Nuclear war

Article

January 24, 2022

Nuclear war is a potential military conflict between nuclear-weapon states using nuclear and/or thermonuclear weapons. In such a war, nuclear weapons are the main weapon of mass destruction. In the second half of the 20th century, it was considered one of the most likely options for the development of the Cold War between the USA and the USSR, a hypothetical version of the Third World War.

Equipping countries with nuclear weapons

From 1945 to 1962, the United States conducts atmospheric nuclear tests. In 1945, the United States used nuclear weapons during World War II, dropping two nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the years following World War II, the United States built up a strategic force based on the use of B-36 Peacemaker bombers, capable of striking any potential enemy from air bases on American soil. The possibility of a nuclear strike on the territory of the United States itself was considered as purely hypothetical, since no other country in the world possessed nuclear weapons at that time. The main fear of American strategists was the possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of a "crazy general" who could decide to strike at the USSR without proper orders (this plot was used in many films and spy novels). To assuage public fears, US nuclear weapons were placed under the control of an independent agency, the US Atomic Energy Commission. It was assumed that in the event of war, the bombers of the US Strategic Air Command would be transferred to the bases of the Atomic Energy Commission, where they would be loaded with aerial bombs. The whole process was supposed to take several days. For several years, confidence in the invincibility of the United States reigned among many in US military circles. There was general agreement that the threat of a nuclear strike by the United States should deter any potential aggressor. At the same time, the possibility of placing the arsenal of the US Atomic Energy Commission under international control or limiting its size was discussed. Meanwhile, the efforts of the USSR, in particular Soviet intelligence, were aimed at ensuring that l

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