• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE International relations 1945-1991 essays

  1. Falklands war question. Factors that helped the British win.

    Britain saw that as a threat, and decided to sink Belgrano in order to take off 1 side of the pincer movement. This tactic enabled them to be sure that they weren't receiving pincer attacks which had the potential to wipe out the British fleet.

  2. The Cold War - major events. Revision notes.

    reporters, photographs were sending back to USA and Europe and everybody saw what was going on (children being killed by chemical weapons, people watching their house setting fire) * There were protest all around the country (on universities, etc) The My Lai massacre * March 1968, a unit of American

  1. How Far Was Gorbachev Responsible For The End Of Soviet Union?

    It also demonstrates how dangerous nationalism and how far it could spread. However for the most part it remained a threat, it should be remembered that the declarations of sovereignty were not calls for independence. Gorbachev played a role in fuelling nationalism, but it was relatively a minor role.

  2. How did the Red scare and McCarthyism become such a dominant force in the ...

    Truman believed Hiss and dismissed the case, but Richard Nixon, a member of the HUAC, was suspicious of him, and decided to pursue the case. He eventually found debateable evidence against Hiss, but Hiss denied the charge.

  1. The Cuban Missile Crisis: Was President Kennedy the Saviour of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

    confilct with Cuba and possibly the USSR and there would be alot of American casualties * There could be an invasion of Cuba by US Armed Forces who would destroy all missiles and sites but again, the would result in a war with Cuba and perhaps the USSR.

  2. Edexcel Cold War 1943-1991 Revision (Detailed)

    ?West Berlin? created as all Western Allies formed trizonia. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ? April 1949 Berlin had confirmed Truman?s commitment to containment in Europe and highlighted the threat to Western Europe. Western European states combined were absolutely no match for the Soviet Union.

  1. Cold War Summary, quotes and revision notes.

    Distrust - Negotiation over any issue was difficult - Encouraged the arms race & space race - Each side felt it needed to deal with the other from a position of superiority Spying (Espionage) - USA created a National Security Council in 1947 and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

  2. How important was the nuclear arms race in the development of tensions during the ...

    The USSR felt the need two surpass the USA on arms and so by August 1949, the USSR had their own A-bomb. The increase in weapons and competition over military might was initially begun by the USA to contain communism.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work