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CONTROLLED ASSESSMENT: Cold War Relations 1941-1965 The BIG Question: What caused the Cold War? Yalta and Potsdam: Truman and Hiroshima.

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Presentation on theme: "CONTROLLED ASSESSMENT: Cold War Relations 1941-1965 The BIG Question: What caused the Cold War? Yalta and Potsdam: Truman and Hiroshima."— Presentation transcript:

1 CONTROLLED ASSESSMENT: Cold War Relations The BIG Question: What caused the Cold War? Yalta and Potsdam: Truman and Hiroshima

2 Can American President Truman have ever been justified to drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan? Lesson III – Yalta and Potsdam: Truman and Hiroshima Judge Truman’s position at Potsdam Evaluate the utility of contemporary written sources

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4 To bring the war to an end, to give peace to the world … at the cost of a few explosions, seemed, after all our toils and perils, a miracle. The end of the Japanese war no longer depended upon the pouring in of [the Russian] armies. Winston Churchill, describing a conversation with Truman in After the bomb was dropped, Stalin was furious. The place Russia had earned as a world power by its victory in the war had been snatched away. "Hiroshima has shaken the whole world," he is said to have told Kurchatov. "The balance has been destroyed.“ Priscilla McMillan, Science and Secrecy (2004). From a review in the New York Times of David Holloway's book: Stalin and the Bomb Truman informed Stalin that the United States now possessed a bomb of exceptional power, without, however, naming it the atomic bomb… Stalin did not betray his feelings and pretended that he saw nothing special in what Truman had imparted to him. Both Churchill and many other Anglo-American authors subsequently assumed that Stalin had really failed to fathom the significance of what he had heard. In actual fact, on returning to his quarters after this meeting Stalin, in my presence, told Molotov about his conversation with Truman. The latter reacted almost immediately. ‘Let them. We'll have to speed things up.’ I realized that they were talking about research on the atomic bomb. It was clear already then that the US Government intended to use the atomic weapon for the purpose of achieving its Imperialist goals from a position of strength in ‘the cold war’. Georgii Konstantinovich Zhukov, The Memoirs of Marshal Zhukov (1971). Zhukov was remembering the day (24 July 1945) when Truman told Stalin that he had ‘a new weapon of unusual destructive force’. Zhukov suggests that, not only did Stalin realise that this was the atomic bomb, but that he also realised it was directed at the Soviet Union. If Zhukov is right, the Cold War started on 24 July 1945.

5 5 SOURCE J We argued freely and frankly across the table. But at the end of every point unanimous agreement was reached... We know, of course, that it was Hitler’s hope and the German war lords’ hope that we would not agree – that some slight crack might appear in this solid wall of allied unity... But Hitler has failed. Never before have the major allies been more closely united – not only in their war aims but also in the peace aims. Extract from President Roosevelt’s report to the USA on the Yalta Conference SOURCE K I have always worked for friendship with Russia, but like you, I feel deep anxiety because of this misinterpretation of the Yalta decisions. Extract from a telegram sent by Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt in May 1945 HOW USEFUL ARE THESE TWO SOURCES TO YOU AS A HISTORIAN? REMEMBER TO QUOTE FROM THEM AND REFER TO THE FACT THAT THEY ARE KEY EYE WITNESSES

6 Can American President Truman have ever been justified to drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan? Lesson III – Yalta and Potsdam: Truman and Hiroshima Judge Truman’s position at Potsdam Evaluate the utility of contemporary written sources Can American President Truman have ever been justified to THREATEN the Atomic Bomb on RUSSIA?


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