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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When did the Soviets get the ability to drop a nuclear bomb on the United States?

I'm researching the history of the Cold War and I have the impression that the Soviets failed to develop a bomber capable of flying from Russia to the United States until 1956, when the Tu-95 bomber ...
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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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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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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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Did Stalin believe Israel would go communist?

In Anne Applebaum's recent book Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 she claims the USSR supported the new state of Israel and states "Stalin believed Israel would quickly join the ...
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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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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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Why was Eisenhower chosen to be Supreme Allied Commander in Europe?

Dwight D. Eisenhower "Ike", graduated from West Point in 1915 ranked 61st in a class of 164 better known for his abilities on the football field than in the classroom. Upon graduation from ...
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Was PepsiCo really sixth largest military force?

There are several claims on the internet that for a brief time PepsiCo owned the sixth largest military force in the world. You can read about it, e.g., at Wikipedia. This seems quite fishy to me, so ...
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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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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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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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What was the internal Soviet reaction to the moon landing?

The Soviet Union was a famously restrictive place when it came to news and ideological spin, and obviously their attitude toward the United States was less than supportive and warm. The Space Race ...
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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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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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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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How historically accurate was the Queen's trip to Ghana portrayed in Episode 8 of The Crown?

OK let me be more specific. In episode 8 of The Crown (Netflix), it is implied that Queen Elizabeth II went to Ghana (because she heard a sly comment from JFK's wife) to prevent the country from going ...
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Who is the historical figure in McCarthy's speech, "When a great democracy is destroyed..."?

During the Wheeling speech in 1950, McCarthy said : As one of our outstanding historical figures once said, “When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be from enemies from without, but rather ...
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Did the U.S. and Soviet Union have a submarine battle in 1968?

There are books and articles about the Soviet submarine K-129 and the USS Scorpion in 1968, with various stories of attempted nuclear attacks and reprisals. Is there a factual narrative about these ...
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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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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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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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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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When did the Vietnam War start?

I embarrassingly don't know much about the history of the Vietnam War. I would like to learn more about the war, but I can't figure out when exactly the war started and ended. World War 2 was from ...
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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 access did people in the Warsaw pact countries have to Western television and radio?

Did people in socialist East Germany and Central Europe really watch Western television as casually as Westerners did, during the cold war? Were there laws against it? Were TV and radio receivers ...
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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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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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Is the killing between communists and Muslims in Indonesia during 1965 mutual?

During 1965, there was an anti-communist purge in Indonesia following the 30 September failed coup. There are claims that the killing is mutual. There are claims that it's one sided. Which one is ...
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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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Has a hostile submarine transitted the Bosphorus submerged?

In WW1, the British submarine E-11 entered the Golden Horn, but apparently not the Bosphorus, and in this old thread on Usenet there are references to WW1 and fiction. According to a recent article ...
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Was there hostile contact between deployed US forces and Sandinista forces during Operation Golden Pheasant?

Operation Golden Pheasant was a deployment of US paratroopers to Honduras in 1988 following an incursion of the Nicaraguan military to pursue Nicaraguan Contra forces seeking sanctuary in Honduras. ...
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Why did navies abandon armour?

Over the Cold War the many navies of the world moved away from significantly armoring their ships besides splinter protection for some vital spaces, with a few exceptions. What prompted the shift from ...
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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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Was the population of Moscow wildly overstated during the Cold War?

The science fiction author Robert Heinlein was a socialist in his youth, but became a strident anticommunist during the Cold War. In 1960, he and his wife Virginia went as tourists to the USSR, and he ...
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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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What documented criteria (if any) did the CIA use to determine targets for political assassination during the Cold War?

Did the CIA follow a documented set of criteria when determining targets for political assassination during the Cold War, especially in regards to foreign heads of state or government? There have been ...
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Did NATO promise Gorbachev not to accept membership applications from former Warsaw Pact nations?

There have been several claims that there was an agreement between NATO and USSR at the end of the Cold War. This agreement supposedly required NATO to reject any membership applications from the ...
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Did the US military just kill more Russians in Syria than they ever did during the Cold War?

EDIT: It is understood that the US military generally was not in direct confrontation with the Soviets during the Cold War (hence it being Cold). It's also true that even during a cold war "things" ...
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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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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 ...