Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


France, in the Potsdam Agreements, was accorded equal power in the occupation and control of defeated Germany with the Big Three. Yet, the French were not bound, in any way, to the Potsdam Agreements by which the occupation and control of defeated Germany was to proceed. The purpose of this study has been to discover how and why this omission occurred and its effect upon the Pots dam design. Pursuance of this study led to an investigation of Big Three wartime summit meetings and of Big Three relations with France during the various phases of the war. From June of 1940 to October of 1944 the Big Three were faced with the problem of finding and recognizing a French Government representative of the French people. Following the recognition of the Provisional Government of France on October 23, 1944, the three great powers were faced with de Gaulle's chauvinistic and ambitious plans for himself as well as his nation. Full responsibility for the obstruction, however, cannot be delegated to France alone, for the responsibility must be shared by all four nations. By their attitude, the Soviets implied a continual belief in French inferiority, and Russia became a new symbol of danger to French security. Great Britain and the United States, although the main supporters of French rights, failed to support France adequately when she needed it most. The result was the frustration of the Potsdam design for the occupation and control of defeated Germany. The planned coordinated approach was replaced by a national zonal approach. The long-range effect can be discerned in the Berlin wall and the lack of unity between the Western powers; both of which are, in part, a result of the French obstruction following Germany's surrender.


Eugene R. Craine

Date of Award

Summer 1962

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1962 Larry Keith Anderson


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