In February 1945, Nazi armies were quickly beaten back towards Berlin by armies of the Soviet Union.British and American forces were preparing to invade Germany.Unconditional surrender could be expected from Germany in a matter of weeks.Also, in the Pacific War, American forces moved steadily from island to island towards a final invasion of the Japanese home islands.The possibility of using an atomic bomb to end the war was unknown to military experts and world leaders.With the defeat of Germany and Japan a certainty, the leaders of the Big Three Allied Powers, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain, Communist Party Secretary Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the United States, met to plan and discuss the postwar world.The meeting was held at Livadia Palace at Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula of the Black Sea from February 4 to February 11, 1945, and was called the Yalta Conference.Was the Yalta Conference a success for the United States and Great Britain?One possibility is that a wily Joseph Stalin took advantage of an ailing Roosevelt to get many concessions in return for few on his part.It may also be argued that the agreements reached were mostly harmless and benefited none of the Big Three.Along this same notion, it can be argued too that conflicting aims and conflicting personalities inevitably led to compromises that failed to satisfy any of the leaders.The correct answer to the question is actually that the Yalta Conference was a success for the United States and Great Britain because they benefited most.That is to say that even though some significant concessions were made to Stalin by Churchill and Roosevelt, Stalin’s concessions were even more significant.If it appears, in hindsight, that the Soviets came out ahead, it is because Stalin went back on his word, not because of concessions to him.
Discussions at Yalta opened on the topic of the f…