Hiroshima / Reagan
Describe the effects of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima in Japan.
- 140,000 people died
- Half were killed on the day of the bombing, the rest died due to exposure to radiation
- Second bomb in Nagasaki
- Japan surrendered
- USSR didn't know about use of atom bomb + fell behind in arms race
Describe how President Reagan developed America's weapons in the years 1981 to 1985.
- Massively increased military spending ($325bn to $456bn)
- Restarted development of neutron bomb (killed soldiers but didn't destroy buildings or contaminate land)
- Invested in traditional bombs and stealth bombers
- Speeded up development of Peacekeeper missiles
- Announced Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) aka Star Wars that used laser technology to intercept and destroy incoming missiles.
Stalin's reply to Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech
- Iron Curtain speech - Churchill told the world that no one knew the "limits to USSR's expansive tendencies"
- Stalin claimed expansion was to protect USSR because many people there had died, turned the tables on Churchill who branded Stalin as an expansionist who wanted to control most of Europe.
- On the other hand, Stalin had gone back on what he agreed at Yalta about countries being allowed to decide their own government in free elections
- Stalin used methods such as rigged elections to to get communists in power in the buffer states.
Describe what happened when the U2 aircraft, piloted by Gary Powers, was shot down in 1960.
- Before Summit Meeting, it was reported an American U2 plane was shot down over USSR
- U2 had been used for 4 years to spy on Soviets
- Gary Powers was taking photos of military sites + U2 got hit by missile
- Powers forced to eject and was captured. The photos were developed so Khrushchev knew Powers was on a spying mission.
- Khrushchev announced that an American plane had been shot down +Americans pretended it was weather plane
- Khrushchev announced that he knew about Powers' spying mission
- Eisenhower refused to apologise + claimed it was to protect US
- Khrushchev stormed out of Summit Meeting and the thaw between superpowers ended
- Powers was later released in exchange for Soviet spy
Soviet Invasion in Afghanistan
Source is biased and written for a Soviet audience, claiming that the Soviets invaded Afghanistan to free the people in order to justify the Soviet action that was already being criticised at home.
- Soviets had been helping Afghanistan since 1950s
- Had built roads and pipelines for oil
- Communist govt established in 1978
- Started to introduce Soviet-style communist reforms
- People of Afghanistan were Muslims and had strict religious views, e.g. new marriage laws
- Opposition turned into rebellion and civil war broke out
- USA supported the opposition (mujahidin)
In my opinion:
- USSR didn't invade Afghanistan to make sure people there were free, but rather to keep their power over the country
- Because Amin, leader of Afghanistan, although Communist, was friendly with the West
- Fear that Muslim influence would spread
- For the oil
The Berlin Blockade and Airlift
- Stalin wanted to keep Germany weak
- Germany was given Marshall Aid by America
- 3 western zones in Germany merged to form one
- Stalin decided the whole of Berlin should belong to the Soviets
- Stalin closed all routes into West Berlin. His plan was to force the West to withdraw from Berlin by starving the people of WB.
- Truman didn't want his policy of containment to fail
- Americans decided to use 3 air routes into West Berlin and took goods (food) in by air
Importance to the Cold War:
- USA and West had proved they were prepared to stand up to USSR and resist expansion (Truman Doctrine in action)
- Ended any possibility of a speeded unification of Berlin + Germany. Was divided into capitalist West Germany and communist East Germany.
- Led to formation of NATO