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If the Cold War had turned 'Hot', would Russia or America have won?

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    Depends on when it went 'hot'!


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    (Original post by BeanofJelly)
    Everyone would have lost.
    when you think of it in terms of nukes flying all over the place, which it would have probably been

    this seems like the logical answer
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    If it went hot just after WW2, Russia would have sweeped it. The Allies were always afraid of a Russian betrayal for that reason. But slowly, with terrible agricultural policies, mass famine and terrible economic planning, they became less of a threat, other than in a nuclear situation.
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    Nobody wins in war.
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    USA. Mainly because I think (especially during the tensions of the late 1960s which indirectly involved the US) China and the USSR disliked each other so much - they nearly had a war, which America would have stepped in on the side of the Chinese - that they would have allied with the USA. India I think would also have supported the USA.
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    (Original post by Bob400001)
    Nobody wins in war.
    The arms industry does.
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    no one would have won, each superpower would have destroyed each other, which would then lead to a mass out break of cancer for those who didnt die in the actual attacks, then just as an added bonus our food supplies would have been ruined by the radiation from the blast. Just a cheery thought
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    Maybe the threat of nuclear retailiation would have ensure that no-one pressed the button to launch the nukes, thus we would have got a conventional war. USA hands down due to equipment, technology and more importantly, it had the strong economy needed to fund research programs and the war whilst being able to feed and pacify its homefront, ensuring better morale.
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    If it would have occured in the early days of the Cold War, before 1965, it would have been a easy victory for the US since their nukes outnumbered the USSR nukes several times. But if it would have occured later, I think neither would have won.
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    I would agree that everyone would have lost. Even the winners would have won something of a pyrrhic victory
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    Allies/ NATO

    Anyone who says everyone would of lost evidently has not studied military tactics or the cold war in detail.
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    American strategic planning essentially conceded that Europe could not be held, and tactical nuclear weapons would be necessary to hold them off.

    Total war would have been devastating. Soviet weaponry was simpler and cheaper to make. With an already centralised economy the Soviets would be able adapt their industry for total war much quicker than NATO. However NATO did have technologically superior weaponry and more manpower to potentially conscript.


    Here is my hypothetical, presuming no side had the balls to launch their nukes, for fun more than anything else.

    The Soviets would have pushed NATO into the Lowlands and France relatively quickly. Being desperate NATO would draw the Soviets into a massive tank battle like Kursk, and use tactical nuclear weapons to destroy Soviet armour. I suspect the Soviets would have tried to invade at Alaska, only to be crushed due to logistical reasons as well as superior American fire power. From there the Americans would re-reinforce the remnants of Europe's armies and push towards Russia. NATOs technologically superior airpower would have eventually been able to defeat the Soviet air force and large scale strategic bombing would commence on Russian industry. NATO would keep pushing deeper into Europe. Soviets would not be able to re-arm due to their industry being devastated, and slowly it would turn into poorly trained but desperate Soviet conscripts trying to hold back NATO. The war would drag on for a while due to Soviet reluctance to give in. America would convince China to join in to invade Siberia. They'd meet half way at the Urals and the war would be over.

    The Soviet Union would be split into more states than we saw with their collapse in 1991. Western Russia would extend to the Urals and be absorbed into Europe. More independent states in the Caucasus region to reflect the ethnic diversity of the region. Siberia and the Far East of Russia be semi-autonomous areas of permanent occupation by the Chinese and Americans. Friction between China and America would advance, and 50-80 years later we'd had World War Four.
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    without NBC weapon, Warsaw Pact would've win without major problems- at least till late 70', when the "electronic revolution" started.
    Before that. Russians & company produced more tanks of better quality.
    If nuclear weapons were used, no-body would've won, we all would be either ashed or radiated (or if we would be really unlucky we would have survived that).
    Watch "threads" from 1984.
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    (Original post by Swanbow)
    American strategic planning essentially conceded that Europe could not be held, and tactical nuclear weapons would be necessary to hold them off.

    Total war would have been devastating. Soviet weaponry was simpler and cheaper to make. With an already centralised economy the Soviets would be able adapt their industry for total war much quicker than NATO. However NATO did have technologically superior weaponry and more manpower to potentially conscript.


    Here is my hypothetical, presuming no side had the balls to launch their nukes, for fun more than anything else.

    The Soviets would have pushed NATO into the Lowlands and France relatively quickly. Being desperate NATO would draw the Soviets into a massive tank battle like Kursk, and use tactical nuclear weapons to destroy Soviet armour. I suspect the Soviets would have tried to invade at Alaska, only to be crushed due to logistical reasons as well as superior American fire power. From there the Americans would re-reinforce the remnants of Europe's armies and push towards Russia. NATOs technologically superior airpower would have eventually been able to defeat the Soviet air force and large scale strategic bombing would commence on Russian industry. NATO would keep pushing deeper into Europe. Soviets would not be able to re-arm due to their industry being devastated, and slowly it would turn into poorly trained but desperate Soviet conscripts trying to hold back NATO. The war would drag on for a while due to Soviet reluctance to give in. America would convince China to join in to invade Siberia. They'd meet half way at the Urals and the war would be over.

    The Soviet Union would be split into more states than we saw with their collapse in 1991. Western Russia would extend to the Urals and be absorbed into Europe. More independent states in the Caucasus region to reflect the ethnic diversity of the region. Siberia and the Far East of Russia be semi-autonomous areas of permanent occupation by the Chinese and Americans. Friction between China and America would advance, and 50-80 years later we'd had World War Four.
    I don't think Russia would have invaded Alaska. Nothing would have been gained by it and they would of had to fought their way through Canada to get to the lower 48 states. Canada had, and still does have a very capable military. China MAY have entered near the end when they saw defeat was imminent for Russia just to grab some land.
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    I read the "The Third World War" and as far as I remember, it depends on whether or not West Germany and Western Europe can hold out against the Warsaw Pact forces. There are also factors like whether the communist faction in France side with NATO or not.Of course this is set in 1985 so it's anybody guess what would have happened before then?!
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    Including nukes? No one.

    In a conventional war? The US.

    My grandfather was a German NATO officer who took part in the regular secret NATO simulations of a Soviet attack. He said that only after the SU crumbled they realised that they had massively overestimated Soviet military capability.
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    This isn't really on topic but I would like to get an opinion. Some of you may know that the U.S, navy has just deployed LASER weapons on a destroyer and rail guns are just around the corner. Point being, with missile defense just a few years off the U.S. will, for practical purposes, be immune from direct attack. It is a pretty safe bet that nothing can get near our shores. To my question; Without fear of attack, I can see the isolasionist feelings that, I would say, are in the minds of most Americans to some degree, coming to the surface and having a major impact on our foreign policy. Most Americans are not keen on history but most can tell you that George Washington warned us about, " Getting entangled in European wars." I am curious; do you think the world would be better off and feel more secure with an isolationist U.S.? I'm sure the question could have been put better, but you get my drift. I am quite sure, if put to a vote, every soldier in the Mid-east would be home tomorrow.
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    (Original post by Oldcon1953)
    This isn't really on topic but I would like to get an opinion. Some of you may know that the U.S, navy has just deployed LASER weapons on a destroyer and rail guns are just around the corner. Point being, with missile defense just a few years off the U.S. will, for practical purposes, be immune from direct attack. It is a pretty safe bet that nothing can get near our shores. To my question; Without fear of attack, I can see the isolasionist feelings that, I would say, are in the minds of most Americans to some degree, coming to the surface and having a major impact on our foreign policy. Most Americans are not keen on history but most can tell you that George Washington warned us about, " Getting entangled in European wars." I am curious; do you think the world would be better off and feel more secure with an isolationist U.S.? I'm sure the question could have been put better, but you get my drift. I am quite sure, if put to a vote, every soldier in the Mid-east would be home tomorrow.
    While there may be little/no threat of direct attack/invasion by a nation state (and one could argue that that's been the case for ~200 years) there remains the very real prospect of terrorist attack. Even a more isolationist policy in the future won't change the past and the history of involvement around the world mitigates against a complete withdrawal the world over. Indeed, in some places a total US withdrawal will more likely cause wars than prevent them (I'm thinking chiefly the Korean peninsular and Taiwan).

    Would servicemen vote to return home? Of course they would. But would they understand, appreciate or even care about the strategic importance of them being there? There's a bigger picture to consider.
Updated: February 18, 2014
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