Conflict Start: 1946 (U.S. Policy of Soviet Containment)
Conflict End: 1991 (The Collapse of the USSR)
Conflict Belligerents: United States (NATO) and the Sovet Union (Warsaw Pact)
Conflict Winner: United States
Military Death Toll: Varies by Proxy War
Civilian Death Toll: Varies by Proxy War
17 Cold War Facts for Kids
The Cold War wasn’t an armed conflict. It was a long period of geopolitical tension between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. These two countries were the only remaining superpowers after World War 2.
The Cold War started in 1946 with the United States foreign policy of Soviet containment, and it ended in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Cold War was fought between the United States (NATO alliance) and the Soviet Union (Warsaw Pact).
The Cold War was won by the United States and its NATO allies.
The Cold War was responsible for millions of deaths. These deaths occured through proxy wars fought by the United States and the Soviet Union.
It’s estimated that more than 11 million people were killed throughout all the various proxy wars fought by the United States of America and the Soviet Union.
The deadliest proxy war during the Cold War was the Vietnam War, over 3.5 million people were killed.
The nuclear arms race during the Cold War saw a peak in nuclear weapon stockpiles in 1985, where both countries combined had over 50,000 nuclear weapons.
The most dangerous time during the Cold War was the Cuban Missile Crisis. It’s the closest the Soviet Union and the United States of America ever came to a nuclear war.
The United States Air Force developed a plan to detonate a nuclear weapon on the moon. The idea behind this plan was to demonstrate the military might of the United States of America.
During the peak of the Cold War (1960s) the United States Air Force continuously flew bomber airplanes around the world armed with nuclear weapons.
Both countries used extensive spying techniques against one another. The United States had the CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency. The Soviet Union had the KGB, Committee for State Security.
The Space Race was started during the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union raced each other in spaceflight and space exploration technology, along with first achievements. The Space Race was considered won by the United States when they put the first men on the moon.
The internet was born out of the Cold War. The United States government funded a project called ARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), which was to develop a method for military computers to share information with one another very quickly. This was the first stepping stone for the internet as we know it today.
The term Cold War was coined by English writer George Orwell in his essay “You and the Atomic Bomb”, which he published on October 19th, 1945.
The phrase Third World Country was a reference to a country who wasn’t aligned to either the United States or the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The term is commonly used today to reference a developing country.
The movie The Day After was an American TV film about a fictional nuclear war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. It gave viewers real world examples of what would happen in a nuclear war. It was scary enough that the U.S. President Ronald Reagan change his views on the U.S. nuclear policy.