Grandeur and Misery in Allied Victory, 1944-1945
Allied successes in France after the invasion of June 6, 1944, and victories in the Pacific guaranteed that the Axis powers would be defeated in World War II, possibly in 1945. Increasingly the thought of the Allies must turn to whatever future their need to cooperate, their prowess in war, and their diverse interests were to make possible. The Atlantic Charter was too general a blueprint for the future and chiefly reflected the interests of its framers, Roosevelt and Churchill. The "unconditional surrender" formula, good for mobilizing unity in war, was no guide to post-armistice policy. In the period 1944-1945 the Allied leaders were forced to face up at last to the task of defining policies for the postwar period. As they did so only the heat of continuing struggle with the enemy and Western hopes for postwar cooperation with the Soviet Union kept the "strange Allies" from proclaiming that the "Cold War" was already underway.
The preliminary skirmishes occurred in the great wartime conferences. These were marked by considerable cordiality of outward relations, as when the Foreign Ministers conferred in Moscow ( October 19-30, 1943) and when Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin thawed out the cool early discussions in the Teheran Conference ( November 28-December 1, 1943). By the time Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met again at Yalta ( February 4-11, 1945) Allied victory was approaching. Already the Western policy of postponing decisions was breaking down in part, but it