The Potsdam Conference is perhaps best known for President Truman`s July 24, 1945 conversation with Stalin, during which the president informed the Soviet leader that the United States had succeeded in detonating the first atomic bomb on July 16, 1945. Historians have often interpreted Truman`s somewhat firm stance during negotiations with the U.S. negotiating team`s belief that U.S. nuclear capabilities would increase its bargaining power. Stalin, however, was already well informed about the US nuclear program, thanks to the Soviet intelligence network; it has therefore also stood firm in its positions. This situation made the negotiations difficult. The leaders of the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union, who had remained allies throughout the war despite their differences, never met again to discuss cooperation in post-war reconstruction. Churchill, too, was interested in ending any future German threat, but he was also concerned about the expansion of the USSR`s power and wanted to see a just and free government throughout Eastern Europe, especially Poland, for who whoan defense Britain had declared war on in 1939. He and Truman feared that the infliction of huge reparations on Germany, as had happened after World War I, would create a similar economic situation in the country in the future that had led to the rise and acceptance of the Nazi Party. With different priorities and worldviews, it would obviously be difficult for the big three to reach an agreement.
“There is no doubt that the flow of Anglo-Soviet-American friendship has reached a new peak,” wrote James Byrnes, who accompanied Roosevelt to Kanta, in his memoirs. Although Roosevelt and Churchill also saw the Kanta Conference as an indication that their war cooperation with the Soviets would continue in peacetime, such optimistic hopes would prove short-lived. What is the Jaalta Conference and why did it take place? What did each of the “big three” – Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin – expect from the meeting? And what was finally decided at the Potsdam Conference? Here`s your guide to those most important meetings of World War II, which took place in 1945. Each of the three leaders had their own agenda for post-war Germany and liberated Europe. Roosevelt wanted Soviet support in the American Pacific War against Japan, especially for the planned invasion of Japan (Operation August Storm), as well as Soviet participation in the United Nations; Churchill lobbied for free elections and democratic governments in Central and Eastern Europe (especially Poland); and Stalin called for a Soviet sphere of political influence in Central and Eastern Europe as an essential aspect of the USSR`s national security strategy. Stalin`s position at the conference was one he considered so strong that he could dictate the conditions. According to James F. Byrnes, a member of the U.S. delegation and future secretary of state, “it was not about what we would leave to the Russians, but about what we could get the Russians to do.”  In return, Stalin promised that the Soviet Union would enter the Pacific War three months after Germany`s defeat. .