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Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance
Military alliance
1955–1991 CSTOODKB.png
Member states: Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany², Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania.
Capital Not specified
Language(s) Russian, Polish, German, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Albanian
Political structure Military alliance
Supreme Commander
 - 1955–60 (first) Ivan Konev
 - 1989-91 (last) Petr Lushev
Head of Unified Staff
 - 1955–62 (first) Aleksei Antonov
 - 1989–90 (last) Vladimir Lobov
Historical era Cold War
 - Established 17 May 1955
 - Hungarian crisis 4 November 1956
 - Czechoslovakian crisis 21 August 1968
 - German reunification² 3 October 1990
 - Disestablished 1 July 1991
¹ HQ in Moscow, USSR.
² A 24 November 1990 treaty withdrew the German Democratic Republic from the Warsaw Treaty; at reunification, it became integral to NATO Pact.

The Warsaw Treaty (1955–91) is the informal name for the mutual defense Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance commonly known as the Warsaw Pact subscribed by eight communist states in Eastern Europe, which was established at the USSR’s initiative and realised on 14 May 1955, in Warsaw, Poland. In the Communist Bloc, the treaty was the military analogue of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CoMEcon), the Communist (East) European economic community. The Warsaw Treaty was the Soviet Bloc’s military response to West Germany’s May 1955[1] integration to NATO Pact, per the Paris Pacts of 1954.[2][3][4]


Member States

The eight member countries of the Warsaw Treaty pledged the mutual defense of any member who is attacked; relations among the treaty signatories were based upon mutual non-interference in the internal affairs of the member countries, respect for national sovereignty, and political independence. The multi-national Communist armed forces’ sole joint action was the Warsaw Treaty involvement of Czechoslovakia crisis, in August 1968. All member countries, with the exception of the People's Republic of Romania (later Socialist Republic of Romania), participated in the invasion. The founding signatories to the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance consisted of the following communist nations:


The Warsaw Treaty’s organization was two-fold: the Political Consultative Committee handled civil matters, and the Unified Command of Pact Armed Forces controlled the assigned multi-national forces, with headquarters in Warsaw, Poland. Furthermore, the Supreme Commander of the Warsaw Treaty forces also was the First Deputy Minister of Defense of the USSR, and the head of the Warsaw Treaty Unified Staff also was the First Deputy Head of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR. Therefore, although ostensibly an international collective security alliance, USSR Dominated the Warsaw Treaty armed forces, as the USA dominated NATO Pact.[5]


Communist Bloc Conclave: The Warsaw Pact conference, 11 May 1955, Warsaw, Poland.

In May 1955, the USSR established the Warsaw Treaty in response to the integration of the Federal Republic of Germany into NATO in October 1954 — only nine years after the defeat of Nazi Germany (1933–45) that ended only with the Allies' invasion of Germany in 1944/45 during World War II in Europe. Nevertheless, for 36 years, NATO and the Warsaw Treaty never directly waged war against each other in Europe; but the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies contained each other in Europe, while working and fighting for influence within the wider Cold War (1945–91) all over the world.

Beginning at the Cold War’s conclusion, in late 1989, popular civil and political public discontent forced the Communist governments of the Warsaw Treaty countries from power — independent national politics made feasible with the perestroika- and glasnost-induced institutional collapse of Communist government in the USSR.[6] In the event the populaces of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Albania, East Germany, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria deposed their Communist governments in the period from 1989–91.

On 1 July 1991, in Prague, the Czechoslovak President, Václav Havel (1989–92), formally ended the 1955 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance and so disestablished the Warsaw Treaty after 36 years of military alliance with the USSR. Five months later, the USSR disestablished itself in December 1991.

Eastern Europe after the Warsaw Treaty

On 12 March 1999, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO Pact; later, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia joined during March 2004; and Albania joined on 1 April 2009.

In November 2005, the conservative Polish government opened its Warsaw Treaty archives to the Institute of National Remembrance who published some 1,300 declassified documents in January 2006. Yet the Polish government reserved publication of 100 documents, pending their military declassification. Eventually, 30 of the reserved 100 documents were published; 70 remained secret, and unpublished.

Among the documents published is the Warsaw Treaty 's nuclear war plan, Seven Days to the River Rhine — a short, sharp, shock capturing Western Europe, using nuclear weapons, in self defense, after a NATO first strike. The plan originated as a 1979 field training exercise war game, and metamorphosed into official Warsaw Treaty battle doctrine, until the late 1980s — thus why the People’s Republic of Poland was a nuclear weapons base, first, to 178, then, to 250 tactical-range rockets. Doctrinally, as a Soviet-style (offensive) battle plan, Seven Days to the River Rhine gave commanders few defensive-war strategies for fighting NATO in Warsaw Treaty territory.[citation needed]

Soviet philatelic commemoration: At its 20th anniversary in 1975, the Warsaw Pact remains On Guard for Peace and Socialism.

This event was a very important role in the War.

See also



  1. ^ David S. Yorst. NATO Transformed: The Alliance's New Roles in International Security. (Washington D.C.: U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 1998), 31.
  2. ^ Arlene Idol Broadhurst, The Future of European Alliance Systems (Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1982) p. 137.
  3. ^ Christopher Cook, Dictionary of Historical Terms (1983)
  4. ^ The Columbia Enclopedia, fifth edition (1993) p. 2926
  5. ^ V>I> Fes'kov, K. A. Kalashnikov, V. I. Golikov, The Soviet Army in the Cold War Years (1945–2007) (Tomsk: Tomsk University Publisher, 2004) p.6
  6. ^ The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, third edition, 1999, pp. 637–8

Further reading

  • Vojtech Mastny, Malcolm Byrne, Magdalena Klotzbach: A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955–1991, Central European University Press, Budapest, 2005, ISBN 9637326081, ISBN 978-9637326080
  • William J. Lewis: The Warsaw Pact: Arms, Doctrine and Strategy, Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis. 1982. ISBN 0-07-031746-1. Surveys the armed forces, strategy, a campaign against NATO, matériel, uniforms, and nation- and rank-insignia.
  • Václav Havel: To the Castle and Bac New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2007.
  • (German) Frank Umbach: Das rote Bündnis: Entwicklung und Zerfall des Warschauer Pakts, 1955–1991. Berlin: Christoph Links Verlag, 2005.

External links


Simple English

Distinguish from the Warsaw Convention, which is an agreement among airlines about financial liability and the Treaty of Warsaw (1970) between West Germany and the People's Republic of Poland.

The Warsaw Pact or Warsaw Treaty Organization was officially named the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance, and was an organization of Central and Eastern European Communist states.

It was established in 1955 in Warsaw, Poland against the NATO. The Pact lasted till the end of the Cold War when some members left in 1991, following the collapse of the Eastern bloc and political changes in the Soviet Union. The treaty was signed in Warsaw, on May 14, 1955 and official copies were made in the languages of Russian, Polish, Czech and German.


File:Map of Warsaw Pact
Members of Warsaw Pact from 1956 to 1968.

[[File:|thumb|300px|right|Presidential Palace in Warsaw, in 1955 known as Governor's Palace (Pałac Namiestnikowski), where the Warsaw Pact was signed]]

All the Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe signed except Yugoslavia.


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