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Bulgaria in British Foreign Policy, 1943–1949

Bulgaria in British Foreign Policy, 1943–1949

By Marietta Stankova

Anthem Series on Russian

This book explores Britain’s involvement in Bulgaria between 1943 and 1949, and by integrating little-known Communist Party documents with British diplomatic records, offers a new understanding of the origins of the Cold War in Bulgaria and the Balkans. 

Hardback, 270 Pages


January 2014

£70.00, $115.00

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About This Book

Located at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria serves as a natural stepping stone to the Straits, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Its geo-strategic position has frequently attracted foreign powers – including Great Britain and the Soviet Union – with an array of regional and global interests. [NP] A succession of Great Power influences in the Balkans both shaped Bulgaria’s international place and marked its domestic policy. This book explores Britain’s involvement in Bulgaria between 1943 and 1949, providing a new understanding of the origins of the Cold War in the region.

Divided into three parts, the book examines the priorities of Britain during and after World War II, investigates the practical integration of strategic and ideological objectives in British foreign policy, and maps Britain’s diminishing interest in the country alongside the parallel consolidation of communist power and the increasing Soviet presence.

Using recently released sources from the Bulgarian and Soviet communist parties and foreign ministries, the author revisits the question of British attitudes towards Eastern Europe. This book offers a new approach to understanding the origins of the Cold War in Bulgaria and bridges significant gaps in the treatment of the country in English-language literature.


‘Drawing on an impressive array of primary sources, this book offers a perceptive, nuanced and judicious analysis of the evolution of British policy towards Bulgaria in the context of the breakdown of the grand alliance of World War II and the onset of the Cold War.’ —Vesselin Dimitrov, London School of Economics and Political Science

‘“Bulgaria in British Foreign Policy” is a timely and rigorously researched study on a valuable but rarely explored topic. Stankova has produced a work of lasting importance.’ —Matthew Worley, University of Reading

Author Information

Marietta Stankova is a historian of the Cold War and Communism. She holds a PhD in international history from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she has also taught.


Anthem Series on Russian

East European and Eurasian Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; List of Abbreviations; Introduction; Part I: Allied Cooperation during the World War: ‘What Will Be the Place of Bulgaria at the Judgement Seat?’; 1. Bulgaria in British Postwar Planning; 2. Getting Bulgaria Out of the War; Part II: Rising Tensions and Lowering Expectations during the Armistice: ‘Britain Has to Be a Little More than a Spectator’; 3. The Principles of British Postwar Policy towards Bulgaria; 4. Observing the Establishment of Communist Rule in Bulgaria; 5. Recognizing the Bulgarian Communist Regime; Part III: Consolidation of the Cold War Frontline: ‘We Are Supporting Certain Principles’; 6. British Acceptance of Communist Rule in Bulgaria; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index

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