• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why Was Germany At The Centre of Cold War Tensions 1945 - 1961

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why Was Germany At The Centre of Cold War Tensions 1945 - 1961? The Cold War was a war of tension that ran for the majority of 20th century and throughout this time Germany was at the centre of many of the key conflicts a crisis points. This can be explained by a number of explanations. Foremost among these was the way that the Second Word War ended. When the war ended and the way it lead to there being a power vacuum in Europe this of course was a major reason for the break out of the Cold War in Europe. Another reason was the constant tension in Berlin. As was the point where the two ideologies clashed frequently and most noticeably, due to the sides developing different ideals and goals for there sectors that lead to tension between the two sides. Contributing to this factor economic prosperity of the FDR, which only served to highlight the differences between the two sides and in particular, the shortcomings of the Communist system. Yet one cannot overlook the idea that many of the crisis's of the Cold War were simply brought about simply because both sides were using Berlin as a bargaining chip to achieve their true goals, indeed it was Khrushchev who said "Berlin is the testicle of the West ... every time I want to make the West scream I squeeze on Berlin". ...read more.

Middle

This idea was furthered by Byrnes' Stuggart speech were the US put their loyalty to Germany ahead of that to Poland. The Berlin Blockade of June 1948 was one of the first crisis points of the Cold War. The crisis was caused by the Russians started to block all of the Allies supply routes for their sectors of Berlin. At this time Post war Berlin was in ruins with all four sectors possessing the worthless Riechsmark and the flourishing black markets. Tensions raised between 1947-1948 when it became apparent that the Western Allies were going to go ahead and create a separate West German state and incorporate West Berlin into this state. The Russian's see this a provocative act of others grouping up against them, they also see it unacceptable that the Allies should posses sections of Berlin as it is so far into their sector of Germany. Tensions are further heightened when the Russians learn of a secret conference in February 1948, The London Conference, in which is was decided that Marshal Aid should be implemented in all areas of West Germany and that a new currency should be introduced, the Deutschmark. Stalin learns of this and it becomes evident that the East and West have two incompatible visions for their sections of Germany and the introduction of the new currency was the catalyst for Stalin's creation of a blockade. On 24th June 1948 a full blockade of all supply lines to Berlin was established. ...read more.

Conclusion

To discuss this ultimatum the sides meet at a Summit in Paris, however talks here break down after one day when a US U2 spy plane is shot down over soviet territory. The deadline passes. Khrushchev then issues another deadline in 1961 after the Vienna conference. However this deadline passes too without any action. Then in the summer of 1961 the DDR convince Khrushchev of the need to seal of East Berlin and it is decided that a wall should be erected. At this point there are serious fears of war as tanks face off at Check Point Charley. Yet nothing happens indeed in the long run it turns out that the wall is in fact a force for stability in the Cold War in Europe and leaves both sides feeling victorious. With the West feeling that they have won a massive propaganda victory, in that the East have to seal their population in. While the East are satisfied with a peaceful resolution and the prevention of people leaving East Berlin. It was the people suffered the greatest cost of the Wall. In conclusion there were many reasons why Germany and in particular Berlin was at the centre of Cold War tension. To start with the way that war ended and the power vacuum that it left behind meant that Germany was always going to be a battlefield for which side to have supremacy. On top of that the way that the two ideologies were in such close proximities there were always going to be clashes and contrasts. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * The four powers, Germany, Italy, Britain and France, met at Munich on 28 September 1938. They agreed to let Hitler have the Sudetenland. * Hitler and Chamberlain signed an agreement that Britain and Germany would never go to war again.

  2. Discuss the reasons why the wartime conferences resulted in cold war rivalry by the ...

    in London that were comprised of ambassadors and foreign ministers of the Big Three countries. Here is a case of controversial issues being passed over by the leaders, which may have lead to tension post 1945 due to the indecisiveness of the leaders at Tehran.

  1. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    The USSR believed that the West was hostile towards them because of many incidents that occurred. To begin with, USA, Britain, and France sent troops across to help the USSR's opponents in 1919. In later years, Stalin believed that there was an indication of Western support to Hitler after the

  2. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    tell you," he wrote Churchill in 1942, "[that] I think I can personally handle Stalin better than either your Foreign Office or my State Department. Stalin hates the guts of all your top people. He thinks he likes me better, and I hope he will continue to do so."

  1. Was the Korean War a Product of the Cold War tensions?

    Since 1905 Korea had been ruled by Japan and in 1949 after the defeat of WW2 Japan stepped down as ruler which left a power vacuum in Korea10, this was soon stepped in by America and Russia. This meant from 1905 Korea had been occupied by other countries and not purely by itself.

  2. What were the main issues relating to Germany that caused Cold War tension?

    With Germany gone, Russia became more influential in Europe and sought to keep things as such. It also can be noted that Russia would not mind and even desire a poor Europe as this would make Communism more palatable to the Europeans and thus help in its spread, while the West certainly feared this to happen.

  1. Cold war 1945-1953 - characterize the soviet policy according germany after 1945 [to the ...

    German Democratic Republic (East Germany) proclaimed October 7, 1949; German Communist, Walter Ulbricht, first secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (1949- 71). Stalinization, 1949-55. East Germany joined Comecon (see Glossary) in 1950. Workers' uprising, June 1953. East Germany granted formal sovereignty by Soviet Union, 1954.

  2. China's Relationship With The West

    China wants to join the World Trade Organisation but they feel like they are under a lot of pressure because the West wants to make their human rights record a condition of entry. 2. The Opium Wars The Opium Wars are two wars fought between Britain and China in the early 19th century.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work