The Great Patriotic War:
The great Patriotic War is a term used in Russia or previous parts of the Soviet Union when referring to a part of the Second World War. It had originally been used first under the French invasion led by Napoleon and when referring to the First World War, before it again was used. The name represented fighting for your homeland. The Great Patriotic War (GPW) were during the German Occupation of the USSR, which lasted from 22nd of June1941, until 9th of May 1945. The Soviet term only refers to the war between USSR and Nazi Germany and it’s European allies on the east front were Germany had approximately 200 divisions. It does not refer to the war on the Western fronts, the war in Japan, The Soviets attacks on Finland and Poland, The 1940 invasion of the Baltic states or the 1941 invasion of Iran.
The occupation of Russia or «Operation Barbarossa» is the biggest military operation ever completed, both in manpower and in casualties. It had been one of the main goals for Hitler since the start of the Nazi Party in the beginning of the 1920s. In 1932 Hitler and Stalin signed a nonaggression pact, but Hitler only saw this as a good tactical maneuver. During the Germans time in Soviet they wanted to put a stop to communism and at the same time get rid of everyone that were a threat toward German power in Eastern Europe. Soviet refused to collapse, even though the Nazis had expected a rapid fall. Germany kept trying to push over Soviet so it would collapse, but Soviet knew how to use the surrounding to their advantage.
Breakdown of wartime alliance:
By the end of the Second World War, there were three main victors, Britain, The United States and the Soviet Union. At the start of the Second World War, this, “Big Three”, had one united goal; to bring down Germany, as it was threatening both the Capitalist West and Communist East. However, even though all three leaders; Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin were allies in their goal, it does not mean that their relationship was a happy one, but they had to work together to defeat the Nazi Germany regime. After Germany was defeated, The Big Three met up on several occasions to deal with the aftermath of the war. At this time, their true motives came to be shown. Even during the war, there was already underlying tensions between the East and West countries, but they were forced to cooperate. As soon as their mutual enemy was defeated, tensions rose.
The East and West had two completely different ideologies, which would present itself as a issue. The West supported Capitalism, based on free elections and the freedom of speech. In contrast, the East supported Communism. This comprised of a dictatorship, led by Joseph Stalin, lack of freedom of speech and essentially the government controlling people’s lives. There were mistrusts which ranged back to the 1918, that contribute to the breakdown of the Alliance. The West had felt that their values, freedom and Capitalism were being threatened by Russia. Stalin believed that is Communism was to be successful, and then a worldwide revolution would have to take place, meaning the collapse of Capitalism.
After World War II, Joseph Stalin saw the world as divided into two camps: imperialist and capitalist regimes on the one hand, and the Communist and progressive world on the other. In 1947, President Harry Truman also spoke of two diametrically opposed systems: one free, and the other bent on subjugating other nations. After Stalin’s death, Nikita Khrushchev stated in 1956 that imperialism and capitalism could coexist without war because the Communist system had become stronger. In October 62′ the Cold War came the closest to being a hot war. USSR put up land based missiles in Cuba, because the US had many times tried to stop the communistic revolution there. They were close enough to hit the US and are known as the Cuban missile crisis or the October crisis. This were their first treat of mutual destruction.
Also the coup de etat in Czechoslovakia in 68′ and the Soviet satellite states were a treat towards the US. The Cold War were all the time driven by the Arms Race between the two super powers. They fighted over who could make powerful weapon and have the biggest military the fastest. The US took the first lead when they developed the atom bomb. After keeping on it for over a decade the two states agreed upon a settlement stating how big military forces they each were maximum allowed to have.
Also Chine were added into this agreement as they also became Communistic after the Second World War. There were two hot wars during the Cold War. The war in Korea and the war in Vietnam. They both had a few similarities; both a country were the state had been split in two. The Northern parts were communistic and the south were non-communistic. In both wars the north part of the state tried to invade the south to make them communistic with the help from Soviet and China. The US helped both south part of the states defend themselves, in Korea the defense were sucsessful and they are today two seperate states, wile as in Vietnam its still today one communistic nation.
Courtney from Study Moose