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Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth?

 
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Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/7/2021 9:04:22 PM   
gamer78

 

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I understand 'Cuban Missile Crisis' was a real crisis and some more if I've born on these times. But from todays perspective or from the past -who lived on these times- can we call those times struggle between equal powers. Or is it these times more about inner politics. Cheers.
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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/7/2021 9:16:39 PM   
Lobster


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Wasn't all that cold. Lots of proxy wars and the big two got into trouble in little countries. So Cold War wasn't all that cold.

Not sure why you would ask if it was a myth unless you are a history revisionist.

< Message edited by Lobster -- 4/7/2021 9:17:44 PM >


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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/7/2021 10:13:54 PM   
Grognerd_INC


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Yep, I remember practicing jumping under the school desks in air raid drills (Nuclear drills), this was in the early 60's or the late 50's. The wife and I fondly remember it as the kiss your (insert rude term for your behind here) goodbye drills!

Also remember the hubub around the Cuban Missile crisis.

Funny thing when I started working at Vandenberg AFB for Martin Marietta the first generation Titan missile engineers had some pretty good stories about VAFB during the crisis. All the test stands were loaded up with missiles then the civilians were evacuated off base. The Air Force installed the warheads at that time.

Another great story was told to me by a very dear friend who was a captain in the AF during the Berlin Crisis, they were carrying the warheads to the missile sites when the truck hit a big bump, one of the warhead crates bounced out of the truck and split open. Bill got the truck stopped and they put the warhead back in the crate and proceeded away. Later that day they all noticed their radiation badges indicated exposure! PS nobody got sick.

Another sad story, an inspector named Elmer Bishop worked for me for like 15 years or more, he came down with cancer and passed very rapidly. We were talking a bit about it and he was pretty upset since he was just told it was a terminal condition, I mentioned he needed to talk to a lawyer due to a law Congress passed. You see he was in a B-17 (or B ?) when they flew through the mushroom clouds at Bikini after a test. They were an instrumentation aircraft. Congress pass a law to pay out any service folks who got certain cancers due to exposure at the nuclear tests. He did qualify and his widow collected it.

< Message edited by Grognerd_INC -- 4/7/2021 11:01:32 PM >


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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/7/2021 10:18:30 PM   
UP844


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If you have never thought "A SS-19 can be on its way now and there is nothing I can do" (as I often did in the early '80s) you wouldn't doubt about it

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/7/2021 11:27:02 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: UP844

If you have never thought "A SS-19 can be on its way now and there is nothing I can do" (as I often did in the early '80s) you wouldn't doubt about it


Have you ever thought a truck can go through a red light and kill you in your car? Nothing you can do about it so just live life and don't sweat crap you have no control over.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/7/2021 11:33:59 PM   
UP844


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I had no driving license then .

< Message edited by UP844 -- 4/7/2021 11:34:31 PM >


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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/8/2021 12:12:37 AM   
OldSarge


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The "Cold War" seemed pretty real for me. Being in the Army from the late '70s to the mid '80s, there were plenty of middle of the night alerts and various exercises - which beat painting anything that didn't move and repairing broken equipment. It wasn't until later that I heard about the Able Archer CPX that almost caused a shooting war!

I recently dug out my old SMLM card that we all had to carry around with us, because Soviet 'diplomats' would wander around and watch our exercises while our own 'diplomats' returned the favor. The card contained instructions that we were supposed to follow, fun times!





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< Message edited by OldSarge -- 4/8/2021 12:21:58 AM >


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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/8/2021 1:00:04 AM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: UP844

I had no driving license then .


Do they let you have one now?

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/8/2021 6:12:50 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: gamer78

I understand 'Cuban Missile Crisis' was a real crisis and some more if I've born on these times. But from todays perspective or from the past -who lived on these times- can we call those times struggle between equal powers. Or is it these times more about inner politics. Cheers.
warspite1

I'm not sure if something has got lost in the translation.

The Cold War was a name given to a period of time. There is no myth. It is a period of history.

A struggle between equal powers? I'm not sure why it matters if the sides were equal or what measure you wish to use to gauge that. But the two sides each had the nuclear power to bring civilisation as we know it to an end so, regardless of any other measure, then that sounds pretty equal.

There was at least one incidence where the 'button' could have been pressed - 1983? - not because someone was actively trying to start a war, but through human error.

Was there ever a chance that some 'crazy' in the Kremlin or the White House believed such a war could be winnable and would actually start a fighting war? Probably not, but that doesn't make the Cold War, and the inherent dangers the holding of huge nuclear arsenals brings, a myth. And there were plenty of localised conflicts as each side sought influence in Asia or Africa etc.

It's such a shame that we can't uninvent nuclear weapons, but as terrible as they are it is difficult to imagine the West and the Soviets not going to war at some point had neither side had them. Terrible things - but they've kept the peace - localised wars aside - since 1945.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/8/2021 3:51:32 PM   
bayonetbrant

 

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if you were living in Europe in the 70s-80s, as I was, I can assure you it felt very real

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/8/2021 6:55:37 PM   
altipueri

 

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Get and read Thomas Schelling's "The Strategy of Conflict"

Search and you can get the whole revised edition free, but here is a review;

https://www.jstor.org/stable/40651534?seq=1

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/8/2021 9:13:21 PM   
Lobster


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There's more danger now than during the Cold War simply because you have more players and some are not very mentally stable.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/9/2021 5:11:01 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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Well, the term is used loosely to denote an armed standoff between NATO and the Warsaw Pact with hundreds of thousands of well armed troops backed by nuclear weapons on both sides. In that sense it was very real, and that is the most common definition of it. Like more than one person here, I served during the Cold War and spent two tours in (West) Germany, 74-74 and 85-88. It is also sometimes more loosely used to describe all the armed conflicts of that period between the US and allies and communist proxies, including the Korean War and Vietnam War and some other conflicts.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/10/2021 5:11:03 AM   
Kuokkanen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Was there ever a chance that some 'crazy' in the Kremlin or the White House believed such a war could be winnable and would actually start a fighting war? Probably not

I have read about one man in Soviet Union who believed Kremlin having such 'crazy' person (or few). I haven't memorized the names, but man in question was responsible in operating an early missile warning system. System printed a warning about incoming missiles and man should have reported it. But believing it to be a malfunction, he didn't. Can you make a guess why not? He has been mentioned on this forum before.

I have a recollection of watching a TV documentary where one 'crazy' American politician(?) is quoted saying something along the lines:
quote:

If in the end there are only one of them and two of us, I'll be satisfied.

Somebody was quoted telling him:
quote:

At least one of them should be a woman.


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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/10/2021 10:28:06 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kuokkanen

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Was there ever a chance that some 'crazy' in the Kremlin or the White House believed such a war could be winnable and would actually start a fighting war? Probably not

I have read about one man in Soviet Union who believed Kremlin having such 'crazy' person (or few). I haven't memorized the names, but man in question was responsible in operating an early missile warning system. System printed a warning about incoming missiles and man should have reported it. But believing it to be a malfunction, he didn't. Can you make a guess why not? He has been mentioned on this forum before.

I have a recollection of watching a TV documentary where one 'crazy' American politician(?) is quoted saying something along the lines:
quote:

If in the end there are only one of them and two of us, I'll be satisfied.

Somebody was quoted telling him:
quote:

At least one of them should be a woman.


Queue Dr. Strangelove!




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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/12/2021 4:08:49 PM   
z1812


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Yes, the term Cold War was a Total Myth. It would have been more appropriately called The Hot War based on the number of regional wars related to it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_related_to_the_Cold_War

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/12/2021 8:03:58 PM   
gamer78

 

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Thanks. Sorry for being in lost in translation. I mean by pressing some buttons about nuclear war. I believe some of the conflicts roots way back before Cold War. Both in Europe and far east Asia. And I also exclude WTO states of conflicts such as occurred in Hungaria. It is typical sphere of influence politics, Not a typical Cold War definition I think. For the domestic politics I remember when nuclear reactor exploded in Ukraine many -not the most- people in Black sea region have problem with cancer. But politicians have said -just after the explosion- production of tea is safe no one will be effected.


quote:

ORIGINAL: bayonetbrant

if you were living in Europe in the 70s-80s, as I was, I can assure you it felt very real


Thanks for the answer. But was it Western Europe?

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/12/2021 10:05:37 PM   
z1812


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It is well known that The Soviet Union and America were always in competition for influence to further their interests post world war 2.

What is not very often considered is the possible benefits of both sides having nuclear weapons.

It occurs to some, myself included, that the possible escalation to nuclear war might have acted as a deterrent to pursuing a large scale conventional war. Let's hope that's true and continues for the future.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/12/2021 11:35:36 PM   
Gilmer


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I'm just hoping this isn't locked.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/13/2021 5:41:19 AM   
Simulacra53


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No myth, except the narratives on both sides.

The original cold war was a reboot of the old Anglo-Russo competition dating back to the mid 19th century, albeit with the US in the lead and an ideological element added. The new cold war is same as the original Anglo-Russo competition, zero ideology, all about geopolitical power and wealth.

I’d add that having an enemy is good for both domestic and international consumption.

IMO it is a tragedy that the end of the previous cold war was only unilateral.
That new world order established after 1989 is a big disappointment...

The world is not a zero sum game.


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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/13/2021 7:48:37 AM   
Lobster


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Every 'world order' is a disappointment. Always about greed and control. Never about the world.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/13/2021 8:16:33 PM   
ncc1701e


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Looks like Cold war is turning hot these days. I should buy Combat Mission Black Sea.


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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/13/2021 9:03:39 PM   
Zorch

 

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Speaking of the Cold War, Winston Churchill said ‘Meeting jaw to jaw is better than war.’
https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/quotes/quotes-falsely-attributed/

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/13/2021 10:29:39 PM   
Grognerd_INC


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And Lobster it's probably been that way for 300,000 years or so.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/13/2021 11:53:51 PM   
bayonetbrant

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: gamer78

Thanks for the answer. But was it Western Europe?


Yes, Western Europe. 74-77 and 83-88.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/14/2021 5:39:45 AM   
Simulacra53


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Grognerd_INC

And Lobster it's probably been that way for 300,000 years or so.


Yeah, but they did not have thermonuclear bombs...
Current events in the Ukraine are very dangerous, powder keg 1914 dangerous.
When it starts it flies.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/14/2021 8:37:21 AM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulacra53


quote:

ORIGINAL: Grognerd_INC

And Lobster it's probably been that way for 300,000 years or so.


Yeah, but they did not have thermonuclear bombs...
Current events in the Ukraine are very dangerous, powder keg 1914 dangerous.
When it starts it flies.

I don't think so.

Nukes have changed everything and basically guaranteed that 1914 or 1939 won't happen again.

I think Ukraine is potentially done for, though. Last time an American armored brigade got deployed in Poland, so I suspect Ukraine will be left to die/will at most receive arms supplies/Russia will get economic sanctions again and more American troops will be deployed to eastern Nato countries.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/14/2021 9:00:11 AM   
stuart3

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulacra53


quote:

ORIGINAL: Grognerd_INC

And Lobster it's probably been that way for 300,000 years or so.


Yeah, but they did not have thermonuclear bombs...
Current events in the Ukraine are very dangerous, powder keg 1914 dangerous.
When it starts it flies.


In the 1970s people were so concerned that the UK government produced a booklet containing advice on how to survive a nuclear attack. The booklet cost 50 pence, which led to quite a few jokes about how much the advice was really worth. It explained that the effects of nuclear blasts were rated with a factor level. The advice basically was to keep doors and windows taped up and to build a makeshift bomb shelter under a heavy table, blocking in the sides with furniture and covering the top with books, etc. If I remember correctly, this was supposed to give protection from a nuclear blast up to a factor of 30.

About this time, New Scientist magazine published a much more in-depth article on the potential effects of a Soviet nuclear attack on the UK. This showed where they expected missiles to strike, how powerful they anticipated each strike to be, each of which was positioned on a map with concentric circles showing the blast factors at various ranges from each blast point.

I was intrigued to notice that their estimates put the factor of the blast nearest to me at the same level as the one that the government's home made shelters were supposed to protect me from. However New Scientist's article mentioned something that had been omitted from the 50p booklet. Yes, a home-made bomb shelter under a table might well enable me to survive the initial blast, but I could still have expected to die in agony from radiation poisoning a few weeks later.

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/14/2021 9:57:50 AM   
Grognerd_INC


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Unfortunately the whole world continues to be a mess! If it isn't Russia going to invade the Ukraine, it's China going to invade Taiwan, Iran going to make a bomb, North Korea threatening war. This on top of the fact that human induced climate change and the devastation of the natural world, which no one is really doing anything about except lots of talk and hand wringing. Enough to get you depressed, no wonder so many states are legalizing marijuana, well known for its anti-anxiety effects. HA!

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RE: Was Cold War really a Cold war or a myth? - 4/14/2021 10:21:17 AM   
Simulacra53


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Grognerd_INC

Unfortunately the whole world continues to be a mess! If it isn't Russia going to invade the Ukraine, it's China going to invade Taiwan, Iran going to make a bomb, North Korea threatening war. This on top of the fact that human induced climate change and the devastation of the natural world, which no one is really doing anything about except lots of talk and hand wringing. Enough to get you depressed, no wonder so many states are legalizing marijuana, well known for its anti-anxiety effects. HA!


Why blame the bear and dragon for biting when you constantly poke them?
We can pretend innocence, but innocence has long ago died, if it ever was alive.

No poking, no invasions.

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