The U.S. developed the world's first nuclear submarine in 1954 - and the USSR felt pressured to respond. But in their haste to match their Cold War adversaries, they rushed it - and paid a heavy price.
The Cold War was an era of espionage, treachery, and the flexing of military muscle. Over four decades, the naval capabilities of East and West threatened assured mutual destruction, which helped maintain a tense but stable peace between the superpowers. Witness stories of remarkable humanity and bravery as we examine the period's most fearsome warships and subs and their operations in Cuba, Vietnam, and Soviet waters.
Now, you can watch Smithsonian Channel's incredible documentaries and shows anytime you want by purchasing from any of these distributors:
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.