Nuclear Weapons In The Cold War Essay

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World War 2 was the most destructive human conflict in terms of lives lost. The stakes were high. Extreme violence and ideology created a scary landscape. The desperation in the war brought about the most destructive weapons ever seen by humanity. These nuclear weapons greatly changed the face of warfare. Nuclear arms would play a vital role in the following Cold War. They were a cause of the cold war. They were a tool to threaten rival nations. And finally, they served as the deterrent that prevented the Cold War from becoming World War 3.
Nuclear arms served as a cause of the Cold War. The Second World War created alliances of convenience. In spite of most members of the Allies being democracies, the Soviet Union still joined. They did so
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People had threatened war in the past to get what they wanted. Hitler threatened Czechoslovakians with war if they didn’t concede territory to the Third Reich. But nuclear weapons allowed one nation to threaten another with the prospect of death to the majority of their citizens, and the irradiation of their land; thus making it uninhabitable. Nikita Khrushchev is the first name to come to mind for nuclear threats. He did this many times. The first time he threatened the West, “Soviet troops were crushing a rebellion in Hungary just as the British, the French, and Israelis—without informing the Americans—had seized the Suez Canal in an abortive effort to overthrow the anti-colonial Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser” (Gaddis 70). In order to distract the world from the bloodbath in Hungary, Khrushchev demanded the withdrawal of British, French, and Israeli troops from Egypt. If his ultimatum wasn’t met these nations would face nuclear annihilation from the supposedly advanced Soviet weapons. While that was not their reason for withdraw, that’s how it was perceived. In Khrushchev’s mind he had successfully used a bluff to make the West listen to him. He would continue using this bluff as long as he could. This was only possible because the Soviet Union remained mysterious and hard to access to the rest of the world. Eventually, improved reconnaissance technology such as the U-2 allowed Americans to get images of the Soviet Union. They found that Khrushchev had greatly overstated Soviet nuclear weapon strength, amount, and ability to reach faraway lands such as the United States. After this discovery, Khrushchev’s direct threats ended. Threats between the East and West generally became more implied and less outright following the discovery of Soviet

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