The Cold War [1945-1991]: An Ideological Struggle Soviet & Eastern Bloc Nations [“Iron Curtain”] US & the Western Democracies GOAL spread world-wide Communism GOAL “Containment” of Communism & thld. [George Kennan.] METHODOLOGIES: 1.Espionage [KGB vs. CIA] 2.Arms Race [nuclear escalation] 3.Ideological Competition for the minds and hearts of Third World peoples [Communist govt. & command economy vs. democratic govt. & capitalist economy] “proxy wars” 4.Bi-Polarization of Europe [NATO vs. Warsaw Pact]
YALTA (in the USSR) Date: Feb 1945 Present: Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin
POTSDAM (Germany) Date: July 1945 Present: Churchill, Truman and Stalin
Improve your knowledge The Russians took very high casualties to capture Berlin in May 1945. They spent the early occupation trying to take over all zones of the city but were stopped by German democrats such as Willy Brandt and Konrad Adenauer. Reluctantly the Russians had to admit the Americans, French and British to their respective zones.
Iron Curtain – A term used by Winston Churchill to describe the separating of Those communist lands of East Europe from the West.
Improve your knowledge The nuclear bomb gave America a lead which was expected to last at least 5 years. The rapid Russian development of nuclear technology, helped by the work of the “atom spies” was a shock. Significantly, Russia hurriedly declared war against Japan at the beginning of August 1945 and rushed to advance into Asia to stake out a position for the post- war settlement. This helped make both the Korean and Vietnamese conflicts more likely.
The ‘Truman Doctrine’ Truman had been horrified at the pre- war Allied policy of appeasement and was determined to stand up to any Soviet intimidation. The Truman Doctrine in March 1947 promised that the USA “would support free peoples who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”. Triggered by British inability to hold the line in Greece, it was followed by aid to Greece and Turkey, and also money to help capitalists to stop communists in Italy and France. It signalled the end of “isolationst” policies.
The ‘Marshall Plan’ The Marshall Plan offered huge sums to enable the economies of Europe to rebuild after World War II, and, by generating prosperity, to reject the appeal of Communism. The Soviet Union (USSR) prevented Eastern European countries from receiving American money.
Berlin West Berlin, was an outpost of Western democracy and economic success deep within the communist zone – like a capitalist island within communist East Germany The Berlin Blockade was an attempt to starve West Berlin into submitting [giving up] to the communists The Allied [western powers] airlift signalled the West’s determination to use all resources to defend Berlin. It was felt by both sides that Berlin could act as the trigger for general war between capitalist and communist countries
The North Atlantic Treaty (NATO) was formed in 1949 in a defensive alliance against Soviet aggression. In response to NATO, the Soviet Union organized the Warsaw Pact among its European satellites.
Soviet Union Shows its Muscles In 1949, the Soviets developed their own nuclear capability and the world was being divided between two rival camps. A Bipolar World was taking shape.
Postwar Soviet Union Soviets made it plain that they would push their Soviet sphere of influence as far west as possible. USSR forces were kept on the borders not only to threaten the Allied powers, but also to keep the newly formed Communist regimes (i.e. Poland, Yugoslavia, etc.) under their control.