Stalin objects to putting off invasion of Europe

“Before leaving for the front”. Head of the Central Sniper School's political department talks to girls leaving for the front. The Soviet was throwing everything it had into the fight against Hitler - and felt that the Western Allies were less determined.

“Before leaving for the front”. Head of the Central Sniper School’s political department talks to girls leaving for the front.
The Soviet was throwing everything it had into the fight against Hitler – and felt that the Western Allies were less determined.

“Soldiers on the march”. Red Army soldiers on the march, the second world war. In all out war many women were serving at the front, completely integrated into combat units alongside men.

“Soldiers on the march”. Red Army soldiers on the march, the second world war.
In all out war many women were serving at the front, completely integrated into combat units alongside men.

On 3rd June Roosevelt had written to Stalin to explain that the proposed ‘Second Front’, the invasion of western Europe would not take place until 1944. Stalin was naturally not very impressed by this decision. On the 11th June he replied, expressing his dismay that he he had not been consulted.

Yet despite invitations to meet Roosevelt and Churchill, Stalin had refused to leave Soviet Russia for a meeting with Churchill and Roosevelt. It is likely that he had a paranoid fear of what might happen if he left the USSR, but he was going to need to overcome that if he wanted to meet the other Aliied leaders together:

…the opening of a second front in Europe, previously postponed from 1942 till 1943, is now being put off again, this time till the spring of 1944.

Your decision creates exceptional difficulties for the Soviet Union, which, straining all its resources, for the past two years, has been engaged against the main forces of Germany and her satellites, and leaves the Soviet Army, which is fighting not only for its country, but also for its Allies, to do the job alone, almost single-handed, against an enemy that is still very strong and formidable.

Need I speak of the disheartening negative impression that this fresh postponement of the second front and the withholding from our Army, which has sacrificed so much, of the anticipated substantial support by the Anglo-American armies, will produce in the Soviet Union—both among the people and in the Army?

As for the Soviet Government, it cannot align itself with this decision, which, moreover, was adopted without its participation and without any attempt at a joint discussion of this highly important matter and which may gravely affect the subsequent course of the war.

 “Elderly Villager Amidst Ruins of His House”. An elderly resident of a village burned down by Germans sitting by the ruins of his house. Ukraine, Region Tschernigow. Even as the Germans retreated the Soviet civilian population suffered again, from the 'scorched earth' policy.

“Elderly Villager Amidst Ruins of His House”. An elderly resident of a village burned down by Germans sitting by the ruins of his house. Ukraine, Region Tschernigow. Even as the Germans retreated the Soviet civilian population suffered again, from the ‘scorched earth’ policy.

Contemporary newsreel of the fight in Russia:

Full length film “The Battle of Russia” from the US “Why we fight” series, shown to recruits in the US armed forces:

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