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.
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.
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.
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.
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."