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date: 14 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The “hot” Cold War, where blood was shed, was fought in the periphery where it overlapped with the struggle for decolonization. The connections between the Cold War and decolonization depend on the specifics of each case. Vietnam, Suez and southern Africa offer complex studies of the intricate relationship between the two struggles. The colonial powers were impelled by greed and hubris, not the Cold War. The Americans, sympathetic in principle to the end of colonial rule, bowed to the Cold War in practice and sided with the colonizers. The Soviets, following their ideology and Cold War concerns, sided with the rebels. Other outside actors crowded the stage, notably Cuba, sending tens of thousands of soldiers to Southern Africa, and Sweden, giving vital economic assistance to African liberation movements. The fundamental role, however, was played by the subject peoples themselves. They fought with desperate courage and paid the highest price.

Keywords: Decolonization, Second World War, Cold War proxy conflict, insurgency, revolution, anti-colonialism, violence

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