The Coming of the Cold War

  • John Wheeler-Bennett
  • Anthony Nicholls


When may the Cold War be said to have actually begun? Manifestly the challenge was present from the moment that the Soviet Union became an active belligerent and Stalin disclosed to Anthony Eden in Moscow in December 1941 the territorial claims which Russia was determined to make upon a post-war Europe. ✳ Mr Eden’s astute handling of the situation prevented an immediate endorsement of Stalin’s demands. However, in the course of the period of Western appeasement of the Soviet Government, which began at Tehran, reached its apogee at Yalta and its reaffirmation at Potsdam, the fact remains that Stalin obtained by one means or another all that he had gained from his nefarious pact with Hitler in 1939 and a good deal more. Moreover, by the time the victorious Allies met at Potsdam, it was apparent that Stalin’s ambitions in Europe and in Asia even surpassed the paranoiac schemings of the most extreme fanatics of the Tsarist school of expansionism. For what was alarming about this new menace from the East was that it germinated from an unholy mating of Marxist ideology with Tsarist imperialism and Pan-Slavism, a truly fearsome amalgam, with an inexorable drive for domination.


Foreign Policy Foreign Minister North Atlantic Treaty Organization Paris Agreement European Security 
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Copyright information

© Sir John Wheeler-Bennett and Anthony Nicholls 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Wheeler-Bennett
  • Anthony Nicholls

There are no affiliations available

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