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The Cold War
• The Second World
• Early Post War years
• The Cold War
World War 2
• Basic timeline:
1936 Italy invades Ethiopia
1938 Germany invades Czechoslavakia
1938 Germany reunites with Austria
1939 Germany/USSR sign non-aggression pact
Germany/Italy sign treaty
– 1939 Germany invades Poland
USSR invades Finland, Poland
– 1939 Britain, France declare war on Germany
World War 2
• 1940 Germany invades and conquers
Denmark, Norway, France, Belgium,
Luxembourg, Netherlands
• 1940 USSR invades Estonia, Lithuania,
• 1940 Treaty signed between Germany, Italy,
Japan, Romania
• 1940 Italy invades Somalia, Egypt, Greece
World War 2
• 1941 Germany invades Yugoslavia, Greece
and USSR
• 1941 Japan attacks China, French
Indochina, and the US (Pearl Harbor)
• 1941 US declares war on Japan, Germany
declares war on US, US returns the favor
World War 2
• 1942 Germany invasion of USSR stalls,
USSR mounts counterattack
• 1942 Britain, US forces stage counterattack
for North Africa
• 1943 Germany/Italy abandon North Africa,
Allies invade sicily
• 1943 Soviet counterattack pushes Germany
World War 2
1944 USSR pushes Germans back into Poland
1944 Allies invade Italy
1944 D-Day invasion of northern Europe (France)
1944 Soviet troops push into Romania, Bulgaria
Allied troops push across France towards
World War 2
• 1945 Soviet troops reach
Berlin (April)
• 1945 German troops in Italy
surrender (May)
• 1945 German unconditional
surrender (May 7)
• 1945 US drops atomic bombs
on Hiroshima (August 6) and
Nagasaki (August 9)
• 1945 USSR declares war on
Japan (August 8)
• 1945 Japan surrenders
(August 14)
Post War
• US, UK, and USSR meet
at Yalta (February 1945)
to begin discussions of
how to end war
– In exchange for Soviet
declaration of war on Japan,
USSR gets assurances from
UK and US that they will
respect Soviet security
concerns in Eastern Europe
Post War
• Potsdam Conference
(August 1945)
• US, UK, and USSR divide
up Germany into zones of
– *Berlin, the capital,
although in the Soviet zone,
would itself be divided into
4 zones.
• All three agree to zones of
occupation in former Nazi
regimes pending new
Cold War
• Following Potsdam, Soviet
troops slow to withdraw from
occupied areas
• USSR begins to install
friendly governments in
occupied territories
• In 1946, former UK Prime
Minister Winston Churchill
delivers speech warning of an
“Iron Curtain” descending
across Europe
Cold War
• President Truman
advances the “Truman
Doctrine” which pledges
US committment to stop
spread of communism in
the world
• US Foreign Policy adopts
“containment” advanced
by George Kenan and
published in Foreign
Policy magazine
Cold War
• In response to Communist success (or at
least communist inroads), US announces
Marshall Plan to provide economic relief to
war torn Europe (1947)
• 1948 Communist takeover in
Cold War
• In response to growing Soviet presence in
Europe, US and UK put together a
defensive alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (1949)
Cold War
• 1948-1949 USSR
imposes blockade on
Berlin in response to
US/UK/French plans
to create unified
German currency and
begin unification
• US/UK airlift supplies
to Berline
Cold War
• 1949 Chinese civil
war ends with Mao
Zedong’s Communist
Forces taking control
of the country
• 1949 Soviets explode
their first atomic bomb
Cold War
• These two events lead
to serious inquiries as
to how this could have
• The immediate
solution was that
Soviet agents within
the US government
and US society at
large were responsible
Cold War
• House Committee on
Activities forms to
investigate subversion
with the US
• Senate has
Subcommittee on
Investigations to
handle similar tasks
Cold War
• June 1950, Korean
War begins
• US uses UN Security
Council to get UN
authorization to use
force to repel invasion
• 1953, War ends, with
ceasefire line
established at same
line as pre-war border
Cold War
• 1954 CIA backs coups
in Guatemala and Iran
• 1955 USSR creates
the KGB, an analog to
the US CIA
• 1955 USSR creates
the Warsaw Pact, an
analog of NATO
Cold War
• 1954 French forces defeated in French
Indochina (Vietnam)
• US brokers a peace treaty dividing Vietnam
in half and calling for national unity
Cold War
• 1956 Soviet troops
invade Hungary and
install pro-Soviet
• US President
Eisenhower declines
to send troops
Cold War
• 1959 Castro
overthrows US
supported government
in Cuba
• US backed
unsuccessful invasion
in 1960 (Bay of Pigs)
Cold War Fears
1960 Nixon political ad
1964 Johnson ad
Cold War
• Arms Race with Soviet
– Mutual Assured Destruction
• Global scramble to check
expansion of Soviet Power
• Internal search to root out
Soviet spies and
communist sympathizers