Causes of the Cold War 1944-1945

Causes of the break out of the Cold war between America and the USSR


War time conferences

Yalta Conference, February 1945

The conference drew up plans for finishing the war in Europe and the Far East, plus attempted to lay the foundations of the coming peace. The splitting of Germany was also planned at Yalta with America, Britain, USSR and France all occupying certain sections. Berlin was also split into 4 sections.


  • Polands borders were established and their provisional governement was set up with a promise from Stalin to hold free elections.
  • Creation of the United Nations
  • Arrangements for postwar Germany

Why did Yalta contribute to the Cold War?

Stalin did not stick by his promise made in Yalta to hold free elections in Poland, this caused distrust between the leaders.

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War time conferences cont....

Potsdam Conference July 1945

Final decisions were made at Potsdam of the plans that were discussed at Yalta. Stalin asked for more land and reparations and negotiations took place in order to sort these problems.

Why did Potsdam contribute to the Cold war?

  • Impact of Truman; Truman heavily criticised Stalin over his policies and found it difficult to understand his motives. Truman's unsympathetic handing of the USSR is regarded one of the causes of the Cold War.
  • At the conference Truman hinted to Stalin that he had a weapon of great power without giving details. Stalin then later found out that Truman/American had a Atomic Bomb without informing other countries. This made Stalin suspicous of Truman and began the start of the dangerous Arms race.
  • A border was not agreed on for Poland that Stalin was happy with, this caused further tension.
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Further issues that led to the cold war 1944-1945

  • Truman's attitude towards Stalin. He didn't understand Russian's need for sercurity, they felt very vunerable after the two World Wars and Stalin wanted to safe guard his country. Truman however thought it was Stalin acting aggressively and fueled alot of tension between the two countries.
  • Stalin's control of Poland. Stalin made sure that non-communists parties had no say in the country and liquidatised them. This broke Stalins promise at the Yalta Conference.
  • Stalin had a vast sphere of interest of which he controlled, this worried Truman as he was fearful of the spread of communism. This led to the Iron Curtain speech and is part of the motive for the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Aid.
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