Key Allied Decisions in WWII

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
10:00 am - 11:30 pm (EST) Enter Classroom Enter Forum


James T. Sparrow
Associate Professor of U. S. History, The University of Chicago

About the Seminar

How did the exiled governments of Nazi-occupied countries respond to the Allies’ war aims? How did the Allies assess their progress on the battlefield before the 1944 invasion of Europe? How did the Allies envision the end of the War? This seminar will explore these and other questions as it examines three aspects of World War II: ideological and political constraints on Allied strategy, key Allied strategic decisions, and the decisions of 1945 that set the stage for the Cold War. It will consider such critical documents as Roosevelt and Churchill’s joint statement of August 14, 1941, in which they set forth the principles that would guide the Allies as they confronted Nazism; communiqués from the strategy conferences of 1943 which outlined broad Allied battlefield goals; and documents from the Yalta and Potsdam conferences that set forth Allied strategy for the War’s end game and that resonated for nearly fifty years thereafter.

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Assigned Readings

    Ideological & Political Constraints on Alliance and Strategy
    1. Joint Statement by Roosevelt & Churchill, Aug. 14, 1941
    2. Amb. to the Polish Gov't in Exile to the Sec. of State
    3. Inter-Allied Council Statement, Principles of the Atlantic Charter, Sept. 24, 1941
    4. Hopkins Memo, Dec. 27, 1941
    5. FDR to Hull, Dec. 27, 1941
    6. Eden to Halifax, Dec. 29, 1941
    7. Hopkins to FDR, Dec. 29, 1941
    8. Joint Chiefs of Staff analysis, Dec. 31, 1941, page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, and page 5.
    9. Declaration by the United Nations
    Key Wartime Decisions
    1. Casablanca Conference, Feb. 12, 1943
    2. Casablanca Conference Communiqué
    3. Washington Conference, May 1943
    4. Quebec Conference, Aug. 1943
    5. Joint Chiefs of Staff Minutes from Tehran, Dec. 1943
    6. Tehran Conference, Dec. 1943
    The War Beyond the War
    1. Yalta Joint Chiefs of Staff Minutes, Feb. 1945
    2. Yalta Agreement , Feb. 1945
    3. Potsdam Agreement , Aug. 1945
    4. Memoranda re: Manhattan Project, Aug. 6, 1945
    1. Axis Expansion in Europe
    2. Battle of the Atlantic
    3. Italian Campaign
    4. Air War in Europe
    5. alternate map: Allied Bombing Offensive on Germany
    6. Allied Advances on Germany, 1944
    7. D-Day and the Battle for Northwest Europe
    8. Firebombing of Japan
    9. Southwest and Pacific Campaigns
    1. Economic/Social Costs
    2. Soviet Scorched Earth Strategy, Table 2, from “Soviet Scorched-Earth Warfare: Facts And Consequences,” by Walter N. Sanning.