In 1945, a particular global war ended and in addition another started.
The Cold War lasted approximately forty five years. There was no immediate military campaigns between the 2 major antagonists, the Soviet Union and the United States. nevertheless billions of dollars were wasted dollars of millions of mostly innocent lives have been lost in the struggle.
The United States had become the leader of the free market capitalist world. Its allies and America struggled to contain the communist, totalitarian Soviet Union from growing into Europe, Asia, and Africa. Theaters as far away as Vietnam and Korea, Grenada and Cuba, Angola and Afghanistan, became battlegrounds between the 2 ideologies. One postwar style quickly became apparent. The United States wouldn’t retreat into its former isolationist stance provided that there was considered a cold War to wage.
Winston Churchill’s 1946 speech to Westminster Faculty in Missouri contained the initial reference to the communist regimes of Eastern Europe as an “iron curtain.”
The long term reasons behind the Cold War were obvious. Western democracies had always been aggressive to the concept of a communist state. The United States had refused recognition of the USSR for sixteen years after the Bolshevik takeover. Domestic worries of communism erupted in a Red Scare in America during the early Twenties. American business executives had feared the effects of a politically pushed workers’ business. World War II provided short term causes also.
There was hostility on the Soviet side also. 20 million Russian people perished during World War II. Stalin was enraged at the British and Americans who had waited so very long to open up a second front in France. This will have relieved strain on the Soviet Union by the attacking Germans. Additionally, the USA terminated Lend Lease help to the Soviet Union before the war was complete. Lastly, the Soviet Union thought communism was the best political system for all countries in the world.
Stalin made guarantees during the battle about the independence of eastern Europe on which he blatantly renegaded. At the YALTA Conference, the USSR pledged to get into the war against Japan but no later than 3 weeks after the realization of the European battle. In retrospect, the United States had given the Soviets territorial concessions from special rights and Japan in Chinese Manchuria.
Although Stalin was there to collect on Western promises, when the Soviet Union entered the war between the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the United States not needed the aid of theirs. All of these factors contributed to an ecosystem of mistrust which heightened tensions at the sudden increase of the Cold War.
For virtually all of the 2nd half of the twentieth century, the USSR and also some other countries have been interested in a Cold War reflected by diplomatic and economic struggles. The communist bloc, as it came out in 1950, included nations on the west in addition as southeast of the Soviet Union.
At Potsdam, the Allies agreed on the postwar end consequence for Nazi Germany. After territorial changes, Germany was divided into 4 Occupation zones with the United States, France, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union administering it. Germany was being democratized and de-Nazified. As soon as the Nazi leaders have been arrested and war crimes trials started, a day will be agreed upon for the election associated with a new German government in addition as the withdrawal of Allied soldiers.
This procedure was performed in the zones kept by the Western Allies. In the eastern Soviet occupation zone, a puppet communist regime was elected. Generally there was no potential of repatriation with the west. ultimately such governments, aided by the Soviet Red Army arrived to excursion all across eastern Europe. Stalin was determined to develop a buffer zone to prevent any upcoming intrusion of the Russian heartland.
Winston Churchill remarked in 1946 that an “iron curtain had descended across the continent.”