Korean War


North and South Korea

Korea was divided after WW2.

North Korea wanted a united Korea and invaded the south.

-North Korea (China and USSR)

-South Korea (UN)

A stalemate, the border remains the same.

It is the only case of a Cold War conflict still continuing.

North Korea makes threats with atomic bombs.

The Greek Civil war



USA and UK wanted to support the Greek government against the communist insurgents who wanted power.

-Greece (USA+UK)

-Greek communist


Greek anti-Communists won the civil war.

Devastated country and thousands of dead.

First example of Cold War conflicts and the beginning of the Truman Doctrine. They saw the end of the civil war as a victory in the Cold War against the Soviet Union.

Berlin blockade


Berlin(the border between the communist and capitalist)

Stalin did not like the merge of the capitalist areas of Germany and Berlin, and blockaded the city so that the citizens of western Berlin could not have contact with West Germany.

USA and Britain flew in supplies for the citizens.

-West Berlin (USA,UK and France)

-East Berlin (USSR)

The Soviets reopened the border and the two Germanys were formed: The Federal Republic of Germany (capitalist) and the Popular Republic of Germany (communist).

Example of the power that the US had at the moment, not letting USSR to invade “their” territories.

Germany was divided in two states.

Hungarian Uprising


November 1956


After the death of Stalin, some Hungarians decided to have elections and have a more open political system. The nationalists rose up against the puppet government and the Soviets sent their army to invade the territory to suppress the uprising.

-Hungarian nationalists

-Hungarian communist +


Brutal suppression of Hungarian nationalists.

USA announced that it would not support the uprising what made it clear that they were not going to take part in “internal” affairs of the Soviet bloc.

The Soviets made it clear that they were not going to allow any country to leave their influence.

Vietnam War


North and South Vietnam

After the WW2 during the decolonisation process of French Indo-China, Vietnam was divided in two at the 17th parallel, the north under a communist government, the south under a capitalist government. There was the possibility of the south becoming communist with the help of the north, and the USA appeared to help the non-communists to defeat them.

-South Vietnam, communist North Vietnam (Vietcong) with the help of Soviet Union and China.

-South Vietnam with the help of USA, Australia…

US withdrew from the war after thousand of soldiers killed

Vietnam was reunited under the communists.

A good example of the fear of the domino theory as USA did not want communism to spread throughout Asia.

It was the first time that USA was defeated.

The Nuclear Race



It started in 1949 when the USSR tested a nuclear device. Both powers started an endless arms race to have better and more arms that the other.



In December 1987, both sides signed an agreement consisted on the elimination of an entire class of weapons.

In July 1991, both sides signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Act.

Danger of nuclear arms during the whole Cold War period.

The Berlin Wall


Berlin Centre

Between 1949-51, 2.5 million people left East Germany for the West, half of them young professionals. The Soviets were worried and asked the western powers to leave Berlin, and when they refused built a barbed-wire barrier of 46 kilometres across the city and the outskirts, diving East and West Berlin.

-East Berlin+USSR

-West Berlin+western countries

The wall was torn down in 1989 with the permission of the Soviets.

It was a symbol of the Cold War and the two blocs so tearing down of the wall became a symbol of the end of the Cold War.

Cuban Missile crisis



After the revolution of Cuba, Castro nationalised US companies and began to trade with USSR. USA tried to invade Cuba in 1961 but was defeated. In 1962 US knew that several nuclear missile bases had been built in Cuba and the Soviets were taking nuclear missiles there. USA began a naval blockade of Cuba.



The Soviets decided the ships with the nuclear missiles would turn round and USA promised to withdraw its missile bases from Turkey.

Example of the danger of nuclear war during the Cold War and the conflict between two sides.

The invasion of Czechoslovakia

August 1968


Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Warsaw Pact nations (Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary) due to liberalisation reforms started by Alexander Dubcek in what is called Prague Spring by some.


-Warsaw Pact (USSR, Bulgaria, Poland Hungary). Albania and Romania refused to take part in it.

The USSR suppressed attempts to liberalise and Czechoslovakia had Soviet armies there until 1991. Albania withdrew from the Warsaw Pact.

Another example that the USSR was not going to allow any of the countries under his ‘protection’ to change their policy.

The invasion of Afghanistan



The communists had taken power of Afghanistan in 1978 and started to modernize the country, which was very unpopular. Even the opposition was arrested, and many anti-communist armed groups were formed. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to keep the communists in power.

-Afghanistan (Saudi Arabia, China, West Germany, UK and USA.

-Afghanistan communists + Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union withdrew from the war after 10 years, and thousands of killed people and millions of dollars, as had happened previously to USA in Vietnam.

Between 1-2 million civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees.

It was the first time that the USSR had invaded a country.

The USSR was not able to win the war.