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It was in the Third World that the ambitions and fears of the two Cold War superpowers were played out - Korea, Vietnam, Egypt and Syria, Afghanistan. In their bizarre way, these were carefully controlled wars, carefully controlled in the sense that neither great power allowed itself to become directly engaged in a hot war with the other. Equally, neither allowed itself to go for broke in a grand sweep across the Third World in fear of provoking that final confrontation.
But this fear of direct confrontation was never as rigidly controlled as one would think. Again and again events veered towards a clash between Eagle and Bear. The authors of this book make real such terrifying possibilities as Korea or the 67 War dragging in both superpowers; they predict the consequences of the United States or the Soviet Union attempting radical strategies in Vietnam or in a divided Germany, either to follow the British success in Malaya or to invade the North; they imagine the invasion of Cuba when the delicate signals failed to find a way out of the Missile Crisis and bring to life a scenario in which the Soviet Union knocks the Great Game off the board by using Afghanistan as base to bring down Pakistan and achieve its warm water port on the Indian Ocean. Cold War Hot vividly brings to life these and many other alternate scenarios, taking the reader behind the scenes at these momentous moments in history. In showing what could have happened, the authors show how precarious the Cold War peace actually was, and how little it would have taken to tip the balance into World War Three.
Peter G. Tsouras' alternate histories are Disaster at D-Day, Gettysburg: An Alternate History, The Hitler Options (as contributing author), and Rising Sun Victorious and Third Reich Victorious.
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