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Flashcards in Cold War Deck (150):

In what year of World War Two did the USA and the USSR end up on the same side?



Why were the countries not natural friends?

I.The USA had lost lots of money when the USSR had turned Communist in 1917.
II.The USA were close friends with Britain and relatives of the British royal family were killed in the Russian Revolution.


What was their “team of countries” (including Britain) known as?

“The big three” or the Grand Alliance.


What was held towards the end of the war to try and continue cooperation between the countries?

Wartime conferences.
Tehran - 1943
Yalta - Feb 1945
Potsdam - Jul-Aug 1945


Why were the USA and the USSR the only Superpowers in the world at the end of World War Two?

Other countries were a lot weaker compared to them.


What exactly is a “Superpower” when talking about countries?

A country with financial, military and cultural influence.


What began to happen between 1945 and 1948?

A Cold War developed between the USA and the USSR.


What was the attitude of the Superpowers throughout the 1950s?

Only cooperate if it is not at the expense of becoming weaker than the other.


What took place in the 1960s?

A series of crisis moments that meant the war almost became a real one.


What happened in the 1970s?

They tried to calm down the Cold War.


What happened in the 1980s?

The USA started the Cold War again after the USSR invaded Afghanistan.


What broke up in 1989?

The influence the USSR had over Eastern Europe collapsed.


What “collapsed” in 1991?



When did President Roosevelt die and what had his attitude to the USSR been?

After the Yalta Conference in 1945. He had had a good relationship with the leader of the USSR in WW2, Stalin.


When was President Truman in office and what were his feelings towards Communism/USSR?

1945 - 1953. He was suspicious of Communism and Stalin.


What was Truman’s “Truman Doctrine”?

From 1947 onwards, he made it USA action to “contain” (prevent) the spread of Communism


When was President Nixon in office and what was his attitude towards the USSR?

The 1970s. He wanted to find a way to build a working partnership with the USSR.


When was Jimmy Carter President and what was the “Carter Doctrine” he developed?

1976 - 1981. The Carter Doctrine was a return to “containing” Communism after 1979.


When was President Reagan in office and what was his attitude towards communism and the USSR?

1981-1989. He wanted to go further than containing Communism, he wanted to defeat it.


What did Stalin want to make sure for the USSR at the end of World War Two and when did he he die?

He wanted to make sure the USSR was safe from aggression. He died in 1953.


When was Khrushchev’s time as Premier and how was he less “hardline” than Stalin?

Khrushchev became leader in 1956. He wanted peaceful cooperation with the USA but not if it meant being weaker than them.


When did Brezhnev become Premier of the USSR and what was his “Brezhnev Doctrine” (1968)?

After 1963. His doctrine that any Communist country could only do Communism the way the USSR does it.


How was Gorbachev different to the other Soviet leaders?

He allowed more openness of the government and he introduced some capitalism into the USSR.


Who became President of Russia once
Gorbachev resigned in 1991?

Boris Yeltsin.


How was a capitalist country like the USA run?

I.Personal freedoms
II.Private businesses
III.Private wealth


How was a communist country like the USSR run?

I.Restriction on freedoms (e.g. speech)
II.Government owns everything
III.Government makes big decisions for people


What reasons, going as far back as 1917, did the USA and the USSR have for not being natural friends?

I.The USA had lots of money invested in Russia before it became the Communist USSR in 1917. They lost it all.

II.The USA were good friends with Britain and the Communists had killed the Russian royal family, who were relations of the British royal family.


What were the three conferences held between 1943 and 1945 to discuss the future of the world after WW2?



What was agreed at the Tehran Conference in 1943?

I.The Grand Alliance agreed to cooperate.
II.The USA and GB would invade Nazi occupied France at the earliest chance.
III.the USSR would attack Japan.
IV.They would set up the UN.


What was agreed at the Yalta Conference in Feb 1945?

I.Germany would be split into four zones and Berlin would be split into four, despite being in the USSR’s zone.
II.USSR would attack Japan
III.German war criminal would be punished
IV.Free elections in occupied countries
V.Free elections in Poland


Who replaced FDR as President of the USA for the Potsdam Conference?

Truman (suspicious of Communism and did not like Stalin)


What created tension at the Potsdam Conference in Jul-Aug 1945?

I.Change of leaders
II.Stalin wanted influence in Poland
III.The USA used the atom bomb on Japan without telling the USSR.


When did the USA use the atomic bombs on Japan and what war ended as a result of their use?

August 1945, during the Potsdam Conference. WW2 came to an end.


What were two consequences of the USA using the atomic bomb against Japan?

I.The USSR built their own and the arms race began.

II. The USSR tightened its control over countries it occupied in Eastern Europe.


In what year did the USSR get its own atomic bomb?



What did George Kennan’s Long Telegram say about the USSR in 1946?

The USSR was expanding its control and was aggressively trying to take over land in Europe.


What did the USSR’s Novikov telegram say about the USA in reply?

The USA were aggressive and looking to dominate the world with its power.


What Eastern European countries became Satellite States of the USSR up to 1948?

Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria


Give examples of how different countries, especially Poland, came to be Satellite States

I.Rigged elections.

II.Communists taking key roles in coalition governments.

III.The Red Army.


What did Winston Churchill famously say, in 1946, was happening in Europe?

An ‘Iron Curtain’ was developing between free capitalist countries and Communist countries.


How did the USA view the USSR’s creation of “Satellite States”?

I.As an aggressive move – empire building


What was Stalin’s justification for Satellite States?

I.That it was a buffer against future invasion.

II.Communism was good for the people.


What was the main message of the Truman Doctrine Speech in 1947?

To contain/stop the spread of communism


What was happening in Greece and Turkey that moved him to make the speech when he did?

I.Civil War and Communist uprisings.

II.Britain couldn’t deal with the situation so the USA had to do the “Superpower” thing by stepping in.


What was the purpose of the Marshall Plan?

To help Europe recover from war and stop communism


What are three examples of countries got money as a consequence of the Marshall Plan?

I.UK - $3,297 million
II.West Germany - $1,448 million
III.France - $2,296 million


What was the importance of the Marshall Plan for the world?

I.It increased the USSR’s determination to secure influence of its own.

II.It increased the divide between Communist and capitalist countries because the USSR pressured their satellite states to reject Marshall Aid.

III.It led to the USSR setting up cominform and then later comecon.


What country had a Communist takeover in February 1948?



What was the purpose of the USSR’s Cominform?

To spread communism and organised the economies of communist states


What was the USSR’s alternative to the Marshall Plan, set up in 1949?



How was Germany divided at the end of WW2?

Into four zones. A French one, a British one, an American one and a Russian one.


When was bizonia and trizonia (joining of the three capitalist zones) created with the western zones of Germany?



When did the western zones introduce a new currency and what was the importance of this? How did Stalin respond, in June 1948?

June 1947 – it made the West noticeably richer than the East.

He blocked off West Berlin in an attempt to force the West out of the city.


How did the USA respond?

Airlifted supplies into the city on a constant flight rotation for many months.


What was formed on the 23rd May, three days after the end of the Blockade?



What was the importance of the Blockade for relations between the USSR and the USA?

I.It showed how low relations had got between the USA and the USSR.

II.It increased tension because it made the USSR look like the bad guys and the USA look like the good guys for trying to break the Blockade.


Which countries joined NATO (1949)?

Lots, including – USA, France, GB, Iceland, Canada ... (West Germany didn’t join until 1955)


What countries joined the Warsaw Pact (1955)

Poland, USSR, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia East Germany etc


What was the purpose of each?

Defence against the other


What had started the arms race back in 1945?

The USA’s development and use of an atomic bomb


How much more powerful was the hydrogen bomb the USA developed in 1952?



What did the USSR develop in 1953?



What is an ICBM?

Inter-continental ballistic missile. A missile that can fly between continents


When was the first American ICBM developed?



What failed to be agreed at a summit meeting in July 1955?



What was the secret speech?

A speech by Khrushchev which announced peaceful coexistence and destalinisation


Why did peaceful coexistence not work out?

It was a contradiction. It was based on there being cooperation but at the same time there was no question that Khrushchev would do anything that would make the USSR look bad or weak in comparison to the the Americans.


Why were the people of Hungary unhappy in 1956?

I.The brutal secret police
II.Poor living conditions
III.Their economy was being exploited by the USSR - food and raw materials were being taken by the USSR


Who replaced Rakosi as leader of the country?



What did supporters of Nagy do when they saw Soviet tanks and soldiers?

Fought them – often with homemade bombs


Why did the USA not want to get involved (two reasons)?

I.Fear of Nuclear war
II.Hungary was in the Soviet ‘sphere’ of influence
III.The Americans were more occupied with a crisis in Egypt over ownership of the Suez canal.


What was the standard of living like in East Germany?



Why did skilled workers particularly want to leave East Germany?

For better pay and greater freedoms


Why were older and more vulnerable people happy to stay in East Germany?

They were supported by the state. They knew they would have an apartment etc.


What was Khrushchev’s ultimatum over the city of Berlin, issued on the 27th November 1958?

That the allies should leave the city to make it a neutral free city.


Due to the fact no side, the east or the west wanted a war, what took place to try to sort out the issue of Berlin?

The Paris and Vienna Summits


What major event led to a breakdown in relations during talks in Paris in May 1960?

An American spy plane was shot down in the USSR


How did US President Kennedy appear tough and determined over Berlin at talks with Khrushchev in Vienna in 1961?

He refused to withdraw western forces from Berlin and increased defence spending


What did East German troops begin doing on the night of August 12th 1961?

Building a wall in Berlin


How long was the eventual concrete wall?

43km (27 miles)


How did people try to escape East Berlin while the wall was being built?

Jumping the barriers, jumping out of windows, running through checkpoints


How did the wall help the USSR but also show them to be the “bad guys”?

It stopped migration to the West but made East Germany like a prison


How was the West able to use the Wall as a propaganda victory?

It made East Germany and Communism seem like a prison


What was the theme of the speech that President Kennedy gave in front of the wall in the June of 1963?

That freedom was better than communism, that the USA would defend West Berlin and that the Berlin Wall was wrong


What had happened in Cuba in 1959?

A revolution


What had President Eisenhower began planning for in 1960?

The Bay of Pigs


How big was the invasion force that landed at the Bay of Pigs on the 17th April 1961?

2,000 Cuban exiles


Why did the invasion force of Cuban ‘exiles’ fail
(at least two reasons)?

I.The Cuban army knew the plan
They didn’t have enough men or weapons.
II.American support wasn’t enough.


How did the failed invasion make the USA look like hypocrites?

The USA trying to remove a popular leader to replace them with a dictator.


What did Castro do afterwards to demonstrate the forging of stronger links between Cuba and the USSR?

I.Started trading with the USSR.
II.Declared the Cuban revolution to have been a Communist one.
III.Began talks with Khrushchev about putting nuclear missiles in Cuba.


Why was Khrushchev taking the steps to place missiles in Cuba (at least two reasons)?

I. Protect Cuba
II.Threaten the USA
III.Even out the balance of power (the USA had weapons near the USSR)


What action did President Kennedy have to choose between doing?

I.Blockade or Invasion
II.Bomb Cuba and risk Nuclear war
III.Protest to the UN


What was set up around Cuba on the 22nd October and for what purpose?

A naval blockade


What happened when the USSR’s ships reached the Blockade on the 24th October?

They turned around


What was the difference between two telegrams that Khrushchev sent Kennedy on the 26th and 27th October?

The first didn’t mention the US missiles in Turkey and the second did


What did the Americans secretly agree to do as part of the deal for the USSR removing their missiles from Cuba?

Remove missiles from Cuba


What was the hotline that was set up as a consequence of the crisis??

To avoid another crisis


Where did the nuclear test ban treaty (another consequence of the crisis), signed in August 1963, prevent nuclear tests taking place?

Space – the atmosphere


What was the purpose of the 1967 “Outer Space” treaty?

To stop nuclear weapons being placed in space


What did the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty mean?

Stop the spread of nuclear weapons to more countries


Why were citizens in Czechoslovakia annoyed?

I.No freedoms
II.Poor living conditions
III.Declining economy


What kind of Communism did Alexander Dubcek want for Czechoslovakia?

More ‘relaxed’, more freedoms for the people, more contact with the West


What reforms were part of Dubcek’s ‘Prague Spring’?

I.Free trials
II.More political freedom
III.Free travel
IV.Free press


Why was the Soviet leader, Brezhnev, worried about these reforms?

They might bring down communism across Eastern Europe


What eventually happened on 20th August, 1968?

The USSR and Warsaw pact invaded


What were the Czech army ordered to do while the Warsaw Pact troops invaded?

Not resist


What was the Brezhnev Doctrine that was developed because of events in Czechoslovakia?

To use force to stop any country that was acting in a way that might cause communism to fall


How did other countries in the Warsaw Pact (Romania and Yugoslavia) respond to events in Prague?

Were very nervous and didn’t want to support them


How did Poland and East Germany respond?

They asked the USSR for support – cracked down on opposition


Why was the USA in a difficult position to take meaningful action against the USSR (two reasons)?

Their economy was in bad condition
It was in the USSR sphere of influence


What was Detente?

An easing of tensions in the Cold War in the 1970s.


Why did the USA want easier relations at this time?

Their economy was poor.


Why did the USSR want easier relations at this time?

Their economy was poor.
They wanted to reduce their spending on weapons.


What was in SALT 1?

An attempt to reduce nuclear weapons.


What three agreements were made as part of the Helsinki Accords in August 1975?

I.Security – Eastern European borders would be recognised.
II.Co-operation – the USA and USSR would share some ideas and trade resources.
III.Human rights – both countries agreed to protect basic human rights like free speech.


Why did Basket 3 lead to some disagreement on the part of the USSR?

They did not have the same understanding of human rights


What was SALT 2 supposed to include?

Limiting the number and type of nuclear weapons


What events had led to the spirit of detente beginning to fade by 1979?

USSR invaded Afghanistan


Where did Soviet troops invade on Christmas Eve 1979?



What was the name of the pro-Soviet leader put in in place in Afghanistan?

Babrak Kamal


What were the name of the Afghan fighters who stood up against Babrak Kamal?



How much did the war cost the USSR per year?

$8.2 billion


How many Soviet troops were killed?



How did Carter respond to the Soviet invasion?

The Carter Doctrine
Sending troops to the Arabian Gulf
Boycotting the Moscow Olympics
Stopping grain shipments


Where was the 1980 Olympics held?



Why did it matter that the USA chose to boycott the Olympics?

They were willing to mix the bad political situation with sport, something the olympics had always sought to avoid happening.


What did it do to the standard of the Olympics?

Lowered it.


What did it do to relations between the USA and the USSR?

Weakened them very badly.


What was beginning to “start” by 1980?

“The second Cold war”


What was Reagan’s attitude to the USSR and what did he call the USSR in a speech in 1983?

He wanted to destroy communism – ‘evil’


How did he boost and develop defence in the USA?

Spending lots more money and developing new weapons (Neutron Bomb, MX missiles, SDI)


What was the “Reagan Doctrine”?

To overwhelm the USSR and win the Cold War by spending lots on arms


What was SDI (The Strategic Defense Initiative)?

A missile defence system in space using giant lasers


What treaty from 1967 did it break?

Outer Space Treaty


How did SDI put pressure on the USSR?

If it existed then in a nuclear war the USA would win as no Soviet missiles would hit the USA


What is Gorbachev alleged to have said to his wife about the USSR when he became leader in 1985?

Communism was doomed


What is the English translation of his two policies, Glasnost and Perestroika?

Glasnost – openness – allowing free speech
Perestroika – restructuring the economy to allow for independent businesses


How did these policies change the USSR?

They allowed people to question the communist party


Why did Gorbachev go to the Reykjavik summit with a desire to find agreement on reducing nuclear weapons?

The USSR’s economy was broken. He had no money to spend on weapons.


What Treaty was signed in December 1987 between the USA and USSR?

INF – reduced the number of shorter range missiles


What did Gorbachev announce to the UN in November 1988?

He was reducing his army by 500,000


When did Hungary take its fence with non-Communist Austria down?



What happened in June 1989 after Solidarity was legalised in Poland?

They won the elections and Walesa became president


What did huge numbers of East Germans begin doing in September 1989 and through which country?

Leaving East Germany through Hungary


When did the border between East and West Germany open and what happened to the Wall?

1989 – it got ripped down


What was the “Velvet Revolution” in Czechoslovakia?

A peaceful revolution from communist to democratic rule


What happened to the brutal Communist President of Romania in December 1989?

He was hung by his own people


What reasons were there for why the Warsaw Pact countries began to act so independently (at least three reasons)?

Gorbachev said he wouldn’t uphold the Brezhnev Doctrine
Gorbachev had allowed freedom of speech and business in the USSR
The Cold War was ending
Their economies were very different and all very poor


How did Communist hardliners turn on Gorbachev because of the breakup of the Warsaw Pact?

They arrested him and tried to take power using force


What happened when Gorbachev announced his resignation as leader of the USSR on Christmas Day 1991?

The communist party was outlawed and Yeltsin took over Russia. All the parts of the USSR became independent countries.