The Big 3 and the War Time Conferences PP

The Big 3 and the
War Time
Allied military efforts were accompanied by a
series of important international meetings to
discuss the political and military objectives of
the war.
The Clash of Egos
• Each leader had their own personal alliances
and agendas when they attended the meetings.
– FDR and Churchill were very close friends throughout
the war and worked closely with each other.
– Churchill greatly mistrusted Stalin and feared his
intentions for the post-war world and his “iron curtain”
and FDR was forced to mediate between the 2.
– Stalin intended to control all of the lands that his
armies liberated after the war
• The first involvement of the United States in the
wartime conferences between the Allied nations
opposing the Axis powers occurred before the
US formally entered World War II:
– In August 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt and
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met secretly
on the Canadian coast and devised the Atlantic
– the United States was not yet actively engaged in the
struggle and the military situation seemed bleak.
Atlantic Charter
a statement of purposes in which they endorsed these
1. no territorial changes without the consent of the people
2. the right of all people to choose their own form of government;
3. the restoration of self-government to those deprived of it;
4. economic collaboration between all nations;
5. freedom from war,
6. Freedom from fear and from want for all peoples;
7. freedom of the seas;
8. the abandonment of the use of force as an instrument of
international policy.
After the attack at Pearl Harbor the meetings
dealt with the conduct of the war and defined
the nature of the alliance.
There were several meetings between 19411943:
1. At Casablanca in January 1943, Roosevelt and
Churchill agreed to fight until the Axis powers
surrendered unconditionally.
2. In November 1943 meeting in Egypt with Chinese
leader Chiang Kai-shek, Roosevelt and Churchill
agreed to a pre-eminent role for China in postwar
The next major wartime conference occurred
in November 1943 and included Roosevelt,
Churchill, and Josef Stalin.
Meeting at Tehran, Iran the "Big Three“
decided on:
1. the launching of the cross-channel invasion of Nazi
occupied Europe.
2. and a promise from Stalin that the Soviet Union
would eventually enter the war against Japan.
3. agreed to establish a new international
organization, the United Nations.
• From left to right:
Stalin, FDR, Churchill
• In January 1943 at Casablanca, Morocco, an AngloAmerican (GB and US) conference decided that no
peace would be concluded with the Axis and its Balkan
satellites except on the basis of "unconditional
– This term, insisted upon by Roosevelt, sought to assure the
people of all the fighting nations that no separate peace
negotiations would be carried on with representatives of Fascism
and Nazism;
– that no bargain of any kind would be made by such
representatives to save any remnant of their power;
– that before final peace terms could be laid down to the peoples
of Germany, Italy and Japan, their military overlords must
concede before the entire world their own complete and utter
• In February 1945, the "Big Three" met at the
former Russian czar’s summer palace in the
• Yalta was the most important and by far the
most controversial of the wartime meetings.
• Recognizing the strong position that the Soviet
Army possessed on the ground, Churchill and
Roosevelt agreed to a number of compromises
with Stalin that allowed Soviet control to remain
in Poland and other Eastern European countries
Yalta-Big Decisions
• Additionally, the Soviet Union secretly agreed to
enter the war against Japan not long after the
surrender of Germany.
• After some discussion of heavy reparations to be
collected from Germany -- payment demanded
by Stalin and opposed by Roosevelt and
Churchill -- the decision was deferred.
• Specific arrangements were made concerning
Allied occupation in Germany and the trial and
punishment of war criminals.
Potsdam Conference
• The last meeting occurred at Potsdam in July 1945, the
tension that would erupt into the cold war was evident.
• Victory in Europe was secured and the Allied leaders
were trying to wrap up the war in the Pacific and secured
their own agendas in Europe:
• Discussed:
– operations against Japan,
– the peace settlement in Europe,
– and a policy for the future of Germany.
• With the Axis forces defeated, the wartime alliance soon
devolved into suspicion and bitterness on both sides.
Political Stalemate
• Despite the end of the war in Europe and
the revelation of the existence of the
atomic bomb to the Allies, neither
President Harry Truman, Roosevelt’s
successor, nor Clement Atlee, who
replaced Churchill, could come to
agreement with Stalin on any but the most
minor issues.
Potsdam- Talking Points
• The conference agreed on the need to
assist in the reeducation of a German
generation reared under Nazism and to
discuss how a democratic government
would be restored in Germany.
• The conferees also discussed reparations
claims against Germany,
• Agreed to the trial of Nazi leaders
accused of crimes against humanity,
The Ultimatum-Potsdam
• The Allies issued the Potsdam Declaration
on July 26, promising that Japan would
neither be destroyed nor enslaved if it
surrendered unconditionally;
– if Japan did not, however, it would meet "utter
• The day before the Potsdam Conference began,
an atomic bomb was exploded at Alamogordo,
New Mexico.
• President Truman
ordered the bomb be
used if the Japanese
did not surrender by
August 3.
– he figured an atomic
bomb might be used to
gain Japan's surrender
more quickly and with
fewer casualties than
an invasion of the
The UN is Born
• One of the most far-reaching decisions
concerning the shape of the postwar world
took place on April 25, 1945.
• Representatives of 50 nations met in San
Francisco, California, to erect the
framework of the United Nations.
– The constitution they drafted outlined a world
organization in which international differences
could be discussed peacefully and common
cause made against hunger and disease.
The wartime meetings between the allied
leaders were the epitome of “real politik”
and cooperation:
The alliance of the “Big Three” was successful in
defeating the Axis Powers and liberated more
people and territory than any other alliance in
– Political mistrust and greed led to the beginning
of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race.

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