The Arms Race (1949-63)

Tom Eustice
Mind Map by Tom Eustice, updated more than 1 year ago
Tom Eustice
Created by Tom Eustice about 4 years ago


A-Level History (Cold War) Mind Map on The Arms Race (1949-63), created by Tom Eustice on 01/14/2016.

Resource summary

The Arms Race (1949-63)
1 Causes of the Arms Race
1.1 International Tension
1.1.1 Nuclear weapons were needed to safeguard East and West The development of the atomic bomb showed military technology was rapidly developing The feeling of vulnerability of nuclear attack after Horishima, USA weren't afraid to use their bombs Arms Race was a substitute for war and each side was anxious about nuclear capacity of the other
1.2 National and Personal Considerations
1.2.1 Being ahead in the race meant national pride and better security US showed off their weapons which impressed the third world and drew them towards capitalism Khrushchev often lied about how militarily advanced the USSR were, this caused a spending spree by Eisenhower in fear of a 'bomb gap' JFK, who was young an inexperienced, further increased spending and this led to spending $50bil a year on the Arms Race
1.3 Domestic Powers
1.3.1 In the USSR, defence leaders were able to gain a high position in the USSR In the USA, money was made from selling weapons and created 30mil jobs
2 Weapons
2.1 Bombs
2.1.1 The atomic bomb (tested by US in 1945, USSR in 1949). The US had a nuclear monopoly which lasted until 1949. The Baruch Plan called upon the US to share knowledge of atomic bombs but the USA refused. USSR saw this as an attempt to maintain the monopoly. The race was on for a better, more powerful bomb. The USA tested the hydrogen bomb in 1952, nine months before the USSR did the same. in 1954, the USA developed the lithium bomb. The race was now on for delivery system development.
2.1.2 Nuclear Weapons - 2 types Atomic bomb These bombs use nuclear fission, which involves breaking down atoms which releases a lot of energy, causing an explosion. The result of this extra energy is harmful radioactive isotopes which harm life for hundreds or even thousands of years after the bomb is detonated. Nuclear radiation can cause huge problems, the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 has left the surrounding area uninhabitable until at least the 30th Century. Lithium and Hydrogen bomb These bombs are much more powerful than the atomic bomb, up to 3,000 times more powerful in fact. They work by using nuclear fusion, which is binding together atoms, which releases huge amounts of heat.
2.2 Delivery Systems
2.2.1 By 1995 the USA had invented the B52 Sratofortress, the first ICMB which could carry bombs. The USSR responded with the TU20 Bear in 1956. However, these were weak and easily shot down. The Russians were pioneers in rocket science. In 1957, they launched the first ICBM capable of carrying nuclear weapons. In the same year, the USSR launched Sputnik and Sputnik II. The USSR became the first to put a man in space in 1969. But their ICBMs were less impressive than thought, and only had for in 1960. The US, however, developed SLBMs (submarine), 1054 ICBMs and 4000 warheads, compared with 200 for the USSR.
3 The impact on Cold War conflict
3.1 The world realised how close nuclear was was and its dangers.
3.1.1 The Korean War (1950-53) had nothing to do with the USSR, in an attempt to ease tensions Brinkmanship had been exercised to near nuclear war Development of mutually assured destruction caused both sides to rethink their strategies Improved computer and space technology Increasing economic strain on both powers Economic investment in welfare and consumer goods fell due to increased defence spending The U2 incident with Gary Powers caused tension between US and USSR
4 On 16 July 1945, the USA tested their first atomic bomb in New Mexico. By August 6, they launched one on Hiroshima and another on Nagasaki on August 9th ( (collectively killing between 129,000 and 250,000 people) This showed the effectiveness of nuclear weapons and worried the USSR. They subsequently tested their first atomic bomb on August 29 1949.
5 Cuba in the Cold War
5.1 The Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)
5.1.1 In 1962, a US U2 spy plane photographed a missile site on Cuba, just 90 miles from USA. This was built by the USSR and meant they were capable of bombing US cities. Khrushchev said these missiles were a response to a US missile base in Turkey Both the USA and USSR were threatened and the world could break out into nuclear war. Kennedy wanted hard action and called in the US National Security Council to discuss what Cuba meant to the US. Kennedy lacked time and had two options: Option 1 = Dean Rusk (SoS) demanded immediate US military operation Option 2 = Robert Kennedy (JFK's brother) suggested a blockade of Soviet ships going to Cuba On 22 October 1962 Kennedy announced Cuban quarantine zone; 54 bombs on standby with 150 US missiles aimed at USSR and nuclear submarines ready. This stopped new missiles arriving, but Kennedy still had to remove the pre-existing missile base. 2 options... Option 1 = Immediate invasion of Cuba Option 2 = Accept Khrushchev's letter, which took 12 hours to arrive on telegram, agreeing to remove Cuban missiles if US didn't invade Cuba and removed their missiles from Turkey USSR removed Cuban missiles as promised, as did the US for Turkey - but the US kept it quiet to make them not look weak. Consequences of Missile Crisis Castro this made the USSR look weak and looked as if the USA had won Showed the dangers of Brinkmanship; world was on the brink of nuclear war. US diplomat leaving the White House said he didn't know if he was going to return on the Monday as he thought they might all die in nuclear war. Khrushchev improved foreign relations and got support from Cuba. Both Khrushchev and JFK took no action when their own spy planes were shot down Hotline telephone link was set up which eased tensions. Both Khrushchev and JFK were removed from power in different circumstances. Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963) - said no to testing of nuclear weapon; reduced tensions This is the closest the world had been to nuclear war and it was safely but narrowly avoided. Development of Brinkmanship and mutually assured destruction, but this was rethought after the event. These ideas came about due to Dulles' and Eisenhower's ideas of massive retaliation Money went in to the military instead of other aspects of the country which harmed both economies. Although not used in the end, nuclear weapons were the chief negotiating method as an integral part of the struggle for supremacy.
5.2 The Cuban Revolution (1959)
5.2.1 Why were the US worried about Cuba? Geographical closeness meant bombs could be launched from Cuba and reach the US They felt like it belonged to them. Agreements were, at Yalta and Potsdam that Cuba was in USA's sphere of influence. Many Cuban companies were US owned and many Cuban exports, like sugar cane, were to the USA. Cuba was also treated like a US colony.
5.2.2 In 1959, Castro took over from Batista who was corrupt and brutal, but the US did not intervene due to trade links. In November 1959, Castro visited the US and said he was not a Communist, but then took over US businesses and declared Cuba communist. Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961) Kennedy cut of US trade to Cuba, which devastated the Cuban economy. He also launched the The Bay of Pigs invasion which occurred when the CIA attempted to spark an uprising against Castro. It consisted of just 1,500 Cuban exciles. The invasion was a disaster and the Cubans simply asked the USSR to trade sugar and arms, which the USSR were happy to do.
6 Gather Report [Nov 57] (CIA) -- 3/1 missile gap and US need to regain supremacy, $40bil cost
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