177 votes

Why didn't the US and USSR jam each other's early-warning radar?

The short answer is "Mutual Assured Destruction." If you jam the other side's radar effectively, the natural assumption is that you're attacking, so they'll attack in response. So you will set off a ...
user avatar
  • 28.1k
89 votes
Accepted

Why didn't the US and USSR jam each other's early-warning radar?

John Dallman definitely has the right of it, but I wanted to chime in with a small bit of additional information. The early warning system that the russians used, the Duga Radar (eventually known as ...
user avatar
  • 1,006
83 votes

Why were there no nuclear detonations in 1959?

Why were there no nuclear detonations in 1959? The reason there were no tests in 1959 was that the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the United States agreed to a moratorium on nuclear weapon tests in ...
user avatar
  • 2,397
72 votes
Accepted

Has there ever been a cold war other than between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.?

The Great Game, fought between Britain and Russia from 1830 to 1895, is a very close analogue. Like the US-Soviet Cold War, the two powers competed for dominance in Central Asia through a full ...
user avatar
  • 96.2k
59 votes
Accepted

Why was the Cold War carried out over the whole world instead of between Siberia and Alaska?

Location of Conflicts This is because fundamentally, the Cold War was about which ideology would dominate the world. Both sides wanted to export their ideology, or perhaps more importantly, stop each ...
user avatar
  • 96.2k
55 votes

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

WW II was primarily a power struggle, and to a lesser degree an ideological struggle. This means that your assumption about the motivations of WW II are incorrect. If it had been an ideological ...
user avatar
54 votes

Why didn't the US and USSR jam each other's early-warning radar?

Radar jamming is not trivial First of all, early warning radar (EWR) operate at very low frequencies, for example 7-19 MHz for Duga. For comparison, usual low frequency acquisition radars like P-19 ...
user avatar
  • 11k
47 votes
Accepted

Why was Harry Truman chosen to be Vice President in 1944?

There is an extensive Wikipedia article on the details of the selection process. Truman had become a national figure through his chairmanship of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the ...
user avatar
  • 28.1k
46 votes

Why did navies abandon armour?

Analysts concluded that battleships were killed by carrier aircraft, not by other battleships. This conclusion might have been influenced by several factors: The US became the clear naval winner when ...
user avatar
  • 16.1k
44 votes
Accepted

"Destructive force" carried by a B-52?

The B-52 was capable of carrying thermonuclear weapons. These were the second-generation of nuclear weapons with greatly increased destructive power over the original WW2 atomic bombs. By 1957, these ...
user avatar
  • 4,688
42 votes

Has there ever been a cold war other than between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.?

I consider the conflict between Sunni and Shiite Islam as a current "Cold War". Saudi Arabia considers themselves the leaders of Sunni Islam, while Iran considers themselves the people who speak for ...
user avatar
  • 967
42 votes

Did the Soviet Union or its satellite states have any broadcast propaganda media for an international audience?

Yes. Ample supply. At least for print and radio. Newspapers and magazines Not really 'broadcast medium', but mentioned in the question: Many versions printed directly under the auspices of a communist ...
user avatar
  • 77.3k
39 votes
Accepted

Were Russians in the cold war era USA discriminated against for their ethnicity?

Because of emigration restrictions from the Soviet Union imposed from at least the 1920's on, there were very few ethnic Russians of recent arrival in the U.S., and the Western world in general, ...
user avatar
38 votes
Accepted

Why didn't the participants of the Korean War also fight in the Vietnam War?

The Korean War and the Vietnam War are fundamentally very different conflicts. With the former, South Korea was unambiguously invaded by North Korea in an explicit war of conquest. Due to lucky ...
user avatar
  • 96.2k
37 votes
Accepted

What was the internal Soviet reaction to the moon landing?

TL; DR: Landing on the moon was covered in the Soviet press, and was well known in the Soviet Union. It received much less attention than Soviet space missions, though. Just to add something factual ...
user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

Did the U.S. and Soviet Union have a submarine battle in 1968?

According to a 1999 article by Mark A. Bradley in Proceedings, the U.S. Naval Institute's professional journal ("Why They Called the Scorpion "Scrapiron," July 1998), on May 20, 1968, the Scorpion was ...
user avatar
  • 5,108
33 votes
Accepted

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

The OP said this in a comment: technically speaking, Spain was a satellite state. However, the treaty was mainly intended for the countries within the big blocks so I assume it was just ignored. The ...
user avatar
  • 53.1k
33 votes
Accepted

What was the policy on academic research being published beyond the iron curtain?

The policies very much varied with time. Even more they differed between scientific institutions in USSR. First of all, there was always scientific exchange through publications. Until the middle of ...
user avatar
  • 37.5k
31 votes

Was there a Cold War era Russian safe haven city for politicians and scientists?

Most likely it's a myth. First, nothing is "outside of ICBM range". The so-called "closed cities" were primarily nuclear production or research sites.1 They were presumably on the ...
user avatar
  • 793
30 votes
Accepted

Why was the Soviet Naval Infantry disbanded in 1947?

The most serious discussion of the matter (that I could find) appears in the book Кузин В.П., Никольский В.И. "Военно-морской флот СССР: 1945–1991." — СПб.: Историческое Морское Общество, 1996. V....
user avatar
  • 6,030
29 votes
Accepted

How was titanium transported from Soviet Union to Area 51 for Oxcart?

The Soviets did not know they were supplying the CIA, because Americans are adept at corporate shenanigans. From the book Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of my Years at Lockheed: Our supplier, ...
user avatar
  • 17.9k
28 votes
Accepted

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

(Revised) In principle, they obtained this capability in 1951. In 1949 the Soviets introduced Tu-4 (an unlicensed copy of B-29, by "reverse engineering") with range 5400 km and 847 of them ...
user avatar
  • 37.5k
28 votes
Accepted

Were Soviets invited to the Marshall Islands to observe the first hydrogen bomb detonations?

The USA could be confident that the USSR would learn about the hydrogen bomb test from atmospheric sampling. It's possible to detect extremely low levels of radioactive isotopes in the atmosphere, ...
user avatar
  • 28.1k
26 votes

Why was Eisenhower chosen to be Supreme Allied Commander in Europe?

I may be wrong, but I don't think George Marshall ever spoke about his reasons for promoting Eisenhower (although he did prepare a series of biennial reports for the Secretary of War between July 1939 ...
user avatar
  • 76.4k
25 votes

How and why was the boundary between West and East Berlin decided to be where it was?

The initial decision to divide Berlin into sectors was made around the 12th of September 1944 by the European Advisory Commission (EAC). E.A.C. (44) 9th Meeting Berlin Area (as shown on the annexed ...
user avatar
  • 6,896
24 votes
Accepted

Was PepsiCo really sixth largest military force?

No, but for a short while in 1989 they were the owners of 17 ex-military submarines. In 2000 China had about 65 submarines. In 1990 Britain had about 29 submarines (about ten now). Currently Japan ...
user avatar
23 votes

Why did navies abandon armour?

Battleships were actually obsolete by the onset of WWII, the world's navies just had not realized that yet. Modern technology could deliver killing blows to the heaviest armor from a hundred miles ...
user avatar
  • 12.1k
23 votes
Accepted

Did NATO promise Gorbachev not to accept membership applications from former Warsaw Pact nations?

tl;dr Yes, arguably. There were several repeated assurances that NATO would not expand, given only orally or in letters, public newspaper articles, but no official treaty signed over this. This was ...
user avatar
  • 77.3k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible