posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 12:29 AM
There are two great books out there that are important reading for anyone wanting to understand the origins of the cold war.
The first is: The Russo German War by Col. (British) Albert Seaton (In fact I think this book is out of print, sad, it's a great one)
And the second is still out and it is: Armaggeddon, the collapse of nazi Germany 1944-45 by Max Hastings.
In both of these books it outlines that during the war, the Western Allies intended the Russians to have to bear the brunt of the German war machine
in order to insure that they entered the post war situation greatly weakened, and therefore not a threat to the West. It backfired.
As Colonel Seaton relates in the early chapters of his book, Stalin viewed Hitler as a buffer against the Imperial powers of the West and was actually
quite shocked when, despite warnings from Molotov, Gavrilovich and Kalinin, Hitler invaded on June 22nd 1941.
When the Germans spent their last mobile reserves in the twin offensives of the Ardennes and Alsace-Lorraine in the winter of 44-45, the Russians
proceeded to knife through the German lines in East Prussia and western Poland like a knife through butter. Although the Germans did launch a final
offensive aimed at releiving the encircled armies at Budapest, despite nearly succeeding, they failed and thus the door was open to cross the Oder
River and assault Berlin. As this was happening, British and Canadian forces were slogging their way towards the Rhine (taking the majority of Western
Allied losses in the last months of WWII) against fnatical German resistance while US forces were encircling the Ruhr and preparing to cross the
Now a political war began. Churchill wanted Ike to send the allied forces pell mell towards Berlin and get there before the Russians, Roosevelt was
adamant about sticking to the agreed upon plan conceived at the Yalta conference. Eisenhower would have liked ot send his forces to Berlin (Patton was
absolutley salivating at the idea) but he was a political general, not a true strategist. Ike's job was merely to be the peacemaker between the
amazingly strong egos which made up the field command of the different allied armies. So Ike refused, and after losing tens of thousands of men in
crossing the Rhine and destroying the Ruhr pocket, when US forces linked up with Soviet forces at the River Elbe, (after a few minor friendly fire
exchanges) Ike called for a complete halt of the central armies. (he did allow Patton to race down and capture Austria and Czechoslovakia before the
Soviets reached them.)
When the smoke cleared at the end of the final battle of Berlin, 800,000 Soviets were dead, nearly 500,000 Germans as well, and the map of Europe was
Stalin refused to back down to the allies and began to occupy the Eastern European countries that had formally been allied with Nazi Germany just like
Churchill feared. In Asia the Soviets suddenly declared war on Japan and the cold war officialy began when Soviet troops lanced into Manchuria and the
northern half of Korea, killing over a million Japanese troops in the process. It was clear to President Truman that the Soviets were playing for
world domination, just as Stalin had intended.
In my mind, the cold war was started long before the D-Day landings. Stalin kept calling for a second front (The allies had invaded Scicily and Italy
in 43. But the Germans were such good fighters and had better tactical officers that the Italian front was held by minimal German forces and still
managed ot inflict an average of 2-1 loss ratio against the allies.) in order to draw away German forces so as to lance into central Europe and be THE
power after the fall of Nazi Germany.
Patton realized the threat of the Russians better possibly even then the true hero of WWII, Winston Churchill. (Yes I'm a Yank but my English
ancestry forces me to call Churchill the babyface) Patton wanted to rearm the Germans and launch a joint US, German offensive back towards Moscow.
Although many wanted this, it was politicaly unfeasible. (Patton was a little off his rocker despite beign the greatest American general since Robert
So...I don't think you can blame anyone individual or group, it was a multi-pronged event, with both sides beign complicit.
And to second someone elses opinion from earlier, although the Western Allies got all the glory for the fall of Nazi Germany, it was the Soviet Union
that truly won WWII. They took the lions share of the losses (22,000,000) and inflicted the most German losses (5,500,000 as opposed to the Western
figure of around 2,000,000, this doesn't count prisoners). It's ironic that the only way ot beat a totalitarian regime was ot fight it with another
one. I guess Fascists and Communists just make meaner fighters.