Tuesday, 4 February 2020

argonaut conference

Following on from the Tehran Conference held in November of 1943 under the above code-name, the leaders of the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union—with the conspicuous absence of French and other Allied Forces, convened near the Black Sea resort of Yalta in a palatial ensemble on the city’s outskirts beginning on this day in 1945 to address the reorganisation and self-determination Europe and Germany post-war. Though the ostensible objectives were to promote peace and reestablish invaded and annexed nations status quo all parties to the talk came with their own agendas and shortly after peace was achieved with liberation from Nazi Germany declared the Cold War erupted.

Churchill wanted to extend Western style democracies through central and eastern Europe. Roosevelt wanted the Soviet Union to join the United Nations and pressed Stalin for his support in fighting Imperial Japan in the Pacific. Stalin, having accomplished and sacrificed the most militarily and had a domineering presence in comparison to the other negotiators, insisted that the Soviet Union retain a sphere of influence in eastern Europe and the Balkans. After some rigorous debate, it was settled that Germany would be split into four occupied zones (with the French concession carved out of the British and American zones, with an exploratory committee examining further dismemberment of Germany into six nations) and undergo war crimes trials and de-militarisation, a reparations council would be established, and Stalin pledged free elections in a restored Poland and allowed American bombers to pre-position in its Far East. Dissatisfied with the outcome of the Crimean and the later Potsdam summit and growing wise to the voting system of the UN and the veto powers that the USSR would have, Churchill commissioned (in secret) the first Cold War contingency plans—Operation Unthinkable—to dislodge Soviet troops in Germany and liberate Poland should Stalin not uphold his end of the bargain, but such actions were deemed too risky from a geopolitical standpoint and were abandoned.