Weapon Race

During the process of the Cold War a series of conflicts occur between USA and Russia, one of these problems was the Weapon Race; both had an ideology, “The more nuclear weapons you had, and the more powerful you were”.

The world greatly changed when USA exploded the H-bomb in 1952. This one bomb was smaller in size than the Hiroshima atomic bomb but 2500 times more powerful. The Russians produced an H-bomb in 1953 and the world became a much more dangerous place.

USA produced a bomber – the B52 – that could fly 6,000 miles and deliver a nuclear pay-load. Such a development required massive financial backing from the government – something which America could afford to do and which Russia could not. Russia concentrated on producing bigger bombs – a far more cost effective procedure.

In October 1957, the world was introduced to the fear of a missile attack when Sputnik was launched. This was to lead to ICBM’s:  Inter-continental ballistic missiles. As a result, America built the DEW line around the Artic – Defence and Early Warning system.

At the end of the 1950’s, American Intelligence estimated that in a Russian missile attack, 20 million Americans would die and 22 million would be injured.

During the 1960’s, the Russians put their money into producing more missiles regardless of quality while America built fewer but better quality missiles – the Atlas could go 5,000 miles at a speed of 16,000 mph. By 1961, there were enough bombs to destroy the world.

Despite this, great emphasis was put on new weapon systems – mobile missile launchers were built, missiles were housed underground in silos and in 1960 the first Polaris submarine was launched carrying 16 nuclear missiles. Each missile carried four warheads which could target on different cities; hence one submarine effectively carried 64 nuclear warheads.


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