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Cold War 1945-1953

Updated on August 14, 2017

When did the Cold War start?

•Some Historians argue the Cold War started when America dropped the Atomic Bomb on Japan without informing the Soviet Union in 1945

•Some argue that it was when Winston Churchill delivered his "Sinews of Peace" addressing the Soviet Sphere of influence of Eastern Europe in 1947

•However most Historians agree that it started in 1947 when the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan was created

President Harry Truman delivering his proposal to contain communism in front of the congress on 12th March 1947, which later was known as the Truman Doctrine
President Harry Truman delivering his proposal to contain communism in front of the congress on 12th March 1947, which later was known as the Truman Doctrine

Truman Doctrine

•The Truman Doctrine was an American Policy created by the American President Harry Truman in 12th March 1947

•It stated that it was the job of the United States to protect other nations from falling into Communism that the Soviet Union are influencing

•In other ways it was a direct prevention of Joseph Stalin’s aim to spread communism around the world

Marshall Plan

•The Marshall Plan was an initiative made by the United States to aid countries in Western Europe in 8th April 1948

•It was a 4 year program in where the United States would try and rebuild Western Europe by giving and lending them money, opening trade links etc.

•Stalin despised this as he saw this initiative as a plan for other countries to be more reliant on America’s money and therefore he did not let any of his satellite states receive this aid.

“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent.”

Winston Churchill

George Marshall
George Marshall


•Cominform was established in 5th October 1947 by the Soviet Union to try and unite all the communist parties in the Eastern Bloc and try to give the Soviet Union more influence over its Satellite States

•It was to counter the Truman Doctrine, and because of this organisation, all of the members rejected the Marshall Aid.



•Comecon was an economic alliance in established in 5th January 1949 by Joseph Stalin to counter the Marshall Plan in Eastern Europe

•It was to rebuild the economy of Eastern Europe after WWII, and to stop the trades with the western world

•Joseph Stalin knew that the Marshall Aid was very attractive towards some Eastern European countries as they were poor therefore used this alliance to counter it


Berlin Blockade

Causes of the Berlin Blockade

•USA wanted a strong and wealthy Germany and not repeat the mistake of the first world war, but the USSR wanted to make Germany weak an poor therefore would have no threat against the them

•USA and Britain joined their occupied parts of Germany and made Bizonia, USSR was extremely angry as USA and Britain were trying to build a strong Germany

•The final straw was when the USA introduced the “Deutschmark” as the new currency of Bizonia in 1st June 1948

The Deutsche Mark
The Deutsche Mark

During the Berlin Blockade

•The Berlin Blockade started on 24th June 1948 and ended on 12th May 1949.

•During this time, the Allied Powers were not able to access West Berlin, because Stalin blocked off all roads and rail going there.

•This was when the Allied Powers started what was called the Berlin Airlift to supply coal, food, clothing and basic necessities to the people in West Berlin

Berlin Blockade
Berlin Blockade

Berlin Airlift

•On 28th June 1948, 2 days after Stalin started the Berlin Blockade, the first British aircraft flew to Berlin carrying Basic Necessities like coal, clothing, food.

•None of the planes flying to Berlin ever got shot down

•The Berlin Airlift lasted for fifteen months and finally ended on 30th September 1949 as the Allied Powers wanted to have a surplus amount if the Berlin Airlift was needed again it would give the planes enough time

Berlin Airlift
Berlin Airlift

Results of the Berlin Blockade

•USSR failed at holding West Berlin hostage and was a disaster

•The Allied powers however had a huge success, they had beaten the USSR without having to fire a single shot.


•NATO was founded 4th April 1949

•The founding members were: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and United States

•It was a defensive alliance that states if one member was attacked, then every member in this organisation would defend and go to war with that external party.


•NSC-68 was a top secret 58 page policy paper presented by the United States Security Council to President Harry Truman

•It stated that the United States should apply more spending to its military as the threat of the USSR and take a more aggressive approach

•It also stated the Domino Theory which explained if one country fall into communism the neighbouring countries would soon too

Korean War

•The Korean War started on 25th June 1950 and ended on 27th June 1953

•It started when the NKPA invaded South Korea and pushed the forces back to Pusan.

•South Korea requested for the help of the UN and under the United States influence, North Korea was seen as an aggressor therefore the UN sent troops and military aid to South Korea under General Macarthur.

•The forces pushed each other back and forth until an armistice was proposed at the 38th Parallel, the exact place where the fighting began

•This was a huge success to the USA as they have succeeded in containing communism based on the Domino Theory


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