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”.
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.
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.
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.