Assess the View That the Disagreements About the Second Front Were the Most Significant Cause of Tension Between Russia and the Western Allies Between 1941 and 1945

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Assess the view that the disagreements about the Second Front were the most significant cause of tension between Russia and the Western Allies between 1941 and 1945 It can be argued that the single most important cause of tension between the Allies during WW2 were the on-going disagreements over the opening of a Second Front in Europe by the Western Allies. However some historians have suggested that other factors were the primary cause of tension, including the core ideological differences between Russia and the West, the disagreements over Poland and Eastern Europe and finally the change in American leadership in 1945. We can begin to measure the amount of tension caused by each factor during the war by using as our principal criterion the intensity and longevity of any tensions caused, as well as looking at the reactions of the leaders from primary evidence. The disagreements over the second front were arguably the most significant cause of tension between the Western Allies and Russia between 1941 and 1945. This interpretation is presented by McCauley who argues that “the question of the second front was to bedevil tensions between the Allies during the war”. However this view is challenged substantially by Fenby, who argues for a lesser significance, by stating that “[the Second Front] was too useful a political tool not to be used to ensure that the Western Allies would compensate by pumping supplies to Russia”. Fenby’s interpretation, that Russia presented the Second Front as a greater tension than it was for material gain is the more persuasive argument when taking into account Molotov, the Russian foreign minister of the time’s own accounts of the era. Molotov says that Stalin “did not believe [that a second front would happen]. But one had to demand it”, intimating that whilst Stalin may have kept angrily demanding the opening of a second front in
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