Presentation on theme: "He’s Not Heavy, He’s My Brother The Alliance System 1919 - 1945."— Presentation transcript:
He’s Not Heavy, He’s My Brother The Alliance System 1919 - 1945
Those French Britain and France had been traditional rivals until 1905, when they recognised their mutual dislike of a united Germany. The French were frequently frustrated by Britain’s apparent unwillingness to fight. – Occupation of the Rhineland, Austria, Czechoslovakia In June 1940, with the Germans driving them back, the British decided to pull out of France all together. – One month later, they attacked the French Fleet in Mers-el-Kébir to prevent it from being captured by the Italians A former cabinet minister named Charles DeGaulle was propped up by Churchill as the leader of Frence – DeGaulle spent the war trying to liberate France, and preserve its pre-war colonial empire. Much to the agitation of Britain and the US
A Friend in Need By early 1941, Britain was standing alone against Nazi Germany. The British were only holding on through secret supply deals with the US. This changed in July 1941 when Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. Churchill had long been an advocate of attacking Russia in the 1920s – Now he welcomed them as allies As the war turned to their favour (1943), Churchill tried to develop a buffer between the USSR and Europe (Poland) Stalin made promises to support democratic ideals in liberated zones mollified Churchill. – The Soviets were skeptical of the US / BR efforts to defeat Germany. While thousands of Russians died every day in the East, the Allies were slowly plodding their way in Italy and France. The soviets knew that they were fighting 80% of Germany’s armed forces.
New Friends The United States held the Soviets with distrust and feared their infiltration into the US. As soon as they entered the war, US offered aid to the Soviets – The expectation was that this would be acknowledged later one and Stain would be “reasonable” in drawing up the peace – Despite Churchill’s adamant warnings, Roosevelt felt he could handle Stalin. – Truman took office after the death of FDR in April 1945 and he was less duped than his predecessor – He agreed that as soon as Germany was defeated the Soviet Union must be contained The decision to use the atom bomb in the summer of 1945 was to help enforce this – The Soviets were not – they already had spies sending information back to them on how to build it.
New Scores / Old Scores Churchill was right to be concerned about the Soviets in 1944 – 45. – They had crossed from pre-war soviet territory and were “liberating” independent nations. – Churchill wanted to use these nations as a buffer against Soviet encroachment. Stalin wanted to make sure that the Soviet Union had a buffer from the West. As the Red Army swept through the Balkans and Eastern Europe this became an urgent issue. – In places like Poland, Estonia, and Lithuania the arrival of the Red Army was treated like an occupation (These countries remembered the Nazi / Soviet Pact) – In Yugoslavia, the local communist leader, Josef Tito, remembered the Soviet reluctance to support them in the 1930s and even during the war. When the Soviets arrived at the Yugoslav border, Tito promised to treat them as invaders. Stalin, looking at the terrain and how well Tito had fought the Germans, decided to respect this wish.
New Friends In the darkest days of the war, the British and Americans could not face the Germans in open battle. They recognised the value of promoting resistance in occupied territories as a way to keep the Germans off balance. – With some exceptions this did not work as hoped – But it created a new resource in war The British had a secret service since the turn of the century, but in the Second World War, it came into its own. – MI6 and its field branch Special Operations Executive (SOE) recruited and trained spies, moles, and saboteurs – SOE was also responsible for supplying and training locals – Greece, France, Yugoslavia, Czecholsolvakia The Americans realised that the domestic service (FBI) was not the right force. – They developed and set up the Office of Strategic Services and was set up along the same lines as MI6. – It was renamed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1947 – The CIA operated in Asia and Europe