How the invention of the jet engine transformed Britain after the Second World War and came to capture the imagination of a generation and define how the Cold War was fought.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Cold War, Hot Jets - Aftermath of World War II - Netflix
The Aftermath of World War II was the beginning of an era defined by the decline of all great powers except for the Soviet Union and the United States, and the simultaneous rise of two superpowers: the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States of America (USA). Allies during World War II, the USA and the USSR became competitors on the world stage and engaged in the Cold War, so called because it never resulted in overt, declared hot war between the two powers but was instead characterized by espionage, political subversion and proxy wars. Western Europe and Japan were rebuilt through the American Marshall Plan whereas Central and Eastern Europe fell under the Soviet sphere of influence and eventually an “Iron Curtain”. Europe was divided into a US-led Western Bloc and a Soviet-led Eastern Bloc. Internationally, alliances with the two blocs gradually shifted, with some nations trying to stay out of the Cold War through the Non-Aligned Movement. The Cold War also saw a nuclear arms race between the two superpowers; part of the reason that the Cold War never became a “hot” war was that the Soviet Union and the United States had nuclear deterrents against each other, leading to a mutually assured destruction standoff. As a consequence of the war, the Allies created the United Nations, an organization for international cooperation and diplomacy, similar to the League of Nations. Members of the United Nations agreed to outlaw wars of aggression in an attempt to avoid a third world war. The devastated great powers of Western Europe formed the European Coal and Steel Community, which later evolved into the European Common Market and ultimately into the current European Union. This effort primarily began as an attempt to avoid another war between Germany and France by economic cooperation and integration, and a common market for important natural resources. The end of the war also increased the rate of decolonization from the great powers with independence being granted to India (from the United Kingdom), Indonesia (from the Netherlands), the Philippines (from the US) and a number of Arab nations, primarily from specific rights which had been granted to great powers from League of Nations Mandates in the post World War I-era but often having existed de facto well before this time. Also related to this was the US helping Israel gain controversial independence from its previous status as part of Palestine in the years immediately following the war. Independence for the nations of Sub-Saharan Africa came more slowly. The aftermath of World War II also saw the rise of communist influence in Southeast Asia, with the People's Republic of China, as the Chinese Communists emerged victorious from the Chinese Civil War in 1949.
Cold War, Hot Jets - Germany - Netflix
In the west, Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France. The Sudetenland reverted to Czechoslovakia following the European Advisory Commission's decision to delimit German territory to be the territory it held on 31 December 1937. Close to one-quarter of pre-war (1937) Germany was de facto annexed by the Allies; roughly 10 million Germans were either expelled from this territory or not permitted to return to it if they had fled during the war. The remainder of Germany was partitioned into four zones of occupation, coordinated by the Allied Control Council. The Saar was detached and put in economic union with France in 1947. In 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany was created out of the Western zones. The Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic. Germany paid reparations to the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union, mainly in the form of dismantled factories, forced labour, and coal. German standard of living was to be reduced to its 1932 level. Beginning immediately after the German surrender and continuing for the next two years, the US and Britain pursued an “intellectual reparations” programme to harvest all technological and scientific know-how as well as all patents in Germany. The value of these amounted to around US$10 billion (US$125 billion in 2017 dollars). In accordance with the Paris Peace Treaties, 1947, reparations were also assessed from the countries of Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland.
US policy in post-war Germany from April 1945 until July 1947 had been that no help should be given to the Germans in rebuilding their nation, save for the minimum required to mitigate starvation. The Allies' immediate post-war “industrial disarmament” plan for Germany had been to destroy Germany's capability to wage war by complete or partial de-industrialization. The first industrial plan for Germany, signed in 1946, required the destruction of 1,500 manufacturing plants to lower German heavy industry output to roughly 50% of its 1938 level. Dismantling of West German industry ended in 1951. By 1950, equipment had been removed from 706 manufacturing plants, and steel production capacity had been reduced by 6.7 million tons. After lobbying by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Generals Lucius D. Clay and George Marshall, the Truman administration accepted that economic recovery in Europe could not go forward without the reconstruction of the German industrial base on which it had previously been dependent. In July 1947, President Truman rescinded on “national security grounds” the directive that had ordered the US occupation forces to “take no steps looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany.” A new directive recognised that “[a]n orderly, prosperous Europe requires the economic contributions of a stable and productive Germany.” From mid-1946 onwards Germany received US government aid through the GARIOA programme. From 1948 onwards West Germany also became a minor beneficiary of the Marshall Plan. Volunteer organisations had initially been forbidden to send food, but in early 1946 the Council of Relief Agencies Licensed to Operate in Germany was founded. The prohibition against sending CARE Packages to individuals in Germany was rescinded on 5 June 1946. After the German surrender, the International Red Cross was prohibited from providing aid such as food or visiting POW camps for Germans inside Germany. However, after making approaches to the Allies in the autumn of 1945 it was allowed to investigate the camps in the UK and French occupation zones of Germany, as well as to provide relief to the prisoners held there. On 4 February 1946, the Red Cross was permitted to visit and assist prisoners also in the U.S. occupation zone of Germany, although only with very small quantities of food. The Red Cross petitioned successfully for improvements to be made in the living conditions of German POWs.
Cold War, Hot Jets - References - Netflix