The Cold War was an unarmed peacetime conflict. It was a war in which armed forces did not engage themselves in battle, guns were not fired. The tanks did not roll and bombs were not dropped. The Second World War had begun in 1939 with the German attack and Poland and consequent declaration of war by they British Empire, its Dominations and France against Germany Hiltler’s Germany was joined by the Italy and Japan. Together these three powers were known as the Axis Powers. The opponents, called Allies led by the UK and France were joined in June 1941 by the Soviet Union (after German attack on it), and the United States in December 1941 following Japanese bombardment at Pearl Harbor.
As the war drew to a close the United States and Soviet Union emerged as the two Super Powers as their combined might had defeated the enemy. The other victors lost much of their military and economic capabilities. It hastened decolonization, and yet many East European countries were brought into communist Fold. They were led by the USSR, and known as the Eastern or Communist Bloc. Several Western Capitalist countries came under the American wings and were called Weston or American Bloc. The emergent international system featured distribution of powers between many European and non-European sovereign States.”In addition”, wrote Kegley Jr. and Wittkopf in World Politics, “the advent of nuclear weapons radically changed the role that threats of warfare would play henceforth in world politics. Out of these circumstances grew the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union for hegemonic leadership”.