Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and the Second Front

Authored by: James D. Perry

The Routledge Handbook of American Military and Diplomatic History

Print publication date:  June  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415888479
eBook ISBN: 9781135070991
Adobe ISBN: 9781135071028


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The “Second Front” was the Anglo-American military campaign to liberate France and invade Nazi Germany during World War II. The “first” front was the Soviet Union, where the Red Army engaged the bulk of the Wehrmacht after June 1941. The Second Front was politically contentious because the Allies had incompatible visions for postwar Europe. The British wished to project power into Eastern Europe to deny the region to Soviet control. The Americans wanted the Soviets to have “friendly” regimes on their frontiers to induce them to cooperate after the war. American military and economic dominance ensured that her view prevailed. Thus, the Second Front was launched in France in June 1944, and only Soviet armies entered Eastern Europe.

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