Questions tagged [cold-war]

The Cold War was a continuing state of political and military tension from the 1940s to the early 1990s between the Western world, led by the United States and NATO allies, and the Communist world, led by the Soviet Union, its satellites and allies. The Cold War never saw direct military action, since both sides' nuclear weapons would have guaranteed "mutual assured destruction". Cycles of relative calm were followed by high tension and the threat of war.

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Henry A. Wallace, “The Way to Peace” (1946) George F. Kennan, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” (1947) [closed]

Readings:  Henry A. Wallace, “The Way to Peace” (1946) George F. Kennan, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” (1947 a. How does Wallace interpret Soviet efforts to exert power in eastern Europe? b. What ...
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How were USSR oblasts and cities governed?

From Wikipedia “During the Soviet period, the high authority in the oblast was shared between three persons: The first secretary of the “Oblast” CPSU Committee (who in reality had the biggest ...
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How successful was the NDEA?

The National Defence Education Act (NDEA) was passed shortly after the Soviet launch of the satellite Sputnik I with the goal of remedying what the American government believed to be a gap in ...
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How much damage was USSR already capable of doing by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

How much damage was USSR already capable of doing, in the event of a nuclear war, by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis? How many ICBMs and strategic bombers did it have, and what were their ...
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Why did the Soviet Union take the risk of deploying missiles to Cuba, which precipitated the Cuban Missile Crisis? [closed]

During the Cuban Missile Crisis both sides risked further escalation into a WW3. However, under MAD, Wikipedia says: By the time of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, both the United States and the ...
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Which Soviet submarine was HMS Splendid tracking on 30th March 1982?

In 'Vulcan 607', R. White describes the background of the submarines that headed to the Falkland Islands. For the HMS Splendid, he notes that the submarine, under CO Lane-Nott was engaged in a mission ...
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Was the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay actually important in 1985? And was it in any danger?

In the real world case that A Few Good Men is based on, in 1985 part of the guard for the base was a group called "The Ten" that went through grueling physical training in order to guard a ...
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Would Indonesia have become a communist country if Soekarno hadn't stepped down? [closed]

Along with Josip Tito and some other leaders, Soekarno is one of the founders of Non-Aligned Movement in 1961, which Britannica describes as an "abstention from the use of arrangements of ...
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Did the Soviet Union or its satellite states have any broadcast propaganda media for an international audience?

Since 1949, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has been a U.S. Government funded broadcasting service aimed at Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. During the Cold War, it mainly targeted ...
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What “silly places” (according to Muggeridge) did Nikita Khrushchev go to during his visit in the United Kingdom?

According to this article, more than half of places visited by Nikita Khrushchev in the UK were "silly": When Nikita Khrushchev visited Britain, Muggeridge made up a list of the silliest ...
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What was the Soviet reasoning for developing their Airborne Forces (VDV) into a powerful military branch?

The Soviet Airborne Forces (the VDV, or the Воздушно-десантные войска, or the Aerial Descent Force as a more precise translation) were one of the more prestigious units in the Soviet military (see '...
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How did Western leaders justify NATO's eastwards expansion after promising the Soviet leadership it won't happen?

Western leaders apparently promised Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand eastwards and threaten Soviet security interests. Leaders named include Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, ...
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Why was the Soviet Naval Infantry disbanded in 1947?

According to Peter Antill: The naval Infantry performed a number of important landings in both World Wars including raids against the Turks around the Black Sea and the capture of Sakhalin Island and ...
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Were Soviets invited to the Marshall Islands to observe the first hydrogen bomb detonations?

In 1952, did the US invite, or consider inviting, Russian scientist to observe the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb? These were above-ground tests far away from Russian in the Marshall Islands, ...
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Did the Soviet ever attempt “innocent passage” thru American waters?

In 1986 and 1988, the US Navy sent warships into Soviet Crimean Sea territorial waters as exercises of innocent passage (which essentially means that you can sail through an unfriendly nation's waters ...
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Were Israeli-Arab conflicts in the Cold war testing grounds for NATO and Warsaw Pact equipment?

During the Cold War, Israel and it's Arab neighbors often came into conflict with each other and fought a number of wars during which Israel often used weaponry from the West (USA, UK and France) ...
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What options were available to MacArthur to prepare for Chinese intervention in the Korean War?

The initial successes of Chinese military in Korean War against high odds can be said to be a major blunder on the part of MacArthur's military leadership. We know that MacArthur did not make ...
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Are there scholarly sources for Eastern European Revolutions of 1989-1990?

Are there scholarly works on these changes that are highly regarded and relatively apolitical? It's of course very easy to find politically charged interpretations of these events, but, 30 years on, ...
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What was the Soviet plan to respond to a nuclear first strike post WW 2?

I'm interested in the period between the war ending and the Soviets making their own bomb. Did they have a plan? Were they expecting a first strike?
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Are the war plans published in “Dropshot: The American Plan for World War III against Russia in 1957” genuine?

In 1979 Anthony Cave Brown published a book (Operation, World War III: The Secret American Plan 'Dropshot' for War with the Soviet Union, 1957, Arms and Armour Press, 1979; Google Books, Amazon) which ...
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Was the Iron curtain actually present at the time of the Fulton speech?

On March 5th, 1946, Winston Churchill said in his Sinews of Peace speech that From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. At the end ...
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How did an English person get entry to East Germany during the Cold War?

I need to know how an English person was able to get authority to visit East Germany and what the most common crossing used was. Additionally, any information on how visitors were treated by Stasi ...
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Have any spies ever managed to keep their identity secret from their handlers?

Having just started reading up on spies throughout history, I've just realized a new risk I hadn't thought of before, namely that once you've started spying you're at risk of being blackmailed into ...
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What was meant by the protest sign “Bundestag nach Berlin”?

The recent article "The Fall of the Berlin Wall in Photos: An Accident of History That Changed The World" included this image: captioned, "A mass demonstration against construction of the Berlin Wall ...
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What were the international space arrangements and scientific purposes Eisenhower spoke of in October 1957?

Background: Explorer 1 was successfully launched into orbit by the US 1958-02-01 about four months after Sputnik 1 was successfully launched by the Soviet Union 1957-10-04, and Vanguard 1 wasn't ...
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Has there ever been a cold war other than between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.?

At any time in world history, has there ever been two nations involved in a "cold war" similar to the one between the U.S. and U.S.S.R., and notably including proxy wars? My thanks to Lars Bosteen, ...
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Did Turkey invade Cyprus to keep the USSR out? Is there really CIA files that prove this for real? [closed]

I have watched an video about the invasion but one of the comments made me think a little bit different. The real reason behind the Cypriot War of 1974 was to prevent the (Greek) Cypriot ...
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What was the impact of Fischer vs. Spassky 1972 on the relationship between the USA and the Soviet Union?

In 1948, the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) organized the first Chess World Championship after WW2. Its winner was Mikhail Botvinnik. Further Chess World Champions were Vasily Smyslov, ...
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Was Frisbee criticized in the Soviet Union?

In the U.S. of the 1950s, the Space Age and molded plastic flying discs (Frisbees) were both novel. New materials and a supposed resemblance to UFOs made this linkage irresistible for early disc ...
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Was Nixon's “Madman Theory” effective?

Definition of "Madman Theory": The madman theory is a political theory commonly associated with U.S. President Richard Nixon's foreign policy. He and his administration tried to make the ...
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Did America help the Chinese nationalists to repel the communist advance?

As an answer said in this subject (What are some major military successes the Soviet Union achieved against the Western World?), it seems that the politics of USA had a great issue on the help of ...
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Did Vietnam have to pay back the Soviets / China?

According to this article, estimates of the total cost of the Soviet Union's support to the North Vietnam government range from $3.6 billion to $8 billion. China too lent its support The Chinese ...
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Did the Truman Doctrine contribute to the Cuban Missile Crisis?

I have heard that the brinkmanship foreign policy of Eisenhower and Kennedy lead, in part, to the Cuban Missile Crisis. However, I am curious: did the Truman Doctrine also contribute, in part, to the ...
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“Destructive force” carried by a B-52?

In the 1957 film Bombers B-52 an instructor says of the then-new B-52 Stratofortress: “On a single mission one of these airplanes, just one, can carry greater destructive force than that of all ...
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What did Frank Sinatra think of the Sinatra Doctrine?

Frank Sinatra died seven years after the introduction of the Sinatra Doctrine in the Soviet Union. I'm wondering if he ever commented on it, especially since the Soviets named it after him.
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Why did Kennedy refuse any military action in Laos at first and then decide otherwise by sending combat troops?

I was lately reading a lot about the civil war in Laos and the American involvement in there and now I am quite confused about the following: What is the special thing about the administration of ...
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Did the Soviet military in fact fear that the Space Shuttle would be used as an orbital bomber? If so, why?

I have read on this blog (scroll down to section "what happened to make it fail) dedicated to failed cold war space projects that the Soviet leadership was deeply concerned about the STS, fearing that ...
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Were Russians in the cold war era USA discriminated against for their ethnicity?

As a Chinese living in the western world, I am a little bit concerned about the next decades where there might be a war or a series of conflicts between the rising Chinese power and the current world ...
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What restrictions were in place after WWII on the German aircraft industry?

A question on Aviation.StackExchange asked why the German aircraft industry is smaller than other countries in Europe. I know that the Allies did not want German rearmament after the war and had ...
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Is there any evidence for American atrocities during the Soviet-Afghan War? [closed]

I just spoke to someone that was convinced that US soldiers committed rapes against Afghan women during the Cold War. Is there any truth to this? Were there any US soldiers deployed to Afghanistan ...
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Did Soviet Union really consider using atomic bomb against US aircraft battlegroup?

In this video youtube narrator says that: "During Cold War Soviet Union considered American battle-group such a dire threat that they predicted the only way to defend against them would be by use ...
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Why didn't the US and USSR jam each other's early-warning radar?

Radar jamming refers to rendering a radar system ineffective by saturating it with noise, typically by bombarding it with a high-intensity signal on the radar's operating frequency(es) in order to ...
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How did Ceaușescu survive the condemnation of the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968?

According to Wikipedia the communist leader of Romania (member of the Warsaw Pact) said that the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact forces is a "grave error". How could he "get away" with ...
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What methods did the Stasi use to build their surveillance apparatus?

Every state has a secret service and an intelligence service. However, one of the horrors of communist East Germany during the Cold War was the Stasi state apparatus. I recall being horrified to ...
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How did the Apollo-Soyuz test project affect the relationship between the USSR and USA during the cold war?

Did the Apollo-Soyuz test project really impact the relationship of the the USA and USSR politically? And if so, in what way?
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Why didn't Syria operate the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther tank?

Given that Syria operated numerous Nazi-era vehicles during the Cold War, why didn't it operate the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther tank? Syria acquired plenty of Panzer IVs, including some from France. ...
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What transit restrictions were in place in Occupied Germany limiting military and civilian movement between the four occupation zones?

Question What provisions or restrictions (civil and/or military) were in place in the summer of 1945 which governed movement between the four partitioned zones of occupation (British, American, ...
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Why did the movement that initiated the Stockholm appeal never condemned Soviet atomic experiments?

The Mouvement mondial des partisans de la paix, or Comité permanent mondial des intellectuels pour la paix according to Touchard in Le Siècle des Excès, stood for "the absolute prohibition of atomic ...
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What's the reason for wider streets in East Germany? [closed]

I heard* that in the GDR towns were planned so that most streets were wide enough for tanks to get through - in order to be able to fight the people more easily if they should rebel (even though it ...
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Does this CIA report describe the Soviet T-54 tank?

This CIA report from March 1954 describes an "Improved T-34 Tank" at the "V.I. Lenin Works at Pilsen". The report lists Czechoslovakia as the country of origin. This logically makes since as the T-34 ...