Germany surrenders and is split into four territories. West Germany is under the control of the Allied powers while East Germany is under the control of the Soviets. Berlin is also divided into four territories because it is the capital.
After the nuclear attacks by the U.S. on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan was too devastated to continue their fight in WWII and effectively had to unconditionally surrender to the Allied Powers, beginning the end of WWII.
Soviets Encourage Communism
After WWII, the Soviets statrted to encourage communist governments in the territories they had already occupied such as Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland raising what Winston Churchill described as an "Iron Curtain" over Europe.
Paris Peace Conference
WWII officially ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris by the Allied and Axis powers. The U.S. and Russia remain the most powerful nations with the U.S. slightly above Russia because of the advancement in nuclear weaponry and the high death toll of the Soviets.
Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan
Truman declared that the U.S. would supply assistance to all countries against communism while the Marshall Plan provided $12 billion in aide to Western Europe. This helped countries impoverished by the war and stimulated America's economy; but, the Soviets took it as an open declaration of a Cold War against their ideals.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was created by the U.S. and signed by 11 other Western nations as an attempt to promote containment and protect the world from communism
Berlin Blockade and Airlift
East Germany (controlled by the Soviets) blockaded the main road into Berlin in an attempt to block the Allied powers from their posts in West Berlin; however, the U.S. successfully airlifted food and supplies to the people of Berlin.
U.S.A vs. Russia Arms Race
Throughout the Cold War, the U.S. and Russia were at a stalemate because of Mutually Assured Destruction. After Russia tested it's first Atomic bomb in 1949, people waited across the globe for the extinction of the human race. If the Cold War ever heated up, the entire world was at risk to be destroyed.
Containment Leads to the wars in Vietnam and Korea
After the Soviets continue to raise the Iron Curtain over Europe, the U.S. creates the policy of containment which means that communism can exist where it is, but it cannot spread to any other nations. This policy eventually lead to both the Korean War and the War in Vietnam.
The Warsaw Pact was the rival alliance to NATO. Created and signed in 1955 by Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union.
U-2 Spy Incident
A U.S. U-2 spy plane is spotted over the USSR and shot down by Soviet missiles. Khrushchev announces that an American spy plane was shot down and captured while Eisenhower denies the fact that the plane was on an espionage mission and was instead merely a weather plane.
Berlin Wall goes up
After the Berlin Blockade failed, the East Germans decided to put up a concrete wall between East and West Berlin, effectively separating the 2 capitals, lasting for 30 years.
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a 13 day conflict between the U.S. and the Soviets that came to be known as the closest the two nations came to full-blown nuclear war during the Cold War. The Soviets were to send nuclear missiles to Cuba, which President Kennedy blockaded because Cuba was too close to Florida to harbor Russian nuclear weapons. Khrushchev saw the blockade as an act of aggression by the U.S. Khrushchev agrees to take the missiles out of Cuba if the U.S. left Turkey.
Berlin Wall Falls
As the Cold War slowly came to a close, the leader of East Berlin's communist party announced that the country's borders would be open and free to cross. A huge party then ensued with people literally tearing down the wall with hammers and pick axes.
On a day known as "Unity Day", the leaders of East and West Germany decided to come back together to make the country whole again.
The Soviet Union Dissolves and the Cold War ends.
By 1991, many of the occupied nations had declared independence from the USSR. Many attempts to overthrow Gorbachev occurred, and, finally, the USSR simply ceased to exist, bringing an end to the Cold War after 45 years.