The 1990’s, a decade of changes. Not only the end of the 20th century was nearing its end but also the whole system that arose from World War Two. Europe, made of two blocks, was changing its clothes. It was entering the age when all of its nations strived to become one. Still, some of these nations were on their way to break down. One, however, did it for the sake of everyone involved. This is the story of probably the most civil breakup in history - the breakup of Czechoslovakia.
History has taught us that anything can happen. Literally anything. The number of events from our past that one would find hard to believe is endless. A unit saved by a pigeon. A submarine that sunk itself with its own torpedo. How about fighting a battle with no enemy on the other side? It happened to soldiers of the United States and Canadian armed forces on the small island of Kiska. Whatmore, during the World War Two battle known as Operation Cottage they suffered casualties of more than 300 soldiers. Their enemies, the Japanese, had no casualties. Of course they didn’t! They never fought in the battle.
As a new world emerged from the ruins of World War II, a novel confrontation began to emerge. It was much less volatile, earning the nickname “Cold War”. It was an ideological and political struggle between two major world powers – the Soviet Union representing communism and the United States heralding capitalism. This simmering hostility went on to define international politics for the rest of the 20th century. Yet this simplified portrait of the struggle between eastern and western blocs is rather misleading because as it depicts two alliances as unified monoliths. This wasn’t true in neither case, but it was substantially more prominent in the communist sphere where two larges countries came to the brink of an actual armed confrontation.
In May 1945 the war ended in Europe. The moment was welcomed with relief by millions on the old continent as years of death and despair came to an end. Still, the shadow of war still hung over Europe. Without Nazis on the scene, new hostilities were born. On the ruins of the European pre-war political system, Communism began to rise. Following the footsteps of the Red Army, communists seized the rule in the entire Eastern Europe. Only in Greece did the communists meet resistance. It was a prelude to the Greek Civil War - the first armed conflict in Europe after World War Two.
As World War II came to an end, both Europe and the world slowly started to divide between two major powers – the US in the west and the USSR in the east. Though in the immediate post-war years these two blocs tried to at least present themselves as friends, by the late 1940s it was clear that the two ideological camps entered a confrontation that was quickly dubbed the Cold War. It was painted as an ongoing struggle for world supremacy of two ideas – capitalism in the west and communism in the east.