A graffiti covered section of the Berlin Wall photographed shortly after its opening in November 1989. ©IWM (CT 1491)
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What was the Berlin Wall?

Patrolled by guards and dogs, illuminated by floodlights and fortified by barbed wire and watchtowers, the Wall divided Berlin for 28 years.

Running through the city and around the outskirts it stretched over 155 kilometres (96 miles). Thousands of escape attempts were made and 140 people died trying to make the crossing.


The fall of the Berlin Wall was the first step towards German reunification. The political, economic and social impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall further weakened the already unstable East German government. Germany reunited on 3 October 1990, 11 months after the fall of the Berlin Wall. 


Would you push the nuclear button?

During the Cold War, global super powers dealt with the prospect of devastating nuclear consequences by adopting a strategy of mutually assured destruction. Suggesting that you might be willing to ‘press the nuclear button’ had considerable global consequences
U-2 Reconnaissance image of Cuba 14 October 1962 US Official

The U-2 and the Cuban Missile Crisis

U-2 overflights across the Soviet Union were incredibly dangerous missions. Every flight was at risk of being perceived as an unauthorised invasion of another country’s airspace.
SR-71 Blackbird in flight US Public Domain

SR-71 Blackbird: the fastest aircraft in history

The Blackbird was developed in the 1960s during the Cold War as a high-flying reconnaissance jet. It is still considered by many as the most advanced aircraft of its type, flying at three times the speed of sound. So why was the Blackbird grounded? Why were so few made? And what was it like to fly?