The Potsdam Conference, along with the Yalta Conference, was an important event for the end stages of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. The Potsdam Conference occurred from July 17th to August 2nd in 1945 and was a wartime meeting of the Allied leaders, including: Harry S. Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Truman had just replaced Franklin D. Roosevelt as President of the United States following his death. The meeting took place in Potsdam, which at the time was in the Allied controlled area of Germany. The purpose of the conference was for the three Allied powers to begin discussing how to handle the defeat of Nazi Germany, which had occurred just recently. Other goals focused on how the world would carry on after the war. While, World War II in the Pacific was not over yet, the Allies could see that the end of the war was near and that Japan would soon be defeated.
The hope was that the three leaders could agree on how to handle world issues after the war was over, including: peace treaty issues and the effects of the war. However, the Potsdam Conference is now viewed as a major event in the Cold War as well, because it highlighted the divide between Stalin and the other two leaders. Neither side trusted the other and Joseph Stalin was resentful of the other two believing that they delayed the Normandy Invasion and Allied invasion of Italy to cause the Soviet army to struggle alone against Nazi Germany. This divide was further highlighted at the earlier Yalta Conference. As well, it is at the Potsdam Conference that Truman made Stalin aware of the American atomic weapons program (Manhattan Project) and that the Americans had developed the world's first atomic bomb. It was also at this conference that a deep divide was created between the United States and the Soviet Union. Truman was incredibly suspicious of Stalin and his intentions and Stalin felt a similar way towards Truman. In general terms, the seeds of the Cold War were planted at the Potsdam Conference. The United States would bomb Hiroshima just days after the conference ended and World War II would be over in the just a few weeks, while the Cold War was just beginning.