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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops. The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops (Nintendo DS). The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War The subject of this article appeared in Zombies mode The subject of this article exists in or is relevant to the real world.
For the song of the same name, see Cold War (song).

"We are in grave danger from the Communists. Our freedom, our very way of life is at risk."
John F. Kennedy

The Cold War, also known as the First Cold War in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, was a covert indirect political-military conflict spanning from after the end of the Second World War in 1945, to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Operation 40

Call of Duty: Black Ops revolves around the Cold War, starting out in the level "Operation 40" during 1961, where the player and his squad (consisting of Joseph Bowman, Frank Woods, and Alex Mason) have orders to assassinate Fidel Castro, with help of Cuban rebels. After killing "Castro" (actually a double), the mission goes wrong and the squad, along with Carlos, have to escape Cuba via plane. Bowman tells the squad they will not have enough time for take-off due to enemy vehicles blocking the runway, but Mason jumps off the plane and destroys the vehicles with a ZPU-4, only to be captured by Nikita Dragovich and sent to Vorkuta.


In Baikonur, Mason and his team (along with Grigori Weaver) are tasked by President Kennedy to sabotage the Soviet space program by destroying the Soyuz 2 rocket before it launches, killing Dragovich, and killing Nazi scientists working for the Soviets. During the mission, Weaver gets compromised, and Lev Kravchenko stabs him in the eye with a Karambit Knife. Mason and the team eventually find Weaver and destroy the rocket, and continue the mission. The scientists are killed, but Dragovich is not confirmed as dead.

Khe Sanh

Mason's SOG team (comprised of Woods, Bowman, and Mason, accompanied by Jason Hudson) then go to Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, arriving just before North Vietnamese soldiers begin the siege of Khe Sanh and have to defend the city with Marine forces. The Marines start to push back the North Vietnamese and gain the upper hand against them, and are successful in defending the military base.

Hue City

The team then heads out to Hue City, Vietnam, to locate a Soviet defector in the MAC-V compound in the city and retrieve his intel on Nova 6. Mason's team then goes through the compound and locates the intel, then fight to the landing zone with help from air support. The American forces eventually reach the landing zone and escape with the intel, after destroying an enemy ZSU gun emplacement and holding off a North Vietnamese counterattack on the landing zone.

Kowloon City

A CIA team consisting of Jason Hudson and Grigori Weaver are sent to Kowloon City, Hong Kong, to interrogate Dr. Daniel Clarke, who had helped Dr. Friedrich Steiner stabilize Nova 6. Soviet Spetsnaz forces attack Clarke, Hudson, and Weaver to prevent the CIA from retrieving intel from Clarke. The team moves throughout the buildings in Kowloon City and when they reach a steep and slippery rooftop, Clarke slips and is shot in the head while dangling from the roof. Hudson and Weaver escape Kowloon City, however, and use intel collected from Clarke to go to Mount Yamantau in the Ural Mountains.


Mason's team and other SOG forces then head out to Vietnam's DMZ, where they were shot down. The team then has to clear a village and destroy enemy anti-aircraft guns to permit American helicopters to fly through. The Americans then clear out the north part of the village and go through rat tunnels, where Mason finds intel on Nova 6 and escapes the tunnel, which was rigged to blow by Kravchenko.


American forces begin an attack around the Laotian-Vietnamese border, and Mason's team uses a boat to attack the Viet-Cong forces from the river. After the team destroys the enemy forces around the river, they move up and investigate a crashed plane that the CIA had discovered contained Nova 6. All of a sudden, Soviet Spetsnaz forces attack the crash site and the SOG team has to defend it. The team defends it until a Mi-24 Hind fires a rocket at the fuselage. This causes the plane to fall down a cliff and Kravchenko and Dragovich capture the team. After being captured by Dragovich and his men, Mason's team is sent to Viet-Cong guerillas play Russian Roulette. Bowman is killed after refusing to play. Mason did not play, but instead took the weapon and killed a Viet-Cong guerilla, then used the guerilla's gun to kill the other Viet-Cong in the tunnel. After Woods and Mason escape the tunnels, they take an enemy Hind, and they use the Hind to fly to a hidden Viet-Cong base. Woods and Mason move through until they find Kavchenko, who hits Mason with a chair and beats him until he is stabbed by Woods. Kravchenko then pulls the pins on grenades and jumps out a window with Woods, presumably killing them both.

Mount Yamantau

The CIA team at Mount Yamantau has orders to destroy a communication station. After the team destroys the station, they move out and discover a Nova 6 facility, where they receive a recorded message from Friedrich Steiner. CIA becomes informed of an imminent Nova 6 attack across United States orchestrated by Dragovich and his sleeper agents controlled by his numbers station, and Steiner wishes to exchange information on how to stop the attack for his own safety. While in the facility, it gets attacked by Soviet Spetsnaz forces and the team escapes while an avalanche buries the entire facility.

Rebirth Island

With Woods and Bowman dead, Mason heads out to Rebirth Island to kill Steiner. Mason sneaks through shadows and kills everybody between him and Steiner. Meanwhile, a joint United States Marine Corps/CIA team, led by Hudson and Weaver, fights through the streets to Steiner's lab. The Spetsnaz spray Nova 6 on the streets and the Americans use their HazMat suits to survive. Once the team finally reaches Steiner's lab, they are shocked to see Mason about to kill Steiner. Weaver and Hudson attempt to stop Mason, but Mason shoots Weaver's arm and kills Steiner.


With Dragovich's attack on the line, United States prepares for a nuclear first strike against Soviet Union. After being brought to interrogation by the CIA, Hudson lets Mason free when Mason resists the interrogation, but Mason punches Hudson and walks through the Pentagon until finally realizing what happened to him at Vorkuta. Hudson catches up with Mason and tells him what really happened—that Reznov was dead, he had been brainwashed, and was the only one who could translate the message encoded in the numbers—and so Mason agrees to try to translate the numbers one more time. He says that the numbers are being broadcasted from a Soviet ship in Cuba called the Rusalka.


The team then assault the Rusalka via helicopters, and then lands. They move through the ship looking for where the broadcast station is, and they find out that the ship was converted to a submarine pen, with the broadcast station in the pen. Mason and Hudson, along with Sergeants Maestas, Aziz, and Drew, dive down to stop the broadcast and kill Dragovich. While down there, Mason finds the station, shuts down the broadcast, and kills Dragovich. After swimming to the surface as American jets bomb the Rusalka, Weaver says to Mason that they have won, but Mason replies that they have only won for now.

Notable military operations