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How 'hot' Was The Cold War?

1601 words - 6 pages

The Cold War is the term given to the relationship that developed primarily between the USA and the USSR after World War Two. It was a relatively peculiar situation in that neither side ever fought each other, perhaps for fears that the consequences would be too awful. If we are to define 'hot' as: actual warfare where all talks have failed and the armies are fighting, then The Cold War, in its entirety does not qualify. Yet, there were indeed aspects of the conflict where the USA and USSR used 'client' states on whose soil the superpowers 'fought' each other on the behalf of the states involved. Such events certainly qualify as 'hot'; however the degree and extent to which such 'hot' events dominated the conflict must be considered before the temperature of The Cold War is fully decided.By the end of 1945 the seed of The Cold War had been well and truly sown. Although united during the Second World War, the Allies were not on good terms by any means. During the war, Stalin had felt that the Allies were deliberately allowing Russia to take on the might of two-thirds of the Wehrmacht in Eastern Europe. Such a military campaign, he believed, would leave the USSR so weakened once the war was over that the Allies would have major military superiority over Russia. Such pre-existing tension was heightened by Stalin's realisation of the weapons that America owned; his own army was indeed large, yet it would never match a nuclear weapon. At this stage, the tension is indeed evident, but there is no threat of immediate 'hot' warfare. It could be said that the countries were simply insecure after such a large-scale war, and easily threatened by one another. The ongoing clash of Moscow and Washington's ideals would also mean a certain amount of tension between the two powers.The Berlin Airlift in 1948-1949 was the first example of the USSR and USA involved in conflict that was not directly on their soil. At the end of the war, the Allies divided Germany and Berlin into four zones, and each victorious nation controlled their zone. Britain, France and America believed that a strong Germany would enable democracy to prosper after the years of Nazi dictatorship. They also believed that Europe needed a strong Germany so that their economies would prosper. To enable their zones to work more effectively, the British, Americans and French decided to amalgamate their zones into one unit and introduced into that one unit a new currency, namely the Deutschmark. In contrast Russia kept their area as weak as possible, exploiting the area for resources that would help Russia and Russian people. This contrast was obvious, and the Allies were a problem for Stalin, who, (owing to America's military supremacy) could not forcibly remove them. Instead he created a blockade, closing all rail lines, canals and roads that entered West Berlin through the Russian sector. However, it seems jumping at the chance to compete against Stalin, the Allies held firm and flew supplies in for...

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