- NAME: Joseph Stalin
- OCCUPATION: Dictator
- BIRTH DATE: December 18, 1878
- DEATH DATE: March 05, 1953
- EDUCATION: Church school (Gori, Georgia, Russian Empire), Tiflis Theological Seminary
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Gori, Georgia, Russia
- PLACE OF DEATH: Moscow, Russia
- Originally: Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili
- Full Name: Joseph Stalin
- AKA: Iosif Dzhugashvili
Best Known For
Joseph Stalin ruled the Soviet Union for more than two decades, instituting a reign of terror while modernizing Russia and helping to defeat Nazism.
As dictator of the Soviet Union, Stalin exerted full state control over the Russian people. Citizens were encouraged to accuse and turn-in each other.
As head of the Soviet Union, Stalin mobilized a sleeping nation to war. He utilized the full power of his modernization plan to fight Germany in World War II.
A short biography of Joseph Stalin whose rise to power began during the October Revolution. His forced industrialization of the Soviet Union caused the worst man-made famine in history.
Harry Truman came from modest beginnings and is the only 20th Century President to not have a college degree. Among his accomplishments as President were integrating the military, defeating Nazi Germany, and initiating the Berlin Airlift.
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By the time Stalin regained his resolve, German armies occupied all of the Ukraine and Belarus, and its artillery surrounded Leningrad.
To make matters worse, the purges of the 1930s had depleted the Soviet Army and government leadership to the point where both were nearly dysfunctional. After heroic efforts on the part of the Soviet Army and the Russian people, the Germans were turned back at Stalingrad in 1943. By the next year, the Soviet Army was liberating countries in Eastern Europe,
even before the Allies had mounted a serious challenge against Hitler at D-Day.
Stalin had been suspicious of the West since the inception of the Soviet Union. Ever since the Soviet Union had entered the war, Stalin had demanded the Allies open up a second front against Germany. Both British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt argued that such an action would result in heavy casualties. This only deepened Stalin's suspicion of the West, as millions of Russians died.
As the tide of war slowly turned in the Allies' favor, President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill met with Joseph Stalin to discuss postwar arrangements. At the first of these meetings, in Teheran, Iran, in late 1943, the recent victory in Stalingrad put Stalin in a solid bargaining position. He demanded the Allies open a second front against Germany, which they agreed to in the spring of 1944. In February 1945, the three leaders met again at Yalta in the Crimea. With Soviet troops liberating countries in Eastern Europe, Stalin was again in a strong position and negotiated virtually a free hand in reorganizing their governments. He also agreed to enter the war against Japan once Germany was defeated.
The situation changed at the Potsdam Conference in July 1945. Roosevelt died that April and was replaced by President Harry S. Truman. British parliamentary elections had replaced Prime Minister Churchill with Clement Attlee as Britain's chief negotiator. By now, the British and Americans were suspicious of Stalin's intentions and wanted to avoid Soviet involvement in a postwar Japan. The dropping of two atomic bombs in August 1945 forced Japan's surrender before the Soviets could mobilize.
Convinced of the Allies' hostility toward the Soviet Union, Stalin became obsessed with the threat of an invasion from the West. Between 1945 and 1948, he established Communist regimes in many Eastern European countries, creating a vast "buffer zone" between Western Europe and "Mother Russia." Western powers interpreted these actions as proof of Stalin's desire to place Europe under Communist control, thus formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to counter Soviet influence. In 1948, Stalin ordered an economic blockade on the German city of Berlin, in hopes of gaining full control of the city. The Allies mounted a massive airlift, supplying the city and eventually forcing Stalin to back down.
Stalin suffered another foreign policy defeat after he encouraged North Korean Communist leader Kim Il Sung to invade South Korea, believing the United States would not interfere.
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