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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655 views

What happened to schizophrenics in the USSR?

I'm looking for information on people who were unable to work because of schizophrenia or other major mental illness. Does anyone know what happened to them in the USSR?
21 votes
3 answers
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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. ...
3 votes
2 answers
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Why were there so many 'carrier killer' Kh-22 anti-ship missiles in Ukraine in the 1990s?

Ukraine is said to have scrapped 423 Kh-22 large anti-ship ('carrier killer') cruise missiles in the 1990s, together with some 60 strategic bombers that could carry & launch these. (This was due ...
2 votes
3 answers
700 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
192 views

Why did Women's Day never really catch on in the US, even though it started there?

The roots of International Women's Day (March 8th) go all the way back to New York City in 1909 and the Socialist Party of America. However, from what I have learned the International Women's Day is ...
2 votes
1 answer
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How much did the production of the Tsar Bomba cost to the Soviets?

The Tsar Bomba, also known as the "King of Bombs," was the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated. Developed and tested by the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War, this ...
8 votes
4 answers
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What was Yugoslavia doing in the Angolan Civil War?

I was looking through Wikipedia (a mixed quality source) about the military history of Yugoslavia, when I noticed this odd listing of Yugoslavia as one of the combatants in the Angolan Civil War (1975-...
-3 votes
2 answers
82 views

Ranking Eastern Europe Communist regimes by severity of repression [closed]

I was wondering that the severity of repression, censorship, economic stagnation must have varied greatly across the Eastern bloc countries between 1945-1990. It may even have varied over the years in ...
3 votes
1 answer
470 views

What's the proxy war that the USSR spent most resources on?

Off the top of my head it might be Afghanistan, but I'm not totally sure despite direct troop participation. They also sent substantial aid to Vietnam, North Korea, and various Arab countries fighting ...
1 vote
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How widely known was Wernher von Braun's past as a Nazi while he was in NASA?

Early in the alternative history fiction TV show For All Mankind, the fact that von Braun knew about the slave labor used in the factories which built his rockets came as a shock to people working ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Did the US stop using the U-2 spy plane for USSR after the shoot-down event in 1960?

The shoot-down of Powers is a famous event in the history of modern military. Did US stop using U-2 afterwards on USSR? It is known that this event stimulated the US spy satellite program.
4 votes
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Was there a separate vote on the Bulgarian demand for Western Thrace at the Paris Conference of 1946?

Although Bulgaria had withdrawn their troops from Greece in order to get an armistice in Oct 1944, Bulgaria reiterated their demand for Western Thrace (that its troops had vacated in '44) at the Paris ...
7 votes
2 answers
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Did West Germany build or mandate bomb shelters for ordinary civilians?

I know they had a government bunker (AdVB) next to Bonn, mostly dismantled [but partly turned into a museum] after moving the capital. And they probably inherited a number of air raid shelters for ...
6 votes
1 answer
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Who are the three people in the Twilight Struggle card "Red Scare / Purge"?

Image of card in question: Who are the three people in the image? The card comes with flavor text: Sparked by fears that the “enemy is among us,” the “red scare” hit its apex with Senator Joseph ...
37 votes
7 answers
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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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
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Did Stalin have any designs on Turkey and Greece?

I know of the famous Percentages Agreement between Stalin and Churchill. As is commonly known, Stalin reneged on his promise in regards to Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania which eliminated all British ...
2 votes
1 answer
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When and how was West/East-German citizenship determined in the early years of post-war Germany? [duplicate]

In the post-war period of Germany, before the Wall was built in 1961, many people crossed the border between East and West. Later on, this was obviously not possible anymore, as the GDR famously ...
-4 votes
2 answers
347 views

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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
429 views

Why did ZANU (instead of ZAPU) come to power after the Rhodesian Bush War?

Given recent events in Zimbabwe, I am curious about the country's origins, and have been reading various articles on Wikipedia, mainly on the Rhodesian Bush War. Why did PRC-supported ZANU win and ...
11 votes
1 answer
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Why was the Soviet Marine 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
91 views

When did McFaul & Sechin first meet?

According to David Remnick, In 1991, McFaul was in St. Petersburg, trying to organize a seminar on local government. He found himself doing business with a man from the mayor’s office named Igor ...
1 vote
2 answers
334 views

Was there ever a strategic concern about East German refusing to fight against West Germans (and vice versa) if the cold war had gone hot?

Given the two nations used to be one (and many people probably had relatives/friends on one side or the other), is there any evidence that this was ever a strategic concern for either side? Were there ...
3 votes
0 answers
247 views

How did US, and the Western world's people react when USSR suddenly became an ally during WWII?

Before the USSR's participation in WWII with the West, it had a non-aggression pact with Germany, invaded Poland, and is basically the super-villain of the Red Scare. But suddenly, after USSR became ...
6 votes
4 answers
698 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
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How adamant/sustained was George F. Kennan's opposition to the [creation of the] UN?

Wikipedia's page on George F. Kennan says that he warned against U.S. participation and reliance on multilateral, legalistic and moralistic organizations such as the United Nations. (Citing a review ...
21 votes
8 answers
9k views

Why did the Soviets not shoot down US spy satellites during the Cold War?

The USSR was not happy with unauthorised overflights, shooting down everything it could, from spy balloons to U-2s. Also, despite repeated US proposals, something like the Open Skies treaty was only ...
0 votes
1 answer
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Are there some concrete examples of the pre-1962 Soviet complaints in re CORONA spy satellites?

According to Pat Norris' book Spies in the Sky (p. 111) until the first successful Zenit flight in summer 1962 the Soviets complained bitterly to America about the CORONA flights. However he does ...
2 votes
0 answers
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Did the microwave listening plot ever yield useful intelligence?

In Spycatcher Peter Wright mentions that microwaves can be used to detect sound-waves in a suitable tuned object without the need for it to have an active power source, and that such a device had been ...
4 votes
1 answer
679 views

Why does the Central Treaty Organization include the word "central"?

Recently, I've been wondering, from the 1950s to 1979, there was the Central Treaty Organization, but I don't know why it was named "Central". Do you mean the "center" of the ...
3 votes
2 answers
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Were sanctions used against East Germany?

North Korea has survived as an independent state for a lot longer than East Germany did. I am wondering. Did any country, such as the United States, use sanctions against East Germany, and if so, were ...
0 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
316 views

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 ...
10 votes
2 answers
527 views

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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1 answer
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Is there a database of wars in Europe since 1945?

I'm currently improving a Timeline I build some time ago, this Timeline of Wars in Europe since 1945. I did used several sources, including Wikidata, to get the list of conflicts to include. Yet, ...
12 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
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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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3 answers
306 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
313 views

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 ...
12 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
33 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
21 votes
3 answers
9k views

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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
490 views

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 ...
7 votes
7 answers
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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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1 answer
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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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
341 views

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 ...
20 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
26 votes
3 answers
5k views

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 ...
20 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
10 votes
2 answers
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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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