Soviet troops in countries of East Central Europe (1945-1989). How long did they stay?

Soviet troops in countries of East Central Europe (1945-1989). How long did they stay?


After the Second World War, the Soviet Union
stationed divisions of the Red Army in most of the occupied or liberated countries of
East-Central Europe. The presence of these troops was one of the
factors that facilitated the coming of pro-Soviet communists to power in East Germany, Poland,
Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria during the late 1940s. After 1945 there were four main groups of
Red Army forces spread across war-torn East-Central Europe: The Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (1945–1988), later known as the Western Group,
the Northern Group in Poland, the Central Group in Austria and Hungary,
and the Southern Group in Romania, Bulgaria and parts of Yugoslavia After the signing of peace treaties in Paris,
in 1947, Soviet troops were withdrawn fully from Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, and partially
from Romania and Hungary. As a result, the Southern Group was disbanded. The remainder of the troops formed two channels
of Soviet direct military communication with its former enemies Germany and Austria. On the other side, US, Britain and French
troops were amassed in Western occupation zones inside the two countries. Immediately after West Germany joined NATO,
a similar mutual defence organization was created at Warsaw between the Soviet Union
and its seven satellite states. One of the consequences was that national
armies could take over former responsibilities of the Red Army, thus opening the way to a
massive withdrawal of hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops within a larger reduction
of the military under Khrushchev. At the same time, the signing of the Austrian
State Treaty and the declaration of Austria’s neutrality led to the withdrawal of Soviet
troops to the East and the recreation of the Southern Group in Hungary, which had a big
role in suppressing the Hungarian Revolution one year later (1956). In 1958 a new wave of reduction of Soviet
forces was ridden by the Romanian communist leadership, which had successfully requested
the complete withdrawal of the Soviet military presence from its country. Ten years later (1968) it happened the other
way around. The crushing of the Prague Spring by Soviet-led
forces was followed by the recreation of the Central Group of Forces, stationed in Czechoslovakia. For the next twenty years or so, until the
fall of communism in East-Central Europe (1989) and the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991),
several hundred thousand Soviet troops were stationed in East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia
and Hungary. In 1994, almost 50 years after the end of
the war, the last ex-Soviet military unit was withdrawn from Germany. What do you think was the reason the Soviet
Union stationed troops in East-Central Europe during the Cold War? Please leave a comment below and don’t forget
to subscribe for more histories of Eastern Europe!

3 Comments on "Soviet troops in countries of East Central Europe (1945-1989). How long did they stay?"


  1. To create a buffer zone. If the soviet union didn't occupy or have influence over these countries and just completely withdraw. NATO would bring them under there influence and would join NATO then the soviet union would have a even stronger NATO right on there border. just like Russia have got today and these countries are part of NATO and Russia has less troops equipment and money due to the collapse of soviet union which was made up of 16 countries. today Russia is only one so I would say it's the worst possible situation for the Russian's they shot them selves in the heart and NATO took advantage. But obviously still a very powerful country. Plus I believe China are Russia biggest threat.

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