But less than ten months ago, a photograph of Churchill was published on the front pages of the festive issues of the country's central newspapers on the occasion of the Victory Day over Nazi Germany, along with pictures of US President Truman and Stalin ... What was the reason for such a dramatic change in relation to the former leader a country that was an ally of the USSR during the Second World War?
Nine days before Stalin's 5 statement in March 1946, Winston Churchill delivered a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, which outlined a program of radical changes in the foreign policy of Great Britain, the United States and other “English-speaking countries” in relation to his recent ally in the anti-Hitler coalition. Churchill declared: “Twilight sank into the international political arena, once illuminated by the rays of a common victory ... From the Szczecin on the Baltic Sea to Trieste on the Adriatic, the Iron Curtain divided the European continent. On the other side of this barrier were the ancient capitals of Central and Eastern Europe - Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, Sofia. The population of all these famous cities has moved to the Soviet camp and is not only under the strong influence of Moscow, but also under its tight control. ”
Subsequently, the concept of the Iron Curtain, which Churchill introduced into political circulation, was used to describe the restrictions for citizens of the USSR and other socialist countries to travel to capitalist countries and receive information about life in the West. However, Churchill called the Iron Curtain difficulties in obtaining information from the West from the countries of Central and Southeastern Europe. By this time, the Western press constantly wrote that the restrictions imposed on the activities of Western journalists (and also intelligence officers) imposed by Soviet troops and their allies prevent sufficiently complete coverage of events in these countries, and therefore the West does not receive a complete picture of what is happening there. .
The phrase "iron curtain" was taken from the article by Goebbels, published in the newspaper "Reich" from February 24 of the year 1945.
In it, the Nazi Reich Minister of Propaganda assured that as the Red Army moved west, the Iron Curtain would fall on the territory occupied by Soviet troops. In fact, Churchill repeated Goebbels’s claims that the “curtain” of the Soviet tanks and other "iron" weapons hides the preparation of an attack on Western countries.
In order to counter the impending threat, Churchill called for the creation of a "fraternal association of English-speaking peoples." He emphasized that such an association would imply the sharing aviation, naval bases and the armed forces of the United States, Britain and other English-speaking countries. This is how Churchill announced the beginning of the Cold War of the West against the USSR.
Churchill's political twists
During his long life, Churchill has repeatedly made sharp political turns. In April 1904, he left the ranks of the conservative party and became a cabinet minister led by the liberal party leader D. Lloyd George. In 1924, Churchill broke with the liberals and soon became finance minister in Baldwin’s conservative office. Churchill was more than once the initiator of cardinal turns in the foreign policy of his country. On the evening of November 11, 1918, when the inhabitants of London were jubilant about the victorious end of the war against Germany, Churchill, by his own admission, was in a gloomy mood. Being in the evening in the company of members of the government, he said that it was necessary "to help the defeated enemy." The change in attitude towards defeated Germany was explained by Churchill's desire to defeat Soviet Russia. Churchill reasoned like this: “To conquer Russia ... we can only with the help of Germany. Germany should be invited to help us in the liberation of Russia. "
Soon, Churchill made a proposal to organize a "campaign of 14 powers" against Soviet Russia.
At the same time, he advocated the dismemberment of Russia. In 1919, Churchill wrote that a disunited Russia "would be less of a threat to the future world of all countries than the extensive centralized royal monarchy."
However, 22 June 1941 of the year, the English heard Churchill's speech on the radio, in which the head of the royal government announced: “Over the past twenty-five years, no one has been a more consistent opponent of communism than I am. I will not take back a single word I said about communism. However, all this goes into the background amid the events taking place ... I see how Russian soldiers stand on the threshold of their native land, which their fathers have been cultivating since time immemorial ... I see how the Nazi war machine is moving on them. ” Churchill compared German soldiers with Huns and locusts. He stated that “Hitler’s invasion of Russia is only a prelude to an attempt to invade the British Isles ... Therefore, the danger that threatens us and the United States, just like the business of every Russian fighting for his home and home, is the business of free peoples all corners of the globe. "
The agreement on cooperation between the USSR and Great Britain on joint actions in the war against Germany, signed in the Kremlin on July 12 1941, turned 26 in May on 1942 into the Anglo-Soviet alliance agreement in the war and on cooperation and mutual assistance after the war. Then the Churchill and Roosevelt governments committed themselves to open a "second front" in Western Europe. However, in July, both governments refused to fulfill these obligations. Explaining his refusal during his visit to the Kremlin in August 1942, Churchill also asked forgiveness from Stalin for organizing the British’s military intervention against the Soviet Union a quarter of a century ago. (Stalin replied: “God will forgive!”). Returning to London in September, Churchill did not spare bright words in his speech in the House of Commons to express his admiration for Stalin.
Although Churchill repeatedly congratulated Stalin and the Red Army on their victories, the British and Americans again violated their obligations to open a “second front” in 1943. Yet, despite this, Churchill’s attempts at the Tehran conference to weaken the future “second front” »Operations in the Balkans, which he planned to prevent the Red Army from entering Western Europe, by the end of 1944, our troops entered Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.
Then Churchill flew back to Moscow in October 1944 and tried to establish the “quotas” of influence of the USSR and the Western allies in the countries of South-Eastern Europe.
Churchill recalled that in the course of negotiations with Stalin “I took a half-sheet of paper and wrote: Romania. Russia - 90%; Others - 10%. Greece. United Kingdom (in agreement with the USA) - 90%; Russia - 10%. Yugoslavia. 50% - 50%. Hungary. 50% - 50%. Bulgaria. Russia - 75%. Others are 25%. Although Stalin did not comment on these figures, and no agreement was reached on the division of spheres of influence in Europe, Churchill’s trip to the USSR reaffirmed the strength of the Anglo-Soviet military alliance. This impression was reinforced after the Yalta Conference (4 - 11 February 1945), which was attended by Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill.
However, on April 1 Churchill wrote to Roosevelt: “The Russian armies will undoubtedly seize all of Austria and enter Vienna. If they also capture Berlin, would they not have an exaggerated idea that they had made an overwhelming contribution to our common victory, and could this not lead them to such a mood that would cause serious and very significant difficulties in the future? Therefore, I believe that from a political point of view, we should move as far as possible eastwards in Germany, and if Berlin is within reach, we should certainly take it. ”
Churchill did not stop with complaints about the success of the Red Army. In those days Field Marshal B.L. Montgomery, who commanded British forces in Europe, received a directive from Churchill: “Carefully collect German weapons and fold them so that they can be easily distributed to German soldiers, with whom we would have to cooperate if the Soviet offensive continued.” However, the then secret operation developed by Churchill against a Soviet ally, dubbed the “Unthinkable”, was not implemented because of the US unwillingness to fight against the USSR in Europe at that time. The Americans expected the Red Army to help them in the war against Japan.
Still, Churchill's secret directive for Montgomery regarding German soldiers and their weapons was not canceled. This was evidenced by the exchange of opinions between Stalin and Churchill at the Potsdam Conference. During the discussion of the topic of coal shortages and labor shortages for its mining in Western Europe, Stalin said that the USSR now uses prison labor to work in mines, and then remarked: “400 thousands of German soldiers are sitting in Norway, they even not disarmed, and it is not known what they are waiting for. Here is your work force. ” Realizing the true meaning of Stalin's statement, Churchill immediately began to make excuses: “I did not know that they were not disarmed. In any case, our intention is to disarm them. I do not know exactly what the situation is there, but this question was settled by the supreme headquarters of the allied expeditionary forces. In any case, I will make inquiries. ”
However, Stalin did not limit himself to his remarks, but at the end of the meeting conveyed to Churchill a memorandum concerning the unarmed German forces in Norway. Churchill again began to justify himself: "But I can give an assurance that our intention is to disarm these troops." Stalin's answer: "I have no doubt" was obviously uttered with ironic intonation, and therefore caused laughter. Continuing to make excuses, Churchill said: “We do not keep them in reserve in order to release them from the sleeve. I will immediately demand a report on this. ”
Only after 10 years, when Churchill again became prime minister, did he admit that he personally ordered not to disarm part of the German forces, but to keep them ready in case of a possible armed clash with the USSR in Europe in the summer of 1945.
Washington's turn to confrontation
Although in his political activities, Churchill constantly demonstrated his loyalty to the treachery that was traditional for British politicians, the turn to the Cold War was not only the result of the actions of “cunning Albion”. The most important factor in this was the position of the main ally of Great Britain.
25 April 1945, two weeks after the death of Roosevelt, the new US President Harry Truman was privy to the secret of the “Manhattan Project” by Secretary of War Stimson. On the same day, the President and the Minister prepared a memorandum, which, inter alia, said: “At present, we alone control the resources with the help of which the United States can create and use these weapons, and no other country can achieve this over the years ... The preservation of peace on Earth at the present level of the moral development of society, which is significantly below the level of technical development, will ultimately depend on these weapons ... We should not give up certain moral responsibility that arose s as a result of our leadership role in the war and in the creation of these weapons ... If the problem is the proper use of these weapons can be solved, we would be able to ensure peace in the world, and our civilization would have been saved. "
After the bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, the US government decided that they no longer needed a Soviet ally. The destruction with the help of atomic bombs of two Japanese cities showed the whole world that the United States possesses the most powerful weapons that have ever been in the world. The owner and editor of major American magazines, Henry Luce, declared: "The twentieth century is the age of America ... the first century when America is the dominant world force." These statements echoed official government declarations. October 27, 1945 Truman declared in his speech on the Day fleet: "We are the greatest national power on Earth."
After the creation and use of atomic bombs, agreements between the winners in World War II, reached in Yalta and Potsdam, were no longer satisfied with the United States.
In the military circles of the country, preparations began to attack the USSR with the use of atomic weapons. October 9 The 1945 Committee of the United States of America Chiefs of Staff prepared the secret directive No. 1518 "Strategic concept and plan for the use of the US armed forces", which proceeded from the preparation by America of a preventive atomic strike on the USSR With the rapid accumulation of atomic weapons in the US 14 in December 1945, a new directive No. 432 / d of the Chiefs of Staff Committee was prepared, in which the 20 of the main industrial centers of the USSR and the Trans-Siberian Railway as objects of atomic bombing were indicated.
And yet, the United States did not immediately decide to go to war against the USSR. Nor were the European allies ready for such a turn in politics. Therefore, in order to “articulate” changes towards the USSR, they decided to use Winston Churchill, whose party was defeated in the parliamentary elections. The retired premier’s speech was preceded by his long stay in the US in the winter of 1945 - 1946 of the year, during which Churchill met in Truman and other statesmen of the country. The main provisions of Churchill's speech were agreed during his conversation with Truman 10 February 1946. During several weeks of his stay in Florida, Churchill worked on the text of the speech.
The final version of the speech was agreed with the British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, who led the Labor Party, and Foreign Minister Ernst Bevin. Truman went to Fulton to personally introduce Churchill to those gathered at Westminster College before he began his speech.
Under cover of false accusations
The Western powers covered their program of attack on our country with accusations of the Soviet Union in violation of the agreements reached on post-war peace. Exposing the falsity of Churchill's speech, Stalin, in his "reply to the Pravda correspondent, pointed out:" It is completely absurd to speak of exclusive control of the USSR in Vienna and Berlin, where there are Allied Control Councils from representatives of four states and where the USSR has only of the votes. It happens that other people can not slander, but you still need to know when to stop. ”
Stalin drew attention to the fact that the creation of borders that ensured the security of the USSR was an important part of the post-war settlement in Europe.
He stated: “The Germans invaded the USSR through Finland, Poland, Romania, Hungary ... The question is, what could be surprising is that the Soviet Union, wishing to protect itself for the future, is trying to ensure that there are governments in these countries, loyal to the Soviet Union? "
Before acquiring atomic weapons, this requirement of the USSR was recognized by our Western allies. In his speech at Fulton, Churchill was silent about the fact that even in the fall of 1944, he agreed to the predominant influence of the USSR in Romania and Bulgaria (on 75 - 90%). By March 1946, the USSR did not exceed this “quota” proposed by Churchill. In November, 1945, in the elections to the National Assembly of Bulgaria, the Patriotic Front, which, along with the Communist Party, included the Agricultural Union, received 88,2% of votes. The remaining votes were received by the pro-Western opposition parties. In Romania, in which royal power remained, along with the ruling People’s Democratic Front, there were also opposition parties.
In Hungary, which Churchill agreed to split equally between the USSR and the West according to the degree of influence, the Communist Party received 1945% in the November 17 elections, the Social Democratic party 17%, the National Peasant Party 7%, and the small farmers won the elections. which received 57%. The communists were in a clear minority.
Although Churchill wanted in 1944 to achieve equal influence of the West and the USSR on Yugoslavia, in fact, this country was not completely under the influence of anyone's influence. It was only under pressure from Stalin that the Communists of Yugoslavia reluctantly agreed to include representatives of the emigrant government in his government. Soon, events showed that the USSR could not have an effective influence on the government of Yugoslavia.
There was no complete Soviet domination in March 1946 in Czechoslovakia. By that time, in the government and local bodies, the communists shared power with representatives of other parties on a parity basis. The president of the republic, as in 1938, was E. Beneš, who personified the pro-Western orientation in the country.
Although the leading posts in Poland remained in the hands of the communists and left-wing socialists, the former prime minister of the émigré government, Mikolajczyk, who joined the government as vice-chairman, and the party led by him, Polsk Stronitztvo Ludowo, played a significant role in the political life of the country.
It is obvious that Church’s contrived accusations and frightening statements were intended to present the USSR as a treacherous aggressor and create an atmosphere conducive to heightening international tension.
Churchill also blatantly distorted the USSR’s readiness for aggressive actions against the West. By the end of the war, the USSR lost 30% of its national wealth.
On the territory liberated from the occupiers, 1710 cities and towns and 70 thousands of villages were destroyed. 182 coal mines were disabled, ferrous metallurgy production and oil production declined by a third. Huge damage suffered agriculture. Colossal were human losses. Addressing Truman and Churchill at the Potsdam Conference, Stalin said: “I was not used to complaining, but I must say that ... we lost several millions of people killed, we don’t have enough people. If I began to complain, I am afraid that you would have shed a tear, the difficult situation in Russia. ”
These facts were recognized by all objective observers. Analyzing American plans for an attack on the USSR, researcher M. Sherry later wrote: “The Soviet Union does not pose a direct threat, the command of the armed forces recognized. Its economy and human resources are exhausted by war ... Therefore, in the next few years, the USSR will focus its efforts on reconstruction. ”
The report of the US State Department’s Planning Policy Board of November 7 of 1947 recognized: “The Soviet government does not want and does not expect war with us in the foreseeable future.”
Summing up his impressions of being in the USSR and meeting with Stalin at the beginning of 1947, Field Marshal Montgomery wrote: “In general, I came to the conclusion that Russia is not able to take part in a world war against any strong combination of allied countries, and she understands this. Russia needed a long period of peace, during which it would have to recover. I came to the conclusion that Russia will closely monitor the situation and will refrain from careless diplomatic steps, trying not to "cross the line" anywhere, so as not to provoke a new war with which it will not be able to cope ... I reported This is a report to the British government and the chiefs of staff. "
Cold war in action
However, after learning of the plight of our country, the leaders of Great Britain and the United States did not “shed tears,” but went over to confrontation with the Soviet Union, besides taking advantage of the presence of atomic weapons among the Americans. In September 1946, Special Assistant to the President of the United States, C. Clifford, by order of G. Truman, held a meeting with top US state leaders and, based on it, 24, September 1946, presented the report “American policy towards the Soviet Union”, which stated: "It is necessary to indicate to the Soviet that we have sufficient power not only to repel an attack, but also to quickly crush the USSR in a war ... To keep our power at a level that is effective for deterring the Soviet Union, the US But they must be ready to wage atomic and bacteriological warfare ”. In the middle of 1948 of the year, the Chariotir plan was prepared by the US Joint Chiefs Committee, which provided for the use of 133 atomic bombs against 70 of Soviet cities in the first 30 days of war. 8 bombs were supposed to drop on Moscow, and 7 - on Leningrad. In the next two years of the war, it was supposed to drop 200 atomic bombs and 250 thousand tons of conventional bombs on the USSR.
The threats of an atomic attack against the USSR, voiced in the US Congress and the British House of Commons, as well as in the press of Western countries, were reinforced by hostile actions in the international arena.
In 1947, the US government unilaterally terminated the Soviet-American agreement 1945 of the year on the supply of American goods on credit. In March 1948, export licenses were introduced in the United States, prohibiting the importation of most goods into the USSR. Soviet-American trade virtually ceased. But anti-Soviet propaganda began to expand. In a report by C. Clifford on September 24 1946, it was emphasized: “On the widest scale which the Soviet government will tolerate, we must deliver books, magazines, newspapers and films to the country, and broadcast radio programs to the USSR”. Thus, the Cold War program set out by Winston Churchill on March 5 of the year 1946 began to be implemented.