Cold War

Timeline - by Shani Able

12 March 1947

The Truman Doctrine

Harry Truman expressed his attitude towards the Soviet Union in the form of an offensive speech. The speech included his promise of military and economic support to countries that were vulnerable and threatened by the communist regime. In his speech he linked communism with the concepts of "danger" and "threat".



24 june 1948

The Berlin Blockade

The Berlin Blockade was Stalin's act of desperation to starve the people of West Germany into submission. This was a result of the creation of the Deutschmark, capitalisms expansion and communisms loss of control. During this period of time, Stalin owned all of Eastern Germany and was in control of Berlin's routes. His 'one big weapon' was his his ability to create a siege around Berlin. This blockade would stop food, equipment and other essential supplies from entering Berlin. This passive act of violence was to hopefully convert Western Germany's citizens to communism, by forcing them to lose hope.


26 June 1948

The Berlin Airlift

The Berlin Airlift was America's response to the blockade placed around Western Germany. When confronted with the issue of the blockade the Western allies formed a few views on how to help the people of Berlin. These included:


2. Tanks blasting their way through the blockade

3. The American military sending its troops through the autobahn towards Berlin

None of the options available provided a promising and successful outcome so the government decided on a middle course in order to avoid provoking war. This was to send its troops in by aircraft. Although the wellbeing of the citizens of Berlin was a significant priority, an ulterior motive for this mission was to ensure that the USSR would not take over West Berlin. This mission was carried out successfully until the blockade was removed on the 30th of September 1949. The USA had managed to deliver over 1.5 million tons of food, fuel and equipment to Berlin. Stalin was forced to admit that his plan had failed and that the blockade had a counterproductive effect as it accelerated moves towards a powerful, pro-Western state.

Berlin Airlift - The Story Of A Great Achievement (1949)

The formation of Nato and the Warsaw Pact

NATO - April 1949

NATO, also known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, was an American promise of help in case of an emergency. This alliance was triggered by the Berlin blockade and was supported with large numbers of military troops on ground, that were mainly based in West Germany.


Warsaw Pact - May 1955

The Warsaw Pact was the USSR's response to the formation of NATO. They felt threatened by the expansion of NATO and wanted to create a military alliance.

This alliance was a mutual defence treaty and regional economic organisation between 8 communist states of Central and Eastern Europe in existence during the Cold War.

16 october 1962

cuban missile crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis was 'a confrontation between the two giant atomic nations, the USA and the USSR, which brought the world to the brink of nuclear destruction.'


Fidel Castro, a totalitarian communist had overthrown the American appointed government. He saw the USA as a serious threat after the attempted attack at the bay of the pigs. In order to protect Cuba's independence he requested supply of defensive weapons from the USSR. The USA realised that these weapons were not merely defensive, but rather offensive as they were 'long-range missiles that were a threat to the USA'. America's main concern was that the Soviet Union was was placing missiles and atomic weapons in Cuba.

13 March 1954

KGB Formed

The KGB was Russia's secret intelligence agency. This service was headquartered in Moscow and their aim was to spy on the US and other western countries. They wanted to stop those countries from spying on the Soviet Union, and to hunt down political dissidents that attempted to cause trouble.


1 november 1955

The vietnam war

Militarily speaking, the war was the result of North Vietnam and the Vietcong attempting to overthrow the South Vietnamese government. However generally speaking, the Vietnam War was an indirect conflict between the United States and Soviet Union, with each nation and its allies supporting one side. Neither the Soviet Union nor the USA could afford a war against each other considering the nuclear military might of both. However, they had client states that could carry on the fight for them. The Americans trained the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and provided military advisors to help combat the guerrillas in Vietnam and the Soviet Union supplied China (it's fellow communist state) with arms and weaponry, who would in turn, arm and equip the North Vietnamese to fight the Americans.

This war lasted approximately 15 years.

The casualties were:

South Vietnamese civilians - 195,000-430,000 lives

North Vietnamese civilians - 50,000-65,000 lives


25 june 1950

The Korean War

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) launched a surprise attack on South Korea.

The war had begun with North Korean leader Kim Il Song's desire to expand Communist rule. South Korea was aided by the UN troops and the US troops, led under McArthur.

North Korea survived for as long as they could, then turned to the People's Republic of China for assistance.

With the use of thousands of foot soldiers, the Chinese were able to push the UN and US troops back.

The result was a three-year war in the peninsula, ending in 1953 with an armistice.

This is another example of the conflict between communism and capitalism.

9 november 1989

Berlin's wall breached

—The demolition of the wall surrounding Western Germany represented the beginning of the end of the Cold War. This barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic that began on the 13th of August 1961, was finally breached when crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. The governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the wall. The physical Wall itself was primarily destroyed in 1990, this paved the way for German reunification.

31 december 1991

conclusion of cold war

—Once the Soviet Union had finally been defeated, the end of this Cold War was imminent, due to the lack of military force.

All countries involved in NATO were waiting for this intense and hostile conflict to end.

The threat of the nuclear war was slowly decreasing allowing for relief and recovery.