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The origins of the Cold War Up to 1945 the most dominant countries were European Britain France and Germany by the end of the war however this was very different The retreating German army had destroyed whole areas of towns and industries and allied bombing had left most of Germany in ruins The two new superpowers were the USA and the USSR The USSR was the biggest country and had the biggest army It was though affected by the war they had lost 20 million men and the German army had destroyed many buildings and factories The USA however was very much different they had lost a lot of men but no fighting had taken place in America their economy was also doing very well These two countries were far ahead of their rivals and so they were called superpowers The Yalta Conference In 1945 it was though clear that Germany was going to lose the war The allied leaders meet in Yalta in the Ukraine to plan what was to happen to Europe after the defeat of Germany The three leaders Churchill Roosevelt and Stalin managed to agree to certain key points The USSR would join the war against Japan after the defeat of Germany They agreed that Germany would be divided into four zones British American French and Soviet Churchill pressed for a French zone to be added to the other three to give another anti-Soviet voice to the armies of occupation Austria was dealt with in the same way The important city of Berlin was also to be divided up even though it was deep in Soviet territory While the allies advanced they uncovered the full horrors of the death camps all three agreed to hunt down those responsible for genocide They agreed that all liberated countries would be given free elections to choose the government that they wanted They
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