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tv   Reel America Why NATO - 1958  CSPAN  July 14, 2018 8:00am-8:31am EDT

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, whyel america next, on nato? 1958 u.s. army big picture film documenting the reasons for the creation of the north atlantic treaty organization. narrated by edward r. murrow, the report shows events following world war ii that led to soviet occupation of eastern europe, and the efforts of leaders, including general dwight eisenhower to organize nato to defend western europe. it features efforts by general dwight eisenhower to convince 12 nations to fund, equip, and staff in order to contain soviet expansion. >> this is the big picture, an
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official television report of army, produceds by the armed forces and the american people. picture,ou part of the here is master sergeant stuart quaid. >> throughout history, nations have sought alliances with other nations to maintain their security and remain free from attack. not until the 20th century did the concept of national security become worldwide in its scope. world wars one and two and the korean conflict proved beyond any doubt that when one free nation anywhere is threatened by aggression, the safety of all free nations is ultimately at stake. today, the united states aware as its role as a leader in the free world has allied itself with other nations, dedicated to the preservation of peace and
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the welfare of mankind. our big picture cameras today focus on one of the most important of these alliances. as our guest narrator, edward r. murrow tells the story behind nato, the north atlantic treaty organization. this is the headquarters of the north atlantic treaty organization. to this building, come ministers from 15 nations of the north atlantic community. they speak different languages, have different cultural backgrounds. the countries they represent vary in size from very large to -- very small to very large. but here, distinctions paid. all languages become 1 -- the language of hope. why do these nations ally themselves with nato?
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why nato and why must this organization continue to exist? let's go back to the beginning of the story. in may, 1945, the war in europe came to an end. this had been the price of europe's unpreparedness. but in may, 1945, our hard-won peace seemed at last secured. a few days before, allied forces from the west had joined hands with the russians from the east. their statesmen met cordially at yalta and pakistan and agreed
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the countries they occupied should be truly liberated and freely elected governments should be set up as soon as possible. within a few months, the countries of western europe and scandinavia were free and independent. for the countries occupied by russia, stalin had other ideas. throughout eastern europe, elections were held. but the russians had placed the communists in key government positions and in the secret police. within a short time, the non-communist leaders had been liquidated. russia had swallowed up eight european countries without firing another shot other than those of the execution squads. great britain and the united states protested that these countries had ben: worst -- had ced by force and russia had broken her treaty.
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russia ignored the protest. stalin knew the greater part of the allied forces had gone home, leaving their arms to rest in the field of europe. in the west, men were impatient to be demobilized. the war was finished and they had other work to do. the russians had not demobilized. they retained overwhelmingly the largest force in europe. the small group of men in the kremlin long ago dedicated themselves to the spreading of communism by all possible means. they knew an army could be used not only to fight wars. it can be used to intimidate. to the south, lay two more possible victims -- greece and turkey. in march, 1946, the russians denounced their treaty with
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turkey. they offered to renew it if the turks would give up part of their territory and allow the russians to establish basis controlling the prosperous dardanelles. the turks refused. in greece, the communists had already started civil war. russia was sending arms to them through the neighboring satellite states to bring bitterness, despair, and death to the greek people. if greece and turkey were not also to be swallowed up, help had to come from the west. at this crisis in march of 1947, president truman asked the united states congress to modify its traditional policy of neutrality. president truman: i believe it must be the policy of the united
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states to support free peoples who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures. only czechoslovakia, of the countries behind the iron curtain, had preserved some independence. after the war, the russians had to reckon with the popularity of the president and his secretary. they were liberal minded men who believed it was possible to be friends with the communists without succumbing to them. but, to the communists, gentleness is weakness. the country prepared to compromise is a weak country. taking overy for
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countries had been prepared and was swifter than before. within a week, all opposition was suppressed. there was another victory to celebrate. another victory over freedom. the president was allowed to retire to his country house. he died there a brokenhearted man. one morning, on the stones under his bedroom window, he was found dead. truth had ceased to come out of czechoslovakia. the nations of western europe or -- europe were forced at last to realize that they must combine to protect liberty. three weeks after the fall of czechoslovakia the brussels , treaty was signed by great
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britain france, luxembourg and , the netherlands. these five countries pledged to help each other in case of attack. but western union was not strong enough to deter the men of the kremlin. in russia decided to cut off the berlin allied sectors of from the west. trains, barges, and transports were stopped. the united states, britain, and france were responsible for 2.5 million people in berlin. now, there food and fuel for their factories could no longer be brought to them over land unless with armed protection and at the risk of war. it seemed they must be at the mercy of the russians, but the governments of the west did not give way.
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the life of western berlin was maintained by air on a scale never before contemplated. each day, the prestige of the west rose. after nine anxious months, the russians lifted the blockade. the policy of standing firm had been vindicated. the russians' cynical blockade of berlin had brought europe to the brink of war. it was clear that only a strong, definitive alliance could deter them from further adventures. the north atlantic treaty was signed by norway, luxembourg, france, italy, portugal, the united kingdom,
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iceland, canada and the united , states. this union of 12 nations became known as the north atlantic treaty organization, or nato. they were sworn to stand together against aggression. an attack against one would be an attack against all. although the treaty was carefully designed to keep within the letter and spirit of the united nations charter, soviet russia claimed it was an attempt at world domination. while accusing nation canadians -- nato nations of intended aggressions, they frustrated in europe, turned to the far east, to korea.
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the united nations sent an army to korea, under a single command, to hold the aggressors at bay. it was almost too late. the lesson for europe was clear. in december, 1950, the north atlantic council decided to give to a single commander, general eisenhower sufficient authority equip and train , an integrated nato force for the defense of europe. the task before him was unprecedented. each of the nato countries would see to the support of its own national forces, the supreme commander would be responsible for their coordination into a single international force -- a power and responsibility unique in a time of peace. as he put it, he would go knocking at the door of each country and ask tell me what you are willing to do for the defense of europe.
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his first call was france, where his new headquarters would be situated. he must discover whether it was militarily possible for europe with her strong national traditions to raise a sufficient force to defend them collectively. on nine, january, general eisenhower left paris for belgium. 12 nations with eight different languages and 12 traditions and ways of life. of each of them, he could ask similar questions. 10 january, the netherlands. you were hard hit by the war. what can you do for nato? 11 january, denmark -- for many years, you have maintained a traditional neutrality. how many divisions are you
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prepared to train? 12 january, norway. your mountains require a special form of defense. could every able-bodied man be mobilized if war came? 13 january, great britain. you have commonwealth commitments throughout the world, but what forces can you contribute for the defense of europe? 16 january, portugal -- from your strategic position on the atlantic seaboard, what help can you give nato? 18 january, italy -- are you prepared to rebuild your army, navy and air force of to the , limit set by the peace treaty? 19 january, luxembourg -- you are a small country with a great
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steel industry. how can you help? 24 january, iceland -- we know you have no armed forces, but what contribution can you make for the common defense of the west? 26 january, canada -- europe is grateful for the arms you are supplying. what forces are you prepared to send across the atlantic? in paris, a hotel had been hastily found as a temporary home for the new supreme headquarters allied powers europe. general guenther was already at work. an international staff of officers had to be assembled and a plan prepared for the defense of europe. the task was immense. at that time, they had at their disposal only about 1800
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aircraft, 15 airfields, most of which could not handle jets. and 14 ill equipped divisions. against these forces, russia was known to have at least 175 divisions under arms and 20,000 planes. general eisenhower, when he arrived, asked one of his advisers what the russians needed to march to the channel. he answered, all they need issues. -- need is shoes. so much for the beginning. in spite of the urgency, when general eisenhower set to plan, they planned for a long haul. they realized if democracy were not to destroy itself, the buildup had to take time. all the plans would come to naught if not for the overall planning of the civilians. the representatives of the nato divisions and other staff.
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the future strength of the alliance depended on what the peoples of member nations could afford to give and give of their own free will. it meant hard work, sacrifices, and give and take. the difficulties were innumerable, complex, and often seemed impossible. but with the months, came results. the myriad problems of armaments, logistics, and supply were overcome. from britain, canada, and the united states arrived divisions to augment the forces of the continent itself. the sorely needed airfields and pipelines to supply them turned from blueprints into fact. soon, the temporary hotel home gave way to a new headquarters while officers and men of the nato nations worked together smoothly, regardless of differences in language, temperament, or rates of pay. soon, to the 12 flags of the founding nations, more were
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added -- greece, turkey, and, in may 1955, the federal republic of western germany. new allies that brought new strength to nato. as time passed, servants for the alliance came and went, handing on, taking over. the long haul was punctuated with welcomes and farewells. eisenhower to ridgway, ridgeway guenther, gum 13 north stat. north stat.to but, because an idea is stronger than any individual, though the faces changed, the work drove on. it was in the field that results counted and it was in the field they were realized.
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at each meeting, the ministers could report further progress and a growing unity. thanks to the cooperation of 15 nations, what had been a document with signatures was becoming the atlantic alliance in fact and in strength. steadily, the clouds of fear that had hung over europe were lifting. vigilance and readiness were paying off. disunity, the strongest weapons in any arsenal were no longer available to him. moreday found nato prepared and more competent. though the strength was not yet what nato would had liked, they must account the cost. should an attack come the , atlantic allies could call in their defense not only from conventional weapons, but upon a whole new arsenal.
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yes, now to a would-be aggressor, the costs loomed large indeed. now they would need far more , than shoes. nato's strength was such that by 1955, west could meet east in geneva on equal terms. any promise of real relief was soon to be dashed. this was hungary in 1956. this was budapest, exhausted by soviet domination and denied the , people of hungary rose in protest.
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but, without allies, heroism is not enough. this could be us. this is why nato had to exist. the members of the north atlantic treaty organization, concerned over increasing soviet military power, gathered in paris in december, 1957, for a crucial conference. from the united states came president dwight david eisenhower, whose presence at this critical time gave the nations of western europe critical new hope. for ike, this was a homecoming. at the headquarters, the military arm of nato located
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outside paris, the former commander of military forces, now president of one of nato's most powerful member nations declared his mission before the large crowd which had gathered to greet him. >> frankly, i came out here because of a special kind of sickness, one that afflicts the aged and the young -- homesickness. i was homesick to see this home that was built for a sector and his staff, an agency of nato. this home was built by a great number of nations to be the headquarters of that military shield that must always belong to nato so long as there is any
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menace to the freedom of western nations. >> and now, once more at the palace, they gathered. the men of goodwill who bore the mandate for freedom. this was the first nato meeting attended by the heads of 15 member states. this was a summit calling for the highest level consultation. basically, two critical tasks had to be accomplished -- to shore up nato and counteract an intensified aggressive propaganda soviet counteroffensive. a major interest of the united states in the nato meeting was the question of integrating western defense.
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the intermediate ballistic whose long-range missile had thrown a shadow over the world. the 15 heads of states attending this vital nato meeting represented 450 million people whose lands covered a total of almost 8 million square miles of the earth's surface. differences were to be expected, but on one point, there was complete agreement. the core of the nato partnership, an attack against one was an attack against all. in order to live in peace together all were resolved to , defend themselves together, if necessary. many of the nations of western europe felt political, not military action was the answer
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to the latest soviet threat. others believed nato should be interested in broader problems and looked to the united states for support of their national positions. president eisenhower's words were the high point of the conference. there was no mistaking his sincerity and determination as he spoke. president eisenhower: we have demonstrated a will for the spreading of the blessings of liberty. within the last 15 years, our nations have granted political independence to 20 countries with populations totaling 800 million people. within our societies we manifest , so that all can see the good fruits of freedom. those fruits do not consist of materialistic monuments which despots have always been able to exhibit. they consist of providing the
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simple things all men want -- the opportunity to think and worship as their conscience and reason dictate to live in their , homes without fear to draw , together in the intimacy of family life, to work in congenial tasks of their own choice, and enjoy the fruits of their labor. these are the most precious manifestations of freedom, and we have the collective power to defend and spread that freedom. freedom has not failed us. surely, we shall not fail freedom. >> perhaps the chief result of this summit meeting was the expansion of nato into a broader, more realistic alliance. in keeping with the ever-increasing problems facing it, a special responsibility rested on these representatives of the atlantic community. within their lands, freedom first had its birth.
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three their borders lay fourths of institution of the world's higher learning. of these ines western culture civilization. to the men who met at the summer there is no doubt the nato must continue stronger , than ever. for the existence of nato is an assurance that each new dawn breaks over our family of nations at peace, over the countrysides, cities, and homes over a community of peaceloving people. over london, liverpool, paris, marseille, new york and san francisco, montreal and vancouver, over athens, istanbul, rome over antwerp, and , luxembourg. a bond welding the old world and the new.
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an assurance 450 million people remain free to live their lives as they wish to live them to , protect and preserve by vigilance and readiness. these are the aims of the atlantic alliance, an alliance for peace. >> today, on the big picture you , have heard the distinguished edward r. murrow, tell the story news analyst edward r. murrow, of nato, they, nato. the united states, as a founding member of this international body, has demonstrated to the world the importance we place on the closest association between the members of the atlantic community. now, this is sergeant stuart green, your host for the big picture. >> the big picture is an official television report for the armed forces and american
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people. produced by the army pictorial center. presented by the united states army in cooperation with this station. announcer: this weekend, on american history tv, on c-span3, tonight, at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history, a university of connecticut professor on the reconstruction era after the civil war. at 10:00 on real america, the ,918 silent french film dedicated to america's efforts in world war i. sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern, the national world war ii museum symposium marking the 20th anniversary of the film "saving private ryan." 6:00erican artifacts at
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p.m., the u.s. army heritage annual history living event featuring french world war i soldiers. watch >> next, afro-american studies professor tracy parker describes the trouble workers and customers faced in the 1960's in effort to integrate the workforce. >> professor tracy parker of the department of afro-american studies at the university of massachusetts amherst, you are working on the book that includes the 1950's, working-class americans, and black americans, all tied into sears roebuck. >> the premise of the book looks

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