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Douglas MacArthur's first term as President of the United States began on January 20th, 1945, and ended on January 20th, 1949, with the beginning of his second term as President of the United States. During these years, he worked to bring an end to the Second World War, began the reconstruction of Western Europe and East Asia, and lead the opening battle of what we now know as the Cold War.
World War II
From the moment that Douglas MacArthur was inaugurated, the most pressing concern was how to conclude the Second World War. On all fronts, Axis forces were being forced back and occupied lands were being liberated. Recently, the French had established an interim government under Charles De Gaulle, and the British had landed in Greece. To many, the Third Reich and the Japanese Empire were on their last legs.
What worried MacArthur most of all, however, was that the Soviet Union was now fighting in lands that were not their own. Poland was for the most part now under the control of the Red Army, as were Romania, Bulgaria and parts of Hungary. He suspected that wherever the Red Army was positioned, it was never going to leave and those nations would simply become Communist puppets under the control of Moscow. On the 22nd of January, he sent orders to Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower to advance as quickly as possible onto Berlin, Prague and Hamburg. When concerns over the National Redoubt were brought up, MacArthur argued that the Germans simply no longer had that ability, and repeated the order. A similar offensive was originally planned to occur in Italy, but reorganization of the Allied forced was required before it could be enacted.
From the fourth of February to the eleventh, Douglas MacArthur, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin met in the Livadia Palace on the Crimea, in what became known as the Yalta Conference. There, it was decided that the Soviet war effort would end with the surrender of Germany to the Allied Powers, and it would be divided into four occupation zones, to be determined at a later date. Austria was also to be divided into four occupation zones. Attempts to negotiate free elections in those states that were under Soviet control were fruitless; Stalin refused to allow international observation of the elections, guaranteeing they "would be free and fair". MacArthur and Churchill left the conference disheartened.