When Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin met in Yalta in February 1945, Hitler’s armies were on the run, and victory was imminent. The Big Three wanted to draft a blueprint for a lasting peace—but instead they set the stage for a forty-four year division of Europe into Soviet and Western spheres of influence. After fighting side by side for nearly four years, their political alliance was beginning to fracture. Although the most dramatic Cold War confrontations such as the Berlin airlift were still to come, a new struggle for global hegemony had got underway by August 1945 when Truman used the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Six Months in 1945 brilliantly captures this momentous historical turning point while illuminating the aims and personalities of larger-than-life political giants.
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