Revision Diary

U2 Crisis


U2 incident, 1960.



You need to know the story of the U2 crisis and its results.




The U2 Crisis, 1960


By 1960, Cold War tension was at an all-time high, and Russia and America arranged a Summit meeting in Paris to try and sort things out.

Two weeks BEFORE the Summit, the Russians shot down an American U2 spy-plane.

At first the Americans tried to deny it, but then the Russians produced the pilot and the plane, and showed the Americans to be liars.

When the Paris summit met, Khrushchev demanded an apology and an end to spy-flights - and he walked out when the Americans refused.



   The name of the American pilot was Gary Powers.

   The Russians shot down the U2 plane by accident when a Russian gun trying to shoot it down blew up a Russian plane trying to shoot it down.

   At first the Americans claimed it was a weather plane, but they were shown to be liars when the Russians put Gary Powers on trial as a spy.



Results of the U2 Crisis

   The Paris summit was ruined - Cold War tension increased

   America was caught lying and looked bad - it was a propaganda victory for Russia.

   In 1961 the Americans elected a new president (Kennedy), who promised to get tougher on Communism.


Revision Focus

This is a Paper 1 topic, so concentrate on learning:

1.   WHAT happened

2.   EFFECTS/ Importance



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    The U2 incident