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1943: Allies united after Tehran conference

Allied leaders of Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union have ended a landmark conference held in Tehran, the capital of Iran.

It was the first time Winston Churchill, President Franklin D Roosevelt and Marshal Joseph Stalin had met together.

In a joint statement issued after the four-day conference, they expressed a determination to work together to win the war in Europe and in Asia and establish an "enduring peace".

The three allies said they had reached agreement on a second front although actual details were not given - only that operations would take place in the east, west and south.


"We came here with hope and determination. We leave here, friends in fact, in spirit and in purpose"

Joint statement by Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin

They stated: "We expressed our determination that our nations shall work together in war and in the peace that will follow."

And they pledged to form a United Nations and "banish the scourge and terror of war for many generations".

The declaration ended: "We came here with hope and determination. We leave here, friends in fact, in spirit and in purpose."

The foundations for this agreement were laid at a conference held in Moscow a month ago between foreign ministers of the allied countries.

Days before the Moscow conference a meeting between Mr Churchill, President Roosevelt and General Chiang Kai-shek of China held in Cairo [codenamed Sextant], resolved to restore to China all land taken over by Japan and "in due course" secure the independence of Korea.

During the Tehran conference Mr Churchill took the opportunity to award the Soviet leader the Sword of Stalingrad.

The British prime minister handed over the sword as a tribute from King George VI and the British people for forcing the German Sixth Army to surrender at Stalingrad on 2 February this year.

There was another occasion to celebrate in Tehran - it was Mr Churchill's 69th birthday on 30 November and a special dinner was held at the British Legation in his honour.

His daughter, Section Officer Sarah Oliver, greeted the guests which included the US President and the Soviet leader.

Marshal Stalin proposed a toast, "To my fighting friend, Winston Churchill," and a similar toast to President Roosevelt.

In Context
News about the Tehran Conference, codenamed Eureka, was not actually reported until three days after it had ended - in an announcement on Moscow Radio.

Details of what was discussed were not revealed until after the war.

The western allies assured Stalin they would invade France and ease the pressure on Soviet troops fighting on the eastern front. A date for what was codenamed Operation Overlord was set for May 1944 - later delayed until June.

Stalin confirmed that the Soviet Union would join the war against Japan following the defeat of Germany, much to the relief of Roosevelt and Churchill.

Turkey's involvement in the war was also discussed, as was the future of Poland and Finland and support for the partisans led by Tito in Yugoslavia.

Finally, further to the debate at the Moscow Conference, a discussion was held on the post-war division of Germany.

Further conferences between the so-called "grand alliance" of the Big Three took place in Yalta and Potsdam in 1945 to co-ordinate progress of the war and its aftermath.


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