It is common knowledge that together the United States and its allies won World War II. But the war may never have been won without the profound sacrifices of the Soviet Union, then standing shoulder to shoulder with America and Britain. Described by historian Max Hastings as “the main engine of Nazism’s destruction”, the Red Army suffered approximately 80 times more casualties than the United States.
Under different circumstances, perhaps, the wartime partnership between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. might have been the foundation for a successful peacetime collaboration. But by 1946, relations between the two powers had soured. Without a common enemy to unite them, the capitalist, liberal democracies of the West and the Communist, totalitarian regimes of the East were politically and diplomatically irreconcilable.