The proliferation of weapons during the Second World War continued during the protracted struggle between capitalism and communism. Both sides of the Cold War exported firearms as eagerly as they exported ideology. Readers need only to envision the stylized depiction of Britain’s greatest spy to grasp the impact that even the smallest weapon might have.
Here is a selection of firearms used at various intervals during the Cold War. This list is designed to occupy the space between two better-detailed periods, World War Two and the present day. Several weapons were in use during the former time, and several more continue to see duty today. Many of them have been manufactured in various nations, or have filtered down through the network of alliances and materiel support that were established during the time.