The Cold War (Russian: холо́дная война́, kholodnaya voĭna) was the continuing state of threatened war, warring satellite states and political rivalry that lasted from roughly 1946 to 1991. Its web of intrigue, political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, heavy sporting competition and economic competition between the Communist World,; primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies; and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States and its allies would bring misery to many.

Although the chief military forces never engaged in a major battle with each other, they expressed the conflict through military coalitions, strategic conventional force deployments, extensive aid to states deemed vulnerable, proxy wars, espionage, propaganda, conventional and nuclear arms races, appeals to neutral nations, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race. The Korean War, Vietnam War and Cuba Missile Crisis.


During the final stages of World War II, the Soviet Union laid the foundation for the Eastern Bloc by directly annexing several countries as Soviet Socialist Republics that were initially (and effectively) ceded to it by Nazi Germany in the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. These included eastern Poland (incorporated into two different SSRs), Latvia (which became the Latvian SSR), Estonia (which became the Estonian SSR), Lithuania (which became the Lithuanian SSR), part of eastern Finland (which became the Karelo-Finnish SSR) and eastern Romania (which became the Moldavian SSR). The Baltic States were crushed in late 1944.


A map of Kaliningrad Oblast, which used to be in Germany untill 1945.

Both Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin then met at the Potsdam Conference of 1945 to sort out Europe's political boundaries. They soon disagreed over who should run what and how it should be run.

After the success of their temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany, the USSR and the US then saw each other as profound ans immutable enemies due to their economic and political differences.

Post-war territorial changes in Eastern Europe and the formation of the Eastern Bloc hit Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Albania, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Finland and Czechoslovakia. All lost land to the USSR, Yugoslavia lost some to Italy and Bulgaria lost some to Greece and took some Romania took some from Bulgaria. Germany was divided between France, the UK, USA and USSR until 1954, when it became independent as the GDR and FRG.

The Berlin Blockade and Berlin Airlift of June 24th, 1948, to May 12th, 1949, was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War and the first resulting in casualties. West Berlin was cut off by land and had no coastline, so they could only be supplied by air-drops. The Soviets aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel, thereby giving the Soviets practical control over the entire city. Helping the 20,000 or so US and British personnel the airlift involved aircrews from the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force and South African Air Force.


North Vietnamese T-54 crashing through the gates of the Presidential Palace.

In 1950 the Korean War broke out. North Korea and South Korea both want to unite the nation, but could not agree of a single government. The UN Security Council made a meeting, which the Soviets boycotted (because the People's Republic of China, de facto government of China and ally of the USSR, wasn't granted membership).

In 1952, Soviet General Secretary Stalin had repeatedly proposed a plan to unify East and West Germany under a single government chosen in elections supervised by the United Nations if the new Germany were to stay out of Western military alliances, but this proposal was turned down by the Western powers, who feared a communist takeover of Germany.

In 1957, an agreement was signed and later came into force which delimited the boundary between Poland and the Soviet Union.

The American President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev meet in 1985 and began to make peace in the world, specaly in Europe and Indochina.

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