What were the main problems and issues facing the Allies at the 1943 Teheran Conference (Eureka) and how were they dealt with? Intro The Teheran conference was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt between November 28th and December 1st 1943. It was the first World War 2 (WW2) meeting amongst ‘The Big Three’ (Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt) in which Stalin was present. The principal aim of the Teheran conference was to firmly establish a global allied strategy for the duration of the war, and basic plans for the post war era.
Throughout the meeting the big three addressed many issues which were deemed to be preventing a global allied strategy. Chief discussion at the conference was centered on ‘Operation Overlord’ which incorporated the opening of a second front in Western Europe which the Big Three believed would be a decisive step to allied victory over Nazi Germany. At the same time the conference discussed how to deal with the escalating Mediterranean conflict, the territorial disputes on the Soviet/Polish frontier as well as discussing operations in Yugoslavia, relations with Turkey and Iran, and a separate protocol pledged to recognize Iran’s independence.
The varying success the Big Three had in resolving these issues at the Teheran conference is arguable. Issues concerning the swift conclusion of the War were often agreed upon mutually as it benefited all three nations, however issues which conflicted the self-interest of the Big Three often forced them to compromise on a successful resolution, one that was often questionable, but necessary for the development of the Grand Alliance and to achieve the primary objective of creating a global allied strategy.
The main problems faced at the Teheran conference were primarily concerned with the sole objective of defeating the Nazi and bringing the war to a rapid end. It is evident that conflict occurred in areas were hidden agendas and self-interest was bought by the Big Three. With hindsight the success of these resolves is questionable, it is clear that many issues which were deemed to be resolved at the Teheran conference in fact resurfaced in future conferences; such as Yalta and Potsdam. Operation Overlord 700 One of the chief focuses of the Teheran conference was the prospect of a second Western front in Europe.
The matter was known as ‘Operation Overlord’, and would entail the allied invasion of German-occupied Western Europe. The issue at the conference was not whether the Allies would launch Operation Overlord, but rather when it would be launched, as it conflicted with Winston Churchill’s wishes to invade Italy through the Mediterranean. The reason for Operation Overlord’s conception varied among the leaders but had the primary objective of ending the war as soon as possible. For Stalin one of the most fundamental reasons for creating a second front was to ease pressure on the Soviet army which were being pressed […] Page 356 The Big Three.
Churchill’s priorities throughout the beginning of the Teheran conference remained with his operations in the Mediterranean. He believed that continuing operations in the Mediterranean would not jeopardise the success of Operation Overlord, Churchill’s demands at the Conference were clear, he demanded landing craft for two divisions in the Mediterranean which could be used to facilitate the operations in Italy or to aid in the invasion of the Rhode Islands if Turkey would enter the war.
Churchill believed that from here Italy could be employed in support of Overlord. Roosevelt’s enthusiasm for the Mediterranean operations differed greatly from that of Churchill’s. For Roosevelt the dilemma was that in order to give enough landing craft to aid Churchill in the Mediterranean would mean delaying
At the Teheran conference it was concluded that, despite Churchill’s wishes, the cost of invading Italy via the Mediterranean would delay Overlord far more than both Stalin and Roosevelt thought was acceptable. Stalin gladly recognised the outcome of Overlords negotiation as it would guarantee his army the support they needed to fight off the German advance into the Soviet Union. Likewise Roosevelt embraced the outcome, his main priority was to find the quickest solution to the War’s end and he was advised by his Chiefs of staff; Operation Overlord was by far the quickest means of achieving this.
Churchill had never been against Overlord; his argument was simply that Overlord should not take away the importance of operations in the Mediterranean, Churchill accepted the resolution which was reached at the Teheran Conference and pledged full British support to any future Allied operations. Soviet involvement in Japan 400 One of Roosevelt’s main objectives whilst attending the Teheran conference was to gain Stalin’s support for the War in Japan.
Roosevelt felt that with the intervention of Stalin not only would it bolster his resources in the far east but it would also speed up the inevitable allied victory in Japan (Click) Stalin however would only consider invading Japan once Germany had been defeated as he did not want to risk spreading his army in addition. Stalin pledged to assist in the war against Japan after Germany was defeated and expressed his wish that, after the war, the 1941 USSR borders with Finland and Poland be restored; he also requested many War reparations such as key railroads in Manchuria to compensate his intervention in Japan. Click) it was agreed that Stalin would declare war on japan 3 months after the defeat of Germany. Post War Germany 400 Turning to the question of the division of post-war Germany the discussion centred on whether or not to split up Germany. (Click) Churchill was primarily more interested in seeing Prussia, the core of German militarism, separated from the rest of Germany. (Click) On the other hand Roosevelt had a plan for the division of Germany in six parts. These six parts were: 1. All Prussia to be rendered as small and weak as possible. 2. Hanover and Northwest section. . Saxony and Leipzig area. 4. Darmstadt 5. South of the Rhine 6. Bavaria, Baden, and Wurttemberg Roosevelt’s proposal stated that these six areas should be self-governed and that there should be two regions under some form of International control. These were: 1. The area of the Kiel Canal and the City of Hamburg. 2. The Ruhr and the Saar, the latter to be used for the benefit of all Europe. (Click) Stalin agreed with both Churchill and Roosevelt as he felt that to contain military threat Germany may pose in the future the only solution would be to completely divide it.
However, Stalin felt that Churchill’s idea to divide Germany into 2 large states would merely offer an opportunity for Germany to revive as a great State and therefore preferred Roosevelt’ plan to dissect Germany into 6 self-governed areas and 2 areas under allied control. Yugoslavian partisans 400 After an attack by German, Italian and Hungarian forces against Yugoslavia on the 6th April 1941, the kingdom of Yugoslavia collapsed. This resulted in King Peter and his government to flee the country.
On 27 June 1941, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia appointed Tito Commander in Chief of all project national liberation military forces. Originally two groups emerged in the Yugoslavian resistance movement, the chetniks commanded by Draza Mihailovic and the partisans commanded by Tito. (Click) Initially both resistance movements operated in parallel, but by late 1941 began fighting each other in the attempt to gain control of the area following the end of the war. Stalin, who already supported Tito, wanted Roosevelt to recognize the partisans as the official resistance in Yugoslavia, rather than support Mihalovic. Click) Roosevelt up to this point had continued to aid the Chetniks as they fought against Germany but also against the partisans. (Click) Churchill advised Roosevelt that all support should go to Tito and that “complete chaos” would ensue if the Americans also backed Mihailovic. (Click) Stalin and Churchill were able to gain Roosevelt’s support for Tito and the partisans in the form of supplies and equipment and also by commando operations. Soviet/Polish border disputes 400 A key reason for Stalin to attend the Teheran conference was his hope to gain Roosevelt and Churchill’s support for his territorial disputes with Poland.
Stalin believed that the Polish Government in exile were closely connected with the Germans He stated that Russia, probably more than any other country was interested in having friendly relations with Poland, since the security of Soviet frontiers was involved. He said the Russians were in favour of the reconstitution and expansion of Poland at the expense of Germany and that they make distinction between the Polish Government in exile and Poland. (Click) Roosevelt said it was his hope that negotiations could be started for the re-establishment of relations between the Polish and Soviet Governments.
He felt that the re-establishment of relations would facilitate any decisions made in regard to the questions at issue. He said he recognized the difficulties which lay in the way. (Click) Churchill said he would like to obtain the views of the Soviet Government in regard to the frontier question, and if some reasonable formula could be devised, he was prepared to take it up with the Polish Government in exile, and without telling them that the Soviet Government would accept such a solution, would offer it to them as probably the best they could obtain.
If the Polish Government refused this, then Great Britain would be through with them and certainly would not oppose the Soviet Government under any condition at the peace table. (Click) To solve the issue Churchill suggested that Poland’s western borders would be extended east into Prussia to compensate for their eastern borders being reduced. Future of Iran 250 Future of Finland 250