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America responded by beginning development of a more powerful hydrogen bomb, and an arms race continued developing. Neither side particularly wanted to start war

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Introduction

What was the Arms race? In February 1945 there was the Yalta conference which established the division of Berlin and Germany, Russia joined the fight against Japan and few other decisions were made. Then also on 1945 July 17th there was the Potsdam conference in which the leaders agreed that the Germans party should be disarmed and pay reparations to the damage caused in the war. From then on it was all basically downhill. After the German defeat at the battle of the Bulge end of 1944 it became clear to those working on the atomic bombs, that if they were used they would not be against Germany but Japan instead. On June 12th 1945 the committee finalised its recommendations; firstly that the bomb should be used against Japan as soon as possible. Secondly it should be used on a dual target - that is a military installation or war plant surrounded by or facing homes and other nearby buildings sensitive to damage. Also thirdly it should be used without prior warning. Then in August 1945, atomic bombs are dropped on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. ...read more.

Middle

It was called the Intercontinental Ballistic missile (ICBM). Both sides now had Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles with ranges of 1500 to 8 000 miles. So both sides knew that if they launched a missile then the other could easily retaliate this was known as Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D). During the Cold War both sides had threatened to use nuclear weapons the Americans in Korea and Krushchev over Suez in 1956 but they never were used. Krushchev became the new Soviet leader in 1953, after the death of Stalin he had many ideas to change the future. As both sides had immensely powerful nuclear weapons, he recognised that war between them was not an option. In a speech of 1956 he said 'there are only two ways, peaceful co-existence, or the most destructive war in history. There is no third way.' Russia would still seek to expand communism, but not through armed confrontation with the west. At the same time in America anti-communism, which had reached a hysterical peak with the actions of Senator McCarthy, began to decline, and Eisenhower announced that the American people wanted friendly relations with Russia. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fidel Castro had recently seized control and was setting up a Communist style government. The USA was unhappy at this and tried to use their dominance of the sugar trade to control what was happening. But the USSR stepped in and offered to buy Cuba's sugar and tobacco. The USA even supported an invasion at the Bay of Pigs by Cuban exiles and American supporters who wanted to get rid of Castro. It failed and relations between the 2 countries became very hostile. The Cuban missile crisis came in the middle of a tense period: in the USSR Khrushchev was finding that his policies were not always successful - Hungary had rebelled in 1956, and the agricultural policies hadn't achieved as much as he had hoped. Meanwhile Kennedy, the USA president, had recently been humiliated by the Bay of Pigs incident and the U2 spy plane incident. Also he was also desperately trying to catch up with the USSR in the "space race". The USA then found that nuclear missiles were being installed on Cuba, which would be able to reach Washington, New York, and most of the major cities. Alarmed at this, they wanted the missiles moving, without appearing to back down in front of Russian threats. The USSR of course, didn't want to back down either. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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