From 1949 to 1991 the world was overshadowed by the Cold War. Repeatedly it seemed that in days, even hours, global nuclear conflict would sweep away much of the United States, the Soviet Union and Europe. They would be obliterated in what President Carter described as 'one long, final and very bleak afternoon'. When the Cold War ended, the Warsaw Pact was wound up and the vast military forces which had flourished for over forty years were disbanded. As with all wars, however, it was only then that the realities of what had been involved began to emerge; indeed, much has remained hidden until now.In The Cold War, David Miller discloses not only the vast scope of the military resources involved, but also how nearly threat came to terrible reality. Most chillingly of all, he reveals that while the menace of nuclear war predominated, it was actually little understood even by the experts. The book examines each military area in turn, covering the formation of the two great alliances, and the strategies and major weapons in the rival navies, armies and air forces. That the Cold War ended without a conflict was due to professionalism on both sides. The result, Miller suggests, would have impressed the Chinese military strategist, Sun Tsu, who, writing in the fifth century BC, said that 'to subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill'.