Fifty Years of Communism: Theory and Practice, 1917-1967

By G. F. Hudson | Go to book overview
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XVI
PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE

THE Second World War was fought out until the surrender of Germany with what were later to become known as "conventional" weapons—artillery, tanks, machine-guns, hand-grenades and bomber aircraft. War fought with these weapons could be immensely destructive, both of human life and of places of human habitation and production, but the destruction was still confined within certain limits; the armies fought each other on defined fronts, while the bomber fleets, though able to range far and wide over the territories of enemy countries, were able to accomplish only indecisive results as long as they carried only ordinary high explosive and incendiary bombs. The great bomber offensive against Germany fell short of the expectations of those who promoted it, and experience showed that civilian populations stood up to bombing more stoutly than had been anticipated. In the last stage of the war, when the Luftwaffe could no longer carry out heavy bombing attacks, "flying bombs" and rockets were used by the Germans against England, but their warheads still contained nothing but old-fashioned explosives and the damage they could accomplish hardly justified the cost of their production. But at the end of the war against Japan, and accelerating that end, an entirely new type of bomb was used, and its advent marked the beginning of a new era in strategy and thus indirectly in the relations between sovereign states. The development of the new weaponry affected above all the conflict between Russia and the US which emerged after the end of the Second World War and the calculations on both

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