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The Cold War: An Overview

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1 The Cold War: An Overview



4 The Arms Race: A “Missile Gap?”
The Soviet Union exploded its first A-bomb in 1949. Now there were two nuclear superpowers!

5 Improve your knowledge
The nuclear bomb gave America a lead which was expected to last at least 5 years. The rapid Russian development of nuclear technology, helped by the work of the “atom spies” was a shock. Significantly, Russia hurriedly declared war against Japan at the beginning of August 1945 and rushed to advance into Asia to stake out a position for the post-war settlement. This helped make both the Korean and Vietnamese conflicts more likely.

6 Premier Nikita Khrushchev De-Stalinization Program
About the capitalist states, it doesn't depend on you whether we (Soviet Union) exist. If you don't like us, don't accept our invitations, and don't invite us to come to see you. Whether you like it our not, history is on our side. We will bury you De-Stalinization Program


8 The Ideological Struggle
Soviet & Eastern Bloc Nations [“Iron Curtain”] US & the Western Democracies GOAL  spread world-wide Communism GOAL  “Containment” of Communism & the eventual collapse of the Communist world. [George Kennan] METHODOLOGIES: Espionage [KGB vs. CIA] Arms Race [nuclear escalation] Ideological Competition for the minds and hearts of Third World peoples [Communist govt. & command economy vs. democratic govt. & capitalist economy]  “proxy wars” Bi-Polarization of Europe [NATO vs. Warsaw Pact]

9 The Cold War: Roots of the Conflict
Soviet Expansion: · The Soviet Union occupied most of Eastern Europe by the end of World War II.

10 In 1946, Winston Churchill correctly warned that the Soviets were creating an “iron curtain” in Eastern Europe. Winston Churchill giving the “Iron Curtain” address at Westminster College on March 5, 1946

11 Post-War Germany

12 Divided Germany Iron Curtain – A term used by Winston Churchill
to describe the separating of Those communist lands of East Europe from the West. Divided Germany

13 Improve your knowledge
Divided Berlin The Russians took very high casualties to capture Berlin in May They spent the early occupation trying to take over all zones of the city but were stopped by German democrats such as Willy Brandt and Konrad Adenauer. Reluctantly the Russians had to admit the Americans, French and British to their respective zones.

14 The ‘Truman Doctrine’ Truman had been horrified at the pre-war Allied policy of appeasement and was determined to stand up to any Soviet intimidation. The Truman Doctrine in March 1947 promised that the USA “would support free peoples who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”. Triggered by British inability to hold the line in Greece, it was followed by aid to Greece and Turkey, and also money to help capitalists to stop communists in Italy and France. It signalled the end of “isolationst” policies.

15 The ‘Marshall Plan’ The Marshall Plan offered huge sums to enable the economies of Europe to rebuild after World War II, and, by generating prosperity, to reject the appeal of Communism. The Soviet Union (USSR) prevented Eastern European countries from receiving American money.

16 An overview of the Cold War
How can a war be ‘cold’? What were the Hotspots of the Cold War?

17 After World War 2 the Cold War began and caused tension throughout the world.
The USA and the USSR were the two world Superpowers. The USA was a capitalist society with a democracy. The USSR was a communist country with a dictatorship. Both wanted to be the most powerful nation in the world.

18 Nuclear tensions The USA had shown its atomic power when it exploded the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War 2. The USSR was also developing atomic weapons/bombs. The USA and the USSR were in competition with each other to have the best, most powerful weapons in the world – this was called the Arms Race.

19 After World War 2, the world changed!
Many countries became communist after World War 2 including: Czechoslovakia (1948) Poland (1947) Hungary (1947) China (1949) Cuba (1959) North Korea (1945)

20 Germany - divided Germany, which had been ruled by the Hitler and the Nazis until their defeat in 1945 was split in two. The western side became West Germany and the eastern side became East Germany. East Germany became another communist country.

21 The domino effect The USSR had a lot of influence over many of the new communist countries (especially those in Europe). The USA was very worried that the USSR’s influence over these countries was making the USSR and communism more powerful. The USA did not want communism to spread any further – they were worried about the domino effect (one country becomes communist, then another, then another etc)

22 Cold War? The tension and rivalry between the USA and the USSR was described as the Cold War ( ). There was never a real war between the two sides between 1945 and 1990, but they were often very close to war (Hotspots). Both sides got involved in other conflicts in the world to either stop the spread of communism (USA) or help the spread (USSR).

23 The Korean War

24 The Berlin Wall 1961

25 Berlin West Berlin, was an outpost of Western democracy and economic success deep within the communist zone – like a capitalist island within communist East Germany The Berlin Blockade was an attempt to starve West Berlin into submitting [giving up] to the communists The Allied [western powers] airlift signalled the West’s determination to use all resources to defend Berlin. It was feld by both sides that Berlin could act as the trigger for general war between capitalist and communist countries

26 The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

27 The Vietnam War c

28 Berlin and the Wall

29 By Mr Crowe

30 Another Cold War crisis
Background East – West rivalry Berlin divided – contrast the two halves. WEST: Prosperous, helped by US, attracted people from the East. Seen by USSR as ‘infection’ in the heart of Communist East Germany. EAST: Much less prosperous and under Communist control

31 Focus on refugees from East Germany or East Berlin to West
,245 ,648 ,390 ,870 ,622 ,917 ,026 ,356 ,632 ,876

32 What they wanted The West
Prevent USSR from gaining control of East Germany To see a united, democratic Germany The East Maintain control over E Germany Make the West recognise it as an independent state Stop the flood of refugees especially the skilled and professional ones – much needed in E Germany

33 1958-Soviet demands West should: Recognise GDR
Withdraw troops from West Berlin Hand their access routes over to the East German government West refused and Khrushchev backed down.

34 Events of 1961 June - Khrushchev pressured new American President John F Kennedy Demanded withdrawal of Western forces from West Berlin – Kennedy refused July 23 – Flow of refugees from East to West = 1000 a day July 25 – Kennedy repeats support for West Berlin and announced increase in arms spending

35 Events cont’d 13-22 August – Khrushchev and East German govt. orders barbed wire barrier across Berlin, followed by a wall of concrete blocks All of West Berlin encircled apart from access points This was against the Four Power agreement made in 1949.


37 Results Important results for Berlin, Germany and the Cold War:
Berlin was divided, free access ended between East and West, many families split, many attempted to escape to the West-between 1961 and 1989; 86 people died trying to cross the Berlin Wall


39 Results continued… Kennedy accepted the Soviet action. He refused to use US troops to pull down the wall to avoid war. Kennedy looked weak but West turned it into propaganda – why if Communism was so attractive was a wall needed? 1963 – Kennedy visited West Berlin – pledged continued support – ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ (I am a Berliner) – famous speech Khrushchev lost face by failing to remove the West from Berlin LINK:CNN - Cold War-The Wall


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