The Cold War – OverSimplified (Part 1)


I’ve decided that in order to sell more merch, I should do a face reveal wearing it. So are you ready? Here we go! 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. Link in the description down below. 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… If, like me, you take Internet safety seriously, then you need Nord VPN. Nord VPN hides your online activities from outside intruders preventing anyone from stealing your personal data, and stopping your service provider selling your data to advertisers. With over 5,000 servers in 62 countries, it allows you to surf the net anonymously and securely. And it’s simple to use. With just a click of a button, you can connect to a server halfway across the world, even allowing you to access streaming services from that specific territory. Say, for example, you wanted to watch a certain OverSimplified video that for some reason has been blocked in your country. With NordVPN, you can! It works seamlessly across PC, mobile and tablet. Go to nordvpn.com/oversimplified to get an amazing 75% off. That’s just $2.99 per month with an additional month free for limited time. So again, that’s nordvpn.com/oversimplified, also in the description box down below. 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…

Comments 100

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *