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How Far Was The Nuclear Arms Race A Threat To World Peace In The Years 1949 1962?

1039 words - 5 pages

The nuclear arms race between the years 1949 and 1962 was a threat to world peace. The main threat to world peace was the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 but there were many other occurrences that made people truly believe that the Cold War could be the end of the world.
1949 is the year that the Soviets tested their first Atomic Bomb on August 29th. This shocked the US Government as they believed that the Soviet nuclear technology was much further behind than it actually was. Unbeknownst to them, the Soviets had spies in America who were giving information about the US’s nuclear technology back to the Soviet scientists. This sped up their Nuclear weapon program. The West were already ...view middle of the document...

The ICBM’s were being developed specifically to have the capability to carry Hydrogen bombs across continents.
Arguably the one of the biggest threats to World Peace was the tests of the Hydrogen Bombs. The first test was carried out by the American’s in 1952 and less than a year later the Soviets tested their first Hydrogen bomb in 1953. America’s first hydrogen Bomb was 10.4 megatons, a huge increase from the Atomic bombs they used against Japan to end the Second World War. There was little chance of either the Americans or the Soviets keeping the tests from the public. So as well as making the opposition nervous, the public will have also been on edge. It was a huge threat to World Peace. This is because both sides knew that they have the capability to destroy their opposition if it came to it. They also had the technology to find out whether the other side also held the technology to completely end them and the world.
The US were guarded enough for them to have developed the technology to allow them to fly planes so high and fast that they did not show up on the radar. The finished product of this technology was the U2 Spy Planes. The first flight was successfully completed in 1955. This was obviously not public knowledge until 1960 when there was an incident in Russia. The incident happened just 13 days before the 1960 Paris Summit. A U2 spy plane was shot down in Soviet airspace. Although the planes had technology installed in them so that if an incident like this was to happen, the pilot could easily commit suicide, Gary Powers did not take advantage of this and was captured. It was an embarrassment to the US and they tried to play it off as a weather plane. This embarrassment could have escalated into a full blown war had Eisenhower not apologised for it. It was a huge step back for America and World Peace was definitely threated by this incident. It was this technology that gave the USA the evidence they needed to prove that Russia had...

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