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Following the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, an uneasy standoff developed between the US-led Nato Allies and a Soviet Union-dominated Eastern Bloc.
For the next four decades the two sides prepared for a conflict that thankfully never happened. This ‘Cold War’ came to an end following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, but decades later traces of these mighty war machines remain around the world.
Fascinating new book Abandoned Cold War Places, by Robert Grenville, explores many of these relics through more than 170 striking photographs, from an immense aircraft graveyard housing more than 4,000 USAF aircraft in the Arizona desert to icebound submarine wrecks in Vladivostock.
Robert writes: ‘By the time Winston Churchill spoke in 1946 of an Iron Curtain coming down across Europe, the battle lines for this “war that wasn’t” were drawn.
‘When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, and the Soviet Union collapsed two years later, the Cold War came to an end, but it has left its mark around the globe.’
Scroll down to see some of the fascinating images that appear in the book, with captions courtesy of the author…
Submarines wrecks, Vladivostok, Russia
Bristol Bloodhound, reclamation yard, Somerset, England
Now overrun by nature, underneath the concrete dome once lurked an R-12U nuclear missile capable of reaching targets throughout Europe. The R-12 was the missile that provoked the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. In the event of a nuclear launch being authorized, the dome would have opened to allow the missile to launch
Radar, RAF Neatishead, Norfolk, England
Former bunker, Valbona, Albania
T-62 tank wreck, Bulgaria
Former US Army Black Hills Ordnance Depot, South Dakota
Alternate command post, Long-Range Aviation, Moscow
Former Soviet submarine repair facility, Balaklava, Crimea
Former listening station, Teufelsberg, Germany
Redstone Rocket Test Site, Huntsville, Alabama
Mil Mi-2 helicopters, former airfield, Russia
Abandoned Buran transport, Baikonur, Kazakhstan
Former warhead storage room, Podborsko, Poland
Telecommunications unit, ARK D-0 Bunker, Konjic, Bosnia
Alert level notice, Kelvedon Hatch Bunker, Essex, England
All images taken from the book Abandoned Cold War Places by Robert Grenville (ISBN 978-1-78274-917-2) published by Amber Books Ltd and available from bookshops and online booksellers (RRP £19.99). Pictured is a former Soviet nuclear submarine base in Balaklava Bay, near Sevastopol, Russia
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