Waltzing into the Cold War
The Struggle for Occupied Austria
Military History - Cold War
6.125 x 9.25, 294 pp.
26 b&w photos.
Pub Date: 09/01/2002
Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series
Price:        $44.95 s

title also available as an ebook:
More ebooks

Published by Texas A&M University Press

To Receive E-News


Waltzing into the Cold War

The Struggle for Occupied Austria

By James Jay Carafano

As U.S. troops marched into vanquished Austria at the end of World War II, they faced the dual tasks of destroying the remnants of Nazi power and establishing a new democratic nation. The military was adept at the first task; it was woefully unprepared for the second. These halting efforts, complicated by the difficulties of managing the occupation along with Britain, France, and the Soviet Union, exacerbated an already monumental undertaking and fueled the looming Cold War confrontation between East and West.

In this first English-language study of secret postwar U.S. military operations during the occupation of Austria and of the American effort to create a garrison state for NATO’s defense, James Jay Carafano traces U.S. policy and behavior from the end of the war until 1955 and the signing of the treaty that finally led to the withdrawal of the occupation forces. From the very beginning of American presence, he demonstrates, the U.S. Army could not wean itself from the operational habits it had forged in war, practices that skewed U.S. postwar foreign policy while earning Austrian resentment and Soviet mistrust. The fog of peace, he concludes, befuddled U.S. planners.

In fascinating narrative and crystal-clear detail, Carafano lays out the course of U.S. presence in Austria, the problems America encountered, and the problems it caused. In the course, he not only sheds new light on this little-studied aspect of the Cold War, he also underscores the mundane truth that peace is fundamentally different from war and that armies used during peacetime have to be retrained from their war focus if they are to manage their tasks successfully.

Those interested in contemporary military peace-keeping efforts as well as those trying to understand the lessons of the Cold War will find this in-depth study an invaluable aid.

JAMES JAY CARAFANO, a graduate of West Point, earned his MA and Ph.D. at Georgetown University. A retired Army officer, and the former editor of Joint Force Quarterly, he is the senior research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and an adjunct professor at Georgetown. His publications include the Military Book Club main selection, After D-Day: Operation Cobra and the Normandy Breakout.

What Readers Are Saying:

“At a time when the U.S. military forces are involved in post-conflict peacekeeping tasks in the Balkans and in the Middle East and as the U.S. Army moves into Afghanistan to help rebuild that country and maintain the peace, the appearance of James Jay Carafano’s study of the US Army’s occupation of Austria from the end of World War II to the signing of the Austrian State Treaty of 1955 is especially timely. Carafano shows how the Army succeeded in helping to set up a viable state in Austria, how it promoted regional stability and how it contributed to the creation of NATO. however, he also explains how the Army’s ‘habits’ worked against the need to plan and conduct peace-keeping operations and nation building and asserts that in post-war Austria it was unable ‘to forge what is today called trust and confidence building measure during the on set of occupation.’ Carafano’s perspective and timely conclusion is that in post-war Austria the Army militarized the occupation and failed to deal with conditions that called for non-military responses and solutions. As the nation continues to rely the military for occupation and peacekeeping duties, political and military leaders should make certain that the Army as well prepared for the responsibilities of peacekeeping as it is for the waging of war.” --W. Gary Nichols, The Citadel

“. . . this study should be required reading for anybody, civilian or military, who is now or will be responsible for winning the peace after the official end of hostilities.” --Army History

“Carafano has produced an important analysis of the “habits” of the U.S. Army- an analysis that is of significance beyond the Austrian case study.” --Journal of Cold War Studies

“Carafano is the first scholar to provide a serious analysis of Austria’s role in NATO war planning.” --Journal of Cold War Studies

“This well-written, first-rate study...” --Journal of Cold War Studies

“This is a valuable and timely book on the difficult postconflict role of the American military over a decade of joint occupation in Austria from 1945 to 1955. Carafano has written a significant treatise on the experiences of American soldiers of war turned into military occupiers in peace with essentially civilian tasks and missions.” --The Journal of American History

“. . . a valuable contribution to the literature on the postwar U.S. military presence abroad and American foreign relations during the early development of the cold war.” --Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

“With U.S. military forces increasingly engaged in rebuilding Afghanistan and pundits predicting a decade ore more of occupation duty should the United States fight a war with Iraq, James Jay Carafano’s Waltzing into the Cold War is timely and exceedingly relevant. . . . should appeal to multiple audiences, including those interested in Cold War intelligence operations, East-West tensions, and military-State Department relations. . . . should be required reading at our war colleges as well as a welcome addition to any historian’s library.” --Journal of Military History

“But this is no lightweight book. It is the only full English-language study of the largely secret military operations by US occupation officers. . .” --Choice

“. . .thoroughly researched, well written, and interesting volume. Austria is perhaps a more relevant occupation experience than, say, Japan, for situations we may face in today’s world. Therein lies the principal potential value of this first-rate book.” --ARMY


From Ethnic Conflict to Stillborn Reform
Search for Peace in Vietnam, 1964-1968
How War Began
Lone Star Stalag
Review Copy Request Form Desk Copy Request Form