A Russian Request

August 13, 1942
Joseph Stalin Wrote A Memo

During World War II, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin needed help from President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Despite Stalin’s agreement with the German dictator Adolph Hitler, German forces were attacking the Soviet Union.

On August 13, 1942, Stalin wrote a memorandum to Roosevelt and Churchill opposing their decision not to invade Western Europe at that time. Stalin wanted the Americans and British to distract the Germans in Russia by fighting them on another front, Western Europe. Where were the Americans?

Just a few months after Stalin’s letter, Great Britain and the United States (who were already fighting in the South Pacific) entered Africa to fight the Germans. But it was not until 1943 that the American and British forces would invade Italy. Then, on June 6, 1944, D-Day, the Americans and British invaded Western Europe on the beaches of Normandy, France almost one year after the German army began its retreat from Russia.

The uneasy alliance of Great Britain and the United States with the Soviet Union during World War II began to unravel after Germany’s defeat in 1945. The Soviet Union and the United States soon regarded each other as adversaries. This tension brought about a prolonged rivalry known as the Cold War.

Ask someone who fought in the war or grew up during that time to tell you more stories of World War II.