The night has just fallen, and the streets are getting empty and quiet. In a small Berlin bar however, the day has just started for three of the most powerful people in the world. In one corner of the bar sat Josef Stalin, Franklin D.
Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill. It was just right after World War II, so this may serve as their celebratory dinner and drink. It was a cold, mid-May night in 1945 so they were having beers along with their large steaks. They chose to dine in a local joint because it was just after the war and all the countries are just recovering economically.
The three leaders were discussing each of their contribution to their victory, and despite fighting side by side in the war, none of them were backing down as to who has played the most important part of all.Josef Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union, succeeding Lenin right after his death in 1924. Under Stalin’s leadership, Soviet Union experienced a period of rapid industrialization and economic collectivization, though this lead to the upheaval in the nation’s agriculture which resulted to widespread famine.
Earlier in the war, Stalin made a non-aggression deal with Nazi Germany. However, this agreement was violated by Germany, so they had no choice but to join the Allied powers. While the Germans continue to ravage the Soviet Union’s territory, Stalin was making agreements with the Allied forces.
He wanted a mutual assistance agreement and some territories in the Eastern Europe after the war. The Allied representatives agreed to the demands, except for the territories that Stalin wanted to gain. As his nation deteriorates, he was left with no choice but to agree with the terms set by the other members of the Allied forces. With the help of other Allied countries, Stalin was able to fend of further advances of Hitler’s Nazi troops. However, Stalin’s Soviet Union suffered the largest death count for any country in the World War II, a very large price to pay for winning the war.On the other hand, it was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third term when the Second World War surged in Europe and the Pacific. Roosevelt started the United States of America’s move for the war by beginning the re-armament in 1938, and by early 1940, the US Army and Navy are fully equipped for the war.
Roosevelt introduced the term “Arsenal of Democracy” pertaining to the US’ efforts to support the countries belonging to the Allied powers. Roosevelt also supported the Soviet Union in 1941, when they were attacked and invaded by Hitler’s Nazi German Army. They also agreed to aid and escort Allied convoys and shipping, protecting them from attacks of German ships and submarines.
Roosevelt was deeply committed to the Allied cause, and along with the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill, they developed the Atlantic Charter. By July 1941, Roosevelt order for total American military involvement in the war. He planned for the mobilization of the whole country in order to win the war, including adjustments in manpower and the industry.
The last of the three world leaders is Winston Churchill. He is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War, succeeding Neville Chamberlain on May 1940. Aside from being the leader of the United Kingdom, he’s also a man of literature and arts, known for his war speeches and books. Even before the Second World War, Churchill already considered Hitler as a growing threat, but his warnings were ignored until the war broke.
When he was chosen to be Prime Minister, he immediately ordered the manufacture of aircrafts, giving them the advantage over the enemies. He refused an armistice offered by Hitler’s Germany, thus keeping the resistance alive in the British Empire. Britain also served as a supply point in support of the Soviet Union, and with Churchill’s leadership, the Allied forces were able to liberate Western Europe. He also used his gift of words to inspire British and Allied armies to continue and win the war despite the hardships that everyone is facing.All the leaders and their respective countries have greatly contributed for the Allied success against Nazi Germany and the Axis powers.
But the price of their victory is great. The Soviet Union had the greatest number of deaths in the war, and Stalin is greatly saddened by this. As the leaders continued to talk about their losses, Stalin wasn’t able to contain his emotions and began blaming the other two for his nation’s losses.
According to him, it was the US and UK’s fault that led to a great number of lives lost on the Soviet Union’s side. Roosevelt and Churchill argued that they were both doing their best to help them, and indeed their efforts led to the Allied victory over the Axis powers. Stalin was firm with his argument that it was indeed the other two’s fault, because they were slow on opening a Second Front in the war against the Nazi Germans (Hickman).
It is true that they weren’t fast enough to deliver a second front to relieve pressure on the Soviets, because the British and the Americans disagreed on where they would focus their attacks. The British favored an assault on the north, while the Americans wanted to do a cross-channel assault. They were firm on doing so, and had no intentions of heeding to the British’ plans. Indeed, they were still able to bring down the Axis powers, but their personal interests have greatly tarnished their relationship as wartime partners. Stalin remained silent, choosing not to respond to whatever Roosevelt and Churchill are saying. Indeed, the Allied powers are victorious.
But the coldness of the night and the tarnished relations between the leaders hinted of another war soon to come: the Cold War.Work Cited:Hickman, Kennedy. “World War Ii Europe: The Western Front”.
2009. June 22 2009. <http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/worldwarii/a/wwiieurdday.htm>.