Morehead State University

Poster Title

Beyond the Cold War; an Analysis of Operation Frantic

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

With the cooling of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States in the aftermath of World War II, the significance of Poltava’s role in the war is inadequately reflected in most popular histories. The paradoxical successes of Operation Frantic did not fit neatly into the politically tainted memory that influenced American and Soviet scholars alike during the Cold War era. Although the operation’s impact on the outcome of World War II is debatable, the diplomatic and logistical accomplishments of the men and women responsible for the planning and rebuilding of the joint Soviet-American airbase at Poltava deserve more than mere footnotes in the historical record. Additionally, Allied strategic bombing missions launched from Poltava severely damaged previously unreachable German industrial centers. By comparing archival records housed in the National Archives with the stated objectives of Operation Frantic, a thorough and unbiased analysis was conducted. Additionally, an analysis of current memorials and monuments to the operation was prepared and a case made that the operation is inadequately memorialized due to Cold War tensions. Through increased collaboration on the governmental and academic levels of both Ukraine and the United States, the historical memory will reflect the significance of Poltava’s distinction as the only combined Soviet-American headquarters in World War II.

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Beyond the Cold War; an Analysis of Operation Frantic

With the cooling of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States in the aftermath of World War II, the significance of Poltava’s role in the war is inadequately reflected in most popular histories. The paradoxical successes of Operation Frantic did not fit neatly into the politically tainted memory that influenced American and Soviet scholars alike during the Cold War era. Although the operation’s impact on the outcome of World War II is debatable, the diplomatic and logistical accomplishments of the men and women responsible for the planning and rebuilding of the joint Soviet-American airbase at Poltava deserve more than mere footnotes in the historical record. Additionally, Allied strategic bombing missions launched from Poltava severely damaged previously unreachable German industrial centers. By comparing archival records housed in the National Archives with the stated objectives of Operation Frantic, a thorough and unbiased analysis was conducted. Additionally, an analysis of current memorials and monuments to the operation was prepared and a case made that the operation is inadequately memorialized due to Cold War tensions. Through increased collaboration on the governmental and academic levels of both Ukraine and the United States, the historical memory will reflect the significance of Poltava’s distinction as the only combined Soviet-American headquarters in World War II.