Cold War

Timeline of Cold War events: 1943 - 1993


Cold War: supporting resources


  • Student resources
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    A world divided: Superpower Relations 1945-62

    Comprehensive notes cover:

    . Early developments in the Cold War 1945-49
    . Cold war in the 1950s
    . Three Crises:
    . The Berlin Crisis of 1961
    . The Cuban Missile Crisis
    . Czechoslovakia


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  • Films
    Numerous films portray the Cold War. Below are some of our recommendations., based on what I have used in class. Be beware that some content my be inappropriate for your class. Please check before showing.
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  • YouTube

    Click the Youtube link to access the GCSE History channel, where numerous relevant clips have been uploaded.
    Check out the 'Cold War' playlist


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  • End of World War II

    Tehran Conference


    Tehran Conference mainly talked about military issues, but Poland's borders were discussed. USA/GB wanted Stalin's help in defeating Germany - Stalin used this to get his way over controlling Eastern Europe after the war.

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    Stalin (USSR)
    Roosevelt (USA)
    Churchill (UK)

    Agreement
    Germany

    . Operation Overlord (D-Day) approved
    . work closely together to defeat Germany
    . Germans to return from Eastern Europe
    Turkey
    . get Turkey on their
    side against Germany

    Tensions
    Germany
    . Stalin wanted to kill German officers so
    they could not start another war
    Poland
    . discussions about the borders for Poland


    November 1943

    Yalta Conference


    Yalta Conference was designed to discuss post war Europe.
    Churchill believed that he could trust Stalin regarding free elections in Poland.

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    Churchill (UK)
    Roosevelt (USA)
    Stalin (USSR)

    Agreement
    Germany

    . disarmed
    . split into 4 zones
    . pay reparations

    Poland
    . free elections
    +
    . USSR to fight Japan
    . United Nations to replace League

    Tensions
    Poland
    . USSR wanted Poland's borders moved,
    wanting Polish land
    . USSR wanted Eastern European countries to be under their
    'sphere of influence'


    sentiment_very_satisfied
    February 1945

    Potsdam Conference


    Britain had a new prime Minister & USA a new president at the conference.
    Aim was to decide what to do with Germany, peace treaties & the
    consequences of war.

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    Attlee (UK)
    Truman(USA)
    Stalin (USSR)

    Agreement
    Germany

    . Nazi party banned
    . equipment taken as reparations
    . Germans to return from Eastern Europe
    Poland
    . borders agreed
    Vietnam
    . agreed to divide into North & South

    Tensions
    Poland
    . Polish leaders imprisoned & communists
    take over
    Atomic bomb
    . USA not tell Stalin about the atomic bomb


    sentiment_very_satisfied
    10 April 2022

    Dropping of the atomic bombs


    Atomic bomb
    Considered a demonstration bombing to show the Japanese the power. Decided not to show to keep element of surprise.
    Targets were selected.
    Hoped after one atomic bomb drop Japan would surrender, therefore
    casualties less than invasion.
    No US deaths compared with up to 1 million if the US invaded Japan

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    First atomic bomb
    Hiroshima - 6th August 1945
    Killed 90,000 - 150,000 +
    Many died months after 70% of
    the city destroyed
    Japanese govt. gave no
    public response about
    bomb & continued the war.

    Second atomic bomb
    Nagasaki - 9th August 1945
    40,000 - 80,000 killed
    Many died months after
    Damage restricted by hillsides around Nagasaki


    August 1945
  • The Iron Curtain and the evolution of East - West rivalry

    Long telegrams


    Long telegram from George Kennan
    US Embassy in Moscow
    USSR was building up its military for war against USA
    Stalin wanted to destroy capitalism

    sentiment_very_satisfied
    February 1946

    Iron Curtain Speech


    Churchill made a speech in the USA saying:
    Communism was against democracy & freedoms
    Stalin wanted to spread communism around the world

    Stalin replied saying:
    Churchill was trying to start a war
    Eastern Europe wanted communism

    5 March 1946

    Long telegram


    Novikov telegram from
    USSR Embassy in USA
    USA not into co-operation with USSR
    USA wanted to dominate the world
    USA was preparing for war against USSR

    sentiment_very_satisfied
    September 1946

    Germany


    Germany caused lots of disagreements
    Reparations:
    USA said USSR went against agreements
    Rebuilding Germany:
    USA wanted to rebuild Germany
    USSR wanted to keep Germany weak

    Democracy:
    USA wanted free & open elections in Germany
    USSR did not want free & open elections

    1946

    Truman Doctrine


    National Security Act 1947
    Established:
    . Department of Defence
    . National Security Council
    . Criminal Intelligence Agency (CIA)


    Containment
    USA giving money and military help to countries to fight communism
    Consequences:
    Truman said world was now divided:
    free = USA not free = USSR
    USA was now committed to Containment

    Domino Theory
    Greece & Turkey got money from the USA to fight communists.

    USA was scared if one country went communist its neighbour might go communist and then spread everywhere.


    Greece & Turkey
    . Support for Greece and Turkey to fight the communists after Britain could no longer afford to help


    1947

    Marshall Plan


    USA helped Europe rebuild after the war
    USA sent:
    . grants & loans
    . equipment
    . goods

    USA got:
    . countries to buy their goods
    . chance to invest in Europe
    . allegiance from European countries so less likely to become communist

    Consequences
    . Western Europe not become communist
    . Europe start trading again - good for Europe & USA

    . Europe became divided between: East & West (Iron Curtain)
    . Stalin said Marshall Plan was to control W.Europe

    April 1948

    Berlin Blockade & Airlift


    . USA / France / UK joined their zones to form one country
    . 23rd June allies introduced a new currency 'DeutscheMark'
    . 24th June Stalin ordered West Berlin to be cut-off - blockaded

    Allies had a choice: give up on West Berlin or supply it from the air.

    The Berlin Airlift began on 26th June 1948


    Airlift Facts
    Start: 26th June 1948
    Finish: 12 May 1949

    Needed to supply 2 million people with everything they needed to live.
    Around 277,000 flights
    Flight crews, not get out in Berlin - unloaded the planes then took off straight away.
    Only 12 crashes, killing 31

    2.3 million tons of supplies - 65% of cargo was coal
    Candy Bombers: Crews threw sweets out of the planes to children
    Soviets harassed the planes but did not risk shooting down a plane.


    26 June 1948

    Soviet control of Eastern Europe


    By 1949 these countries became communist controlled
    & came under the influence of Stalin:

    Poland . Czechoslovakia . East Germany . Hungary
    Romania . Bulgaria . Albania . Yugoslavia


    Buffer zone
    Eastern European countries to act as
    a military ‘buffer zone’ between Germany and the USSR.
    Power vacuum
    With the end of German rule many countries lacked government & law & order.
    Soviet 'sphere of influence'
    Stalin saw this as an opportunity to extend his influence over others - 'world communism'.
    Red Army
    With the Red Army in Eastern European countries Stalin knew there was little the West could do to get him out - except by using atomic bombs.

    sentiment_very_satisfied
    1949

    Division of Germany


    Germany was run by the occupying countries:
    USA, UK, France and USSR until 1949.
    Different countries had different ideas about what Germany should look like in the future

    USA
    . wanted Germany to be poor and mainly a farming country.
    UK
    . did not want to spend money on helping Germany
    USSR
    . took goods from Germany as compensation, and placed communists
    in control


    West Germany
    Federal Republic of Germany
    1948 elections, a government
    was formed
    20 September 1949 became FRG
    1949 elections: communists won 5.7%
    East Germany
    German Democratic Republic
    1946 elections: socialists won
    USSR controlled the socialists
    7 October 1949 became GDR
    1950 elections: socialists won 99%

    1949

Cold War : timeline


  • Tehran Conference, 1943



    Tehran Conference


    Tehran Conference mainly talked about military issues, but Poland's borders were discussed. USA/GB wanted Stalin's help in defeating Germany - Stalin used this to get his way over controlling Eastern Europe after the war.

    Agreement
    Germany

    . Operation Overlord (D-Day) approved
    . work closely together to defeat Germany
    . Germans to return from Eastern Europe
    Turkey
    . get Turkey on their
    side against Germany
    Tensions
    Germany
    . Stalin wanted to kill German officers so
    they could not start another war
    Poland
    . discussions about the borders for Poland
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    Participants
    USSR: Joseph Stalin
    USA: Franklin Rossevelt
    USA: Winston Churchill
  • Yalta Confenece, 1945



    Yalta Conference


    Yalta Conference was designed to discuss post war Europe.
    Churchill believed that he could trust Stalin regarding free elections in Poland.

    Agreement
    Germany

    . disarmed
    . split into 4 zones
    . pay reparations

    Poland
    . free elections
    +
    . USSR to fight Japan
    . United Nations to replace League
    Tensions
    Poland
    . USSR wanted Poland's borders moved,
    wanting Polish land
    . USSR wanted Eastern European countries to be under their
    'sphere of influence'
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    Participants
    USSR: Joseph Stalin
    USA: Franklin Rossevelt
    USA: Winston Churchill
  • Potsdam Conference, 1945



    Potsdam Conference


    Britain had a new prime Minister & USA a new president at the conference.
    Aim was to decide what to do with Germany, peace treaties & the consequences of war.

    Agreement
    Germany

    . disarmed
    . split into 4 zones
    . pay reparations

    Poland
    . free elections
    +
    . USSR to fight Japan
    . United Nations to replace League
    Tensions
    Poland
    . USSR wanted Poland's borders moved,
    wanting Polish land
    . USSR wanted Eastern European countries to be under their
    'sphere of influence'
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    Participants
    USSR: Joseph Stalin
    USA: Harry Truman
    UK: Winston Churchill - Clement Attlee
  • Atomic bombs, 1945



    Atomic Bombs


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    Hiroshima: 6 August 1945
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    Nagasaki: 9 August 1945
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    play1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=584k0gwvhUs
    A look at whether it was right or wrong to drop the atomic bombs on Japan
    2:30
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    Dropping the atomic bomb

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    play1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCZC6CaB098
    Survivor of Hiroshima talks about his experience
    02:33
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    Survivor of Hi=roshima

  • Long Telegrams, 1946



    Telegrams


    US Embassy in Moscow
    In 1946, George Kennan summarised the Soviet position:
    . USSR was building up its military for war against USA
    . Stalin wanted to spread communism
    . Stalin wanted to destroy capitalism
    . The USA could 'contain' this threat
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    USSR Embassy in Washington DC
    The USSR response 'Novikov Telegram' was:
    . USA not into co-operation with USSR
    . USA wanted to dominate the world
    . USA was preparing for war against USSR
    . USSR needed a buffer zone in Eastern Europe
  • Iron Curtain Speech 1946



    Iron Curtain Speech


    Winston Churchill was no longer PM in Britain, when he gave the speech, on 5th March 1946, in the USAbut was considered a hero in the USA. His opinions were ‘highly regarded’.

    In that speech he famously noted that
    “from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent”.


    Key points:
    the threat of fascism has been replaced by communism
    Communism was against democracy & freedoms
    Stalin wanted to spread communism around the world

    Stalin replied saying:
    Churchill was trying to start a war
    Eastern Europe wanted communism
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  • Greek Civil War, 1946



    Greece


    Greek fighters - communists and non communists had resisted the Nazis during WWII. The British brought these two groups together to rule Greece, but the communists broke away and a civil war followed. In February 1946, the communists accepted defeat.
    New elections took place and the King of Greece returned. The communists then started a guerrilla warfare. Britain could no longer financially support the Greek government so the USA stepped in and eventually the communists were defeated in 1949.
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  • Truman Doctrine, 1947



    Truman Doctrine


    Events in Greece and Turkey - the potential spread of communism, alarmed Britain and the USA. The communist party in Greece was gaining support and the spread of communism was a genuine concern.


    National Security Act 1947

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    A war of beliefs

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  • Poland 1947



    Poland


    In February 1947, the British announced it could not longer financially support the Greek King in its fight against communists.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
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  • Cominform 1947



    Cominform


    Response to the Truman Doctrine
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    Containment

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
    Domino Theory

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.

  • Czechoslovakia 1948



    Czechoslovakia


    In February 1947, the British announced it could not longer financially support the Greek King in its fight against communists.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
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  • Marshall Plan 1948



    Marshall Plan


    Rebuilding Europe

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    Loans received by different countries

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    Examples of funding

    The following are a few examples of specific programmes :
    • Paid $16.8 million to transport private voluntary relief packages from Americans to Europe.
    • Funded building of a new wharf (port) in North Borneo to help that British colony export rubber.
    • Assisted in building railroads and water systems in French North Africa.
    • $50 million for medicine to stop tuberculosis.
    • Technical assistance program: over 3,000 Europeans made six-month visits to various U.S. industries to learn new techniques; there was a similar program in agriculture.
    • The Ford Motor Co. in Britain received funds to replace machine tools needed to produce cars, trucks & tractors for export.
    • The Otis Elevator Company (U.S.) helped to modernise British factories.
    • The French aircraft industry was able to purchase (buy) propellers for the aircraft it is producing.
    • An alcohol production plant in Scotland was granted $6.5 million, thereby reducing Britain’s need to import alcohol and facilitating plastic, pharmaceutical, and rayon production.

  • Berlin Blockade and Airlift, 1948



    Berlin Blockade and Airlift


    Response to the Truman Doctrine
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    Containment

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
    Domino Theory

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.

  • Division of Germany 1949



    Division of Germany


    After 1945
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    Containment

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
    Domino Theory

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.

  • NATO 1949



    NATO


    After 1945
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    Containment

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
    Domino Theory

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.

  • Arms and Space Race, 1940s and 1950s



    Arms and Space race


    Background
    Manhattan Project
    Secret research & development project to build an atomic bomb approved by President Roosevelt in Oct. 1941.
    US & British scientists tested the first bomb in July 1945.
    Atomic diplomacy
    . Truman hoped to get concessions out of Stalin whilst USA was superior in nuclear weapons

    . Eisenhower thought nuclear weapons threat brought peace in Korea

    (little evidence that either
    President's policy worked)
    Russian spying
    Russians had been spying in the USA & Britain since before WWII.
    E.g. Klaus Fuchs admitted to spying in 1950.
    The ability of the USSR to build their own bomb in 1949, was largely because of their spying.
    Problems with atomic bombs
    . suited for large targets like cities
    . large numbers of casualties
    . ethical issues arise
    . more difficult to be accurate against military targets
    . not guaranteed to destroy military targets, therefore retaliation on a large scale is likely

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    Arms Race timeline, 1945 - 1955

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  • Korean War, 1950 - 1953



    Arms and Space race


    After 1945
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    Containment

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
    Domino Theory

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.

  • Peaceful Co-existence, 1956



    Arms and Space race


    After 1945
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    Containment

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
    Domino Theory

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.

  • Hungary, 1956



    Arms and Space race


    After 1945
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    Containment

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
    Domino Theory

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.

  • U2 Incident, 1960



    Arms and Space race


    Background
    Manhattan Project
    Secret research & development project to build an atomic bomb approved by President Roosevelt in Oct. 1941.
    US & British scientists tested the first bomb in July 1945.
    Atomic diplomacy
    . Truman hoped to get concessions out of Stalin whilst USA was superior in nuclear weapons

    . Eisenhower thought nuclear weapons threat brought peace in Korea

    (little evidence that either
    President's policy worked)
    Russian spying
    Russians had been spying in the USA & Britain since before WWII.
    E.g. Klaus Fuchs admitted to spying in 1950.
    The ability of the USSR to build their own bomb in 1949, was largely because of their spying.
    Problems with atomic bombs
    . suited for large targets like cities
    . large numbers of casualties
    . ethical issues arise
    . more difficult to be accurate against military targets
    . not guaranteed to destroy military targets, therefore retaliation on a large scale is likely

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    Arms Race timeline, 1945 - 1955

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  • Berlin Wall, 1961



    Arms and Space race


    After 1945
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.

    Containment

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
    Domino Theory

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.

  • Cuban Missle Crisis, 1962



    Arms and Space race


    After 1945
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.

    Containment

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
    Domino Theory

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.