The formation of NATO
- Berlin blockade convinced the Americans that the West needed a common defence strategy against any acts of aggression.
- This led to the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in April 1949.
- It was a military pact in which all the coountries agreed to help each other against any acts of aggression.
- It was to have an army with a common command.
- In 1949 it had 12 members: USA, Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Iceland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Portugal and Canada.
- This was later extented by the entry of Greece and Turkey in 1952, and West Germany in 1955.
- It meant that USA could build air bases in West Europe where planes equipped with nuclear bombs would be ready for use in the event of an act of aggression from another power.
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The Nuclear Arms Race
- The dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 started the nuclear arms race betweenn the two superpowers.
- People believed the more nuclear weapons you had, the more powerful you were.
- The race was how the USA and USSR made sure they did not get left behind in the number of nuclear weapons they possessed.
- Was very expensive for both countries.
- Until 1949, the USA had the advantage.
- In 1949, the USSR exploded its first atomic bomb.
- The hydrogen bomb, a more powerful bomb, was successfully tested by the Americans in 1952.
- The soviets responded with their own hydrogen bomb in 1953.
- Both countries felt they had to continue.
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