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Video The Cold War - OverSimplified (Part 1)

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The Cold War - OverSimplified (Part 1)
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  • I've decided that in order to sell more merch, I should do a face reveal wearing it. So are you ready?
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  • Boom.
  • New minimalist and Cold War merch available now.
  • And get the new limited edition Churchill character pin before it sells out,
  • with more characters coming in the future.
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  • The year is 1917.
  • Fighting rages on the eastern front of the First World War.
  • Both Germany and Russia are on the brink of collapse.
  • - "Soldier, I need you to bring me this man."
  • - "Got it."
  • - "Found him, sir."
  • - "Wha-... who ... NO..."
  • "Not LennON!"
  • "LenIN! The Russian communist! What!?"
  • "Why would I need a Beatle?! Lenin! The Russian communist! He was exiled to Switzerland!"
  • - "You know what? I'll do it myself."
  • - "Who wants to start a revolution?!!"
  • *USSR ANTHEM STARTS TO PLAY*
  • - The Germans put Lenin on a train and sent him all the way back to Russia,
  • hoping he and his mates would create an internal crisis.
  • And create an internal crisis they did.
  • The government was overthrown and Lenin was in charge.
  • He immediately pulled out of the First World War,
  • made the country Communist,
  • started a three-year long civil war,
  • got shot,
  • broke the economy,
  • caused a famine,
  • and then he died.
  • On his deathbed, he said,
  • - "Hey, man, tell whoever's in charge of giving people jobs not to let that jerk Stalin become the next leader."
  • "By the way, who did I put in charge of giving people jobs?"
  • - "That would be Stalin, sir."
  • *dies*
  • - Stalin was a rising force in the Communist Party.
  • He still had some opponents but conveniently, all of them were arrested or disappeared.
  • So that was lucky.
  • And so Stalin took over.
  • He implemented his Five-Year Plans
  • which transformed the country from an agriculture-based economy
  • to an industrial one.
  • And like Lenin before him, he reigned with terror.
  • Anyone who dared criticize or oppose him
  • would either be killed or left to rot
  • in the horrendous Soviet work camps.
  • Then, a short man with a silly mustache
  • tried to take over the world,
  • punched the Russians all the way to Moscow,
  • and then the Russians,
  • with some help from their faithful ally,
  • the Winter,
  • punched them all the way back to Berlin.
  • At this point, being allies,
  • America, the UK and the Soviet Union were good chums.
  • They held a couple of conferences near the end of the war
  • to decide what would happen next.
  • - "Hey Stalin, after all your trials and tribulation,"
  • "you must be pretty happy to be standing here in Berlin."
  • - "Tsar Alexander made it all the way to Paris."
  • - "Uhhh..."
  • "Hey, uh,"
  • "j-just"
  • "give me a second"
  • (whispering) "Hey man, I think something's up with Stalin."
  • - "I know, right?"
  • "What should we do?"
  • - "Shall I tell him about the bomb?"
  • - "Yeah, tell him about the bomb."
  • "That will scare him."
  • - "Sooo..."
  • "we got this crazy new big A-bomb"
  • "that can destroy an entire city in one go."
  • - "Yes, my spies told me already."
  • "Oh wait, I meant to act surprised."
  • "WOW! THAT'S AMAZING!"
  • - "He already knew!"
  • "How?!"
  • - "Ummm..."
  • - "Am I sure I want to send nuclear secrets via"
  • "unsecure, public, coffee-shop Wi-Fi?"
  • "AM I EVER!"
  • "AM I EVER!" *SENT*
  • - "Dude, use a VPN."
  • - And speaking of VPNs...
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  • Say, for example,
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  • Now, where were we?
  • Oh, yeah.
  • - "Does the 'A' stand for atomic or ass?"
  • - Then America dropped their big 'A' bomb on Japan
  • and World War II officially came to an end.
  • - "Hooray! We won!"
  • "Okay, so now it's time to establish the New World Order."
  • "Stalin, you're in charge of Eastern Europe."
  • "Now, we want you to let them all hold elections."
  • - "Oh, yes, of course."
  • "Elections."
  • - "And these elections will be free and fair, right?"
  • - "Oh yes. Certainly."
  • "Free and fair."
  • "Definitely free and fair."
  • "Communist, Communist, Communist, Communist, Communist, Communist."
  • "If that's not free and fair, I don't know what is."
  • - Throughout Eastern Europe,
  • Soviet puppet governments were established
  • as a buffer zone between the USSR and the West,
  • with Churchill proclaiming an Iron Curtain
  • had descended across the continent.
  • The relationship between the old Allies
  • was deteriorating fast.
  • Over the next few years,
  • the British intervened in the Greek Civil War
  • to prevent a communist takeover.
  • In Turkey, the Russians began demanding more control
  • of Turkey's sea access routes,
  • which prompted the US
  • to send their largest battleship to Turkey
  • for a friendly visit.
  • After World War II,
  • Iran was now occupied
  • by both the Soviets and the British,
  • with an agreement to both pull out
  • once the war was over.
  • The British pulled out;
  • Stalin was like,
  • - "You know what, I think I might stick around."
  • - "All in favor of kicking Russia out of Iran?"
  • - "You want to know something?"
  • - "You guys suck."
  • - Pressure from the UN forced the Soviets to leave,
  • and with the establishment of NATO,
  • the Soviets had no doubt
  • that the West was out to encircle and destroy them.
  • And America announced the Truman Doctrine,
  • in which they basically said,
  • - "Those guys are not cool,"
  • "cannot be trusted,"
  • "and we will do everything we can"
  • "to prevent the spread of Communism around the world."
  • - Many view this moment as the official declaration of the Cold War.
  • Back in Europe...
  • Everyone was living in a post-apocalyptic void
  • brought on by the Second World War.
  • Cities reduced to rubble,
  • not enough food...
  • It was terrible.
  • - "This is great!"
  • "The more they suffer,"
  • "the more likely it is they'll turn to communism!"
  • - "Dude, you're really messed up."
  • "What's wrong with you?"
  • - "My father used to punish me severely."
  • - America realized what was going on,
  • and quickly made a move.
  • Under the Marshall Plan,
  • they sent 12 billion dollars to Western Europe for its economic recovery.
  • The countries of Stalin's Eastern Bloc looked on with envy.
  • - "Hey Czechoslovakia."
  • "You want to come get some economic aid?"
  • - "Yeah, but I have to check with my mom first."
  • - "Sorry America..."
  • "I can't come."
  • This was a full-on economic battle
  • raging between capitalism and communism in Europe.
  • If the Western nations developed faster and better than the East,
  • that would be a defeat for Stalin.
  • So he set up his own rival economic recovery plan,
  • which he called 'COMECON'.
  • And he also set up 'COMINFORM',
  • which gave him more political control
  • over the Eastern Block.
  • But nowhere did this economic battle rage harder
  • than in the city of Berlin.
  • Caught over a 100 miles (160 km) behind Soviet lines,
  • the city had been divided up between the Allies.
  • And the western segments were still under Western control.
  • East Berliners could travel freely to West Berlin,
  • see the economic prosperity and think,
  • - "Hmmm..."
  • "Maybe this communism thing ain't so great after all."
  • "I'm gonna have fun tonight!"
  • *opens door*
  • *turn on lights*
  • - "You're home late."
  • - "Oh,"
  • "Stalin..."
  • "I was just out with my friends."
  • - "Friends?!"
  • "You stink of capitalism!"
  • "You wrere out engaging in imperialist debauchery again!"
  • "I swear, Ivan, I can't keep doing this."
  • - Stalin wanted the West out.
  • So he said,
  • - "Hey, guess what?"
  • "I'm blockading all of your supply routes to West Berlin."
  • "What are you gonna do about it?"
  • - "I suppose we'll just fly the supplies in."
  • - "Alright Truman,"
  • "You win this round."
  • The Berlin Airlift was an incredible undertaking
  • and a major success for the Western Allies.
  • And Stalin ended his blockade of West Berlin.
  • His aggressive actions worried the West,
  • but not as much as this did.
  • *A-Bomb kaboom*
  • The Soviet Union had developed their very own atomic bomb.
  • The USA no longer had a nuclear monopoly.
  • The world now knew that if a major war broke out
  • between the two superpowers,
  • It would be more destructive
  • than anyone could imagine.
  • So it was comforting when Stalin came out and said
  • that war between the Soviet Union and the West
  • was unlikely.
  • Oh wait, inevitable!
  • He said it was inevitable.
  • - "Hey, you know who I haven't checked in on in a while?"
  • "My good friend, China!"
  • - "Whoa, what happened to you?"
  • What happened to them was
  • a full-blown civil war that had been going on since 1927.
  • The People's Liberation Army,
  • under the leadership of Mao Zedong,
  • successfully defeated the Republic of China,
  • who fled to Taiwan.
  • The now communist China and the Soviet Union
  • signed a mutual defense treaty.
  • This was terrible news for the West.
  • But wait!
  • There's more!
  • After the Second World War,
  • Korea was divided along the 38th parallel.
  • In the north, the Soviets set up a communist regime.
  • In the south, America set up an anti-communist regime.
  • Both were led by very sweet-looking old men.
  • But don't let that deceive you.
  • They were both ruthless dictators,
  • and both dreamed of reuniting Korea
  • under their own regime.
  • Now that he had the bomb,
  • Stalin was feeling a little more cocky
  • and he finally gave Kim permission to attack.
  • The North launched a surprise invasion of the South
  • on June 25th, 1950.
  • With Soviet aid,
  • the North Koreans steamrolled through,
  • taking Seoul in just three days,
  • and replacing one ruthless dictator
  • with another.
  • The UN were freaking out,
  • and quickly created an emergency force
  • made up of troops from 16 countries
  • to defend the south.
  • The West still held Busan,
  • and made landings at Incheon near Seoul.
  • They pushed the North Koreans out of Seoul,
  • replacing the ruthless dictator
  • that had replaced the first ruthless dictator
  • with the same ruthless dictator
  • that had previously been replaced by the new ruthless dictator.
  • And the West then continued
  • all the way up the Korean Peninsula.
  • At this point China was getting worried
  • that the UN may just keep going.
  • The US had sent this guy to lead the operation.
  • After winning the Pacific theater of World War II,
  • General Douglas MacArthur's head was big,
  • and his balls were bigger.
  • He reassured President Truman
  • that there was absolutely no way at all
  • that the Chinese would ever get involved.
  • Meanwhile, half a million Chinese troops
  • were crossing into Korea.
  • - "Nuke 'em."
  • - "No."
  • - "NUKE 'EM!"
  • - "NO!"
  • - "Aw, c'moooon."
  • - "You're fired!"
  • - The US considered the nuclear option,
  • but now that the Soviets also had the bomb,
  • they didn't want to risk all-out global destruction.
  • The Communists pushed the West right back
  • almost to the exact same spot they had all started from,
  • and they ended up in a stalemate,
  • where they remained until both sides finally agreed
  • to work towards a peace settlement in 2018.
  • Back in America,
  • Americans decided they wanted a new president
  • who would be tough on communism.
  • So they elected famed World War II general,
  • Eisenhower,
  • who is really hard to draw.
  • It's 1953.
  • Hey Stalin, how you doing--
  • Oh, he's dead.
  • He had a cerebral hemorrhage,
  • and his reign of terror kinda came back
  • to bite him in the ass.
  • Because he had imprisoned all of his best doctors,
  • and those that were left were too terrified to treat him.
  • The new leader, Nikita Khrushchev,
  • called a meeting, and said,
  • - "Hey guys."
  • "You know how Stalin was imprisoning"
  • "and murdering us all for doing basically nothing?"
  • "Yeah, he was kind of a jerk."
  • *gasp omg*
  • - "I'm really not sure how this is news to you."
  • Khrushchev went on a campaign of
  • de-Stalinization.
  • Statues of Stalin were taken down,
  • Stalingrad was renamed,
  • and Khrushchev announced
  • that he wanted the Soviet people to be happy
  • and would allow greater freedom in the Soviet Union.
  • So how did that work out?
  • Well, an uprising in East Germany
  • was brutally suppressed.
  • A revolution in Hungary
  • was brutally suppressed.
  • And demonstrations in Poland
  • were brutally suppressed.
  • Although he did finally allow some mild reforms.
  • Back in the Soviet Union,
  • he permitted more cultural expression,
  • but then began banning stuff
  • based on his own personal taste.
  • - "Modern art looks like a child"
  • "urinated on a canvas."
  • "Banned!"
  • - "Jazz music sounds like"
  • "the feeling of needing to fart."
  • "Banned!"
  • - "Your poetry is really depressing!"
  • "How could anyone in the Soviet Union be depressed?"
  • "You're banned!"
  • Khrushchev wanted the Soviet people to be happy,
  • but not like that,
  • or that,
  • or that.
  • Young people began enjoying
  • abhorrent Western pop culture.
  • - "Son, remove that disgusting imperialist apparel at once!"
  • - "Shut up, Dad!"
  • "You can't tell me what to do!"
  • "Well would you look at that."
  • "Turns out he CAN tell me what to do."
  • The West had initially liked the cut of Khrushchev's jib,
  • but world events soon soured relations even more.
  • The two sides were spying on each other a whole lot
  • throughout the Cold War.
  • The KGB had spies and informants
  • in nearly every aspect of Western life and government;
  • so much so that whenever the US tried to send spies
  • into the Soviet Union,
  • the KGB were usually ready to arrest them on the spot.
  • Members of the Manhattan Project aided the Soviet Union in acquiring the bomb.
  • Some American officials believed they were on the wrong side.
  • - "I'll sell you three secrets for five million dollars."
  • - "Okay, go ahead."
  • - "The Allies are digging a tunnel under East Berlin to tap your communications,"
  • there's an American agent living at this address in Moscow,"
  • "and sometimes when I'm home alone,"
  • "I like to put on my wife's dresses, sit in the corner,"
  • "and cry for hours" *weird*
  • - "Very interesting."
  • In America fear took hold during the Red Scare and the McCarthy trials.
  • American values imploded as fear of communism collided with freedom of thought and expression,
  • and "Communist" kind of became a buzzword thrown around to describe anything people didn't like;
  • Hollywood?
  • Communist!
  • Your next-door neighbor's dog?
  • Communist!!
  • When the grocery store cashier asks If you need a bag
  • when you clearly can't carry ten tups of Baconnaise in your hands?
  • COMMUNIST!!!!!!!*that face tho*
  • But one area in particular where the US had an edge
  • over the Soviet Union was in its espionage technology. In particular,
  • U-2 spy planes flew across Russia carrying out surveillance from the skies
  • There was a nasty incident in 1960 though, when one was shot down and Khrushchev was furious.
  • - "Who the hell is this?"
  • - "He's a... high-altitude weather enthusiast, who flew off course."
  • - "OK, that sounds plausible... Waaaaaiit a minute,"
  • "Why does he have a gun and a poison needle?"
  • - "Because..."
  • "He's a... very NAUGHTY high-altitude weather enthusiast."
  • But much to America's concern,
  • the Soviet Union appeared to be ahead in the space race.
  • Everyone freaked out when Russia launched the world's first satellite,
  • and then they actually sent a man into space. (Yuri Gagarin)
  • Even worse, there also appeared to be a missile gap in the Soviets favor,
  • and Khrushchev was so confident that he even allowed the US to set up a technology exhibit in Moscow,
  • attended by a certain Vice President Richard Nixon.
  • - "Check this out. We have color TV."
  • - "Yes, but we've been to space and can obliterate you with our massive nuclear arsenal."
  • - "Check out this vegetable peeler."
  • Tensions increased further when both sides upgraded their atomic bombs to hydrogen bombs.
  • And after West Germany was allowed to join NATO in 1955,
  • Khrushchev set up the defensive Warsaw Pact,
  • strengthening the military ties between the Soviet Union and its satellites states.
  • In 1960, Americans decided they wanted a new president who would be tough on communism.
  • So they elected John F. Kennedy.
  • The Soviet Union was advancing its technology,
  • but it was also bleeding its coffers dry
  • and all of the money was going towards the military,
  • not the people.
  • Life under communism was still as hard as ever, and Berlin remained a thorn in the Soviet side.
  • The contrast between the economically prosperous West
  • and the struggling East was clearer day-by-day
  • and East Berliners were still able to freely travel to the West.
  • Now, many of them were deciding to stay there.
  • Millions defected to West Germany via West Berlin,
  • causing Eastern factories to lose workers, and taking a heavy toll on the economy.
  • Soviet leaders decided this couldn't continue any longer.
  • First, Khrushchev tried this:
  • - "Leave West Berlin... or else"
  • - "Or else what?"
  • - "Or else... I'll be really mad at you."
  • - "Yeeeeah, no, we're gonna stay. Listen man. "
  • "West Berlin is ours, East Berlin is yours."
  • "That's just how it is.”
  • Kennedy felt pretty good about the show of American resolve.
  • But wait a second. Did you catch that? Let's replay it.
  • - "Eeeeeaaaasssst Beeeeeeeerrrliiiinn iiiissssss yooouuurrrrsss."
  • Uh-oh. Kennedy just told Khrushchev that the USA wouldn't interfere
  • in what the Soviets did with their section of Berlin.
  • So Khrushchev came up with a new idea:
  • - "We're gonna build a wall, and it's gonna be a big beautiful wall,"
  • "and it's gonna keep out all the Mexicans."
  • *Whisper* No, Sir that's wrong, its going to keep in the East Berliners.
  • - "Oh, sorry. It's gonna keep IN all the Mexicans."
  • *facepalm*
  • On August 13th, 1961,
  • Berliners woke up to find their city divided into two;
  • with barbed wire and guards blocking the border
  • between East and West.
  • Over time, a wall was constructed throughout the city.
  • Families were torn apart.
  • Thousands would risk their lives escaping over the wall
  • and hundreds would die trying.
  • To the despair of Berliners, the West were unable to do anything about it.
  • But the wall did put on full display the failure of the communist system.
  • As Kennedy said:
  • "Democracy is not perfect,"
  • "but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in."
  • As part of the agreement between the two sides
  • US diplomats were still allowed to travel to East Berlin.
  • But suddenly East Berlin crossing guard started giving them the business
  • and Kennedy was like: "nu-uh".
  • In October the US rolled tanks up to the crossing point at Checkpoint Charlie as a show of strength.
  • The Soviets did the same and the two were in a standoff.
  • They stayed like that for sixteen hours and the world braced for nuclear Armageddon.
  • Thankfully though, Kennedy called Khrushchev directly and was like:
  • - "Hey man, this is getting way too hot!"
  • "How about you back your tanks up by an inch and we'll do the same?"
  • - "Sounds good. Okay."
  • - "How about you back your tanks up by another inch and we'll follow suit?"
  • - "All right... Hey, you wanna do another inch?"
  • And they both very slowly inched away from the apocalypse.
  • - "PHEW! Let's hope that's the biggest crisis of my presidency!"
  • It wasn't...

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The following images are licensed under a Creative Commons license:
Winter Palace by Florstein (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Winter_Palace_Panorama_4.jpg)
Marble Texture by Amada44 (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marble_pattern_008.jpg)
Rubble Pile by Mat Fascione (https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4391171)
Palacio Real by Diego Delso (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Palacio_Real,_%C3%81msterdam,_Pa%C3%ADses_Bajos,_2016-05-30,_DD_07-09_HDR.jpg)
Kim Portrait by Gilad Rom (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kim_Il_Sung_Portrait-2.jpg)
InterKorea Summit by Blue House (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c9/InterKorean_Summit_1st_v9.jpg)
Hollywood Sign by Thomas Wolf (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Sign#/media/File:Hollywood_Sign_(Zuschnitt).jpg)
Bono by Peter Neill (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bono_U2_360_Tour_2011.jpg)
Berlin Wall by Edward Valachovic (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berlin_Wall_Potsdamer_Platz_November_1975_looking_east.jpg)

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