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By Günter Bischof, Stefan Karner, Peter Ruggenthaler

On August 20, 1968, tens of millions of Soviet and East eu floor and air forces moved into Czechoslovakia and occupied the rustic in an try to finish the "Prague Spring" reforms and fix an orthodox Communist regime. The chief of the Soviet Communist occasion, Leonid Brezhnev, was once at first reluctant to take advantage of army strength and attempted to strain his counterpart in Czechoslovakia, Alexander Dubcek, to crack down. yet through the summer season of 1968, after numerous months of cautious deliberations, the Soviet Politburo ultimately make a decision that army strength was once your best option left. a wide invading strength of Soviet, Polish, Hungarian, and Bulgarian troops acquired ultimate orders to maneuver into Czechoslovakia; inside 24 hours they'd proven whole army regulate of Czechoslovakia, bringing an finish to hopes for "socialism with a human face."

Dubcek and lots of the different Czechoslovak reformers have been quickly restored to energy, yet their position from past due August 1968 via April 1969 used to be to opposite the various reforms that were followed. In April 1969, Dubchek was once compelled to step down for reliable, bringing a last finish to the Prague Spring. Soviet leaders justified the invasion of Czechoslovakia by means of claiming that "the destiny of any socialist kingdom is the typical affair of all socialist international locations" and that the Soviet Union had either a "right" and a "sacred accountability" to "defend socialism" in Czechoslovakia. The invasion brought on a few divisions in the Communist international, yet total using large-scale strength proved remarkably profitable achieve Soviet ambitions. the U.S. and its NATO allies protested yet kept away from direct army motion and covert operations to counter the Soviet-led incursion into Czechoslovakia.

The essays of a dozen major ecu and American chilly conflict historians research this turning element within the chilly conflict in mild of recent documentary facts from the data of 2 dozen nations and clarify what occurred backstage. in addition they re-examine the vulnerable reaction of the United S

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6. Mitchell Lerner, “Trying to Find the Guy Who Invited Them: Lyndon B. Johnson, Bridge Building and the End of the Prague Spring,” Diplomatic History 21, no. 3 (2008): 77–103. 7. Alan Schwartz, Lyndon Johnson and Europe: In the Shadow of Vietnam (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003), 210–22; H. W. , The Foreign Policies of Lyndon Johnson beyond Vietnam (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1999), 118–21. 8. George C. S. Foreign Relations since 1776, The Oxford History of the United States, ed.

D. , Temple University, 2000). 13. , A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955–1991, National Security Archives Cold War Readers (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2005); on new sources, see also the chapter by Mark Kramer in this volume. 14. The idea of turning points in the Cold War is explicated in the volume by Kiron K. , Turning Points in Ending the Cold War (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2008). 15. Matthew J. Ouimet, The Rise and Fall of the Brezhnev Doctrine in Soviet Foreign Policy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003).

77. , in FRUS, 1964–1968, vol. , Prague Spring ’68, 445–48; see also the Bischof chapter in this volume. S. ” 162. 78. It may be good thing that Allen Dulles was no longer advising presidents in 1968, for during both the 1953 and 1956 crises, he had made disparaging remarks about the Czechs. During the National Security Council discussion following the East German uprising, he had observed that among the peoples of the satellites “the Czechs were certainly the most phlegmatic and the least likely to rise in revolt,” see Christian F.

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