KEY EVENTS PRIOR TO 1950
The Soviets cut off West Berlin. The Western Powers launch a round-the-clock airlift to supply the residents, forcing the Soviets to end the blockade.
Soviets Detonate Atomic Bomb
With the August 29, 1949 atomic bomb test, both superpowers now possess a weapon that could destroy the other.
Cold War Events
Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union escalated before the end of World War II and threatened to undermine the postwar peace.
The "temporary" divisions of Europe solidified into a Communist-controlled Eastern Bloc and the Western Powers.
The two superpowers never engaged in direct conflict, but supplied money, soldiers and equipment to friendly forces in numerous proxy wars.