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How Stalin was appeased and the Cold War started

Personally, I'm always amazed how people so easily forget. Not only the occurances throughout our past, but also the intentions and plans that there were in the first place once. Everyone knows how the Cold War heated up with the Berlin blockade, the Cuban missile crisis, etc. On many occasions there was reason enough to fear a nuclear war. They also know more recent history about how it ended and reasons why, but they have forgotten how it did start. A war that didn't become hot is a nice enough description of what happened.

Does anyone still know about the plans that there were to defeat Stalin after Hitler? One of them was called Operation Unthinkable, and there's a clip explaining everything about that plan after the following short explanation of what there was going on the Allied side of the war before and after Yalta in February 1945. As the Red Army advanced into Eastern Europe during 1944-45, Stalin was already thinking about the post-war situation and about imposing Soviet-style regimes on the liberated territories. He thought of Poland and the Baltic lands as a buffer zone to protect the USSR against a possible German revival - a concept born of Soviet fears of a foreign invasion rooted in the trauma of 22 June 1941. He spoke of 'spheres of influence' in his talks with the others about the division of the occupation zones. But where the British and Americans took these spheres of influence to mean protectorates, without interference in domestic politics by the occupation force, Stalin saw them as a license for the Sovietization of the occupied societies. By the end of 1944 he was counting on a sphere of influence that would include Finland, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia and Turkey.

The percentages agreement in this matter was a secret informal agreement between British prime minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin during their 4th Moscow Conference in October 1944, a few months before Yalta. It gave the percentage division of control over Eastern European countries, dividing them into spheres of influence. Thus the Western Allies had appeased Stalin in the early months of 1945. The Red Army was racing to Berlin, and they needed Stalin's help against Japan. At the Yalta Conference they more or less agreed to Stalin's plans for a Polish government friendly to the Russians, insisting only on a vague undertaking by the Soviets to reorganize the Communist-dominated Lublin government 'on a broader democratic basis' including Poles returning from abroad. Already in 1944 Churchill was extremely afraid of Communism spreading into Western Europe, if the US withdrew troops for the war in the Pacific, and he took the opportunity in his meetings with Stalin to safeguard Greece for the West whilst ditching the Free Poles in highly unfriendly manner nevertheless. This was the context of the Potsdam Conference where President Truman advised Stalin that the Americans would use the atom bomb to force the Japanese to surrender.

The bomb altered everything because Stalin moved into action from then on. He saw Hiroshima as a hostile warning against the Soviet Union. It reinforced in his mind the need to be tougher in his dealings with the West: to use his troops in Europe as a counter-threat to the US bomb. The new Western policy of 'containment' had its origins in the 'Long Telegram' sent by George Kennan, the deputy head of the US Mission in Moscow, to James Byrnes, the Secretary of State on 22 February 1946. Kennan was frustrated by the US policy of cooperation with the Soviet Union, which he believed was incapable of peaceful co-existence with capitalism. Politically insecure and terrified of capitalist encirclement the Soviet regime would, in his view, defend itself by attacking its capitalist enemies: in Soviet thinking, "offense and defense [were] inextricably confused". To contain the Soviet threat Kennan argued that US policy should aim to strengthen democratic institutions in the West and exert counter-pressure against the USSR "at a series of constantly shifting geographical and political points." Recalled to Washington, Kennan helped to shape the Truman Doctrine of providing aid to countries to prevent them falling to the Communists. The Marshall Plan was part of this containment policy. Others were also working on planning action against the real threat of communism spilling over to the West and one of them was Operation Unthinkable the name given to two related possible future war plans developed by the British Chiefs of Staff Committee against the USSR the year before.

However, the threat of conflict with Tito in Venezia Giulia, northeast Italy, brought British and American military planners together only in August 1946, and the British revealed then details of Operation Unthinkable for the first time and the Americans likewise of Operation Pincher. Unthinkable singled out Poland as the main target whilst Pincher targeted the Middle East. The most likely flashpoint for hostilities according to the American planners was the Middle East, where Soviet ambitions might come into conflict with those of Britain. As a consequence of those actions the USSR had the resources to quickly overrun Europe east of the Rhine. The Rhine was a major barrier, but it was anticipated that it could not be held for long, forcing US and British forces to retreat to the Pyrenees. American intelligence assessments of the USSR's capabilities were that it could mobilize as many as 245 divisions, of which 120 could be deployed in Western Europe, 85 in the Balkans and Middle East, and 40 in the Far East. Every war plan assumed that the conflict would open with one massive Soviet offensive. The defense of Western Europe was regarded as impractical, and the American plans called for a withdrawal to the Pyrenees, while a strategic air offensive was mounted from bases in the United Kingdom, Okinawa, and the Cairo-Suez or Karachi areas, with ground operations launched from the Middle East aimed at southern Russia. By 1949, however, priorities had shifted, and the Offtackle plan called for an attempt to hold Soviet forces on the Rhine, followed, if necessary, by a retreat to the Pyrenees, or mounting an Operation Overlord–style invasion of Soviet-occupied Western Europe from North Africa or the United Kingdom.

Max41 · 26-30, M
What made the current time more effective is that China produces everything , and Usa produces hollywood movies .

Technology was a big sector , and the last cellphone company of Europe , Nokia is going to be shut as well .

In coming time , there shall be more Electric cars , and china can produce thousands every day , and at cheaper rate to sell to world , Usa shall keep its $2000 priced apple phone only .
revenant · F
Everybody knows ? hardly and certainly not those youngsters who got brought up with communism on the brain.
val70 · 51-55
@revenant True, but I was thinking those of our age :-) No, we're not old
sree251 · 41-45, M
@revenant You are female and against communism?
revenant · F
@sree251 what is wrong with that ? I fail to see
therighttothink50 · 56-60, M
You need to please separate paragraphs, hard to read...
val70 · 51-55
@therighttothink50 Thank you! :-)
Many philosophers talk really long to keep the riff raff out of the debate.
sree251 · 41-45, M
val70 · 51-55
@Roundandroundwego Both of you should try to read some more. Will make your worlds expand :-)
sree251 · 41-45, M
@val70 You talking to me?
MartinII · 70-79, M
val70 · 51-55
@MartinII No, not really :-)
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