NATO Benelux

Warsaw Pact

In 1955 the FRG remilitarized and joined NATO, after its government had refused a Soviet offer of reunification under the condition of political neutrality.
The USSR responded to the situation with the establishment of the WARSAW PACT, in which the USSR was joined by its satellites Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Rumania, as well as by also newly rearmed East Germany (the GDR), and by Albania. While Albania left the organization in 1968 (its government supported the Chinese), the Warsaw Pact was later joined by Mongolia and Vietnam. The seat of the Warsaw Pact was WARSAW. The pact was dominated throughout its history by the USSR.
Like NATO the Warsaw Pact stressed harmonization of arms, organization and strategy of the fighting forces of member nations. Ostensibly a defense organization, the Warsaw Pact developed stockpiles of offensive weapons and ammunitions; plans were made, in case of the outbreak of hostilities, which included swift occupation of parts of western Europe (especially Denmark and West Germany's industrial centers), list of western political celebrities to be arrested etc.
While no open conflict with NATO occurred, the Warsaw Pact did provide the framework for the INVASION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA, to which Warsaw Pact troops had been "invited" by Czech 'CONCRETE HEADS' (Husak, Jakisch, Indra) to fight the 'Counterrevolution' (i.e. the politicians responsible for the Prague Spring, namely Dubcek and Svoboda). As the Czechs did not resist militarily, there were no fatalities on the side of the involved armies.
RUMANIA refused to join the operation and declared to distance itself from the WARSAW PACT, a move tolerated by the USSR. Western strategists believed it was tolerated because it was regarded to counter the French breach with NATO in 1967, and was intended to encourage a further disintegration of NATO.

Raymond L. Garthoff, When and Why Romania Distanced Itself from the Warsaw Pact, from CWIHP
The Warsaw Pact and the National People's Army (Nationale Volksarmee), from German Culture
The Warsaw Pact, excerpt from Czechoslovakia : A Country Study, from Library of Congress
DOCUMENTS The Warsaw Security Pact: May 14, 1955, from Avalon Project at Yale Law School; also from Modern History Sourcebook

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001. last revised on November 11th 2004

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