Race to Victory (2020): S01E04 – Tehran Sit-Down


This series reveals how and why the central alliance between Great Britain, the United States and The Soviet Union was formed leading into World War II.


Tehran, 29 November 1943. The Big Three are meeting for the first time. The three leaders seem to be in full support of one another, but they also have their own interests at heart. So how will they work together at this historic conference?

After Hitler was defeated in the Battle of Stalingrad in July 1943, the Nazi leader launched Operation Citadel, which became known as the Battle of Kursk. On 05 July 1943, one of the largest tank battles in history began. Despite a successful start, the Germans struggled to break through the endless numbers of Soviet troops.

Meanwhile, in the Mediterranean, a joint force of British and American soldiers commenced their invasion of Sicily on 09 July 1943. After the successes of the North African campaign. a rivalry had begun between the British General, Bernard Montgomery, and US General, George Patton. Both wanted the glory of reaching the capital of Sicily first, sparking the ‘Race to Messina’ with Patton eventually making it into the city just hours before Montgomery.

At the top, Roosevelt was keen to develop his relationship with Stalin and began pushing for a face to face conference between the Big Three. A number of locations were suggested, but Stalin was paranoid about his personal security and hated travelling outside the Soviet Union.

Eventually, Stalin agreed to travel to the Iranian capital, Tehran, so the Big Three could meet for the first time. But the conference did not get off to the best start. Soviet intelligence apparently identified a German plot to assassinate the three men. Roosevelt ended up staying in the Soviet embassy with Stalin, giving them both a fantastic opportunity to discuss the war situation in private – which did not please Churchill. The three personalities had never been in the same room together before and – aside from their joint aim of defeating Hitler – all had their own agendas. Stalin above all wanted a second front in France.

Churchill felt the British were not ready. Eventually, Roosevelt Sided with Stalin and broke the deadlock. Stalin’s much anticipated “Western Front” would finally open.

Nerves grew as the day approached, exacerbated by bad weather which delayed the invasion. But finally, on 06 June, Eisenhower gave the green light: the Allies would now begin Operation Overlord.

Race to Victory Series

You can find a full index of Race to Victory here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 29 May 2020.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes (with adverts).
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link


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