Revision Diary

Salami tactics and the Fulton speech


Soviet expansion into Central and Eastern Europe;

Iron Curtain;



Make sure that you know about how Stalin took control of eastern Europe, and the results of Soviet expansion in eastern Europe.

Know about the Fulton speech, particularly its effects.




Salami Tactics


•   Stalin wanted a 'buffer' to protect the USSR

•   In the so-called 'percentages agreement' Churchill had agreed to a Russian 'sphere of influence' in eastern Europe.

•   The Red Army conquered eastern Europe 1944-46 - there was •   nothing America or Britain could do to dislodge it.


•   East Germany was made the Russian 'zone' at Yalta

•   In 1945-7, Communist governments came to power in Bulgaria, Albania and Romania.


•   HOW the Communists did it was described by Rakosi as 'slicing salami' - case studies:

•   Hungary

•   1945 - Russian troops stayed there.

•   Stalin allowed elections, which the non-communists won.   However, some communists were elected (led by Rakosi).

•   1946 - Rakosi got non-Communist parties banned, saying that otherwise the Russians would take over the country.  

•   He got control of the police, and had his opponents arrested.  

•   He set up a brutal secret police, the AVO. 

•   1947 - Rakosi had complete control over Hungary.

•   Poland

•   1945 - Russians set up a Communist government (though at Yalta Stalin agreed to let non-Communists join it).

•   Stalin invited 16 non-Communist leaders to Moscow and imprisoned them.

•   1946 - Elections were delayed a number of times.

•   1947 - Thousands of non-Communists were imprisoned.  

•   Czechoslovakia

•   1945 - the Red Army stayed there

•   a government was set up with non-Communists and Communists (led by Gottwald).

•   Gottwald had non-Communists arrested, claiming they had helped the Nazis during the war

•   He made sure that Communists were in charge of the police, radio and army.

•   1947 - a secret police was set up

•   1948 - The leading anti-Communist Jan Masaryk 'committed suicide' by throwing himself out of his bathroom window.


•   By 1948, hard-line Stalinist governments ruled in every country of eastern Europe.




Results of Soviet expansion

  1. In the 1960s, historians blamed Soviet expansion for causing the Cold War - they said the USSR was empire-building (this Illingworth cartoon shows was the west thought about it).

  2. The peoples of eastern Europe fell under the control of hard-line Stalinist government =  lack of freedom (e.g. Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia, 1968).

  3. Soviet expansion led directly to the Fulton speech, the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan




Fulton Speech


•   Churchill feared Communism - in 1944, he suggested that America and Britain make peace with Germany and attack Russia!

•   At Yalta, he had been forced to make the percentages agreement, but regretted it.

•   After Yalta, told Roosevelt that ‘The Soviet Union has become a danger to the free world.’

•   Truman was very anti-Communist, and FURIOUS about Potsdam.

•   George Kennan, the US Ambassador in Moscow, sent Truman a 'Long Telegram' , saying that the Soviet Union was growing and  - without going to war - had to be stopped (by 'educating the public').


•   5 Mar 1946, Truman invited Churchill to give a speech in Fulton, Missouri - it was all pre-agreed, and Truman gave a speech of introduction

•   Churchill said that an 'iron curtain' had come down across Europe, behind which the Communists had taken over.

•   He described the Communist governments as a 'shadow' over civilisation - of 'totalitarian control [and] police governments'.


•   Stalin said that Churchill had 'declared war' on the USSR




Results of Fulton

  1. Fulton warned the people of America and Britain (who were used to thinking of 'Uncle Joe' as their ally) that their governments were becoming alarmed at Soviet expansion - nb Kennan's advice about 'educating the public'

  2. Fulton prepared the ground for the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan.

  3. Stalin was furious - he said that Churchill had 'declared war' on the USSR.   The Soviets became openly hostile towards the west - thereby bringing on a Cold War.

  4. 5 Mar 1946 can be said to be the date on which the Cold War broke out.





Revision Focus

This is a Paper 1 topic, so concentrate on learning:

1.   WHAT happened

2.   EFFECTS/ Importance



e-book on Salami tactics, and on the Fulton speech



Online revision sheet  



•    Salami Tactics