The Cuban Missile Crisis
Khrushchev placing nuclear missiles in Cuba- During the 1950's Cuba was regarded as belonging to the USA. The leader of Cuba, Batistra, was overthrown by Castro (a communist revolutionary). Batistra was unpopular but he was supported by the USA because he was not a communist.
The USA made attempts to bring Castro down, such as sending money and equipment to Cubans who wanted to bring Casrro down. But their plans didn't work as the men were slaughtered and the USA made to look foolish.
Khrushchev the leader of the USSR was very happy that there was a communist in the USA's back yard. He supported Cuba with weapons, food and advisors. He didn't want the USA to take down Castor because all of his work would then have gone to waste.
Two weeks of tension- Throughout the two weeks of tension the threat of nuclear war was high until the UN called on the USA and the USSR to reach a compromise. The American president recieved letters from Khrushchev offering to remove the missiles if the USA did not invade Cuba and removes her missiles from Turkey. The president agreed to this but made sure that the removal of the missiles from Turkey was a secret. Months later the two contries signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The Berlin Wall
Khrushchev's fence- 13th of August 196 soviet workmen arrived at the border and by the end of the day the city was split by the fence that they had constructed, armed with bored guards to shoot anyone who tried to cross over. Nine months later the fence had turned into a concerte wall with watch towers.
No one knew why Khrushchev built the Berlin wall, but it was likely that he had wanted to stop East Berliners leaving East Berlin and also wanted to prevent the capatilsts who controlled West Berlin for interfering in East Berlin's buisness.
The reaction of the Berliners- Many paniced and tried to get into West Berlin. West Berliners thought that the Soviet Union wanted to start a fight. West Berlin held a huge rally asking the American president, John F. Kennedy to keep his troops in Berlin, in response to this Kennedy sent in an extra 1500 troops.
War?- Things got tense when Soviet and American tanks pulled up on their repective sides of the wall. However, no shots were fired. Khrushchev said 'Its not a very nice solution, but a wall is a hell lot better than a war'.
The wall comes tumbling down- In 1989 Communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR came to an end. In November thousands of East Germans marched on the Berlin Wall and started smashing it with sledge hammers. The border guards were ordered to shoot the protestors but they refused.