Assess the View That the Disagreements About the Second Front Were the Most Significant Cause of Tension Between Russian and the West Between 1941 and 1945.

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18.1) Assess the view that the disagreements about the Second Front were the most significant cause of tension between Russian and the West between 1941 and 1945.

There were two main causes of tension between Russia and the West from 1941 and 1945. One cause, according to historians was the disagreements over a Second Front being opened. Tensions arose due to the West’s perceived delay in opening a front, the front being used as a political tool by Stalin and the perceived lack of supplies and materials being sent to the soviets as aid. A more significant cause of tension, however, is believed by some to be Stalin’s attempts to create a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe and his actions in Poland.
Kolko argues that the West
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This was exploited to get compensation from the other allies. Stalin knew the request would be rejected but aimed to secure more resources, so used the predicted refusal to his advantage and pressed for resources citing the lack of a Second Front to support his case. This is likely not to have been the cause of tension between the West and Russia because, Stalin was expecting the refusal.
Instead of opening a second front, Britain and the US provided aid through resources and materials; this could have caused tension because Stalin and Russia thought the supplies sent weren’t sufficient. The aid may have been sent due to fears that Stalin would make a pact with Hitler, these fears could be justified as by ‘Early 1943’ the USSR was negotiating a ‘separate peace with Germany’ which some say was a real attempt whilst others feel this was encouraging the other allies to provide assistance. The ‘Lend-Lease’ agreement was offered to Russia in the summer of 1941, after the West refused to open a second front. The Lend- Lease according to Roosevelt was a great ‘sacrifice’ and ‘part of that sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes’. This strongly suggests that Roosevelt and America were willing to give a lot to Russia to keep her in the War

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