Dictionary beginning with W

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W

Warsaw pact

The Pact on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid which was signed in the Polish capital in reaction to the entry of the Federal Republic of Germany into NATO on 14 May 1955 by Albania (it left the pact in 1968), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union.The pact was concluded for 20 years with an automatic extension by 10 years. Leaving the pact was only possible if the signatory announced the step one year in advance.  

The purpose of the organisation was a mutual military interlinkage of the countries of the Soviet bloc. A united military comand was created (always headed by one of the Soviet marshals). The presence of Soviet troops on the territory of individual member states was envisaged. However, this was not a necesary precondition. For example, there were Soviet troops present in the GDR and Poland, but they left Romania in 1958. Member states of the Warsaw pact also committed themselves to mutual aid in the case of an attack. At the same time, however, offensive plans of an attack on Western Europe were elaborated.

Five member states of the Warsaw pact cooperated in the attack on and occupation of Czechoslovakia. Armies of the USSR, GDR, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria were involved. The Soviet army remained in the ČSSR on a so-called temporary mission until June 1991.

On 30 June 1991 the Warsaw pact was dissolved as a consequence of the fall of the Communist regimes in Europe.