The first testing of a Hydrogen Bomb was conducted in 1952 by the United States of America in Enewetak, an atoll in the Pacific, during Operation Ivy. Not to be outdone the Soviet Union then tested their own version of the Hydrogen bomb on August 12, 1953. This back and forth of weapon and scientific advancements is one that is seen repeatedly throughout the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. We all recall leaning about the Space Race in school between these two countries and that is one perfect example of this. After World War II the Soviet Union was in position to be one of the few nations that could rise out of the ashes of World War II and be a super power. The only thing standing in its way was the United States. These two powerful countries embarked on a never ending contest of one-uping each other.
As mentioned previously the space race is a prime example of this. Another example is in weapons technology and proficiency. The country with the best weapons would be the clearly more powerful nation of the two. This lead to rapid testing and development of new and different weapons. In the early 50s the hydrogen bomb was introduced to the world. The Soviets creation and detonation of this weapon followed with the theme of “needing to be the best” or “proving that they are a powerful nation.” These where some of the challenges that the Soviets faced following World War II. Proving that they one weaponry and technology that was equal to, if not better, than the United States was one way, and a rather successful one, to achieve this goal.
Video of first bomb test: Atomic Archive. “First Soviet Hydrogen Bomb Test (1953).” YouTube. June 25, 2011. Accessed March 31, 2018. https://youtu.be/r0dUIq8gHgc.
Newspaper from week after test: Salisbury, Harrison E. “Soviet Announces a Test Explosion of Hydrogen Bomb.” The New York Times, August 20, 1953. https://www.nytimes.com/1953/08/20/archives/soviet-announces-a-test-explosion-of-hydrogen-bomb-powerful-weapon.html.
17 Moments Source: Siegelbaum, Lewis. “Hydrogen Bomb.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History. October 05, 2015. Accessed March 31, 2018. http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1954-2/hydrogen-bomb/.