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Escalating International Tensions.

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From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow.

Winston Churchill

cold war strategies
Cold War Strategies
  • War of Words: both sides used propaganda, name calling, and other techniques to belittle the opponent, ex: McCarthyism, etc..
  • Prestige wars: the use of achievements to gain prestige or fame to promote and defend who’s ideology is better. Ie Olympics, summit series, space race, etc…

1957 The Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first artificial Earth satellite. "Sputnik" is the Russian word for "Traveler."1958

  • The United States launches its first satellite, Explorer I. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is formed in the United States. NASA is the federal agency devoted to exploring space.1959 The Soviet Union launches Luna 2. This is the first space probe to hit the moon.1961 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person to orbit the Earth.
  • Alan Shepard, Jr. becomes the first American astronaut in space.
  • 1962 John Glenn, Jr. becomes the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.1963The first woman in space is Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova.1968 The United States launches Apollo 8, the first manned space mission to orbit the moon.1969 U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins make it to the moon. Armstrong is the first man to walk on the moon and was followed by Buzz Aldrin

Espionage: -both sides tried to gain as much information about each other as possible

  • Tried to steal military intelligence and technology from one another
  • Biggest departments were the CIA (USA), KGB (USSR), MI5 (UK).
top ten spy gadgets
Top Ten Spy Gadgets

10. Rock bug

9. Microphone in an olive

8. Wallet document camera

7. Hollowed-out lighter

6. Cigarette-case gun

5. Exploding rats

4. Exploding briefcase

3. Compass buttons

2. Dart gun

1. Poison-tipped umbrella gun

in canada
In Canada
  • Igor Gouzenko fled from the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa with 109 documents proving a soviet spy ring in Canada.
  • Chalk River: Russian spies were able to steal highly sensitive nuclear information from Canada. Soon after Canada advocated for non-proliferation
  • Countries today continue to spy on each other, trying to steal military and technological secrets.
nuclear age
Nuclear Age

In 1949, the Soviet Union tested their first Atomic Bomb.

The Soviet Union knew that it was behind in its technology and immediately increased production.

iii. Nuclear Arms Race was underway

By 1953, both sides had developed H-bombs which were more powerful. Each side felt that if they were too weak, the other side would attack.

  • After the development of the atomic bomb, both the Soviet Union and the USA knew that a hot war would lead to the destruction of the world.
  • Deterrence: building up arms, especially nuclear bombs, to deter their opponent from making any military advances.

First Strike Capability: The ability to launch a nuclear attack on your enemy, but they do not have the capacity to attack back


Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD): an unwinnable situation, where both countries would destroy one another.