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The Soviets made bigger impression than inteded, I still think. Krushchev was quite bemused with Western reaction. The inference of Sputnik launch for Soviet ballistic capabilities was clear - but the new impressive fact that R-7's were designed without a space purpose in mind but then were spontaneously used to get there nevertheless was presumably unknown.

The idea that the Sputnik shock was "manufactured" is not consistent with the interpretation that Soviets showed unexpected threat progress - it would mean that Americans did not took the Soviets and the whole Cold War seriously.

by das monde on Sun Oct 7th, 2007 at 02:16:15 AM EST
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