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Summary 2011(2)

Summary


War over Berlin? The USSR's Strategic Situation during the Berlin Crisis in 1948-49 and 1958-62. A Comparison (Matthias Hul)

Analyzing in particular Russian primary sources, this essay compares Soviet military and strategic politics during the Berlin blockade (1948-49) and the crisis that led to the erection of the Berlin Wall (1958-62). The paper underlines similarities and differences in the USSR's diplomatic conduct and shows haw the Soviet strategic situation played a substantial role in the outcome at the confrontations. In bath crises, despite Soviets leaders wishing to modify Berlin's status qua, they tried to avoid a direct war given USSR's strategic inferiority and attempted to fill this gap by increasing defense spending. The paper also focuses an Stalin and Khrushchev's different diplomatic stratand the influence of the atomic dimension on the resolution of bath crises.


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