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Today, May 14, 1955: Soviets Intensify Cold War with Warsaw Pact

Before the smoke cleared at the end of World War II, tensions between the Soviet Union and the combined governments of the United States, Great Britain and France were already building. The division of Germany and Berlin clearly displayed the animosity between them and the hunger for more expansion of the Soviet Union.

In 1948, Soviet backed communists overthrew the government of Czechoslovakia. In reaction to the Allied consolidation of West Germany, the Soviet Union blockaded Allied controlled West Berlin.

On April 4, 1949, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States signed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in an effort to prevent further expansion of the Soviet Union, prevent any future nationalized militarism in Europe and encourage European political integration.

The NATO Treaty stated that the nations signing the treaty would work together to maintain peace by first peaceful means and then other means if necessary. The feature of the treaty is found in Article 5, which states:

“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all, and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually, and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

“Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.”

This article did not set well with the Soviet Union and their plans for further expansion into western Europe.

In early May, 1955, the NATO coalition allowed West Germany to join them. The Soviet Union did not like this move at all as they continued to have their sights set on taking control of West Berlin and possibly all of West Germany.

On this day, May 14, 1955, the Soviet Union retaliated to NATO’s acceptance of West Germany by forming the Warsaw Security Pact with Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania. A great deal of the Warsaw Pact was patterned from the NATO pact. Article 4 of the Warsaw Pact was written in response to NATO’s Article 5:

“In the event of armed attack in Europe on one or more of the Parties to the Treaty by any state or group of states, each of the Parties to the Treaty, in the exercise of its right to individual or collective self-defence in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations Organization, shall immediately, either individually or in agreement with other Parties to the Treaty, come to the assistance of the state or states attacked with all such means as it deems necessary, including armed force. The Parties to the Treaty shall immediately consult concerning the necessary measures to be taken by them jointly in order to restore and maintain international peace and security.”

“Measures taken on the basis of this Article shall be reported to the Security Council in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations Organization. These measures shall be discontinued immediately the Security Council adopts the necessary measures to restore and maintain international peace and security.”

The battle lines of the Cold War had been officially drawn. The nations on both sides mistrust those on the other side and continued to do so until the political fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

 

Sources for the above includes: North Atlantic Treaty Organization Treaty; The Warsaw Security Pact: May 14, 1955; The Warsaw Pact is Formed; Warsaw Pact: Europe [1955-1991]; The Warsaw Pact; Formation of NATO and Warsaw Pact; The Warsaw Pact; A Short History of NATO; The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

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Dave Jolly

R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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