Stalin's Wartime Alliance

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Throughout much of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union were reluctant allies. Germany posed a significant threat to both countries and necessity dictated that they cooperate militarily. Germany had launched an invasion into the Soviet Union in 1941 that led to the Soviet Union begging the western Allies to attack the German army on its western front. The U.S. and Britain lacked resources and were unwilling to launch a costly attack on the Germans. Instead, the Allies engaged the Germans on other fronts, allowing the Soviets to regain lost territory and push the Nazis back (Hanhimäki & Westad, 2002, p. 25). The U.S. and the Soviet Union had vastly differing political beliefs and their relationship was strained until it finally…show more content…
Iran was rich in oil and was an important ally for both of the great powers. The Soviets stationed troops in Iran during the war to secure the Middle East and prevent German attacks. At the Tehran Conference in 1943, all of the major Allies agreed to remove troops from Iran (Hanhimäki & Westad, 2003, p. 30). However, the Soviets still had troops stationed there in 1946, a full year after the war. Stalin went so far as to use his military to support and aid a rebellion in Iran in 1946. Truman was furious about Stalin's betrayal again. Americans grew more distrustful of the Soviets and began to worry that the Soviet Union intended to spread communism to the Middle East. Because of this, Churchill delivered a powerful and controversial speech in Missouri in March 1946 where he criticized Stalin and the Soviet Union as opportunistic and dangerous to western nations, and coined the phrase “the Iron Curtain” in reference to the vast divide between the Soviets and the West in Europe. Many U.S. leaders desired cooperation with the Soviet Union, and they were upset by Churchill's remarks. A majority of Americans feared the expansion of the Soviet Union, and Churchill's comments increased the seriousness of the Soviet threat in many American…show more content…
in Hanhimäki & Westad, 2003, p. 106). He detailed the threat of communism, and Congress quickly agreed to allocate the requested $400 million to prevent the fall of Greece and Turkey to the communists (Keylor, 2011, p. 263). Truman also stated, “it must be the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures” (qtd. in Keylor, 2011, p. 263). The Truman Doctrine effectively reoriented U.S. foreign policy, away from its usual stance of withdrawal from regional conflicts not directly involving the United States, to one of possible intervention in far away conflicts. The Truman Doctrine became the official policy of the United States, and it had far-reaching repercussions. It drove the wedge between the U.S. and the Soviet Union much deeper, thus polarizing the world. Other nations and regions essentially had to choose between supporting the United States or the Soviet Union. The Truman Administration made further attempts to contain the Soviet threat with the Marshall Plan. Much of Western Europe was economically crippled by WWII and showed little hope of recovery. The widespread poverty, soaring unemployment, and limited potential
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