Russias International Relations in Twentieth Century

Russia’s International Relations
in the Twentieth Century

Taylor&Francis Group
Fist published 2013
by Roucledge
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2013 Alastair Kocho-Williams
The right of Alastair Kocho-Williams to be identifed as author of this
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the Copyright, Designs and Patents Acr 1988.
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British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
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Library of Congres Cataloging in Publicatiom Data
Kocho-Williams, Alastair.
Russia’s international relations in the rwentiech century/
Aalastair Kocho-Williams.
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Russia-Foreign relations-History-20th century. 2. Soviet Union-Foeign
relations-History. 3. Russia (Federation)-Foreign relations-History-20teh century.
I. Title.
DK66.KS6 2012
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76 The Soviet Union and the Second World War
time enraging Hitler. Stalin realized this latter fact, and took steps to
address the situation. Accordingly, the Soviets appeased Hitler by delivering
on their trade obligations and breaking off their relations with Yugoslavia,
Greece, Norway and Belgium. While the Soviets made the argument
that these states had lost sovereignty as a result of German occupation,
Hitler concluded that the time was ripe to launch his attack on the
Soviet Union.
June 1941l: the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union
At 3 o’clock on the morning of 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany launched the
invasion of the Soviet Union. Operation Barbarossa had begun a month later
chan initially planned, largely because German tank units had been engaged
elsewhere, but Hitler remained confident that he could destroy the
Soviet Union by the end of the year. While he was to be proved wrong,
the Soviets were taken seemingly unawares by the attack, and Stalin withdrew until 3 July 1941 before calling for a Soviet counter-attack.
nion had been planned for
some time, although the Soviets remained unaware of the fact because
German-Soviet relations continued to function. As the relationship deteriorated in the spring of 1941, so reports of German troop movements towards
the Soviet border increased, but still the Soviets took little action to
reinforce their forward positions. Even intelligence passed from Britain in
the weeks and days before the invasion, coupled to Soviet intelligence
reports, failed to put the Soviets into a position of alert. Stalin, it seemed,
[he German invasion the Soviet
was in denial as to the reality of the situation he faced.
Even so, the reality might, it seems have been different. Molotov
argued that the Soviets were aware, but were fearful chat fortifying their
forward positions would lead to an earlier German attack. Others have
pointed to the fact that Germany would fhrst swamp the bufter zone created
by the territorial gains under the Secret Protocol to the Nazi–Soviet Pact,
and that it was the Soviet intention for these areas to bear the initial
brunt of the assault. Some have suggested that allowing invasion, with the
intention of retreating and regrouping was a deliberate strategy on the part
of the Soviets, and it has been argued that the Soviets had already drawn up
a plan to attack Germany when the invasion happened.
The Soviets’ apparent lack of preparation was seen nor just in the delayed
response from Stalin, but also in the speed with which German troops
Swarmed into and occupied Soviet territory. In the first six weeks of the
confict, the Soviet Union lost all of the territory gained under the Secret
Protocol to the Nazi-Soviet Pact, and sustained heavy casualties and loss of
equipment. Despite this, by the end of 1941 the Soviets had stemmed the
tide of the German invasion and would begin to first hold, and then push
che Germans back during the course of 1942 and 1943. Key to this was not
only the resilience of the Soviet economy and the determinedness of the
The Soviet Union and the Secomd World War 77
population to defeat Nazi Germany, but also in the Grand Alliance forged
berween the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States of America.
The course of the war
As German troops Hooded into Soviet territory in the summer of 1941, the
Soviets seemed to be in disarray. Most of the Soviet air force was lost on
che ground in the first few days of fighting, and confusion hampered the
organization of resistance. On 3 July, emerging from his seclusion, Stalin
called for a Soviet counter-offensive, instructing his commanders to push
forward into enemy territory. While these moves yielded litle in terms of
pushing back the front, successive breakouts from encirclement and a steady
retreat held the German advance at a pace that was somewhat less than
Hitler had intended.
Operation Barbarossa, Hitler’s plan for the invasion of the Sovier Union
with the intention of forcing its collapse by the end of 1941, initially
appeared to be working. It began to falcer in October 1941, however, when
Soviet troops provided fierce resistance to the German push towards Moscow
at Smolensk. Although Smolensk did fall to the Germans, the Soviets held
up the invaders’ advance. Following Smolensk, German tanks struggled to
move in the muddy conditions they encountered, although when the ground
froze in November 1941 the German pace picked up. By the end of
November, the Germans had reached both Moscow and Leningrad, although
they had arrived too late to fulil the plans laid out in Operation Barbarossa.
Germany laid siege to Leningrad, but failed to take it, despite bombardment and severe food shortages during the 900-day long siege. Similarly,
Moscow was successfully defended through the winter of 194142, with
Soviet forces pushing back a German army that was ill prepared for the
harsh conditions of winter. While this marked a Soviet success, and
signalled a counter-offensive strategy that seemed to yield some results,
Germany was not in retreat. In the spring of 1942, Hitler focused
on attempting to hamper the Soviet war effort by preventing the Soviets
from accessing grain from Ukraine and oil from the Caucasus. Soviet
resistance was fierce, and the rugged terrain of the Caucasus proved difhcult
for the Germans to fight in, but still they pressed on. Then, in the summer
of 1942, Hitler made a push towards Stalingrad, with the specific aim of
capturing the Soviet oil felds that lay to the east of the Volga. The offensive
began on 28 June 1942 and the fighting quickly moved towards Stalingrad.
Sralin’s orders of 28 July were plain not a single step backwards could
be taken. On 5 August Stavropol fell to the Germans, and on 9 August
Krasnodar suffered the same fate. During the same time, German troops
slow advance that would continue
through August and September as they fought their way through the streets
of the city. The Soviets, however, provided fherce resistance, and turned
the tide in the middle of October, before launching a counter-offensive on
reached Stalingrad and commenced
78 The Soviet Union and the Second World War
19 November. This led to the encirclement of the entire German Sixth
Army under Friedrich von Paulus. Ordered to wait for reinforcements,
which were unable to break through, von Paulus eventually surrendered on
2 February 1943. In the wake of their victory, the Soviets pushed forward
along the length of the Eastern Front.
After Stalingrad, which can be seen as a turning-point in the Great
Patriotic War, the Soviets pushed westwards. They clashed fiercely with the
Germans at Kursk in July 1943, the largest tank battle in history, and
emerged with a decisive victory. After Kursk, the Soviets pushed inexorably
westwards, with the pace increasing through 1944 and into 1945. By April
German occupation and had reached Berlin. On 22 April, Hicler’s birthday,
the Soviet bombardment of Berlin began. By 8 May 1945 9 May Moscow
time), Berlin had fallen to the Red Army and Nazi Germany had been
defeated. The Great Patriotic War had seen the Soviet Union victorious.
Red Army had liberated the entirety of Eastern Europe from
Even so, the war was not entirely over for the Soviet Union. Stalin
had pledged to the United States that, following the defeat of Germany,
the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan within ninety days.
The Soviets held to their bargain, advancing into Japanese territory in
early August 1945, just as the United States’ bombing of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki dealt the blows that would ensure Japanese surrender. Soviet
military action was brief, with the Soviets playing little role in the defeat of
Japan. Despite this, when Japan surrendered and the Second World War
ended, Soviet forces occupied Japanese territory, notably North Korea and
Sakhalin Island.
The Soviet Union emerged victorious from the Second World War, but it
was not without cost. A bitter fight for survival had resulted in the deaths
of 27.5 million Soviet citizens, approximately half of whom were civilians.
Soviet resilience in the face of invasion, partisan warfare, the strength of
the Soviet economy and foreign assistance had brought a victory over
Germany that buoyed the dealings of the Soviet Union with foreign powers
and saw the Soviet Union emerge as a signihcant power in the post-war
The Grand Alliance
While the Soviets were to emerge as victors, not least as a result of the
resilience of the Soviet economy and population, the alliance forged with
Britain and the United States was of great importance. This alliance was not
born out of any friendship, but of necessity, and would not form a basis
for cooperation after che defeat of Germany. Nonetheless, in the face of a
common enemy the three powers were able to find a way to pursue common
objectives, even if their desires for the post-war world differed.
The first indication that such an alliance might be created was contained
in Winston Churchill’s speech on the evening of 22 June 1941 in which he
The Soviet Union and the Sccond World War 79
indicated that Britain would extend its support to the Soviet Union in the
fight against Germany. Even so, and despite parts of the speech appearing in
the Soviet press, the Soviet government made no formal response. On 7 July
1941 Churchill wrote to Stalin offering support and praising the Soviet
resistance to the German invasion. On 13 July, on the basis of Churchill’s
offer, the British Ambassador to Moscow, Sir Stafford Cripps, and Molotov
signed a formal alliance.
Almost immediately, on 18 July, Stalin wrote to Churchill asking
for Great Britain to open a second front against Germany, in either
northern France or the Arctic. He argued that both the British and Soviet
war efforts would benefit from such a move, although Churchill was less
enthusiastic. Even so, the second front became a persistent aspect of Stalin’s
demands to the British and would colour the relationship almost from
the outset.
The United States, even though it was not at this stage a belligerent
power in the Second World War, came into the alliance shorely after Britain
and the Soviet Union had agreed to cooperate against Germany. Harry
Hopkins – United States Secretary of Commerce from 1938 to 1940
and a close adviser to the United States President, Franklin Roosevelt, and
attendee at the wartime conferences persuaded Roosevelt to allow him
to go to Moscow in order to discuss rendering support to the Soviet Union.
On 29 July Hopkins offered Stalin immediate and long-term assistance in
the fight against Germany. Stalin asked for war materials such that the
Soviets could stand against Germany, and gave more detailed information
about Soviet military capabilities than had ever been given to any outsider.
On returning to the United States, Hopkins briefed Roosevelt, who
to che Soviet Union, which would prove to
significantly strengthen the Soviet war etfort. The Soviet Union, a little over
a monch after being invaded by Germany, had become a part of a tripartite
alliance against Hitler that would be victorious in war. Conerary to Soviet
efforts before the outbreak of hostilities, however, this was an alliance to
hght a war, not to prevent one.
With the framework of the Grand Alliance in place, the Soviets
attempted to use it to their advantage, only to find chat it did nor offer
everyching that they had hoped it might. When, following Soviet defeats
during the summer of 1941, Stalin again asked Churchill, on 4 September
1941, to open a second front in Northern or South-Eastern Europe, he was
to fhnd that help was not forthcoming. When Stalin asked again on 15
September, Churchill once more refused, on the basis that the Soviets were
asking for more than the allies could give. Stalin was clearly seeking support, however, and while a second front was not opened as he requested,
Britain and the United States concluded an agreement to give large quantities of supplies to the Soviet Union from October 1941. While significant
aid did not reach the Soviet Union until early 1942, the agreement did
much to assuage Soviet fears and to raise morale.
S0 The Soriet Union and the Second World War
Having received guarantees of support, the Soviets began the process
of bargaining with the British and Americans over the shape of the
alliance, and also the shape of the post-war world. On 16 December, in a
meeting between Anthony Eden, the British Foreign Secretary, and Stalin,
a Soviet draft rtreaty for an alliance against Nazi Germany was discussed.
The main thrust of the agreement was that neither party would conclude
a separate peace wich Germany, but there was an additional secret protocol.
The Soviets, it seemed, had been buoyed up by the Secret Prorocol to the
Nazi-Soviet Pact, and remained unconcerned that Britain had been enraged
at Soviet teitorial gains under its auspices. The secret prorocol that Stalin
offered to the British was linked to che earlier agreement with Germany,
as it sought to have the British recognize the Soviet territorial gains of
1939. The draft treaty also proposed the partitioning of Germany, with the
Rhineland and Bavaria possibly becoming separate states, the restoration of
Austrian independence and the drawing of Poland’s western border
along the line of the Oder River. While Eden refused to agree to Stalin’s
requests, on the basis that Roosevelt would not allow such territorial
decisions and that Churchill would need to be consulted, Stalin had
revealed some of his key aims in the war, and he would doggedly pursue
them throughout the remainder of the allied relationship. What Stalin
wanted was clear the Soviet buffer zone established in Eastern Europe
in 1939, the concessions that had been asked of Ribbenerop by Molotov in
1940 and the complete destruction of Germany as a signihcant threat
in Europe.
Despite the British refusal to agree to his terms, Stalin did not rurn
his back on the alliance, nor did his partners, even if the alliance was on
a less than entirely firm footing. After the United States entered the Second
World War following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December
1941, Roosevelt went to great lengths to build a personal relationship with
Stalin. Part of Roosevelt’s approach was to try to convince Stalin to trust
the Western powers, and he sought to do this by banking on the fact that
Stalin would return him the same courtesy of trust and would not seek to
annexe territory in Eastern Europe. While he showed a degree of naivety
here, it was clear that he believed that the relationship between the Soviet
Union and the United States could become cordial.
The relationship with Britain continued, however, to be fraught. In the
spring of 1942 sizeable supplies began arriving from Britain and the United
States. The major route tor these was to the north of Norway, and became
problematic in March 1942 when German naval vessels and aircraft began
to attack allied convoys. When, in July 1942, a convoy that had been disparched from Iceland delivered only approximately one-third of its cargo,
having lost all but one of the ships en route, and Britain decided to cancel
the next shipment, Stalin concluded that the British desire to support the
Soviets was waning in the tace of German aggression, and that the British
remained somewhat anti-Soviet.
The Soviet Union and the Second World War 81
That there were ditficulties in the Anglo-Soviet relationship was made
apparent on Molotov’s visit to London in May 1942. To some extent, the
visit picked up from the meetings during Eden’s visit to Moscow during
December 1941. Again, the Soviets attempted to push the British to
recognize Soviet territorial gains under the Nazi-Soviet Pact, and were once
more refused. Abandoning the pursuit of this line, on 26 May 1942 Molotov
instead concluded an alliance with Britain that gave no territorial concessions and had a duration of twenty years. While this appeared to settle
matters, Molotov then immediately pressed the Bricish, yet again, to open
a second front. Churchill made the point that Britain was not in a position
to make such a move, and doubted that it would have a real impact
on the removal of German forces from the Eastern Front. Denied yet again
on the second front, Molotov turned to Roosevelt in che hope that the
United States could put pressure on the British. Roosevelt not only allowed
Molotov to inform Stalin chat a second front could be expected during 1942,
he also pledged 120,000 men to its achievement. Much of the manpower
was to be British, and Churchill rejected the proposals. Still, despite being
dogged by repeated Soviet requests for a second front, which were met with
refusal, the Grand Alliance endured.
As it turned out, the British and Americans had planned to open another
front against Germany, but not in the regions that Stalin hoped for. During
meetings held in Moscow in August 1942 between the Soviets, Churchill
and the United States Ambassador, Averill Harriman, Stalin was informed of
the planned allied campaign in North Africa. Stalin was interested, although
still it did not entirely satisfy him. It appears that Stalin was most keenly
interested in the opening of a second front in Europe, and the allied failure
to give him what he wanted led him to distrust his allies.
In 1943, after Soviet successes against Germany, and as the war turned
after the Soviet victory at Stalingrad, Churchill and Roosevelt met at the
Casablanca Conference in January. As Stalin was not present, the discussion
focused on allied activity in the Mediterranean accordingly it was this area
that was the main thrust of allied activity during 1943 – and delaying the
opening a front in Northern France. Stalin was informed of their decisions
on 26 January. Already less than certain of his allies, Stalin was becoming
ever more suspicious of their commitment to the Soviet Union.
During the spring of 1943 Stalin’s distrust of the West became increasingly noriceable. Both lvan Maisky, Soviet Ambassador to London, and
Maxim Lirvinov, former Foreign Commissar and Ambassador to Washington,
were recalled to Moscow. Veteran diplomats were no longer the men that
Stalin wanted to represent him in the West. Instead, he made clear his
intention to deal with Churchill and Roosevelt himself, and summitry
became the means by which Soviet diplomacy was conducted. The triggers
for this move appear to have been nor just the Casablanca Conference, but
also the suspension of convoys to the Soviet Union by the Allies in April
1943 and the breaking of relations wich the Polish government in exile, led
82 The Soviet Union and the Second World War
by Sikorski in London, in the wake of the revelations of a massacte
15,000 Polish officers and soldiers at Katyn in 1940.
It was only later in 1943 that a meeting of the three allied leader
was agreed upon. The meeting was to be held at ‘Tehran in November 1943
but was presaged by a meeting of toreign ministers in Moscow in October.
At chis meeting the Soviets again pressed for a second front to be opened br
the spring ot 1944. Plans were afoot for Operation Overlord, a cross-channel
invasion by Allied forces, but Churchill remained unwilling to commit to
it as early as the spring of 1944. When the Big Three met together for
che first time, at Tehran in late November 1943, Stalin showed that he
distrusted Churchill more than Roosevelt and with whom he met privately
before the Conference began. In their meetings Stalin made it plain that
he would demand all territory that the Soviet Union had gained under the
Nazi-Sovier Pact in 1939, outlined his desire that the Polish borders
be moved westwards in the east and set at the Oder River in the west, and
set out a plan for the partition of Germany. Somewhat naively, Rosevelt
agreed with Stalin’s position on Poland and Germany and agreed the territorial concessions, not least because he believed that the Baltic States would
voluntarily express a desire to remain part of the Soviet Union. Stalin was
even able to persuade Roosevelt into supporting the argument for Operation
Overlord to be launched in the spring of 1944.
Dealing with almost all of the points that seem to have mattered to
him in the course of the Grand Aliance, Stalin believed he had reached
agreement on them wich Roosevelt. This furcher cemented his impression
chat Churchill was ser against him and was unwilling to give the Soviet
Union what he demanded, and led to the Tehran Conference becoming
a battleground between Churchill and Stalin. Stalin had manoeuvred
Roosevelt into a position in which he believed that the Soviet Union had
been granted its wishes and that he was being given a free hand. Only
Churchill seemed to stand in the way.
Even so, Churchill did agree with the proposed Polish borders, and at
Tehran the post-war borders of Poland at the Oder River in the west and the
Curzon Line in the east were effectively set. Churchill used his agreement on
this point to attempt to deal with Stalin, who he believed had misconstrued
British policy and attempted to outmanoeuvre him with Roosevelt. In
meetings between Stalin and Churchill, the Soviet impression of Britain
mproved somewhat, not least because Churchill informed Stalin that the
invasion of France would take place in May 1944. Accordingly, the Tehran
Conterence laid out the basic plan that the Allies would pursue for the
remainder of the war and made clear that there was agreement between
them on some, if not all, points.
Following their success in France after the launching of Operation
Overlord in June 1944 and the Soviet victory over Poland in July, the
Allies were able to reach further agreement in October 1944. Churchill met
with Stalin in Moscow, although Roosevelt had Averill Harriman stand in as
The Soviet Union and the Second World War 83
an observer rather than attend in person. During the meeting, Churchill
made plain his desire to settle Balkan affairs with the Soviets. He made a
statement to this eftect, and then wrote on a piece of paper the percentages
of inftuence that he sought to agree with the Soviets. Stalin returned
the paper with his agreement, and thus was concluded the infamous
Percentages Agreement’, which gave the Soviets 90 per cent influence in
Romania in return for 90 per cent British influence in Greece and shared
influence in Yugoslavia.
The Grand Alliance was at its high point between this meeting and the
Yalta Conference in the Crimea in February 1945. Stalin had found that
he could deal with Churchill, believed that Roosevelt had conceded to him
what he wanted and was appreciative that the European second front he had
wanted had now been opened. By the time the leaders met in February
1945, the defeat of Nazi Germany at the hands of the Allies seemed
assured, and Soviet vIctories had placed most of Eastern Europe under
Soviet control.
In the course of discussions at Yalta the first topic was Germany. While
there was general agreement that the aim remained the complete defeat
of Germany, and that it should be demilitarized and partitioned, a final
decision on how to achieve this was deferred to a meeting of foreign
ministers, on the basis that the matter was too sizeable to be agreed upon in
the context of a brief conference. This was followed by Roosevelt’s proposal
for the United Nations, an international organization that would act as
the arbiter of international politics. The Soviets were prepared to agree to
such an organization, although they attempted to gain many more seats
in the General Assembly than the United States and Britain were prepared
to offer them – the Soviets wanted one seat per Soviet republic, totalling
sixteen, but compromised on three. Boch the Soviet Union and the United
States insisted upon the power of veto over decisions reached by the
United Nations. Discussion also turned to the Polish question, and while
the earlier agreed borders were afirmed, Britain and the United States
showed their concerns about Soviet intentions towards Poland, not least
because the Soviets seemed to be backing a pro-Soviet puppet government.
Deadlock was almost reached, but was defused by Molotov’s proposal that
che Lublin government of Poland could be reorganized and free elections
could be held. This meant that the Big Three could find agreement, even
if it soon became apparent that the Soviets had no intention to holding to
their agreement on Poland.
The relationship between the Soviet Union and its allies went downhill
fairly quickly after Yalta. Roosevelt died suddenly, in mid-April 1945,
and was replaced by the more anti-Soviet Harry Truman. Truman’s
early attempts to deal with che Soviets largely revolved around appeasing
served to further the extension of Soviet intluence in
Eastern Europe, which, on 8 May 1945 when Germany was defeated, the
Soviet Union effectively dominated. Stalin believed that Roosevelt had been
Stalin, which only
84 The Soniet Union and the Second World War
in agreement that this should be the case, and did not foresee that ruman
would disagree. Even so, the Soviets were in violation of their agreemenr
at Yalta and the Allies were unhappy with the situation, even if they wete
powerless to deal with it. Despite the wartime alliance, the Soviets appearei
not to have changed, and their actions conhrmed in the minds of many thar
they were not to be trusted. Churchill voiced his concerns, arguing that the
Sovier Union had not only constructed puppet governments in Eastem
Europe, but had created a situation in which it was completely unclear to
che Allies what precisely the Soviets were up to.
The Allies met again at the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, amid the
issue of Soviet violations of agreements made at Yalta. Here, the rift berween
the Soviet Union and che West widened, not least because the issues over
Soviet actions in Eastern Europe remained unsolved and because of the
revelation by Truman that the United States possessed the atomic bomb.
Despite the tensions, Stalin was able to placate Truman by agreeing to join
che war against Japan and to the establishment of Council of Foreign
Ministers to facilitate further discussions about the post-war world.
Agreements were reached at Potsdam between Stalin, Truman and Clement
Attlee, the new British Prime Minister, who replaced Churchill during the
conference. Zones of occupation were agreed in Germany and Poland, and
Stalin was persuaded to relinquish his demand for reparations to be paid to
the Soviet Union by Germany. Instead, the occupation zones were to be the
sources of reparations. With these agreements in hand, and a deteriorating
relationship, the ‘Big Three’ concluded their hnal wartime conference.
The Soviet Union did not join the Second World War at its outbreak in
September 1939, although it did become embroiled in conflice in pursuit
of the territory it had gained under the Nazi-Soviet Pact and its attendant
Secret Prococol. Soviet actions in the early days of the war confirmed che
suspicions of some that the SOviets were opportunist and interested only in
furthering their own power. While to some extent this was a justified view,
it ignored the important aspect of the Soviet desire to maintain security
above all else, and the push to ensure that the Soviet Union was in a pos
tion to deal with a German invasion when it came.
The German-Soviet relationship developed beyond August 1939, largely
through trade, although it stopped short of becoming fully cordial. Even so,
the Soviets appear to have trusted that if they held to their side of the bargain and fulhlled their trade obligations they would be able to maintain
security against war. This was not, in fact the case, and even as the Soviets
believed their relationship with the Germans was stable, Hitler drew up his
plan for the invasion of the Soviet Union.
The German invasion of the Soviet Union came in the summer of 1941,
catching the Soviets seemingly unawares and bringing them into the Great
The Soviet Union and the Second World War 85
Patriotic War. In the first six weeks after the invasion, the Soviets moved
backwards, losing swathes of territory, before being able to slow the German
advance. By che end of 1941, the Soviets had thwarted Hitler’s aim to
destroy the Soviet Union in a single blow, and had repulsed German forces
from Moscow and were holding Leningrad.
The Soviets also had, as an outcome of the invasion, forged an alliance
with Great Britain and the United States of America. While that alliance
would never be entirely cordial, nor based on mutual trust, the materiel
sent by the allies to the Soviet Union was of great significance in aiding
the Soviet War effort. As Allied materiel reached the Sovier Union in
early 1942, the Soviets were beginning to turn the tide of the war on the
Eastern Front. The turning-point came that year with Soviet victory over
the Germans at Stalingrad, and the Red Army moved to push the
front westwards, ultimately securing victory over Germany in Berlin in
May 1945.
The Grand Alliance of the Soviet Union, Britain and the United States
was significant in winning the Second World War, and in the discussions
on the shape of the post-war world. What is clear is chat Stalin had several
clear objectives, from which he barely swayed during the course of negotiations. He was adamant that a second front be opened in Europe, that Soviet
territorial gains under the Nazi-Soviet Pact be recognized and that Germany
be dismembered. He was unable to realize some of these aims at the times
chat he wanted, but ultimately his aims were met to a great extent, or he at
least believed chat chey had been agreed upon. The Grand Alliance, though,
proved to be little more than an alliance in the face of a common
enemy, and was not sustainable beyond the war, not least because it was
apparent that there was a great deal of mistrust amongst the parties. The
mistrust, and che fraught situation at the Potsdam Conference in 1945,
seems to have heralded the move towards the global division that became
the Cold War shortly after Allied victory in the Second World War.
Further reading
Barros, J., Double Deceptio: Stalin Hitler and the Invasion of Russia (DeKalb, IL: Northern
Ilinois University Press, 1995).
Bellamy, C., Absolue War: Soviet Rusia in the Second World War (London: Macmillan, 2005).
Chuev, F., Molotov Remembers (Chicago, IL: Ivan R. Dee, 1993).
Feis, H., Betwen War and Peace: The Potsdam Conference (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Universicy
Press, 1960).
Gorodetsky, G., Grand Delusion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999).
Kennedy-Pipe, C., Stalin’s Cold War: Soviet Strategies in Europe, 1943 to 1956 (Manchester:
Kitchen, M., British Poligy Toward the Soviet Union during the Second World War (Basingstoke:
Mastny, V., ‘Soviet War Aims at the Moscow and Teheran Conferences of 1943, Journal of
Manchester University Press, 1995).
Macmillan, 1986).
Modern History vol. 47 no. 3 (1975).

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