|On-Topic Only| WWII - The Cause Of the Cold War?

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by kibeth, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. kibeth

    kibeth Member

    Ok I was dissapointed to find a topic similar to this closed due to off topic posting. Im probably cheesing off the admin by creating another one. So do me a favour and keep on topic.

    Lets make it a little more structured, and then we can debate.

    Here is how it works.

    I post a reason that in my opinion supports the idea that WWII caused the cold war. The next user to post can debate this. Then they have to leave Thier own comment.

    THe next user can choose to debate my post or the second users post, but he/she must state which point is being debated by using a number. The number being based on the order of posts in the topic, This post is #1

    So here is mine.

    I think that the two sides wanted completely different things from victory.
  2. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    1. Agreed. Russia wanted land and power, America wanted power and control.
    2. The posters that caused the last 2 Cold War threads to implode are no longer posting. We could be safe.
  3. spidge


    1. I have always believed that the "Cold War" commenced on September 17th 1939 with Stalins invasion of Eastern Poland, which resulted in the divison of the country into two halves in a deal with the German Reich.

    Yes: WW2 was the igniter of the "Cold War".


    Whilst this was predominantly with Britain at that time Stalin was never really trusted again. With the commencement of Barbarossa, Stalin was in dire need of the Allies (and the Allies of the Soviet armies) until he knew that he and the Allies would defeat the Axis.

    The timing of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was in part directed at Stalin.

    Why then Lend-Lease you may ask? The allies could not afford a German defeat of the Soviets. Europe could not have been won without them!
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    1. But would anyone really disagree that ww2 was the root of the cold war?
  5. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    1. But would anyone really disagree that ww2 was the root of the cold war?
    No, I would personally say that it went back further to the first world war. Lenin was trying to cause trouble after the Brest/Livotsk treaty, among the western allies. Lenin didn't want Stalin as his successor, but through Stalin's subterfuge and elimination of Trotsky and the dissapearance of others he took power. Come the end of the second world war and Stalin has his excuse to occupy the eastern bloc as a buffer zone. At the same time spreading the ideology to occur areas - Central America etc.
  6. kibeth

    kibeth Member

    Ah I see you have been affected by this forums general speed problems.

    I think that the cold war was a result of the growing rage between the US and Russia.

    Russia closed railway lines, USA sent air supplies. The Russians wanted to starve the Germans into communism, wheras the USA wanted to help Germany and make themselves look great. The aims were completely different.
  7. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    Some might say it was happening when Churchill said an iron curtain had descended upon Europe, from the Baltic to Trieste.
  8. kibeth

    kibeth Member

    I think the fact that both the USA and UK got new political leaders made Stalin very uneasy.
  9. T-34

    T-34 Discharged - Nazi

    ... I think that the two sides wanted completely different things from victory.

    US and USSR wanted very same thing from victory - a world domination.
  10. Hawkeye90

    Hawkeye90 Senior Member

    US and USSR wanted very same thing from victory - a world domination.

    Yes, Capitalist and Communist governments struggling for power will lead to problems.
  11. kibeth

    kibeth Member

    I dont thin the US wanted world domination, thier leader was not as extreme as the Russian's.
  12. T-34

    T-34 Discharged - Nazi

    I dont think the US wanted world domination, their leader was not as extreme as the Russian's.

    oh, come on. don't be so naive.
    leaders is nothing - corporate interests is only thing that counts.
  13. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    Two opposing ideologies clash -town isn't big enough for both of us springs to mind.

    America the war over. Sees Soviet Russia occupy eastern Europe, isolating it from the western world. The Berlin airlift - how is one supposed to interpret the actions of a former ally. Communist forces invade South Korea. Communist forces and Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Later Cuban revolution communist take over on America's doorstep. Central America. One would have to be naive if America wasn't watching this and not feeling itself or it's interests world wide threatened somewhere along the line.

    It can only look at events as it sees it as it's former ally still showing a belligerent attitude(and the war over) trying to destabilse things for it's own ideological benefit.
  14. HistryBuff

    HistryBuff Junior Member

    I think it wasn't really ww2, though it helped. Mainly it was as simply as two countires with completely different attitudes about how governments should be run where powerful, so each felt threatened. Russia, knowing the states could make A-bombs decided to make there own, why not? Then the states saw Russia making them and started making more incase there was a nuclear war and so on, you all know the story.
  15. Hawkeye90

    Hawkeye90 Senior Member

    It was WWII that put the Soviet Union and the United States in positions of power. I think the political differences played a part but the Cold War was not caused simply by political differences. I believe The Cold War was the result of two powerful countries feeling threatened by each others military and nuclear capabilities.
  16. spidge


    It was WWII that put the Soviet Union and the United States in positions of power. I think the political differences played a part but the Cold War was not caused simply by political differences. I believe The Cold War was the result of two powerful countries feeling threatened by each others military and nuclear capabilities.

    The objectives of each were not trusted. The West needed the Soviets to defeat Germany however after what was revealed of the Stalinistic regime, they could not be allied moving forward in the 20th century. The two ideologies clashed and the Korean war showed there would be no peace or trust.

    We should possibly be thankful that Hitler did invade the Soviet Union and not entertain an extension or addition to the pact with Stalin.
  17. T-34

    T-34 Discharged - Nazi

    ...We should possibly be thankful that Hitler did invade the Soviet Union and not entertain an extension or addition to the pact with Stalin.

    also, we should possibly be thankful that US and UK didn't pact with Hitler against the Soviet Russia.
    as for Stalin, he made Russia win the war.
    and if not for his "regime" russians were quite happy with, there would be a nazi state all over the europe - the sort of the state to which europeans wouldn't say no these days maybe...
  18. smc

    smc Member

    You could argue that the Cold War began the day Lenin's Bolshevik regime repudiated all it's debts and withdrew from war. From this point you had a pariah state who did not follow classic liberal political values and the seeds sown particularly at Brest-Litovsk germinated throughout the interwar period and sprung into life during and after WW2. American involvement escalated during the latter part though the major participants who formulated policy such as Kennan formed their views during stints at the Eastern Office or at the American listening post in Latvia.

    Brest-Litovsk is the key to understanding Stalin's policy regarding land grabbing. Lenin worked on the principle that the land given up in the short term to help the regime consolidate would be regained in the long term once it had grown stronger. This set it on a collision course with Poland who had gained the western portion of Ukraine and Belarus during the post 1918 vacuum and subsequent war with the nascent Soviet Union. Stalin's long term gains in Europe was to regain the borderlands and install or encourage friendly regimes in eastern Europe in order to safeguard any possible future invasion.

    On top of that came ideology. Initially the Communist regime wished to export their system to other western governments ASAP but this was scaled back with the removal of it's chief champion Trotsky and the decision to concentrate on socialism in one country under Stalin. Whilst still paying lip service to this hope Stalin's foreign policy would echo the more energetic Tsars rather than Lenin and Trotsky's ideological view. However, their early pronouncements produced the reds in the beds bogeyman image which never let up until the mid 1980s. Not to say that they wouldn't try it as the Soviets became prime oppotunists rather than formulating and undermining capitalist regimes.

    By 1939 the Soviet state was still mistrusted by the West and the West was mistrusted by the Soviet state. Implicit was Stalin's personality, his paranoia was borne out by his early life as a political conspirator where trust was placed in one or two individuals and nobody else (those who survived the purges and reached high offices had often worked with him closely over 20-30 years). This was also evident with his dealings with other countries; Britain was forever the country who had tried to destabilise and remove the Communists from 1919-23, France their willing allies and Germany a pariah who could at least be worked with during the Weimar period. At this point the Americans played second fiddle due to their isolationsist tendencies.

    Attempts to involve the Soviet Union in talks against the Nazi regime was half hearted and mistrustful on both sides. Consequently, in the summer of 1939 when the oppotunity arose for the Soviets to stay out the war they took it to ensure, 1 - the Nazis and Allies didn't gang up against them, 2 - with one side defeated it would be easier to attack/defend against the other. What the Nazis also offered the Soviets was the return of land or a free hand in areas lost at Brest-Litovsk something the Allies could not. Consequently, when the Soviets finally came over to the Allied side in June 1941 Stalin demanded the same from Britain and to a degree Britain agreed or fudged the issue depending on your viewpoint. It was this set of relations that existed when the Americans joined in from December 1941.

    This Grand Alliance was primarily a military one against a common enemy with little political input, three major allies and a number of minor ones. Relations ebbed and flowed with the exigencies of the situation but still retained an element of mistrust on both sides, the Soviets displayed extreme paranoia when Hess landed in Britain whilst the Western powers would worry about persistant rumours of Soviets trying to sound out the Nazis for an end to the war, these ended after Kursk but underlined the misconceptions both had about the other.

    Great Power relations also added to the problems; Roosevelt tried to woo Stalin and would often avoid siding with Churchill on issues that may cause Stalin to feel the others were ganging up on him. With British power waning the Americans were now making the decisions and their viewpoint was to ensure military decisions were given priority over political ones. In essence the Americans had the military power but did not pursue political objectives with it; the Soviets had the military power and pursued political objectives in tandem; whilst the British pursued political objectives but no longer had the military power to back these up. To put it simplistically, Churchill knew roughly what Stalin was getting up to but Roosevelt did not back him up. Implicit is his attempt in 1943 to open a second front in the Balkans a British attempt to forestall any possible Soviet domination in eastern Europe by getting military power in a position to dictate political settlement. The Americans rejected the idea both militarily and politically.

    Something which irked the Soviets was the surrender of Italy in 1943 and the setting up of an Allied Control Council sans Soviets to run affairs in the intervening political vacuum. The ACC included no Soviet representative on the account that the Soviets did no fighting in the country. Logical, but it fuelled Stalin's paranoia and would be used as a precedent when the Soviets arrived in the eastern borderlands. The ACCs became a means of political control and would be used to clinical effect between 1945-48.

    Then there is Poland. Whatever you may say Stalin had it in for the Poles, through long time historical animosity to the Polish attempt at grabbing land occuppied by Orthodox Slavs in the Russo-Polish War of 1919-21 in an attempt to revive the great Polish state of the 15th and 16th centuries. From the earliest he planned to neutralise the interwar Polish state in every way, the takeover of Western Ukraine in 1939 was followed by a destruction of the Polish intelligentsia in order to prevent any possible future political leadership. This was further repeated with the Katyn murders which would later undermine British attempts to get the emigre Polish government to make a deal with Stalin. Further Soviet actions at the Warsaw Uprising and the setting up of a communist controlled government based at Lublin indicated how Stalin wished to deal with the Poles - on his terms only. This began undermining any Allied unity particularly when it became clear Stalin was not backing down.

    What probably hastened the breakdown was the removal of Roosevelt and Churchill from the scene. Stalin liked the former but mistrusted his successor Truman who was abrupt with him and Molotov and decided to take advice from Kennan and company in their dealings.

    I've rambled on a bit here but the purpose is to provide a sort of background. I know I've missed bits out but the crux of the matter is that the seed was sown in 1917, germinated between 1919-39, then grew from 1939-45 before flowering in the aftermath of the war. Attitudes already existed before WW2 started but were highlighted through opposition. T34 is right when he says the West wished to control the world through the ideology of free trade (Back then American industry was in a position to dictate this) which included undermining British and French imperial ambitions by breaking up one big trading cartel into smaller individual partners. The communists wished to dominate through the ideology of socialism and all the promises it held out. For that both blocs went head to head.
  19. ourbill

    ourbill Senior Member

    USA only thinks about its own interests, like any other state in the world, their type of political system is based on corporate greed true today as it has always been since 1776.
    USA didn't want to be involved in WW2. We all know that they were made to be involved and not just sit and make war profits from Brits and others.
    USA always knows best and didn't take much advise from anyone, to them Monty was a joke along with all the other Brits. Yalta was a carve up of europe between USA and USSR.
    Britain lost an empire, USA and USSR gained one. The rights and wrongs are not for me to say.
    A bit off topic so I say sorry. Bullet points rather than an essay I know but I felt I had to say something and express some opinions.
    The only thing to stop USSR at the agreed boundries in 1945 was the Atomic bombs on Japan and the beginnings of the Cold War.

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