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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55
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6answers
20k views

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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Why was Spanish Fascist dictatorship left in power after World War II?

Throughout the Second World War, many people in Spain were under the hope that the victory of the Allies would trigger an invasion of Spain to defeat the dictatorship of Franco, a fascist who won the ...
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Why were there no nuclear detonations in 1959?

According to this visualization there were no nuclear detonations in 1959, and only 3 by France in 1960. Why were there no nuclear detonations by the USA or USSR in 1959 and 1960 but over 50 in each ...
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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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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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Why did the Soviet Union lift the Berlin Blockade?

Between 24th June 1948 and 12th May 1949 land routes into West Berlin were blocked by Soviet forces and West Berliners were supplied entirely by air (the famous Berlin Airlift). No one connected with ...
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What was the reason for Soviet troops to withdraw from Yugoslavia in World War II?

For all these countries that the Red Army entered (Poland, Romania, part of Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary), the procedure was straightforward. Once the Soviets beat the Germans they become de facto ...
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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 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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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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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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Why didn't the participants of the Korean War also fight in the Vietnam War?

In the Korean war from 1950 to 1953, a lot of countries including the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, Australia, and even Colombia, the Philippines and Ethiopia participated in the war under the U.N. ...
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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 set Checkpoint Charlie apart from the other border checkpoints in Berlin during the Cold War?

How did "Checkpoint Charlie" become known as the border crossing between East and West Berlin? Out of the countless border checkpoints, what set Checkpoint Charlie apart from the rest for defectors?
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Why was Harry Truman chosen to be Vice President in 1944?

In 1944, FDR was running for his fourth and final election. He was starting to age rapidly, he would be dead in just 82 days from being sworn in to his fourth term. Henry Wallace had been FDR's VP ...
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How did Greece avoid the Soviet sphere of influence?

It seems to me that east of Italy / Germany all of Europe was in the Soviet sphere of influence, with the blatant exception of Greece. I'm sure that the long coast made access to Western influence ...
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1answer
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Did the Soviet Union know when DEFCON levels changed?

The US military uses a scale of alert readiness called DEFCON, with DEFCON 5 being the lowest alert level and DEFCON 1 being the highest, preparing for imminent nuclear war. At least once during the ...
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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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Why was the Cold War carried out over the whole world instead of between Siberia and Alaska?

I was wondering why the conflicts, missile deployments etc. throughout the Cold War were basically all taking place in Europe, Africa and Asia, when in fact the US and Soviet Union were only separated ...
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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 West Point ...
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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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What are the main reasons historians give for the Soviet Union's collapse?

(I thought that How and Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse? is a good question so would like to rephrase it a bit but the question was too far gone to edit) The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 with ...
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How was titanium transported from Soviet Union to Area 51 for Oxcart?

Oxcart was one of its kind, a sophisticated aircraft designed during the Cold-War era. Its body was made up of titanium. Titanium was only found in substantial quantities in the then Soviet Union. The ...
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What was the legal status of an East German once he had reached West Germany?

Cold War histories usually state something like "any German able to reach West Germany was automatically granted West German citizenship" to explain how easy it was to go from East to West, if only ...
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What role did the space race play in reducing the nuclear threat during the 1960s?

Today I visited again the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, a space flight history museum, and noticed for the first time the claim that part of John F. Kennedy's motivation for pushing for a ...
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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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Austria and Iron Curtain during Cold War

Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech from 1946 contains the following famous passage: From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. ...
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Why is Finland represented as a Soviet satellite in this 1947 cartoon?

The cartoon is a British one. I found it at http://lenta.ru/articles/2013/05/28/secretwar/ but without any specific attribution.
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Were there any westerners who entered the soviet bloc to escape capitalism? [closed]

It is a well known fact that many people from the soviet bloc fled to the west to escape communism, and that during the entire soviet time frame, from the beginning of the Russian civil war in 1918 ...
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Were Soviet warships allowed to use the Panama canal?

During the Cold War, were Soviet naval vessels allowed to use the Panama canal? I'm aware that no Soviet warships happened to use the canal during the Cold War. Was there a rule aganst them ...
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1answer
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Did Truman threaten a nuclear strike if the Soviet Union didn't withdraw from Iran in 1946?

In episode 4 of Oliver Stone's documentary series, Untold History of the United States, Stone claims that then-president Truman issued an ultimatum to the Soviet Union: either withdraw from Iran (...
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How were the Venera Probe missions received/presented in the Western world during the space race?

I can find barely any historical documentation on this subject. If you know anything about its development, please chip in as well. I'm writing a paper on the missions and putting them into ...
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Is the Cold War still going on? [closed]

Do any historians consider the Cold War, or Cold War II, to be going on? I'm asking because some features of the Cold War still exist, such as an antagonism between Russia and the Western world, and ...
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Did Peron shelter Nazis after WWII?

After WWII, many Nazis sought and found refuge in Argentina. The proportion to which that happened certainly couldn't be carried out without some level of complicity from the Argentine establishment ...
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1answer
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How did Churchill and Stalin intend to translate the percentages in the “Percentages agreement”?

In "percentages agreement", Stalin and Churchill allegedly divided Southeastern Europe to sphere of influences of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. According to Churchill's account quoted by ...
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2answers
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What was the Soviet role in Syria during the Cold-War?

It is my understanding that the Soviet Union supported governments in Syria during the cold-war primarily as a counter-balance to American influence over regional powers particularly Saudi Arabia and ...
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Was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan one of the major reasons that led to the fall of Soviet Union?

Was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan one of the major reasons that led to the fall of Soviet Union? That is what the world history teacher told me. Please show your sources.
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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 ...
12
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1answer
391 views

Are submarine launched ballistic missiles still inaccurate?

In the early 1980s documentary First Strike, one of the arguments made for the development of the MX missile program was that in the event of a massive Soviet attack on the land-based missile and ...
12
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1answer
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What was Poland's involvement in the Vietnam War?

So far I've found a few stories about Poland's involvement in the Vietnam War: historycy.org (in Polish) Operation Marigold Multinational UN peacekeeping force International Commission of Control and ...
11
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1answer
465 views

1985 magazine cover about Strategic Defense Initiative - Who is Darth Vader?

Here is a the cover of the French magazine "Science&Vie", dated February 1985. The lead article, "La Paix des Étoiles" (Star Peace) is obviously about the Strategic Defense Initiative. February ...
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2answers
465 views

Did the U.S. actively encourage discord between the Soviets and Chinese?

According to historian Lorenz M. Lüthi, one of the defining events of the Cold War, the Sino-Soviet split (1960 to 1989) was principally fueled by Mao's interpretation of Communist ideology and his ...
11
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1answer
289 views

Did Tito back the Bulgarian anti Communist Goryani resistance movement?

I was doing Wikipedia based (mixed quality source) research on the Goryani anti communist resistance movement in Bulgaria and found the following interesting statement: “During the same period, some ...
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Why did the United States not seriously develop Anti Aircraft Missiles?

During the Cold War, the United States did not seem to actively develop anti-aircraft missiles (I know that Wikipedia is not an exhaustive source for lists, but just as a rough estimate, they list ...
10
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2answers
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Why has SACEUR exclusively been an American officer?

After reading this BBC article about the new SACEUR, General Philip Breedlove, United States Air Force, it occurred to me that SACEUR has always been an American officer. Supreme Allied Commander ...
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254 views

Cuban medical internationalism

In the decades since the Cuban revolutions the country's medical doctors famously served on many semi-official missions abroad. For instance, it has been reported that Venezuela under Hugo Chavez ...
10
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0answers
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Why did Romania create a personality cult long after Russia's “overcoming of the cult of personality”? [closed]

During the Cold War the Socialist Republic of Romania was aligned with the USSR and within the Soviet sphere of influence. What appears odd is that while Russian Communism slowly liberalised after ...
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Is there evidence that communists supplied drugs to West Berlin?

I've read an interview with Nick Cave, who lived in West Berlin in the 1980s and was a drug addict. He said that the "stuff" was very cheap and good - by that he probably meant very pure. And he said ...
9
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1answer
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Impact of the Berlin Wall to GDR

"No one has the intention of erecting a wall!" - Walter Ulbricht, June 15,1961. The Wall was erected anyway, because more than 2.6 million East Germans escaped to West Berlin or West Germany from ...
9
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1answer
586 views

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, ...