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Define 'Potemkinism'

A term invented by the historian John Lewis-Gaddis to describe the Soviet attitude to boasting about nuclear superiority whereby they built *just enough* capability to provide the illusion that more lies behind it.
An example of this was the 1955 Moscow Air Show. The identifying numbers on the planes were deliberately painted out so that the pilots could do several flypasts in front of foreign guests- displaying Russian aerial dominance by creating the illusion that the USSR possessed more planes than they actually did in reality.


How did Eisenhower react to the 1957 Gaither Report? How does this challenge or undermine the policy of Massive Retaliation?

Eisenhower was reportedly shocked. He said “We can’t have a war…There aren’t enough bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the streets.”, raising doubts as to the sincerity of the threat of massive retaliation.


Why did the arms race develop?

1. It was proof of ideological superiority
2. Domestic pressure of a military industrial complex: 30 million Americans were employed either by the military or the big arms companies- similarly the red army generals wanted to consolidate their positions
3. Fear and suspicion


Identify a nuclear incident which happened in July 1961

The K-19 Submarine incident, subject of the play 'duel'. 22 Soviet crew members died from the effects of the radiation


Give a quote from Robert MacNamara which illustrates how close the world was to nuclear destruction during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

"We lucked out"


What was the Doomsday Clock?

Founded in 1947 by a group of American nuclear scientists, it uses a 24 hour clock to metaphorically represent how close the world is to 'midnight' or nuclear destruction.
1953 Was the closest the clock has ever been to midnight at 2 minutes to midnight: the year both the USA and the USSR tested atomic weapons.


To whom can the quote "We're eyeball to eyeball and I think the other fellow just blinked" be attributed to?

Dean Rusk


Why were missiles placed on Cuba?

The Bay of pigs invasion and Operation Mongoose made Castro fear invasion from the USA, so he asked the USSR to provide protection, which they did in the form of missiles


When was the Cuban revolution?



Who was to blame for the Cuban Missile Crisis?

THE USA= Arguably, the USA should have accepted communism in Cuba, rather than trying to provoke Castro through the Bay of Pigs and Operation Mongoose. Some argue that Kennedy reacted so quickly was because he wanted the missiles gone before the November elections

THE USSR= The installation of first strike missiles was a provocative act


What was the 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty?

It banned testing nuclear weapons on land, underwater and in space: but not underground. All but France and China signed.


What were the effects of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

1. A hotline was established between the White House and The Kremlin
2. The 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
3. The nuclear missiles were removed from Turkey
4. Khruschev was deposed in a coup in 1964
5. In the aftermath, Kennedy urged restraint saying "No boasting, no gloating, not even claim of victory"- paving the tone for detente


Was the Cuban Missile Crisis a victory for Khruschev?

He claimed it was, saying "It was a spectacular success achieved without a single shot" as America had promised not to invade. The Politburo was not convinced and he was deposed in a coup in 1964