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History of World War II 1939–1945 The origin of war. The struggle of progressive forces for the preservation of peaceSelected Articles from the History of World War II 1939–1945 in 12 volumes.
PDF DownloadVolume 51. Foreign policy activities of the Soviet state to strengthen the anti-fascist coalition.The struggle of the USSR for the opening of a second front in Western Europe
The outstanding victory of the Soviet Armed Forces in the Battle of Moscow not only dispelled the myth of the invincibility of the Nazi army, but also showed the entire world that the USSR is a real force capable of delivering mankind from the threat of enslavement by fascism. This created new prerequisites for strengthening the anti-fascist coalition.The Soviet government believed that the unification of the efforts of all countries interested in the defeat of Nazi Germany and its allies would bring closer the day of the final victory over fascism. It attached particular importance to the creation of a strong military alliance with Great Britain and the United States, which possessed powerful military and economic resources.The progressive forces of the USA and Great Britain sought to establish the closest cooperation with the peoples of the USSR; the importance of cooperation with the Soviet Union was also considered by the governments of these countries. Understanding that it was on the Eastern Front that the fate of England was decided, W. Churchill emphasized the importance and necessity of such cooperation. The American government recognized that the Soviet people played a decisive role both in the fate of the United States and Great Britain, and in the overall outcome of the world war. In June 1942, President F. Roosevelt, in a conversation with Minister of Finance G. Morgenthau, said: “On the whole, the answer to the question: will we win the war or lose it depends on the Russians. If the Russians can hold out this summer and pin down three and a half million Germans in battle, then we can definitely win.”Back in December 1941, at the suggestion of the Soviet government, Soviet-British negotiations began in Moscow on the conclusion of treaties on an alliance in the war and post-war cooperation. In the adopted joint communiqué, both sides noted the unity of views on the conduct of the war, as well as the need for "the complete defeat of Hitler's Germany and the adoption after that of measures that would make Germany's repetition of aggression in the future completely impossible." But these negotiations ran into certain difficulties: the Churchill government did not want to recognize the western borders of the Soviet Union, which existed at the beginning of the German attack on it.At the beginning of 1942, after the defeat of the Nazi troops near Moscow, the British government began to incline towards recognizing the western border of the USSR. In Britain it was becoming increasingly clear that the strengthening of cooperation with the Soviet Union meant the strengthening of the entire anti-fascist coalition. At the same time, the readiness of the British government to change its position was a maneuver caused by the desire to smooth over the dissatisfaction of the Soviet Union with the failure to fulfill the agreed deliveries of weapons and military equipment. In one of his conversations with Assistant Secretary of State S. Welles, the British ambassador to the United States, Halifax, stated bluntly that his country should conclude an agreement with the USSR that would be "political compensation for material and military assistance." On March 1, Churchill asked the US government to give him freedom of action to negotiate with the Soviet government.As for the position of the United States of America regarding the Soviet western borders, on March 12, Roosevelt informed the Soviet ambassador in Washington that "in essence, he has no differences" with the Soviet government on the issue of borders and he "does not foresee any difficulties in connection with the desired Soviet Union borders after the war, but now considers the formulation of this issue premature.On April 8, A. Eden informed the Soviet ambassador in London, I. M. Maisky, of the final decision by the British government to sign a treaty with the Soviet Union. The talks between Eden and Maisky began in London on April 13, 1942. The new texts of the documents presented by Eden contained a clause stating that the USSR and Great Britain "will take into account the security interests of both sides and will show full attention to the desire of the USSR to restore its borders violated by Hitler's aggression." This provision, however, did not extend to the border between the USSR and Poland. Eden explained that his government's position on the Soviet-Polish frontier was determined by its obligations to the Polish government in exile.On April 22, the government of the USSR informed Churchill of its decision to send a people's commissar for foreign affairs to London to settle, through personal negotiations, all the questions hindering the signing of the treaty.People's Commissar V. M. Molotov arrived in London on May 20. The next day, during a meeting with Eden, he announced his readiness to continue negotiations. Although the British government agreed in principle to recognize the Soviet pre-war borders, it continued to put forward reservations regarding the settlement of the border issue with Poland. On May 22, the British Foreign Secretary proposed a new draft treaty that focused on issues already agreed upon; the question of the western borders of the USSR remained open. The agreement, among other things, provided for mutual assistance between the two countries both during the war and during the 20-year post-war period.In an effort to strengthen relations with Great Britain and the United States in the interests of strengthening the anti-fascist coalition, the Soviet government did not insist on the inclusion of provisions on the western borders of the USSR in the treaty and limited itself to considering the official statements of the British government on its recognition of these borders.On May 26, 1942, a Soviet-British treaty was signed on an alliance in the war against Nazi Germany and its accomplices in Europe and on cooperation and mutual assistance after the war. The first part of it provided for the obligation of the parties to provide each other with all possible assistance in the fight against the aggressor. The parties pledged not to enter into negotiations without mutual consent with the Nazi or any other government of Germany that does not abandon its aggressive intentions, and also not to conclude an armistice or peace treaty with it or any other state acting on its side.The second part of the treaty established the basic principles of friendly cooperation between the USSR and Britain after the war in order to prevent aggression and organize security in Europe. The parties agreed that if one of them in the post-war period becomes involved in hostilities with Germany or her accomplices in Europe, then the other side will be obliged to come to her aid. The treaty emphasized that neither side would enter into any alliances or take part in any coalitions directed against each other. The first part of it was to remain in force until the restoration of peace between the USSR and England, on the one hand, and Germany and its accomplices, on the other. The term of the second part of the agreement was set at 20 years.The treaty played an important role not only in the history of Soviet-British relations, but also in the formation of the entire anti-fascist coalition.After negotiations in London, V. M. Molotov arrived in Washington on May 29, 1942. In conversations with Roosevelt, he touched on some issues of the post-war structure of the world. The US President expressed the idea of the need to disarm Germany and Japan and establish control over their military industry in order to prevent the secret rearmament of these countries. According to Roosevelt, in order to maintain peace between nations after the war, it was necessary to create international armed forces of the main participants in the anti-fascist coalition (USA, USSR, Great Britain) and, possibly, China.Roosevelt's position received the full support of the Soviet government.Serious discussion was demanded by the issue of American supplies to the Soviet Union of weapons and materials on the basis of the lend-lease law. Until that time, supplies to the Soviet Union were carried out in accordance with the protocol signed in Moscow on October 1, 1941, and settlements on them were regulated by agreements concluded in November 1941 and February 1942, through the exchange of messages between US President F. Roosevelt and the head of the Soviet government I. V. Stalin. The protocol expired in June 1942.During Molotov's stay in Washington, he was given a draft of the Second Protocol on deliveries for the period from July 1, 1942, to June 30, 1943. In this draft, the Soviet application, submitted to the Lend-Lease Department in April 1942, was cut by almost half. This was motivated by the inability to allocate the required number of ships for the transport of goods. In the course of the talks, US leaders, under the pretext of hastening the opening of a second front, proposed to cut deliveries to the Soviet Union by a further two times, allegedly in order to free up ships for the transfer of American troops and weapons to England. The Soviet side expressed its readiness to accept this proposal, provided that the second front was opened in 1942. The American side also handed over to the People's Commissar a draft agreement on the principles applicable to mutual assistance in waging war against aggressors. The agreement was signed on June 11, 1942 in Washington by Soviet Ambassador to the USA M. Litvinov and US Secretary of State C. Hull. The United States pledged to supply the USSR with "defense materials, defense services and defense information" and the Soviet Union - "to assist in the defense of the United States of America and its strengthening and provide materials, services, benefits and information ...". It was agreed that the agreement was preliminary and that a final agreement on the arrangements for repayment of the debt would subsequently be concluded, taking into account broader political and economic considerations. Similar agreements, better known as lend-lease agreements, were concluded by the United States with England (February 23, 1942) and some other countries. These agreements were based on the principle of mutually beneficial assistance provided by countries to each other.The conclusion of the Soviet-British treaty, as well as the Soviet-American agreement, was an event of great historical importance. These acts completed the creation of the anti-fascist coalition in the war and provided for the continuation of the cooperation of the three great powers in the post-war period. The basis was created for the military commonwealth of all peoples who fought against fascist aggression.On June 27, 1942, People's Commissar for Foreign Trade A. I. Mikoyan and the British Ambassador to the USSR A. Clark-Kerr signed a Soviet-British agreement on financing military supplies. This agreement, as well as the provision by England to the Soviet Union of a new loan of 25 million pounds under the agreement of August 16, 1941, created the financial basis for British military supplies to the Soviet Union.On July 31, 1942, in Washington, Soviet Ambassador M. Litvinov and US Secretary of State K. Hull exchanged notes on the extension of the existing trade agreement between the USSR and the USA.The Soviet Union considered it extremely important to expand and strengthen ties with other members of the anti-fascist coalition, including the National Committee of the Free French Movement, which was in London, headed by General Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle recognized the leading position of the Soviet Union in the fight against Nazi Germany and the role that the USSR could play in the revival of French independence. Therefore, he sought to strengthen relations with the Soviet state.The Soviet government was ready to render all-round assistance to the Free French Committee in the common struggle against the aggressors, in the cause of the struggle for the freedom of France. It believed that France should actively participate in the post-war order of the world. On May 24, during his stay in England, Molotov, in a conversation with de Gaulle, expressed feelings of sympathy for the Free French movement, declared the readiness of the Soviet government to support it and the desire to see France "reborn in all its former greatness and splendor." De Gaulle acknowledged that the military power and military efforts of the USSR had made an enormous impression on the French people and were an incentive for them to increase their own activity in the fight against the enemy.In mid-June 1942, de Gaulle handed over to the governments of the three allied powers the draft documents he had prepared that determined the status "Fighting France". The British government made significant amendments to them, and the American government proposed a new wording of the paragraphs of these documents. The essence of the changes was that the role of the committee headed by de Gaulle was belittled, Britain and the United States retained complete freedom to refuse to cooperate with him in the future and establish contacts with any other French authority or government. The Soviet Union supported the French National Committee and fully accepted its proposals. The National Committee highly appreciated the support of the Soviet government. He expressed his conviction that this act "marks an important stage on the way,Although the military power of the anti-fascist coalition was strengthened, this did not greatly alleviate the position of the USSR, which opposed the main forces of Nazi Germany and its European allies. The US and UK did not start active hostilities in Europe. Moreover, they did not even fully fulfil their obligations to supply the Soviet Union with the materials they promised.In relations between the USSR and the USA, a certain place was occupied by the question of waging war with Japan. Having launched a summer offensive on the Soviet-German front, Nazi Germany resumed its attempts to put pressure on Japan and force her to enter the war with the Soviet Union. The United States government, aware of this, did not rule out the possibility of concerted action by Japan and Germany. Based on this, Roosevelt, in his message to Stalin on June 17, 1942, promised in the event of a Japanese attack on the USSR "to provide the Soviet Union with assistance by the American air force, provided that the Soviet Union provides these forces with suitable landing sites in Siberia." The United States, using the hostile and waiting position of Japan towards the USSR, thus sought to achieve a positive solution to this issue and obtain military air bases on Soviet territory even before Japan's attack on the USSR. However, the government of the USSR did not agree to this, since by doing so it could give rise to an aggravation of Soviet-Japanese relations, which would further worsen the already extremely difficult situation of the Soviet Union at that time.An important and, at the same time, the most difficult task of Soviet foreign policy was to get Britain and the United States to open a second front in Europe. This question assumed particular importance when, in the spring of 1942, Germany's intention to organize a decisive offensive on the Soviet-German front became apparent.Great Britain and the United States, which possessed a powerful military and economic potential, were able in 1942 to launch broad and active military operations against the Nazi aggressors.The ruling circles of Great Britain and the USA imagined the seriousness of the threat looming over the Soviet Union and realized the impossibility of their victory in the event of the defeat of the USSR. Nevertheless, they were in no hurry to open a second front in Europe, hoping that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union would weaken each other as much as possible in a difficult, bloody struggle. This position of the British and American governments was constantly criticized by the broadest sections of the population in both countries. This was evidenced by a survey conducted at the beginning of 1942 by the British Institute of Public Opinion, the results of which showed that the majority of the British were in favor of preparing for their own offensive operations - the invasion of Europe, the opening of a second front. A broad wave of these sentiments also swept through the United States of America. “Your people and mine demand the creation of a front,” Roosevelt wrote to Churchill on April 3, 1942, “that would ease the pressure on the Russians, and these peoples are wise enough to understand that the Russians today kill more Germans and destroy more equipment than you and I, put together."The Soviet government did everything possible to achieve the speedy opening of a second front in Europe, and repeatedly addressed this issue to the governments of Great Britain and the USA.During his stay in London, V. M. Molotov on May 21 told Churchill that the Soviet government considered the question of a second front in the West to be of particular importance and expressed a desire to discuss it with the British government before leaving for the USA. At a conference with the participation of Churchill, Attlee, Eden and British military leaders on May 22, the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR announced the upcoming battles on the Soviet-German front of huge scale and importance. He asked: would the Allies, and primarily Great Britain, be able to withdraw at least 40 German divisions from the Soviet-German front in the summer and autumn of 1942 and tie them up with battles in Western Europe? If this is done, then the defeat of Germany may end in 1942. Churchill did not answer the question posed.In Washington on May 29, Roosevelt told Molotov of the need to do away with Germany first and then with Japan. The President said that by the end of the year the United States would have an army of 4 million people, a fleet of 600 thousand people and would be able to complete preparations for the opening of a second front in 1943. In order to somehow smooth out the possible discontent of the Soviet government, the president promised try to convince the American command to carry out a landing of 6-10 divisions in France in 1942.The next day, the discussion of the issue of opening a second front continued with the participation of General J. Marshall, Admiral E. King and G. Hopkins. Molotov said that postponing the opening of a second front until 1943 was fraught with risk for the USSR and great danger for the USA and Britain. If the US and Britain do not open it in 1942, then the Soviet Union will be forced to continue the fight against Germany, essentially one on one. The People's Commissar added that it was necessary to clarify the question of the position of the allies, since this would be of great importance. Roosevelt replied: “We want to open a second front in 1942. This is our hope. This is our desire." However, he immediately began to refer to the difficulties associated with the transfer of American troops across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.On May 30, Molotov reported to Moscow: “Roosevelt and Marshall declared that they wanted in every possible way to create a second front, but so far, the matter rests on the lack of ships for the transfer of troops to France. They didn't tell me anything specific."During the last meeting with Molotov on June 1, the US President repeated that he hoped to create a second front in 1942. According to the English historian R. Parkinson, Roosevelt made his "unreasonably optimistic" statement despite "Marshall's unwillingness to mention the year and despite Churchill's telegram from May 28, which listed the difficulties associated with the deployment of action in 1942. The statement was indeed "unfounded", for on the same day, June 1, the British Chiefs of Staff Committee finally spoke out against the plan for the invasion of the English Channel in 1942 with limited objectives (Operation Sledgehammer).The Soviet-American communiqué, published on June 11 in Washington and June 12 in Moscow, spoke of the achievement of a complete agreement "on the urgent tasks of creating a second front in Europe in 1942." However, Roosevelt told Marshall and King, and then Churchill, that the announcement he made during the negotiations about the opening of a second front in 1942 "was only intended to reassure the Soviet government." Another impetus for Roosevelt's promises was the November congressional elections.Returning to London, Molotov continued negotiations with Churchill. On June 10, the text of the Anglo-Soviet communiqué was agreed upon. It stated: "... a complete agreement was reached between both countries regarding the urgent tasks of creating a second front in Europe in 1942." However, Churchill immediately declared that the British government did not bind itself with a definite obligation regarding the date of the opening of the second front.The British Prime Minister announced that the Allies were planning a landing of 6 divisions in France in the autumn of 1942, but the implementation of this operation would depend on the situation. The landing of an assault force consisting of 40-50 divisions is envisaged in 1943.Molotov's talks in Washington and London showed that the ruling circles of the allied countries, taking into account the demands of the progressive public and their obligations to the Soviet Union, were forced to declare that they intended to open a second front in Europe in 1942. The US Department of Military Information and the Center for the Study Princeton University public opinion noted in October 1942 that the population “believes in a second front. In early August, 62 percent of those polled believed that it would be opened by the Allies somewhere in Europe in the next two to three months. In fact, the ruling circles of the USA and Britain were preparing for the deployment of military operations in 1942 only in North Africa. In this regard, on June 18, 1942, Churchill arrived in Washington. In the decision taken here, the question of the concentration of American forces in England in 1943 remained in the first place. It also stated: "It is very important that the United States and Great Britain be ready to carry on offensive operations in 1942." At the same time, the decision raised the question of the need to carefully study the possibility of an amphibious landing in French North Africa.At a regular meeting held in London on July 20-25, representatives of the United States and Britain made a final decision: instead of landing in northern France, in 1942, to carry out a landing operation in North Africa.So, the governments of the United States and Great Britain unilaterally refused to open a second front in Europe during a difficult period for the Soviet Union. The diversion of their armed forces for operations in North Africa practically ruled out the possibility of a landing in Europe and in 1943The question arose before Roosevelt and Churchill: how to notify the Soviet government of the decision? The first hint appeared in a message from the British Prime Minister to Stalin, received on July 18, 1942. Concerning the issue of stopping the delivery of military supplies to the Soviet Union in northern ports, Churchill announced his unwillingness to risk his ships. Their loss would have prevented the sending of American troops to Europe, and this would have made, according to Churchill, impossible the creation of a really strong second front in 1943.In a reply message to the British Prime Minister dated July 23, Stalin stated that the question of organizing a second front in Europe was beginning to take on a frivolous character and that the Soviet government could not reconcile itself to the decision to open a second front in Europe in 1943. Churchill did not give an answer to this. In a message dated July 31, the head of the British government expressed his desire to meet with the head of the Soviet government and discuss issues related to the war, as well as take joint decisions.The Prime Minister of Great Britain arrived in Moscow on August 12, 1942, accompanied by Chief of the General Staff A. Brooke, Deputy Foreign Minister A. Cadogan, Air Chief Marshal A. Tedder, General A. Wavell and other persons. Together with Churchill, A. Harriman arrived as the personal representative of the President of the United States. On the same day in the evening, a meeting between Churchill and Stalin took place.After reviewing the situation on the Soviet-German front, Churchill declared that the Americans and the British were not in a position to undertake an invasion of Northern France in 1942 and were preparing for major operations in 1943. A million American soldiers would soon arrive in England for this purpose. In the spring of 1943, the American Expeditionary Force will be 27 divisions. The British plan to add another 21 divisions to them.When asked by Stalin whether he understood correctly that there would be no second front in 1942 and that the British government was also refusing to land 6-8 divisions on the French coast, Churchill answered in the affirmative. In the opinion of the British Government, he said, a landing of troops on the coast of France would interrupt the great preparations for operations in 1943 and would do more harm than good.Stalin did not agree with this argument. Then Churchill, declaring that "the second front in Europe is not the only second front", outlined the Anglo-American plan for the landing of 7 American and 5 British divisions in North Africa in October 1942.On August 13, the second meeting of the heads of government of Great Britain and the USSR took place, at which Stalin handed a memorandum to Churchill and Harriman. It analyzed the position of Churchill, who considered it impossible to open a second front in Europe in 1942. The refusal of the British government, it was said further, complicates the position of the Soviet Army and damages the plans of the Soviet command. The memorandum emphasized that 1942 was the most favorable year for the creation of a second front in Europe, since almost all the forces of the German troops were diverted to the Eastern Front.After reviewing the memorandum, Churchill promised to give a written answer to it. The decisions taken by his government and the US government, he said, are and will be Russia's best help. The American representative Harriman supported the British Prime Minister, since the joint decisions of the Americans and the British were taken with the consent of President Roosevelt.Stalin drew attention to the existing discrepancies in the allies' assessments of the role of the Soviet-German front. He said that, unlike the government of the USSR, the British and American governments consider it secondary, but it is paramount - the front where the main enemy forces are located.On August 14, the Soviet side, in response to its memorandum, received a memorandum from the British Prime Minister. It argued that the best second front in 1942 would be the only possible and significant Operation Torch. Compared with it, the note said, an invasion of France with a small force would be "a risky and fruitless operation." It was proposed to consider "Torch" the second front.On August 15, Stalin told Churchill that the landing operation in North Africa was not directly connected with Russia, but he recognized its importance, since the success of the operation was a blow to the axisWithout abandoning the struggle to open a second front, the Soviet government decided not to aggravate relations with the allies so as not to weaken the anti-fascist coalition. It agreed to publish a joint communique on the talks in the version proposed by Churchill.Returning to London, Churchill tried to make it appear that the Soviet government agreed with the allies' arguments about the impossibility of opening a second front in 1942. However, the Soviet ambassador in London informed Eden on September 5, 1942, that Churchill's visit had left members of the USSR government feeling dissatisfied, since the main issue has not yet been resolved.Meanwhile, the demands of broad sections of the population of England and the United States for the opening of a second front in Europe became more and more insistent. As General D. Eisenhower's assistant for naval affairs G. Butcher noted in the summer of 1942 in his diary, newspapers in America and England were full of demands to open a second front.Materials from American and British newspapers were widely used by the Soviet press. At the end of September 1942, the British Ambassador A. Clark-Kerr appealed to the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs with a complaint about the "excitement" that "is growing in the USSR on the issue of a second front." The attention of the British ambassador was drawn to the fact that the Soviet press "limited itself to publishing some excerpts from American and English newspapers" and readers "cannot but sympathize with what they write in favor of a second front in Great Britain and America." As a result of the exchange of views on this issue, the ambassador once again asked not to publish such articles, "so that people forget about the second front for a while." Satisfying this request meant giving up an effective means of open struggle for a second front; the Soviet government could not take such a step.The ruling circles of Great Britain developed plans for the creation after the war of various European federations directed against the Soviet Union. The secret memorandum sent by the Prime Minister on October 21, 1942 to members of the War Cabinet called for the "unification of Europe", the creation of a "European Council". The unification of Europe and the creation of the European Council was, according to Churchill's plan, to limit the influence of the Soviet Union on this continent. Churchill was especially worried about the possibility, as he put it, of strengthening "Russian barbarism" in Europe. And this was said at a time when the fate of European civilization, including English, was decided in the battles on Russian fields, it was decided by blood, incalculable suffering, and the unparalleled heroism of the Soviet people.On October 3, 1942, the answers of the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR I. V. Stalin to the questions of the Moscow correspondent of the American Associated Press Agency G. Cassidy were published in the Soviet press. When asked what place the possibility of opening a second front occupies in the Soviet assessment of the current situation, Stalin replied: "A very important, one might say, a paramount place." To the question of how effective the assistance of the allies to the Soviet Union was and what could be done to expand and improve this assistance, the answer was: “Compared to the assistance that the Soviet Union provides to the allies, pulling the main forces of the Nazi troops — Allied assistance to the Soviet Union is still ineffective. To expand and improve this assistance, only one thing is required: the full and timely fulfillment by the allies of their obligations.On November 6, 1942, J. V. Stalin, in a report at a solemn meeting dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, emphasized that the absence of a second front was the main reason for the successes of the Germans on the Soviet-German front in the current year, since it gave the enemy the possibility of throwing all available reserves to the east and creating a large preponderance of forces in the southwestern direction.Speaking about the role of the second front, Stalin noted: “Let's assume that in Europe there would be a second front, just as it existed in the First World War, and the second front would divert, say, 60 German divisions and 20 divisions of Germany's allies. What would be the position of the German troops on our front? It is not difficult to guess that their situation would be deplorable. Moreover, this would be the beginning of the end of the German fascist troops, because in this case the Red Army would not be standing where it is now, but somewhere near Pskov, Minsk, Zhitomir, Odessa. This means that already in the summer of this year the fascist German army would be facing its own catastrophe. And if this did not happen, then because the Germans were saved by the absence of a second front in Europe.Thus, the issue of opening a second front in 1942 was not resolved and continued to be one of the main issues in the relations between the allies in the anti-fascist coalition.2. Foreign policy of Great Britain and the USA
The foreign policy of Great Britain and the United States in 1942 was primarily subordinated to the desire to disable the most dangerous rivals - the states of the fascist bloc, to undermine their power and thus prepare the conditions for establishing their dominance in the post-war world. Part of the government circles in Washington and London were also hostile to the Soviet Union. And yet, even in these circles, the understanding was growing that only in alliance with the USSR could one defeat Nazi Germany, militaristic Japan and their allies, ensure their own interests and security. US Assistant Secretary of State B. Long wrote on April 28, 1942, that England “needs Russia in the war. She is still fighting in Europe for the allies."During negotiations with Molotov on May 30, 1942, Roosevelt drew the attention of General Marshall and Admiral King, who were present, to the fact that a possible forced retreat of the Soviet armies would lead to a significant deterioration in the general situation of the allies. It was these considerations that guided the US government in substantiating the policy of military cooperation with the Soviet Union. A coalition with him was vital to the security of both countries and their success in the war against the aggressor.The realistic decisions of the US and British governments on foreign policy issues were combined with actions based largely on anti-Soviet motives. And after the signing in May-June 1942 of important agreements with the USSR, the USA and Great Britain did not abandon their imperialist positions, from the tactics of waiting for the most favorable conditions for the start of active operations against Germany on French territory. Delaying the opening of a second front in Western Europe, violation of obligations to provide material assistance to the Soviet Union created tension in relations between the Western allies and the USSR. However, despite this, the process of consolidating the forces of the anti-fascist coalition deepened. This is how, in October 1942, a member of the American Lend-Lease Administration, General J. Byrnes, determined the need to improve relations with the USSR. “We need Russia not only as a powerful military ally to defeat Germany; we will eventually need her in a similar role to defeat Japan. And finally, we will need her as a true friend and business client in the post-war world.”The decisions taken during the negotiations and correspondence between the leaders of the USSR, the USA and Great Britain in 1941-1942 laid the foundation for further pooling of efforts in the joint struggle against the aggressors in the official documents of those years, the principle of post-war cooperation of the three great powers was reflected.Some statesmen in Washington and London put forward other foreign policy concepts. In mid-1942, on both sides of the Atlantic, plans for closer contacts between the Anglo-Saxon powers to establish control over the world continued to be discussed. Great Britain hoped to revive after the war its influence on the European continent, to restore and expand its dominance in Asia, Africa and other parts of the world.In turn, the United States during the war intended to carry out its expansionist program, to take important positions and strongholds on various continents, including in the countries of the British Empire. This led to serious disagreements between England and the United States over the post-war order of the world. Thus, Roosevelt and Secretary of State K. Hull rejected all projects of European regional associations. In the summer of 1942, while in London, J. Dulles made it clear to the British that the United States would not support the bloc of Western European satellites of England or any other grouping of this kind. The US could not agree to a "junior partner" playing a more significant role in Europe than they did. However, the American government, in an effort to avoid internal political complications and preserve freedom of action, preferred not yet to openly formulate its program for a post-war structure.By the end of 1942, the forms and permanent mechanism of Anglo-American cooperation had finally taken shape. In the state-monopoly system of councils and committees, the dominant position of the United States was determined from the very beginning. The joint Anglo-American committee of chiefs of staff functioned actively.Of particular importance was the decision of Great Britain and the United States to proceed to joint work on the creation of atomic weapons. In June 1942, Washington came to the conclusion that the atomic bomb project had a real chance of success. General L. Groves was placed at the head of the organization that prepared the lethal weapons, the so-called "Manhattan Engineering District project."The growth of England's military and economic dependence on the United States prompted her to come up with the initiative to unite efforts to create atomic weapons. On June 20, 1942, while in Washington, Churchill suggested to Roosevelt that the American and Anglo-Canadian projects be united, and that work be continued on an equal footing. The President agreed. Construction of the gaseous diffusion plant was soon moved from the British Isles to the United States. It was to be a joint Anglo-American task. However, the Americans gradually concentrated all the work in their hands. The leaders of the Manhattan Project sought to limit cooperation with London, as they believed that it would not provide quick results and force the United States to transfer information to England on issues that it did not develop. Besides, serious suspicions arose in Washington about Britain's post-war commercial goals. Therefore, by November 1942, the transfer of secret information to the British had actually ceased.Based on the growing military and economic power, the United States sought to expand its influence in various parts of the world. The economic penetration of the United States into Latin America has especially intensified. In accordance with the decisions taken at the meeting in Rio de Janeiro in January 1942, in March-May of the same year, the US government concluded agreements with Brazil, Mexico, Peru and other countries. The inter-American conference on economic and financial control held in June-July 1942 in Washington gave the United States practically unlimited rights to interfere in the economic activities of the governments of Latin American countries. US oil monopolies, backed by government agencies, began to penetrate traditional British spheres of influence, such as Ecuador and Paraguay. An acute struggle for oil unfolded in Venezuela. Despite the serious clashes of interests between the monopolies, the main threat to the United States and Great Britain was seen from Germany and Japan. Questions of organization and methods of waging war against the fascist bloc were at the center of military-political negotiations between the US and British governments in 1942.Much attention was paid to diplomatic preparations for the landing of Anglo-American troops in Northwest Africa. After the capitulation of France, the American government maintained diplomatic relations with the Vichy government, justifying this with military expediency: to keep the Vichy regime from openly speaking on the side of the "Third Reich", to prevent the transfer of the French navy and French colonies to Germany, to ensure the flow of intelligence information. Referring to the military and political benefits of contacts with the Peténists, the US also justified the provision of economic assistance to French North Africa.The appointment in April 1942 of P. Laval, a representative of the extreme collaborationist circles, to the post of head of government forced Washington to recall the American ambassador from Vichy "for consultations". But official ties with this government continued until the start of Operation Torch. American residents, who settled in the ports of North Africa, supplied their own, and along with the British, government with valuable intelligence data. On June 1, 1942, US Secretary of War G. Stimson raised the issue with C. Hull of resuming the interrupted deliveries of military and other materials to French North Africa in order to provide a "cover" for the intelligence activities of the Americans.In preparing for the landing in North Africa, the United States was guided by an agreement with the reactionary forces of France. The American government sought to find among the Vichy leaders such leaders who would help win over the French fleet and army to its side. In this regard, secret negotiations began with representatives of the extreme right circles of the French monopoly bourgeoisie and the officer corps, who were ready to go over to the Allied camp. General A. Giraud was considered the most likely candidate. The Americans also highly appreciated Admiral F. Darlan, who in the autumn of 1942 offered them his services on the condition that he be recognized as commander-in-chief of the Vichy armed forces. But by the beginning of the invasion of North Africa, a final agreement had not been reached with any of the French right-wing figures.By focusing on Vichy, the United States hoped to achieve more than just military gains. Having significantly strengthened their economic positions in French North Africa, the US ruling circles hoped to influence the nature of state power and the post-war policy of France, to deprive her of her most important colonies. The attitude of the White House and the State Department towards the Free French movement was also based on their imperialist interests. The desire of General de Gaulle to revive the country, to increase its role in the international arena, came into conflict with the expansionist program of the United States. The prospect of reviving an independent France was not considered seriously by the White House at that time. Roosevelt believed that France as a great power might be restored only in 10 to 20 years.On May 4, 1942, US Secretary of State C. Hull told the British Ambassador E. Halifax that General de Gaulle was deprived of the personal qualities necessary for the head of the French Resistance movement. The Americans proposed the creation of a new French National Committee, in which de Gaulle would be responsible only for military affairs. The Free French movement, in which officers of the colonial army and officials of the colonial administration played a prominent role, advocated the preservation of the French empire, against surrendering positions to the allies in the colonies. The Free French demand for the return of all French possessions is one of the reasons for the anti-Gaullist orientation of American policy. It also manifested itself in the fact that the American government removed General de Gaulle and his supporters from participating in the preparations for the invasion of French North Africa. The directive of the President of the United States of September 22, 1942, categorically ordered not to include the forces of the "Fighting France" in the operation "Torch". In fact, this decision was made at the initial stage of planning the operation.The British government supported General de Gaulle and his supporters, but within certain limits. The summer of 1942 saw the growth of the Fighting France movement and the strengthening of its ties with the internal resistance forces. This circumstance prompted London and Washington to recognize the status of the French National Committee. But British diplomacy hoped to increase its influence on the Fighting France movement, to prevent it from pursuing an independent line and actively participating in the struggle against fascist Germany. On August 20, 1942, the British War Cabinet rejected de Gaulle's proposal to involve the French military command in planning the operations that would be required with the opening of a second front in Europe, and to provide the French with the opportunity to deploy independent operations behind enemy lines.Disagreements on the question of colonies between England and "Fighting France" also escalated in Madagascar, Syria and Lebanon. Ignoring the de-Gaulles, the British military authorities acted with the Americans in Syria, New Caledonia and West Africa.Despite a significant deterioration in relations with the "Fighting France" in the summer and autumn of 1942, Britain continued to provide her support, albeit limited. The movement led by de Gaulle was seen in London as a means of counterbalancing the United States on the one hand and the Soviet Union on the other. In the British projects of achieving a "balance of power" and military-political blocs, designed to strengthen the post-war hegemony of England, France occupied an important place. However, this did not mean that London rejected any contact with Vichy. Churchill, as shown by the memorandums drawn up by him on June 5 and 14, 1942, did not object to the agreement with the Vichyists on the questions of the French fleet and the entry of Anglo-American troops into French North Africa. At a meeting with General D. Eisenhower on October 17, 1942 British leaders supported the intention of the Americans to rely on Giraud; Nor was Darlan's candidacy rejected in principle.From the summer of 1942, Spain began to play a significant role in the European policy of the United States and Britain. On April 21, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, S. Sunyer, declared that Spain was on the side of Germany in this war. During the first half of 1942, Spain continued to take a largely pro-German stance. However, by the end of the summer, there were some changes in the foreign policy orientation of this country in the direction of rapprochement with the United States and Great Britain. The ruling circles of these countries have taken retaliatory steps to make the emerging prospects more certain.There were different opinions in Washington and London regarding the position of Spain in connection with the forthcoming Operation Torch. In a message to Roosevelt dated August 26, 1942, Churchill wrote: “From my point of view, it would be reasonable to assume: a) that Spain will not go to war with England and the United States because of the Torch; b) that it will take at least two months for the Germans to be able to penetrate through Spain or get any bases from her. Roosevelt on September 3 reminded Churchill: "As you and I decided a long time ago ... you (the British. - Ed.) will have to regulate the situation in Spain." In September, in one of his reports to Washington, Eisenhower wrote about his anxiety about the possible entry of Spain into the war at this stage. On October 11, US Ambassador to Madrid K. Hayes was instructed to inform Franco, that Spain's desire to stay out of the war is fully recognized in the United States. This message was received in Madrid with satisfaction, since it covered up assistance to the Nazis under the guise of rapprochement with the USA and Britain.In general, 1942 was marked by a sharp increase in the interest of the SPUD in the Mediterranean region. British imperialism, which was suffering military defeats in Asia and the Middle East, found it increasingly difficult to restrain the activity of its American partner.Difficult relations between the US and Great Britain developed in the Middle East as well. The United States of America continued to provide military assistance to England in order to prevent the capture of this important area by the Axis. In June 1942, after the surrender of Tobruk by the British, a considerable number of American weapons was transferred to the Suez Canal zone. But lend-lease assistance to England and a number of countries in the Middle East, in addition to military goals, pursued far-reaching economic and political goals. The American government attached great importance to the protection of oil fields in Iraq and other Arab countries. The State Department was trying not only to secure the concessions of the California-Arabian Standard Oil Company and other American monopolies, but also to secure positions for a massive US oil expansion in the future. The oil factor, K. Hull admitted; This factor played no less a role in the calculations of the British imperialists. “There (in Iran and Iraq. - Ed.) Oil, and this, consequently, determines the entire policy in the Middle East, in the Indian Ocean and in India,” General A. Brook wrote in August 1942.In 1942, when the fascist military threat to the Middle East had not yet been eliminated, Anglo-American rivalry over oil developed in more or less covert forms. But even then, political differences became noticeable, caused by the desire of the United States to take advantage of the national liberation movement of the Arabs, their struggle against the European colonial powers. Speaking from the position of "anti-colonialism", the US ruling circles hoped to increase their political weight in the Arab world. In August 1942, the American government instructed its ambassador in London to discuss with the British Foreign Office the basic principles of a "common policy" in the Middle East and proposed, in particular, to publish a declaration of war aims in the spirit of the Atlantic Charter.The Churchill government raised a number of objections. The application of the principles of the Atlantic Charter to these countries was contrary to the aims of maintaining British dominance. The American initiative was also rejected because it could lead to an increase in US political activity in the area, which was undesirable for England.In an effort to cover the important oil-bearing regions of the Middle East and prevent the Wehrmacht from breaking through to the Indian Ocean, the Anglo-Americans took measures to prevent Turkey from taking the side of the fascist bloc. With economic and military supplies, they hoped to encourage Turkey's resistance to Nazi pressure. In May - June 1942, the British handed over to the Turks a certain amount of anti-tank weapons. Since Germany had promised Turkey greater military assistance, the British Foreign Office suggested that the US government be asked to supply Turkey with a significant number of tanks and anti-aircraft guns. But the British Chiefs of Staff Committee opposed such a proposal. He took into account both his own needs for these weapons, and the complete lack of guarantee. In general, throughout 1942, the scale of Anglo-American assistance to Turkey with weapons and the degree of diplomatic pressure on it remained limited. This was offset by more active actions by the British and US governments in the field of economic warfare. Dissatisfaction in London and Washington was caused by Turkish supplies of chromium and other important types of strategic raw materials to the Nazis. In order to stop or limit them, a number of measures were taken in the spring and summer of 1942, including the creation of an Anglo-American committee to coordinate trade with Turkey and, with the participation of the State Department, a program of so-called advance purchases was developed.In the countries of the Balkan Peninsula, England tried to direct the development of political and military events in its own interests. In accordance with the British "Mediterranean" strategy, the ruling circles of England were interested in expanding the armed resistance offered to the fascist invaders in Greece and Yugoslavia. The most consistent and decisive actions against the Italo-German invaders were carried out here by the forces of the resistance movement led by the communist parties. However, the program of the national liberation struggle in these countries did not meet the interests of the British ruling circles, who intended to restore the reactionary bourgeois-landlord regimes there and regain their lost positions.In Greece, Churchill's government relied on right-wing forces that had collaborated with the monarcho-fascists before the occupation. In early 1942, it officially recognized the government in exile and King George VI. London subsidized and armed the sabotage detachments of Colonel N. Zervas, counting on the fact that he would subdue the People's Liberation Army of Greece (ELAS) and England would be able to establish control over the Greek resistance movement. When it became clear that Zervas was unable to stop the growth of ELAS and win over the bulk of the Resistance fighters, on October 1, 1942, an English military mission was parachuted into Greece with the task of strengthening the organization of Zervas and neutralizing ELAS. She also had to prepare sabotage on the communications through which Rommel's African corps was supplied.In Yugoslavia, the British government continued to provide assistance mainly to the Chetnik detachments and their leader, D. Mihailovich, Minister of War of the émigré government. It supported the Chetniks, despite their cooperation with the Italo-German occupiers. The Foreign Office refused to supply arms to the National Front for the Liberation of Yugoslavia for anti-communist reasons and sought to "reconcile" the partisans with the Chetniks.In a memorandum dated July 2, 1942, the imperial general staff recognized the correct position taken by Mikhailovich of waiting, accumulating forces and "curbing the activity" of the partisans. In October 1942, the Foreign Office reaffirmed its position on Mihailović, pointing out his "potential value" from a military and political point of view.The policy of the United States and Great Britain in the Far East was also aimed at achieving their military-strategic and political goals. A tense diplomatic struggle was going on around China, on whose position the alignment of forces in the Far East and the course of the struggle in the Asia-Pacific theater of war largely depended.The United States, in accordance with its strategy of gradual build-up of forces, sought to keep China at war with Japan in order to pin down as many Japanese troops as possible with its help. The successful actions of the Japanese in the spring and summer of 1942 in the coastal southeastern provinces of China increased the fears of the United States and Britain that China would capitulate. The government of Chiang Kai-shek took advantage of this circumstance to obtain even more financial and military assistance from the governments of these countries. In this way, it hoped not only to resist Japan, but also to strengthen its domestic political positions. In July 1942, the US-Chinese lend-lease agreement was concluded, but its implementation was hampered by the lack of communications with China.In addition, the United States sent military and diplomatic missions to Chongqing, the purpose of which was to pave the way for the participation of American monopolies in the post-war "reconstruction" of China. Generals J. Stilwell, whom Chiang Kai-shek appointed chief of the general staff of the Chinese army, and C. Chennault, who commanded the American aviation group in China, as well as the US ambassador to Chongqing, K. Gauss, launched active activities in China. Among the Americans who visited Chongqing were Adviser to the President of the United States for the Far East, L. Carrey, and the leader of the Republican Party, W. Wilkie, who arrived as a representative of the President of the United States. Using the war between China and Japan, the Americans sought to oust their competitors, including England, from China.The British ruling circles, interested in intensifying US military operations against Japan, could not, however, reconcile themselves to their attempts to gain a foothold in Asia and undermine British positions. The British government opposed the transformation of China into the main US base in the Far East. Churchill, in a secret memorandum dated October 21, 1942, wrote that the Chungking government would unquestionably take the side of the United States "in any attempt to liquidate the British overseas empire."The political and economic rivalry between the United States and Great Britain most of all affected their policy towards India. The threat of Japanese invasion looming over India after the defeat of the Anglo-Chinese troops in Burma, and the growth of the Indian liberation movement, presented the Churchill government with an alternative: either to accept the demands of the Indians for independence, or to continue the old colonial policy, fraught with dangerous consequences in the face of an imminent threat. Japanese attacks. In August 1942, the British government nevertheless refused to accept the demand of the Indian National Congress for granting independence to the country.The position of the United States towards India was determined by the desire to exploit its human and material resources for its own military purposes. The United States wanted to loosen British control and thus be able to infiltrate its capital into this country. The Roosevelt government understood that colonialism in its traditional form could no longer be restored in Asia and that only confidence in the justice of the war against Japan would be a real incentive for the population of the colonial countries to actively take the side of the allies. Therefore, it proclaimed the anti-colonialist course of American policy in the Pacific. Such was the meaning of Roosevelt's statement about extending the provisions of the Atlantic Charter, which included a clause on the right of nations to self-determination.US policy in Asia, directed against British interests, caused discontent in the British ruling circles. On November 10, 1942, Churchill declared: "I did not become His Majesty's First Minister to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire."The Japanese offensive in the South Pacific, which approached Australia in early May 1942, posed urgent tasks for US foreign policy. American diplomacy in every possible way expanded its influence there and sought to include Australia and New Zealand in the US military-strategic sphere of action. One of the objectives of US policy towards these countries was to convince them of the correctness of the Allied strategy and to avert demands for an immediate decisive offensive against Japan.The United States of America managed to get Australia and New Zealand to increase their contribution to the war. In the second half of 1942, 70 percent of American forces in the Pacific were supplied from local resources. Thus, in the summer and autumn of 1942. The United States and Great Britain, relying on the growing military and economic potential and striving to strengthen their international positions, pursued a more active foreign policy. The predominant role of the United States among the capitalist countries that fought against fascist Germany and militaristic Japan was gradually revealed.The foreign policy activities of the Communist Party and the Soviet government in the spring, summer and autumn of 1942 were characterized by high activity and were aimed primarily at strengthening the anti-fascist coalition. In achieving this goal, the conclusion of a number of formal agreements with the governments of the United States of America and Great Britain was of great importance. It was thanks to these agreements, which affected many of the most important problems of waging war, that the joint efforts of the main countries of the united nations made it possible to complete the creation of an anti-fascist coalition, the strengthening of which was an important factor that strengthened the power of progressive forces in the fight against fascism and undermined the plans of fascist Germany, designed to isolate the Soviet Union and split of the forces of the united nations.In the summer and autumn of 1942, the foreign policy of the United States and Great Britain was carried out considering, above all, the course of the armed struggle on the Soviet-German front. This forced them to conclude agreements with the USSR on some important problems of a political and economic nature, and even to promise to open a second front in Western Europe. However, they directed their main efforts to the political and diplomatic support of military operations in North Africa, Asia and the Pacific.Leading the line of cooperation with the USSR in the struggle against the fascist bloc, the ruling circles of the USA and Great Britain simultaneously tried to carry out their expansionist plans in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Oceania, Africa and Western Europe. Moreover, in order to implement them, the governments of both powers were ready in a number of cases to even rely on political forces that collaborated with the Nazis.And yet, despite the difference in the foreign policy activities of the states that are the main participants in the struggle against the aggressors, cooperation between the Soviet Union, the United States of America, Great Britain and other countries of the anti-fascist coalition has significantly strengthened.