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The Cold War, often dated as having taken place between 1947 and 1986, was a period of political and military tension between the United States and her allies, known as NATO, and the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. After the end of World War 2 the United States and the USSR became world superpowers with profound influence over global politics and economics, and would eventually come into competition with each other, causing a number of proxy wars and indirect conflicts.
During this time both powers were armed with nuclear weapons and were therefore threatened with mutual assured destruction if one state was to launch a weapon at the other. The United States and USSR would never meet in direct military conflict, instead influencing global affairs through ongoing psychological warfare and indirect confrontations.
Following World War 2 the Allied Powers, including the United States and the USSR, disagreed on how borders in Europe should be redrawn. Both sides held varying ideas regarding the establishment and maintenance of post-war security on the continent. The large death toll in the USSR prompted the Soviets to pursue security by dominating the internal affairs of countries that bordered it. Nazi Germany was divided by the Oder–Neisse line into four occupation zones for administrative purposes during 1945–1949. This division would eventually lead to the creation of East and West Germany, with the eastern section being controlled by the Soviet Union.
During the final stages of World War 2 the Soviet Union would also lay the foundations for the Eastern Bloc, a group of Communist or Soviet republics in eastern Europe. The newly formed governments in Eastern Europe that arose in the East Bloc not only followed Soviet command economics, but also adopted methods employed by Joseph Stalin to suppress opposition.
The name "Cold War" was coined by the English writer George Orwell, shortly after the dropping of the first atomic bombs in 1945. Orwell originally described a world where each major world power possessed nuclear weapons and thereby threatened each other with mutual assured destruction, never meeting in direct military combat. Instead, each power struggled to establish global influence over lesser nations, engaging in psychological warfare and in regular indirect confrontations through proxy wars.
In 1961 the eastern and western sections of Berlin were divided by a large structure, known as the Berlin Wall. This barrier would remain until 1979 when it was demolished by the citizens of Berlin.
Pre-Apocalypse Beginnings of the Cold War (1947 - 1969)
Cold War After the Apocalypse (1969 - 1986)
Following the widespread outbreak of the zombie infection the United States and the USSR lost control over several outlying territories and puppet nations. Both nations’ spheres of influence would suffer immensely. The United States lost control over much of the American west following the general retreat to the Mississippi River, while at the same time losing contact with several allies across the world. The USSR would also suffer heavily, losing control over the Kaliningrad Oblast and influence over East Germany, shortly before its western border receding to the advancing zombie horde.
The United States would also lose contact with its European allies, particularly France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, who were heavily damaged by the initial outbreak.