War-weary Japan recognized that when the U.S. and her assorted allies went to war in Korea, she too, could play an important roll in the struggle as a reliable, non-combatant partner.
The Marshall Plan was a U.S. Government aid program that was instrumental in the reconstruction and economic resurrection of 16 Western European nations following the devastation caused by the Second World War. It is named for Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who co-authored the initiative with the help of the prominent business leader William Clayton, and the American diplomat George F. Kennan.
The attached article concerns the first draft of the scheme that was drawn-up by Marshall and the representatives of these 16 nations during the Summer/Fall of 1947. The amount of cash to be distributed (and paid back over a period of 30 years) was $22.44 billion.
Marshall knew that such an economic stimulant (and the liberties that would follow) would serve to guarantee that Western Europe would not fall into clutches of the Soviet Union.
To read about the Soviet reaction to the Marshall Plan, Click here
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To paraphrase Second Corinthians: "Europe's despair was Stalin's opportunity" - he delighted in the post-war unemployment, the inflation and the general lack of confidence in their governmental institutions. When the Marshall Plane came to the rescue in rebuilding Europe, the Soviets knew they were licked. This article reveals how totally bummed the Soviets were over the broad European acceptance of the Marshall plan. They hated it.
When this magazine profile of Andrei Gromyko (1909 – 1989) appeared on the newsstands in 1946, the man was already a mainstay in the State Department Rolodex. Anyone who came of age during the Cold War (1947 - 1991) will certainly recognize his name, because as Foreign Minister for the Soviet Union (for 28 years), Gromyko was without a doubt one of the architects of the Cold War.
The attached article outlines Gromyko's career highlights up to the Summer of 1946 when he was posted as the first Soviet Ambassador to the newly established United Nations.
No sooner had the curtain descended on the tragedy that was World War II when the Allied nations found themselves having to put together a coalition of nations that would be willing to contain Soviet expansion throughout Europe. A COLLIER'S journalist wandered among the rubble of West Germany and found that a great number of draft-age men simply replied "nein" when asked if they would be willing to fight alongside the Americans, French and British. One of the wiser observers opined:
"Remember that Germany is a convalescent country...These people have lost two world wars in a generation. The last one cost them nearly 3,000,000 dead and another 1,000,000 or so still missing, to say nothing of some 4,000,000 wounded. They just don't want to take a chance of being on the losing side again."
The West Germans joined NATO in 1955.
Attached herein is an essay written during the mid-Fifties that briefly summarizes the primary global events spanning the end of World War II through 1955 which set the stage for that period in Twentieth Century history called the Cold War: the global containment of Soviet expansion.
Click here to read about espionage during the Cold War.