Timeline of the Early Cold War1945: February 4-11 - Yalta Conference1945: August 6 - United States first used atomic bomb in war1945: August 8 - Russia enters war against Japan1945: August 14 - Japanese surrenders, ending World War II 1946: March - Winston Churchill delivers "Iron Curtain" speech1947: March - Truman announces Truman Doctrine1947: June - Marshall Plan is announced1948: February - Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia1948: June 24 - Berlin blockade begins1949: July - NATO treaty ratified 1949: May 12 - Berlin Blockade ends1949: September - Mao Zedong, a communist, takes control ofChina1949: September - Soviets explode first atomic bomb1955: May – Warsaw PactSTANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUPsheg.stanford.edu
Document A: The Iron Curtain Speech (Modified)It is my duty, however, to place before you certain facts about the present position in Europe.From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow.In a great number of countries, far from the Russian frontiers and throughout the world, Communist fifth columns are established and work in complete unity and absolute obedience to the directions they receive from the Communist center.I do not believe that Soviet Russia desires war. What they desire is the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines.But what we have to consider here today while time remains, is thepermanent prevention of war and the establishment of conditionsof freedom and democracy as rapidly as possible in all countries.Source: Excerpt from the “Iron Curtain Speech” delivered by Winston Churchill, March 1946 in Fulton, Missouri.
Document B: The Truman Doctrine (Modified)The United States has received from the Greek Government an urgent appeal for financial and economic assistance…Greece is in desperate need of financial and economic assistance to enable it to resume purchases of food, clothing, fuel, and seeds.The very existence of the Greek state is today threatened by the terrorist activities of several thousand armed men, led by Communists, who defy the government's authority. . . . Greece must have assistance if it is to become a self-supporting and self-respecting democracy. The United States must supply this assistance. . . . No other nation is willing and able