Yalta Conference

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Yalta Conference 4

One of the most important meetings of Allied leaders during World War II (1939-1945). These leaders are President Franklin D.Roosevelt President of the United States, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and President Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, known as the Big Three.

The conference was held in Yalta, a famous resort in Ukraine on the Black Sea, from February 4 to February 11, 1945. The decisions made regarding the divisions of Europe have generated bitter debates and debates over the years.

The Prevailing Situation

The most important feature of the military situation on the eve of the Yalta Conference was the supremacy of the military allies after the Soviet Union and the United States of America joined the United Kingdom against the Axis Powers. The Soviet Union entered the war with the German invasion of its territory on Sunday, June 22, 1941, and the United States entered the war after the Japanese fleet on December 7, 1941, destroyed the American fleet in Pearl Harbor.

These events led to the cessation of the victories of the Axis Powers since 1942, after the German invasion of the East stopped following the Battle of Stalingrad in December 1942, and after the Battle of El Alamein, which stopped Rommel’s march towards Egypt on 23 October 1942, after the destruction of the Japanese fleet In the Coral Sea in the summer of 1942 that halted the Japanese march towards India.

After the surrender of Italy on September 3, 1943, the Allies landed in the Normandy region on June 6, 1944, and in the Profance region on August 15 of the same year, which was the beginning of the end of the Axis.

The international political situation in the run-up to the Conference was turbulent and the world was divided into two camps: the Allies and the Axis. Many of the countries of the world were drawn to this war against their will and by their occupation by the major powers leading to this war.

The relations between the allies themselves were not more stable. They were beset by many differences because of the crisis of confidence between the liberal states and the communist state. This was evident in the lack of agreement on many important and crucial issues, including the duration of the war, Post-war Germany, as well as differences over the mechanism for establishing and adapting the United Nations.

The Conference

At the start of the meeting, the Soviet Union maintained the strongest military position in Europe; the Soviet armies occupied much of eastern Europe and were preparing to enter Berlin, Germany.

The Yalta agenda included the main problems that later led to the war in Europe. The three leaders agreed on a number of points:

  1. Accepting the establishment of a universal organization for the maintenance of world peace, which has become the United Nations.
  2. Re-establishing order in Europe and to help the defeated states to form democratic governments.
  3. Dividing Germany into four regions, those allegedly occupied by Britain and the United States, the Soviet Union, and France.
  4. Supporting the Soviet government, and holding free elections in Poland, and extending the borders of the Soviet Union to the borders of Poland.
  5. Forcing Germany to hand over equipment and other resources to the Soviet Union to compensate for Soviet losses.
  6. The Soviet Union agreed to enter the war against Japan to regain control of the Kuril Islands, the southern half of Sakhalin Island, and two strategic ports.

After the war ended, critics said that President Roosevelt, the president of the United States, sold East Europe completely and gave much to the Soviet Union.

Most modern scholars believe that the conference highlighted a traditional and balanced settlement.

They argued that the Soviet Union retained the most superior military and political position in Eastern Europe.

Stalin failure to obtain large sums to change the borders of Germany and Poland to the west

Most scholars also believe that the supremacy of the Soviet Union over Eastern Europe was the result of past and subsequent events, not because of Yalta’s decisions.

 Main Points

Final partition of Germany into Allied occupation zones:

  • British region
  • French region
  • American region
  • The Soviet region, later the Democratic Republic of Germany
  • Austria under Allied administration

Proposed Partition Plan by Winston Churchill:

  • State of North Germany
  • The state of southern Germany includes Austria and Hungary
  • State of West Germany

Proposal of the Franklin Roosevelt Partition Plan:

  • Hannover
  • Prussia
  • Hesse
  • Saxony
  • Bavaria
  • International Area
  • Austria under Allied administration

Proposal of the Morgenthau Plan:

  • State of North Germany
  • State of South Germany
  • International Area
  • Lands lost from Germany (Saarland went to France, Upper Silesia to Poland, Eastern Prussia between Poland and the Soviet Union)

 The consequences

With the aim of bringing views together on many issues, both in terms of the war and its adjustments, or principles and how the new international organization will be established, the Yalta conference was held. The conference resulted in many important results,

  1. With regard to war issues and its settlement:

In this conference, the issues of war in all its aspects were raised, in which the Allies agreed:

  • The principle of the division of Germany.
  • The establishment of a special committee to determine the losses and damages resulting from the war in preparation for the demand of the Axis countries to pay appropriate compensation.
  • Resolution of the Polish border issue.
  • France was granted a stake in the German-Occupied Lands Administration.
  • The Soviet Union pledged at this conference to declare war on Japan no later than three months after Germany surrendered and provided that all the lands and privileges lost by the Russian Empire in its war with Japan in 1905 were recovered.
  1. With regard to the United Nations Organization:
  • The Yalta participants agreed to call on the peace-loving governments that have declared war on the Axis Powers and accepted the United Nations permit to attend the San Francisco Conference to conclude the new international organization charter.
  • Also agreed to establish voting rules in the Security Council and grant the five permanent members of the Council veto power.
  • It was agreed to establish settlements settlement by dividing them into two types: the Non-Self-Governing and those under the Trusteeship Regime, as well as the establishment of a system of the International Court of Justice.

Resources

 
Black, Cyril E.; Robert D. English & Jonathan E. Helmreich et al. (2000), Rebirth: A Political History of Europe since World War II, Westview Press, ISBN 0813336643

  Grenville, John Ashley Soames (2005), A History of the World from the 20th to the 21st Century, Routledge, ISBN 0415289548

  Roberts, Geoffrey (2006), Stalin’s Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939–1953, Yale University Press, ISBN 0300112041

  Wettig, Gerhard (2008), Stalin and the Cold War in Europe, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0742555429

 

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