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The Cold War

Defence and deterrence

Soviet military campaigns

The Soviet Union and its partners posed a constant threat to NATO throughout the Cold War.  One of the foremost worries for military planners at NATO was the Soviet Union’s numerical superiority, and how it could be used to quickly and decisively conquer the European continent.  In the 1950s, this discrepancy was at its peak.

In order to plan for the most effective defence, NATO and national strategists considered every possible military scenario.  The maps in this photo gallery have been pulled from documents once marked COSMIC TOP SECRET dating back to the early 1950s.  Now publicly disclosed, these documents highlight the reality of the threat that the Warsaw Pact once posed to Europe and the World.  The full, publicly disclosed documents are available in the experts’ corner.