The Cold War Becomes Hot

How did the Cold War start to become “hot?”

As the tension between the United States and the Soviet Union grew
it was clear that the US had a decided advantage. The US was the
worlds only atomic power and United States policy became of
containment had proven to be successful. Stalin felt forced to
respond. Stalin acted quickly and decisively to attempt to limit US
influence in Eastern Europe and balance the emerging power of the
United States.

I. The Cold War Become Hot

B. How did Stalin react to the presence of West

1. Stalin Blockades West Berlin in the hopes of either
starving out the Berliners and forcing them to leave or provoke a
military response.

2. Truman responds with neither action. Instead he airlifts
supplies into Berlin. This is known as the Berlin Airlift.


C. How did a nuclear arms race begin?

1. Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb in

2. US detonates its first Hydrogen Bomb in 1952.

3. USSR detonates its first Hydrogen Bomb in 1953

4. US develops highly accurate ICBM’s. Soviets also develop
missiles but they are neither reliable or accurate.

D. What was the US policy on nuclear weapons use in the early

1. Eisenhower Doctrine – called for “massive

2. Meant that the US was willing to use nuclear weapons in war and
that we thought we could win a nuclear war. This is also known as
NUTS (Nuclear Utilization Theory) NUTS was utilized as a nuclear
policy from the fifties ang early sixties. After the Cuban Missile
Crisis in 1962 US policy shifted to MAD or Mutually Assured
Destruction. This policy held that if any side used nuclear power we
would both be destroyed. This policy prevailed until the Reagan years
of the 1980’s when we again began to claim that we could fight, and
win, a nuclear war.

3. This doctrine was designed to scare the Soviets… it worked!

E. How did the Space Race Begin?

1. Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957. This was the
worlds first orbiting satellite.

2. The launching of Sputnik destroyed the long held American
belief in our own technological superiority and led to massive
spending on space exploration and the creation of NASA by Eisenhower.
The rush is on to send a man into space.

3. The US is the first to send Chimpanzees into space

4. The Soviets are the first to send a manned capsule into space –
Yuri Gagarin in 1961.

5. JFK announce that we must land a man on the moon. Beginning of
the Apollo project. US land man on the moon in 1969.

6. Soviets develop Mir space station in the 70’s.

7. US develops the space shuttle.

F. How did the tension between the US and Soviet Union intensify
in the late 50’s and early 60’s?

1. US Spy U-2 Spy Plane is shot down over the Soviet
Union. Even though both sides know the other spies this is an
embarrassing moment for the US.

2. In 1961 the Berlin Wall suddenly appears. Kruschev was
embarrassed by the flight of East Berliners. Kennedy responds with
strength declaring we would never give up West Berlin. He declares
Ich bin ein Berliner.” But the wall still stood, a symbol
of Cold War tension.