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1945: Black Sea talks plan defeat of Germany

AUDIO : Presidential aide remembers the Yalta conference

Plans are being drawn up by London, Washington and Moscow for the final phase of the war against Germany.

Leaders of the three countries, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin D Roosevelt and Marshal Joseph Stalin, have been meeting at a secret location in the Black Sea area.

A statement issued this evening is the first official confirmation of the talks which are said to have begun three days ago.


"They were there to discuss the future of Europe now that the end of the war was assured"


According to the statement issued by the Ministry of Information in London the purpose of the meeting is to complete plans for the defeat of the "common enemy" and to build firm foundations for a lasting peace.

The three leaders, who are also accompanied by their chiefs of staff, foreign secretaries and other advisers, are said to have reviewed the latest information from all the battle fronts in Europe.

The statement continued: "There is complete agreement for joint military operations in the final phase of the war against Nazi Germany. The military staffs of the three governments are now engaged in working out jointly the detailed plans."

Discussions on how to secure a lasting peace have also been held. Topics likely to be considered are the occupation and control of Germany, the political and economic problems of a liberated Europe and proposals for an international organisation to maintain peace.

A further communiqué is to be issued at the conclusion of the talks.

The statement gave no further details of the exact location of the meeting. But the Black Sea was considered an ideal choice as it gave Marshal Stalin easy access to Moscow and news from the eastern front.

There has been some speculation the three leaders might appeal over the heads of the German leadership to the people themselves to get out of a "lost war". The German media has already issued warnings that any such appeal should be ignored as an attempt to undermine the fighting will of its forces.

It seems likely much of the conference will be spent on working out the details of the administration of an occupied Germany. Already General Charles de Gaulle of France has declared his country would like to be involved.

There is also the thorny issue of a Russo-Polish settlement as well as a need to get urgently needed food and other supplies distributed as quickly as possible.

In Context
What became known as the Yalta or Crimea Conference ended on 11 February. Its location was revealed to be the former imperial palace at Livadia in Yalta.

An official agreement was published in which the three leaders declared their intention to combine their military plans and work in close partnership to defeat Germany.

They also drew up plans for the occupation of Germany and agreed France should be a fourth occupying power.

The leaders announced their determination to stamp out Nazism and to disarm and disband all German armed forces and bring all war criminals to justice.

All liberated territories in Europe were to have democratic government.

On the question of Poland, they agreed on plans for a provisional government until a free election could be held and also on where the border should lie between Poland and the USSR.

An agreement was reached, without Churchill's knowledge, on the Soviet Union's territorial demands for joining the war against Japan.

The leaders also called for a Conference of United Nations to meet on 25 April 1945.


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