The nuclear arms race was an arms race competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the united states the soviet union and their respective allies during the cold warduring this very period in addition to the american and soviet nuclear stockpiles other countries developed nuclear weapons though none engaged in warhead production on nearly the same scale as the two superpowers. Nuclear weapons and the escalation of the cold war 1945 1962 in odd arne westad and melvin leffler eds the cambridge history of the cold war vol 1 cambridge university press 2010 376 397 nuclear weapons are so central to the history of the cold war that it can be dificult to disentangle the two. The cold war was a uniquely dangerous period in human history vast ideological differences large standing armies and nuclear weapons on hair triggers meant the end of civilization was an ever
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