"The USSR did not seek a breakdown in relations with the USA from 1945 to 1949." How accurate is this statement?

1 Answer

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It is difficult to defend this statement very vigorously.  It seems clear that the Soviet Union was at least willing to have its relations with the United States deteriorate.  Its actions were not particularly conciliatory.

For example, there was the fact that the Soviet Union kept troops in Iran when it was not supposed to.  This was not a direct threat to the US, but it was clearly provocative.  By doing this, the Soviets were clearly threatening oil-rich areas that were not part of its sphere of influence.  As another example, there was Stalin’s “Two Camps” speech.  In this speech, he asserted that communism and capitalism were incompatible with one another.  This, in effect, argued that one or the other of the ideologies had to go.  This is not the action of a country that wants good relations.

The most compelling evidence against this statement, however, is the Berlin Blockade.  In this episode, the Soviets blockaded all land access to Berlin from West Germany.  This was, at the very least, a very unfriendly action and could even have been construed as an act of war.  Even if the other two actions could be seen as relatively innocuous, the Berlin Blockade clearly showed that the Soviets were willing to have their relations with the US break down.