The Cold War

The Events of the War, 1950–53

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The Events of the War, 1950–53


June 1950

The North Koreans attacked.

They were very successful.

They captured most of South Korea.



July 1950

The Americans were alarmed (see Source B).

They persuaded the United Nations to support South Korea.

The American Army, led by General MacArthur, went to Korea, drove back the North Koreans and recaptured South Korea. It invaded North Korea.

It advanced as far as the Chinese border.


October 1950

Now the Chinese were alarmed.

They attacked MacArthur, and drove the Americans back.

They recaptured North Korea, and advanced into South Korea.


February 1951

The Americans landed more troops.

They drove the Chinese back (the Chinese lost 200,000 men).


March 1951 – 1953

MacArthur reached the 38th parallel in March 1951.

Truman told MacArthur to stop.

MacArthur was sacked when he publicly criticised Truman’s order.

In 1953, Eisenhower became American president. He made peace.


  1. Look at Source B. Why was Korea so important for the Americans?

  2. Write notes on the causes of the Korean War.

  3. Write an essay to describe the main events of the Korean War, 1950–53.

Revision Questions

  1. Who was Prime Minister of Britain in 1945?

  2. Who was president of the USA in February 1945?

  3. Who became president of the USA in 1945?

  4. Who was leader of Russia in 1945?

  5. What is a ‘cold war’?

  6. List FOUR causes of the Cold War?

  7. What do Communists believe?

  8. The USA is a ‘capitalist democracy’. What do these words mean?

  9. Name two historical complaints that Stalin had against Britain and the USA.

  10. What could Britain and the USA not forgive Stalin for (from 1939)?

  11. Give TWO things that Stalin wanted from the peace.

  12. What worried Britain and the USA about Stalin’s plans?

  13. When did Russia develop the atomic bomb?

  14. List NINE events leading up to the Cold War, Feb 1945 to Mar 1948.

  15. Give FOUR things agreed at Yalta.

  16. Explain TWO reasons why the Potsdam Conference was less successful than Yalta.

  17. Name THREE things that the ‘Big Three’ disagreed about at Potsdam.

  18. What were ‘salami tactics’?

  19. Was is ‘totalitarianism’?

  20. Was does the word ‘imperialistic’ mean?

  21. What was Churchill’s Fulton speech (5 March 1946) about?

  22. Why did Britain keep soldiers in Greece after the Second World War had finished?

  23. What happened when the British could no longer afford to keep soldiers in Greece?

  24. What did the Truman Doctrine say?

  25. Why did Marshall propose the Marshall Plan?

  26. How much aid did the Marshall Plan want to send to Europe?

  27. Which country turned Communist in March 1948?

  28. What rival to Marshall Aid did Stalin set up in 1947?

  29. Give FIVE causes of the Berlin blockade.

  30. How long did the blockade last?

  31. How did the US and Britain supply the Berliners?

  32. List FOUR results of the blockade.

  33. What rival alliance to NATO did the USSR set up in 1955?

  34. Why was the Korean War important in the history of the Cold War?

  35. Name the ruler of North Korea in 1950.

  36. Name the ruler of South Korea in 1950.

  37. List THREE reasons why Truman was interested in the Far East.

  38. When did China turn Communist?

  39. Whose agreement to invade South Korea did Kim II Sung seek?

  40. What excuse did Kim II Sung have for attacking South Korea?

  41. Who was winning the war at its start in June 1950?

  42. Who led the UN forced which landed in July 1950?

  43. Why did the Chinese enter the war?

  44. How many Chinese soldiers died in the war?

  45. Why was MacArthur sacked?



Imagine a class with a really tough and nasty teacher. After a while, that teacher leaves, and a more gentle, reasonable teacher takes over. Will behaviour in the class get better, or worse?

Stalin died in 1953. He was hated all over eastern Europe. When they heard he was dead, people in East Berlin rioted.

After a short struggle for power, Khrushchev became the new ruler in Russia.

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