The end of the Second World War brought an alignment of the developed world behind each of the world's two superpowers: The United States and the Soviet Union. The West's struggle against the worldwide threat of Communism came to be called the Cold War, which lasted from 1945 until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The divided global political landscape threatened to envelope the entire word in total war.
The Cold War witnessed no direct military conflict between the United States and he Soviet Union: rather, it was characterized by arms races and proxy wars as the United States responded to Soviet provocation and attempted to contain Communist expansion. The United States Army engaged in a number of conflicts during the Cold War including the Korean War (1950-53) and the Vietnam War (1955-1975), as well as maintained an ongoing troop presence in post-war Germany (1945-1991). U.S. troops remain in Germany to the present, prepared to respond to crises.
Tensions over the fate of Berlin nearly reached a boiling point several times during the Cold War, once in 1948 with the Berlin Blockade and again with the Berlin Crisis of 1961. These crises almost caused direct confrontation between the two nations, but in only a few instances throughout the Cold War were Soviet and American Soldiers in danger of open warfare with each other.
division between the United States with its allies, and the Soviet Bloc resulted in part from disagreement over the future of post-war Germany. Germany and Berlin both became physically divided, resulting in a standoff between elements of the United States and Soviet armies for decades. Germany was the only place where Soviet and American Soldier (sic) faced each other directly.