized tactics, and declining morale, a light can be made out in the middle of America's darkest night. A swaggering fighter jock, married to a movie star, turns a demoralized, 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 continued loosening of the leash of fear in the Soviet Union can be felt by what its citizens have to joke about. But in Prague, the hopeful spring of liberal reforms gets crushed by a Russian bear that remains in full possession of a nasty set of teeth and claws. 

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Welcome To The Suck | Part 10

    Welcome To The Suck | Part 10

    You stepped out of a big, air-conditioned silver bird, out into the kind of heat, sunlight and humidity that even Americans raised in the Deep South could not believe. You would wander around, wondering where your ground transport was, and what your barracks might be like, and once the immensity of the new reality fully hit, someone with more time in-country might notice your expression and mutter, "Hey man. Welcome to the suck."

    When USS Maddox came under attack from North Vietnamese torpedo boats while in international waters in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson uses the incident to open the throttle on the war to contain communism in Vietnam. Advising him is a Madison Avenue Wonder Boy, using computer formulas to triangulate on an elusive victory. And a dangerous, potentially fatal fossilization of politics and military doctrine slowly but inexorably plunges the United States into its darkest years of the Cold War. 

    Watch "Apollo 11: What We Saw" on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9BmufbVf2E

    Listen to "Apollo 11: What We Saw" on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/we-choose-to-go-to-the-moon-part-1/id1471188269?i=1000444360842

    Listen to "Apollo 11: What We Saw" on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5nZzb7bUOltWKss5hY4K8U

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Cloaks and Daggers | Part 9

    Cloaks and Daggers | Part 9

    With the mechanisms of apocalypse firmly in place, both sides accelerate their efforts to determine the actual capabilities of the other. No detail is too insignificant: attempts are made to recover Soviet test warheads from the bottom of the ocean. 

    By the time USS Triton circumnavigates the globe underwater, the full potential of the nuclear submarine as the preeminent weapon of the Cold War becomes apparent. And so the ever-increasing pressure to discover how many warheads the other side has, and how they work, and most importantly, where they are, 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. 

    • 1 hr 29 min
    To The Precipice | Part 8

    To The Precipice | Part 8

    Following the Bay of Pigs disaster, and a second crisis in Europe resulting in the deadly grey reality of the Berlin Wall, an over-confident Nikita Khrushchev decides to further test what the Soviets see as a weak and vacillating Kennedy administration. As US reconnaissance overflights of Cuba resume after a hiatus following the events at Playa Giron, analysts are shocked to discover rings of Russian-made surface-to-air missile installations. While these themselves pose no threat to the United States, the installations follow the classic designs used by the Soviets to protect important ground installations.

    Then they see them: Russian medium-range, nuclear-tipped missiles capable of striking the entire East Coast. More are on the way from Russia, lashed to the decks of Soviet transports. Announcing an outright blockade of Cuba would be recognized as an act of war, so President Kennedy employs the Soviet tactic of linguistic sophistry and announces a "quarantine zone." As US Navy warships move to intercept the incoming missiles, the fate of the world hangs in the balance -- and is ultimately in the hands of a single man, not in either the White House or the Kremlin, but deep beneath the waves at the edge of the quarantine zone.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
49 Ratings

49 Ratings

SMonttana ,

Cold War

My thanks to Bill Whittle and team for an excellent podcast about the Cold War.
🇬🇧

Hazzahhhhh ,

Excellent-NOT RIGHT WING PROPAGANDA

Some moron in another review called it “Right wing propaganda”, and claimed that the USA is just as bad as the USSR, and to say differently means you don’t have an understanding of 20th century history. Well, that’s completely wrong. This is a very well researched, very well presented, not comprehensive podcast about the Cold War.
Leftists often call anything that goes against their ideas “right wing propaganda”, but hey FACTS DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. The truth doesn’t change because it goes against what you want the truth to be. The only thing that’s questionable about this podcast is that Bill claimed the Mustang was the best fighter plane of WW2, well it’s not THE best, it’s joint best with the Supermarine Spitfire. After all, the Mustang wasn’t a very good plane until the Americans put a Merlin engine in it (the same engine as the Spitfire.)
I would’ve liked to have heard more about the three top folk; President Reagan, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, but he did say it was to be a 12 part series, and that would’ve made it even longer! The British-American I suppose you’d call it an alliance during the Cold War is also an interesting subject, with the joint design of nuclear weapons, and the British involvement in the Cold War is very interesting, because we’re often forgotten about. But Britain had arguably the best bomber of the Cold War, the mighty Vulcan. And we were under just as much threat as the USA. We had shelters and rapid response procedures in place, which included the use of the Vulcan loaded with bombs ready to strike Russia if they had sent missiles our way. One Vulcan pilot said “we were ready to go to Russia with the Vulcans to do to them what they had done to us, knowing full well that there might not be a Britain to return to.”

Dr Paterson ,

David

Excellent pod cast with really interesting stories and details.

However, episode 11 - The liberators describes lady Thatcher as being a compassionate voice. As a UK listener you may be interested to know that people in certain parts of the UK had street parties when she died. Like her or loathe her, she was anything but compassionate. In fact she was the opposite!

Top Podcasts In History

Listeners Also Subscribed To