Key Dates


Unit 1: The seeds of conflict 1917-44

1917 - Bloshevik Revolution: Lenin comes to power in Russia

1918 - Woodrow Wilson issues the Fourteen Points, US aims

1919 - Comintern established by Bolshevik Russia

1939 - Second World War starts

1941 - Germany invades the USSR ; Grand Alliance (GB, USA, USSR) formed against Germany, Italy and Japan

1943 - 'Big Three' met at Teheran

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Unit 2: Development of Cold War

February - Yalta Conference
8 May - Victory in Europe Day (end of Second World War against Germany
17 July - 2 August - Potsdam Conference
6 August - Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
2 September - Victory in Japan Day (end of war against Japan)

5 March - Churchill gives 'Iron Curtain' speech at Fulton, Missouri
10 September - Greek communists launch civil war against royalists

March - Launch of the Truman Doctrine
June - Marshall Plan established

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Unit 2: Development of Cold War

February - Communist coup in Czechoslovakia
June - Berlin Blockade begins

April - NATO established
May - Berlin blockade lifted
September - Communists take over China

February - Sino-Soviet Alliance signed
25 June - Start of the Korean War

5 March - Death of Stalin 
27 July - Ceasefire agreed in Korea 

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Unit 4: Post-Stalin thaw

5 March - Death of Stalin

17 June - Rising of workers in East Berlin
26 June - Beria removed from Soviet leadership
27 July - Ceasefire agreed in Korea
12 September - Krushchev becomes First Secretary of the Communist Party

May - Warsaw Pact established ; USSR signs agreement recognising the independence of Austria

July - Geneva Summit (Krushchev and Eisenhower)

February - Krushchev delivers his 'secret speech' criticising Stalin
November - Soviet troops invade Hungary

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Unit 4: Post-Stalin thaw

November - Start of Second Berlin Crisis; Krushchev asks the West to leave Berlin.

May - U-2 spy plane shot down over USSR ; Paris Summit between Krushchev and Eisenhower abandoned.

January - Kennedy becomes US President

12 April - Yuri Gagarin becomes first man in space
June - Vienna Summit (Kennedy and Krushchev)          
August - Berlin Wall erected

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Unit 5: Nuclear weapons

16 July - First test firing of an atomic bomb by the USA at Alamogordo, New Mexico
6 August - USA drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima
9 August - USA drops atomic bomb at Nagasaki

1946 - Failure of the Baruch Plan to limit nuclear weapons

29 August - USSR tests atomic bomb at Semipalatinsk

1 November - USA tests hydrogen bomb

8 August - USSR explodes its first lithium bomb

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Unit 5: Nuclear weapons

1 March - USA explodes a lithium bomb

1955 - USA develops first intercontinental barriers

1956 - USA develops TU20 Bear (intercontinental bomber)

1957 - USSR develops first ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile)
5 October - USSR launches Sputnik, first space satellite
November - Sputnik II is launched ; Gaither Report warns President Eisenhower of missile gap

1959 - Fidel Castro leads a revolution in Cuba

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Unit 5: Nuclear weapons

July - USA lauches Polaris, first submarine-launched ballistic missile 

April - USSR puts first man (Yuri Gagarin) into space ; Bay of Pigs invasion

October - Cuban Missile Crisis

June - 'Hot line' telephone link is established
Test Ban Treaty is signed

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Unit 6: Sino-Soviet relations 1949-76

1920s-1949: Tension over Stalin's support for the Chinese Nationalists and the USSR's interest in the Chinese province of Manchuria

1950 - Treaty of Frienship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance signed. Some Chinese resentment at unequal terms of the Treaty

October - Krushchev's first visit to Beiijing ; Krushchev refused to lessen Soviet ties in Mongolia or to allow China to extend its control into North Korea

1956 - Krushchev gives speech criticising Stalin at the Twentieth Party Congress of the Soviet Communist Party. The process of De-Stalinisation begins. Mao criticises Krushchev as a revisionist.

1958 - Krushchev criticises Mao's policy of the Great Leap Forward as being impractical ; Mao accuses the USSR of being too cautious and detached during the crisis over Quemoy.

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Unit 6: Sino-Soviet relations 1949-76

June -
USSR cancels Sino-Soviet Agreement on atomic cooperation

September - Krushchev visits the USA. Mao condemns the Soviet's rapprochement with the USA.

1960 - The USSR pulls out all economic aid and advisers from China

1961 - China gives economic support to Albania after it splits with the USSR
China also encourages Romania to become independent of Soviet interference

1963 - A meeting between Party leaders of both China and the USSR fails to improve relations ; China claims that its borders with the USSR is as a result of 'unequal treaties'

1964 - Krushchev and Mao resort to bitter personal attacks
14 October - Krushchev is dismissed as Soviet leader
16 October - China explodes its first nuclear bomb in a test at Lop Nor 

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Unit 6: Sino-Soviet relations 1949-76

1964;16 October - Zhou Enlai, the Chinese Prime Minister, visits a series of countries in the developing world to present China as the leader of world revolution.

1965 - The USSR tries to alienate China in international affairs by strenghthening its ties with Mongolia, North Korea and North Vietnam

1968 - Mao's attack on the Soviet Union's leadership as revisionists increase during the Cultural Revolution, Mao attacks those in China 

1969 - Heavy fighting at Damansky Island on the Ussuri River in March when Chinese troops attack Soviet border guards

1970 - Relations between China and the USSR improve slightly with the visit of Kosygin, the Soviet Prime Minister, to China

1971 - Henry Kissinger, the US Secretary of State, visits China and paves the way for a visit by US President Richard Nixon. Chinese relations with the USSR deteriorate.

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Unit 7: Causes and achievements of Détente

January - Nixon becomes President of the USA and appoints Henry Kissinger as his National Security Adviser
Willy Brandt becomes Chancellor of West Germany

May - Salt I agreed, including ABM treaty
December - East and West Germany sign Basic Treaty accepting the existence of each other as seperate states

January - USA signs Paris Peace Settlement and agrees to withdraw troops from Vietnam
July - NATO and Warsaw Pact countries begin talks that lead to the Helsinki Accords in 1975
September - Kissinger becomes US Secratary of State

17 July - Apollo-Soyuz link up

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Unit 7: Causes and achievements of Détente

1975: August - Helsinki Accords signed

November - Jimmy Carter elected US President

January - Carter appoints the neo-conservative Zbigniew Brzezinski as his National Secuirty Adviser.

May - Margaret Thatcher becomes British Prime Minister
June - Vienna Summit between Carter and Brezhnev leads to signing of SALT II Treaty
December - Soviet forces invade Afganistan

January - USA suspends ratification of SALT II in protest of Soviet invasion of Afganistan
November - Right winger Ronald Reagan is elected US President

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Unit 8: End of the Cold War in the 1980s

January - Ronald Reagan becomes US President ; Wave of strikes in Poland organised by the illegal trade union, Solidarity

November - Brezhnev dies, Andropov becomes new Soviet leader

March - Strateigic Defense Initiative announced by the USA
September - South Korean airliner KAL 007 shot down over Soviet airspace
October - US troops invade Grenada to depose left-wing government 

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Unit 8: End of the Cold War in the 1980s

February - Andropov dies; Chernenko becomes new Soviet leader

March - Chernenko dies; Mikhail Gorbachev becomes new Soviet leader
November - Geneva Summit between Reagan and Gorbachev

October - Reykjavik Summit between Reagan and Gorbachev

December - Washington Summit. The INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) agreement is signed

May-June: Moscow Summit between Gorbachev and Reagan

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Unit 8: End of the Cold War in the 1980s

1988: December - Gorbachev announces major reductions in Soviet forces in Europe

September - First free elections held in Poland; Solidarity wins and forms government ; Hungary opens borders with Austria
November - Fall of the Berlin Wall, dismantled by the crowds ; Collapse of communist regimes in Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria
December - Malta Summit between Gorbachev and Bush ; Collapse of communist regime in Romania

October - Reunification of Germany

August-December: Baltic States and Ukraine vote for independence from the USSR
December - USSR formally dissolved

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