The Treaty of Versailles, and the League of Nations policy of 'Collective Security', failed to deter German and Italian aggression in the 1920s and 30s. Italy invaded Abyssinia; Germany marched into the Rhineland, and later annexed Austria. British Prime Minister Chamberlain's policy of Appeasement failed, and Czechoslovakia eventually was seized by Germany. After Hitler invaded Poland, war was declared.
The Cold war began after Europe was divided-up following World War II at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences, but ideological differences between capitalism and communism alienated former allies. The Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and the Berlin Blockade created greater distrust.
French Indochina from the 1890s - Anti-French rebellions
The emergence of Ho Chi Minh : Exile in France, USSR and China - Foundation of the Viet -Minh - Separation of Vietnam - Bombing of Haiphong
THE FIRST INDOCHINA WAR 1946 to 1954 : Ho Chi Minh and Bao Dai - Korean War - Dien Bien Phu - Geneva Accords
THE SECOND INDOCHINA WAR 1954-1962 : Ngo Dinh Diem - Land and Social Reforms in the north and south - Elections cancelled in 1956 - US Military advisers - US involvement in Laos - Search & Destroy and Clear & Hold tactics - Strategic Hamlet programme
THE ASSASSINATION OF DIEM : Buddist protests - Diem assassination - Kennedy assassination
THE GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT : Gulf of Tonkin Resolution - Rolling Thunder - Increase in military personnel
The Weimar Republic was established in 1919 to replace Germany's imperial form of government. Over 14 years, the Republic was faced with numerous problems, including hyperinflation and political extremists from both the left and right, together with their paramilitaries.
The government encountered hostility from the victorious nations of WWI, and had to conform to the requirments of the Treaty of Versailles. This period of liberal democracy lapsed in the early 1930s, leading to the ascent of the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler in 1933.
One of the war's major turning points was the Soviet victory in Stalingrad in 1943. This was followed by Allied victory in North Africa and the subsequent invasion of Sicily and Italy. The Russians would have another significant victory at Kursk in July 1943, and began their relentless drive through Eastern Europe.
For 13 days during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the world faced the threat of a nuclear holocaust. A year later the Sino-Soviet Split reached it's lowest ebb, and the Vietnam War escalated after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
Political and military tension deminished in the late 1960s, during the period of Détente which lasted until 1979. Disarmament agreements were signed by the superpowers, but flash points threatened to destabilise any move towards a stability. The Red Army's intervention in Czechoslovakia during The Prague Spring of 1968, demonstrated that the Soviets were going to keep Eastern Europe firmly under control.