Yalta Conference (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The most important meeting of the “Big Three” powers marks the height of Allied cooperation but reveals conflicting agendas.
Summary of Event
In February, 1945, the armies of the Soviet Union moved rapidly toward Berlin with the Nazis in full retreat. In the West, British and U.S. forces, commanded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, prepared to invade Germany. The unconditional surrender of Germany was expected in a matter of weeks. In the Far East, U.S. forces moved steadily from island to island across the Pacific toward a final invasion of the Japanese home islands. The possibility of using an atomic bomb to end the war remained questionable. Military experts did not believe the bomb could be made ready before the end of the year.
With the defeats of Germany and Japan a certainty, the Big Three Allied leaders—Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain, Communist Party secretary Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States—met to plan the postwar world. It was the last time the three would see one another, for Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, just two months after the conference ended and less than a month before Germany surrendered. At Stalin’s request, the Allies gathered at Livadia Palace (once a summer home of Czar Nicholas II) at Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula of the Black Sea. The conference lasted from February 4 to...
(The entire section is 1175 words.)
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