Stalin As A Catalyst To The Cold War
Several key issues arose in this conflict. First, the U.S. felt alienated when Czechoslovakia rejected Marshall Aid, which the U.S. blamed on the influence of the communist party. Second, the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia was a communist, the President and Foreign Minister were not. Finally, the fact that the communists took power in Czechoslovakia by means of an armed rebellion sent waves of fear through the western world, causing the ‘iron curtain' to fall even further. The U.N. had its hands tied, because there were ‘free' elections (the candidates were all communist) and there was no proof of Russian involvement. While it cannot be proved that Stalin ordered the rebellion, the signals were clear. Stalin had likely encouraged the rebellion, and it was not coincidental that Russian troops in Austria were moved up to the Czech border. Czechoslovakia was the final east-west bridge, and with the fall of it, the ‘iron curtain' was complete.
The final hostile movement of Stalin of importance was the Berlin blockade (insert pic 5) and airlift. When Russia grew dissatisfied with the economic disparity that had developed in Berlin, it responded by closing all road, rail and canal links between West Berlin and West German. The goal was to force western powers from West Berlin by reducing it to the starvation