Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy K. Zhukov is often credited for being one of the best generals in history, in the rank of Napoleon or Alexander the Great. He played a seminal role in the Soviet and, in turn, allied victory over Nazi Germany during World War II. Yet once the war was won and peace arrived, interest in his life dissipates. This poses a question - what happened to Zhukov after WW2?
Introduction It is hard to pinpoint the exact date when the Cold War began, as it was a gradual transition from wartime allies to peacetime opponents. Yet, the tensions and troubles on the horizon were clear from the get-go, maybe most picturesquely described by Sir Winston Churchill. In March 1946 he described a division of Europe by saying “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent”.
The USSR has been unarguably one of the most significant factors of the 20th century, leaving a substantial mark on world history. It was one of two world superpowers and a leader of the communist bloc in the Cold War, without mentioning other various aspects and contributions to science, culture, technology, etc. Often depicted as a “world’s bad guy” and dubbed the Red Giant as a menacing figure indicating its leading ideology, most of the world thought the Soviet Union was a strong and stable nation that would endure for a long time.
It is often the destiny of small nations to be swallowed by the big ones. Human history has witnessed more than a few of them disappear as if they never existed. However, after the First World War, many of them, long forgotten, resurrected. The all-proclaimed right of self-determination gave birth to several new countries, old nations. Among them were three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It was, however, their ill fortune that the peace established in Versailles was not destined to last long.
Introduction Throughout history, famine and other similar disasters plagued humankind. Those were usually caused by natural forces beyond human control. Yet, the 20th century proved that nature was never able to match human errors in its destructibility and fatality. Disregarding the intentional killing and destruction of modern warfare, the most disastrous event of that century was the famine caused by the Great Leap Forward (GLF) campaign in China. It was unintentional, a perfect storm of errors and stubbornness, faulty reasoning, and reliance on ideology rather than factuality.
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.
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.
Introduction What appears to be the end, always turns into a beginning. When World War Two ended in 1945, people truly believed the world had learned its lessons. The all-consuming war exhausted the material and human resources of the belligerent countries. The European continent was left ruined from Moscow to London. Hardly anyone would believe at that moment that only 10 years later the continent would slide into yet another partition.