Carol Herringer (Committee Chair), Christopher Olsdstone-moore (Committee Member), John Sherman (Committee Member)
Master of Arts (MA)
In late May 1942, while the Soviet Union staggered from catastrophic defeats at Kharkov and in the Crimea, British and Soviet representatives met in London and signed a treaty of mutual assistance that would lay the basis for the Grand Alliance. This thesis, based on the newly discovered material from Stalin's secret archives, argues that Anthony Eden, British Foreign Minister, far from the weak-willed appeaser caricatured by subsequent historians, was a shrewd, yet principled diplomat, who assessed the Soviets far more realistically than did his British counterparts. Moreover, Eden was a skilled and resourceful negotiator who drove a very hard bargain, and although the Soviets ultimately did achieve acceptance of their frontiers in Eastern Europe, they did this by force of arms and not with Eden's connivance. Any failures the British and Americans experienced in protecting Eastern Europe were failures that occurred later in the war. In the end, if the British appeased Stalin it resulted from their much weaker position in relation to the Soviets in 1944 and 1945, not because Eden took a soft line with the Soviets in May 1942. In May of 1942 Eden accomplished the goal set for him by the British and the Americans; he successfully upheld the principles of the Atlantic Charter while signing a treaty of mutual assistance with the Soviet Union.
Department or Program
Department of History
Year Degree Awarded
Copyright 2012, all rights reserved. This open access ETD is published by Wright State University and OhioLINK.