Hist 17C Lec 4.20 - Hist 17C Lecture 4.20 Mutual Assured Destruction Themes o US Soviet Union made genuine efforts to ease Cold War tensions o But

Hist 17C Lec 4.20 - Hist 17C Lecture 4.20 Mutual Assured...

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Hist 17C Lecture 4.20 Mutual Assured Destruction Themes: o US & Soviet Union made genuine efforts to ease Cold War tensions o But advances in military technology introduced formed disagreements over how to use these technologies Nikita Khrushchev o General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1953- 1964) o Succeeded Joseph Stalin o Dilemmas Wanted to ease tension w/ West; but needed to shore up revolutionary credentials in communist world Wanted the USSR to be recognized as a military equal of the US but knew USSR was much weaker o Mid-late 1950’s conceded US superiority in bombers and concentrated instead on developing ICMBs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) October 1957 : first tested ICBM o Launched Sputnik (satellite) Orbiting the Earth Panic & embarrassed the US o US and USSR were both threatening each other; but in different manners o November 1957: USSR launched a 2 nd satellite Sputnik II: carried a passenger (a dog) America’s Sputnik o First attempt failed o Terrible humiliation o A couple months later; did eventually send a satellite in space From U-2 spy flights; Eisenhower knew hot weal the USSR really was but because the U-2 was secret he couldn’t reassure the American people

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