British and Soviet Proposals for Zones of Occupation 1945

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Map Code: Ax01405

As fellow European countries, Britain and the Soviet Union had their own self-interested motivations for the proposed division of Germany. Britain was keen to secure administration of the northernmost sector of the country, which would allow it to oversee the dissolution of the German Navy. The Soviet Union pushed for a larger sphere of influence in the eastern half of the country, encompassing the joint control zone of Berlin, which was given ‘Four Power’ status. Churchill was happy to accept Stalin’s proposal for a border between the two northern sectors that was much further to the west than originally intended by Roosevelt. This outraged the Americans as the Soviet Union would now have much greater control over the territory. Churchill was at first overly optimistic about Stalin’s intentions and underestimated the extent to which relations would sour between the two ideological sides in the years immediately after the war.

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