Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin at the Yalta Conference
The Agony of the Third Reich. 75 years ago, on February 4, 1945, the Yalta Conference of the Heads of State of the anti-Hitler coalition opened. The post-war structure of Europe and the world has ended.
The need for a new conference of great powers
With the development of hostilities and the successful offensive of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe, the need arose for a new meeting of the heads of state of the anti-Hitler coalition. A number of political problems that arose in connection with the approaching end of the war and the organization of the post-war world order required an immediate solution. So, it was necessary to agree on plans for the final defeat of the German armed forces and the post-war structure of Germany. London and Washington needed to achieve Moscow’s confirmation on the Japanese issue. The three great powers had to decide how to implement the basic principles proclaimed by the United Nations on the organization of post-war peace and international security in order to avoid the start of a new world war.
US President Franklin Roosevelt officially invited the USSR leader Joseph Stalin to arrange a new summit in July 1944. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill fully supported this idea. Roosevelt and Churchill proposed a meeting in September 1944 in Scotland. However, Moscow rejected this offer on the pretext of active fighting at the front. At this time, the Red Army successfully defeated the enemy, Stalin decided that it was necessary to wait so that decisions could be made following the results of the 1944 campaign.
After the conference in Quebec on September 11–16, 1944, Roosevelt and Churchill sent a new proposal to Stalin for a trilateral meeting. The Soviet leader again expressed his “great desire” to meet with the leaders of the United States and Great Britain, but put it off under the pretext of health problems: “Doctors do not advise me to take big trips.” In connection with Churchill's trip to Moscow in early October 1944, Roosevelt again expressed his desire to hold a meeting of the Big Three. During the Moscow issues, many issues were discussed, but no specific decisions were made. However, the parties clarified each other's positions.
After the Moscow talks, the three great powers continued negotiations on a new conference. Preliminarily planned to hold a meeting in November 1944 on the Russian Black Sea coast. This meeting was postponed to the end of January - beginning of February 1945 at the request of Roosevelt (in November 1944 the presidential election was held in the USA).
Honor guard of Soviet soldiers at the Saki airport during the conference.
The situation on the fronts. Malta meeting
The Red Army won one victory after another. Soviet armies liberated East Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia from the Nazis. There were fights in Czechoslovakia and Hungary. The German high command concentrated the main and best formations on the Russian front. The Western Allies gained the opportunity of a successful offensive on the Western Front. However, the Allied offensive choked.
Hitler believed that the forced and unnatural alliance of the USSR with the democracies of the West was short-lived and would soon collapse. What the Reich can still agree with the West to preserve the remnants of influence in Europe. That Germany, together with the United States and England, can oppose the USSR. But for this it was necessary to prove their usefulness to the owners of London and Washington. In December 1944, the Wehrmacht launched a powerful blow to the Allies in the Ardennes. The allies were in a difficult situation. On January 6, 1945, Churchill asked Moscow for help. Stalin gave a positive answer. The Vistula-Oder strategic operation began on January 12, 1945, and the East Prussian operation on January 13. Soviet troops successively attacked the enemy defenses from the Baltic to the Carpathians. The German command was forced to stop the offensive on the Western Front and transfer divisions to the East.
Thus, the Allies in 1945 planned to complete the defeat of Nazi Germany. Decisive operations were being prepared on the Eastern and Western Front. At the Pacific Theater, the Japanese Empire was also losing the war. Military operations moved to the South China Sea and to the near approaches to the Japanese islands. The Japanese were retreating in Burma, they started having problems in China. However, Japan was still a strong adversary, had more numerous ground forces than the allies in the Asia-Pacific region, and the war with it could drag on for many years, leading to large human and material losses. The military believed that the operation to seize Japan would lead to huge losses, and even after that, the Japanese could continue to fight in Asia. Therefore, Britain and the United States needed guarantees from Moscow that the Russians would oppose Japan.
On the way to Crimea, the leaders of the USA and England held a meeting in Malta on February 2, 1945. Churchill noted that it is necessary to prevent the Russians from occupying more territories in Europe "than is necessary." Churchill also noted the need for Anglo-American troops to occupy most of Western Europe through an offensive on the northern front of the Western Front. The US military was not opposed to this idea, but wanted to maintain independence in the direction of other operations. In addition, a common line of behavior was developed by the Western powers at the Crimean Conference.
Junior sergeant of the 290th NKVD regiment and an American marine at one of the joint posts during the Crimean Conference
On the night of February 3, 1945, Roosevelt and Churchill, accompanied by a large retinue, went to the Crimea. First landed at the Saki airport, then arrived by car in Yalta. The Soviet side received guests with all the hospitality. The seriously ill Roosevelt was given the Livadia Palace, where the meetings of the Big Three took place. The British were placed in the former Vorontsov Palace. The Soviet delegation stopped at the former Yusupov Palace. Stalin arrived on the morning of February 4. On the same day at 16 hours 35 minutes the opening of the conference took place. In addition to the heads of state, foreign ministers Molotov, Stettinius (USA) and Eden (England), their deputies, USSR ambassadors to the USA (Gromyko) and England (Gusev), the US ambassador to the USSR (Harriman), the British ambassador to USSR (Kerr), heads of military departments, diplomatic and military advisers. At the suggestion of Stalin, Roosevelt became the chairman of the conference. The conference lasted until February 11th.
The conference began with a discussion of military issues. The situation at the fronts, the plans for future operations were examined. The Soviet side said that the offensive launched in January along the entire front will continue. The Western Allies reported that their armies would make a breakthrough on a narrow stretch of 50-60 km, first north of the Ruhr, then south. The military agreed to coordinate strategic aviation. Anglo-Americans recognized the importance of the interaction of the two fronts, but they declined to comply with the request of the General Staff of the USSR for the need to take measures to prevent the Germans from further transfer of forces to the Russian front from Italy and Norway.
Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin at the Yalta Conference
Stalin saved Germany from dismemberment
The most important was the question of the future of Germany after the liquidation of the Hitler regime. The political leadership of England and the United States, on the one hand, wanted to eliminate a competitor in Germany, on the other hand, wanted to use the Germans again against Russia in the future. Therefore, London and Washington planned to divide Germany into several parts, to return it in the days before Bismarck, which united the German lands. There were also plans to gradually strengthen Germany so that it was an ally in the struggle against the USSR. In the official position of the West, the need for the elimination of German militarism, Nazism and the reconstruction of the country on a democratic basis was noted. The period of general occupation of Germany was not limited. Intensive exploitation of German resources was planned.
At the Crimean Conference, Americans and British raised the issue of the partition of Germany for the sake of the interests of "international security." It was proposed to separate Prussia (the center of German militarism) from the rest of Germany. Create a large German state in the south, possibly with a capital in Vienna, to balance Prussia. Churchill proposed raising the question of the Ruhr affiliation, of Saarland, of the internal fragmentation of Prussia. The Soviet side did not want the dismemberment of Germany. The question was carried forward. A commission was created to study this issue. In the future, thanks to the efforts of the USSR, it was possible to avoid the division of Germany into several independent states.
It was possible to resolve key issues: decisions were made on the unconditional surrender of the Reich, on the complete disarmament of the German Armed Forces, SS, other forces and auxiliary organizations; demilitarization of industry; the elimination of the Nazi regime; punishment of war criminals; on the zones of occupation - the eastern part of the country was occupied by Soviet troops, the south-western - by the American, north-western - by the English; on joint management of Greater Berlin. The supreme power in Germany during the occupation was carried out by the commanders of the Armed Forces of the USSR, the USA and England - in their occupation zone. General issues were resolved jointly in the supreme control body - the Control Council. Under the Supervisory Council, a Coordinating Committee was created.
They also discussed the issue of France getting equal rights with the Big Three, its participation in the post-war system of Germany. Earlier, the United States and England opposed the recognition of France as a great power and opposed the participation of the French in German affairs. However, under pressure from Moscow, France was included among the great victorious powers: the French received their zone of occupation (at the expense of the Americans and the British) and their representative entered the Control Council.
The issue of reparations occupied a large place. The Soviet Union suffered the most terrible damage from the Nazi invaders: many millions of dead, hundreds of destroyed and burned cities, tens of thousands of villages and villages, material damage was estimated at about 2 trillion 600 billion rubles. Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece and other countries also suffered great losses in people and material values. However, given the real situation (that is, the impossibility of Germany to completely make up for this damage) and taking into account the vital interests of the German people, who also suffered very much from the Nazi regime, Moscow put forward the principle of partial compensation in the form of reparations. The Soviet government did not want to plunge the Germans into poverty and poverty, oppress them. Therefore, the Soviet government announced at the conference the amount of reparations of $ 20 billion, half the Soviet Union should have received, which was an insignificant part of direct and indirect losses of Russia. The amount of 10 billion dollars was only slightly higher than the annual military spending of the Reich in the prewar years. They decided to charge reparations in three forms: 1) a one-time withdrawal from national wealth (industrial enterprises, equipment, machine tools, rolling stock, German investments abroad); 2) annual commodity supplies from current products; 3) the use of German labor. To finally resolve the issue of reparations, an Inter-Union Commission on Reparations was established in Moscow. At the same time, they agreed on an amount of $ 20 billion and that the USSR would receive 50%.
Leaders of the Big Three at the negotiating table at the Yalta Conference. On the photo to the right of Stalin is the Deputy People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the USSR Ivan Mikhailovich Maysky, the second to the right of Stalin is the USSR Ambassador to the USA Andrei Gromyko, the first on the left is the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov, the second on the left is the First Deputy People's Commissar of the USSR Andrei VYSHINSKY. To the right of Churchill sits British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. Sitting on the right hand of Roosevelt (pictured to the left of Roosevelt) is US Secretary of State Edward Reilly Stettinius. Sits second on the right hand of Roosevelt (pictured second to the left of Roosevelt) - US Chief of Staff Admiral William Daniel Lehi
The issue of international security. Polish question
In Crimea, the question of creating the United Nations (UN) was considered to ensure international security in the future. This issue has already been discussed. As a result of preliminary negotiations, the main provisions of the Charter of a future international organization were developed, its main principle is the sovereign equality of all peace-loving states. The main bodies of the organization were to be: the General Assembly, the Security Council (it was based on the principle of unanimity, the great powers, permanent members of the Security Council, had the right of veto), the International Court of Justice, the Secretariat, the Economic and Social Council. The main responsibility for maintaining peace and security was assigned to the Security Council as part of the USSR, USA, England and China (hereinafter France), six more non-permanent members of the Security Council were elected for 2 years. In Yalta, an agreement was reached to convene the United Nations Conference on San Francisco on April 25, 1945, with the goal of finalizing the Charter.
Much attention was paid to the Polish problem at the conference: the composition of the Polish government and the future borders of Poland. Stalin emphasized that for the USSR the question of Poland was not only a matter of honor, but also a matter of security - "because the most important strategic problems of the Soviet state are connected with Poland." Throughout stories Rus-Russia Poland was "the corridor through which the enemy attacking Russia passed." Stalin noted that only the Poles themselves could close this “corridor”. Therefore, the USSR is interested in creating a strong and independent Poland. Moscow proposed new borders for Poland: in the east - the Curzon line, in the west - along the Oder and West Neisse. That is, the territory of Poland has grown significantly in the west and north.
The question of Poland’s eastern borders did not provoke resistance from England and the USA. The Anglo-Americans were not against the expansion of Poland at the expense of Germany. The question was about the size of the increment of Polish territory in the west. Westerners were against the borders of the Oder and the Western Neisse. As a result, it was decided that the borders of Poland would be expanded in the north and west. But defining boundaries was delayed for the future.
A bitter struggle unfolded over the question of the future Polish government. Washington and London ignored the creation of an interim government in the liberated Red Army of Poland. The Allies sought to create a new government in Poland with the inclusion of "their people." Obviously, England and the United States wanted to restore the pro-Western, Russophobic government in Poland in order to make the Poles their weapons again in the millennium-old war against Rus-Russia. Therefore, the Soviet delegation opposed the proposals of the West. As a result, the parties compromised. The interim Polish government was replenished with several democrats in Poland itself and emigrants. A government of national unity was formed. England and the United States were to establish diplomatic relations with him. The Polish émigré government stopped working.
Victory in the Far East
Western allies persistently asked Moscow to confirm their consent to the war with Japan. The United States and England did not want to fight Japan and suffer heavy losses, while the USSR was recovering. In Yalta, the Soviet side set the condition for entering the war against the Japanese empire to eliminate the consequences of Japanese aggression against Russia in the Far East (and the West supported this aggression almost until Pearl Harbor itself) and ensure the security of our Far Eastern borders.
On February 11, 1945, the Big Three signed an agreement under which the Soviet Union pledged to oppose Japan. In response, the “world community” recognized the Mongolian People’s Republic as an independent state. The rights of Russia, violated by the Japanese attack in 1904, were restored. That is, the USSR returned to South Sakhalin with adjacent islands, the Kuril Islands, Port Arthur became the naval base of the Union. The Union received an economic advantage in the port of Dairen-Dalniy. The joint operation with China of the East-East and Yuno-Manchurian railways on the basis of a mixed Soviet-Chinese society with the advantage of the interests of the USSR was resumed.
The great victory of Russian weapons and diplomacy
"World Community", frightened by the power of Russian weapons and the spirit manifested during the Great Patriotic War, recognized the Russia-USSR right to control Eastern Europe. Lands formerly inhabited by the ancestors of the Russians, Slavs. It took months and hundreds of thousands of lives to secure this right. The Soviet Union entered historical and natural boundaries. The Laba River from ancient times united Slavic Russian tribes, and the ancestors of the Germans lived beyond the Rhine. In the Far East, we regained the positions lost during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905.
Unfortunately, in 1985–1991. the feat of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers was trampled upon by traitor rulers. Moscow agreed to a "withdrawal" of troops from Eastern Europe - in fact, it was a retreat, defeat. Without a fight, we surrendered our positions in Eastern and Central Europe, for which the Russian people paid millions of lives. Now our western “partners” are again in Kiev and Odessa, Vilno and Tallinn. Again, the cruel enemy goes to the near lines to strike Kaliningrad, Leningrad-Petrograd, Moscow and Sevastopol.
The balance of balance on the planet was lost, which again caused a series of violent conflicts, revolutions and wars. Now the world is again on the verge of a military-political disaster, a great war. The first hotbed of world war is already blazing in the Middle East.