- Created by: TessBlyth
- Created on: 27-05-19 12:16
Tehran Conference - November 1943
The Grand Alliance met in Tehran to plan a winning strategy to end the Second World War.
- The USA and Britain would open a 'second front' by launching an attack on Germany in Western Europe. This would ease pressure on the Eastern Front, where the Soviets were suffering heavy losses. The Germans would then have to withdraw troops from the USSR to fight in the west.
- Stalin would declare war against Japan and supply Soviet troops to help the USA win the war against Japan, but only once the war in Europe was over.
- The Big Three came to no formal agreement in terms of Germany after the war but agreed that their aim was to bring about the unconditional surrender of Germany and that it should remain weak after the war.
- Poland should receive land from Germany, but the USSR could keep land it had seized from Germany in 1939 - Stalin was happy with this as his aim was to secure his western border.
- There was a general agreement that an international body should be set up to settle disputes through discussion and negotiation. This laid grounds for the United Nations.
Significance of Tehran
The Tehran conference had significant impact on international relations. Stalin had arrived concerned that the USA and Britain were deliberately delaying a 'second front' against Germany so that the Soviet Union could be further weakened by having to fight a defensive war in the East. So, he was pleased with the agreement to open a 'second front' in the west.
Churchill was less pleased because he had wanted to open the 'second front' in the Balkans, not in the West. However, Roosevelt sided with Stalin on this. Therefore, there was some tensions between the USA and Britain - especially as Roosevelt seemed to at times view British colonialism as more of a threat to world peace than the Soviet Union.
It seemed that good relations between Roosevelt and Stalin might create a position where the Big Three became the Big Two and after 1945, the only global superpowers would be the USA and Soviet Union.
Yalta Conference - February 1945
Two years after Tehran, the Big Three held a second meeting to discuss winning the war and the government of post-war Europe. The Soviets had defeated the Germans and now had control of most of Central and Eastern Europe. Stalin was determined to keep the territory he had won between the Soviet border and Germany as a cushion against future German invasion.
- After the war, Germany would be split into 4 zones, each controlled by a different superpower. Germany would pay $20 billion in reparations, half of which would go to the Soviet Union. The Nazi party would be banned and war criminals prosecuted.
- A United Nations would be set up, with its first meeting on 25 April 1945. All nations could join, but the USA and France did not agree with Stalin's suggestion that all 16 Soviet republics should be given individual membership. Instead, Russia, the Ukraine and Belarus were admitted.
- Stalin agreed to join the war against Japan three months after the defeat of Germany.
- Stalin agreed that future governments of countries in Eastern Europe would be decided in free elections.
- it was agreed that the borders of Poland would be returned to their position in 1921 and that there would be free elections. However, Poland proved to be a stumbling block.
- Roosevelt died in April 1945 and was replaced by Harry Truman
- Winston Churchill and the Conservative Party lost the 1945 general election.
- The new labour Prime Minster was Clement Attlee
- Germany had surrendered in May 1945
- Scientists in the USA had developed an atomic bomb
- The United Nations had been created in the Treaty of San Francisco in June 1945 - eventually 51 members signed the treaty. The USA, France, Britain, China and the Soviet Union were made permanent members of the Security Council with the power to veto resolutions.
The new personalities meant that relations between the three leaders were very different from earlier conferences. Compared to Roosevelt and Churchill, Truman and Attlee were new to diplomatic discussions and it was much harder for them to get their way with Stalin. Truman was determined to take a 'get tough' approach with Stalin and deliberately delayed the conference until the atomic bomb was ready. Although the development of the atomic bomb soured relations and the defeat of Germany meant there was no common enemy, the allies did find some common ground.
Potsdam Conference - July 1945
- Germany would be divided into 4 zones, administered by the Soviet Union, Britain, France and the USA but, the Germany economy would be run as a whole.
- Berlin would also be divided into 4 zones, controlled by different countries, although it was based well inside Soviet-controlled Germany.
- The Soviet Union wanted Germany to pay heavy reparations in order to cripple it, but Truman was concerened that this would make it harder for the German economy to recover. It was agreed that each administering country should take reparations from its own zone. As the Soviet controlled zone was the poorest, it was allowed to take 1/4 of the industrial equipment from each other zones.
- Agreement was not reached over the government of Eastern Europe - Truman objected to the control that the USSR had over the countries it had liberated from Nazi rule. He was beginning to see the red army as an army of occupation. He also objected to the arrangements for Poland which had previously been agreed. He wanted a new government with less communist influence.