Cold War Revision A war short of full scale war because of the development of the Atomic bomb.
CAUSES OF THE COLD WAR [BARE]
Beliefs: Russia was a Communist country, ruled by a dictator who cared little about human rights.
America was a capitalist democracy, which valued freedom.
Aims: Stalin wanted reparations from Germany/ a buffer of friendly states.
Britain and the USA [led by President Truman] wanted to help Germany recover/ to prevent large areas of Europe from coming under Communist control.
Resentment about history: The USSR did not trust Britain and the USA – They had tried to destroy the Russian Revolution in 1918/ Stalin thought they had not helped the USSR enough in WW2.
Britain & USA did not trust USSR – Stalin had signed the Nazi-Soviet pact in 1939.
Events turned the mistrust into war: Yalta/ Potsdam/ Salami tactics/ Fulton/ Greece/ Truman Doctrine/ Marshall Plan/ Cominform/ Czechoslovakia
YALTA Conference (February 1945)
Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt agreed to Divide Germany into 4 zones (France, Britain, USA, USSR)/ to hold free elections in Eastern European countries./ to set up the United Nations./ to set up a government of Communists and non Communists in Poland.
On the surface, everything seemed friendly, but there was tension behind the scenes
POTSDAM Conference (July 1945)
At Potsdam the tensions surfaced.
Stalin, Truman and Atlee agreed to bring Nazi war criminals to trial/ divide Germany into 4 occupied zones.
There were disagreements over Soviet policy in Poland./ The size of German reparations.
Albania (1945) – the Communists took power after the war without opposition
Bulgaria (1945) – the Communists executed the leaders of all the other parties.
Poland (1947) – the Communists forced the non-Communist leaders into exile.
Hungary (1947) – Russian troops stayed / Stalin allowed elections (non-communists won a big majority)/ Communists led by the pro-Russian Rakosi./ Rakosi demanded that groups which opposed him should be banned./ He got control of the police, and arrested his opponents./ He set up a secret police unit, the AVH.
Romania (1945–1947) – the Communists gradually took over control.
Czechoslovakia (1948) – the Communists banned all other parties/ killed their leaders.
East Germany (1949) – Russians turned their zone into German Democratic Republic.
Fulton speech (March 1946)
Churchill described the Soviet bloc as an ‘iron curtain’ – Stalin believed this was necessary to maintain the safety of the USSR.
After Fulton, the Cold War worsened. Russia called the speech a declaration of war.
US supplied arms and money to defeat the Communists.
Truman Doctrine (March 1947) – The USA implemented a policy of ‘containment’ towards the USSR – to prevent Communism spreading any further.
Marshall Plan (June 1947) – Marshall believed poverty was a breeding ground for Communism. American introduced ‘Marshall Aid’ – $17 billion to get Europe’s economy going.
Cominform (October 1947) – Stalin forbade Communist countries to accept Marshall Aid. (October 1947) Cominform was set up to control all Communist countries in Europe.
Czechoslovakia (February 1948) – Communists took control
Panicked the US Senate into granting Marshall Aid (31 March 1948)
THE BERLIN BLOCKADE
Cold War was beginning to bite – created tension.
Aims – USA+UK wanted Germany to recover/ Stalin looting German industrial capacity.
Bizonia – USA, UK, France merged zones – became more prosperous than the Soviet.
American Aid – Marshall Aid was voted 31 March 1948.
New Currency –Britain and America introduced new currency – destabilised the East German economy. Stalin said that this was the cause of the blockade.
Events – (24 June 1948) – Stalin closed rail + road links to Berlin / Lasted 11 months/ Allies airlifted supplies to Berlin – 275,000 flights, 1.5m tons/ In winter, Berliners lived on dried eggs and potatoes/ 4 hours of electricity a day./ US had B29 bombers on standby./ (12 May 1949) – Stalin re-opened the borders.
Cold War got worse.
East/West Germany: German Democratic Republic/ Federal Republic of Germany.
NATO and Warsaw Pact – NATO (1949) defensive alliance against USSR/ Warsaw Pact 1955 by Russia
Arms Race. The USA and USSR competed for world domination.
KOREAN WAR (North Korea [Communist] invaded South Korea [Capitalist])
Domino theory – Truman thought that Far Eastern countries would fall like dominoes. China Communist (1949). Truman feared Japan would follow.
Undermine Communism – The National Security Council recommended (NSC 68 – April 1950) abandoning containment to ‘roll back’ Communism.
Cold War – America & Russia for world domination – Korea a ‘war at arm’s length’.
Kim Il Sung – got Stalin’s and Mao tse Tung’s agreement to attack South Korea.
Syngman Rhee (1950) – boasted he would attack North Korea – gave an excuse.
By June 1950 – the NKPA captured most of South Korea from the ROKs.
July 1950 – UN troops (Americans led by MacArthur), drove the Communists back to the Chinese border.
October 1950 – China attacked/ drove the Americans back/ advanced into South Korea.
March 1950 – American reinforcements drove back Chinese (200,000 dead). Truman told the troops to stop t the 38th parallel. Truman sacked MacArthur for criticising his orders.
1953 – Truce: America claimed successful containment.
KHRUSHCHEV succeeded Stalin.
It seemed he would bring a thaw in the Cold War – He advocated ‘Peaceful Coexistence’/ He met Western leaders at summit meetings/ He was friendly to Yugoslavia, telling Tito there were ‘different roads to Communism’/ He criticised Stalin, executed Beria, set free political prisoners and de-stalinised the eastern bloc countries.
Khrushchev used Russian troops when countries tried to leave Russian control.
By peaceful co-existence, Khrushchev meant ‘peaceful competition’ (He loved to argue (Kitchen debate with Nixon)/ He gave economic aid to countries like Afghanistan and Burma/ Space Race (1957: Sputnik. 1961: Yuri Gagarin orbits the earth)/ Arms Race (1953: Russia got the hydrogen bomb)
Warsaw Pact (1955) – USSR/ Albania/ Bulgaria/ Czechoslovakia/ E Germany/ Hungary/ Poland/ Romania
In retaliation, in America McCarthy conducted a ‘witchhunt’ for Communists/ In 1955, NATO agreed to an army of 0.5 m men in W Germany/ rushed to put a man on the moon/ American U2 planes spied on Russia
Poverty – When most of Hungary’s food was sent to Russia
Russian Control – The Hungarians were very patriotic/ They hated censorship, the AVH, and Russian control of education./ They hated having Russian troops stationed in Hungary
Help from the West – The Hungarians thought Esienhower or UN would help.
Destalinisation –Led to protests against Rakosi’s harsh government.
Events (3 key dates)
23 October – Student riots – attcks on AVH and Russian troops
24 October – 3 November – Reforming government led by Imre Nagy (Democracy/ Freedom of speech/ Freedom of religion/ Aimed to withdraw from Warsaw Pact.
4 November – Soviets sent 1000 tanks to crush/ Western powers protested but didn’t want a war.
Janos Kadar put in control of Hungary/ 4,000 Hungarians killed/ Nagy shot./ 200,000 Hungarians flee to West./ Many westerners leave the Communist party./ Russia stays in control in Eastern Europe./ Western leaders all the more determined to ‘contain’ communism.
1 May 1960 Soviets shot down American U2 spy plane over USSR, and captured pilot Gary Powers./ Americans had to admit he was a spy./ Khrushchev demanded apology + end to spy flights./ Eisenhower refused.
Khrushchev walks out of Paris summit (14 May 1960)/ Eisenhower’s planned visit to Russia cancelled/ Khrushchev demands US leaves West Berlin/ Americans came off badly – been caught lying- propaganda victory for USSR./ New American president Kennedy promises to get tough on Communism.