< Full Calendar

04-02-1945

Big Three meet at Yalta

On February 4, 1945, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin meet at Yalta, a Ukrainian resort town on the Black Sea. During their second and most controversial conference, the Big Three Allied leaders compromised on their visions of the post-war world order and discussed military considerations in the war against Japan. With victory over Germany imminent, the leaders agreed to divide Germany into zones of occupation. A frail President Roosevelt, two months from his death, concentrated most of his energies in petitioning Stalin to join the war against Japan. Stalin agreed, but only after being assured of an occupation zone in Korea and postwar possession of territories historically disputed between Russia and Japan. Although the Soviets' eventual entrance into the Pacific War hastened the Japanese surrender, Roosevelt was later criticized for delivering Eastern Europe and North Korea into communist domination by conceding too much to Stalin at Yalta.