In 1941, the Soviet Union, United Kingdom and the United States of America became allies against the Axis powers. The Grand Alliance of these three very different countries proved successful in the defeat of the Axis powers.
Britain had been at one point the only country holding out against Axis aggression. It was through its force of will, and assistance from its empire and the Commonwealth, that it was able to hold out against the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. The United States provided material assistance through Cash and Carry but remained steadfastly neutral until it was attacked by Japan in Pearl Harbor during December of 1941. The Soviet Union was geographically isolated from the other two powers as it fought on its eastern front against the menacing and unrelenting Axis force. It did, however, have dual advantages of resources and population. And it was with this that the USSR was able to ward off the attacks from the Germans.
Although the USA was slow to enter the war and mobilise its forces, it was a force to be reckoned with once it did. It had a large population base and it was separated from the war geographically. This allowed its industries to provide necessary materials to its armed forces and those of its allies. The attack on its bases in Hawaii destroyed the USA’s ideas of isolation and the American people were galvanised into action.
The Soviet Union, Britain and the United States were unusual allies but were thrown together in a need to defeat a common enemy. These Allies were determined to defeat the Axis power but beyond that, there was no clear agreement on what the post-war world would look like.
This section provides teaching and learning resources, lesson ideas and student activities to aid you in achieving successful student understanding of the Cold War.
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