The War That Never Was

A Tale of the origins of the Cold War and the Atomic Bomb


There are many ways to fight a war –

‘Cross seas and hills, and vales afar,

For gold or love, for land, for power;

With sticks or stones, to leave scars.

But there once was fought, a war distinct

For, defying all natural war-like instinct –

Not with fire or on battlefields, but then

It was fought, tragically – in the minds of men.

When the Second Great War came to an end

With the World and its people yet on the mend,

A new era of “Cold War”, with speeches and threats

Had replaced the “hot wars” of bombs and bullets.

Two of the Allies, having a common nemesis,

Battled by the other’s side to stop the fascists.

Yet found each other, once the victory was won,

On opposing sides of ideology and political vision.

Fought with spies and lies, ‘twas a breathless race

To conquer nations, minds, peoples and outer space,

An ominous curtain of iron over the map descended.

Which was right? What won? Debates are not yet ended.

The one named America, championed what she believed

Was the will of free People, and nationhood thus achieved.

Trust and goodwill was divided over the Ally called Soviet

For through bloody revolution, she took the path of Red.

At the end of the War, the two Allies stood on the verge

Of unchallenged world domination; and their paths diverged.

Over conflicts at Yalta, and Potsdam, the control of the east,

Hiroshima and Nagasaki- the game of one-upmanship increased.

As the diktats of land politics played out, and the pursuit

of greater power began – and only led to further disputes.

A sinister ace in the hole, with destructive potential to herald –

This tale is of that weapon that changed the wars of the world.


The Great Wars caused technology to leap manifold –

Those who controlled the skies, controlled the world

America wondered to keep her monopoly undisclosed-

Or share only with her little sister, already exposed.

Or should Soviet know of the existence of the Bomb?

Perhaps, to maintain the Alliance and the post-war calm.

Or rather keep the powerful secret– as a diplomatic device,

And in times of war, a destructive weapon to suffice.

Voices of caution sounded, such power must not amass

In single hands; or risk spawning a deadly race for arms.

If Soviet came to know of the bomb through some ruse,

The conquering Alliance would have a fatal bruise.

To this, the man leading America paid no heed

He roped his ambitions with the sister’s steed,

The Red Ally, of course, would not be left behind,

Began building her own Bomb to stay in the grind.

The rough handling of fragile wartime ties,

Saw fit in the eyes of Soviet’s man to try,

Spurred by mutual distrust, to unearth her secret

Her spies worked their spell on America’s project.

The Bomb that kept the superpowers from sparring

A deterrent from active destruction- to end the Warring

Was used – lo! The worst was seen; the death of millions-

The Bomb unleashed the power of a thousand suns.

Now, as the War ended and nations clamored for peace,

Calling for a world order and all hostilities to cease;

The suspicions between the Allies only further grew

Over the Bomb of coercion, and a rivalry was anew.

Driven to secure their place of security in the globe,

A race to conquer Death began, no matter war or hope.

The scramble seen today for bigger Bombs, had already begun

Since the forty years of cold winds had blown across the ocean.

Harshita Yalamarty