"Why did Soviet-American hostility between 1947 and 1962 not result in a world war?”.
A janitor leans on a switch, lets loose a nuclear bomb onto the USA who replies with a deadly barrage, which in turn lets missiles from everywhere loose, destroying everything. Nuclear power has the potential to completely wipe out the human race. We witnessed the destruction of nuclear power at the end of World War II. This form of power almost came into use in the Cold War, yet there are a number of reasons as to why World War III never happened. As John Mason said the Cold War remains a Cold War "Because there was no direct armed conflict between the two continental giants, the description cold war remains an accurate one” . A World War would have resulted in the use of nuclear weapons, which had the capability of completely wiping out all humanity. Soviet and American leaders were smart- they knew what could happen. The destructive capability of nuclear warfare is the fundamental reason as to why the Cold War never resulted in World War. Between the years 1947-1962, a series of events occurred assuring the world that World War III would be prevented; these events included the Berlin Blockade, the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Cuba Missile Crisis. Ultimately, what I will discuss in this essay will be the essential reasons as to why I believe that the Cold War did not erupt into World War. In my opinion World War III was avoided because of Mutually Assured Destruction, luck (to some degree) and the fact that neither side had anything to gain from a "Hot War”.
Although the Cold War spread to Korea and involved a lot of European countries, it never resulted in World War because the problem was essentially between Russia and the USA. It was the American policy of containment that prevented this war from boiling hot. Russia aimed to spread communism throughout Europe and the USA fought to prevent it's spread.