The path that led to Austrian independence in 1955 has often been ignored in Cold War scholarship. Although Austria was a battleground for East-West conflict in Europe from 1945 to 1955, it often gets short shrift compared to the detailed analysis of Germany's role in the Cold War. This essay seeks to redress that imbalance, taking as a starting point the valuable new book by Günter Bischof, Austria and the First Cold War, 1945–1955. Bischof's analysis is not uniformly convincing, but he makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of a neglected part of Cold War history. Although the book provides some helpful speculation about why the Soviet Union decided to sign the Austrian State Treaty after years of stalling, far more research on this particular issue is needed.

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