November 28 - December 1 1943 met in the Iranian capital the heads of the three great powers: the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom. Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill gathered in Tehran to address a number of difficult issues related to the continuation of the war against Hitler Germany, the post-war structure of Europe, peace, and the USSR’s entry into the war with Japan. This was the first meeting of the so-called. "Big Three".
In Western Europe, there was no place or danger to hold a meeting of the “big three”. Washington and London did not want to hold a conference on Soviet territory either. In August 1943, Roosevelt and Churchill informed Stalin that, in their opinion, neither Archangelsk nor Astrakhan were suitable for such a conference. They offered to hold a meeting in Alaska, in Fairbanks. But Stalin refused to go so far away from the front at such a tense time. The Soviet leader proposed to hold a meeting in a state where there were representative offices of all three powers, for example, in Iran. In addition to Tehran, Cairo (Churchill suggested it), Istanbul and Baghdad were considered to be the “capitals of the conference”. But they stopped on Tehran, because at that moment it was controlled by the Soviet and British troops, and the American contingent was here.
The Iranian operation (Operation Consent) by the British-Soviet forces conducted 1941 in the end of August - the first half of September. Allied forces occupied Iran for military-strategic and economic considerations (Operation "Consent". Soviet troops entering Iran in 1941). First, in the prewar years, the Iranian leadership actively cooperated with the Third Reich, and the ideology of Iranian nationalism gained momentum. As a result, there was a real threat of involving Iran on the side of the German Empire as an ally in World War II and the appearance of German troops here. Secondly, Iran became the base of German intelligence, which threatened the interests of Britain and the USSR in the region. Thirdly, it was necessary to take control of the Iranian oil fields, preventing their possible seizure by German troops. In addition, the USSR and Great Britain created a southern transport corridor through which the Allies could support Russia as part of the implementation of the Lend-Lease program.
Red Army units occupied northern Iran. The intelligence units of the Soviet 44 and 47 armies carried out active work on the elimination of the German agents. British troops occupied the south-western provinces of Iran. American troops, under the pretext of protecting goods supplied to the Soviet Union, entered Iran at the end of 1942. Without any formalities, the Americans occupied the ports of Bender-Shahpur and Khorramshahr. An important communication through Iranian territory, through which American strategic cargo was transferred to the USSR. On the whole, the situation in the Iranian state was difficult, but controlled. The Soviet 182 th Mountain Rifle Regiment was stationed in the Iranian capital, which guarded the most important objects (before the beginning of the conference it was replaced with a more prepared unit). Most ordinary Persians treated the Soviet people with respect. This facilitated the actions of Soviet intelligence, which was easily found among Iranian volunteers.
Stalin refused to fly by plane and went to the conference on November 22, 1943 on the letter train number 501, which proceeded through Stalingrad and Baku. Beria was personally responsible for traffic safety, he was riding in a separate carriage. The delegation also included Molotov, Voroshilov, Shtemenko, relevant workers of the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs and the General Staff. They flew from Baku on two planes. The first was controlled by an ace pilot, commander of the 2nd Special Purpose Air Division, Viktor Grachev, and Stalin, Molotov and Voroshilov flew on the plane. Commanding aviation long-range Alexander Golovanov personally flew the second aircraft.
Churchill traveled from London to Cairo, where he was waiting for the American president to once again coordinate the positions of the United States and England on the main issues of negotiations with the Soviet leader. Roosevelt crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the battleship Iowa, accompanied by a significant escort. They managed to avoid collisions with German submarines. After a nine-day sea crossing, the American squadron arrived at the Algerian port of Oran. Then Roosevelt arrived in Cairo. November 28 the delegation of the three great powers were already in the Iranian capital.
Due to the threat from the German saboteurs, large-scale measures were taken to ensure the safety of high-ranking guests. The government delegation of the USSR stopped at the territory of the Soviet embassy. The British are located on the territory of the British Embassy. The British and Soviet diplomatic missions were located on opposite sides of the same street in the Iranian capital, with a width of no more than 50. The American president, due to the terrorist threat, accepted an invitation to settle in the building of the Soviet embassy. The American Embassy was located on the outskirts of the city, which seriously worsened the possibilities for creating a tight security ring. The meetings were held at the Soviet embassy, where Churchill walked along a specially constructed covered corridor connecting the Soviet and British missions. Around the Soviet-British diplomatic complex united by this "corridor of safety", the Soviet and British intelligence services created three rings of reinforced security, backed by armored vehicles. All the press in Tehran has stopped its activities, the telephone, telegraph and radio have been disconnected.
Germany, relying on numerous agents, attempted to organize an assassination attempt against the leaders of the “Big Three” (Operation “Long Jump”). However, Soviet intelligence knew about this operation. In addition, the Soviet intelligence officers, together with their British colleagues from MI-6, were looking for and deciphering all the messages of the German radio operators who were preparing a bridgehead for the landing of the sabotage group. German radio operators intercepted, and then took the entire German spy ring (more than 400 people). Some of them were turned over. An attempt on the leaders of the "Big Three" was averted.
The conference planned to solve a number of important issues:
- to establish the exact date of opening by the allies of a second front This was the most difficult question. Britain and the United States in every way delayed the opening of the second front. In addition, Churchill wanted to open "the Balkan front, with the participation of Turkey, in order to advance through the Balkans, to cut off the Red Army from the most important centers of Western Europe;
- Polish question - about the borders of Poland after the war;
- The question of the entry of the USSR into the war with the Japanese Empire;
- A question of the future of Iran, granting it independence;
- issues of post-war Europe (first of all they decided the fate of Germany) and security in the world after the war
The main problem was the decision to open the so-called. "Second front", that is, the landing of Allied troops in Europe and the creation of the Western Front, which was to significantly accelerate the fall of the Third Reich. After the strategic radical change in the Great Patriotic War, which occurred during the Stalingrad and Kursk battles, the situation on the Eastern Front was favorable for the Red Army. German troops suffered irrecoverable losses, and the German military-political leadership lost its strategic initiative. Wehrmacht moved to a strategic defense. However, the victory was still far away, the Third Reich was still a formidable opponent. It was possible to accelerate his defeat only by joint efforts of the three great powers.
The Allies promised to open a second front in 1942, but a year went by, and there was no progress. Militarily, the Allies were ready for the start of the operation by July-August 1943, when a fierce battle was taking place on the Orel-Kursk Bulge. In England, 500-thousand was deployed. the expeditionary army, which was in full combat readiness, was provided with everything necessary, including ships and ships for combat cover, support by fire and the landing of the landing force. However, the front was not opened for political reasons. London and Washington were not going to help Moscow. Soviet intelligence found out that in 1943, the allies would not open a second front in the north of France. They will wait "until Germany is mortally wounded by the Russian offensive."
Moreover, it became known that London and Washington had developed a strategic plan for an offensive from the south, on the approaches to Italy and the Balkan Peninsula. They planned to bring Italy out of the war, having held behind-the-scenes negotiations with Italian politicians; to force Turkey to stand on its side and use it to open the way to the Balkans, launching the offensive in the autumn; wait until autumn, watch what is happening on the Eastern Front. The Anglo-American leadership believed that the Germans in the summer of 1944 would launch a new strategic offensive on the Eastern Front, but after some successes they would again be stopped and thrown back. Germany and the Soviet Union will suffer huge losses, will bleed their armed forces. At the same time, plans were underway for the landing of Allied forces in Sicily, Greece and Norway.
The United States and Britain wanted to convince the USSR that the landing in the north of France was complicated by lack of transport, which made it impossible to supply large military units. Getting Turkey into the war and an offensive across the Balkan Peninsula is a more advantageous scenario that will allow the allied armies in Romania to join in and strike at Germany from the south. Thus, Churchill wanted to cut off most of Europe from the USSR. In addition, the pace of warfare slowed down, which made it possible to work out new anti-Soviet scenarios and weaken the significance of the Red Army at the final stage of the war, when battles would take place on German territory. So, the scenario of the anti-Hitler coup in Germany was worked out, when the new German leadership would understand the hopelessness of the situation, capitulate and let Anglo-American troops in order to save the country from the Red Army. After the war, they planned to create an anti-Soviet buffer from regimes hostile to the USSR in Finland, the Baltic states, Poland, Romania, and the new Germany. In addition, the Allies hid their nuclear project from Moscow, which was not directed against the Third Reich and was supposed to make the Anglo-Saxons full owners of the planet after the end of World War II. In Moscow, they knew about it, and prepared response moves.
Operation Overlord. After a long debate, the problem of opening a second front was at an impasse. Then Stalin expressed his readiness to leave the conference: “We have too many things to do at home to waste time here. Nothing good, as I see it, does not work. ” Churchill realized that the issue could not be heated up more, he made a compromise. Roosevelt and Churchill promised the Soviet leader to open a second front in France no later than May 1944. The final time of the operation was planned to be determined in the first half of 1944. To mislead the German command regarding the place and the start of the landing of the Anglo-American troops in Western Europe, it was planned to conduct a landing operation in southern France. During the Allied operation, the Soviet troops were to launch an offensive in order to prevent the German forces from moving east to west. The allies agreed to take measures to assist the Yugoslav partisans.
Polish question. The future of Poland also caused serious disagreements. However, it was tentatively agreed that the eastern border of the Polish state will pass along the “Curzon Line”. This line basically corresponded to the ethnographic principle: to the west of it there were territories with a predominance of the Polish population, to the east - lands with a predominance of the Belarusian, Ukrainian and Lithuanian population. Territorial appetites of Warsaw decided to satisfy at the expense of Germany (Prussia), which had occupied significant Polish lands in the Middle Ages. Stalin rejected the claims of Roosevelt and Churchill for Moscow to recognize the Polish emigre government in London. The United States and Britain planned to plant their puppets in Poland. Moscow did not go for it and stated that the USSR separates Poland from the emigrant government in England.
Iran. The Big Three adopted the Declaration on Iran. The document emphasized the desire of Moscow, Washington and London to maintain the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iran. After the end of the war, the occupation forces were planned to withdraw. I must say that Stalin was not going to leave Iran in the clutches of the Anglo-Saxons. During his stay in Tehran, Stalin studied the general condition of the Iranian political elite, the influence of the British on it, got acquainted with the state of the army. It was decided to organize aviation and tank schools, give them the equipment to organize the training of Iranian personnel.
Post-war device. The American president proposed to dismember Germany after the war on the 5 autonomous state formations and establish international control (in fact of England and the United States) over the most important German industrial areas - Ruhr, Saar and others. He was supported by Churchill. In addition, Churchill proposed to create a so-called. "Danube Federation" from the Danube countries, with the inclusion of the South German territories. Practically, Germany was offered to return to the past - to dismember her. This laid a real "mine" for the future device of Europe. However, Stalin did not agree with such a decision and proposed to refer the German question to the European Advisory Commission. The USSR as a contribution received the right after the victory to attach to itself a part of East Prussia.
Security issues in the world after the war. US President Roosevelt proposed the creation of an international organization (this issue has already been discussed with Moscow) on the principles of the United Nations. This organization was supposed to provide lasting peace after the Second World War. The committee, which was supposed to prevent the start of a new war and aggression from Germany and Japan, included the USSR, the USA, Great Britain and China. Stalin and Churchill generally supported this idea.
War with Japan. The Soviet delegation, given the repeated violations by the Japanese empire of the Soviet-Japanese 1941 treaty on neutrality and the help of Germany, and also meeting the wishes of the allies, declared that the USSR would enter the war with Japan after the final defeat of the Third Reich.
In general, Stalin won the Tehran Conference:
- did not give London and Washington to push through the "southern strategy" - the Allied offensive through the Balkans, forced the Allies to promise to open a second front;
- the Polish question was resolved in the interests of Russia;
- Germany did not allow to kill and dismember, which would create an instability zone on the western borders of the USSR. Moscow was favored by a single German state as a counterbalance to Britain and France;
- in Japan he gave himself to persuade, but in reality, Stalin himself wanted to take historical Russia's revenge for the war of 1904-1905, to return the lost territories and strengthen the position of the USSR in the Asia-Pacific region.