Winston Churchill

ChurchillSir Winston ChurchillChurchill, Winston
During this trip he gave his Iron Curtain speech about the USSR and the creation of the Eastern Bloc. Speaking on 5 March 1946 at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, he declared: "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere."

Franklin D. Roosevelt

RooseveltFranklin RooseveltPresident Roosevelt
Assisted by Willkie, Roosevelt won Congressional approval of the Lend-Lease program, which directed massive military and economic aid to Britain and China. In sharp contrast to the loans of World War I, there would be no repayment after the war. As Roosevelt took a firmer stance against Japan, Germany, and Italy, American isolationists such as Charles Lindbergh and the America First Committee vehemently attacked Roosevelt as an irresponsible warmonger. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Roosevelt agreed to extend Lend-Lease to the Soviets. Thus, Roosevelt had committed the U.S. to the Allied side with a policy of "all aid short of war."

Joseph Stalin

StalinJosef StalinJosif Stalin
In a 2016 Kiev International Institute of Sociology poll, 38% of respondents had a negative attitude to Stalin, 26% a neutral one and 17% a positive (19% refused to answer). (1957) Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin; the war they waged and the peace they sought (1957) wartime diplomacy online free (2005) Racing the enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the surrender of Japan online free "Stalin at the Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam conferences." Journal of Cold War Studies 9.4 (2007): 6–40. (1994) A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (1994) online free [[Category:Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union members]] Index of Soviet Union-related articles.

Vyacheslav Molotov

MolotovHammerV.M. Molotov
Molotov accompanied Stalin to the Teheran Conference in 1943, the Yalta Conference in 1945, and, following the defeat of Germany, the Potsdam Conference. He represented the Soviet Union at the San Francisco Conference, which created the United Nations. Even during the period of wartime alliance, Molotov was known as a tough negotiator and a determined defender of Soviet interests. Molotov lost his position of First Deputy Chairman on March 19, 1946, after the Council of People's Commissars was reformed as the Council of Ministers. From 1945 to 1947, Molotov took part in all four conferences of foreign ministers of the victorious states in World War II.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
Paris was liberated on 25 August by the local resistance assisted by the Free French Forces, both led by General Charles de Gaulle, and the Western Allies continued to push back German forces in western Europe during the latter part of the year. An attempt to advance into northern Germany spearheaded by a major airborne operation in the Netherlands failed. After that, the Western Allies slowly pushed into Germany, but failed to cross the Ruhr river in a large offensive. In Italy, Allied advance also slowed due to the last major German defensive line.

Soviet Union

In 1939, the Soviet Union made a dramatic shift toward Nazi Germany. Almost a year after Britain and France had concluded the Munich Agreement with Germany, the Soviet Union made agreements with Germany as well, both militarily and economically during extensive talks. The two countries concluded the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and the German–Soviet Commercial Agreement in August 1939. The nonaggression pact made possible Soviet occupation of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, and eastern Poland. In late November, unable to coerce the Republic of Finland by diplomatic means into moving its border 25 km back from Leningrad, Joseph Stalin ordered the invasion of Finland.

Allies of World War II

AlliedAlliesAllied forces
Because of Cuba's geographical position at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico, Havana's role as the principal trading port in the West Indies, and the country's natural resources, Cuba was an important participant in the American Theater of World War II, and subsequently one of the greatest beneficiaries of the United States' Lend-Lease program. Cuba declared war on the Axis powers in December 1941, making it one of the first Latin American countries to enter the conflict, and by the war's end in 1945 its military had developed a reputation as being the most efficient and cooperative of all the Caribbean nations. On 15 May 1943, the Cuban patrol boat CS-13 sank the German submarine U-176.

Cold War

the Cold Warcold-warCold War era
The unity of NATO was breached early in its history, with a crisis occurring during Charles de Gaulle's presidency of France. De Gaulle protested at the strong role of the United States in the organization and what he perceived as a special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. In a memorandum sent to President Dwight D.

Western betrayal

Munich Betrayalfelt betrayedbetrayal
Quigley explains how Nazi Germany seized a stronger Czechoslovakia.

Origins of the Cold War

Cold War emerged in Europeonset of the Cold Warorigins of the conflict
At the Potsdam Conference starting in late July 1945, the Allies met to decide how to administer the defeated Nazi Germany, which had agreed to unconditional surrender nine weeks earlier on May 7 and May 8, 1945, VE day. Serious differences emerged over the future development of Germany and Eastern Europe. At Potsdam, the US was represented by a new president, Harry S. Truman, who on April 12 succeeded to the office upon Roosevelt's death. Truman was unaware of Roosevelt's plans for post-war engagement with the Soviet Union, and more generally uninformed about foreign policy and military matters.

European theatre of World War II

European theatreEuropean TheaterEurope
Germany and the Soviet Union were sworn enemies, but following the Munich Agreement, which effectively handed over Czechoslovakia (a French and Soviet ally, and the only remaining presidential democracy in Central Europe) to Germany, political realities allowed the Soviet Union to sign a non-aggression pact (the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact) including a secret clause partitioning Poland, the Baltic Republics and Finland between the two spheres of influence.

Timeline of United States history (1930–1949)

Truman is elected vice president. 1945 – President Roosevelt begins fourth term; Truman becomes Vice President. 1945 – Yalta Conference. 1945 – Battle of Iwo Jima. 1945 – Battle of Okinawa. 1945 – Nationwide labor strikes due to inflation; OPA disbanded. 1945 – President Roosevelt dies, Vice President Truman becomes the 33rd President. 1945 – Germany surrenders, end of World War II in Europe. 1945 – Carousel opens on Broadway. 1945 – Potsdam Conference. 1945 – Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


SudetenSudeten crisisSudeten Germans
Moreover, before the establishment of the Iron Curtain in 1952–55, the so-called "forbidden zone" was established (by means of engineer equipment) up to 2 km (1.2 mi) from the border in which no civilians could reside. A wider region, or "border zone" existed, up to 12 km from the border, in which no "disloyal" or "suspect" civilians could reside or work. Thus, the entire Aš-Bulge fell within the border zone; this status remained until the Velvet Revolution in 1989.

W. Averell Harriman

Averell HarrimanArden FarmArden Farms
Harriman also attended the Yalta Conference, where he encouraged taking a stronger line with the Soviet Union—especially on questions of Poland. After Roosevelt's death, he attended the final "Big Three" conference at Potsdam. Although the new president, Harry Truman, was receptive to Harriman's anti-Soviet hard line advice, the new secretary of state, James Byrnes, managed to sideline him. While in Berlin, he noted the tight security imposed by Soviet military authorities and the beginnings of a program of reparations by which the Soviets were stripping out German industry. In 1945, while Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Harriman was presented with a Trojan Horse gift.

Clement Attlee

AttleeEarl AttleeAttlee government
However, with the rising threat from Nazi Germany, and the ineffectiveness of the League of Nations, this policy eventually lost credibility. By 1937, Labour had jettisoned its pacifist position and came to support rearmament and oppose Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement. In 1938, Attlee opposed the Munich Agreement, in which Chamberlain negotiated with Hitler to give Germany the German-speaking parts of Czechoslovakia, the Sudetenland: We all feel relief that war has not come this time. Every one of us has been passing through days of anxiety; we cannot, however, feel that peace has been established, but that we have nothing but an armistice in a state of war.

Eastern Front (World War II)

Eastern FrontGreat Patriotic WarWorld War II
Soviet production and upkeep was assisted by the Lend-Lease program from the United States and the United Kingdom. In the course of the war the US supplied $11 billion of materiel through Lend-Lease. This included 400,000 trucks, 12,000 armored vehicles (including 7,000 tanks), 11,400 aircraft and 1.75 million tons of food. The British supplied aircraft including 3,000 Hurricanes and 4,000 other aircraft during the war. Five thousand tanks were provided by the British and Canada. Total British supplies were about four million tons.

Adolf Hitler

HitlerFührerthe leader
On 29 September Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Édouard Daladier, and Mussolini attended a one-day conference in Munich that led to the Munich Agreement, which handed over the Sudetenland districts to Germany. Chamberlain was satisfied with the Munich conference, calling the outcome "peace for our time", while Hitler was angered about the missed opportunity for war in 1938; he expressed his disappointment in a speech on 9 October in Saarbrücken. In Hitler's view, the British-brokered peace, although favourable to the ostensible German demands, was a diplomatic defeat which spurred his intent of limiting British power to pave the way for the eastern expansion of Germany.

Joachim von Ribbentrop

Ribbentropvon RibbentropDienststelle Ribbentrop
Ribbentrop regarded the Munich Agreement as a diplomatic defeat for Germany, as it deprived Germany of the opportunity to wage the war to destroy Czechoslovakia that Ribbentrop wanted to see; the Sudetenland issue, which was the ostensible subject of the German-Czechoslovak dispute, had been just a pretext for German aggression. During the Munich Conference, Ribbentrop spent much of his time brooding unhappily in the corners. Ribbentrop told the head of Hitler's Press Office, Fritz Hesse, that the Munich Agreement was "first-class stupidity… All it means is that we have to fight the English in a year, when they will be better armed… It would have been much better if war had come now".

Oder–Neisse line

frontier changesGerman-Polish bordersubsequent border shift
Byrnes; Excerpt on the Yalta conference, from his memoirs. Triumph and Tragedy Winston Churchill; Excerpt on the Yalta conference, from his memoirs. Churchill's statement to the House of Commons 27, February 1945, Describing the outcome of Yalta. The German-Polish Border Region. A Case of Regional Integration? ARENA Working Papers WP 97/19 Jorunn Sem Fure Department of History, University of Bergen.

Eastern Bloc

Soviet bloccommunist blocEastern Europe
The Lost Border: Photographs of the Iron Curtain. "Symbols in Transition" Documentary film regarding the post-89 handling of the political symbols and buildings of eastern Europe.