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The Cold War refers to the ten­sion that ex­isted be­tween Western demo­cratic and Eastern com­mu­nist coun­tries from 1947 to 1991. On one “side” was the Soviet Union and most Eastern Euro­pean states (called the Eastern Bloc), on the other was the United States of Amer­ica (USA) and coun­tries in Western Europe (called the West). Af­ter World War 2 Ger­many and its cap­i­tal Ber­lin were di­vided into two sep­a­rate states, West Ger­many with Western al­le­giance and East Ger­many with Eastern Bloc al­le­giance.

Most other coun­tries in the world sided with ei­ther the West or the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War never turned into real com­bat, but both sides were scared the other fac­tion would launch a nu­clear at­tack, so they armed them­selves heav­ily with nu­clear war­heads, war rock­ets and spy­ing satel­lites. THE IRON CUR­TAIN The West and Eastern Bloc in Europe. The imag­i­nary border be­tween the two was called the Iron Cur­tain.

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