100%(1)1 out of 1 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 7 - 9 out of 12 pages.
vital resources that they had left. The Soviet Union and Japan had previously signed a neutrality pact in 1939, protecting each nation from having war declared on them by the other. The Soviets denounced the pact on April 5, 1945, though they would continue to act as a third party for Alliedand Japanese negotiations. After denouncing the neutrality pact, the Soviets had maintained that they would not declare war on Japan until the conclusion of Russian-Chinese negotiations on August 15th. This gave the Japanese leadership a window to gauge the likelihood of peaceful negotiations on their terms while using the Soviets as middlemen. This granted the Soviets an option to further insert themselves in the Pacific War by extending a level of influence without the bloodshed. 28 Crompton, “IF the Atomic Bomb Had Not Been Used,” 29 DOD, The Entry of the Soviet Union…,70-71.
The Soviets had been working off two policies simultaneously after the Yalta Conference.The first policy was that of cooperation with the United States and Britain because Stalin would need their help with the reconstruction program following the war. However, Stalin had perceived America as soft for wanting to cooperate and felt the Soviets could do as they pleased.30The second policy was that of extending its influence and control over its neighbors, independent of control.31By doing so, they were willfully violating the agreements made during the Yalta conference as it was perceived by President Truman and U.S. Ambassador William Harriman.32With the Soviets positioning themselves to block off the eastern half of Europe, Truman wanted to take a firmer stance with Stalin because of this revelation.33During the Potsdam Conference, from July 17 through August 2, Stalin was eager to show off Soviet gains in Germany as well as protecting future spoils in Asia from a war with Japan.34Stalin believed that he was entitled to these gains from an agreement at the previous Yalta Conference where the Soviet leader demanded a Soviet political sphere of influence in both Europe and in Asia. The Polish question at Yalta asked if Poland should exist as an independent state or be annexed into the Soviet Union. Since the country had been neighbor to Russia and had already been occupied by the Soviets, President Roosevelt and PM Winston Churchill capitulated. To the United States, the compromise represented a symbol of future development of international relations with the Soviets and, hopefully, ease any tensions between their governments.35With the inclusion of the Soviet Union in the Pacific War, they would have been allowed partial credit for victory as well as a division of power.36This realization would have only added to growing sphere of influence 30 Truman, Memoirs, 72.31 Gar Alperovitz. Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965), 22.