At the end of World War II, the world was hardly at peace. Relationships between countries were rocky at best. The United States, Britain and the Societ Union has a shakey alliance to begin with.
Both Britain and the U.S. were afraid that the Soviets were laying plans to take over all of Eastern Europe, and that western Europe would be influenced. The Societs were afraid that Germany would become a possible threat again.
They also wanted to spread communist ideology through out the world. This began the struggle known as the Cold War.
In 1947-1948, the Marshall Plan gave aid to western Europe from the United States. Eastern Europe was firmly entrenched in communism, thanks to the Soviets.
Between 1948- 1953, was a busy time during the Cold War.
The Soviets attempted to blockade Western-held areas of West Berlin. While the United States and their allies in Europe successfully formed NATO. The Soviets ended the U.S. monopoly on the atomic bomb, by exploding one of their own. Chinese communists took over power in China.
It was rounded out by the Soviets supporting the North Korean of South Korea in 1950, which kicked off the Korean War.
The space race was the ultimate measuring contest between the United States and the Soviet Union.
The biggest failure for the Soviets is they did not succeed in landing a man on the moon first. In fact, the same day the United States put a probe on the moon, their probe landing failed.
The wide gap between the United States and the Soviets was a thorn in their side. The USSR did not want the Americans to get their satellites.
Both countries were prepared for anti-satellite operations. But it was so important to the USSR, that they wanted to arm one. Why? To see if it worked.
The answer was the “Almaz,” which had everything, spy equipment, radar, and a cannon, 37-pound 14.5mm R-23M.
It was capable of firing 5,000 rounds a minute with an accuracy of up to a mile. There was one glaring issue. They needed a way to actually aim the cannon.
The space station would have to rotate to aim it. While they wanted a manned mission, they did not include life support.
Instead, they combined the R-23M and the Soyuz, naming it Salyut, launching it in 1971. In 1975, the Soviets tested the cannon. No one knows what happened.