The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars
, and economic competition between the Communist World
—primarily the Soviet Union
and its satellite state
s and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States
and its allies. 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 race
s, appeals to neutral nations, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race
After the success of their temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany
, the USSR and the US saw each other as profound enemies due to their economic and political differences.
1945 Cold War: Yugoslav leader Josip "Tito" Broz signs an agreement with the Soviet Union to allow "temporary entry of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory".
1945 Ten days after World War II ends with Japan announcing its surrender, armed supporters of the Communist Party of China kill Baptist missionary John Birch, regarded by some of the American right as the first victim of the Cold War.
1945 Cold War: Igor Gouzenko, a Soviet Union embassy clerk, defects to Canada, exposing Soviet espionage in North America, signalling the beginning of the Cold War.
1945 Cold War: United States troops arrive to partition the southern part of Korea in response to Soviet troops occupying the northern part of the peninsula a month earlier.
1945 Cold War: Operation Paperclip: The United States Army secretly admits 88 German scientists and engineers to help in the development of rocket technology.
1946 Cold War: The United States State Department releases the Acheson-Lilienthal Report, outlining a plan for the international control of nuclear power.
1947 Bernard Baruch coins the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.
1947 Cold War: in an effort to fight the spread of Communism, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs an act into law that will later be called the Truman Doctrine. The act grants $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece, each battling an internal Communist movement.
1947 Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947 into United States law creating the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the United States National Security Council.
1948 Cold War: Berlin Airlift – Military forces, under direction of the Russian-controlled government in East Germany, set-up a land blockade of West Berlin. * 1948