Europe 1955: Warsaw Pact
After the death of Stalin in 1953, a thaw in relations between East and West allowed for the end of the occupations of Germany and Austria. However when West Germany was accepted into NATO, the Soviets retaliated by forming their own alliance: the Warsaw Pact.
1 Nov 1954 Toussaint Rouge▲
Between midnight and 2 am on the morning of 1 November 1954—the Catholic festival of All Saints’ Day—the National Liberation Front (FLN) made 30 individual attacks against police and military targets around French Algeria. The attacks would be called Toussaint Rouge, or “Red All Saints’ Day”, and prompt François Mitterrand, then French Minister of the Interior, to despatch two companies of the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité and three companies of paratroopers to Algeria. Over the next year, the number of soldiers in Algeria would increase from 56,000 to 83,000 as the Algerian War began.
9 May 1955 West Germany in NATO▲
In September–October 1954 the London and Paris Conferences were held to determine the status of West Germany. The talks concluded with the signing of the Paris Agreements, which granted West Germany full sovereignty, ended the occupation, and allowed its admittance to NATO. The Agreements went into force on 5 May 1955 and West Germany joined NATO four days later.
14 May 1955 Warsaw Pact▲
The Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania signed the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance—later known as the Warsaw Pact—in Warsaw, Poland. The pact was created in reaction to the integration of West Germany into NATO.
27 Jul 1955 Austrian State Treaty▲
In May 1955 the Allied occupying powers—France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union—signed the Austrian State Treaty with the Austrian government in Vienna, reestablishing an independent and democratic Austria. The neighboring Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia subsequently acceded to the treaty, which officially came into force on 27 July 1955. Following the withdrawal of the last Allied troops in October, the Austrian Parliament declared the country permanently neutral.
20 Sep 1955 Soviet–GDR Treaty▲
In September 1955 the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) signed the Treaty on Relations between the USSR and the GDR, agreeing to the continued stationing of Soviet troops in East Germany with the consent of its government. The treaty placed East Germany in control of its own protection and borders, but agreed that the Soviet Army Command in Germany should control the movement of Western personnel and cargoes entering and exiting West Berlin. Following the treaty, in March 1956, the East Germans formally established the National People’s Army, to succeed the existing Kasernierte Volkspolizei (Barracked People’s Police).