Stalin in the Cold War

Stalin was the dictator of the Soviet Union. His goal was to turn the country into a military super power.

Stalin's Motives For Taking Over Europe:

1. He wanted a barrier to stop the Soviet Union from being invaded.

2.He thought Americans were not trustworthy.

3. He believed everyone should be communist.

United States Flag and Soviet Union Flag

How Stalin Took Over Eastern Europe:

The First step was the take- over of Poland. Stalin wanted control of Poland because the Germans had come through it in both World War I and World War II. The leader of the London Poles, Mikolaczyk, fled the country after the election in January 1947 was rigged because he feared his life was in danger. Stalin took advantage of this and transformed Poland into a land of communism.

Polish Flag

The second step was the take-over of Romania and Bulgaria. Theses countries were on the border of the USSR, so that's why the Soviets wanted them so badly. The red army charged into the two countries in late 1944. The coalition governments, which were supposed to reduce the dominance of a certain party, were now ruled by communists. In February of 1945 right after the Yalta agreement Andrei Vyshinsky, who was one of the top Soviet politicians, told the king of Romania to name a new prime minister of Stalin's choosing. The king claimed that this was not part of the Yalta agreement, but Andrei Vyshinsky pushed back and forced the king to do it. Romania was under full communist power by mid- 1945. The communist government took over the Romanian monarchy by 1947.

In Bulgaria rigged elections were held in November 1945. The communist Fatherland Front won and they got rid of the Bulgarian monarchy in September 1946.

Bulgarian Flag and Romanian Flag

The final step was the take-over of Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Stalin didn't really know want he wanted with these countries at first, so he allowed non-rigged elections to be held in Hungary in November 1945. The smallholders' party (non-communist) was the most successful. In 1947 the communists took power and banned all communist parties.

They took power over Czechoslovakia in 1948. This country had a strong local communist party. In the fair elections in 1946 the communists won 38% of the vote. The President and Foreign Minister were non-communist, but the Prime Minister was communist. Czechoslovakia was in and economic crisis because of the problems with their harvest and industry. The communists were afraid that they would lose in the upcoming elections of May 1948, so they attacked to seize power. All non-communists were arrested and Masaryk( the Foreign Minister) was murdered. Then, rigged elections were held and the communists won by a lot.

Hungary Flag and Czechoslovakia Flag

Stalin and the Berlin Blockade:

The Berlin Blockade was the separation Of East and West Berlin by a huge concrete wall. Stalin decided to do this because he thought Berlin was an easy target because the U.S. could not protect it and he felt that Germany was being built into a Western proxy.

There was no way the United States could defend Berlin. Stalin was correct about this. He thought that the U.S. wouldn't wait long to give up because Berlin only became well known after the airlift, the Berlin Wall and John F. Kennedy's speech . This was true for the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, but not for President Truman. He believed that they should hold on to Berlin at all costs. President Truman said,

"We HAVE to keep it, but I can't bear to think about how we can keep it."
Stalin and President Truman

Stalin and The Atomic Bomb:

On August 29, 1949 Stalin launched the Soviet Union's first bomb. When United States President Truman put the USSR under the Truman Doctrine( a policy that was created to restrain the spread of communism ), the Soviet Union stole the top secret blue prints of the the Trinity design. This was the bomb that the U.S. made to end WWII. Without the help from the blueprints it would of taken Stalin a couple more years to make the bomb, but they could've created the bomb without stealing the blueprints.

There were also many other bombs created by the Soviets. In October 1961 Stalin launched a nuclear device which was 58 megatons (more than 50 million tons of TNT). This was the largest bomb until the Soviets later launched the Tsar Bomba.

Credits:

Created with images by Martijn.Munneke - "Schilderij van Stalin" • dbking - "IMG_5814" • robert.claypool - "United States Flag" • publicstock - "Flag of USSR" • adam_gorka - "flag polish poland" • Klearchos Kapoutsis - "Bulgarian Flag" • miss_unafraid - "Romanian flag" • lmaresz - "flag hungary cloud" • young shanahan - "Stalin." • WikiImages - "harry s truman president usa"

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