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USSR and Cold War (1945 1953)


E.N. Evseeva

USSR And COLD WAR (1945 - 1953)

World War II radically changed a geopolitical situation in the world and climate of the international relations. War with fascism rallied the people, muffled ideological disagreements. The relations between allied powers kept partner character. Hope were given by creation of the United Nations (at a conference to San Francisco in April - June, 1945) and the Nuremberg trial of 1945 - 1946 which punished the German war criminals and showed relative unity of the winner countries.

All political map of the world looked differently now. Such large states as Germany, Italy and Japan, got beaten. France was seriously weakened by war and the German occupation. England during war constantly increased the military power, but its financial resources were seriously exhausted by 1945. It is necessary to add to it that in the huge territory of the British Empire, as well as in colonial possession of France and the Netherlands, grass-roots movement for independence began.

Only one western power - the United States of America - dropped out of the war immeasurably stronger, than entered it. Human losses of the USA in war in comparison with losses of other countries were small. The American territory did not suffer from military operations. At the same time war gave an impetus for sharp increase in military production. In 1945 nearly 2/3 industrial outputs of the western countries, about 1/3 world exports of goods fell to the share of the USA. More than a half of gold reserves of the Western world accumulated in safes of the American banks. The USA turned into the leader of the Western world and the designer of a post-war system international


The huge contribution of the USSR to a victory over Hitlerite Germany caused splash in sympathies for it in the West. Thanks to dedicated fight against fascism and dissolution of Komintern in 1943, the authority of communists on the western countries sharply increased. Left came to a proscenium of political life of the European states, in nine of them the communists were a part of the governments. Conservatives were forced to concede the right of country government in England to labourists.

Sharply military and political impact of the USSR increased. It not only left the international isolation, but also became the recognized great power. The Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs hardly managed to place dozens of new embassies in Moscow: their number reached 50 (before war there were 23). In the UN Security Council of the USSR became one of five permanent members along with the USA, England, France and China. In the context of post-war territorial changes the western allies recognized the right of the USSR for a part of East Prussia (Konigsberg with the adjacent area; nowadays Kaliningrad region of Russia), Southern Sakhalin, Kuril Islands and also need of military presence in China.

The fact that in the agreements signed during the Crimean and Potsdam conferences of the countries of participants of the anti-Hitlerite coalition the recognition of interests of the USSR in the states of Eastern and Central Europe was recorded was even more important: To Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania. The dominating military-political and economic influence of the Soviet Union in this region (and also in China and North Korea) developed already during release of these countries by the Soviet army from fascism and the Japanese militarism.

Thus, by the result of World War II contours of two new superstates and their potential allies were designated, there was a soil for "unleashing" of Cold War.1

The first stage of confrontation (1945 - 1947) began in the summer of 1945 at the Potsdam conference (worked from July 17 to August 2) heads of state and government of the USA, England and the USSR.

The USSR imposed on Turkey requirement to begin negotiations on joint defense of the Black Sea passages (Bosphorus and Dardanelles), accompanied with territorial claims of the Georgian and Armenian Soviet republics. Due to prisut-

the stviye of the Soviet troops in Northern Iran created the Azerbaijani and Kurdish autonomies, independent of the central government. I.B. Marchal of Tito2 completely liquidated opposition in Yugoslavia. The opposition in Bulgaria, Romania and Poland was pursued.

All this forced the leader of the British conservatives At. Cherchillya3 to state on March 5, 1946 in Fultona (USA):

"... My duty is in presenting you some facts about the current situation in Europe. From Stettin on Baltic to Trieste on Adriatic Sea the iron veil went down on the continent. Behind this line all treasures of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe are stored. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, Sofia - all these well-known cities and the population in their areas are in the Soviet sphere, and all submit in any given form not only to the Soviet influence, but also the control of Moscow substantially increasing.

Communist parties which were very insignificant in all these east states of Europe reached the exclusive force much surpassing their number and seek to establish totalitarian control everywhere. The police governments prevail almost in all these countries and so far, except for Czechoslovakia, in them there is no genuine democracy. & lt;...> In the vast majority of the countries standing far from the Russian borders and scattered worldwide the communistic "fifth columns" which work in a full unification and absolute obedience to the instructions received from the communistic center are created... I do not believe that the Soviet Russia wants war. She wants fruits of war and boundless distribution of the force and the doctrines. & lt;...> Our old doctrine of balance is insolvent. We are not able to afford to rely on insignificant overweight in forces, creating thereby temptation for showdown..."

At this time, after the victory of labourists in parliamentary elections, Churchill was in resignation, but did not stop vigorous political activity. Acting in Fultona and calling the western democracies for a unification in the face of the growing threat from the USSR and world communism, he at the same time confirmed aspiration of the British people to ustanovle-

niya of long cooperation with the USSR. After secondary election as his prime minister in October, 1951 Churchill, estimating a new ratio of forces between the East and the West in nuclear weapons, called in question expediency of pressure upon the USSR. In May, 1953, acting in the House of Commons, it put forward the concept of "the summit of the nations" - preparation and convocation of a top-level conference. In 1955 Churchill for health reasons retired and in the last years of life did not play an active role in policy.

On March 14 in the form of an interview to the correspondent of the Pravda newspaper to the ex-prime minister of Great Britain the acting head of the USSR I.V. Stalin answered. He said that Churchill's speech - "the dangerous act expected on seeding contention seeds between Union States and to complicate their cooperation. As a matter of fact mister Churchill costs on a position of warmongers now". Responding to concrete charges to the Soviet foreign policy, Stalin told: "What can be surprising that the Soviet Union, wishing to secure itself for future time, tries to achieve that in these countries there were governments which are loyally relating to the Soviet Union? How it is possible, without having gone crazy, to qualify peace aspirations of the Soviet Union as expansionist trends of our state?"

From now on the Soviet people, as well as before war, should live with constant feeling of military danger, not to wait for fast changes to the best and not to hope for fast approach of abundance and prosperity. The Soviet propaganda device picked up the idea of the leader, calling fellow citizens for overcoming "internal difficulties", for patience for preservation of peace. From here - the spell "if only was not wars" and forgiveness to the authorities of all unpopular decisions if they came true the aspiration to avoid new military collision.

It should be noted that actually next day after the victory the soviet leadership began a purposeful campaign for creation from yesterday's allies of an image of the enemy. The issue of possible continuation of the war in Europe was discussed at a meeting with Stalin.

The writer-veteran D. Samoylov wrote:

"The option of a further campaign to Europe - war with present allies - did not seem improbable to either me, or much of my brother-soldiers. Military good luck, feeling of a victory and invincible

st, the offensive rush which did not run low still - all this supported feeling of an opportunity and feasibility of conquest of Europe. With such mood in army it would be possible not to stop in Berlin if the real ratio of forces was other..."

Militaristic moods were inherent also in a certain part of the civilian population.

To it questions of the Soviet citizens to representatives of the authorities serve as the evidence:

Whether "Frontiers of the USSR in the West will be increased? Whether we intend to take away from Japan the Southern Sakhalin, Manchuria with Port Arthur and Korea? Whether there will be in Poland and Yugoslavia the Soviet power? To whom will the territory of East Prussia be transferred? Whether there can be in Berlin the Soviet power? When will bread and cars begin to arrive to us from Germany? Whether will take out consumer goods from the occupied regions of Germany?"

Stalin also leaned on such moods, going for confrontation with the former allies.

In relationship between the former allies on the anti-Hitlerite coalition 1947 became critical

In the spring the U.S. President G. of Trumen4 addressed the congress with the offer to assign 400 mln. dollars for assistance of Greece and Turkey. The right was proved in the message ("Truman's doctrine" on control of communism) to interpose in the matter of various regions of the world where, according to the American government, there is a threat for the interests of the USA.

in the Summer the U.S. Secretary of State D. of Marshall5 announced the plan of the economic help to the countries of Europe. Providing the American help according to "Marshall's plan" 6 was followed by a number of conditions which had to observe the states obtaining the credits.

The increase of the international confrontation, economic difficulties generated by reduction of military orders and konversiyey7 productions promoted toughening of domestic policy of the leading powers.

Spring of 1947 communists were brought from the structure of the governments of France and Italy.

If originally in the majority of the countries Central and

Southeast Europe (Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland) the coalition governments, to the middle came to the power

1947 with active participation of the USSR the replacement from political life of these countries of the liberal political forces practically came to the end. The fate of the coalition in Czechoslovakia was in many respects predetermined too though there communists came to the power only in February, 1948

In response to "Marshall's plan" and for strengthening of control over the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, fall of 1947 at a meeting of representatives of a number of the Communist Parties in Poland the decision on creation of Information bureau of communist and labor parties was made (Kominform). Having become some kind of successor of Komintern, Kominform symbolized refusal of the concept of "national ways by socialism". As the secretary of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) of the Central Committee on ideology A.A. of Zhdanov8 said in the report at a meeting, after World War II the new arrangement of political forces was outlined, two camps were formed: imperialistic, antidemocratic led by the USA and anti-imperialist, democratic led by the USSR. Countries of Eastern Europe were offered to build life on a sample and similarity of "elder brother", that is to carry out industry industrialization, collectivization of agriculture and the cultural revolution.

However not all East European heads accepted the similar subordinated situation and power pressure from the Soviet Union.

The Yugoslavian scientist, the former communist M. Dzhilas remembered:

"About it it was not written anywhere, but I remember from confidential conversations that in countries of Eastern Europe - in Poland, Romania, Hungary - there was a tendency to independent development. I will give an example. In 1946 I was at a congress of Czechoslovak party in Prague. There Gotvald said that the level of culture of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union various. He emphasized that Czechoslovakia is the industrialized country and socialism in it will develop differently, in more civilized forms, without those shocks which were in the Soviet Union... Gotvald opposed collectivization in Czechoslovakia. In effect, his views not really differed from ours (The management of Union of Communists of Yugoslavia means. - Bus). Gotvaldu there was not enough character for fight against Stalin. And Tito was

strong person".

As a result as a result the leadership of Yugoslavia began to pursue policy, more independent of the USSR, and departed from the principles dictated by soviet leadership in February

1948 between the USSR and Yugoslavia diplomatic relations were broken off, and the last was deprived of any help.

In 1948 there was the first large conflict of Cold War - the Berlin crisis, - and the world appeared on the verge of new war. In the spring the Soviet military authorities in, east, a zone of occupation of Germany introduced restrictions for communication, transport and trade between the Western Berlin and the western zones of occupation (American, British and French) and also between east and the western zones. Allies introduced new bank notes in the zones and extended them to the western sectors of Berlin. The Soviet Union, in turn, toughened blockade of the Western Berlin. Together with England and France "the air bridge" with the Western Berlin and planes was necessary to adjust the USA to deliver there products, combustible and all necessary for activity of the city. Opposition of the former participants of the anti-Hitlerite coalition became more open and dangerous, and therefore intensive diplomatic contacts began. Only in May, 1949 the USSR lifted limits for transportations to the Western Berlin.

The German question remained one of central in disagreements between the USSR and the West. The USA and Great Britain considered that without economically strong Germany it will not be possible to restore the European economy. Reparatsii9 from Germany according to the decision of the Crimean conference had to be raised in three types (commodity deliveries of the current products, delivery of the capital equipment and use of the German work). At the Potsdam conference the order of reparation payments was defined by the capital equipment: each of four winner countries acquired the right on account of reparations to make withdrawal of the German industrial equipment in the zone of occupation. The Soviet Union as the most affected party had to receive 50% of all withdrawals from Germany for the sum of 10 bln. dollars. As the Soviet zone of occupation could not cover completely the sum of reparations which is due to the USSR, was established that the Soviet part will receive additional supplies of equipment from the western zones


In the late forties of the USSR sought not to allow any control of the actions in a zone of occupation and very painfully reacted to the decision of the USA and five Western European states to include West Germany in "Marshall's plan" (1948). Split of Germany was predetermined. In May

1949 in the western zone of occupation there was a Federal Republic of Germany, and in October, 1949 in Soviet - the German Democratic Republic.

The Far East became other zone of the conflict between the former allies. On October 1, 1949 People's Republic of China created not without the Soviet help was proclaimed. The remains of troops of gomindanovets took cover from communists on the island of Taiwan.

The Korean peninsula as attempts to develop uniform policy of great powers in Korea completely failed quickly turned into the new center of tension also. And after war the country was divided into two zones: southern under control of the USA (Li Cin Mang's government, the capital - Seoul) and northern under control of the USSR (Kim Il Sung's government, the capital - Pyongyang). In the spring of 1949 meetings of soviet leadership led by Stalin and the leaderships of North Korea led by Kim Il Sung on which agreements on the Soviet military aid and training of the Korean officers in the USSR were reached took place.

By the end of 1949 socialism turned into a world system with the population over 800 million people (more than a third of the population of the globe) and with the territory making about 27% of the earth's surface. The countries belonging to the world system of socialism had contracts with the USSR on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid. These contracts were signed for long terms, up to 20 years, with a possibility of their subsequent extension if any of contracting parties does not announce refusal. Besides the countries of "national democracy", the similar contract with the Soviet Union was signed by Finland. For economic interaction under the auspices of Moscow in 1949 the Comecon "with a problem of exchange of economic experience, rendering each other technical assistance, rendering mutual aid raw materials, food, by machines, the equipment, etc." was formed. Originally it included the USSR, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Czechoslovakia, and later were accepted Albania (1949) and the GDR (1950).

At last, successful test in the USSR of an atomic bomb in 1949 became an event of historical value: the American monopoly for atomic weapons was liquidated. The USSR became the owner of an atomic bomb much earlier, than politicians of the Western world counted.

Disintegration of a colonial system these years went generally in Asia and concerned Indochina, India, Indonesia. Strany-met - ropolii10 applied all means up to conducting local wars against national liberation movements and the countries which are trying to obtain independence to keep them under the control. Emergence of the independent states of Southeast Asia was followed by their recognition by the Soviet Union, establishment with them diplomatic relations. With assistance of the USSR in the UN Syria and Lebanon achieved in 1946 evacuation of the English and French troops from the territory. In November, 1947 the General Assembly approved recommendations of the partition of Palestine into two states, Arab and Jewish, and allocation of Jerusalem in independent unit with the special international status. In May, 1948 the Jewish State of Israel with which the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations was created.

Summing up the results of the first post-war years, the U.S. Secretary of State John F. Dulles was forced to recognize at the beginning of 1950 that in a world ratio of forces "there was an obvious regrouping in favor of the Soviet Union". In such situation at the leader of a world system of socialism Stalin quite there could come "dizziness".

In February, 1950 in Moscow negotiations with the Chinese delegation as a part of the Prime Minister Mao Tsze-dun and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhou En-laya took place. The Soviet-Chinese treaty of friendship, the union and mutual aid for a period of 30 years was signed. Having secured with support of one of the largest countries of the Asian continent, Stalin agreed to attempt of North Korea in the armed way to reunite the North and the South of the Korean peninsula.

On June 25 North Korean troops intruded in the southern zone. The world appeared on the verge of a real possibility of development of Cold War in "hot" as the confrontation of two systems happening in the conditions of a scientific and technological revolution was integrally connected with arms race, and first of all - weapons of mass destruction. Never earlier the mankind was in similar situation. In the same

put the UN Security Council condemned "armed attack on the Korean republic of troops from North Korea". It demanded from Pyongyang to withdraw troops to the 38th parallel which halved the country, and urged all members of the UN to help "as much as possible in implementation of the present resolution and to refrain from assistance to the authorities of North Korea".

First success accompanied Kim Il Sung's troops: in three days they took Seoul, later under their control almost all peninsula got. The conflict was promptly internationalized: under the flag of the UN, troops of the USA and 15 other states interfered with it. Disembarkation of the American landing of troops in the south of Korea, in Chemulpo, and its operations led to the fact that North Korean troops suffered heavy losses, were cut off from bases of supply with fuel and ammunition. War passed into a long and bloody stage. It was necessary to resort to the help of the Chinese "national volunteers". The Soviet Union secretly sent destructive aircraft and air defense systems to North Korea. In the beginning it were two regiments of the jet MiG-15 fighters, and in the spring of 1951 they were strengthened by the whole aviation division equipped with fighters of an advanced sample MiG - 15 encore. In the Korean sky, cruel fights between the American and Soviet pilots ran high (to the Soviet pilots, according to the decision of the country leaders, command strictly forbade to cross the 38th parallel and to go deep into airspace of the South of the Korean peninsula).

According to the General Staff of the USSR, during fighting, from November 1, 1950 to December 6, 1951, the Soviet destructive aircraft lost 63 cars and 30 pilots, parts of air defense - 29 people the killed and 53 wounded. Americans lost 569 planes from which 510 it was brought down in air fights and 59 - fire of an antiaircraft artillery.

At the end of 1950 the front stabilized almost on the same 38th parallel where there began military operations northerners, and diplomats went into action. Negotiations continued two years, several times were interrupted, and after Stalin's death on July 27, 1953 the armistice agreement was signed.

Though the Korean war (1950 - 1953) had local character, it, certainly, contributed to arms race and the accelerated development of military industrial complex, as in

Soviet Union, and in the West.

Cold War, its crises stimulated increase in many countries of military budgets, orientation of their nauchnopromyshlenny potential on creation of more perfect methods of mass destruction of people and also preservation of ideological postulates. Quite simplified world picture was created: on the one hand, the camp of an imperialism led by the USA which is carrying out policy of violence over the people, preparing for new war against the USSR and its allies; with another - the socialist camp led by the USSR which is permanently supporting peaceful co-existence. The concept of "two camps" promoted idea of the USSR in the West as about a threat source.

At such approach the realistic analysis of positive and negative sides in foreign policy of the countries of both camps was excluded. The Soviet ideologists and propagandists of the politician of the Communist Party and Soviet government appeared correct and faultless as it was based on provisions of the Marxist-Leninist theory.

Stalin's views of the fate of the world found reflection in its latest work "Economic problems of socialism in the USSR" (1952). Insisting that capitalism "rots", the leader once again predicted general crisis and disintegration of a world capitalist system. So, inevitability of wars between the capitalist states remains in force, and that "to eliminate inevitability of wars, it is necessary to destroy an imperialism". The Stalin brochure was studied by school students, students, the scientific and creative intellectuals, workers, employees - the whole country.

Thoughts of a possibility of the new military conflict in consciousness of the Soviet people were closely connected with endured during quite recently the ended Great Patriotic War concerned all and everyone: in the Soviet Union there was no family where someone would not die, was not wounded, did not become the disabled person. The past war, in fact, built the new system of values in the Soviet society.

One of leaders of "The Prague spring" 1968 3. Mlynár, in the late forties - the beginning of the 50th studying in MSU, remembered:

"The belief that at the price of the huge sacrifice made in the years of war, the Soviet Union decided destiny of mankind was a basis of all, and therefore all other states are obliged to belong to

to it with special respect. These people perceived any criticism of the Soviet Union as an insult to the memory of the dead. In it they affected with the government at the same time, kind of critically they belonged to the authorities in other questions".

The soviet leadership demanded similar approaches in foreign policy questions from the East European countries. At the end of 40 - the beginning of the 50th in them loud political processes during which eminent national persons were accused of high treason took place. Among communistic leaders whose reliability the Soviet authorities doubted, there were V. Gomulka (Poland), L. Rayk and Ya. Kadar (Hungary), T. Kostov (Bulgaria), Ya. Klementis and R. Slansky (Czechoslovakia) and others. Under pressing of soviet leadership heads, unconditionally supporting the political line of the USSR which came to the power: M. Rakosha (Hungary), B. Berut (Poland). Repressions and prosecutions became a lever on the population of these countries, means of intimidation and suppression of dissent. So, in East Germany of was repressed more than 120 thousand people (1945 - 1950), in Poland - about 300 thousand (1944 - 1948), in Hungary-540 thousand (in one 1952). Under the slogan of "unity of the socialist camp" all attempts of reconsideration of the communistic doctrine were stopped. At the same time it is necessary to emphasize: actions of the leading politicians of the West, first of all the American administration, after World War II were not always adequate to aspirations of the people and the states becoming an object of their attention.

The situation of Cold War with its opposition of two systems changed geopolitical climate, destroyed hopes for peaceful cooperation between allies on the anti-Hitlerite coalition, made arms race and confrontation of military-political blocks disturbing and dangerous reality of the second half of the 20th century


1 For the first time a metaphor "Cold War" appeared on pages of the English magazine Tribyun in the fall of 1945 in the international comment of the famous writer J. Orwell. The official concept "Cold War" was entered in 1946 by the American financier B. Baruch into his speeches concerning plans of the U.S. President Mr. Truman to help Greece and Turkey. Wide to the priest -

the lyarnost of the term was promoted by the journalist U. Lippman, having taken out it in heading of a series of articles and the book "Cold War. An essay of foreign policy of the USA", left in 1947 (A. Kashtanova. Cold War. Reference point//Russian statehood: history and present. SPb., 2003. Page 607).

2 Tito Josip Broz (1892 - 1980), the president of Yugoslavia since 1953. In 1915 it appeared in Russia as the prisoner of war. Since September, 1920 - in Yugoslavia, in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPYu), since 1934 the head of KPYu, in 1935 - 1936 worked in Komintern (in Moscow), the chairman of the Union of Communists of Yugoslavia (UCY) since 1966 (in 1940 - 1966 - the secretary general). During national liberation war in Yugoslavia 1941 - 1945 - the Supreme Commander of National liberation army of Yugoslavia. In 1945 headed the government of Yugoslavia. After break in relations with the USSR in 1948 Tito resisted to the ideological and political pressure of the USSR, having put forward own model of socialist society. Acting as the advocate of extra block policy, became one of leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement.
3 Churchill Winston Leonard Spencer (1974 - 1965), statesman of Great Britain, prime minister (1940 - 1945, 1951 - 1955).
4 Truman Harry (1884 - 1972), the 33rd U.S. President (1945 - 1953) who gave the order on atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one of initiators of creation of NATO.
5 Marshall George Ketlett (1880 - 1953), since 1944 - the general, in 1939 - 1945 the chief of staff of U.S. Army, in 1947 - 1949 the United States Secretary of State, in 1950 - 1951 held a post of the Minister of Defence.
6 The program of restoration and development of Europe after World War II by providing the American economic help to it. 17 European countries participated in implementation of the plan. In 1951 it was replaced with the law "about mutual safety", providing simultaneous providing economic and military aid.
7 Conversion - transfer of the industry from production of military products on release civil or on the contrary.
8 Andrey Aleksandrovich (1896 - 1948) Zhdanov is the Soviet political figure, since 1922 at the Soviet and party work, in 1934 - 1948 the secretary of the Central Committee, at the same time (1934 - 1944) - the first secretary of the Leningrad regional committee and a city town committee of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks). In the Great Patriotic War - the member of the Council of War of troops of the northwest direction and the Leningrad front. One of active organizers of mass repressions in 1930 - the 1940th entered the immediate environment of Stalin,
9 A reparation - the compensation of the loss caused by war paid to the winner by the country which got beaten.
10 The mother country - the colonial state in relation to the colonies.
Gordon Scott
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