Cold War Timeline Glossary Archive Return to the exhibitions menu
How did the Cold War work?

This is not an easy question. The Cold War was not a 'normal' conflict.

  • The USA and USSR never actually went to war.
  • They often fought each other by supporting the enemies of the other side.
  • The superpowers sometimes clashed in the most bizarre ways, such as the World Chess Championships!

Despite these difficulties, it is possible to say some things that almost all historians would accept:

  • The Cold War was a political conflict
  • The Cold War was a military conflict
  • The Cold War was a media conflict
  • The Cold War had a major effect on the lives of thousands of people, most of them innocent civilians.

We have 4 case studies which will help you to develop your own views on how the Cold War worked. Look at the Big Question section to see exact details of what you have to do. When you are clear in your own mind, click on the case studies to begin your investigation.

* * * * * * * * *
Case Studies *
* The Berlin Blockade 1948-9 * *
* The Korean War 1950-53 * *
* *
* Soviet control of Eastern Europe - Hungary 1956 and Czechslovakia * *
* *
* The Berlin Wall 1961 *
* * *
The Big Exhibition