During World War II, the most important leaders of countries were undoubtedly Churchill, Stalin, FDR and Hitler. Japan, Italy and other countries also had various important leaders. But these four leaders were clearly the most dominant leaders of the period between 1939 and 1945.
To oversimplify, at the beginning of the war in 1939, Churchill and FDR represented the good guys while Stalin and Hitler were the bad guys. However, Stalin’s Russia stopped cooperating with Germany in 1941 when Hitler made what was probably the worst or second worst mistake of the war. Hitler and Germany invaded Russia on June 22, 1941 in what would become known as Operation Barbarossa. Germany thought that their blitzkrieg, lightning victories that they had experienced could be expanded to massive parts of Western Russia.
Historians debate whether or not Hitler planned on conquering most of Russia or if he would have been satisfied with a few major cities, especially the capital, Moscow. But what Hitler underestimated more than anything was the sheer vastness of the Russian Empire. The number of people that Stalin could send to the front was seemingly limitless. But it was also the endless supply of trucks and tanks that Russia managed to produce or import. Russian ability to outproduce Germany in tanks and artillery coupled with American-made trucks supplying Russian soldiers with everything they needed to fight would ultimately do more harm to the Germany Army than the Russian winter. As Victor Davis Hanson pointed out, German winters were not very warm either. The German Army was not surprised by the cold. But they had limited experience handling such enormously long supply lines. Brave Russian soldiers firing endless artillery shells on German soldiers ultimately wreaked havoc on supply lines and that is what did in the German Army in the east as much as the winter.
But the bravery of the British soldiers and population to withstand German attacks on England, and especially the British Air Force and decoding teams withstood the German onslaught in the west. Churchill was the right man for the job at the right time. FDR kept the supply lines to England coming for years until Churchill finally prodded FDR to bring America into the war. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was the final straw that allowed FDR to justify sending hundreds of thousands of American GI’s into action. Ultimately, millions of American soldiers would participate with British, Australian and other Allied troops to push back the Germans from Western and Southern Europe, and even North Africa.
The oddity of Stalin joining forces with Churchill and FDR is one of the most important pacts in the history of mankind. It is truly reasonable to say that the decision to cooperate with evil leaders against Germany and Japan did indeed save the world from tyranny. The unique angle of this video is that it exposes a German attempt to destroy the leadership of the Allies when they met in Teheran.
Churchill was no saint. FDR had more flaws than nearly any of his supporters knew. Stalin was a ruthless dictator who killed millions of his own people in order to consolidate power. But they were indeed the three most important people who led the free world to stop the worst leader in the history of the modern world – Adolf Hitler.