Send the link below via email or IMCopy
Present to your audienceStart remote presentation
- Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
- People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
- This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
- A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
- Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article
What role did espionage play during the cold war
Transcript of What role did espionage play during the cold war
The USSR's intelligence agency
Role was to:
gather information from other nations
suppress internal resistance
Controlled almost every aspect of information released to the public
KGB used to promote Soviet morals and ideology through propaganda
Went as far as to execute any suspected spy
Were more barbarous towards spies if caught.
Worked at an active pace to avoid nuclear war
Feared spread of communism, funded anti-communist groups to suppress communism
missions were primary ways of receiving knowledge without attention being drawn towards the plans and procedures of keeping communism contained.
Main roles were:
Sending out agents abroad
sometimes ordered assassinations and human experimentation
research of new weapons, funded Department of Defense
helped anti-communist groups
The role of the government agencies
Table of Contents
What role did espionage play during the cold war?
And what was its impact on the balance of power between the USSR and USA?
The Cold War Espionage
- Role of the government agencies:
- Communication and misinformation
- Nuclear secrets
- MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)
- Relevant cases:
- The U-2 Spy Plane
- The Rosenberg couple
Espionage is the act and practice of spying
Lack of common warfare
Espionage became main battleground
The USSR and USA competing over superiority for several years
Fought using espionage to obtain information focused on military and nuclear capabilities (arms race)
War fought mainly through propaganda and threats
Each nation trying to out-do the other
Tried to stay on track with weapon development
All through espionage.
A war fought through secret service agencies
The dominant agencies during the cold war; CIA, KGB, MI5
Constant threat of nuclear war
Relied on their intelligence agencies to decipher military secrets and capabilities
Easily could misinterpret each other and make invalid accusations
was used widely among intelligence agencies
Both nations used means of media to give a very strong and negative reputation of one another.
Common to see photos portraying the nuclear weaponry competition and stereotypical spies
romanticized stereotype (mainly CIA)
Sparked entertainment ideas in the nation.
Reputation the CIA had for itself was primarily based upon anti-communism
not seen for actual role and significance.
Depth of Soviet Union spying not known until US deciphered Moscow Code (Venona)
USSR espionage attempted to know about UK and USA military & nuclear secrets 1940's
British intellectuals motivated to sell their nations' atomic secrets. Example:
Cambridge Five spy ring
Soviet knew about Manhattan Project
Put them ahead of "game plan"
USSR detonated first bomb shortly after USA
Became a clear that the balance of power was constantly shifting.
communication and misinformation
Built upon communication.
Passing and receiving of secrets extended Cold War
Much of the information was useless
Common for information to be altered, whether intentionally or unintentionally
Caused misleading info. on weapon development
USA concerned about USSR's nuclear capabilities being more advanced, superior or at an equal rate.
Spying: the most important, yet unimportant occupation of the Cold War era.
Espionage played a large and influential role during Cold war
Both wanted to know the pace of each other’s weapon development, as well as brag about their nuclear achievements.
To a great extent, the rivalry over power was never truly balanced.
Spies passed mostly weapon development and nuclear secrets
Impact on how each side saw other
Romanticized stereotype and propaganda involved
Arguably, the information passed and received was seen as negligible and only prolonged the war.
However, spying did have its advantages.
significantly shaped the Cold War
U-2 spy plane
U-2 Spy plane shot down by Soviet Union
Pilot, Francis Gary Powers, under orders to kill himself in such a situation
A summit in Paris was to be held in order to:
Sort complications, policies and agreements between USSR and USA
Plane was shot down right before summit
Paris Summit failed
did not solve conflicts
only served to escalate the war in the balance for power and cause more aggression
American couple that worked for the soviets
Passed atomic secrets to soviet union
Increased the risk of a nuclear war
Leaked necessary information to Russians to help them develop the atomic bomb.
Held responsible for deaths caused by the Soviet atomic bomb in Korean war
Caught and executed by electric chair
Caused a huge public debate
First spies to ever be executed in US, despite flimsy evidence
The role of the government agencies
CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
KGB (Komitet Gosutarstvennoi Bezopasnosti)
Constant threat of a nuclear war and mass destruction
Primary to decipher military and technology advantages.
Main role was to gather intelligence and determine possible threats.
Britain's MI5 was somewhat involved, but it was the USSR and USA , who relied on their agencies the most
MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)
Cold War entered new phase as USSR achieved nuclear parity with USA
Role of espionage changed- knowledge of weapon advancement publicly known.
Spying still used, but not particularly needed
Each side equal ability of destroying each other.
Fact mutually accepted in a military doctrine,
MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)
No matter who dropped bomb first, both nations would be destroyed eventually.
n short: Whoever shoots first, dies second.
Southey, Jim. "Cold War Espionage." The Cold War. Jennifer Lewellyn,
15 July 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
Trueman, Chris. "Spies of the Cold War Era - History Learning Site." History Learning Site.
Chris Trueman, 2000. Web. Apr. 2016
"Espionage." Royal Air Force Museum. Trustees of the Royal Air Force
Museum, Jan. 2013. Web. May 2016.
"Espionage in the Cold War." Encyclopedia.com.
HighBeam Research, 2004. Web. 4 May 2016.
Corera, Gordon. "How Vital Were Cold War Spies?"
BBC News. BBC, 05 Aug. 2009. Web. 07 May 2016.
History.com Staff. "U-2 Spy Incident." History.com. A&E
Television Networks, 01 Jan. 2009. Web. 07 May 2016.
"Espionage." Atomic Heritage Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2016. <http://www.atomicheritage.org/history/espionage>.
"History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian." History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2016. <http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=%2Fhistory%2Fspies-who-spilled-atomic-bomb-secrets-127922660%
Rhule, Derek. "The Central Intelligence Agency." Cold War Museum.
The Cold War Museum, n.d. Web. 07 May 2016. <
"Cold War." Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence
Agency, 19 June 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.
"Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Executed." History.com. A&E Television
Networks, n.d. Web. 07 May 2016
Encyclopedia.com. HighBeam Research,
n.d. Web. 07 May 2016.
"Espionage." Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2016.
"The Cold War Museum." Cold War Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2016. <http://www.coldwar.org/articles/50s/KGB.asp>.
N.p., n.d. Web.
"11 Things You Didn't Know About CIA Operations in the Soviet Union."Mental Floss. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2016. <http://mentalfloss.com/article/64872/11-things-you-didnt-know-about-cia-operations-soviet-union>.