Sunday, February 10, 2013

Truman's War

             At the end of the Second World War The United States and The Soviet Union stood as allies. Both nations along with the British worked together to topple Nazi regime in Germany. However on the 6th of August 1945 the United States dropped the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, sifting the balance of power among the allies and propelling the two nations into the Cold War. We have all heard the story of Russia spreading communism across a war weary poverty stricken Europe, stamping out capitalism democracy, and the United States poised to the “Evil Empire” and lift the “iron curtain”. In fact even has a series about how President Truman stood up to the bully Soviet Union and its mighty military machine. But is this the whole story or even an accurate depiction of the years following the Second World War, the build up to the Cold War?

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            The Soviet Union faced the brunt of the Nazi-fighting machine, as it stood alone on the Eastern front, no other nation faced amount casualties and sheer devastation that the soviets did as they pushed the Germans back across Eastern Europe.[1] The United States on the other hand lost a lot of soldiers as it pushed the Germans out of France and into Germany; however, the nation itself was spared any type of physical damage caused by war. The US economy was strong and growing and by the end of the war American stood as the supreme military in the world with the most devastating weapon it had ever seen. Truman saw the atomic bomb as a bargaining chip and attempted to use it to force American policies what the Soviet’s called “atomic diplomacy”.[2] With America using the bomb to spread is sphere of influence; Russia hurried to develop one to level the playing field. The years directly following World War II, Truman continued to isolate the Soviet Union with such things as the Truman Doctrine and aiding countries like Greece and Turkey. The Soviets saw these actions as direct threats to their national security and a modern extension of the “Monroe Doctrine” being applied “to the Old World”.[3]

[1] Oliver Stone, and Peter Kuznick. The Untold History of the United States. Gallery Books, 2012. P.229

[2] Kuznick. The Untold History of the United States. Gallery Books, 2012. P. 247

[3] Kuznick. The Untold History of the United States. Gallery Books, 2012. P.258

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