Archive for the ‘Chapter 36’ Category

Truman’s Fair Deal

Nice, short summary:

Proxy Wars, briefly

Make sure you know what these are.

Once we developed nuclear weapons, we really counldn’t comtemplate all-out, full-scale war ever again. So as we contested for third world countries, we fought “proxy wars” (later called “brushfire wars” during the Kennedy administration) in places where both the US and Soviets poured money and support into fighters for each respective side.

Crash Course: The Cold War

This can also be found here:Crash Course History: The Cold War

What does John Green say about the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
How charming was Josef Stalin?
If the Cold War didn’t ever heat up in Europe, where DID it heat up?
Note the review of the three worlds.
Why didn’t Soviet Communism win in the end?

This also gives you a heads’ up about things we will talk about in the next few chapters.

Duck and cover PSA from the early Cold War

Words fail me. This must be seen to be believed.

Animated map of the Korean War

It can be found here:

Human testing with a tactical nuclear device

First test of a Hydrogen Bomb: Ivy Mike

Here is a link to a brief article outlining the science behind the bomb: Make sure especially you remember who Edward Teller is.

The first test took place on Elugaleb Island in the Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands on October 31, 1952. The bomb was referred to by the nickname “the sausage.”

Here is a short film with sound and narration of the first test explosion:

This one shows the shock wave traveling from the bomb:

And here the US entered the “thermonuclear age.” How big was the explosion?

According to, “The mushroom cloud climbed to 57,000 feet in only 90 seconds, entering the stratosphere. One minute later it reached 108,000 feet, eventually stabilizing at a ceiling of 120,000 feet. Half an hour after the test the mushroom stretched 60 miles across, with the base of the mushroom head joining the stem at 45,000 feet.” The fireball from the explosion reached a width of 3.5 miles. The crater was 6200 feet wide and 164 feet deep.

The "Mushroom Cloud from the Ivy Mike test

Here is a before and after photo of Eleugaleb Island:

And as impressive as this was, it was not the largest thermonuclear device ever exploded by the US. That honor went to the CASTLE Bravo Test in 1954, where we accidentally nuked a Japanese fishing boat. More on that coming soon…