Development of the Cold War Key Events

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Yalta Conference, 4-11 February 1945

  • Division of Germany and Berlin into 4 zones
  • Ratification of UN
  • USSR gained land from Poland 
  • Poland expanded West and North into German territory 
  • The big three agreed to support Democracy and free elections in anu European liberated state 
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Potsdam Conference, 17 July-1 August 1945

  • Now Stalin Truman and Attlee 
  • 16th July USA had detonated the atomic bomb 
  • Truman hoped this would ensure Stalins loyalty 
  • Stalin however didn't want to be intimidated by the US nulear monopoly
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Agreements at Potsdam and Failures at Potsdam


  • Demilitarisation of Germany 
  • De-nazification 
  • German political decentralisation 
  • USSR to recieve reparations from its own zone and 25% from the Western zones


  • Failed to clarify the Soviet reparations claims 
  • Growing suspicion between the USA and USSR 
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Soviet Expansionism in Eastern Europe


  • Communist government imposed by the Soviets 
  • Communists merged with the socialists to form a majority party 
  • Anti-soviet commnunists were replace with pro-Stalinists 


  • Soviet army still in Romania, forced the King to appoint a communist government 


  • Political opponent arrested and elections rigged 
  • Hungary communist leader exeecuted in 1949, all opposition to Moscow had dissapeared


  • 1948 Benes resigned and left the pro-communists in complete control
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The Warsaw Pact

This was the Eastern bloc uniting against external aggressors (NATO)

West Germany entered NATO in 1955 spurring the USSR to create its own defensive organisation in the East

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Kennan's Long Telegram

  • 22nd February 1946
  • Sent from Moscow to the US State Department 
  • Kennan argued the USA must be prepared to threaten the use of force against the USSR 
  • He advocated containment 
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The Truman Doctrine

  • March 1947, response to the British withdrawal from Greece 
  • Created the idea of Containment 
  • Marshall Plan reinforced it
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The Marshall Plan

  • Response to the deterioration of post-war Europe
  • June 1947 Marshall Plan is unveiled 
  • 1947-52 the plan provided $13.5 bn to 16 European countries 
  • Czechoslovakia and Hungary were not under communist control by 1947 and accpeted Marshall Aid 
  • The USSR tightened its grip over the East and established Cominform 
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The Berlin Blockade, June 1948-May 1949

  • A united currency through all the zones in West Germany 
  • All rail and road links were blocked to West Berlin 
  • Stalin attempted to get rid of the Western allies 
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  • April 1949 
  • NATO highlighted to the USSR that the USA would accept no further expansion in Europe 
  • NATO became a defensive alliance of Europe and the USA 
  • The FRG was admitted in May 1955, causing the creation of the Warsaw Pact in retaliation
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Korea 1950-53

  • 1949 Chinese Communists won Civil War 
  • 1950 North Korea invades South Korea 
  • October 1950 General MacArthur pushes North Koreans to the Yalu river 
  • November 1950 UN calls for the return of the status quo at 38th parallel 
  • November 1950 Chinese enter the war 
  • April 1951, US forces reach 38th Parallel 
  • 1953 Ceasfire agreed at 38th Parallel
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Peaceful Coexistence

1953- Eisenhower and Khrushchev come to power and the Korean War ends 

1956- Khrushchev denounces Stalin and moves foreign policy towards coexistence (THIS WAS REALLY MALENKOVS POLICY) 

  • Firm grip on eastern bloc states 
  • USSR expand its nuclear arsenal 
  • Spending on military must be reduced 
  • Austrian State Treaty: the withdrawl of the 4 powers and declared Austria a neutral state 
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John Dulles and Eisenhower's New Look


  • Eisenhowers Secretary of State 
  • Roll back 
  • Massive retaliation 

New Look 

  • Pro-active, even aggressive position 
  • Better relations with Soviets 
  • Containment still remained 
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The Geneva Summit 1955 & Paris Summit May 1960

Geneva:Eisenhower open skies proposal 

  • Allowed superpowers to inspect arsenals and move towards diarmament 
  • Khrushchev rejected as he didn't have technology like the U-2 spy plane

Eisenhower a reunified Germany 

  • Free elections and decide its own fate 
  • Khrushchev would only agree if demilitarised and neutral 
  • He refused to discuss the future of the Eastern bloc states 


  • Khrushchev wanted a deal over Berlin, and to ban nuclear weapons in the Pacific and Germany
  • China refused to be bound by any agreement (its nuclear arsenal was close to completion)
  • Summit collapsed over the news that a U-2 spy plane had been shot down over the USSR
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The Berlin Wall, August 1961

  • 30 mile concrete wall between East and West Berlin 
  • To stop the brain drain 
  • Pinning in the East Berlin people from escaping to the West
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  • The USSR would not hesitate to use its nuclear weapons 
  • The USA is prepared to make a pre-emptive strike 
  • The USA must devise anti-nuclear defences 
  • The USA must defend its nuclear retaliatino ability 
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Arms Race


16th July, test firing of an atomic bomb, Alamogardo 

6th August- Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima 

9th August- Atomic bomb dropped on Nagaski


29th August- USSR exploded its first atomic bomb at Semipalatinsk 


1st November- Hydrogen bomb, on Eniwetok in teh Pacific (60 metres deeps, 1mile wide and a mushroom cloud 100 miles)


8th August- USSR tested a lithium bomb 

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Arms Race Cont.


1st March- USA tested its first lithium bomb 


The first bomber with international range, the B52 Stratofortress


TU20 Bear


Launched their first rocket in Kazakhstan, first ICBM, (ONLY HAD 4 AND NOT VERY RELIABLE)

5th October- Launch of Sputnik 

Nov- Sputnik carried the dog Laika into space

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Arms Race Cont.


July- 1st submarine launched a ballistic missile, Polaris


Yuri Gargarin was the first man to orbit the earth 


4,000 missile warheads

220 weapons

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