7. The Cold War: Quizzes

In this section you can find fact quizzes which can be used as starters to lessons or as end of topic quizzes. Below are 'paper' quizzes which you can print off.

You will also see some student pages on the left with interactive quizzes.

1. Origins of the Cold War: short answer quiz

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Answer all of the following questions.  Many questions require one date or a few words in answer.  You can use bullet points where appropriate.

  1. When did the western Allies open the Second Front?                                  1
  1. Outline two tensions evident between the big three at Yalta                       2
  1. Outline evidence of divisions between the Big three at Potsdam                 3
  1. When did the US drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima?                                1
  1. When did the Red Army leave Eastern Europe?                                            1
  1. Explain Salami Tactics                                                                                 2
  2. What was agreed for post-war Germany                                                      3
  1. When and where was the first crisis for the United Nations?                         2
  1. What date was Kennan’s Long Telegram?                                                     1
  1. What did the Telegram say about the Soviets and what did it propose?        2 marks                                                                                                                                                                
  1. When and where did Winston Churchill make his ‘iron curtain’ speech?        2
  1. What did Churchill mean by the term ‘iron curtain’?                                     1
  1. Give two results of this speech                                                                     2                          
  1. What developed in Greece at the end of the Second World War?                    1
  1. What was the US concerned about in France and Italy?                                  1

Quiz on origins of the Cold War

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  1. June, 1944
  2. Poland is the biggest issue; also issue of free elections in Eastern Europe; Roosevelt and Churchill have different approaches in how to deal with Stalin
  3. Stalin not keeping to agreement of free elections in Eastern European countries; concerns over Poland; Germany and issue of reparations and division; Truman tells Stalin about the A bomb
  4. August 1945
  5. It didn't!
  6. The practice of taking over the governments of East European countries by 'slicing' off one party after another until only the Soviet supported party was left
  7. Divided into four zones but ACC to administer as one unit;  Berlin also divided into 4;   The 4 D's: demilitarization, denazification, democratisation and decentralisation; Reparations sorted out by which the western zones would give 10% of industrial material to the eastern zone in return for food.
  8. Iran, 1946
  9. February, 1946
  10. Soviets were bound to follow a policy of expansionism given their traditional policies and the ideology of Marxism but that it would respond to the 'logic of force'. Therefore Soviet expansionism had to be countered (hence policy of containment).
  11. Fulton, Missouri, 1946
  12. That Europe was now divided and on the eastern side of the 'curtain', governments had been taken over by the Soviet Union  - the west could no longer see or have influence on what was going on in those countries where democracy/rights had been ended.
  13. Soviet Union outraged - called it a declaration of war; Churchill accused of Fascism; Increase of tension and anti-Western propaganda; USSR withdraws from IMF; Cominform set up.
  14. A civil war between the Monarchists and the Communists.
  15. Growth of support for communist parties.

2. The 1950s: short answer quiz

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1950s Cold War Test (one mark per question unless specified!)

1.    When was Eisenhower elected president?

2.    What was the name given to his new ideas on containment?

3.    How did these differ to those of Truman?                                          (2)

4.    Who was Eisenhower’s Secretary of State?

5.    What was the new policy of threatening ‘massive retaliation’ known as?

6.    Give one place where this policy was used in the 1950s

7.    What was the name given to Khrushchev’s new idea on how to deal with the US?

8.    When did West Germany join NATO?

9.    How did the USSR Respond?

10.    When was SEATO set up and what does it stand for?             (2)

11.    Name one country where the CIA were involved in plots to oust a leader in the 1950s

12.    When did the Korean War end?

13.    What was the significance of the Treaty of San Francisco?

14.    When did the Geneva summit take place?

15.    What significant Treaty was signed at this summit?

16.    What proposal did Eisenhower put forward that was rejected by Khrushchev?

17.    When was Sputnik Launched?

18.    What was the significance of this?

19.    Give one recommendation of the Gaither Report

20.    Why did the Paris 1960 summit collapse?

21.    What was the Eisenhower doctrine?

22.    What two key events took place in 1956?                                            (2)

TOTAL 25 marks


1950s Cold War quiz

Click on the eye to see the answers to this quiz:

  1. 1952 (inaugurated 1953)
  2. New Look
  3. Greater use of CIA, greater reliance on nuclear weapons, prepared to have summits - meet face to face
  4. John Dulles
  5. Brinkmanship
  6. Taiwan
  7. Peaceful co-existence
  8. 1954
  9. Established Warsaw Pact, 1955
  10. 1954, South East Treaty Organisation
  11. Iran or Guatemala
  12. 1953
  13. Ended US occupation, established reparations, but set stage for a new relationship with US which involved US military bases
  14. 1955
  15. Austrian State Treaty
  16. Open Skies
  17. 1957
  18. It meant that the USSR had rocket capability to launch missiles
  19. Building of air-raid shelters, encouraging more people to take engineering and sciences
  20. U2 Incident
  21. The US would support any countries in the Middle East who were resisting communism: spread the doctrine of containment to the Middle East
  22. Suez crisis, Hungarian crisis

3. The 1960s and 1970s: short answer quiz

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Give the year of the following:

  • Cuba Missile Crisis
  • Building of Berlin Wall
  • Invasion of Afghanistan
  • Iranian Revolution
  • Bay of Pigs
  • Dismissal of Khrushchev
  • Nixon wins election in US
  • Carter becomes President
  • Helsinki Final Act signed
  • Test-ban Treaty
  • UN admits China and expels Taiwan

What was the importance of the following for the Cold War: 2 marks each (one good point developed or 2 points)

  • Basic Treaty
  • SALT
  • Ostpolitik
  • Invasion of Afghanistan
  • Helsinki Agreements
  • Triangular diplomacy
  • Basic Principles Agreement

1960s and 70s Cold War quiz

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Cold War in the ‘60s and 70s!                  QUIZ - Answers

Give the year of the following:

Cuba Missile Crisis                                 1962

Building of Berlin Wall                            1961

Invasion of Afghanistan                         1979

Iranian Revolution                                  1979

Bay of Pigs                                             1961

Dismissal of Khrushchev                        1964

Nixon wins election in US                       1968

Carter becomes President                      1976

Helsinki Final Act signed                        1975

Test-ban Treaty                                     1963

UN admits China and expels Taiwan      1971

What was the importance of the following for the Cold War: 2 marks each (one good point developed or 2 points)

Basic Treaty

Accepted the existence of two Germanys – reduced tension in Europe. Trade now between the two Germanys (criticised by USA) Normalised relations between the two Germanys

Also provided a route by which other European nations could establish relations with the GDR – led to other relations establishing diplomatic relations with the GDR

By the end of September 1973 both FRG and GDR were members of the UN


Began process of institutionalised arms control, confirmed the USSR’s parity with USA (didn’t mention MIRV’s) US nuclear dominance faded – two superpowers were now of equal status – acknowledge new balance of power and laid foundation for better relations


Reduce tension in Europe – allowed for better relations between the two Germanys. Started by Willy Brandt

Invasion of Afghanistan

Seen as threat to world peace – USA did not fully look at USSR’s motives

Ended détente

Carter Doctrine as a result

Helsinki Agreements

‘time-bomb’ re human rights

Seen as high point of détente – setting way for European security and cooperation

Triangular diplomacy

Diplomacy between USA with both China and USSR. USA could play off one against the other

Basic Principles Agreement

Committed to work together to prevent conflict and promote peaceful co-existence – trust broken in Yom Kippur

Depended only on each side abiding with rules. Recognised parity again with USSR

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