“From Stettin in the Baltic to

Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”

–Winston Churchill

 

 On 5th March 1946, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered the iconic “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College, Missouri, and coined the term that would historically be used in reference to the physical divide between the two opposing Cold War blocs. Following the end of the Second World War in 1945, the world witnessed geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and its satellite states, and the United States and its allies. This resulted in the formation of an ‘Eastern bloc’ and a ‘Western bloc’, and marked an elongated period of ‘cold’ conflict, from 1947 to 1991, where both opposing sides fought via proxy wars – such as in Vietnam, Cuba and Afghanistan – as well as through nuclear buildup and mass propaganda.

Churchill’s speech accused the Soviets of establishing an “iron curtain” of influence across Eastern Europe, and called for an Anglo-American alliance against the Soviets. This marked the beginning of the Western strife against Communist expansionism, and set the gears in motion for perhaps the greatest ideological divide the world has witnessed in recent history.