Q8. Trace the formation of various Military Alliances and its impact?
The Berlin crisis prompted two rival alliances led by USA and Soviet Union to form various military alliances. In 1949 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed mainly to stop Soviet expansion by pinning it in to the west and south. The main nations were the United States, Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg which were later joined by Greece and Turkey in 1952. In 1954, the NATO allies, in need of manpower and firepower to combat the Soviets, allowed West Germany to rearm itself and admitted it to NATO.
South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was formed in 1954 between the United States, Britain, France, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and the Philippines to contain the Soviets and Communists to the south and east.
A third alliance, the Mideast Treaty Organization (1955) completed the ring of hostile powers on Russia’s borders to the south. These alliances put a ring around the Soviet Union with unfriendly alliances.
Russia responded by forming Warsaw Pact in 1955 with its satellite states in Eastern Europe: East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Albania.
By the mid 1950’s, distinct battle lines had been drawn in Central Europe. Armies confronted each other for nearly a half century, draining economies, turning Central Europe into an armed camp under the cloud of atomic umbrella.