Nuclear arms race

The nuclear arms race was an arms race competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies during the Cold War. During this same period, in addition to the American and Soviet nuclear stockpiles, other countries developed nuclear weapons, though none engaged in warhead production on nearly the same scale as the two superpowers.

Cold War Nuclear Arms Race
Part of the Post-WWII era and the Cold War
Left to right, top to bottom: The blast of the underwater nuclear bomb test Crossroads Baker; a Soviet RT-2PM Topol mobile ICBM; a flying LGM-30 Minuteman ICBM; the mushroom cloud explosion of the test Castle Romeo

DateSeptember 28, 1942 – December 8, 1987
(45 years, 2 months, 1 week and 3 days)
LocationUnited States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, China, France, India, Pakistan, atmosphere of Earth
Western Bloc (primary parties)
 United States
 United Kingdom
Eastern Bloc (primary parties)
 Soviet Union
(Sino-Soviet split)

South Asian Arms Race
 India  Pakistan
Commanders and leaders
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard M. Nixon
Gerald R. Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
Joseph Stalin
Nikita Khrushchev
Leonid Brezhnev
Yuri Andropov
Konstantin Chernenko
Mikhail Gorbachev
Major operations
 United States:
Manhattan Project
Operation Crossroads
Operation Greenhouse
Operation Ivy
Operation Castle
Operation Plumbob
Nike Zeus program
PGM-17 Thor program
Operation Dominic
LGM-30 Minuteman program
Strategic Defense Initiative
LGM-118 Peacekeeper program
 United Kingdom:
Operation Hurricane
Operation Grapple
Gerboise Bleue
 Soviet Union:
RDS-4 ("Tatyana")
RDS-6s (Joe 4)
R-7 Semyorka program
K project
Tsar Bomba
R-14 Chusovaya program
Operation Chagan
A-35 program
R-36 program
Project 596
Test No. 6
Test #21

Operation Smiling Buddha (Pokhran-I)
Operation Shakti (Pokhran-II)
Kirana-I operation
Chagai operations
est. $5.5 trillion
Near catastrophes
Suez Crisis alarm
1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash
Yom Kippur War accidental false alarm
1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident
Cuban Missile Crisis
Able Archer 83
United States and Soviet Union/Russia nuclear weapon stockpiles

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