Arms Race



May 1945


August 1945

Constant Readiness Policy


US Strategic Air Command develop a policy of constant readiness. Commander Curtis Le May identified 6000 targets in the USSR to be hit if war broke out.

First H-Bomb Detonated

November 1952

1000 times more powerful than the A-Bomb.

"Portable" H-Bomb Developed

March 1954

An H-Bomb small enough to be dropped from a bomber.



U2 Spy Plane

July 1956

USA develops a spy plane to spy on Soviet weapons development.

Atlas/Minuteman and Polaris Developed


USA develops Atlas and Minuteman ICBMs. Also Polaris missiles which can be fired from a submarine. US public is wrongly told that the USSR have more missiles than them. Public worry.

Cuban Missile Crisis

October 1962

First Man on the Moon


Apollo 11 - Other Apollos researched to ensure safety of man on the moon. Kennedy had promised to have a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
Other Apollos sent up dogs and humans that orbited the moon to check landing site.


First A-Bomb Detonated

Aug 1949

USSR detonates its first atomic bomb. The USA predicted that the USSR wouldn't be able to develop it until 1953.

First H-Bomb Detonated

August 1953

"Portable" H-Bomb Tested

September 1954

First ICBM Developed

May 1957

Inter continental ballistic missile

Sputnik 1

4 October 1957

USSR launches Sputnik satellite into orbit. USA shocked by Soviet advances in the "Space Race". USSR can now launch rockets into Earth's atmosphere and guide them to a target. Could be applied to missiles with nuclear warheads. Start of the Space Race.

First Man In Space

12 April 1961

Yuri Gagarin is the first man in space. He went up in the Vostok 1 satellite and received many awards for his achievement.

Bigger H-Bomb Detonated

October 1961

USSR detonates an H-Bomb with more power than all of the explosives used in WW2 from both sides put together.

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

5 August 1963

USA and USSR agree, in Moscow, not to test any more nuclear weapons.