Top 10 Events of the Cold War

During WW2 there were 3 main allies Russia, the UK and the US. Towards the end of the war the leaders began to meet to discuss what to do next. Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin and FDR/ Harry Truman. However this friendship soon dissolved and the winners of the war would have a rivalry that would last from the late 1940s until the early 90s when the Soviet Union finally fell. This rivalry is what we now know as the Cold War.
The Top Ten
1 Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile crisis could be called the climax of the Cold War. Had things played out slightly different than they did the entire world as we know it could have all changed. We could have been in World War 3 with nuclear warfare most likely happening in that scenario but how did we get to this point? It all started when a U-2 Spy plane captured a photo of Soviet missiles in Cuba. It's important to note that Fidel Castro who was the communist leader of Cuba at the time became good friends with the Soviets and these missiles were capable of striking anywhere in the mainland US. So America was definitely concerned with these missiles being just 90 miles off their coast although Russia probably didn't like US keeping missiles in Turkey either. The US Rivalry with Cuba also didn't help matters any the missiles were likely placed to deter future attacks like the Bay of Pigs. Ultimately the US Navy formed a blockade around Cuba. Eventually the standoff came to a close when President ...more

2 Formation of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

After World War 2 European Nations were very split politically many Western Nations formed NATO led by US Great Britain and France while almost all the others joined the Warsaw Pact The original members of NATO were Belgium, Great Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States. This alliance of nations became the backbone for the West in the standoff against the Soviets for the next 4 whole decades. Greece, Spain West Germany and Turkey also joined NATO

3 Construction of the Berlin Wall

One of the most tense situations of the entire Cold War was Berlin itself which was in East German territory but the city itself was split between east and western sides. Up until the wall was built anyone living on the East side could travel to the Western side and defect to the west. Russia wasn't happy with that so they built a wall to supposedly keep western fascists out of the East but it was really to stop people escaping to the west. It stood for over 25 years. For the longest time it was one of the most powerful symbols of the Cold War and the division and friction that existed between the two sides. Nowhere was the divide between communism and capitalism more apparent than in Berlin and Germany in general, with the West side being prosperous and developing way faster economically while the East struggled mightily.

4 Warsaw Pact Formed by Communist States in Eastern Europe and USSR

When the West United to form NATO Russia wasn't too pleased fearing they were out to take down the USSR. They especially weren't pleased when NATO accepted West Germany and let them re-militarize. The Soviets saw this as a potential threat. In response they founded their own pact with mainly puppet states aside from the Soviets themselves the Warsaw Pact included Albania, Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. The Warsaw Pact lasted all the way until 1991 when it finally dissolved

5 Bay of Pigs Invasion

When America found out about their next door neighbors Cuba setting up a communist regime in their back yard they weren't too happy and that was especially true with Fidel Castro coming to power. America had supported the Cuban President Fulgencio Batista despite being a corrupt dictator he was considered to be pro American. When Castro came to power many Cubans actually welcomed him because he didn't like America owning a lot of their sugar plantations and cattle ranches this led America to make several assassination attempts spoiler alert none of them were successful. The Bay of Pigs was a failed attempt to push Castro out of power. The CIA believed that this would work only one problem is they were outnumbered by Castro's troops and surrendered in less than 24 hours. The entire execution was a disaster from the start.

6 Berlin Airlift

After World War 2 the allies split Germany into East and West and they did the same with Berlin. The Soviets got fed up with the West and cut off all railroads and highways into the west side of the city in hopes it would drive France UK and America out for good because they weren't too fond of the allies uniting in the West and they also wanted all of Berlin. The Allies response to the blockade was to fly supplies into the city instead they would carry over 2.3 million tons of cargo over the course of the airlift there was about 5,000-8,000 tons of cargo being delivered per day during this time. The failure of the blockade kinda painted the Soviet Union in a bad light for the rest of the world

7 Korean War

Up until the mid 20th century the Korean Peninsula belonged to the Japanese empire, however, after World War 2 it was given to America and Russia and they were supposed to decide what to do with it. They divided it along the 38th parallel establishing a Northern communist side and a southern capitalist side. Neither side wanted to stay on their side they were both interested in controlling the whole peninsula. Once the Northern forces reached Seoul it was war. The allied forces struggled mightily at first however after the Inch'on landing the allies started pushing the North back that is until China started to worry the Allies would just keep going into China so they sent their troops in and at the end the war was a stalemate with the boundary being drawn along the 38th parallel and a demilitarized zone created that still exists to this day. It's one of the most secured borders in the world with any attempt to cross from the North usually resulting in death. Tensions still remain ...more

8 Vietnam War

During JFK's Presidency the US was worried about communism spreading across the globe. So when Vietnam split into North and South the US decided to get involved because of the domino effect which is if Vietnam fell they didn't want more countries to fall like Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Brunei, etc. eventually many Americans grew frustrated with their lack of success in Vietnam and the hatred for the Vietnam War grew so much America eventually withdrew. The aftermath of the War lingered in America with many veterans being treated harshly by both pro and anti war groups. And the cost of the war also had a negative impact on the economy as a whole.

9 The Space Race

The space race was a series of events between the Soviets and Americans to try and be the first to reach Space. The Soviets sent the first satellite into space (Sputnik) and the first man into space. In 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first person in human history to orbit the Earth. The U.S was a little bit angry at this surprise they responded with the Explorer 1 Satellite and created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or what we know as NASA. Alongside NASA Eisenhower created 2 additional space oriented security forces one was controlled by the Air Force and the other by the CIA. Eventually they would send Alan Shepard into space although he was not in orbit. Eventually the US would land the first man on the moon in human history during their Apollo missions. America saw this moment as them officially "winning" the Space Race which from beginning to end had captured the attention of the American people as developments on both sides were heavily covered by national ...more

10 1960 U-2 Incident

The US began to worry about the military advancements of the Soviets so President Eisenhower approved these U-2 Spy Missions. In May 1960 Tensions rose when the USSR shot down an American U-2 Spy plane and captured the pilot Francis Gary Powers and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. He was eventually released after the Americans agreed to send a captured Soviet spy back to Russia in the first "spy swap" Ultimately Eisenhower had to admit that these missions had been going on for years after he tried to say it was a weather plane that flew "off course" Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev called out Eisenhower's fat lie. The aftermath of this incident set back talks between Eisenhower and Khrushchev who were scheduled to have a summit in Paris. Khrushchev and many Soviet ambassadors walked out of the meeting and felt they could no longer cooperate with Eisenhower

The Contenders
11 Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989)
12 Hungarian Revolution of 1956
13 Prague Spring of 1968
14 Ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev
15 Fall of the Berlin Wall
16 Dissolution of the Soviet Union
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