Mee, Charles L. Jr.


1st ed., 1975. Xiv + 370 pp., photo-plates + e.p., maps. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. For two weeks in the summer of 1945 Churchill, Truman and Stalin gathered at Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin, to reconstruct the world out of the ruins left by the Second World War. Though the issues under discussion were not so different from those at Yalta a few months earlier, at Potsdam the diplomacy was decidedly different. Now that Germany was defeated, the Allies knew that victory in the Far East was imminent. The author shows that the objective was no longer how to unite for victory, but rather how to divide the spoils and create a new balance of power. With national self-interest now the primary motivation, peace was destined to be sacrificed to deliberate discord : if Allied harmony would stand in the way of expanding 'spheres of influence', then it would become necessary to maintain the political expedient of aggression. Through log books, eyewitness accounts and recently opened conference transcripts, the author offers challenging reappraisal of what really happened during those 14 crucial days, and what really was in the minds of the 'Big Three'.

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