The Big 3 and the War Time Conferences 1940-1945 • 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 Charter. – 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 objectives: 1. no territorial changes without the consent of the people concerned; 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. 1941-1943 • • 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 Asia. Tehran • • 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 Casablanca • 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 surrender.“ – 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 defeat. Yalta • In February 1945, the "Big Three" met at the former Russian czar’s summer palace in the Crimea. • 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 indefinitely. 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 Declaration • 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 destruction." • 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 mainland 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. Conclusion • 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 history. However: – Political mistrust and greed led to the beginning of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race.