Публикация №1190295706 20 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус FAMOUS RUSSIANS
"I have great bundles of grain but I have no mill and there is not enough water close by to build one. But there is water enough at a distance if only I shall have time to build a canal, but the length of my life is uncertain. Therefore, I build the mill first and have only given the order to build the canal, which will better force my successors to bring water [to put the mill to use]. PETER THE GREAT
Публикация №1190295589 20 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Soviet Russia (1953-85)
Wang Ming (1904-1974) was the leader of the "Internationalist" group within the Chinese Communist Party that opposed Mao Tse-Tung's (Zedong's) nationalist "deviation" and favored, instead, disciplined compliance with each shift in the Comintern line. As such, Wang emerged as a major rival of Mao in the 1930s...
The Postwar Collapse of the Allies' Coalition
Публикация №1190295510 20 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Soviet Russia (1917-53)
Was the postwar collapse of the Allies' coalition inevitable?
Viewpoint: Yes, the grand coalition of the Allied powers was doomed to collapse after World War II because it was built only on the common interest of defeating the Axis; mutual mistrust and postwar self-interest caused the Cold War.
Viewpoint: No, the collapse of the grand coalition was not foreordained; it was caused by the United States breaking from its pattern of traditional isolationism after the war and the Soviet policy of territorial expansion, among other factors.
Публикация №1190295452 20 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Soviet Russia (1917-53)
The massive loss of lives during World War II reflected less the direct effects of combat than its secondary consequences: famine, disease, privation, and not least outright murder. In Europe it began in Poland in 1939, as Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany collaborated to annihilate race and class enemies. In 1940, when Russia occupied the Baltic states, the executions and deportations were on such a scale that many survivors subsequently welcomed the Germans as liberators--and then took up arms to seek revenge against their former persecutors...
Публикация №1190295413 20 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус ARMED FORCES
Is the Cold War over?
Viewpoint: Viewpoint: Yes. The Cold War is over because most communist states are defunct or struggling to survive in the international community.
Viewpoint: Viewpoint: No. Although the United States stands as the most powerful country in the world, many Cold War antagonisms continue to pose difficulties for American leadership.
Allied Invasion of France (D-Day), 1944
Публикация №1190295321 20 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Soviet Russia (1917-53)
As early as July 1941 a mortally threatened Soviet Union was calling for a "second front"--an Anglo-American invasion of Europe across the English Channel. The appeal was sufficiently compelling that Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt made successive attempts to present the invasions of North Africa in 1942 and Italy in 1943 as meeting Soviet criteria. Joseph Stalin was unimpressed, and since then Soviet and post-Soviet historiography has stated or implied that the Western allies delayed invading the European continent unnecessarily, if not hoping to weaken the U.S.S.R. then to spare the lives of their own men at the expense of Russia's.
The most common rejoinder is that Russia had no comprehension of the difficulties involved in preparing and mounting a cross-Channel invasion against an alert and competent defense. It has been suggested that the invasion could have been mounted in the summer of 1943 with good chances of success given the weakness of German forces and defenses compared to 1944. This hypothesis, however, depending heavily on statistical comparisons, has found little support beyond its originators. D-Day remains best understood as a one-time operation, absorbing such a high percentage of U.S. and British material and psychological resources that it could not be undertaken without near-absolute chances of success...
Публикация №1190295274 20 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Muscovy
There is considerable debate as to how much the priest Silvester influenced Russian Tsar Ivan IV, known as Ivan the Terrible. According to Nikolay Mikhaylovich Karamzin, the great early-nineteenth-century Russian historian, Ivan the Terrible only acted virtuously when he was guided by Silvester, and all that was good in Ivan ought to be attributed to Silvester. Yet, another great nineteenth-century Russian historian, S. F. Platonov, denies Silvester both the credit for Ivan's farsighted policy of strengthening Russia's southern frontier and the opprobrium for Ivan's brutal responses to the social crises that destroyed the Muscovite state by the 1580s. Most twentieth-century experts on Ivan, however, argue that Silvester must assume some blame for Ivan's later violence and debauchery, viewing the Tsar's maniacal behavior as a direct consequence of, and reaction against, Silvester's stern treatment of the youthful Ivan...
Soviet Control in Eastern and Central Europe. Could a "Finland" status have been attained for some eastern and central European states?
Публикация №1190295216 20 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Soviet Russia (1917-53)
Finland became independent from Russia in 1917, but relations with Russia (and its successor, the Soviet Union) remained uneasy. In 1939, following the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact (also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact), in which the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia were given to the Soviet Union, the Soviets invaded eastern Finland. In the Winter War that ensued, the outnumbered Finns fought courageously, but in March 1940 they were forced to cede a large area of southeastern Finland to the Soviets in the Treaty of Moscow. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Finns resumed hostilities, hoping to reclaim the territory they had lost earlier. Finland also adopted a pro-German foreign policy, and Finnish president Risto Ryti refused to change his position even as the tide of the Second World War turned against Germany.
Finland emerged from the war with its freedom of action in foreign policy and defense matters curtailed. Although independent, Finland was within the Soviet sphere of influence, leading it to sign a treaty with the Soviet Union in which it promised to remain neutral in the struggle between East and West. Finland did not join the European Recovery Plan (the Marshall Plan), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), or other initiatives or organizations that the Soviets deemed hostile...
Публикация №1190295132 20 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус ARMED FORCES
The question of who "started" the cold war has been an issue of rancorous debate among historians and policymakers for more than four decades. Most of what was written in the 1950s and 1960s about the origins of the cold war came to be defined as "orthodox" or "traditional." In the 1960s and 1970s a new interpretation of the sources of the cold war emerged and was dubbed "revisionist" because of its challenge to the orthodox interpretation. Shortly after the first revisionist studies appeared, and at an accelerated pace during the late 1980s and early 1990s, as archives in the Soviet Union (later Russia) and Soviet-bloc countries opened to Western scholars, a "postrevisionist" reading of the origins of the cold war appeared.
Traditionalists put the blame for the cold war on the Soviet Union. They argue that the Soviets' denial of free elections in Poland and Czechoslovakia, their meddling in Greece, Turkey, and Iran, their assistance to communist forces in China, and their opposition to U.S.-sponsored postwar plans for controlling weapons and promoting economic development--such as the Baruch Plan and the Marshall Plan--caused the Truman administration to reassess its initially more conciliatory approach to the Soviet Union and adopt a harder line toward it. There are differences among traditionalists regarding the driving motivation behind Soviet conduct. Some emphasize the messianic nature of communist ideology, while others offer a combination of traditional Russian imperial impulses, and also point out that Soviet conduct was in line with historical patterns of traditional power politics.
Revisionists argue that Soviet behavior was largely defensive in nature. After the devastation of the Second World War, the Soviet leadership was interested in rebuilding its country and addressing legitimate security concerns--especially making sure that the countries of east and central Europe would no longer be used as a corridor of invasion into Russia. According to this argument, it was the United States, driven by a capitalist need for markets and raw materials, that adopted a confrontational, bullying tone toward the Soviet Union, leading to the outbreak of the cold war...
Schlieffen Plan of the German General Staff
Публикация №1190295077 20 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Imperial Russia
Alfred von Schlieffen, Chief of the German General Staff from 1891 to 1906, invited description, when not caricature, as an archetype of the specialist with tunnel vision, a man who would send staff problems to subordinates on Christmas Eve and expect a solution on his desk the morning of 26 December. The operational plan bearing his name is usually described in corresponding terms, as a comprehensive, detailed scheme for deploying the German army so as to conquer France by destroying the French army in one giant enveloping movement through the Low Countries.
In the years after the Great War supporters of the plan--most of them German officers--presented it as a design for victory, disrupted by the mistakes of Schlieffen's successor. Critics, whose numbers have steadily increased, describe it as a doomsday machine triggering general war by its emphasis on a first strike and as a military myth, requiring its details to go impossibly right in order to have any real chance of succeeding...
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