1280px 10 soviet invasion of czechoslovakia   flickr   the central intelligence agency

Bestest, Most Biggly Cold War Timeline

  • Berlin Occupation

    Berlin Occupation
    The Allies agree in Potsdam to the fundamental conditions of the occupation of Germany. American nuclear bombs destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • First successful nuclear bomb test

    First successful nuclear bomb test
    The USA military conduct the first successful nuclear bomb test in the desert of New Mexico, thus starting the Nuclear Age.
  • The Long Telegram

    The Long Telegram
    George Kennan writes the long telegram, giving his recommendation to contain the Soviet Union and communism.
  • Iron Curtain Speech

    Iron Curtain Speech
    Churchill delivers the iron curtain speech in Missouri.
  • The Truman Doctrine

    The Truman Doctrine
    The US offers assistance to countries threatened by communism -- especially Greece and Turkey. US Secretary of State George C. Marshall announces a massive aid program for the reconstruction of World War II-torn Europe that will become known as the Marshall Plan.
  • The Marshall Plan

    The Marshall Plan
    USA offers economic assistance to help rebuild war torn countries after World War II. 17 countries accept, no communist country accepts.
  • Communism in Czechoslovakia.

    Communism in Czechoslovakia.
    The Communists take power in Czechoslovakia, led by Klement Gottwald.
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    Berlin Blockade

    The Soviet blockade of West Berlin begins on June 24. Cut off from the outside world, provisions are delivered to the isolated city by the Americans in the Berlin Air Bridge action. This is the first major Berlin crisis during the Cold War. On May 12, 1949, Stalin lifts the blockade.
  • Creation of NATO

    Creation of NATO
    The North Atlantic Treaty (NATO) Treaty is signed in Washington. It is founded to provide opposition to the Soviet Union.
  • Division of Germany

    Division of Germany
    The Federal Republic of Germany is established by the USA and European Allies. Not long later, on Oct. 7, the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR) is founded by the USSR.
  • USSR first successful atomic bomb test

    USSR first successful atomic bomb test
    The Soviets detonate their first atomic bomb.
  • Establishment of the People's Republic of China

    Establishment of the People's Republic of China
    After winning the country's civil war, the Communist Party under Mao Zedong establish the People's Republic of China.
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    Korean War

    After North Korea attacks South Korea, UN troops led by the United States invade the country. China and the Soviet Union back North Korea. The cease-fire leaves the two countries with the pre-war status quo.
  • The Stalin Note (March Note)

    The Stalin Note (March Note)
    Soviet leader Joseph Stalin offers to hold negotiations on the reunification of Germany on the condition that a united Germany remain neutral. With the support of the West German parliament, the Western allied powers reject the offer.
  • Worker Rebellion crushed by USSR

    Worker Rebellion crushed by USSR
    A workers' uprising in East Germany is crushed by Russian tanks.
  • West Germany joins NATO

    West Germany joins NATO
    The Federal Republic of Germany joins NATO and forms the Bundeswehr, the first Germany army to exist after Hitler's fall.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    Created in response to NATO, it allied all Communist countries to defend each other in the case of an attack.
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    Vietnam War

    The war was mostly a proxy war between the USA and the USSR and China. The first US combat forces didn't land in South Vietnam before 1965. More than 2 million people will perish during the Vietnam War -- mostly civilians. The US withdraws its troops in 1973. Two years later the communist north conquers the southern part of the country.
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    Hungarian Uprising

    The Hungarian uprising takes place, started out as a student protest, but the death of a student at the hands of the State Security Police lead to a nation wide revolution against the Communist government. It is ultimately crushed by the Russian army.
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    Suez Canal Crisis

    After Egypt attempts to nationalize the Suez Canal, Israel, France and Great Britain occupy the canal zone and bomb Egyptian air fields. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev threatens London and Paris with nuclear war, USA also apply pressure on Israel, France, and Great Britain until they withdraw.
  • Construction of the Berlin Wall

    Construction of the Berlin Wall
    The construction of the Berlin Wall begins on August 13.
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    Cuban Missile Crisis

    After the Soviets position nuclear war heads in Cuba, the United States threatens war. The world is on the verge of nuclear war for days. Until JFK and Khrushchev negotiate the removal of US missiles in Turkey and Italy in the exchange for the USSR missiles in Cuba
  • Signing of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

    Signing of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
    The US, Great Britain and the Soviet Union agree to suspend surface, underwater, and spacial tests of nuclear weapons by signing the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
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    Prague Spring

    Troops from the Warsaw Pact, an organization of communist states in Central and Eastern Europe, stamp out the Prague Spring uprising. It was an uprising to separate the country from the Communist bloc.
  • Strategic Arms Limitation Talks

    Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
    Negotiations between the United Nations and the Soviet Union begin on the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons. The talks end with several treaties in 1979, but the arms race continues unabated.
  • Ostpolitik

    The so-called Ostpolitik, a policy of rapprochement with the Eastern bloc championed by German Chancellor Willy Brandt, begins. His policy of "change through conciliation" bears its first fruits: The Germans and Russians agree to a treaty that renounces the use of force.
  • NATO Double-Track Decision (Euromissile Crisis)

    NATO Double-Track Decision (Euromissile Crisis)
    The NATO Double-Track Decision is approved, enabling the US to station 572 "Pershing II" nuclear war heads in Western Europe if the negotiations with the Soviets over the dismantling of SS-20 midrange missiles fail. The deployment begins in 1983.
  • Boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games

    Boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games
    Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the US imposes sanctions on the Russians and boycotts the Moscow Olympic Games.
  • Strategic Defense Initiative

    Strategic Defense Initiative
    US President Ronald Reagan announces the development of a world-wide "Star Wars" missile defense system with his Strategic Defense Initiative.
  • Gorbachev becomes the new Soviet leader

    Gorbachev becomes the new Soviet leader
    New Kremlin chief Mikhail Gorbachev begins to reorient Soviet foreign policy.
  • Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

    Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
    Gorbachev (USSR) and Reagan (USA) agree to eliminate all land-based intermediate-range missiles.
  • Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Fall of the Berlin Wall
    The Berlin Wall falls on November 9, 1989.
  • Dissolution of the Warsaw Pact

    Dissolution of the Warsaw Pact
    The Warsaw Pact is dissolved. Gorbachev resigns and the Soviet Union disappears from the map.