fountainhall wrote:The Soviets had beaten the western allies to Berlin and there was massive concern in Washington that after a brief pause Stalin would simply continue to move his forces west to the Atlantic.
The Soviets beat the western allies to Berlin because Eisenhower permitted it and agreed to virtually give Berlin to Stalin. Stalin had agreed to let the countries that had been free prior to the war remain free post war. Unfortunately, Stalin did not keep his agreements.
When Molotov met with Truman at the White House, Truman spoke to him quite harshly about the agreements being broken. Molotov indignantly said, "I have never been spoken to like that in my life."
Truman's response - "If you and the generalissimo would keep your agreements, you won't get spoken to like that."
As for the USA keeping the Soviets at bay, that could have been done without the Marshall Plan. Once again, I know of no other country doing anything similar, no matter what the motivation might be.