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Chronology


1945

March.

02

Soviet pressure on King Michael of Romania forces him to appoint a Communist-controlled, pro-Soviet government under Petru Groza.

19

The Soviet Union denounces the Turco-Soviet nonaggression treaty of 1925. Moscow begins to place diplomatic pressure on Turkey over control of the Dardanelles.

April

12

President Roosevelt dies; Harry S. Truman becomes President of the United States.

May

08

Germany surrenders and is divided into four zones of occupation, as is its capital, Berlin. These are administered by the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and France.

June

28

A Polish Government of national unity is formed under Socialist Premier Eduard Osobka-Morawski. Although recognized by the West, it displays a marked pro-Soviet orientation.

July

03

James F. Byrnes becomes Secretary of State.

17

President Truman begins meetings with Prime Minister Attlee and Soviet leader Stalin at Potsdam.

August

06

The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

08

The Soviet Union declares war on Japan.

09

The United States drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

14

Japan surrenders, ending World War II.

17

The United States and the Soviet Union agree to divide their occupation zones in Korea at the 38th parallel.

September

02

Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnamese independence from France.

20

Executive Order 9621 dissolves the OSS effective 1 October. The Research and Analysis Branch is transferred to the Department of State, while the espionage and counterintelligence branches are moved to the War Department, where they are renamed the Strategic Services Unit.

27

Robert P. Patterson becomes Secretary of War.

November

03

Hungarians vote the anti-Communist Smallholders' Party into power.

10

The Communist leader Enver Hoxha becomes Premier of Albania.

18

An election with limited choice returns a Communist-controlled government in Bulgaria.

27

General George Marshall begins his efforts to mediate a solution to the Chinese civil war.

December

16

Rebels in Iranian Azerbaijan, acting under Soviet protection, declare independence.

19

Rebel Kurds in western Iranian Azerbaijan, also acting under Soviet protection, declare independence.


1946

January

06

The Government of Poland begins nationalization of industry.

22

President Truman creates the Central Intelligence Group (CIG), appointing Rear Admiral Sidney Souers the first Director of Central Intelligence.

31

Yugoslavia adopts a Soviet-style Constitution.

February

09

Stalin raises fears in the West with a speech in which he declares that Communism and capitalism cannot coexist.

15

The first Daily Summary is published for the President by the Central Reports Staff of CIG.

22

US diplomat George F. Kennan sends his influential "Long Telegram" from Moscow analyzing the sources of Soviet conduct.

March

05

Winston Churchill delivers his "Iron Curtain" speech in Fulton, MO.

25

Moscow announces the withdrawal of its forces from northern Iran.

April

22

The merger of the Communist and Socialist Parties in the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany creates the Socialist Unity Party.

May

26

Communists emerge as strong political force in Czechoslovakia after an election to a constituent assembly. Communist Klement Gottwald forms a coalition government with non-Communists.

May

The Greek civil war begins, with Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Albania channeling support to Communist guerrillas who aim to overthrow the Greek Government.

June

10

Lt. General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, US Army Air Forces, succeeds Admiral Souers as Director of Central Intelligence.

July

19

The Central Reports Staff is renamed Office of Research and Evaluations to reflect the broader responsibilities given it by National Intelligence Authority Directive No. 5.

23

CIG produces its first piece of "strategic and national policy" intelligence, ORE-1, which analyzes Soviet foreign and military policy.

October

20

Strategic Services Unit field personnel are transferred to CIG's new Office of Special Operations.

27

Elections for a constituent assembly in Bulgaria that are manipulated by the Communist-dominated government result in a Communist majority. The veteran Communist George Dimitrov returns from Moscow to head the government.

29

The name of the Office of Research and Evaluations is changed to Office of Reports and Estimates out of deference to the Department of State, which claims that research and evaluation are State responsibilities.

November

19

Voters in Romania return to power a Communist-dominated government after a campaign of violence and intimidation against the opposition.

December

19

The French war against the Vietminh begins in Indochina.


1947

January

01

The US and British zones of Germany are merged.

08

General Marshall ends his efforts to mediate a solution to the Chinese civil war.

19

Manipulated elections in Poland return a huge Communist majority. The United States and Britain protest.

21

George C. Marshall becomes Secretary of State.

February

21

The British announce that they will cease providing aid to Greece and Turkey.

25

Bela Kovacs, a leader of the Hungary's Smallholders' Party, is arrested, beginning a purge of anti-Communists from that party.

March

12

President Truman, in a message to Congress, articulates the Truman Doctrine of providing aid to countries threatened by Communism.

May

01

Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter is sworn in as the third Director of Central Intelligence.

05

Communist ministers in the French and Italian cabinets are dismissed by their premiers.

31

Hungarian Premier Nagy is accused of treason by the Communists and resigns. The disorder in the Smallholders' Party permits the Communists to win a general election on 31 August.

June

05

Secretary of State George Marshall calls for a European Recovery Program, soon dubbed the Marshall Plan.

06

The leader of Bulgaria's anti-Communist Agrarian Party, Nikola Petkov, is arrested and later executed. His party is dissolved in August.

July

02

Moscow rejects participation in the Marshall Plan. The other East European Communist Parties soon follow suit.

15

The leader of Romania's anti-Communist National Peasant Party is arrested and sentenced to life in prison. His party is dissolved later that same month.

26

President Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947, which provides for a National Security Council (NSC), Secretary of Defense, and a Central Intelligence Agency.

September

17

Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal becomes Secretary of Defense.

18

The Central Intelligence Group becomes the Central Intelligence Agency under the provision of the National Security Act of 1947.

27

The Communist Information Bureau is established, signaling the start of the Stalinization of the East European Communist parties.

October

24

The anti-Communist leader of the Polish Peasant Party, Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, is forced to flee the country, and his followers are purged from the party.


1948

January

13

The Dulles-Jackson-Correa Survey Team is formed to assess the performance of CIA and its place in the Intelligence Community.

February

25

A Communist coup in Czechoslovakia ends democracy in that country.

March

17

Alarmed by events in Czechoslovakia, five West European countries sign the treaty of Brussels, establishing the West European Union.

18

The Soviet Union recalls its military and technical advisers from Yugoslavia and expels Belgrade from the Cominform on 28 June.

April

01

The Soviets impose restrictions on road and rail traffic into West Berlin.

18

Italy's Christian Democrats beat a Communist-Socialist bloc by a surprisingly large margin in the country's first national election under its republican constitution.

May

14

Israel becomes an independent state.

June

18

The Western powers introduce currency reform in their occupation zones in Germany.

19

Congress reinstates the draft.

24

The blockade of Berlin begins in earnest; Soviet authorities cut electricity and halt all land and water traffic into West Berlin.

August

15

The Republic of Korea [South Korea] is proclaimed.

September

09

The People's Democratic Republic is officially inaugurated in North Korea under the leadership of Kim Il Sung, who had been placed in power by Moscow in 1946.

November

02

President Truman wins reelection by defeating Governor Thomas Dewey of New York.

December

25

Soviet forces complete their withdrawal from North Korea.


1949

January

01

The Dulles-Jackson-Correa Report is submitted to the NSC; it criticizes the performance of the Office of Reports and Estimates.

21

Dean Acheson becomes Secretary of State.

22

Beijing falls to the Communist forces of Mao Zedong.

25

Moscow announces the formation of the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance to counter the Marshall Plan.

28

The UN Security Council orders the Netherlands to end its war against Indonesian rebels and grant independence to the country.

March

04

V. M. Molotov is replaced as Soviet Foreign Minister by Andrey Vyshinsky.

28

Louis Johnson becomes Secretary of Defense

April

04

Twelve Western countries sign the North Atlantic Treaty.

May

12

The Soviet Union lifts the Berlin blockade.

23

The Federal Republic of Germany is established out of the US, British, and French occupation zones.

June

05

The Emperor Bao Dai is restored to power by France in a ploy to win legitimacy away from the Vietminh rebel forces seeking to oust the French from Indochina.

29

US occupation forces complete their withdrawal from South Korea.

August

05

The United States halts aid to China's rapidly crumbling Nationalist government.

September

23

President Truman announces that the Soviet Union has successfully tested an atomic bomb.

October

01

The People's Republic of China is proclaimed in Beijing.

7

The German Democratic Republic is established in the Soviet occupation zone.

December

08

The Chinese Nationalist Government is established on Taiwan.

16

Mao Zedong begins a nine-week visit to the USSR for his first meeting with Stalin.


1950

January

10

The Soviet delegate to the UN Security Council begins boycotting meetings as a protest over the continued seating of Nationalist China in the UN.

12

Secretary of State Acheson, in a well-publicized speech, leaves South Korea outside the US "defense perimeter" in Asia.

31

The Soviet Union recognizes Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

February

09

Senator Joseph McCarthy attacks the State Department for harboring Communists.

April

25

NSC 68 adopted by the NSC; President Truman approves it on 30 September.

June

25

North Korea invades South Korea.

27

President Truman sends US naval and air forces to assist South Korea and orders the Seventh Fleet to "neutralize" the Formosa Strait in order to prevent hostilities between the two Chinas.

30

President Truman commits US ground forces to Korea.

August

05

US forces in South Korea are penned within the Pusan perimeter.

September

15

General MacArthur lands behind North Korean lines at Inchon, beginning the rapid disintegration of the North Korean Army.

October

07

Lt. Gen. Walter B. Smith becomes the fourth Director of Central Intelligence. William H. Jackson becomes Deputy Director.

26

Wearing Korean uniforms, small numbers of Chinese troops begin fighting in northern Korea.

November

13

The Office of Reports and Estimates is dissolved and replaced by three new offices: the Office of Research and Reports, the Office Current Intelligence, and the Office National Estimates.

20

UN forces reach the Yalu River border between North Korea and China.

26

Chinese forces attack in strength in North Korea.


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