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The Arms And Space Race What Was Really Going On During The Cold War

1957 words - 8 pages

When on the 6th day of August 1945 the world's first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, some 66,000 people died almost instantly after the explosion and the subsequent firestorm. The power of nuclear weapons was instantly apparent and it would bring about an entirely new era in worldwide arms. It brought around a bitter Cold War of words and competition that would last some 45 years between the two former wartime allies: the United States of America and the Soviet Union. This rivalry brought about the feverish development of arms and space exploration equipment so technologically advanced that it would change the world forever. The key objective for the development of these weapons was to prevent the enemy from declaring war. These weapons acted as the symbols of each nation's technological prowess which did, with the evolution of time, encourage and propel an attitude of rivalry between the two countries.The Arms Race represented to the core what each of the countries believed: that their weapons, systems and infrastructure were grossly superior. This therefore led both nations to create new arms which would, given that neither country could agree on or restore diplomatic relations, act as deterrence to the other nation. Given the scope of the surrounding circumstances, the Arms Race's products were the fruit of that rivalry. They were the pride of each nation and the sheer chagrin of the other. The arms and space races were and are the lasting symbols of the greater rivalry between the two nations. Weapon system which was, like most weapons of the period, designed to deter the USSR. According to the successive United States Presidents, it had never been the intent of the United States to launch a nuclear-tipped missile against another nationWhen in 1957 the USSR launched its first ICBM, the United States was caught by surprise, having believed that it would be many years before their 'enemy' would have the capabilities to pose a sure threat. But USSR leader Khrushchev's comments at launch were emphatic and important to the period he believed in "peaceful coexistence".The United States however fought back, not wanting to be outdone by their European counterparts and initiated a campaign to quash Soviet efforts with the Titan II Intercontinental ballistic missile. The TITAN II held a target range of 5,500 miles. The Titan II weapon system was first activated in 1962 and, as the result of arms and nuclear reduction treaties, the ICBMs, first adopted by the USSR, were designed to destroy enemy strategic targets in a minimum of time from a distance of an unprecedented 5500 miles and were in 1962 sent to Cuba where they formed part of perhaps the closest point the world had ever and has ever come to nuclear war.The Anti-ballistic missiles system (ABM) was created in the 1960s by the USSR. Designed to disable the warheads of intercontinental ballistic missiles, the ABMs were also designed to be used against Chemical or...

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