Superpower Cooperation in Western Europe

  • Edward A. Kolodziej


The Cold War in Western Europe began as cooperation. The superpower conflict in Europe was an extension of the flawed wartime alliance between the Western powers and the Soviet Union to defeat Germany and to destroy Hitler’s Nazi regime. From the outset, as a matter of national survival, the Western democracies had to choose between one of two anti-democratic partners, both committed to their overthrow. The inevitable result was a peace compromised even before it was won.1 As for the emerging superpowers, neither relished wartime alliance with the other. The German invasion of the Soviet Union in the spring of 1941 destroyed the Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement of 1939 designed to deflect German might from the Soviet Union to the Western democracies and to divide Polish and Balkan territories between these anti-democratic states as part of the agreed upon price for their temporary truce.


Nuclear Weapon German Democratic Republic Marshall Plan German Unification Cruise Missile 
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Copyright information

© Roger E. Kanet and Edward A. Kolodziej 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward A. Kolodziej

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