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Warsaw Pact

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Warsaw Pact

Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance
Russian: Договор о дружбе, сотрудничестве и взаимной помощи
Members of the Warsaw Pact
Motto Союз мира и социализма  (Russian)
"Union of peace and socialism"
Formation 14 May 1955
Extinction 1 July 1991
Type Military alliance
Headquarters Warsaw, Poland
(Command and Control HQ)
Moscow, Soviet Union
(Military HQ)

East Germany
Soviet Union

Albania (withdrew in 1968)
Supreme Commander Petr Lushev (last)
Chief of Combined Staff Vladimir Lobov (last)
Logo Military unit Organization The Warsaw Pact. Union of peace and socialism

The Warsaw Pact (formally, the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance, sometimes, informally WarPac, akin in format to CSTO.[7]


  • Nomenclature 1
  • Structure 2
  • Strategy 3
  • History 4
    • Beginnings 4.1
    • Members 4.2
    • During Cold War 4.3
    • End of the Cold War 4.4
  • Central and Eastern Europe after the Warsaw Treaty 5
  • Gallery 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
    • Other languages 9.1
    • Memoirs 9.2
  • External links 10


Soviet philatelic commemoration: At its 20th anniversary in 1975, the Warsaw Pact remains On Guard for Peace and Socialism.

In the military alliance—abbreviated WAPA, Warpac, and WP. Elsewhere, in the former member states, the Warsaw Treaty is known as:

  • Albanian: Pakti i miqësisë, bashkëpunimit dhe i ndihmës së përbashkët
  • Bulgarian: Договор за дружба, сътрудничество и взаимопомощ
  • Czech: Smlouva o přátelství, spolupráci a vzájemné pomoci
  • Slovak: Zmluva o priateľstve, spolupráci a vzájomnej pomoci
  • German: Vertrag über Freundschaft, Zusammenarbeit und gegenseitigen Beistand
  • Hungarian: Barátsági, együttműködési és kölcsönös segítségnyújtási szerződés
  • Polish: Układ o przyjaźni, współpracy i pomocy wzajemnej
  • Romanian: Tratatul de prietenie, cooperare şi asistenţă mutuală
  • Russian: Договор о дружбе, сотрудничестве и взаимной помощи


The Warsaw Treaty's organization was two-fold: the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR. Therefore, although ostensibly an international collective security alliance, the USSR dominated the Warsaw Treaty armed forces.[8]


The strategy behind the formation of the Warsaw Pact was driven by the desire of the Soviet Union to dominate Central and Eastern Europe. This policy was driven by ideological and geostrategic reasons. Ideologically, the Soviet Union arrogated the right to define socialism and communism and act as the leader of the global socialist movement. A corollary to this idea was the necessity of intervention if a country appeared to be violating core socialist ideas and Communist Party functions, which was explicitly stated in the Brezhnev Doctrine.[9] Geostrategic principles also drove the Soviet Union to prevent invasion of its territory by Western European powers, which had occurred most recently by Nazi Germany in 1941. The invasion launched by Hitler had been exceptionally brutal and the USSR emerged from the Second World War in 1945 with the greatest total casualties of any participant in the war, suffering an estimated 27 million killed along with the destruction of much of the nation's industrial capacity.



The Cold War (1945–90): NATO vs. the Warsaw Pact, the status of forces in 1973

In March 1954, the USSR, fearing "the restoration of German Militarism" in West Germany, requested admission to NATO.[10][11][12] By then, laws had already been passed in West Germany ending West German Federal Intelligence Service, was fully operative and employing hundreds of ex-Nazis.[15]

The Soviet request to join NATO arose in the aftermath of the Bidault (France).[19] Proposals for the reunification of Germany were nothing new: earlier in 1952, talks about a German reunification ended after the United Kingdom, France, and the United States insisted that a unified Germany should not be neutral and should be free to join the European Defence Community and rearm.

Consequently Molotov, fearing that EDC would be directed in the future against the USSR therefore "seeking to prevent the formation of groups of European States directed against other European States",[20] made a proposal for a General European Treaty on Collective Security in Europe "open to all European States without regard as to their social systems"[20] which would have included the unified Germany (thus making the EDC – perceived by the USSR as a threat – unusable). But again, Eden, Dulles and Bidault opposed the proposal.[21]

One month later, the proposed European Treaty was rejected not only by supporters of the EDC but also by western opponents of the European Defense Community (like French Gaullist leader Palewski) who perceived it as "unacceptable in its present form because it excludes the USA from participation in the collective security system in Europe".[22] The Soviets then decided to make a new proposal to the governments of the USA, UK and France stating to accept the participation of the USA in the proposed General European Agreement.[22] And considering that another argument deployed against the Soviet proposal was that it was perceived by western powers as "directed against the North Atlantic Pact and its liquidation",[22][23] the Soviets decided to declare their "readiness to examine jointly with other interested parties the question of the participation of the USSR in the North Atlantic bloc", specifying that "the admittance of the USA into the General European Agreement should not be conditional on the three western powers agreeing to the USSR joining the North Atlantic Pact".[22]

Again all proposals, including the request to join NATO, were rejected by UK, US, and French governments shortly after.[12][24] Emblematic was the position of British General Hastings Ismay, supporter of NATO expansion, who said that NATO "must grow until the whole free world gets under one umbrella."[25] He opposed the request to join NATO made by the USSR in 1954[26] saying that "the Soviet request to join NATO is like an unrepentant burglar requesting to join the police force".[27]

In April 1954 Adenauer made his first visit to the USA meeting Nixon, Eisenhower and Dulles. Ratification of EDC was delaying but the US representatives made it clear to Adenauer that EDC would have to become a part of NATO.[28]

Memories of the Nazi occupation were still strong, and the rearmament of Germany was feared by France too.[29] On 30 August 1954 French Parliament rejected the EDC, thus ensuring its failure[30] and blocking a major objective of US policy towards Europe: to associate Germany militarily with the West.[31] The US Department of State started to elaborate alternatives: Germany would be invited to join NATO or, in the case of French obstructionism, strategies to circumvent a French veto would be implemented in order to obtain a German rearmament outside NATO.[32]

On Halvard Lange, Foreign Affairs Minister of Norway at the time.[33]

Warsaw Pact "Big Seven" threats

On 14 May 1955, the USSR and other seven European countries "reaffirming their desire for the establishment of a system of European collective security based on the participation of all European states irrespective of their social and political systems"[34] established the Warsaw Pact in response to the integration of the Federal Republic of Germany into NATO, declaring that: "a remilitarized Western Germany and the integration of the latter in the North-Atlantic bloc [...] increase the danger of another war and constitutes a threat to the national security of the peaceable states; [...] in these circumstances the peaceable European states must take the necessary measures to safeguard their security".[34]

One of the founding members, East Germany was allowed to re-arm by the Soviet Union and the National People's Army was established as the armed forces of the country to counter the rearmament of the West Germany


The eight member countries of the Warsaw Pact pledged the mutual defense of any member who would be attacked. Relations among the treaty signatories were based upon mutual non-intervention in the internal affairs of the member countries, respect for national sovereignty, and political independence. However, almost all governments of those members states were indirectly controlled by the Soviet Union.

The founding signatories to the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance consisted of the following communist governments:

In July 1963 the Mongolian People's Republic asked to join the Warsaw Pact under Article 9 of the treaty. For this purpose a special protocol should have been taken since the text of the treaty applied only to Europe. Due to the emerging Sino-Soviet split, Mongolia remained on observer status. Soviet stationing troops were agreed to stay in Mongolia from 1966.

During Cold War

For 36 years, NATO and the Warsaw Pact never directly waged war against each other in Europe; the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies implemented strategic policies aimed at the containment of each other in Europe, while working and fighting for influence within the wider Cold War on the international stage.

In 1956, following the declaration of the Imre Nagy government of withdrawal of Hungary from the Warsaw Pact, Soviet troops entered the country and removed the government. Soviet forces crushed the nation-wide revolt, leading to the death of an estimated 2,500 Hungarian citizens.

The multi-national Communist armed forces' sole joint action was the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. All member countries, with the exception of the Socialist Republic of Romania and the People's Republic of Albania participated in the invasion.

End of the Cold War

Beginning at the Cold War's conclusion, in late 1989, popular civil and political public discontent forced the Communist governments of the Warsaw Treaty countries from power – independent national politics made feasible with the perestroika- and glasnost-induced institutional collapse of Communist government in the USSR.[35] Eventually, the populaces of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Albania, East Germany, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria deposed their Communist governments in the period from 1989–91.

On 25 February 1991, the Warsaw Pact was declared disbanded at a meeting of defense and foreign ministers from Pact countries meeting in Hungary.[36] On 1 July 1991, in

  • The Woodrow Wilson Center Cold War International History Project's Warsaw Pact Document Collection
  • Parallel History Project on Cooperative Security
  • Library of Congress / Federal Research Division / Country Studies / Area Handbook Series / Soviet Union / Appendix C: The Warsaw Pact (1989)
  •  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.

External links

  • Adenauer, Konrad (1966b). Konrad Adenauer Memoirs 1945-53. Henry Regnery Company. 
  • Molotov, Vyacheslav (1954b). Statements at Berlin Conference of Foreign Ministers of U.S.S.R., France, Great Britain and U.S.A., January 25-February 18, 1954. Foreign Languages Publishing House. 


  • Umbach, Frank (2005). Das rote Bündnis: Entwicklung und Zerfall des Warschauer Paktes 1955 bis 1991 (in German). Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag.  
  • Wahl, Alfred (2007). La seconda vita del nazismo nella Germania del dopoguerra (in Italian). Torino: Lindau.  

Other languages

  • Faringdon, Hugh. Confrontation: the strategic geography of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986.)
  • Mackintosh, Malcolm. The evolution of the Warsaw Pact (International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1969)
  • Kramer, Mark N. "Civil-military relations in the Warsaw Pact, The East European component," International Affairs, Vol. 61, No. 1, Winter 1984-85.
  • Lewis, William Julian (1982). The Warsaw Pact: Arms, Doctrine, and Strategy. Cambridge, Mass.: Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis.  

Further reading

  1. ^ "Text of Warsaw Pact". United Nations Treaty Collection. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  2. ^ Yost, David S. (1998). NATO Transformed: The Alliance's New Roles in International Security. Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace Press. p. 31.  
  3. ^ Broadhurst, Arlene Idol (1982). The Future of European Alliance Systems. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. p. 137.  
  4. ^ Christopher Cook, Dictionary of Historical Terms (1983)
  5. ^ The Columbia Enclopedia, fifth edition (1993) p. 2926
  6. ^ "Warsaw Pact: Wartime Status-Instruments of Soviet Control". Wilson Center. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  7. ^ "Полный текст Варшавского Договора (1955)". The Warsaw Pact (1955) - Official version of the document. Дирекция портала "Юридическая Россия". Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Fes'kov, V. I.; Kalashnikov, K. A.; Golikov, V. I. (2004). Sovetskai͡a Armii͡a v gody "kholodnoĭ voĭny," 1945–1991 [The Soviet Army in the Cold War Years (1945–1991)]. Tomsk: Tomsk University Publisher. p. 6.  
  9. ^ ' 'The Review of Politics Volume' ', 34, No. 2 (April 1972), pp. 190-209
  10. ^ "Soviet Union request to join NATO". Retrieved 2013-07-31. 
  11. ^ "Fast facts about NATO".  
  12. ^ a b "Proposal of Soviet adherence to NATO as reported in the Foreign Relations of the United States Collection". UWDC FRUS Library. Retrieved 2013-07-31. 
  13. ^ Art, David, The Politics of the Nazi Past in Germany and Austria, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 53-55
  14. ^ Wahl 2007, p. 92-108.
  15. ^ Höhne, Heinz; Zolling, Hermann, The General Was a Spy: The Truth about General Gehlen and His Spy Ring, New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan 1972, p. 31
  16. ^ Molotov 1954a, p. 197,201.
  17. ^ Molotov 1954a, p. 202.
  18. ^ Molotov 1954a, p. 197–198, 203, 212.
  19. ^ Molotov 1954a, p. 211–212, 216.
  20. ^ a b "Draft general European Treaty on collective security in Europe — Molotov proposal (Berlin, 10 February 1954)". CVCE. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  21. ^ Molotov 1954a, p. 214.
  22. ^ a b c d "MOLOTOV'S PROPOSAL THAT THE USSR JOIN NATO, MARCH 1954". Wilson Center. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  23. ^ Molotov 1954a, p. 216,.
  24. ^ "Final text of tripartite reply to Soviet note". Nato website. Retrieved 2013-07-31. 
  25. ^ Jordan, p. 65
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Memo by Lord Ismay, Secretary General of NATO". Retrieved 2013-07-31. 
  28. ^ Adenauer 1966a, p. 662.
  29. ^ "The refusal to ratify the EDC Treaty". CVCE. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  30. ^ "Debates in the French National Assembly on 30 August 1954". CVCE. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  31. ^ "US positions on alternatives to EDC". United States Department of State / FRUS collection. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  32. ^ "US positions on german rearmament outside NATO". United States Department of State / FRUS collection. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  33. ^ "West Germany accepted into Nato". BBC News. 9 May 1955. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  34. ^ a b "Text of the Warsaw Security Pact (see preamble)". Avalon Project. Retrieved 2013-07-31. 
  35. ^ The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, third edition, 1999, pp. 637–8
  36. ^ "Warsaw Pact and Comecon To Dissolve This Week". 1991-02-26. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  37. ^  


  • Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

See also


In November 2005, the Polish government opened its Warsaw Treaty archives to the Institute of National Remembrance, who published some 1,300 declassified documents in January 2006. Yet the Polish government reserved publication of 100 documents, pending their military declassification. Eventually, 30 of the reserved 100 documents were published; 70 remained secret, and unpublished. Among the documents published is the Warsaw Treaty's nuclear war plan, Seven Days to the River Rhine – a short, swift attack capturing Austria, Denmark, Germany and Netherlands east of River Rhine, using nuclear weapons, in self-defense, after a NATO first strike. The plan originated as a 1979 field training exercise war game, and metamorphosed into official Warsaw Treaty battle doctrine, until the late 1980s – which is why the People’s Republic of Poland was a nuclear weapons base, first, to 178, then, to 250 tactical-range rockets. Doctrinally, as a Soviet-style (offensive) battle plan, Seven Days to the River Rhine gave commanders few defensive-war strategies for fighting NATO in Warsaw Treaty territory.

Russia and some other post-USSR states joined in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).

On 12 March 1999, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia joined in March 2004; Albania joined on 1 April 2009.

Central and Eastern Europe after the Warsaw Treaty

in Romania that toppled the communist government there. The USSR disestablished itself in December 1991. violent revolution The treaty was de facto disbanded in December 1989 during the [37]

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