The "Big Three" at the Tehran Conference
Left to right: Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.
|Date||28 November 1943 to 1 December 1943|
|Location||Soviet embassy, Tehran, Iran|
|Also known as||Tehran Summit|
|Outcome||Consensus to open a second front against Nazi Germany by 1 June 1944|
The Tehran Conference (codenamed Eureka) was a strategy meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill from 28 November to 1 December 1943, after the Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran. It was held in the Soviet Union's embassy in Tehran, Iran. It was the first of the World War II conferences of the "Big Three" Allied leaders (the Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom). It closely followed the Cairo Conference which had taken place on 22–26 November 1943, and preceded the 1945 Yalta and Potsdam conferences. Although the three leaders arrived with differing objectives, the main outcome of the Tehran Conference was the Western Allies' commitment to open a second front against Nazi Germany. The conference also addressed the 'Big Three' Allies' relations with Turkey and Iran, operations in Yugoslavia and against Japan, and the envisaged post-war settlement. A separate protocol signed at the conference pledged the Big Three to recognize Iran's independence.
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1953) and Premier (1941–1953). While initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, he ultimately consolidated enough power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a British politician, army officer, and writer. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led Britain to victory in the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill represented five constituencies during his career as a Member of Parliament (MP). Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, for most of his career he was a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955, but from 1904 to 1924 was instead a member of the Liberal Party.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
As soon as the German-Soviet war broke out in June 1941, Churchill offered assistance to the Soviets, and an agreement to this effect was signed on 12 July 1941.Delegations had traveled between London and Moscow to arrange the implementation of this support and when the United States joined the war in December 1941, the delegations met in Washington as well. A Combined Chiefs of Staff committee was created to coordinate British and American operations as well as their support to the Soviet Union. The consequences of a global war, the absence of a unified Allied strategy and the complexity of allocating resources between Europe and Asia had not yet been sorted out, and soon gave rise to mutual suspicions between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. There was the question of opening a second front to alleviate the German pressure on the Soviet Red Army on the Eastern Front, the question of mutual assistance (where both Britain and the Soviet Union were looking towards the United States for credit and material support and there was tension between the United States and Britain since Washington had no desire to prop up the British Empire in the event of an Allied victory). Also, neither the United States nor Britain were prepared to give Stalin a free hand in Eastern Europe and, lastly, there was no common policy on how to deal with Germany after Hitler. Communications regarding these matters between Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin took place by telegrams and via emissaries—but it was evident that direct negotiations were urgently needed.
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during World War II. The operation stemmed from Nazi Germany's ideological aims to conquer the western Soviet Union so that it could be repopulated by Germans (Lebensraum), to use Slavs as a slave labour force for the Axis war effort, to murder the rest, and to acquire the oil reserves of the Caucasus and the agricultural resources of Soviet territories.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) was the supreme military staff for the United States and Great Britain during World War II. It set all the major policy decisions for the two nations, subject to the approvals of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D Roosevelt.
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991.
Stalin was reluctant to leave Moscow and was unwilling to risk journeys by air,while Roosevelt was physically disabled and found travel difficult. Churchill was an avid traveller and, as part of an ongoing series of wartime conferences, had already met with Roosevelt five times in North America and twice in Africa and had also held two prior meetings with Stalin in Moscow. In order to arrange this urgently needed meeting, Roosevelt tried to persuade Stalin to travel to Cairo. Stalin turned down this offer and also offers to meet in Baghdad or Basra, finally agreeing to meet in Tehran in November 1943.
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. The population of Baghdad, as of 2016, is approximately 8,765,000, making it the largest city in Iraq, the second largest city in the Arab world, and the second largest city in Western Asia.
Basra is an Iraqi city located on the Shatt al-Arab between Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of 2.5 million in 2012. Basra is also Iraq's main port, although it does not have deep water access, which is handled at the port of Umm Qasr.
The conference was to convene at 16:00 on 28 November 1943. Stalin arrived well before, followed by Roosevelt, brought in his wheelchair from his accommodation adjacent to the venue. Roosevelt, who had traveled 7,000 miles (11,000 km) to attend and whose health was already deteriorating, was met by Stalin. This was the first time that they had met. Churchill, walking with his general staff from their accommodations nearby, arrived half an hour later. According to Charles Bohlen, translator for FDR, FDR was accompanied by Averell Harriman and Harry Hopkins. Stalin was accompanied by Vyacheslav Molotov and Kliment Voroshilov. Churchill brought Anthony Eden and Lord Ismay, and his translator was Major Arthur Birse.
Harry Lloyd Hopkins was an American social worker, the 8th Secretary of Commerce, and one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's closest advisors. He was one of the architects of the New Deal, especially the relief programs of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which he directed and built into the largest employer in the country. In World War II, he was Roosevelt's chief diplomatic adviser and troubleshooter.
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik, and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin. Molotov served as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (Premier) from 1930 to 1941, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1939 to 1949 and from 1953 to 1956. He served as First Deputy Premier from 1942 to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev. Molotov was removed from all positions in 1961 after several years of obscurity.
Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov, popularly known as Klim Voroshilov, was a prominent Soviet military officer and politician during the Stalin era. He was one of the original five Marshals of the Soviet Union, along with Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army Alexander Yegorov, and three senior commanders, Vasily Blyukher, Semyon Budyonny, and Mikhail Tukhachevsky.
As Stalin had been advocating for a second front since 1941, he was very pleased and felt that he had accomplished his principal goal for the meeting. Moving on, Stalin agreed to enter the war against Japan once Germany was defeated.
Stalin pressed for a revision of Poland’s eastern border with the Soviet Union to match the line set by British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon in 1920. In order to compensate Poland for the resulting loss of territory, the three leaders agreed to move the German-Polish border to the Oder and Neisse rivers. This decision was not formally ratified, however, until the Potsdam Conference of 1945.
The leaders then turned to the conditions under which the Western Allies would open a new front by invading northern France (Operation Overlord), as Stalin had pressed them to do since 1941. Up to this point Churchill had advocated the expansion of joint operations of British, American, and Commonwealth forces in the Mediterranean, as Overlord in 1943 was physically impossible due to a lack of shipping, which left the Mediterranean and Italy as viable goals for 1943. It was agreed Overlord would occur by May 1944; Stalin agreed to support it by launching a concurrent major offensive on Germany's eastern front to divert German forces from northern France.
Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings. A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, and more than two million Allied troops were in France by the end of August.
Iran and Turkey were discussed in detail. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin all agreed to support Iran's government, as addressed in the following declaration:
The Three Governments realize that the war has caused special economic difficulties for Iran, and they all agreed that they will continue to make available to the Government of Iran such economic assistance as may be possible, having regard to the heavy demands made upon them by their world-wide military operations, and to the world-wide shortage of transport, raw materials, and supplies for civilian consumption.
In addition, the Soviet Union was required to pledge support to Turkey if that country entered the war. Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin agreed that it would also be most desirable if Turkey entered on the Allies' side before the year was out.
Despite accepting the above arrangements, Stalin dominated the conference. He used the prestige of the Soviet victory at the Battle of Kursk to get his way. Roosevelt attempted to cope with Stalin's onslaught of demands, but was able to do little except appease Stalin. Churchill argued for the invasion of Italy in 1943, then Overlord in 1944, on the basis that Overlord was physically impossible in 1943 due to lack of shipping and it would be unthinkable to do anything major until it could be launched.
Churchill proposed to Stalin a moving westwards of Poland, which Stalin accepted, which gave the Poles industrialized German land to the west and gave up marshlands to the east, while providing a territorial buffer to the Soviet Union against invasion.
Before the Tripartite Dinner Meeting of 29 November 1943 at the Conference, Churchill presented Stalin with a specially commissioned ceremonial sword (the "Sword of Stalingrad", made in Sheffield), as a gift from King George VI to the citizens of Stalingrad and the Soviet people, commemorating the Soviet victory at Stalingrad. When Stalin received the sheathed sword, he took it with both hands and kissed the scabbard. (He then handed it to Marshal Kliment Voroshilov, who mishandled it, causing the sword to fall to the ground.)
Without American production the United Nations could never have won the war.
Stalin proposed executing 50,000–100,000 German officers so that Germany could not plan another war. Roosevelt, believing Stalin was not serious, joked that "maybe 49,000 would be enough". Churchill, however, was outraged and denounced "the cold blooded execution of soldiers who fought for their country". He said that only war criminals should be put on trial in accordance with the Moscow Document, which he himself had written. He stormed out of the room, but was brought back in by Stalin who said he was joking. Churchill was glad Stalin had relented, but thought Stalin was testing the waters.
On 1 December 1943, the three leaders came together and made declarations and negotiated the following military conclusions at the conference.
The declaration of the three powers regarding Iran:
Iran was going to war with Germany, a common enemy to the three powers. Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt addressed the issue of Iran's special financial needs during the war, and the possibility of needing aid after the war. The three powers declared to continue to render aid to Iran. The Government of Iran and the three powers reach an accord within all the disagreements to maintain the independence, sovereignty and integrity of Iran. The United States, USSR, and the United Kingdom expect Iran to follow along with the other allied nations to establish peace once the war is over, this is what was agreed upon once the declaration was made.
Stalin and Churchill discussed the future borders of Poland and settled on the Curzon line in the east and the Oder-Neisse line in the west. FDR had asked to be excused from any discussion of Poland out of consideration for the effects of any decision on Polish voters in the USA and the upcoming 1944 election. This decision was not ratified until the Potsdam Conference of 1945.
During the negotiations at the Tehran Conference, Roosevelt secured the reincorporation of the Republics of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia into the Soviet Union only after the citizens voted on these actions. Stalin would not consent to any international control over the elections, and that all issues would have to be resolved in accordance with the Soviet Constitution.
The Yugoslav Partisans were given full Allied support, and Allied support to the Yugoslav Chetniks was halted (they were believed to be cooperating with the occupying Germans rather than fighting them); see Yugoslavia and the Allies.
The Communist Partisans under Tito took power in Yugoslavia as the Germans gradually retreated from the Balkans in 1944–45.
Turkey's president conferred with Roosevelt and Churchill at the Cairo Conference in November 1943, and promised to enter the war when his country was fully armed. By August 1944 Turkey broke off relations with Germany. In February 1945, Turkey declared war on Germany and Japan, which may have been a symbolic move that allowed Turkey to join the future United Nations.
Roosevelt and Stalin spent much of the conference trying to convince Churchill to commit to an invasion of France, finally succeeding on 30 November when Roosevelt announced at lunch that they would be launching the invasion in May 1944.This pleased Stalin, who had been pressing his allies to open a new front in the west to alleviate some pressure on his troops. This decision may be the most critical to come out of this conference, as the desired effect of the relief of Soviet troops was achieved, leading to a Soviet rally and advance toward Germany, a tide Hitler could not stem.
The Tehran Conference also served as one of the first conversations surrounding the formation of the United Nations. President Roosevelt first introduced Stalin to the idea of an international organization comprising all nation states, a venue for the resolution of common issues, and a check against international aggressors. With Germany having thrust the world into chaos for the second time in as many generations, the three world leaders all agreed that something must be done to prevent a similar occurrence.
There was a shared view among the participants that Germany would need to be divided post war, with the sides differing on the number of divisions needed to neutralize her ability to wage war.While the numbers that were proposed varied widely and never came to fruition, the powers would effectively divide modern Germany into two parts until the end of the Cold War.
On 29 November, Roosevelt asked Stalin five questions about data and intelligence relating to Japanese and Siberian ports, and about air bases in the Maritime Provinces for up to 1,000 heavy bombers. On 2 February, Stalin told the American ambassador that America could operate 1,000 bombers from Siberia after Russia had declared war on Japan (Vladivostok is in the Russian Far East, not Siberia).
According to Soviet reports, German agents planned to kill the Big Three leaders at the Tehran Conference, but called off the assassination while it was still in the planning stage. The NKVD, Russia's counterintelligence unit, first notified Mike Reilly, Roosevelt's chief of security, of the suspected assassination plot several days prior to Roosevelt's arrival in Tehran. Reilly had gone to Tehran several days early to evaluate security concerns and explore potential routes from Cairo to Tehran. Just before Reilly returned to Cairo, the NKVD informed him that dozens of Germans had been dropped into Tehran by parachute the day before. The NKVD suspected German agents were planning to kill the Big Three leaders at the Tehran Conference.
When housing accommodations for the meeting were originally discussed, both Stalin and Churchill had extended invitations to Roosevelt, asking him to stay with them during the meeting. However, Roosevelt wanted to avoid the appearance of choosing one ally over another and decided it was important to stay at the American legation to remain independent.Roosevelt arrived in Tehran on 27 November 1943 and settled into the American legation. Close to midnight, Vyacheslov Molotov, Stalin's top aide, summoned Archilbald Clark-Kerr (the British Ambassador in the Soviet Union) and Averell Harriman (the American Ambassador in the Soviet Union) to the Russian embassy, warning them of an assassination plot against Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. Molotov informed them several assassins had been apprehended, but reported additional assassins were at large and expressed concerns for President Roosevelt's safety. Molotov advised Roosevelt should be moved to the safety of the British or Russian embassy.
Americans suspected Stalin had fabricated the assassination plot as an excuse to have Roosevelt moved to the Russian embassy. Mike Reilly, Roosevelt's chief of Secret Service, advised him to move to either the Russian or British embassies for his safety. One of the underlying factors influencing their decision was the distance Churchill and Stalin would need to travel for meetings at the American legation. Harriman reminded the President that the Americans would be held responsible if Stalin or Churchill were assassinated while traveling to visit Roosevelt all the way across the city.Earlier that day, Molotov had agreed to hold all meetings at the American legation because traveling was difficult for Roosevelt. The timing of Molotov announcing an assassination plot later that night aroused suspicion that his motives were to keep Stalin safely within the guarded walls of the Russian embassy. Harriman doubted the existence of an assassination plot, but urged the President to relocate to avoid the perception of putting Churchill and Stalin in danger. Roosevelt did not believe there was a credible threat of assassination, but agreed to the move so he could be closer to Stalin and Churchill. Living in the Russian embassy also allowed Roosevelt to gain more direct access to Stalin and build his trust. Stalin liked having Roosevelt in the embassy because it eliminated the need to travel outside the compound and it allowed him to spy on Roosevelt more easily. The Russian embassy was guarded by thousands of secret police and located adjacent to the British embassy, which allowed the Big Three to meet securely.
After the Tehran Conference ended, Harriman asked Molotov whether there was really ever an assassination threat in Tehran. Molotov said that they knew about German agents in Tehran, but did not know of a specific assassination plot. Molotov's response minimized their assertions of an assassination plot, instead emphasizing that Stalin thought President Roosevelt would be safer at the Russian embassy.American and British intelligence reports generally dismissed the existence of this plot and Otto Skorzeny, the alleged leader of the operation, later claimed that Hitler had dismissed the idea as unworkable before planning had even begun. The topic continues to be a theme of certain Russian historians.
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 17 July to 2 August 1945. The participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, represented respectively by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman.
The Yalta Conference, also known as the Crimea Conference and code-named the Argonaut Conference, held from 4 to 11 February 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union for the purpose of discussing Germany and Europe's postwar reorganization. The three states were represented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin, respectively. The conference convened near Yalta in Crimea, Soviet Union, within the Livadia, Yusupov, and Vorontsov Palaces.
The Cairo Conference of November 22–26, 1943, held in Cairo, Egypt, outlined the Allied position against Japan during World War II and made decisions about postwar Asia.
The Origins of the Cold War involved the breakdown of relations between the Soviet Union versus the United States, Great Britain and their allies in the years 1945–1949. From the American-British perspective, first came diplomatic confrontations stretching back decades, followed by the issue of political boundaries in Central Europe and political non-democratic control of the East by the Soviet Army. Then came economic issues and then the first major military confrontation, with a threat of a hot war, in the Berlin Blockade of 1948–1949. By 1949, the lines were sharply drawn and the Cold War was largely in place in Europe. Outside Europe, the starting points vary in the late 1940s or early 1950s.
The concept of Western betrayal refers to the view that the United Kingdom and France failed to meet their legal, diplomatic, military and moral obligations with respect to the Czechoslovak and Polish nations during the prelude to and aftermath of World War II. It also sometimes refers to the treatment of other Central and Eastern European nations at the time.
The First Quebec Conference was a highly secret military conference held during World War II between the British, Canadian,and United States governments. The conference was held in Quebec City, August 17, 1943 – August 24, 1943. It took place at the Citadelle and at the Château Frontenac. The chief representatives were Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, hosted by the Canadian Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King.
The Casablanca Conference was held at the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca, French Morocco, from January 14 to 24, 1943, to plan the Allied European strategy for the next phase of World War II. In attendance were United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British prime minister Winston Churchill. Also attending and representing the Free French forces were Generals Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud, though they played minor roles and were not part of the military planning. Premier Joseph Stalin had declined to attend, citing the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad as requiring his presence in the Soviet Union.
The First Moscow Conference of World War II took place from September 29, 1941 to October 1, 1941.
The Second Moscow Conference (Codename:BRACELET) between the major Allies of World War II took place from August 12, 1942 to August 17, 1942.
The Second Cairo Conference of December 4–6, 1943, held in Cairo, Egypt, addressed Turkey's possible contribution to the Allies in World War II. The meeting was attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and President İsmet İnönü of the Republic of Turkey.
The Third Washington Conference was held in Washington, D.C from May 12 to May 25, 1943. It was a World War II strategic meeting between the heads of government of the United Kingdom and the United States. It was the third conference of the 20th century, but the second conference that took place during the US involvement in the Second World War. The delegations were headed by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, respectively.
The Percentages agreement was a secret informal agreement between British prime minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin during the Fourth Moscow Conference in October 1944. It gave the percentage division of control over Eastern European countries, dividing them into spheres of influence. Franklin Roosevelt was consulted tentatively and conceded to the agreement. The content of the agreement was first made public by Churchill in 1953 in the final volume of his memoir. The US ambassador Averell Harriman, who was supposed to represent Roosevelt in these meetings, was excluded from this discussion.
Gevork Andreevich Vartanian was a Soviet intelligence officer.
In October and November 1940, German–Soviet Axis talks occurred concerning the Soviet Union's potential entry as a fourth Axis Power in World War II. The negotiations, which occurred during the era of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, included a two-day Berlin conference between Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, Adolf Hitler and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, followed by both countries trading written proposed agreements. After two days of negotiations from 12 to 14 November 1940, Germany presented the Soviets with a draft written Axis pact agreement defining the world spheres of influence of the four proposed Axis powers. Hitler, Ribbentrop and Molotov tried to set German and Soviet spheres of influence; Hitler encouraged Molotov to look south to Iran and eventually India while preserving German access to Finland's resources, and to remove Soviet influence in the Balkans. Molotov remained firm, seeking to remove German troops from Finland and gain a warm water port in the Balkans. Soviet foreign policy calculations were predicated by the idea that the war would be a long-term struggle and therefore German claims that Britain would be defeated swiftly were treated with skepticism. In addition, Stalin sought to remain influential in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. These factors resulted in Molotov taking a firm line. According to a Columbia University academical source, on 25 November 1940, the Soviets presented a Stalin-drafted written counterproposal where they would accept the four power pact, but it included Soviet rights to Bulgaria and a world sphere of influence centered on the area around Iraq and Iran. Germany did not respond, leaving the negotiations unresolved. Regarding the counterproposal, Hitler remarked to his top military chiefs that Stalin "demands more and more", "he's a cold-blooded blackmailer" and that "a German victory has become unbearable for Russia" so that "she must be brought to her knees as soon as possible." Germany broke the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in June 1941 by invading the Soviet Union.
The Sword of Stalingrad is a bejewelled ceremonial longsword specially forged and inscribed by command of King George VI of the United Kingdom as a token of homage from the British people to the Soviet defenders of the city during the Battle of Stalingrad. On 29 November 1943, it was presented to Marshal Joseph Stalin by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at a ceremony during the Tehran Conference, in the presence of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and an honour guard.
Operation Long Jump was an alleged German plan to simultaneously assassinate Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt, the "Big Three" Allied leaders, at the 1943 Tehran Conference during World War II. The operation in Iran was to be led by SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny of the Waffen SS. A group of agents from the Soviet Union, led by Soviet spy Gevork Vartanian, uncovered the plot before its inception and the mission was never launched. The assassination plan and its disruption has been popularized by the Russian media with appearances in films and novels.
The Soviet Union occupied most of the territory of the Baltic states in its 1944 Baltic Offensive during World War II. The Red Army regained control over the three Baltic capitals and encircled retreating Wehrmacht and Latvian forces in the Courland Pocket where they held out until the final German surrender at the end of the war. The German forces were deported and the leaders of Latvian collaborating forces were executed as traitors. After the war, the Soviet Union reestablished control over the Baltic territories in line with its forcible annexations as communist republics in 1940.
The diplomatic history of World War II includes the major foreign policies and interactions inside the opposing coalitions, the Allies of World War II and the Axis powers. The military history of the war is covered at World War II. The prewar diplomacy is covered in Causes of World War II and International relations (1919–1939).
The following is a timeline of the first premiership of Winston Churchill, who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the bulk of World War II. His speeches and radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult days of 1940–41 when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood almost alone in its active opposition to Nazi Germany. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured. for the general history see Timeline of the United Kingdom home front during World War II.
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