This article explores efforts at bridging the nuclear gap between France and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) during the last decade of the Cold War. It does so by examining the various manifestations of this gap: the two sides' relative international standing in light of France's possession of nuclear weapons and the FRG's decision to forswear them; the two countries' different commitments to the military components of NATO; their shared but differing aspirations for a more autonomous Western Europe; and their differing outlooks on conventional and tactical nuclear military options, an issue on which they found it particularly hard to reconcile their views. Ultimately, they were not able to overcome the dilemmas of nuclear sharing, but progress was made during that crucial period in narrowing the differences between these two important countries whose bilateral relationship was essential for the West at large.


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pp. 119-179
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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