Northern Eurasia 1969: Sino-Soviet Border Conflict
Meanwhile, however, the Soviet Union and China had drifted apart and become rivals for leadership of the Communist world. In 1969, they even engaged in armed clashes over their disputed border.
1 Jul 1966 French withdrawal from NATO▲
Unhappy with what he perceived as the “Special Relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom and their seeming domination of NATO policy, French President Charles de Gaulle withdrew his country from the alliance’s integrated military command effective 1 July 1966. All non-French NATO troops were asked to leave France. However, France remained a member of the alliance and secretly signed accords with the US to coordinate a return to NATO’s command structure should the Warsaw Pact attack.
20–21 Aug 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia▲
On 5 June 1968, newly appointed Czech Communist First Secretary Alexander Dubcek began a program of reforms at odds with the policies in place in the Soviet Union. Threatened by this, the Soviet Union led a massive invasion of Czechoslovakia, ending the reforms.
2 Mar–11 Sep 1969 Sino-Soviet border conflict▲
On 2 March 1969, the People’s Liberation Army ambushed Soviet border guards on disputed Zhenbao Island, leading to a seven-month undeclared military conflict between the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China. Although fighting around Zhenbao Island ended by late March, tensions remained high, with further clashes occurring on the western border—between Xinjiang and Kazakh SSR—in August. The war ended on 11 September when border negotiations were reopened between the two countries.
20 Jul 1969 First humans land on moon▲
Apollo 11 landed US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.
17 Nov 1969–26 May 1972 SALT I▲
At the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, the United States and Soviet Union agreed to limit the number of ballistic missile launchers in use.