Repelling ‘Muscovite Tentacles’: The Trieste Crisis of May 1945, Anglo- American Relations, and the Coming of the Cold War

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 20143:00PM - 5:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
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CSUS and F. Ross Johnson Distinguished Speaker Series


As World War II came to a close in Europe, Yugoslav Partisan forces occupied the province of Venezia Giulia in direct contravention of Anglo-American plans for the post-war occupation of Italy. The ensuing Trieste Crisis pitted wartime allies against one another, as the United States and the United Kingdom seriously contemplated war with Yugoslavia. This paper focuses primarily on the interaction between Washington and London over Trieste, as well as the influences and assumptions which shaped their policy decisions. Their debates, especially those over the nature of the Yugoslav threat and how to engage the Soviet Union in managing it, highlight key assumptions that came to define the Western position during the Cold War. Employing British and American archival material, Susan Colbourn’s research uses the Trieste Crisis to explore the uncertainties of 1945, as neither the Cold War nor the ‘special relationship’ between Washington and London was entrenched yet.

Susan Colbourn is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in History at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation examines the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s response to the transition from détente to the “second Cold War,” covering the period from 1977 to 1982. Prior to her doctoral studies, Susan completed an MA in the History of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA (Hon.) in History and International Relations from Trinity College at the University of Toronto.


Stella Kyriakakis


Susan Colbourn
Ph.D.Candidate, Department of History, University of Toronto

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CSUS Graduate Student Workshop, University of Toronto


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