Cold War

Events

Postdam Conference of the 'Big Three'

Approx. July 1945

Stalin, Churchill and Truman. Conference declared that Germany be split be split between capitalist West (French, British and American) and communist East (Russian)

The 'Iron Curtain' Speech

1946

A notable speech by Winston Churchill

Promises made at Yalta were evaded

1946 - 1949

Promises at Yalta (between Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin) were not being met - as Russia had established many pro-ommunist one-party governments in Poland/other eastern european nations. USA feared that USSR was trying to expand borders.

Proclamation of the Truman Doctrine

1947

1957 scare of Greece joining Communist. However, was kept as British economic and military aid where essentially keeping the existing (non-communist) Greek government alive. Truman passed a doctrine, and many took the apparent maning of this Truman Doctrine as the USA proclaiming readiness to use economic and miliary power to support pro-capitalist governments worldwide.

The Marshall Plan

1947

A plan, named from USA secretary of state George Marshall, to re-build war-torn european nations (due to catastrophic consequences from economic depression). However, Stalin saw this as a form of 'economic imperialism', and forbade its satellite nations to participate. They saw this as an attempt to expand USA influence over Europe.

The Berlin Air Lift

1948

Germany split, capitalist West, communist West ; City of Berlin (within West)( subdivided into 4 administrative sectors. 24 June '48, Stalin closed all land communications into Berlin in an attempt to absorb into Russian zone. To counter this, over 11 months, US/Fr/Bri pilots flew 277 728 flights to deliver supplies into Belrin. Stalin was forced to call of blockade, so it did not resort to shooting Western planes (as US had atomic weapons)

Creation of the Federal Republic of West Germany

1949

former USA/Fr/Bri Germany zones merged to form the Federal Republic of West Germany, under a democratic constitution, in August 1949

Formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

1949

NATO stated that once one member was attacjed, all others would come to it's aid. This included Britain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, USA, Canada, Italy, Portugal, Iceland, Denmark, Norway in 1949.

Communist Party Attained Control of Chian

1949

Mao Zedong completed the defeat of the Nationalist Party in china and proclaimed the People's Republic of China on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party. Recall that there was an almost-race between Communism and Capitalism to gain as many territotires under their ideals as possible, and China shifting to Communism, shifted the power balance between Communism/Capitalism

The Korean War

1950 - 1953

This is an example of the Cold War becoming a 'hot war'. US troops were involved, as were Chinese troops. However, as US troops were not involved with Russian troops, there was no immense escalation into 'WW3'

ANZUS Treaty Signed

1951

Due to increasing fear of Japanese military action, Australia and NZ signed this treaty that effectively tied them into the Western bloc and promised them American protection.

Gr+Tr join NATO

1952

Greece and Turky join North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Petrov Affair

1954

Mr Vladimir Petrov, Third Secretary of the Russian Embassy in Canberra and agent of the Russian secret police, seeked political asylum within Australia. He is quoted as saying (within Mr Menzies's statement quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald of 14 APril 1954) "I wish to become an Australian Citizen as son as possible and I ask for protection for myself and assistance to establish myself in this country. I no longer believe in the communism of the Soviet leadership. I no longer believe in Communism since I have seen the Australian way of life."

SEATO formed

1954

Success of 'NATO' lead to the formation of the South East Asia Treaty Organization. However, this did not promise immediate retaliation, but that other nations within the treaty would 'meet the common danger in accordance to with it's constitutional practices.'

W.G. join NATO

1955

West Germany join North Atlantic Treaty Organization

CENTO Formed

1955

Centrail Treaty Organization formed. For much the same reason as SEATO, following the success of NATO. Geographically speaking, the formation of SEATO, CENTO and NATO, closed around the communist world. Hence, any communist expansion in any direction would likely infreinge on SEATO, CENTO or NATO borders and spark large-scale retaliation.

Warsaw Pact Signed

1955

The Russians responded to the federationof the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) by transforming their occupational zone into the German Democratic Republic Government, under a communist government. Evantually both East Germany and east Berlin were cut off from the rest of Germany, by border fences and the notorious Berlin Wall. The Warsaw pact united many members of Eastern Europe (USSR, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Albania). If any one member was attacked, it would be regarded as a military attack on all, and warrant unified large-scale retaliation. Hence, there are two blocks in Europe. of allied nations that are sworn to protect each other - essentially setting up the scene for another large-scale European war.

Russian Supression of Uprising in Hungary

1956

Hungary was a USSR satellite state, in the buffer zone between Europe and the USSR. Imre Nagy was a 'democratic socialist' and premier of Hungary, who on the 1st of November 1956, announced that Hungary would withdraw from the Warsaw pact and appeal to the UN and Western-powers to guarantee it's neutrality and integrity. Leader of the USSR ordered Russian troops into Hungary to crush Nagy regime by force; at the cost of some 25 000 Hungarian lives and 7 000 Russian lives. This showed that the USSR was ruthless in maintaining domincance over Eastern Europe, and that even though the USA was committed to supporting 'liberation movements' and freedom, it could not do so within the Soviet sphere without the risk of another war outbreaking.

Khrushchev Speech

1956

Nikita Khrushchev proclaimed his belief in the 'Ultimate Superiority' of Communism. In a speech directed to the West in November '56, "Whether you like it or not, History is on our side - we will bury you!"

American Spy Plane

1960

An American spy plane was bought down over the USSR.

J.F.K Elected

1961

President John F. Kennedy was elected the President of America. He proclaimed his desire to move towards peace and his willingness to negotiate, but that he would not negotiate out of fear.

Cuban Missile Crisis

1962

This brought the super powers to the brink of war. The nation of Cuban (pro-communist, and less than 160 kilometres of US borders) had been equipped with Soviet-made ballistic missiles. President Kennedy stated that this was a threat to the security and peace of America, and demanded their removal; and ordered the US navy to intercept Soviet ships on the way to Cuba. Evantually, the USSR removed the missiles and the US promised not to interfere with Castro's regime (Cuban leaders)

Kennedy Visits Berlin / Later Assassinated

1963

Kennedy visited the Berlin Wall, which was often condemned as a symbol of communist oppression, and Kennedy gave a speech (which was broadcasted around the world) using the Wall as a means of declaring Communism as wrong/evil. Later in this year, he was assassinated.

USA Begins Military Involvement in Vietnam War

1964

Following the Domino theory, the US was scared of Vietnam falling as a Communist state. The US began by military advisors in Vietnam, but that escaled into military involvement. Cold War tensions prevailed as the Vietnam War raged.

Czechoslovakian Cris

1968

Similar to the suppressed Hungarian uprising, Czechoslovakia (another USSR satellite states) provoked another Russian military intervention. When A Dubeek was elected secretary of the Czech Communist Party, he set out to transform Czechoslovakian through a series of reforms aimed at "giving socialism a human face". Dubeek was a communist, and did not intend on leaving the Warsaw pact, but was much more open-minded than Soviet leaders, who saw the collapse of rigid Communist administration likely leading to a capitalist regime. This lead to some 650 000 Warsaw Pact troops invading Czechoslovakia. By '70, Dubeek and his regime had been suppressed and a more clearly pro-Soviet regime established.

The Brezhnev Doctrine Announced

1968

The Czechoslovakien incident lead directly to the promotion of what came to be known as the Brezhnev Doctrine. In a speech given by Leonid Brezhnev (Soviet Leader), speaking to a Polish Communist Party Congress, essentially lead to the USSR proclaiming it had the right to interfere in the affairs of all other 'socialist' (Marxian Socialist and hence Communist) nations, as the disturbance of one Communist nation's government was the disturbance of the entire COmmunist body. This was essentially an extreme counter-measure to the Truman Doctrine and the Kennedy promise to 'pay any price for the survival and success of liberty'.

'Ostopolitik' Practicised by West Germany

1970 - 1972

Agreements with the East began to be practiced by West Germany, and diplomatic relations began to be practiced between West and East Germany, as well as West Germany and the USSR.

Movement Towards Nixon Doctrine

1971 - 1973

Also known as the 'Detente', this was done by Richard Nixon (president of USA since '69) and chief foreign affairs advisor, Dr Henry Kissinger, who set out to defuse the Cold War tensions. They basically decided that the USA would no longer try and hail itself as a superhero, would abandon exaggerated claims to US supremacy. The USA essentially declared trhat it would keep treaty commitments, provide a shield against nuclear threats towards allied nations, and provide support for nations under invasion but also leave primary local defence up to the locals. This was a stark contrast to Kennedy's declaration that they would 'pay any price' for the development of freedom, and opened up many new possible diplomtic relations with China and neighbouring nations. In summary, this was known as a new era of 'detente', or trying to ease the strain between the two superpowers.

Nixon Visits China

1972

Nixon, in February of 1972, was welcomed b Chinese Capitalists into Beijing by Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai. Diplomatic and Trade connections were established between the US and China.

Nixon Visits USSR

1972

In May of '72, Nixon visited USSR. Treaties were signed to allow the USSR and the US to co-operate when it came to science, medicine, ecological conservation and a space project. Additionaly, the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty allowed for a discussion to take place, limiting the number of missilies, defence installations, nuclear-missile submarines etc. to be maintained by both side. This also lead to greatly expanded US-Soviet trade relationships.

US-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact

1973

Signed on 22 June 1973, this allowed the two nations to agree to avoid military confrontations with each other and also to assume a world policeman role, pledging to consult each other if nuclear war threatened world peace anywhere. Despite the leaders, Leonid Brezhnev (USSR) and Richard Nixon (USA) both being strong advocates for communism and capitalism respectively, they both saw the mutual advntages in seeking 'detente' and negotiating arms reduction.

Ceasefire in Vietnam

1973

A ceasefire in Vietnam lead to the American withdrawal of the last of its forces.

Kissinger (US) Applied 'Multi-Polarity' Policy

1973 - 1976

Dr Henry Kissinger, who was an advisors on matters of national securitu during Nixon's first administration an served as US secreatry of state from '73 to '77, attempted to defuse International tension. He was concerned with the 'bipolar' condition in international affairs (with the 2 major rivals, US and USSR, opposing each other on a global scale). Kissinger sought a less-rigid 'multi-polarity' in international affairs. He also believed that the USA should drop their 'superhero' roll (which put them in a lot of potential conflict situations) and that the Soviet commitment to world communism was unachievable and hence not a worry. He thought that if the relations between great powers could develop in a sense of mutual interest, ideological rivalries could be largely put aside which would assist in defusing the Cold War tensions.

Communist Forces Gained Vietnam

1975

There was a renewed burst of fighting in Vietnam in April/MAy of 1975, where pro-communist north vietnam forces seized Saigon, deposed South Vietnames forces and established control over the entire nation. Cold War tensions shot up once again, as the domino theory seemed to have been proven - a major domino (Vietnam) had fallen to Communism.

Diplomatic Relationship between USA and China Restored

1979

Effective from the 1st of January, 1979, President James Earl Carter restored full diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.

Soviet Occupy Afghanistan

1980

By this stage, there had been much progress towards 'detente', however a great deal of that was reversed with the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. They claimed they had been invited in by the government of Afghanistan under a Treaty of Friendship signed in '78 to aid the suppression of a rebel group. This greatly re-escalated Cold War tensions.

US Presidents

Roosevelt

1945 - April 12, 1945

Truman

April 12 1945 - January 20 1953

Eisenhower

January 20 1953 - January 20 1961

Kennedy

January 20 1961 - November 22 1963

Johnson

November 22 1963 - January 20 1969

Nixon

January 20 1969 - August 9 1974

Ford

August 9 1974 - January 20 1977

Carter

January 20 1977 - January 20 1981

Soviet Leader

Stalin

1945 - 16 October 1952

Khrushchev

14 September 1953 - 14 October 1964

Brezhnev

14 October 1964 - 10 November 1982