Churchill’s “Iron Curtain”

Interesting Points:

1) Churchill emphasizes that it is the West’s task to ensure the prevention of another world war.

2) He calls upon a variety of organizations, including the legal offices, the United Nations, and each of the powers to prepare and assemble the proper tools and plans for what is to come. Churchill notes that he had previously wished for the same actions to take place following the first world war.

3) It was Churchill’s phrase, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent” that made people realize that things were going to change between the democratic West and the Communist East.


1) From where do you think Churchill’s premonitions derived from and why?

2) Why would many people refer to Churchill’s speech as the beginning of the Cold War?


I thought it was interesting that Churchill titled his speech “The Sinews of Peace.” A sinew is something that is a part of a structure to give it strength. I find it ironic that Churchill named his speech after something that is uniting peace when it actually tacitly started a war.


3 thoughts on “Churchill’s “Iron Curtain”

  1. To help answer question #2
    Although it is clear in retrospect that the Soviet-West divide of the Allied forces was beginning during the war as seen during such phase shifts as the Yalta-Conference, the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt whom Stalin greatly trusted (April 12, 1945), and the emergence of a new political administration under Truman by the end of April that would align itself more directly in conflict of eastern European and Soviet political policies, Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech proved the first public international recognition of the potential political threat of the Soviet Union bloc in a military context stemming from clashing universal economic and political ideologies with lasting gravitas.

  2. I think that some see Churchill’s speech as the start of the Cold War because of the attitude it gave the West about the Soviet Union. His speech essentially declared the Soviet Union as an enemy to peace and freedom, and as a threat to the future. This spurred the West to begin a campaign against communism and defeat it throughout the world.

  3. To answer your first question, it was fairly obvious early on that Germany was preparing for something. It was engaging in a giant military build-up, which was affecting the balance of power in Europe, yet no other state was willing to build up its military capabilities accordingly. Germany might have been stopped from starting WWII if other states had intervened before it was too late. Also, it is important to note the difference between starting a war and marking the beginning of one.

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