The Arms Race, 1949-63

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 04-06-15 15:30
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  • US Atomic Bomb
    • Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1945
    • Manhattan project during second world war
    • The Arms Race 1949-63
      • Hydrogen Bomb
        • Truman commissioned development
          • US Mike Test's November 1952 resulted in a megaton explosion, 1000 times more powerful than atomic bomb.
          • Produced a fireball 5.23 kilometres wide and a mushroom cloud that rose to 41,000 metres in three minutes
        • Based on nuclear fission and therefore known as a thermo-nuclear device
        • Soviet Union produced own H-bomb within a year
          • Testing took place in Kazakhstan on 12 August 1953
          • Exploded 400-kiloton device known as Joe 4
          • Test of Andrei Sakharov's Third Idea in 1955 demonstrated the USSR had developed a bomb as powerful as the US H-bomb
      • 1950-60 US
        • Saw development of firepower as vital to security
        • Warheads increased from 1000 to 18000
        • First battlefield tactical nuclear weapons stationed in West Germany 1953
        • Eisenhower developed 'massive retaliation'; he believed a huge nuclear arsenal would deter nuclear attack
        • The Soviet Union
          • 1961 in an aggressive speech designed to pressure Kennedy, Khrushchev announced successful testing of a 50-megaton bomb. Referred to as Tsar Bomba
          • The device was 58-megatons
          • USSR had created a lithium bomb more powerful than US
          • US CIA report confirmed power of weapon but emphasised it wasn't practical as it couldn't be loaded onto an Intercontinental Ballistic missile (ICBM) so could only be used in test conditions
        • Impact of weapons development
          • Nuclear weapons became central to military strategy
          • Increased tension
          • Balance of terror now existed- deterring direct military conflict
          • Forced respect of spheres of influence
          • Vast cost of developing weapons put strain on economies
        • Delivery systems
          • Soviet developments
            • Deployed TU20 Bear, long range bomber which could reach US territory but was slow and could be intercepted
            • First successful Soviet ICBM test occurred in May 1957
            • 1957 Sputnik was launched demonstrated soviet missiles were more powerful and caused shock and panic in the US
            • BUT ICBMs were expensive to produce and Khrushchev attempted to find cheaper alternatives
          • US developments
            • Focussed on deploying Intermediate range missiles  which had a smaller range than ICBMs but could target Soviet territory if stationed in Europe and Middle East.
            • By 1960s the US had created more superior ICBMs and had a decisive lead in the arms race
            • Created the  B52 Stratofortress in 1955 which was a long-range bomber
            • Lauched Explorer 1 in 1958. First satellite
            • Deployed Polaris Submarines in 1960. Could fire missiles from ocean
            • Minutemen ICBM in 1961. Could strike Soviets from US
      • The Cuban Missile Crisis
        • Causes
          • Soviet leaders were aware of US superiority
          • The Cuban Revolution in 1959 gave Khrushchev the opportunity to achieve nuclear parity.
          • By stationing missiles on Cuba, the USSR could target the US cheaply.
          • Khrushchev planned to send 40 tactical nuclear missiles and 50,000 soldiers to Cuba
          • Khrushchev was determined to sustain the communist regime in Cuba.
            • The CIA backed the invasion of the Bay of Pigs and Operation Mongoose
            • Thought sending nuclear weapons would deter US interference
        • Confrontation
          • 1.1962 nuclear warheads began to arrive on Cuba, followed by missiles and bombers in September. Spotted by US spy planes in October
          • 2.Kennedy responded with a TV address and made it clear that 'a full retaliatory response' would follow if the Soviets continued their military presence
          • 3.Kennedy established a naval blockade aware that soviet ships was on their way.
          • 4.24th October soviet ships reached the quarantine line and changed direction
          • 5.Dean Rusk remarked 'we are eyeball to eyeball and I think the other fellow just blinked'
        • Resolution
          • 1.26th October White House received telegram from Khrushchev which proposed a way out the crisis
          • 2.But a second message broadcast on Moscow radio set a very different tone
          • 3.Kennedy ignored the second message and regarded the first as a hope to resolve the crisis peacefully
        • Diplomacy
          • Kennedy negotiated through back channel meetings his brother (Robert Kennedy) and the Soviet Ambassador attended
          • US agreed to withdraw missiles from Turkey if Soviets withdrew missiles from Cuba. US also agreed to respect Cuban independence
          • 28th October Soviets announced their withdrawal from Cuba
    • USSR Atomic Bomb
      • Created atomic bomb in 1949
      • Ended US nuclear monopoly

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