The military power of the USSR is the flip side of the coin
Recently I read on the main Habr’s many articles about the armament of the once great country, our common homeland - the USSR. This shows the healthy interest of the habro-community in its own history and science. I would like to talk about what the rattling of arms and the buildup of offensive weapons led to and to draw conclusions for the future regarding military equipment.
1) Environmental issues
In order to test their latest weapons, the Soviet Union needed landfills.
The largest and most famous is the Semipalatinsk test site (Kazakhstan). It was here that on August 29, 1949, nuclear weapons were tested for the first time in the USSR. The film " Present to Stalin " was shot on these events .
It was also here that the Soviet government first tested the first thermonuclear device (08/12/1953) and the world's first hydrogen bomb (11/22/1955). In total, at least 468 nuclear tests were conducted during the use of the test site. Both ground and underground explosions and space explosions were carried out. After the collapse of the USSR on August 29, 1991, the landfill was closed. But the echoes of the tests will be felt for a very long time.
If Japanese Hiroshima withstood the first nuclear bomb, then the Semipalatinsk region and the US state of Nevada withstood all of the following explosions. There were also training grounds.
Entrance to one of the test tunnels in the Degelen mountain range (tunnels), where nuclear tests were carried out. Ring structures are clearly visible, supporting a dismantled channel for emitting very large diameter radiation or an end box with irradiated equipment or materials. A
vacuum (evacuated) box at the outlet of the channel for emitting radiation from adit 169-2 at Degelen site. Vacuum boxes were used to obtain conditions close to the conditions of outer space during nuclear tests, probably to test the radiation stability of weapons and space-based systems.
The first thermonuclear test at the Experimental Field of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. RDS-6s (Joe-4) device, charge type - “puff” (65% of energy release - fission reaction, 35% - synthesis). Blasting height 30 meters (tower). Energy release 400 kt . This explosion caused the most significant radioactive contamination of the landfill area in the south-west direction and the surrounding areas. Experimental Field Semipalatinsk test site.
Ultra-low-power ground-based nuclear explosion (from 1 kiloton or less). Experimental Field Semipalatinsk test site. Not identified.
The explosion on the video.
Crazy arms race and more and more nuclear weapons tests naturally affected the health of the local population. The terrifying photos and videos simply shock the normal person. Who knows what awaits the descendants of people affected by nuclear tests and how they will generally affect humanity.
A terrible video about the victims of military trials and military operations. Only if the United States tested its weapons in external wars of the USSR did they test everything on their citizens.
2) Economic problems
As you know, the defense industry is an industry that does not generate income. And if the construction of a plant or pipeline pays for itself, the creation of military equipment is an irrevocable waste of money and considerable money.
A situation in which the whole country has been working continuously and hard for seven years only on defense cannot positively affect the economic health of this country. If the USA, the main rival of the USSR in the arms race, resorted to the help of private companies to develop and create military equipment, then in the USSR it was only a state.
The militarization of the economy, necessary during the Second World War, did not stop after May 9, 1945. She walked forward and gained momentum. The construction of strategic facilities, the development of new types of weapons, was ongoing. And all who at least lived a little in the USSR remember very well that the military and scientists lived best at that time, there was no shortage for them, they had good salaries.
Foreign Minister Shevardnadze, said in May 1988 that the military spending of the USSR was 19% of GNP; in April 1990, Gorbachev rounded this figure to 20%. At the end of 1991, Lobov, the chief of the General Staff, announced that the military spending of the USSR amounted to one third or even more of GNP (260 billion rubles in 1988 prices, that is, over $ 300 billion).
A normal economy, from which a fifth to a third of all income goes away, becomes abnormal and depressing. For a long time this could not continue and the Country of Soviets lost stability. And then collapsed.
Echoes of our militarization we see now. The countries of the post-Soviet space that have inherited the military potential are not able to support it in full, otherwise their already weak and unstable economies will finally collapse on their side. So we only have to proudly recall our common great past.
PS It’s not worth digging another hole, you yourself will fall into this hole.
We were in the lead in the arms race.
Time has shown the price of leadership.
UPDThe post was not written to underestimate in any way the merits of the military-industrial sector of the USSR in the development of science, to shield the USA or denigrate the USSR. The post was written so that we all understand that it is possible to build up military potential indefinitely, but we should not forget about the consequences of such growth.