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To avoid being outvoted by the three Western powers, the Russians insisted that each commander should have complete responsibility for his own zone. This decision effectively stopped the ACC from exercising any real power in Germany. • A limited number of central German offices dealing with finance, transport, trade and industry, which were to deal with Germany as a whole, were to be formed at some point in the future. • There was no agreement on how much reparations the USSR should be paid. The Soviets had already begun to strip their zone of industrial plant and raw materials, but the British and Americans were convinced that the German economy must be left sufficiently strong to pay for imported food and raw materials, and were not ready to subsidise the Soviet zone.

It was delayed because Truman wished to wait until the atom bomb had been tested at Alamogordo in New Mexico. When this took place successfully on 16 July, he was told that the bomb had a much greater destructive potential than was expected and was ready for immediate use against Japan. The news produced some dramatic changes in US policy. The Americans no longer wanted the USSR to join in the war against Japan, as now, it seemed likely that they would quickly defeat Japan by themselves. US officials also thought that the possession of 40 | Europe and the Cold War 1945–91 the bomb would enable the USA to force Stalin to make concessions in Eastern Europe.

Poland was the country over which the Second World War had broken out when Germany invaded it in September 1939; likewise, Poland was at the centre of the origins of the Cold War after 1945. In October 1944 the Soviet Union allowed the proWestern Warsaw uprising to be crushed by the Nazi occupation forces. It was now becoming clear that the Soviet idea of friendly governments in eastern Europe clashed with America’s long-term interests. 34 | Europe and the Cold War 1945–91 To what extent do you accept the view that the USA and the USSR were already divided by irreconcilable differences by the end of the fighting in Europe in May 1945?

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Access to History. Europe and the Cold War 1945-1991 by David Williamson

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