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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Were the Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan officially volunteers?

I always thought they were conscripts, who were ordered to go there, but recently saw a mention that they all were volunteers. So, I wonder whether they signed any paper of consent before being sent ...
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Were there written (draft) Soviet proposals that would have effectively restricted the US navy from (parts of) Europe?

I'm pretty sure that if one trawls the Soviet propaganda, one can find something asking Americans to bugger off from Europe altogether (ok, on a more serious note--Gorbatchev did propose the ...
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How did the accounting and capital organization system work in communist countries like the USSR? Did ideology justify or undermine the system? [closed]

It's difficult to see how the leaders could have kept track of such a complex system, in such a big country as the Soviet Union (USSR), without recognizing the existence of capital relations, the ...
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Was America behind any 'false flag' bomb attacks in Saigon in the early 1950s?

Graham Greene was a journalist in Vietnam during 1951-1954. His 1955 novel The Quiet American depicts the US as plotting with Trình Minh Thế's Caodaiist faction to bomb a military parade in Saigon, so ...
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Was there a Cold War era Russian safe haven city for politicians and scientists?

I remember learning about a Russian city where, during the Cold War, top politicians and scientists and their families would be evacuated to. It would have existed as a normal city outside of Cold War ...
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Who is the Pentagon General nicknamed Darth Vader referred to by Arthur C Clarke?

In an introductory blurb to his story "The Golden Seas" in "The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke", p.935, Arthur C. Clarke writes This was my first response to President ...
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Do negotiations/concessions to dictatorial powers always bring them to wanting more? [closed]

Let's focus on European powers that existed from the 18th century until today. There's a common theory which basically says: giving concessions or not being firm enough towards dictators always ...
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Did the Soviet Union or China participate in the light bulb cartel? If not, in what ways did they differ and how long did their bulbs last?

The Phoebus cartel was a well known scheme to fix the standard lifespan of incandescent lightbulbs that arose at the beginning of the 20th century. See Spectrum.ieee.org. Although not implemented for ...
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How and why was the boundary between West and East Berlin decided to be where it was?

I have been trying to find detailed explanations (and, if available, references in English or German about it) to the following about the division of Berlin into West and East sides after WW2: how ...
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What is this lapel pin logo?

I got this lapel pin in the mid-1980s from a retired communist partisan in Hungary. He had more pins, mostly of communist/socialist organisations, trade fairs, and combines.[1] cold-war era Eastern ...
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How were the West Berlin air corridors negotiated?

This grew out of a question I asked on the Politics SE, which I'm moving here because it's tangential to that question. As far as I can tell, after World War 2, the Western powers negotiated air ...
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Why didn’t the USSR and CCP reinstate ties after Mao’s death?

With Hua Guofeng and especially Deng Xiapoing’s rise to power, why wasn’t there a thaw and rapprochement in their ties, as the main divide was the rift in ideology between the USSR and Mao’s Stalinist ...
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What was the border regime between Poland and Czechoslovakia like during the 1970s and 1980s?

Poland and Czechoslovakia shared a rather long border after WW2. This border included several touristically relevant places, e.g. Snežka in the Krkonoše mountains and several peaks in the High Tatras. ...
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Was the danger of radiation in the case of nuclear war overestimated during the cold war?

This article tells about signal "Atom" and its intended effect on Moscow metro: All trains stop, escalators automatically start move downwards. After 15 min, all hermetic gates on metro ...
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What was the policy on academic research being published beyond the iron curtain?

If a little background to my curiosity were to help: when I was studying logic as a philosophy student, we covered the topic of defining probability, where we looked at Kolmogorov's axioms of ...
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Are there any specific examples of NLF efforts to manipulate American media?

I often see mentions of National Liberation Front (NLF) efforts to manipulate US media during the Vietnam War, but I can't seem to find any specific examples of this happening. Did I misinterpret its ...
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How was the Cuban military capable of performing African interventions?

Cuba has led many interventions in Africa during the Cold War: Instructors sent in Angola Up to 400 000 soldiers, including instructors, tank brigades, air wings in Angola to help the fight against ...
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How did the countries devolved from USSR turn from communism to democracy or other ideology peacefully after the collapse?

After the Soviet Union dissolution, the countries independent from the Union, or the countries in the East Europe that were puppets of the Soviet Union turned to the current government without a civil ...
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Why did Eisenhower iconize Robert E. Lee?

I recently discovered this clip of General Eisenhower: Eisenhower Explains About General Lee (1957) In it he claims "The 4 top Americans of history: Franklin, Washington, Lincoln and Lee" I ...
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Is it true that novel 1984 became famous under US propaganda? [closed]

I've heard from some one that novel 1984 was not a very excellent novel but under US propaganda and CIA's pressure it became famous. And also the opposite of this happened to novel Brave New World. ...
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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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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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