Assess the View That the Disagreements About the Second Front Were the Most Significant Cause of Tension Between Russian and the West Between 1941 and 1945.

2180 Words9 Pages
18.1) Assess the view that the disagreements about the Second Front were the most significant cause of tension between Russian and the West between 1941 and 1945.

There were two main causes of tension between Russia and the West from 1941 and 1945. One cause, according to historians was the disagreements over a Second Front being opened. Tensions arose due to the West’s perceived delay in opening a front, the front being used as a political tool by Stalin and the perceived lack of supplies and materials being sent to the soviets as aid. A more significant cause of tension, however, is believed by some to be Stalin’s attempts to create a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe and his actions in Poland.
Kolko argues that the West
…show more content…
They sent 409,500 vehicles, 43% of all soviet tyres, 56% of rails and 1900 locomotives and 58% of high octane fuel and 200 fighter planes, 4 million pairs of boots as well as large quantities of rubber, tin and cloth, respectively. This supports the scheme was a ‘sacrifice’ as some of the supplies sent to the USSR negatively impacted Britain’s supplies. Some including Stalin and the USSR criticised the level of assistance given. Overy argues against criticisms of the supplies by showing that the post-war soviet viewpoint that assistance ‘could have no decisive influence’ and concludes that without the aid, the Russian economy would have been ‘severely hampered’. This seems to dismiss claims that the West had neglected Russia’s needs. He argues that even though western aid accounted for only ‘4% of soviet weapons’ the impact was far greater as ‘food, raw materials, machinery and industrial equipment’ were donated. Both Gilbert and Overy are British historians who would have been biased in favour of the wests position and may have been sceptical of Russia’s claims as both historians were raised during the cold war. But when looking at the views in the official ‘soviet history’ of World War Two, the publication’s context should be considered: the Russians had a vested interest in misrepresenting events due to their post-war situation. After the Second World War the Cold War arose and the USSR were keen to distance

More about Assess the View That the Disagreements About the Second Front Were the Most Significant Cause of Tension Between Russian and the West Between 1941 and 1945.

Get Access