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Peace and War Development of the Cold War - Answers
1. At the Tehran Conference in December 1943 the `big three' allied leaders Winston Churchill, Roosevelt
and Stalin decided that:
Russia should have a `sphere of influence in the East' where they were free to impose communist ideas
Britain and America should have a `sphere of influence' in the West where Capitalism and democracy ruled.
It was decided that Britain and America would open up a second war front in the Mediterranean in France,
May 1944 (D-Day).
Only unconditional surrender would be accepted from Germany and its alliances they did not agree on a
2. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945 the `big three' allied leaders Winston Churchill, Roosevelt and
Stalin decided that after the war:
Germany was to be split into 4 zones of occupation
Free elections for new governments would be held in countries previously occupied in Eastern Europe
The United Nations would replace the failed League of Nations to maintain peace amongst countries.
A communist and non-communist government would be set up in Poland so that Russia would not feel
threatened by invasion by Poland or through Poland.
3. At the Potsdam Conference in August 1945 the `big three' allied leaders Clement Attlee, Harry Truman
and Stalin decided:
The allies would divide Germany and Berlin between them
Legal trials would be held at Nuremberg of Nazi leaders for `War Crimes'.
The new boundaries of Poland
The amount of reparation to be paid Stalin was allowed as much as he wanted from Soviet zones and 10%
from other zones (Britain and America thought it was too much)
4. Hidden issues at the Potsdam Conference:
Harry Truman was much more suspicious of Stalin than his predecessor, Roosevelt
The USSR was expanding quickly much to Britain and America's distaste.
Stalin had replaced the mixed communist and non-communist Polish government so that it was entirely
America had recently developed the atomic bomb and wanted to impose authority over the USSR, but Stalin
didn't let on he knew about it and was working on his own.
Britain and France were not happy with the amount of reparation they believed that a prosperous Germany
was less likely to want another war than a weak one.
5. The Cold War was the period of increasing tensions between the USA and the USSR. It was called the Cold War
because there wasn't any direct fighting instead both sides tried to gain the upper hand with alliances and
plans. Both sides were afraid of another war because of the huge power of atomic weapons. Countries in
Western Europe tended to support the USA, whilst most countries in Eastern Europe were dominated by the
6. The USSR path to becoming influential in Europe:
At the end of WWII, the USSR's Red Army occupied Eastern Europe. Stalin had no intention of keeping the
promise he made at Yalta to allow free elections in Poland
Between 1945 and 1948 Stalin installed pro-Soviet "puppet" governments in Poland, Hungary, Romania,
Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia. Free speech was suppressed.
Non-communist parties were banned and communist parties were regulated by the Cominform to ensure
they were made up of Russian-style communists.
Comecon set up worked to nationalise the states' industries and collectivise agriculture
For a while it seemed Czechoslovakia might remain democratic. But when the Communist Party seemed
likely to lose ground in the next election, it seized power in February 1948.
The exception to Soviet domination was Yugoslavia which had freed itself from the Germans without the
Red Army. Yugoslavia was communist but more open to the West. Stalin cut off aid but didn't invade.
7. Comecon (The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance):
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Set up in 1949 to coordinate the economies of Eastern Europe
Arranged for the import and export of raw materials and manufactured goods
Tried to offer an alternative route to prosperity for the countries of Eastern Europe, instead of trading with
the west.…read more
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The Truman Doctrine: The USA would support any nation threatened by a communist takeover. For example the
USA gave $400 million of aid to Turkey and Greece to try to stop communism spreading. A civil war had started
in Greece in 1946 between the pro-Western government and communists Truman wanted to give the
government all the help he could.…read more
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In August 1945, the USA dropped two atomic bombs on Japan destroying the cities of Hiroshima and Nagaski.
These bombs were incredibly powerful and thousands of civilians were killed.
In 1949, the USSR exploded their own atomic bomb.
In 1952, the USA developed the even more powerful hydrogen bomb.
The USSR followed with theirs in 1955.
During the 1950s and 1960s both countries competed to create large numbers of nuclear weapons.
22. Following Stalin's death in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev took over.…read more