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The Allies, the European Resistance and the Origins of the Cold War in Europe

A Marie Curie funded Post Doctoral Fellowship held by Dr. Tommaso Piffer

 

The project, developed in connection with Cambridge Faculty of History (UK) and Harvard University (USA), addresses the Allied policy towards resistance groups during World War II and its impact on post-war political and ideological divisions.

With a comparative approach and the use of newly declassified records, the research will shed light on the way the allies struck the balance between military and political goals in dealing with the resistance movements during the war. The research is linked with a multiplicity of historical problems which will be taken into account: the politics of communist movements between war and revolution in Central and Eastern Europe; the relationship between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union and the Allies’ perception of the latter; the Anglo-American cooperation and competition in the field of intelligence; the use of special operations as an instrument of foreign policy, especially  in regard to countries where the development of resistance movements had a strong impact on post-war settlement (e.g. Yugoslavia, Greece and Poland).

The particular contribution of the project is to bring together aspects which are usually addressed separately: the different national scenarios, whose connections and mutual influence will be investigated; the two Western intelligence agencies, which have been researched mostly in separate ways by scholars of the corresponding nationalities; the Soviet and Western allies’ policies. The project will be conducted combining the history of intelligence, diplomatic history and military history.

The result will be the first comprehensive book on this topic, and an important contribution to the scholarship on World War II and the origins of the Cold War in Europe.