Jeffrey LewisStories from the Cold War

I am starting a category of arms control wonk public service announcements. Today’s comes from Joel Wit, who is looking for stories from the Cold War:

I am starting an archive of reminiscences about the U.S.-Soviet nuclear confrontation during the Cold War. The archive will focus on the ordinary people who were part of that struggle. Personal stories are welcome from military and civilian personnel who served in the Strategic Air Command, the nuclear submarine force, war planning, theaters such as Europe, at nuclear weapons laboratories, in intelligence (overhead/space recon, Moscow station and special forces), and in nuclear arms control negotiations. If you have interesting, funny, sad, scary or any other tales to tell, please contact joelwit [AT]


  1. Haninah (History)

    I know it wasn’t you asking for the stories, Dr. J, but I thought I’d share a third-hand story that probably would be outside Mr. Wit’s scope. This story was told to me by Anatoli Diakov, who in turn cited an unnamed friend.
    During the Cold War, this friend served at a refueling station somewhere in Siberia. During the winter, they were often snowed into their barracks for days at a time. To pass the time, they played a drinking game called Tiger. The participants would sit around a table, with glasses of vodka lined up. One person would yell “Tiger is coming,” at which point everyone would quaff their drinks and duck under the table. Then, someone would yell “Tiger is gone,” and everyone would climb back out. Glasses would be refilled, and the game would be repeated, indefinitely.
    Last person to still be able to climb out from under the table was the winner.

  2. FSB

    “Strange Love” — still one of my favourites — about nuclear weaponeers:

  3. Yale Simkin (History)

    A great cold war site: CONELRAD

  4. David Clark (History)

    Over at the conflict simulations site we have a forum for cold war stories – there’s a lot of non-nuclear stuff, but I know we’ve got a few nukers from shape and norad…

  5. Martin Dirksen-Fischer (History)

    As a German Medical Doctor, born just 15 Years after WW2 ended I would like to support the idea of preserving memories of the cold war . Have a look at