Military Review

How the Allies divided Germany after World War II

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The defeat of Germany in World War II immediately raised the question of the future fate of this state. By the time of the signing of the Act of the unconditional surrender of Germany, the country's territory was occupied by Soviet, American, British and French troops. Virtually all of Germany’s economic infrastructure was destroyed, and there were no government organizations or governance structures after losing the war. Naturally, the Allies faced a very difficult task - not only to eliminate any possible manifestations of resistance from the "ideological" Nazis, but also to completely reorganize the future life of the country.


How the Allies divided Germany after World War II


The question of what to do with Germany in the event of its defeat, was discussed by the allies long before victory in the war. At the Tehran Conference, which took place from November 28 to December 1 1943, the question was raised whether to divide post-war Germany. Franklin Roosevelt proposed the creation of five autonomous states instead of a united Germany, Winston Churchill also spoke in favor of partitioning Germany, stressing the need for Bavaria, Baden, and Württemberg to separate from Germany. Churchill proposed to include these territories along with Austria and Hungary into a separate Danube confederation. Stalin opposed the division of Germany. His words that even if Germany were divided, nothing would prevent it from later uniting, turned out to be prophetic. September 12 1944 in London signed a protocol on the creation of three occupation zones - the east, north-west and south-west. Berlin was to be divided into three occupation zones after the victory.

From 4 to 11 in February 1945, when it was already clear that the victory over Nazi Germany was approaching, the Yalta Conference was held, at which it was decided to single out the fourth occupation zone - the French one. Although the contribution of France to the victory over Germany cannot be compared with the contribution of Great Britain and the USA, not to mention the contribution of the Soviet Union, Winston Churchill insisted on the allocation of the French occupation zone. He explained that, sooner or later, France would still have to make efforts to contain possible aggression from Germany if it revived, since France has a large common border with Germany and long-standing experience of negative interaction with this country. Stalin opposed the allocation of the French occupation zone and the involvement of France in the control of post-war Germany, however, despite the position of the Soviet side, Britain still managed to push its line. 1 May 1945, a week before the surrender of Germany, France was also included in the control mechanism.



5 June The 1945 Declaration was signed in Berlin on the defeat of Germany and the assumption of supreme power over Germany by the governments of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the provisional government of the French Republic. From the Soviet Union, the declaration was signed by Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov, from the USA by Army General Dwight David Eisenhower, from Great Britain by Field Marshal Bernard Lou Montgomery, from France by Army General Jean-Marie de Latre de Tassigny. The declaration emphasized that since in Germany at the time of its signing there was no central government or forces capable of taking responsibility for governing the country, meeting the requirements of the victorious powers and maintaining order, the allied governments of the USSR and the USA assume the supreme power in Germany, Britain and the interim government of France. At the same time, it was agreed that this decision was not the annexation of Germany. That is, initially it was a question of the joint management of Germany as a temporary measure, which sooner or later will be canceled. 6 June 1945 of the USSR, USA, Great Britain and France officially divided the territory of Germany into four zones of occupation.

The eastern zone of occupation under the control of the Soviet military administration was placed under the control of the Soviet Union. It included the lands of East Germany, which at the time of signing of the Act of unconditional surrender were occupied by Soviet troops. These were Saxony, Thuringia, Halle-Merseburg, Magdeburg, Anhalt, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg and Western Pomerania. To control the Soviet occupation zone, the Soviet military administration was established in Germany with headquarters in the Karlshorst district of Berlin (originally, the administration was located at the Holzdorf estate near Weimar).



Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov was entrusted to lead the Soviet military administration in Germany, Army General Vasily Danilovich Sokolovsky (Deputy Commander of the 1 of the Belorussian Front) was appointed his first deputy. Colonel-General Vladimir Vasilyevich Kurasov (deputy chief of the General Staff of the Red Army) became the chief of staff of the Soviet military administration. Ivan Aleksandrovich Serov, head of the security forces of the rear of the 2 of the Belorussian Front, became deputy head of the civil administration of the 1 rank, and deputy head of the Economic Directorate Semen Ivanovich Shabalin (member of the 2 Military Council Baltic front for the rear). The structure of the Soviet military administration included 5 territorial offices in Saxony, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg and Brandenburg and a separate Office of the military commander of the Soviet sector of occupation of Berlin.

One of the main tasks of the Soviet military administration was the organization of the German forces proper, which could assist the Red Army and, in the future, form the basis of the pro-Soviet German government. To this end, prominent leaders of the communist and anti-fascist movement began to arrive in Germany from the USSR. Back in April, 1945, before the capitulation of Germany, the “Ulbricht group” arrived from Moscow - German communists led by Walter Ulbricht. 10 June 1945, the commander of the SWAG Marshal Zhukov, by his order, allowed the activities of non-fascist political parties in the Soviet occupation zone, after which the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) were re-established and 21 of April 1946 united into the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). In the summer of 1946, the SED began preparations for elections to local and state authorities.

North-West Germany, Britain traditionally considered the sphere of their interests. Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg entered the British occupation zone. The headquarters of the British military administration was located in the city of Bad Heinhausen. The governing bodies were created - the Control Commission for Germany, headed by the British military governor and the Zonal Advisory Council, which included representatives of civil administrations and political parties operating in the British occupation zone.

Bavaria, Hesse, North Baden and North Württemberg entered the southwestern or American zone of occupation. The US military administration was also headed by a military governor. As part of the occupation zone, three lands were allocated - Groß-Hessen, Württemberg-Baden and Bavaria, civilian Land Councils and Parliamentary Council were created, despite the fact that only the American military command still had full power.



The Western or French occupation zone included the Saar region, South Baden and South Württemberg, the southern part of the Rhineland, two districts of Hesse and four districts of Hesse-Nassau, Lindau region. Unlike the British and American commanders, the French command abandoned the idea of ​​creating a single German civilian control body in the territories under its control. In the future, part of the occupied territories, according to the provisional government of France, was to join France, the Saar region would integrate into the French financial and economic system, and a federal state was created in Württemberg. Of all the powers, France was most of all interested in the dismemberment and weakening of Germany, since history repeatedly fought with Germany and these wars usually ended badly for France. General Charles de Gaulle, in October 1945, even stated that he hoped that France would never see a strong Germany again.

Already in 1946, relations between yesterday’s allies began to deteriorate rapidly. The Soviet Union stopped food supplies to the Western occupation zones, after which the United Kingdom and the United States decided to unite their occupation zones into a single Bizoniya. Joint administrations were created, which were faced with the main task of improving the economy and normalizing living conditions in the territories occupied by the American and British forces.

One of the main tasks that both the British and American military administrations set for themselves was to preserve the industrial and especially military-industrial potential of the “old” Germany, which the allies sought to use for their own purposes, namely, for the future confrontation of the Soviet expansion in Europe. Therefore, in the British and American occupation zones, only in one 1947 year were there hidden from consideration about 450 military factories. They were to form the backbone of the future military industry in West Germany.

France for quite a long time did not join the joint Anglo-American project to unite the occupation zones. Only 3 June 1948, France decided to unite the western occupation zone with Bizonia, as a result of which Trizonia was created. Britain and the United States managed to “bribe” France with the promise of creating a collective governing body of the Ruhr region without the involvement of the Soviet Union. Britain, the United States and France, creating Trizonia, agreed with the Marshall Plan and the further economic modernization of Germany under the control of the Western powers. At the same time, the Saar region, for which France had particular views, remained under the French protectorate for almost 10 years, until 1957. September 7 The Federal Republic of Germany was established on the basis of Trizonium 1949. In the history of post-war Europe, a new page was turned, on which the occupation zones were to become sovereign states.

In the Soviet zone of occupation, a denazification policy was actively pursued right up to 1948, under which the local administrative apparatus was cleared of former Nazi Party activists, as well as potential opponents of the Soviet Union, including representatives of bourgeois political parties. The creation of the Federal Republic of Germany by the Soviet Union was negatively received. The lands that were part of the Soviet occupation zone did not recognize the formation and constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany, after which 15 - 16 of May 1949 passed elections of delegates of the German National Congress. 30 May 1949 The German People’s Congress adopted the Constitution of the German Democratic Republic. The GDR included five lands under the control of the Soviet military administration - Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Mecklenburg and Brandenburg. Thus, the second German independent state was created, which, unlike Germany, was under the ideological, political and military control of the Soviet Union.

Thus, in reality, the division of Germany was carried out rather on the initiative of the Western powers, who were very afraid of the coming to power in post-war Germany of the left forces and turning it into a friendly country to the Soviet Union. It was Joseph Stalin who, at the Tehran Conference, showed himself to be a consistent opponent of the dismemberment of Germany into independent states, and in the 1945 year, after victory, stated that the Soviet Union was not going to dismember or destroy Germany. Only when the West openly went to the creation of a new German state in its occupation zones, the Soviet Union had no choice but to support the creation of the German Democratic Republic.

For more than forty years in place of Germany, two independent states were formed, one of which belonged to the Western bloc and the other to the socialist camp. Germany has become one of the key military and political allies of the United States in Europe and the foundation of NATO. The treacherous policy of the Soviet leadership at the turn of 1980-1990-s, in turn, led to the fact that the GDR ceased to exist, becoming part of the Federal Republic of Germany, but the West did not fulfill its promises - Germany remained in NATO, on its territory American bases and troops remained, it still plays a crucial role in the US anti-Russian military strategy in Europe.
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  1. moskowit
    moskowit 10 May 2018 06: 40
    +10
    "Acquisition zones of Germany" ... Publishing materials with such terrifying spelling mistakes is a mockery of respectable readers ... Where are we going ??? Total illiteracy ...
    1. Looking for
      Looking for 10 May 2018 23: 19
      -1
      Yes, unfortunately.
  2. Olgovich
    Olgovich 10 May 2018 06: 56
    +2
    Franklin Roosevelt proposed the creation of five autonomous states instead of a united Germany, Winston Churchill also advocated the dismemberment of Germany, emphasizing the need for separation from Germany of Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg. Churchill proposed to include these territories together with Austria and Hungary in a separate Danube Confederation. Stalin opposed the division of Germany. His words that even if Germany was divided, nothing would prevent her from uniting later, turned out to be prophetic

    Roosevelt and Churchill proposed a much more favorable solution for the USSR (and the world) than Stalin.
    To restore a united Germany, which in this capacity brought in just 60 years to the world the three most terrible wars in history, this does not fit my head, no words!
    . And the words of Churchill and Roosevelt turned out to be prophetic: a united Germany AGAIN in the anti-Russian vanguard.
    And united another Germany again, the Secretary General: Thatcher and the United States were ... against.
    And it would be a hindrance to forever unite the decision of the victorious countries and the occupying forces there.
    But one more thanks to the Communist Party ....
    1. rkkasa xnumx
      rkkasa xnumx 10 May 2018 08: 56
      +5
      Quote: Olgovich
      Roosevelt and Churchill proposed a much more favorable solution for the USSR (and the world) than Stalin.

      Under the control of the Soviet Union there was a much smaller territory (future GDR), and most was under the control of the West (future Germany). And no one interfered with Western politicians to implement their plans to divide their occupation zones into small autonomous states.
      But for some reason, the West did not fulfill its - "a much more favorable solution for the USSR (and the world)."
      1. Olgovich
        Olgovich 10 May 2018 09: 16
        +2
        Quote: rkkasa 81
        Under the control of the Soviet Union there was a much smaller territory (future GDR), and most was under the control of the West (future Germany). And no one interfered with Western politicians to implement their plans to divide their occupation zones into small autonomous states.
        But for some reason, the West did not fulfill its - "a much more favorable solution for the USSR (and the world)."

        If it didn’t work right away, then I repeat: the USSR was AGAINST and advocated a united Germany and insisted on it
        Such a decision was jointly adopted.
        And West Germany divided, forming the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949.
        Would you like the FRG to be immediately with the territory of the GDR? fool
        How "good" that would be for the USSR!
        PS What is going on in the minds of sandblasting .... request
        1. rkkasa xnumx
          rkkasa xnumx 10 May 2018 09: 48
          +2
          Quote: Olgovich
          If it didn’t work right away, then I repeat: the USSR was AGAINST and advocated a united Germany and insisted on it

          I’ll try to catch the train of your thoughts (or what’s floating between your ears):
          - The West wanted to partition Germany good
          - The control of the West was a much larger territory of Germany fellow
          - The West did not divide Germany ... request
          Why? But because the USSR was against it! belay
    2. BAI
      BAI 10 May 2018 10: 33
      +2
      the words of Churchill and Roosevelt were prophetic:united Germany AGAIN in the anti-Russian vanguard.

      This is when and where Roosevelt talked about unified Germany?
      Yalta Conference February 5, 1945.
      Roosevelt:
      [quote In the "current conditions" he "sees no other way but to dismember." “How many parts? Six to seven or less? "[/ Quote]
      Roosevelt and Churchill proposed a much more favorable solution for the USSR (and the world) than Stalin.

      When did the USA and England offer something beneficial for the USSR?
      Alan Brook, Chief of Imperial General Staff of the United Kingdom, wrote in his diary:
      “Should Germany be divided up, or gradually turned into an ally, so that in twenty years it will repulse the threat from the Russians that exists now? I proposed the second and was sure that from now on we should look at Germany from a completely different point of view. The dominant power in Europe is no longer Germany, but Russia ... Therefore, save Germany, gradually restore it and include it in the Western European Union. ”
      .....
      “Unfortunately, all this has to be done under the guise of a sacred alliance between England, Russia and America. Politics is not easy ... "

      Of course, one cannot help but recall Tehran:
      At the Tehran Conference of the Heads of Executive Power of the Three Great Allied Powers (November 28 - December 1, 1943), the German question became one of the subjects of discussion. Detailed plans prepared by Roosevelt and Churchill. The US President proposed to divide Germany into five states: 1) Prussia; 2) Hannover and North-West Germany; 3) Saxony; 4) Westphalia, Hesse and the West Bank of the Rhine; 5) Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden. In addition, the Ruhr, the Saar region and the Kiel Canal were proposed to be placed under international control of the future United Nations or the three great powers, and Hamburg should be made a “free city”. A similar plan was proposed by Churchill. At the same time, the British prime minister suggested including the southern lands of Germany in the Danube Confederation, which should also include Austria and Hungary.

      1. Olgovich
        Olgovich 10 May 2018 11: 28
        +1
        Quote: BAI
        This is when and where Roosevelt spoke of a united Germany?

        Nowhere. It is said about this that the words of Roosevelt and Churchill about the NEED OF SECTION Germany were prophetic.
        Quote: BAI
        When did the USA and England offer something beneficial for the USSR?

        Then they offered. Of course, from my own considerations, to eliminate the competitor and fears of the revival of the monster. And then one common benefit just coincided all: Two, three, ten germanium is much better for Russia, this one is one.
        WHAT is unclear? AS it does not reach evidence of this? request
        1. BAI
          BAI 10 May 2018 15: 08
          +2
          Two, three, ten germanium is much better for Russia, this one is one.

          Which is better? Already in 1944 for the milestones the growth of influence of the USSR was obvious, and even more so after the war.
          The USSR consistently advocated the unification of Germany and Austria, as independent but neutral states. Therefore, about the USSR has repeatedly made official statements. Austria accepted the option proposed by the USSR - the United States and England and France were forced to do it. Austria became a single state with a neutral, non-aligned status. However, this option with Germany did not become competent. Why? Because German Chancellor Konrad Adennauer said: “Better half of Germany than all of Germany in half!”The United States and its allies feared victory in the election of leftist, pro-communist forces.

          It could have turned out one big GDR, and not Germany.
          And the "allies" had to preserve the military power of Germany against the USSR. And this can only be done on controlled territory. If each ally is tied to pieces by the bargain, and even France, then under the control of the West will be (and turned out to be) a large part of Germany, which has become an anti-Soviet bridgehead.
          Only by dividing Germany, could controlled parts of the USSR be poisoned. Which was done.
          1. Olgovich
            Olgovich 11 May 2018 06: 55
            0
            Quote: BAI
            Which is better?

            What is not clear? Because the small parts are weaker than they are, but combined into a single whole.
            Fragmented Germany (before Bismarck) has never posed such a threat as she posed for the world AFTER unification: TWO world wars on her conscience!
            You do not see this? This is the FACTS!
            Quote: BAI
            The USSR consistently advocated the unification of Germany and Austria,

            Ok that failed
            Quote: BAI
            It could have turned out one big GDR, and not Germany

            So what? There was one big NDP, BNR, VNR, etc. And WHERE are they now and against whom, have they forgotten? So is the GDR, though large, even small ...
    3. antivirus
      antivirus 2 July 2018 19: 47
      0
      you have to go to Washington to promote the idea. and live there stay--
  3. Ural resident
    Ural resident 10 May 2018 10: 26
    0
    I never understood why Stalin went to the division of Berlin; later this negative role played. And about the Frenchman in general, it’s a laugh - to lose the war almost before it began in a matter of weeks, then sit for a few years sipping wine in a cafe and return to the “winner” section - these are the heroes so heroes.
  4. Curious
    Curious 10 May 2018 10: 34
    +8
    The topic is serious. but the lighting is very dim.
    The post-war world order, including the fate of Germany, the Allies began to discuss in 1941, when they signed the Atlantic Charter.
    For some reason, the author deleted from history such an important moment as the Morgenthau plan - “The Program for Preventing the Unleashing of Germany of the 3rd World War” - proposed in September 1944 at the 2nd Quebec Conference, in which Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, the Minister of Finance participated USA Henry Morgenthau.
    The plan provided for the dismemberment of Germany, the transfer of important industrial areas under international control, the elimination of heavy industry, demilitarization and the transformation of Germany into an agricultural country.

    The planned partition of Germany into the North and South states, as well as the International Zone. The gray areas depart under the control of France, Poland and the USSR.
    This plan, by the way, was successfully implemented until 1947, and it was only in 1947 that the Marshall industrial plan, in many respects the practically opposite, was adopted.
    And according to criticism of the position of Stalin, who objected to the partition of Germany, according to which the "boulder crunches" like to walk around - hallelujahs. Such a complex issue was to be covered in more detail.
    Stalin saw the phenomena of reality in their development and relationship, analyzed the course of historical events and their consequences. Therefore, he perfectly understood the role played in the formation of fascism and the outbreak of World War II by the humiliation of Germany with the results of the Versailles Peace. Therefore, Stalin quite rightly assumed that the division of Germany, that is, the humiliation of the German people - could subsequently generate among the Germans the mood of revenge and nationalism. And in 1952, Stalin proposed making Germany neutral, united, non-bloc, and this proposal was rejected.
    In general, in my opinion, given the constantly growing blasphemous tendency to review the outcome of the Second World War, one should approach the coverage of such issues very responsibly, because amateurish articles only worsen the situation
    1. BAI
      BAI 10 May 2018 10: 50
      +6
      For some reason, the author deleted from history such an important moment as the Morgenthau plan - "Program to Prevent Unleashing of the Third World War by Germany"

      Oh, the Morgenthau plan should be especially noted:
      In 1944, Great Britain and the USA agreed that Germany should be divided into parts after the end of the war, heavy industry should be destroyed, and the population itself should be reoriented to agriculture. It was the so-called "Morgenthau plan." He was proposed by the then US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau. In September 1944, at the 2nd Quebec Conference, the plan was brought up for discussion. Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt accepted the plan. It was accompanied by a note by Harry White, a member of the "financial international" and "architect" of the Bretton Woods system, which stated that when the "Morgenthau Plan" is implemented, the German population will decrease by at least 25 million people in a few years. But the plan was accepted anyway. In August 1944, the “Manual for the Military Administration in Germany” was released, which was to become the political leadership for the occupation forces in this country. But this manual was “rejected” by Morgenthau: he believed that the daily ration of 2000 calories for German workers is too large! Roosevelt welcomed these "suggestions for improvement," stating: "We should be tough with Germany; I mean the German people, not just the Nazis. You need to either castrate the Germans or treat them in such a way that they cannot reproduce offspring that want to behave the way they behaved in the past».

  5. Korsar4
    Korsar4 10 May 2018 10: 36
    0
    "Acquisition" just hurts the eye. It is clear that there may be typos. In the same comments. But this is not even a typo.

    But in fact - leaders thought strategically. And once again you understand - how true is the view of the Chinese - 200 years ahead.
    1. antivirus
      antivirus 2 July 2018 19: 52
      0
      first seal = acupuncture.
      and a loss in the cold war without grammatical mistakes, how?
  6. sabakina
    sabakina 10 May 2018 11: 46
    0
    By the time of the signing of the Act on the unconditional surrender of Germany, the territory of the country was occupied by Soviet, American, English and French troops.
    That's what I think .... If Hitler defeated the French army in 1940, where did it come from in 1945? Yes, I know that on June 24, 1941 they capitulated stupidly, but, in 1 year, to assemble, arm, train again ....
    1. Anton Yu
      Anton Yu 10 May 2018 15: 39
      +2
      Operation Dynamo is an operation during the French campaign of World War II to evacuate the sea of ​​British, French and Belgian units blocked by German forces near the city of Dunkirk after the Battle of Dunkirk. During the operation (from May 26 to June 4, 1940), a total of 338 allied troops were evacuated from the French coast in the Dunkirk area. Of this amount, before the start of Operation Dynamo, 226 thousand British troops were evacuated to the British Isles from the Dunkirk area, another 59,3 thousand British and 139,8 thousand troops of the Allied countries were removed during the operation (about 139 thousand French, and also Belgians and military personnel of other allied countries). A number of soldiers died during transportation.
      Plus more troops in the colonies.
  7. Apollo
    Apollo 10 May 2018 19: 01
    0
    Quote: Anton Yu
    Operation Dynamo is an operation during the French campaign of World War II to evacuate the sea of ​​British, French and Belgian units blocked by German forces near the city of Dunkirk after the Battle of Dunkirk. During the operation (from May 26 to June 4, 1940), a total of 338 allied troops were evacuated from the French coast in the Dunkirk area. Of this amount, before the start of Operation Dynamo, 226 thousand British troops were evacuated to the British Isles from the Dunkirk area, another 59,3 thousand British and 139,8 thousand troops of the Allied countries were removed during the operation (about 139 thousand French, and also Belgians and military personnel of other allied countries). A number of soldiers died during transportation.
    Plus more troops in the colonies.

    And the Luftwaffe, to the surprise of many, did not begin to deliver a destructive bombing strike against a sea of ​​force groupings. Why would such pacifism suddenly arise?
    1. Anton Yu
      Anton Yu 10 May 2018 22: 55
      0
      It is believed that Hitler showed mercy in relation to the allies. What do you think, could the Jewish fascist Adolf Hitler be a pacifist?