Cold Conflict | The National Museum of the Second World War | New Orleans (2023)

Image above courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, 198923.

Tensions between the United States and its unlikely ally the Soviet Union continued throughout World War II. Western Allied leaders did not forget the original non-aggression pact signed in 1939 between Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. However, Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union and Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor created an alliance between the United States and the USSR. As World War II transformed both the United States and USSR, transforming the nations into formidable world powers, competition between the two increased. After the defeat of the Axis powers, an ideological and political rivalry between the United States and the USSR gave way to the beginning of theCold War. The ensuing scramble for superior military power sparked an era of espionage, wars over proliferationcommunism, and an accumulation of nuclear weapons threatening global annihilation.

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While President Roosevelt hoped to see lasting peace emerge in the post-war world order, relations with the Soviet Union made that vision difficult. Ever since the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, in which the Russian monarchy fell to Soviet forces, the spread of communism beyond Russia remained a lingering fear throughout the 20th century. This fear was not unfounded, as Soviet leaders actively attempted to infiltrate or target nations to increase the USSR's global influence. Soviet efforts to claim territory in Europe after Germany's defeat fueled the belief that the USSR intended to expandcommunismthroughout Europe.

By 1947, the United States adopted a policy ofcontainmentlimit Soviet world power. This became a defining element of foreign policy in the administration of President Harry Truman. What was outlined in a speech before Congress was an open pledge of US support to any country threatened by the Soviet Union, which became the Truman Doctrine. That promise held true throughout Truman's tenure and continued in subsequent administrations. The policy of containment later influenced the "domino theory," which held that a fall of communism for one country meant that surrounding countries were likely to fall as well. These policies ultimately pushed the United States to wage wars in Korea, Vietnam, and other countriesCold Warconflicts.

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Mutual efforts to undermine their enemy drove the United States and Soviet governments to plantspiesboth within the USSR and in the United States to subvert politics, spy on intelligence agencies and seek ways to thwart any effort towards a growing global power. While popular images of Cold War-era spies depict high-stakes missions, assassination attempts, and hidden recording devices reminiscent of the world of characters like James Bond, these images were taken from real-life actionsespionage. Many such devices, including poison pellets hidden in umbrellas or pistols disguised as lipstick, appeared in the 1950s and 1960s. However, there were already acts of espionage between the United States and the USSR at the beginning of the Cold War.

Soviet espionage initially focused on stealing information related to the development ofnuclear weapons. The Trinity test, in which the United States detonated a nuclear weapon for the first time, as well as the use of two nuclear bombs that were subsequently dropped on Japan, sent a clear message to the world that the United States had the world's most powerful bombs owned. This gave the United States an undeniable advantage over other nations, and the USSR quickly developed its own nuclear technology. Initially unsuccessful, the Soviets used spies in the United States to steal military secrets, including vital information that helped the USSR build and test its own atomic bomb in 1949, just four years after the Trinity test. One of the most critical Soviet spies was Klaus Fuchs, a leading physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project and was a member of the Communist Party. After the Soviets tested their first atomic bomb, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified Fuchs as a Soviet source. Under interrogation in December 1949, Fuchs confessed to the crime. Another spy working on the Manhattan Project, Theodore Hall, said he volunteered to pass information to the Soviets to level the global playing field. Unlike Fuchs and other Soviet spies captured by the FBI, Hall evaded US authorities and was never brought to justice.

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Cold Conflict | The National Museum of the Second World War | New Orleans (1)

Operation Paperclip team at Fort Bliss. Image courtesy of NASA, NIX MSFC-8915531.


The arms race that shaped the Cold War also spurred other military and technological races between the two superpowers. To gain an advantage over the Soviets, American military and intelligence agencies recruited scientists from Germany in a program originally called, but later named, Operation OvercastOperation Paperclip. Established by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in July 1945 and approved by President Truman in September 1946, over a thousand German scientists who were former members of the Nazi Party traveled to the United States to engage in research into the United States' benefit in the cold to participate war. In particular, Wernher von Braun, who had helped develop the German V-2 missile, worked with the US military to develop ballistic missiles. He also became a major scientist behind the"Space Race"that helped send Americans to the moon. This recruitment was not limited to the United States, however, as the USSR similarly sought German scientists from the remnants of the defeated Nazi Party.

Until 1946, aIron Curtainfell over all of Europe, behind which all territories came under Soviet control. Conflict between the USSR and other western powers seemed inevitable. The following year, President Truman delivered a speech to Congress declaring that the United States would provide military and diplomatic assistance to any democratic nation threatened by internal Communist parties or the spread of Soviet authoritarianism.Die Truman-The Doctrineoutlined in that speech later led to the formation in 1949 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance between the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other Western European nations. Strengthened by the implementation of the Marshall Plan across Western Europe, NATO member states have agreed to defend any member state that has suffered an attack from another power.

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Although another global war seemed inevitable, the buildup of nuclear weapons in both the United States and the Soviet Union helped keep the Cold War from getting "hot." The knowledge that every superpower had a stockpile of nuclear weapons created a military doctrine ofMutually Assured Destruction(MAD) in which an attack by either country would result in the total annihilation of one or both, if not more, countries. The Cold War was marked by moments of heightened tension, but ended short of an all-out war between the superpowers. Cold War-related conflicts, such as the Korean and Vietnam wars, proved devastating to the armed forces on both sides. These conflicts also upset the balance of power in several regions of the world, the effects of which continue to influence military and national security policies to this day. The global confrontation for supremacy between the United States and the Soviet Union that arose after World War II affected all aspects of life in the post-war world. The predominance of military might, technological advances, and the very fabric of contemporary world politics exist as by-products of these Cold War conflicts.


Why is there a World War 2 museum in New Orleans? ›

Why is the Museum located in New Orleans? New Orleans is home to the LCVP, or Higgins boat, the landing craft that brought US soldiers to shore in every major amphibious assault of World War II.

Where is the biggest World War 2 museum? ›

GRANITE FALLS, Minn. — Hang a left at the alfalfa field outside Granite Falls and you'll find the biggest World War II museum to ever be built in the middle of nowhere.

Why is the ww2 museum in Louisiana? ›

The reason for the museum's location might not at first seem obvious, but its landing in New Orleans is natural for two reasons. The Higgins boats vital to the operation—flat-bottomed shallow-draft boats created to operate in Louisiana's swamps and bayous—were built by Andrew Higgins in New Orleans.

What was the Long Telegram cold war? ›

George Kennan, the American charge d'affaires in Moscow, sends an 8,000-word telegram to the Department of State detailing his views on the Soviet Union, and U.S. policy toward the communist state. Kennan's analysis provided one of the most influential underpinnings for America's Cold War policy of containment.

What is the largest military museum in the world? ›

At the end of the war, the city was practically reduced to rubble. So it is hardly surprising that the city is home to the Bundeswehr Military History Museum. Featuring 1,950 square metres of modern exhibit space, this is the largest military museum in the world.

What can they see in the war museum? ›

Top 10 Things to See at the Imperial War Museum
  • Naval Guns. Nothing says hello quite like the two huge naval guns in front of the Imperial War Museum. ...
  • First World War Gallery. ...
  • Tanks. ...
  • Aircraft. ...
  • Family in Wartime Exhibition. ...
  • Holocaust Exhibition. ...
  • World War 2 Rockets. ...
  • Surveillance Drones.
12 Mar 2018

How much are tickets to the world war II museum in New Orleans? ›

How long does it take to go through the New Orleans ww2 museum? ›

It takes about 2-3 hours, depending on how much of the reading you wish to do. There are two "add-on" exhibits......the Tom Hanks experience (do not miss this one!) and another one that we did not have time to see. over a year ago.

Is the National ww2 museum worth it? ›

There really is no place quite like it. If you have any interest in WWII, you'll love it. If you don't have any interest, then it's worth a trip through the various exhibits to at least see what life was like during that time. Of all the 'things to do' in New Orleans, this is one place that is always great for groups.

What is on top of World War 2 museum in New Orleans? ›

Canopy of Peace Skyline View

Viewed from the West Bank of New Orleans, The National WWII Museum's Bollinger Canopy of Peace — featuring a state-of-the-art lighting system — will soon take its place as a stunning, new landmark on the city's skyline.

Why did the International Museum of World War II close? ›

The International Museum of World War II in Natick closed down abruptly over the weekend amid a legal battle with billionaire Ronald S. Lauder, with whose help the museum had planned to relocate eventually to Washington, D.C.

What French town was destroyed in World War 2? ›

Before the war, Oradour-sur-Glane was a quiet, rural community in central France. In 1944, the village was left in ruins after German Waffen-SS troops massacred 642 men, women, and children before burning the village to the ground.

Why was the Long Telegram so important? ›

Kennan's Long Telegram spurred intellectual policy debate that formed the basis of American policy towards the Soviet Union for the next 25 years, including the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan.

Why is it called the Long Telegram? ›

Ambassador George F. Kennan writes to the Secretary of State with a lengthy analysis of Soviet policy in an attempt to explain their recent uncooperative behavior. This message would later become famous as the "long telegram."

What was the Soviet response to the Long Telegram? ›

The Soviet response to The Long Telegram was The Novikov Telegram, in which the Soviet ambassador to the USA, Nikolai Novikov, warned that the USA had emerged from World War Two economically strong and bent on world domination. As a result, the USSR needed to secure its buffer zone in Eastern Europe.

Where is the largest Army base in the world? ›

Topping the list for the world's largest military base is in Fort Bragg. This is located in the United State's North Carolina. Among military enthusiasts, it is also deemed the center of the military realm. Fort Bragg is home to more than 260,000 people, of which nearly 54,000 are active troop members.

What is the most prestigious museum in the world? ›

  • Official website: Louvre.
  • Virtual tour: click here.
  • Highlights: the Louvre's most famous art works are “Venus de Milo,” “Winged Victory of Samothrace,” and Leonardo da Vinci's “Mona Lisa.”
9 Nov 2020

Where are the 5 Imperial war museums? ›

Imperial War Museums
  • London. IWM London.
  • London. Churchill War Rooms.
  • Manchester. IWM North.
  • London. HMS Belfast.
  • Duxford. IWM Duxford.

How long is the WWII museum tour? ›

Step inside The National WWII Museum's private Center for Collections & Archives and take an intimate two-hour journey into WWII history through rarely seen artifacts that give voice to the American experience in World War II.

Can you take pictures in the war museum? ›

Photography is permitted for personal use only, with hand-held equipment. Please exercise due care when taking close-up photographs of any exhibit or display.

Is the WWI museum free? ›

DETAILS. Price: General Admission (includes Main Gallery, Exhibit Hall, Memory Hall & Ellis Gallery): Adults $18, Seniors $14, Military $14, Youth (ages 6-18) $10. Kids 5 and under free.

Where is the best ww1 museum? ›

The National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, is home to the most comprehensive collection of World War One items in the world.

How many ww2 veterans are still alive? ›

About 70 million people fought in World War II and, as of 2022, there are still approximately 167,000 surviving veterans in the United States alone. Only people who are (or were) the last surviving member of a notable group of veterans are listed.

Is the world war 2 Memorial Free? ›

There is no fee to visit the World War II Memorial. Please visit the National Mall and Memorial Parks Fees & Passes page for information on fees at other sites on the National Mall.

Does the New Orleans trolley go to the WWII museum? ›

What time is the first Streetcar to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans? The 12 is the first Streetcar that goes to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. It stops nearby at 3:11 AM.

How much does it cost to go to the New Orleans museum of art? ›

Free and open to the public seven days a week.

Click here for a full list of guidelines.

What is the number one attraction in New Orleans? ›

1. French Quarter. The French Quarter of New Orleans is what most tourists come to see when they visit the city. Set along a bend on the Mississippi River, the main attraction here is the architecture, but it is also a great area for dining and entertainment.

Is National Museum Free 2022? ›

From July 1, 2016, admission is free to all museums and facilities for both local and foreign visitors. As of March 1, 2022 walk-in visitors are accepted while advance booking through is required for groups of 20-30 persons.

What was the best POW camp in ww2? ›

Stalag Luft III had the best-organised recreational program of any POW camp in Germany.

What does the Morse code on the war museum mean? ›

The building rises to a large fin, clad in copper that matches the rooftops of other prominent public buildings in the capital. The small windows on the fin spell out in Morse code: “Lest we forget” (in English) and “N'oublions jamais” (in French).

How many World War 2 museums are there? ›

World War II Museums & Naval Exhibits in the U.S. - Google My Maps. This map plots the locations of 132 museums and naval exhibits in the U.S. dedicated to, focused on or related to World War II.

How long does it take to get through World War 1 museum? ›

For most people, 2-3 hours is enough. If you're really into it, 3-4 hours per day should suffice.

What was the bloodiest theater in ww2? ›

The casualties sustained in the Pacific Theater of World War II numbered around 36 million — about 50 percent of the war's total casualties. The fighting in the Pacific Theater was wrought with the same hatred, nationalism, and war criminality that raged across Europe.

Are there still unexploded bombs from ww2? ›

August 2022: 12,000 people were evacuated in Berlin after the discovery of a 500-kilogram (1,100 lb) unexploded bomb in Friedrichshain. September 2022: A 500-kilogram (1,100 lb) unexploded bomb was found during construction at a community garden southeast of Berlin's A115 autobahn.

Are there still damaged buildings from ww2? ›

Flak towers at Humboldthain. The flak tower just after the war, when rubble was stacked up around it. The flak towers at Volkspark Humboldthain are one of the best known remnants of WWII, and they formed a key part of the city's air defence strategy.

What was the most bombed city in World War 2? ›

Bombing of Dresden in World War II
Bombing of Dresden
Casualties and losses
7 aircraft (1 B-17 and 6 Lancasters, including crews)Around 22,700–25,000 killed
7 more rows

What was the most ruined city in WWII? ›

Warsaw, Poland and Manila, Philippines, among the most devastated cities of World War II, but... As the story goes, Warsaw, Poland was the most devastated capital city of the Second World War. Manila, Philippines came in second.

Which German city was destroyed the most in ww2? ›

bombing of Dresden, during World War II, Allied bombing raids on February 13–15, 1945, that almost completely destroyed the German city of Dresden. The raids became a symbol of the “terror bombing” campaign against Germany, which was one of the most controversial Allied actions of the war.

Who started the WWII museum in New Orleans? ›

Stephen Ambrose, (1936-2002) PhD, inspired and guided the early development of The National D-Day Museum with his close friend, Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, PhD, a colleague in the History Department at the University of New Orleans and Vice Chancellor of the University.

When did the world war 2 museum in New Orleans Open? ›

Since its opening day on D-Day – June 6, 2000 – nearly two million visitors have toured the National WWII Museum. A must-see for history lovers and all patriots, it has been designated by the U.S. Congress as America's official WWII Museum.

Who funded the WWII museum in New Orleans? ›

Louisiana shipbuilding magnate Donald “Boysie” Bollinger has donated $20 million to the National World War II Museum, a gift that will fund the construction of a signature canopy at the 6-acre Warehouse District campus, provide at least $6 million toward other exhibits and swell the museum's endowment fund by $4 ...

Who designed the world war II museum in New Orleans? ›

But how did the museum's design come about? On July 7, Bart Voorsanger, architect and project designer for the World War II Museum, and Alastair Gordon, an author who has written about architecture for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, will give a talk about the design of the museum.

How long does it take to go through WWII museum New Orleans? ›

It takes about 2-3 hours, depending on how much of the reading you wish to do. There are two "add-on" exhibits......the Tom Hanks experience (do not miss this one!) and another one that we did not have time to see. over a year ago.

How much are tickets to the World War II museum in New Orleans? ›

Where is the abandoned Navy base in New Orleans? ›

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — On Monday, July 11, the City of New Orleans announced that the abandoned Naval base located at the intersection of Dauphine Street and Poland Avenue is officially closed.

What happened to the International Museum of World War II? ›

The International Museum of World War II in Natick closed down abruptly over the weekend amid a legal battle with billionaire Ronald S. Lauder, with whose help the museum had planned to relocate eventually to Washington, D.C.

How big is the ww2 museum in New Orleans? ›

Designated by Congress as the official WWII museum of the United States, The National WWII Museum is located in downtown New Orleans on a six-acre campus, where five soaring pavilions house historical exhibits, on-site restoration work, a period dinner theater, and restaurants.

Why was the art in the Louvre removed during World War II? ›

The Louvre in the Second World War

Jacques Jaujard had already secretly removed almost 4,000 works to protect them and keep them away from armed conflict.

Why was the ww2 monument built? ›

Purpose. The memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S. during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort from home.


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