Tehran Conference
Overview
 
The Tehran Conference (codenamed Eureka) was the meeting of Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 between November 28 and December 1, 1943, most of which was held at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

, Iran
Pahlavi dynasty
The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi (reg. 1925–1941) and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty ...

. It was the first World War II conference amongst the Big Three
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 (the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

) in which Stalin was present. It almost immediately followed the Cairo Conference
Cairo Conference
The Cairo Conference of November 22–26, 1943, held in Cairo, Egypt, addressed the Allied position against Japan during World War II and made decisions about postwar Asia...

 (November 22–26, 1943) and preceded both the Yalta Conference
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

 (February 4–11, 1945) and the Potsdam Conference
Potsdam Conference
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 16 July to 2 August 1945. Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States...

 (July 17 - August 2, 1945).
Encyclopedia
The Tehran Conference (codenamed Eureka) was the meeting of Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 between November 28 and December 1, 1943, most of which was held at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

, Iran
Pahlavi dynasty
The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi (reg. 1925–1941) and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty ...

. It was the first World War II conference amongst the Big Three
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 (the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

) in which Stalin was present. It almost immediately followed the Cairo Conference
Cairo Conference
The Cairo Conference of November 22–26, 1943, held in Cairo, Egypt, addressed the Allied position against Japan during World War II and made decisions about postwar Asia...

 (November 22–26, 1943) and preceded both the Yalta Conference
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

 (February 4–11, 1945) and the Potsdam Conference
Potsdam Conference
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 16 July to 2 August 1945. Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States...

 (July 17 - August 2, 1945). The central aim of the Tehran conference was to plan the final strategy for the war against Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and its allies, and the chief discussion was centered on the opening of a second front in Western Europe.

At the same time, the conference discussed relations with Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, operations in Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 and against Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, and the post-war settlement.
A separate protocol pledged the three countries to recognize Iran's independence.

Overview

The key Allied leaders—Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill—met together only twice during World War II.

The first of these two meetings, the Tehran Conference, took place in Tehran, Iran. It only came about after much pleading and threats from Roosevelt who wished to strengthen the cooperation between the United States, Great Britain, and the USSR. In fact, Roosevelt wanted this meeting so much that he was willing to make numerous concessions to Stalin, and the choice of the location itself was a place that was more convenient for Stalin. Stalin was afraid of flying and took an airplane only once, namely for this occasion.

Churchill and the British diplomats hoped to establish a method for dealing with Stalin before the conference, and therefore they arranged the Cairo Conference
Cairo Conference
The Cairo Conference of November 22–26, 1943, held in Cairo, Egypt, addressed the Allied position against Japan during World War II and made decisions about postwar Asia...

, which, however, did not go as planned. Roosevelt was withdrawn and edgy, ignoring the Stalin issue, and the conference was spent discussing mainly future policy with China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. From the Cairo Conference, it appeared that Roosevelt planned to deal with Stalin alone, but as it turned out his health would not permit him to negotiate with Stalin from a strong, focused position. Roosevelt arrived in Tehran on November 28, 1943 in poor physical condition. In contrast, Stalin arrived jubilant and swaggering after the USSR’s recent victories in Eastern Europe, and he clearly held the upper hand.

The main objective of the United States and Great Britain was to ensure full cooperation and assistance from the Soviet Union for their war policies. Stalin agreed, but at a price: Roosevelt and Churchill would have to support his reign and the partisans in Yugoslavia, and also allow for the manipulation of the border between Poland and the USSR. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin then moved on to other matters, namely Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

 and general war policy. Operation Overlord was scheduled to begin in May 1944, in conjunction with the Soviet attack on Germany’s eastern border. The attacks would combine the force of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and numerous other countries, and would later be known as "D-Day
D-Day
D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...

". The “Big Three” spent days wrangling about when Operation Overlord should take place, who should command it, and where operations should begin.

Roosevelt gave Stalin a pledge that he had been waiting for since June 1941: that the British and the Americans would open a second front in France in the spring of 1944. Churchill up to this point had been seeking a joint United Kingdom, United States and Commonwealth forces initiative through the Mediterranean that would have secured British interests in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin agreed that the nations in league with the Axis powers would be divided into territories to be controlled by the USSR, the U.S., and the UK.

Iran
Pahlavi dynasty
The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi (reg. 1925–1941) and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty ...

 and Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 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, using the Soviet victory at the Battle of Kursk
Battle of Kursk
The Battle of Kursk took place when German and Soviet forces confronted each other on the Eastern Front during World War II in the vicinity of the city of Kursk, in the Soviet Union in July and August 1943. It remains both the largest series of armored clashes, including the Battle of Prokhorovka,...

 and military might, as well as key positions on the German front, to get his way. Roosevelt attempted to cope with Stalin's onslaught of demands, but was able to do little except appease Stalin. Churchill mostly argued for his Mediterranean plan instead of Operation Overlord, to the annoyance of diplomats and officials. These weaknesses and divisions played into Stalin's hands.

One of Roosevelt and Churchill's main concessions concerned post-war Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. Stalin wished for an area in the Eastern part of Poland to be added to the USSR, and for the border to be lengthened elsewhere in the country. Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to this demand, and Poland’s borders were declared to lie along the Oder and Neisse rivers and the Curzon line, despite protests of the Polish government-in-exile in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. Churchill and Roosevelt also consented to the USSR setting up puppet communist governments in Poland, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, the Baltic states
Baltic countries
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, and other Eastern European countries
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 which would result in a loss of freedom by these countries for the next fifty years and would be the genesis of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. After the conference it was agreed that military leaders of the three countries would meet together often, for further discussion.

One remarkable thing that was also decided at the Tehran Conference was the way in which the Allies would deal with Finland, a free democratic country which cooperated with Germany after Soviet aggression and one that had not signed the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

, and had not declared war on any free Allied countries. Their decision stipulated that Finland could conduct its own negotiations to obtain a peace contract with the USSR rather than being subject to the "unconditional surrender" that faced the Germans and Japanese.

German intelligence was aware of this high profile meeting of the Allied wartime leaders, and tried to set up an assassination plot against them, called Operation Long Jump
Operation Long Jump
Operation Long Jump was the codename given to the unsuccessful World War II German plot to assassinate the "Big Three" Allied leaders, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt, at the 1943 Tehran Conference....

. This operation was however quickly discovered by Soviet counter-intelligence and subsequently aborted.

Tripartite dinner meeting

— Joseph Stalin during the dinner at the Tehran Conference


Before the Tripartite Dinner Meeting of November 29, 1943 at the Tehran Conference, Churchill presented Stalin with a specially commissioned ceremonial sword (the "Sword of Stalingrad
Sword of Stalingrad
The Sword of Stalingrad is a bejewelled ceremonial longsword specially forged and inscribed by command of 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...

", made in Sheffield
Sheffield
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and with some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely...

) commemorating the victory in the battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

, as a gift from King George VI to the citizens of Stalingrad and the people of the Soviet Union. When Stalin received the sheathed sword
Sword
A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...

, he took it with both hands, kissed the scabbard
Scabbard
A scabbard is a sheath for holding a sword, knife, or other large blade. Scabbards have been made of many materials over the millennia, including leather, wood, and metals such as brass or steel.-Types of scabbards:...

, and handed it to Marshal
Marshal
Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

 Kliment Voroshilov
Kliment Voroshilov
Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov , popularly known as Klim Voroshilov was a Soviet military officer, politician, and statesman...

, who mishandled it causing the sword to fall to the ground.

During the dinner, Stalin who, according to the US report, continuously needled Churchill for his perceived "affection" for the Germans, proposed executing 50,000–100,000 German staff officers. Roosevelt joked that perhaps 49,000 would do. Churchill denounced the idea of "the cold blooded execution of soldiers who fought for their country." He said that "war criminals must pay for their crimes and individuals who had committed barbarous acts, and in accordance with the Moscow Document, which he himself had written, they must stand trial at the places where the crimes were committed." He objected vigorously, however, "to executions for political purposes".

Declaration of the Three Powers

The Declaration of the Three Powers, (December 1, 1943), made at the completion of the Conference, commences:

"We the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and the Premier of the Soviet Union, have met these four days past, in this, the Capital of our Ally, Iran, and have shaped and confirmed our common policy."

Summary of principal conclusions

  1. The Partisans
    Partisans (Yugoslavia)
    The Yugoslav Partisans, or simply the Partisans were a Communist-led World War II anti-fascist resistance movement in Yugoslavia...

     of Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

     should be supported by supplies and equipment and also by commando
    Commando
    In English, the term commando means a specific kind of individual soldier or military unit. In contemporary usage, commando usually means elite light infantry and/or special operations forces units, specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting, rappelling and similar techniques, to conduct and...

     operations.
  2. It would be most desirable if Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

     should come into war on the side of the Allies before the end of the year, in which circumstances, the Soviet Union was to support them.
  3. Operation Overlord
    Operation Overlord
    Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

     would be launched during May 1944, in conjunction with an operation against southern France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

    .
  4. The military staff
    General Staff
    A military staff, often referred to as General Staff, Army Staff, Navy Staff or Air Staff within the individual services, is a group of officers and enlisted personnel that provides a bi-directional flow of information between a commanding officer and subordinate military units...

     of the Three Powers should from then on keep in close touch with each other.
  5. The borders of post-war Poland
    Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

     were determined along the Oder and Neisse river
    Oder-Neisse line
    The Oder–Neisse line is the border between Germany and Poland which was drawn in the aftermath of World War II. The line is formed primarily by the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers, and meets the Baltic Sea west of the seaport cities of Szczecin and Świnoujście...

    s and the Curzon line
    Curzon Line
    The Curzon Line was put forward by the Allied Supreme Council after World War I as a demarcation line between the Second Polish Republic and Bolshevik Russia and was supposed to serve as the basis for a future border. In the wake of World War I, which catalysed the Russian Revolution of 1917, the...

    .
  6. A United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

     Organization was tentatively agreed to.
  7. The Soviet Union agreed to wage war against Japan once Germany was defeated.

See also

  • List of World War II conferences
  • Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran
    Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran
    The Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran was the Allied invasion of the Imperial State of Iran during World War II, by British, Commonwealth, and Soviet armed forces. The invasion from August 25 to September 17, 1941, was codenamed Operation Countenance...

  • Iran-Britain relations
  • Iran-Russia relations
    Iran-Russia relations
    Relations between Russia and Persia , officially commenced in 1592, with the Safavids in power. Past and present contact between Russia and Iran has long been complicatedly multi-faceted; often wavering between collaboration and rivalry. The two nations have a long history of geographic, economic,...

  • List of Soviet Union–United States summits

External links

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