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Cold War: 1958-1961 - U2 Flights And The Berlin Wall

GCSE History covers, amongst other things, the Cold War, which lasted from the end of World War II until the fall of the Soviet Union. One aspect looked at is the building of the Berlin Wall and American U2 spy 'planes.

The Cold War became even more dangerous when the Russians shot down a U2 spy 'plane over their territory in 1960. The following year saw the build-up of the Cuba Crisis and the building of the Berlin Wall. East/West relations grew ever more cold.

Explore the circumstances which led to the building of the Berlin Wall in this informative quiz.

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  1. Which US government agency co-operated closely with anti-Castro Cuban exiles attempting to invade the island in 1961?
    Although the President (Kennedy) knew little about the plan, elements of his government were deeply involved
  2. Which East German leader ordered the building of a wall to divide West Berlin from the Eastern Soviet Sector?
    The East German government became increasingly worried about the loss of skilled workers crossing the sector borders from East to West Berlin
  3. Which pro-American dictator was forced into exile by Castro's success in taking over Cuba?
    Many Latin American governments were dominated by military dictators who often enjoyed American support, as they tended to be right-wing and anti-Communist
  4. Who was the U2 pilot, who was captured and put on trial in 1960?
    The capture of an American airman offered the Russians the chance to interrogate him, and to exchange him for a Soviet spy in American custody
  5. Who served as Kennedy's Vice-President from 1961?
    Under the US Constitution the "Veep" (the Vice-President) automatically becomes President if the existing President dies in office, or has to leave the White House for any other reason
  6. Which Republican politician served as Eisenhower's Vice President from 1956 to 1960?
    The job of Vice President entails few formal responsibilities, but is often occupied by someone who is really seeking the highest office (the presidency), which Nixon managed to achieve in 1969
  7. Which Soviet leader approved the wall's construction and promised to defend it with military force in 1961?
    Without the support of the Soviet Union the Berlin Wall would never have been built
  8. Which close associate of Fidel Castro hailed from Argentina and had trained as a doctor?
    Fidel Castro ("el Commandante") was surrounded by a small group of cronies, some of whom became ministers in his government of Cuba, and some of whom tried to spread revolution elsewhere after the capture of Havana in 1959
  9. How was the American U2 spy 'plane shot down over Soviet Russia in 1960?
    The Americans had believed that their U2s could not be shot down as they operated at extreme altitudes
  10. At which battle in 1961 were anti-Castro exiles forced back into the sea when they tried to invade the island?
    Anti-Castro exiles from Florida failed to effect a landing on the Cuban coast despite considerable help from the United States authorities

Author: Edward Towne

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