1945: The Allies agree in Potsdam to the fundamental conditions of the occupation of Germany. American nuclear bombs destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 1947: The Truman Doctrine: The US offers assistance to countries threatened by communism -- especially Greece and Turkey. US Secretary of State George C. Marshall announces a massive aid program for the reconstruction of World War II-torn Europe that will become known as the Marshall Plan. 1948: The Communists take power in Czechoslovakia.
1948: The Soviet blockade of West Berlin begins on June 24. Cut off from the outside world, provisions are delivered to the isolated city by the Americans in the Berlin Air Bridge action. This is the first major Berlin crisis during the Cold War. On May 12, 1949, Stalin lifts the blockade. 1949: On April 4, the NATO Treaty is signed in Washington.
1949: On May 23, the Federal Republic of Germany is established. Not long later, on Oct. 7, the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR) is founded. 1949: On August 29, the Soviets detonate their first atomic bomb. 1949: After winning the country's civil war, the Communist Party under Mao Zedong establish the People's Republic of China. 1950-1953: The Korean War: After North Korea attacks South Korea, UN troops led by the United States invade the country. China and the Soviet Union back North Korea. The cease-fire leaves the two countries with the pre-war status quo. 1952: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin offers to hold negotiations on the reunification of Germany on the condition that a united Germany remain neutral. With the support of the West German parliament, the Western allied powers reject the offer. 1953: On June 17, 1953, a workers' uprising in East Germany is crushed by Russian tanks. 1955: The Federal Republic of Germany joins NATO and forms the Bundeswehr, the first Germany army to exist after Hitler's fall. 1956: The Hungarian uprising takes place, starting on Oct. 20, but it is ultimately crushed by the Russians. 1956: From...
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