The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Egbert Dijkstra Archive
Did Stalin Prepare to Invade Germany?
Stalin's foreign policy concerning Germany in the years 1939-1941
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments

Introduction

The largest military operation in history commenced on 22 June 1941. Millions of German troops crossed the German-Soviet border and clashed with the Red Army. Adolf Hitler and German commanders expected to be able to defeat the Soviet Union in three months.[1]Lloyd Clark, Kurks: The Greatest battle – Eastern front 1943. (London: Headline Review, 2012), 82. By the end of September 1941, the Germans had managed to destroy 8160 Soviet combat aircraft, 20500 tanks and captured or killed over 5 million Soviet troops.[2]Cynthia Roberts, ”Planning for War: The Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941” in Europe-Asia Studies, Volume 47, No. 8 (1995): 1293-1326, 1307. Despite these achievements, the Germans were shocked to discover that the Soviet Union had significantly more tanks, guns, aircraft and troops than they expected.[3]Hitler for example voiced his surprise during a meeting with Mannerhiem in 1942. A recording of the meeting can be found and accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClR9tcpKZec The recording is also interesting, because it was only one of two known recordings where Hitler spoke in a private, conversational manner, rather than during a public speech. Many of these tanks and aircraft were stationed right on the German-Soviet frontier. Nearly 80% of the newest tanks such as the T-34 and the KV-series were stationed right at the Soviet border, in addition to 50% of all advanced Soviet aircraft.[4]Cynthia Roberts, 1307. The newest Soviet tanks were of superior design compared to whatever tanks the Germans deployed for their invasion.[5]David Glantz, Barbarossa Derailed: the Battle for Smolensk, 10 July to 10 September 1941 (Solihull, West Midlands: Helion & Company, 2016), 37. The Germans also found huge stockpiles of fuel and munition close to the border.[6]Boris Sokolov, ”Did Stalin intend to attack Hitler?” in The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 11:2 (1998): 113-141, 129-130. What was Stalin planning to do with all that war material and all those troops stationed right at the German-Soviet frontier? Why did he stockpile resources such as oil and coal so close to the border? These questions lies at the heart of the so-called Soviet attack plans controversy.

The controversy was the result of the publishing of the highly controversial but widely read book Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? by Viktor Suvorov. Suvorov’s main argument is that it was Stalin, not Hitler, who was responsible for the outbreak of the Second World War, believing that the war actually started in August 1939 when the Soviets were battling the Japanese in the Far East.[7]Viktor Suvorov, Ice-Breaker: Who Started the Second World War? (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1990), 97. Stalin supposedly signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler to allow himself to build up his forces while Britain and France fought a war with Germany. The aim was to weaken Britain, France and Germany. Once these countries were sufficiently weak, Stalin would launch a colossal invasion of Europe aimed at Soviet domination.[8]Suvorov, Icebreaker, 10. That explains why Stalin had deployed all those troops so close to the border. Suvorov argues that Operation Barbarossa needs to be understood as a preemptive strike, because at some point Hitler caught wind of what Stalin was trying to do, and promptly launched his own invasion against the Soviet Union.[9]Suvorov, Icebreaker, 129.

Suvorov is not a historian, but his work has received both criticism and support from the academic community. Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, the state archives were opened to the public, allowing historians from the West to prove – or disprove Suvorov’s claims. Suvorov had worked for the Soviet military intelligence service (GRU) and purports to have had access to archival material not accessible to the Soviet public at large. In 1978 he defected to the West. During the eighties he had already published articles arguing that Operation Barbarossa was a preemptive strike and that Stalin masterminded the Second World War, but these received little attention compared to his book Icebreaker.[10]Suvorov already published articles with the same basic points as in his book Icebreaker. An example of his articles can be found for example in: Viktor Suvorov, ”Who was planning to attack whom in June 1941, Hitler or Stalin?” in Journal of the Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies, Vol 130 Iss. 2 (1985): 50-55. A possible explanation is that Western historians simply did not have access to the Soviet archives and so may have found Suvorov’s writings to be false if not outright fanciful.

Almost no historian to-day supports all of Suvorov’s points entirely, but some do support components of it.[11]Evan Mawdsley, ”Crossing the Rubicon: Soviet Plans for Offensive war in 1940-1941” in The International History Review, Vol. 25, No.4 (2003): 818-865, 818. Joachim Hoffmann, for example, in his book Stalin’s War of Extermination writes that Stalin did indeed have plans of his own to invade Germany, however he believes that Operation Barbarossa cannot be understood to have been a preemptive strike. Instead, he argues that both Hitler and Stalin had ambitions of their own to invade each-other, but Hitler just so happened to launch his invasion before Stalin could launch his.[12]Joachim Hoffmann, Stalin’s War of Extermination 1941-1945: Planning, Realization, Documentation. (Uckfield: Castle Hill Publishers 2001), 329.

Gabriel Gorodetsky, who wrote his book Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German invasion of Russia in reaction to Icebreaker, contends that Stalin had no aim to invade Germany at all. Gorodetsky maintains that Stalin never abandoned his principle aim of national security for the USSR. The Soviet occupation of eastern Poland, of the Baltic states, of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina needs to be understood within the context of Stalin’s desire for security arrangements rather than for realizing imperialist ambitions. Gorodetsky argues that the Soviet occupations were devoid of any ideological motives.[13]Gabriel Gorodetsky, Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia (New Haven: Yale University Press 1999), 29. Stalin was afraid of a separate peace-deal between Great-Britain and Germany, especially after Hitler had managed to secure a swift victory over France. In the months leading up to Operation Barbarossa, Gorodetsky is convinced that all evidence points to Stalin wanting to appease Hitler in order to avoid war, not to invade Germany.

David Glantz also wrote his book Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War in response to Icebreaker. Based on extensive research into Red Army deployments, armaments and logistics he believes that the Red Army was unprepared to launch an invasion of Germany in 1941. Glantz shows that many divisions were only in the process of being created, many were not at their required strength, and much of the Soviet war material was obsolete.[14]David M Glantz, Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998), 4.

Albert Loren Weeks, author of the book Stalin’s Other War: Soviet Grand Strategy, 1939-1941 states that Stalin was amassing troops on Soviet-German border with the intention of striking against Hitler’s forces. He points to the aggressive rhetoric used by Soviet officials such as Kalinin, Scherbakov and Zhdanov shortly before Operation Barbarossa.[15]Albert Loren Weeks, Stalin’s Other War: Soviet Grand Strategy, 1939-1941 (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002), 21. He argues that the lack of a defensive strategy on the part of the Red Army is indicative that the Red Army was neither afraid of nor preparing for a German invasion.[16]Weeks, 140. He sees the May war plan as ultimate proof that the Soviets were gearing up for a war.

With so many historians having different opinions and perspectives on the Soviet attack plans controversy, it can be rather difficult to understand the debate in its entirety. Evan Mawdsley, author of the article Crossing the Rubicon: Soviet Plans for offensive war in 1940-1941 breaks the debate down into two camps, namely the traditionalists on one side and the revisionists on the other. This artificial dichotomy does not do all the individual historian’s work justice, but broadly it can be said that the traditionalist believe that Soviet foreign policy in the years 1939-1941 has been defensive in nature. The revisionists, on the other hand, argue that Stalin was preparing for an invasion of Germany at some point in the future.[17]Mawdsley, 818-819. David Glantz, Gabriel Gorodetsky, John Erickson and Richard Overy are considered to be traditionalists while historians such as Joachim Hoffmann, Ewan Mawdsley, Albert Loren Weeks and Mikhail Meltyukov are considered to be revisionists. There are more historians who could fall into either of the two categories, but there are simply too many to list them all here.

For the purposes of this thesis I decided to adopt Mawdsley’s compartmentalization of the debate. I will take up a revisionist position, thus arguing that Stalin planned to invade Germany, and was actively working towards that goal in the months leading up to Operation Barbarossa. I intend to evaluate sources that have not been sufficiently discussed within the context of the debate, including the Soviet mobilization plan of 1941. In addition I will pay close attention to the time-frame in which decisions were made, and also at the dates at which plans were introduced, because I believe the traditionalist too often argue from hindsight bias, that is they knew that Hitler was going to attack the USSR on 22 June 1941 and judge or frame Stalin’s actions and decisions with that knowledge in mind. By focusing on Soviet mobilization and by paying close attention to the time-frame in which events occurred and decisions were made, I hope to offer a fresh perspective on the controversy, and strengthen the revisionist position.

In the first chapter I will explain Stalin’s conception of foreign policy in 1939-1941. I will demonstrate that Stalin’s view of foreign politics would inevitably result in a war. I will also discuss the reason why Stalin signed a pact with Hitler, and answer the question if Stalin was aware of Hitler’s planned invasion of the Soviet Union. This chapter will to a large extent be based on a number of Stalin biographies, including biographies by Simon Montefiore, Robert Service and Oleg Khlevniuk. In the second chapter, I aim to discuss Soviet defensive strategy. While Soviet defense may not seem relevant given my hypothesis, I will show that Soviet defensive strategy had an innately aggressive component to it, which included conquering the lands of the attacker and defeating him on his own territory. It is within this framework wherein Soviet occupation of the Baltics and parts of Romania can be understood, and why Stalin miscalculated where the main thrust of a potential German invasion would come from. Soviet fortifications like the Molotov line and the Stalin line will be discussed in brief, and I shall argue how these fortifications fitted in poorly with Soviet conceptions about defense.

In the third chapter, I will evaluate the so-called May war plan drawn up by Georgy Zhukov. The evaluation will be corroborated with secondary literature in order to determine if the proposed preemptive strike was actually being implemented. To that end I will also look at Red Army deployments and (covert) mobilization in the months leading up to Barbarossa. The May plan can be found in a translated form in Albert Weeks’ book.[18]Weeks, Appendix I-II It has been included for easier reference in appendix II of this thesis. The so-called Mobilization Plan 1941 (MP-41 for short) is also important to discuss within the context of the May plan, but has never been translated to English. Since I lack the ability to read Russian, I have had to rely on a Russian friend to translate parts of the documents. Translating the whole document was not considered, because that’s a monumental task as the plans also contains inventories of all the troops and (war) material the Soviets had available as of 1 January 1941. I did not deem that to be relevant to my thesis. Instead, I will cite relevant passages that relate to actual mobilization and deployment procedures. Because of my lack of understanding of Russian, I will use an analysis provided by Bruce Menning and Jonathan House in their chapter Soviet Strategy in the book The Cambridge history of the Second World war. Volume I. MP-41 can be found in its untranslated form on the website alexanderyakolev.org.[19]Aleksandr Vasilevsky, ”Document number 272 Note of the Nko of the USSR and the General Staff of the Red Army to the Politburo of the CPSU – I.V Stalin and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Red Army” accessed 3 May 2021 https://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/1011413 and Aleksandr Vasilevsky ”Document number 273 – Draft decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR ”on the mobilization plan for 1941”’ accessed 3 May 2021 https://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/1011435

In the fourth chapter, I will interpret Stalin’s speech of 5 May 1941. Over the course of decades there has been much debate about whether or not the speech had taken place at all, and what has been said during the speech. Was it done to appease Hitler, or to prepare the Soviet Union for a war? Or perhaps both? Many historians have attempted to reconstruct the speech, based mostly on memoirs and diaries from people who were present during the speech, or purported to have been present. The result was many, often contradictory versions, with some versions explicitly mentioning a preemptive war against Germany and others not mentioning any attack against Germany at all.[20]For the historiography as well as a background of the speech, I will refer to the work of Lew Besymenski in his article ”Die Rede Stalin am 5. Mai 1941: Dokumentiert und interpretiert” in OstEuropa Vol 42, No. 3 (1992), 242-264. A version of the speech has been found in the Soviet archives in 1992, which will be regarded as the original source. A German translation can be found in Lew Besymenski’s article Die Rede Stalin am 5. Mai: Dokumentiert und interpretiert. Besymenski’s article contains scans of the original speech. I have translated the speech from German to English and included it in appendix I.

Aside from Stalin himself, other figures like Joachim von Ribbentrop, Vyacheslav Molotov and Georgy Zhukov are all relevant given the topic, and so their memoirs will be used to strengthen points I make. It needs to be understood that memoirs are innately biased as the writers had every reason to cover up their own mistakes while overstating their achievements.[21]Von Ribbentrop wrote his memoirs shortly before the Nuremberg trails, so he had every reason to try to diminish his role within the decision-making process of the Third Reich. Molotov consistently denied the existence of the secret clauses of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact throughout his life, indeed this would remain the official position of the Soviet Union until 1989. Finally, according to Oleg Khlevniuk, the Zhukov memoirs have been republished so many times by the communist party that it is hard to gauge which version of the memoir is the original one written by Zhukov’s hand. However, their writings can be contextualized with other sources and literature in order to evaluate the truthfulness of their statements.

The Soviet attack plans controversy has been connected to a larger debate known as the historikerstreit which was a dispute about how the Nazi-era should be remembered collectively in Germany. It has been argued by some historians that Hitler’s assault on the USSR was a preemptive strike, the implication being that the attack was therefore justified.[22]This is Suvurov’s position, and the argument has been put forward by historians as well, including, but not limited to Ernst Topitsch in his book Stalins Krieg: Moskaus Griff Nach Der Weltherrschaft – Strategie Und Scheitern (Herford: Busse Seewald, 1998). And Heinz Magenheimer in Der deutsche Angriff auf Sowjetrussland 1941. Das operative Problem in Planing und Ablauf des Feldzuges. (Vienna, University of Vienna, 1969). This paper does not focus on the morality of Hitler’s attack on the USSR, however it is important to distinguish between a preemptive war and a preventative war. In a preemptive war, a first strike is executed in anticipation of an imminent attack by another party. This is different from a preventative war wherein a potential belligerent could be deprived of his ability to attack, even if no imminent attack is anticipated.[23]Colin S. Gray, The Implications of Preemptive and Preventive War Doctrines: a Reconsideration (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2007), v-vi. It is my belief that the German attack can be construed as preventative, but not as preemptive. There is no evidence that the Germans feared an imminent Soviet invasion, Hitler was even so bold as to claim that one would only need to kick in the front door of the Soviet Union and the entire system would collapse.[24]Von Hardesty and Ilya Grinberg, Red Phoenix Rising: the Soviet Air Force in World War II (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2012), 6. The Germans would only come to learn of Soviet resources, manpower and manufacturing capabilities after they had already launched their invasion.

Stalin and his foreign policy in the years 1939-1941

In 1939, Stalin viewed foreign policy as a grand game of poker. In Europe, this game was attended by three players. The fascists were represented by Adolf Hitler, the capitalists were represented by Chamblerlain and finally the Bolsheviks were represented by Stalin himself.[25]Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Stalin: Aan Het Hof Van De Rode Tsaar (Houten: Het Spectrum, 2008), 288. The third player would try to entice the other two players to go to war against each other, giving him time to build up his military forces and invade when the other two players had weakened themselves sufficiently in combat. With this conception in mind, one must conclude then that war would be inevitable, and that Stalin would need to prepare for that inevitability in one way or another. But can evidence be found that Stalin put this conception of foreign politics into practice?

That Stalin pursued a policy of collective security against Germany is well known. What is not so well known, is that Stalin proposed a preventative strike with France and Britain against Germany. Kliment Voroshilov along with Boris Shaposhnikov had drawn up plans to allow 120 infantry divisions, 9500 tanks, 5000 artillery pieces and 5500 bombers and aircraft against Germany.[26]Michael Carley, ”Fiascso: The Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance That Never Was” The International History Review Vol 42, Issue 4 (2019) 701-728, 703. A precondition was that the Red Army would be allowed to move through Poland in order to reach Germany. Jozef Beck, the Polish foreign minister, refused on the basis that he feared that such an action would provoke an invasion from the Germans, the main concern being that most of the fighting would occur on Polish territory. In addition, the British and French believed that the plan would ultimately lead to Soviet domination of Baltic States, Poland and Romania.[27]Derek Watson, Molotov: a Biography (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 158.

The British and the French felt that the Soviets presented their plan as if Britain and France needed Soviet assistance against Germany. At the same time, the Soviets were humiliated by the fact that the British and the French stalled talks for an alliance.[28]Watson, 163. The Anglo-French coalition did not have the power to form any concrete agreements. That the Soviets proposed to commit so much war material and divisions apparently did not alarm the British and the French, probably because they considered it to be a bluff, especially after Stalin’s purges and the fact that the military build-up was carried out in utmost secrecy.[29]Lennart Samuelson, Plans for Stalin’s War Machine: Tukhachevskii and Military-Economic Planning, 1925-1941. (London: Macmillan Press, 200), 198-199. In addition, Germany must have been the more immediate danger given the fact that Hitler had gobbled up what remained of Czechoslovakia, thus breaking the Munich agreement.

With the collapse of the Anglo-Soviet-French talks in August 1939, Stalin shifted his focus to Hitler. During the Eighteenth Congress of the Communist party, Stalin lambasted Britain and France for not having checked German and Japanese aggression. He famously exclaimed that he would not pull the chestnuts out of the fire for what he deemed to be the ‘capitalist countries.'[30]This what Stalin said during the 18th congress of the All-Union Communist Party. A full transcript of the speech can be found on this website: Stalin, ”Report on the Work of the Central Committee to the Eighteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U” Accessed December 6, 2020 https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/wo...0.htm. In his memoirs, Ribbentrop states that he interpreted the speech as an attempt by Stalin to seek rapprochement with Hitler. When Ribbentrop later asked Stalin about the speech during the signing of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, Stalin confirmed that rapprochement with Germany was precisely his goal.[31]Joachim von Ribbentrop translated by Oliver Watson, The Ribbentrop Memoirs (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1954), 109. This seems rather strange given that Stalin was very hostile to the Germans in his speech, but Von Ribbentrop had a very clear anti-British, pro-Soviet bias which may help explain his interpretation.

Further evidence that Stalin sought rapprochement with Germany was the replacement of his foreign minister, Maxim Latvinov, with Vyacheslav Molotov. Latvinov was known for his policy of collective security with the western powers against Germany, while Molotov had a more pro-German attitude. Latvinov’s jewish background certainly would have hindered re-establishing relationships with Germany. In addition, Stalin purged his embassies of jews. Molotov welcomed this change, saying that ”Stalin said to me: ‘Purge the ministry of jews.’ Thank God for these words! Jews formed an absolute majority in the leadership and among the ambassadors. It wasn’t good.[32]Felix Chuev translated by Albert Resis, Molotov Remembers: Inside Kremlin Politics. (Chigago: Ivan R. Dee, 1993), 192.

The fact that talks with the Anglo-French coalition collapsed on 17 August 1939 and that Stalin signed a pact with Hitler shortly thereafter shows that Stalin liked to play both sides, keep communication lines open to see which side would be most beneficial to his interests. Gorodetsky maintains that Stalin’s principle aim always remained national security, however in light of the fact that Stalin proposed a preventative strike against Hitler, and failing that swapped one offensive strategy for another (capturing Poland with Hitler), certainly lends more credence to the revisionist rather than the traditionalist position. In both scenarios, the end result would be that Stalin’s territorial gains were enormous: Stalin captured the Baltics, parts of Romania and Poland. While the goal of the triple alliance was to halt Nazi-agression, it is difficult to imagine that the Red Army would have eagerly left countries like Poland and Romania, were the Soviets allowed to smash Germany in 1939. In light of the Stalin’s behavior and frame of mind, Gorodetsky’s contention that Stalin was mostly defense-oriented seems hard to maintain.

When Ribbentrop left Berlin for Moscow to sign an agreement with Stalin, he went there with the sole purpose of signing a pact of non-aggression. There is no evidence that the Germans had plans to carve up Europe with the Soviets beforehand. During the meeting, Ribbentrop had to call Hitler for approval of Stalin’s demands, despite the fact that he already had full powers to make agreements. This indicates that the secret clauses of the pact was Stalin’s brainchild, not Hitler’s. Stalin understood that Hitler wanted to attack Poland in haste and so made as many demands as possible. Upon hearing from Ribbentrop that Hitler had accepted Stalin’s demands, Stalin became visibly excited.[33]Montefiore, 295-296. After the meeting with Ribbentrop concluded, Stalin exclaimed to Voroshilov, Khrushchev, Malenkov and Bulganin that ‘the great game‘ had begun and that ‘of course this is part of the game who can deceive who.[34]Montefiore, 296. This is evidence that Stalin still held onto his poker-game conception of European politics after the pact was signed.

Stalin got what he wished for when Britain and France declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939. There are many theories about why Stalin delayed his invasion of Poland. Suvorov believes that Stalin waited because if he would immediately invade along with Hitler, then Britain and France would likely not declare war, thus undermining his own ambition of throwing Europe into chaos.[35]Viktor Suvorov, Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2013), 31. The allies at this point were probably not aware of the secret clauses of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. Another reading has it that Stalin wanted to wait and see if the Germans would actually keep their end of the bargain, that it is to say if they would stop at agreed-upon demarcation line as stipulated in the pact.[36]Watson, 172. I would argue that both readings could be true, but I add that even if Stalin wanted to invade Poland as early as 1 September, his armies simply would not have been ready given that the Germans were preparing for an invasion as early as April yet there is no evidence that the Soviets had the same idea in mind.

Stalin’s poker-game conception fell apart in June 1940 when the Germans achieved a swift victory over France. Stalin hoped that the German war machine would grind to a halt in front of the titanic fortifications of the Maginot line, the result of which would be a slow, grinding war of attrition in a similar fashion as the Western front during the First World War.[37]Robert Service , Stalin: a Biography (London: Macmillan, 2004), 403. Yet the Germans simply penetrated weak links in the Maginot line, surrounded and destroyed the French armies and penetrated deeply into French territory. Nobody expected that one of the world’s greatest powers at the time could be defeated in a month, yet it happened regardless. This news sent shock-waves across the globe and caused a panic in the Soviet Union.

Upon hearing the news that France was defeated, Stalin flew into a rage.[38]Montefiore, 317. The Soviet Union publicly congratulated Germany’s success, but on 26 June 1940, a day after the defeat of France, the Soviet workday was extended from seven to eight hours per day, with a seven day per week schedule.[39]Alexander Hill, The Icebreaker Controversy and Soviet Intentions in 1941: The Plan for the Strategic Deployment of Soviet Forces of 15 May and Other Key documents ” in Journal of Slavic Military Studies 21:1 (2019): 113-128, 118. Molotov says that ‘We abolished the seven hour work day. We built no apartment houses, but there was the construction of factories, the creation of new army units armed with tanks, aircraft… we drove all the designers; faster! Faster![40]Chuev, 25-26. This indicates that a possible war against Germany was already being considered. Indeed, these policies ring of wartime measures.

What did Stalin know?

Was Stalin aware of Operation Barbarossa? Stalin had received accurate reports about German deployments in the months preceding Barbarossa.[41]Gorodetsky, 162. It was not the case that Stalin did not believe these reports, rather that he considered a German invasion unlikely. Stalin received a lot of inaccurate reports as well, and he had chosen to believe reports based on preconceived notions. These notions were that Stalin was convinced that the British Empire and the United States were trying to hoodwink the Soviet Union into a war with Germany.[42]Gorodetsky, 168. In addition, Stalin had read Mein Kampf. Hitler’s analysis of the First World War was that the principle cause for Germany’s defeat was the war it had to fight on two fronts, in addition to the British blockade. Stalin, who believed Hitler to be a new Bismarck, simply could not fathom that Hitler would launch an invasion of the USSR before the war with the British Empire was concluded.[43]Service, 402.

At the same time the Germans were running a very extensive disinformation campaign to try and conceal their deployments.[44]Marius Broekmeyer, Bedrogen Bedriegers: Stalin contra Hitler. (Amsterdam: Mets & Schilt, 2006), 183-185. Hitler even went so far as to write Stalin personal letters. In one letter he wrote that German divisions were stationed along the frontier because the divisions would be out of range from British bombers and he had actually intended to launch a major campaign into the Middle-East. Stalin seemingly believed Hitler.[45]Broekmeyer, 129-131. When asked that that perhaps Stalin thought that Hitler would not engage the Soviet Union before dealing with Britain, Molotov said: ‘That’s right. Not only Stalin had this feeling, but I and others did, too.'[46]Chuev, 23. Even shortly before the invasion, there was no anti-Soviet hysteria in Berlin.[47]Bruce Menning and Jonathan House ”Soviet Strategy” in The Cambridge History of the Second World War: Volume 1, Fighting the War. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 230. Furthermore, Hitler had not fully mobilized his economy for a war. While that might have helped to deceive Stalin in the short run, in the long run the Germans would struggle with military production as they only shifted to a war economy in 1943.

It is clear then that Stalin deluded himself into thinking that a German invasion would not happen in 1941. When the invasion did happen, the reaction of Stalin shows that he was both shocked and surprised.[48]Service, 414. He initially believed the invasion to have been the result of the personal initiative of several rogue German commanders, who hoped for a Soviet counterattack that could be used as a pretext for a full-scale German invasion.[49]Gorodetsky, 299. Stalin believed – and this has been corroborated by British reports forwarded to the Soviet Union – that there was a breach between German commanders and Adolf Hitler. The breach entailed that Hitler did not want a war with the Soviet Union while certain German commanders did.[50]Gorodetsky, 183. By provoking a Soviet attack, these commanders hoped that they would force Hitler to engage the Soviet Union in full force. Such a breach never existed and may have been part of the German disinformation campaign.

It is apparent that Stalin held onto this delusion even after 150 German divisions crossed the border. Stalin went so far as ordering his troops not to engage the Germans on German territory after hostilities began on 22 June.[51]Watson, 189. Stalin assumed as late as 25 June that many of his armies were intact and that they would be able to launch counter attacks against the invading Germans, indeed Timoshenko and Zhukov issued directives ordering the North-Western and Western fronts to attack the Germans and capture Poland and East-Prussia.[52]Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin’s Wars: from World War to Cold War, 1939-1953 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006), 93. A pervasive myth has it that Stalin drank himself into a stupor or that he locked himself in his dacha, but his Kremlin agenda as well as the fact that he heavily edited Molotov’s ominous speech on 22 June shows that he was present and active during the first week of Barbarossa.[53]Geoffrey Roberts, 91. The speed of the German invasion is what really baffled the Soviets.

Molotov said that ‘We were blamed because we ignored our intelligence. Yes, they warned us. But if we had heeded them, had given Hitler the slightest excuse, he would have attacked us sooner.'[54]Chuev, 22. The issue with this statement is that Hitler never needed a pretext in the first place, if he wanted to invade a country he would create a pretext himself like he did in Poland. It’s also hypocritical that this came from the mouth of Molotov when the Soviets invented pretexts themselves, such as the Shelling of Mainila which initiated the Winter War.[55]Watson, 178. He goes on and says that ‘[you] could not trust intelligence agents as there were provocateurs everywhere.[56]Chuev, 22. Molotov also said that ‘June 1940 had passed [without a German invasion] and we felt that June 1941 would pass as well.'[57]Chuev, 22. The timing here is very important, as the Germans probably were not going to invade in autumn or winter.

Soviet defensive strategy

Molotov and Stalin lines examined

The main Soviet lines of defense were the so-called Stalin and Molotov lines. The Stalin line was constructed in the 1920s and it was built along the Soviet border at the time. The Stalin line was constructed with the realization that it took Soviet armies longer to mobilize than their potential enemies, thus the Stalin line had the intention to stall the attacker. It was not intended to stop a hypothetical invasion dead in its tracks.[58]Neil Short, The Stalin and Molotov Lines: Soviet Western Defences, 1928-41 (London: Osprey Publishing, 2013), 44.

The Molotov line was a new line of fortifications that was being constructed in 1940 and ran from the city of Memel in Lithuania to Hungary. When the Germans arrived at the Molotov line, the defensive line had only been completed by about 25%.[59]Short, 9. This is in part because the Soviets did not seem to prioritize building it as quickly as possible. Construction on the Molotov line paused in the winter of 1940 because of the cold.[60]Short, 11. In addition, engineers who made mistakes were simply branded as saboteurs and were shot.[61]Short, 40. This resulted in a drop in efficiency of the work crews, and in some cases work crews simply left, either because there was no-one to supervise them or indeed because they were afraid of becoming targets themselves.

Later when the Germans arrived at the Stalin line, they were faced with neglected and in some cases abandoned fortifications, emplacements and bunkers. Curiously most of the firearms and cannons of the line were not transported to the new Molotov-line that was under construction, but instead stockpiled along the German-Soviet border.[62]Short, 15. This again indicates that the Soviets were preparing for offensive rather than defensive actions.

The Molotov line on the eve of Barbarossa. The numbers indicate fortified districts. As the red lines show, they are not all connected, highlighting the fact that the Molotov line was not a continuous line of fortifications.
The Molotov line on the eve of Barbarossa.[63]Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/...wa.jpg The numbers indicate fortified districts. As the red lines show, they are not all connected, highlighting the fact that the Molotov line was not a continuous line of fortifications.

So why did the Stalin and the Molotov lines appear to be either neglected or incomplete? Did the Soviets not have enough time to finish the Molotov line before the invasion? That may well have been the case. However, I would argue that the Molotov-line was not completed, and the Stalin-line abandoned, because static defenses did not fit into Soviet defensive strategy, and so were not given much priority.

Stalin line (in red) and German territorial gains from 22 June – 30 September 1941.
Stalin line (in red) and German territorial gains from 22 June – 30 September 1941.[64]Source: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/proxy.php?ima...608b3c

A defensive war from the Soviet perspective assumed that the opponent would declare a war before initiating hostilities. The Red Army would thus have time to mobilize and deploy its forces where needed. The Red Army would then launch a massive counter-offensive in which the opponent would to be destroyed within his own territory.[65]Broekmeyer, 121-122. Hoffmann has found many interrogation reports in the Bundesarchiv militairarchiv of Soviet soldiers and officers believing that they would be ordered to attack Germany in the near future.[66]Hoffmann, 37. Furthermore, the captured troops were fully convinced of the absolute superiority of the Red Army over the Wehrmacht. Hoffman’s findings naturally needs to be regarded with a high degree of skepticism, given that the Soviet soldiers could simply have told their German interrogators what they had wanted to hear. However, the lack of a defensive posture on the part of Soviet divisions combined with light no to defenses on the border certainly lends more credence to the revisionist position.

A major flaw in the defensive strategy was the assumption that the Red Army would have time to counter-deploy in the first place. The Germans would give the Soviets no such luxury as they never declared war before the hostilities began. It is almost beyond belief that the Soviets did not keep the surprise factor in mind, as Hitler never declared war on any country before he initiated hostilities. The Soviets themselves recognized the surprise factor as an important element in an offensive war.[67]Weeks, 96.

Soviet conquests in 1940

The incomplete Molotov-line aside, what defenses the Soviets did have in their territorial gains in 1940 were light fortifications. However, they did built plenty of roads, telecommunication lines and aerodromes.[68]Cynthia Roberts, 1316. While roads and telecommunication lines could favor both an offensive and a defensive strategy, it hard to imagine what defensive purpose constructing new airfields so close to the border could have been. It is also a persistent problem that remains unanswered by the traditionalists. As Operation Barbarossa demonstrated, the Germans were either rapidly able to capture Soviet airfields or the Luftwaffe was able to destroy the airfields, giving the Germans air superiority in the first stages of Operation Barbarossa and depriving the Soviets of a huge portion of their airplanes, including some 50 % of their most advanced designs.[69]Cynthia Roberts, 1308.

Molotov believes that the Soviet territorial acquisitions were necessary and that he was convinced that a war with Germany would come: ‘We did everything to postpone a war and acquired as much territory to allow us to retreat'[70]Chuev, 22. The acquisition of as much territory as one can get for defensive purposes would have made sense if the Soviets followed a defense in depth strategy. This strategy is based on the assumption that the attacker will breach the front-line, but will be worn down deeper into enemy territory.[71]Cynthia Roberts, 1296. The tactic made sense given the immensity of the Soviet Union, but the Soviets never adopted the doctrine. David Murphey, author of the book What Stalin Knew: The Engima of Barbarossa, further calls the Soviet territorial acquisitions into question, given that the Soviets now had a much wider front to defend than before September 1939, and in addition had to contend with populations that were very hostile to Soviet rule, including but not limited to the Romanians, the Poles and the Baltic peoples.[72]David Murphey, What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 245.

Soviet defense discussions

In defense discussions of September 1940, it was initially believed that in the event of a German attack, the Germans would likely choose the region north of the Pripyat Marshes into Belorussia for their main assault. It was there then where the strongest forces of the Soviet Union were to be deployed.[73]Glantz, Barbarossa derailed, 21. In October 1940 Stalin disagreed with the notion, and a new plan was drawn up which assumed a German main assault would come from the region south of Pripyat Marshes. This assumption remained unchanged when Operation Barbarossa was executed.

Main German thrust of the initial invasion. The Pripyat Marshes have been named and indicated. It should be clarified that army groups North and Centre invaded north of the Pripyat marshes, thus most of the German forces were concentrated in the north.
Main German thrust of the initial invasion. The Pripyat Marshes have been named and indicated.[74]Source: It should be clarified that army groups North and Centre invaded north of the Pripyat marshes, thus most of the German forces were concentrated in the north.

Stalin’s reasoning was that the Germans were more interested in the food-rich country of the Ukraine and the oil rich-regions of the Caucasus, and so were likely to concentrate their main attack south of the Pripet marshes.[75]Glantz, Barbarossa derailed, 21. I speculate that there may have been more reasons for why Stalin disagreed on where the main German attack would come from. Stalin may have considered his northern front more secure because by 1941 he had already occupied the Baltics. In addition, the north was less suitable for large-scale tank warfare because it was a more forested region with a much softer, muddier ground. It was perhaps a stroke of luck that the Germans attacked when the north had a dry spell for weeks. Most importantly, the Soviets never expected that in the event of a German attack, the Germans would deploy all their forces at once. Even Zhukov had this faulty assumption as late as 22 June 1941 as he writes in his memoirs that:

‘We did not foresee the large-scale surprise offensive launched at once by all available forces which had been deployed in advance in all major strategic directions. We did not envisage the nature of the strike in its entirety. Neither the People’s Commissar nor I and my predecessors B. M. Shaposhnikov and K. A. Meretskov, nor the top officers of the General Staff, had expected the enemy to concentrate such huge numbers of armour and motorized troops, and commit them on the first day to action in powerful compact groupings in all strategic directions with the aim of striking powerful wedging blows.'[76]Georgy Zhukov translated by Geoffrey Roberts, The Autobiography of General Georgy Zhukov. (Barsnley: Pen & Sword Military, 2013), 455-456.

So considering the territorial acquisitions in which the Soviets seemingly did not build any new defenses – at least did not prioritize defenses if the Molotov line is anything to go by – and had to contend with hostile populations, the negligence of the Stalin line, the construction of new aerodromes at the German-Soviet border and apparent confidence that the Soviets would be able to fend of German attackers at the border all point towards the fact that Soviets did not hold defense in high esteem, at least that they would be able to quickly launch a counter-attack into enemy territory. Since Stalin miscalculated where the main thrust would come from, it allowed the Germans to easily encircle entire Soviet armies that were deployed in the south. That’s not to say the Germans would not have punched through the south if they concentrated their main force there, but at least it would have significantly dampened the impact of Barbarossa, and possibly have resulted in higher German casualties. We can thus conclude that, although Stalin may have improved Soviet defenses somewhat, in contrast to both his own and Molotov’s words it was never for defensive purposes that the Soviet Union expanded westward, or procuring security arrangements such as Gorodetsky believes. The aim, rather, seemed to be realizing imperialist ambitions and expanding communism. The Stalinist system was brutally imposed on the newly acquired territories, including on the Ukrainians living in Poland who initially were very amiable to the Soviet occupation, thereby immediately alienating them.[77]Murphey, 248. These Ukrainians as well as other ethnicities would provide valuable assets in intelligence gathering for the Germans later on. Nothing so far indicates that Stalin was purely defense-oriented.

Soviet war plans

The triple alliance strategy proposed by Stalin can already be understood to have been a concrete plan to invade Germany by the Soviets, however its execution relied entirely on the approval of France, Britain and Poland. Since the collective security policy was a failure, the Soviet Union would now have to rely entirely on its own strength and initiative, especially after the fall of France. There were war plans before 1941, and these have been discussed by Evan Mawdsley.[78]Mawdsley, Crossing the Rubicon. For the purposes of this paper, the May plan remains the most significant offensive plan, given that it was the last one before Operation Barbarossa commenced and in that plan the Soviets were expected to deliver the first blow. The older plans can be interpreted to be contingency plans, and were drawn up with the expectation that the enemy would initiate the hostilities. So it is of import to evaluate if the Soviets were working towards executing the May plan. In order to fully understand the content of the plan, it is first important to talk about Mobilization Plan 1941 (MP-41) because MP-41 predated the May plan by three months and it was the plan that would have enabled the Soviets to carry out a first strike in the first place.

Mobilization plan 1941 (MP-41)

MP-41 was proposed no later than 12 February 1941, with revisions to the plan having been accepted on 11 March 1941 by the General Staff.[79]Menning, 227. The plan in actual fact contained two documents – one called document number 272 and the other 273. The plan was to be introduced in different phases. In the first phase, reorganizing, rearming and re-equipping armed forces was to be the focal point of the plan. This phase was to start in February-March of 1941, but it was expected to be completed no earlier than July of the same year. The second phase of the plan concerned mobilization. Mobilization would start in April-June. We can find evidence for this when Stalin placed 500.000 reservist right up the border in March 1941, with another 300.000 days added later.[80]Cynthia Roberts, 1318-1319. Mobilization thus started ahead of schedule. This happened in the manner described in document 273: ‘The 1941 mobilization plan provides for mobilization in two ways: the first option provides for the mobilization of individual military districts, units and formations… in a hidden order to so called large training camps (BTS)'[81]Aleksandr Vasilevsky ”Document number 273 – Draft decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR ”on the mobilization plan for 1941”’ accessed 3 May 2021 https://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/1011435 The second option described by the plan was ordering general mobilization, but we know that this did not happen before Barbarossa.

The first option no doubt held a preference, because ordering general mobilization would alarm the Germans and deprive a Soviet strike of its surprise factor, which would undermine the May plan. It should be noted that on 23 April 1941, 53 German divisions stood against 150 Soviet divisions.[82]Broekmeyer, 176. It is therefore hard to construe the Soviet deployments in March as defensive measures against Hitler given the proportion of forces. The third phase of the plan would hypothetically be the last three weeks before the hostilities begin. In that case, troops were to be forward-deployed to allow for a major offensive.[83]Menning, 230. It should be noted that MP-41 in itself was not a war plan, as it lacked concrete operational objectives.

Stalin deployed an extra 800.000 troops to the Soviet-German border on 13 May 1941, again in the same manner as the deployments in March.[84]Geoffrey Roberts, 69. German deployment only began to rapidly accelerate on 25 May 1941.[85]Louis Rotundo, “Stalin and the Outbreak of War in 1941,” Journal of Contemporary History 24, no. 2 (1989): 277-299, 291. The correct interpretation therefore is that Soviet troop deployments to the border was done in accordance with MP-41, rather than an ad-hoc response to German deployments. For the western districts the mobilization plan envisioned that: ‘In the event that the western districts are raised – the number of troops in these districts will be 6,503,223.'[86]Aleksandr Vasilevsky, ”Document number 272 Note of the Nko of the USSR and the General Staff of the Red Army to the Politburo of the CPSU – I.V Stalin and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Red Army” accessed 3 May 2021 https://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/1011413 It is obvious that at least troop-wise, MP-41 was far too ambitious, however document 273 envisions that ‘ mobilization according to the mob plan [mobilization plan] should begin immediately, with the expectation of the completion of all work, both in the center and in the field, by 1 July 1941.’[87]idem The reality was that by 22 June, the Red Army had some 5.5 million personnel, of whom 2.9 million were stationed in the western border districts.[88]Geoffrey Roberts, 69. While 1 July was still more than a week away from 22 June, it is highly unlikely that the Soviets would have been able to transport 3.5 million troops to the border in a little more than a weeks time.

I argue that the incomplete mobilization might have actually benefitted the Soviets, because there was still some distance between the first and the second echelons, many of the latter were still in the process of being redeployed or created. The distance between the first and second echelon allowed the second echelon to retreat and re-group. These second strategic echelons would make up much of the Soviets forces that would ultimately halt the Germans near places like Moscow and Leningrad. Germans may have actually been more successful had the second echelon been in the place they were supposed to be, given that the elimination a greater amount of Soviet forces near the border would have strained German logistics less once they reached their strategical objectives. This is corroborated by Zhukov when he said in his memoirs that ‘I believe that the Soviet Union would have been beaten early on, if we had deployed all our forces at the border. Then Hitler’s troops would have stepped up the campaign and Moscow and Leningrad would have fallen'[89]Gorodetsky, 240. Yet deploying more troops to the border was exactly what was planned, if MP-41 is anything to go by. It was just that the deployment fell behind schedule.

May war plan

Concerning the May plan, there is an ongoing debate on whether or not it was accepted by Stalin, because it lacked Stalin’s signature. Teddy Uldricks even goes so far as to suggests that it is likely that Stalin never even saw the plan.[90]Teddy J. Uldricks, “The Icebreaker Controversy: Did Stalin Plan to Attack Hitler?” Slavic Review 58, no. 3 (1999): 626-643, 636-637. War plans to invade Finland notably lacked Stalin’s written approval but the Soviet Union did attack Finland regardless.[91]Broekmeyer, 158. So I consider that argument to be faulty. Furthermore, if Zhukov and Timoshenko went behind Stalin’s back to draw up war plans against Germany, they would not have had long to live. The Tukachevsky affair must have been fresh on their minds. Stalin therefore must have seen the plan, and given the extensive military preparations in the months leading up to Barbarossa, accepted it, although likely verbally. The plan was proposed no sooner than 15 May 1941 following a speech by Stalin held on 5 May. The full document is called Considerations for a plan for the strategic deployment of the armed forces of the Soviet Union in the event of war with Germany and her allies, or ‘May plan’ for short .[92]Hill, 119-28. The plan proposed a first strike while the Germans were still in a phase of deployment.

The first section contains an analysis of the strength of the Wehrmacht. Zhukov calculated that at present (May 1941) the German Army has about 284 division in total, which included divisions not located close to the German-Soviet border (such as divisions stationed in occupied France or elsewhere). Of the 284 divisions, 120 were stationed at the borders of the Soviet Union. It should be noted that Zhukov had overestimated the German strength, given that he did not realize that Hitler doubled the amount of tank divisions by cutting the tank strength per division in half.[93]Gorodetsky, 229. So Zhukov believed that Hitler had well over 7000 tanks when in reality he only had about 3300 for his invasion.

Note that about 1000, or about one-third of Hitler’s tanks were comprised of Panzer 1s and 2s, both tanks were obsolete when the invasion commenced.[94]Glantz, Barbarossa Derailed, 24. Though the Soviets had obsolete tanks themselves, they did have more tanks than the rest of the world combined.[95]Christian Hartmann, Operation Barbarossa: Nazi Germany‘s War in the East, 1941-1945. (Oxford: Oxford university press, 2013), 41. It is true that most of the Soviet tanks were comprised of the T-26s, but they did have 10.000 of them. These tanks were certainly a match for the Panzer 1s and 2s that Hitler deployed. In addition, obsolete does not mean useless as the T-26 would serve the Soviets well enough, for example during the invasion of Iran in August 1941 and again when fighting the Japanese Kwantung army in 1945. Worse still for the Germans, was that the Soviets had about 1500 T-34s and KV-1s. These were state-of-the-art designs that had no comparison on the globe at the time.[96]Glantz, Barbarossa Derailed, 37.

Zhukov believed that along with the allies of Germany, Hitler could deploy some 240 divisions against the USSR. This total included German, Hungarian, Romanian and Finnish divisions. Zhukov observed that the Germans were keeping their armies mobilized and had their rear deployed.[97]This detial is important because it meant that any initial strike could quickly be followed up by a second wave of a attack. This, Zhukov writes, is what makes a surprise attack by the Germans possible. He suggests that no such initiative should be given to the Germans, and so proposes a series of steps to counter the Germans.

Zhukov believed in May 1941 that the German army was still in the phase of deployment and will not manage to organize their troops and initiate hostilities. The timing here is important as the plan was proposed no sooner than 15 May while the Germans only shifted to full mobilization at the end of May. German escapades in Yugoslavia and Greece may have obfuscated German intentions, this was certainly true in the eyes of Stalin.[98]Gorodetsky, 180. But from 25 May onward, the Germans managed to transport an extra 47 divisions to the border, of which 28 were panzer/motorized divisions divisions.[99]Rotundo, 291. This last detail is very important, because Germany used 34 panzer/motorized divisions in total for Barbarossa.

These divisions were the essential ingredients in mobile warfare.[100]Often popularized as ‘blitzkrieg warfare.’ Basically combined-arms warfare where tanks instead of infantry are the main spearheads for striking against enemy forces, with support from other elements like the air force or mechanized infantry. Thus Zhukov may have had the faulty assumption that the Red Army would have the time to deploy its forces still, given that most of the mobile German forces were not in sight of Soviet intelligence services, or at least they were not deployed right at the frontier. Indeed, German tanks only started to roll forward eight days before Operation Barbarossa commenced.[101]Rotundo, 293.

What a first strike would look like from the Soviet side according to the May plan. What is not shown on the map is that the 16th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 24th  and 28th armies were either on their way to the front-lines, or were in the process of being created. Remember that at this point a large portion of the German panzer divisions were not yet stationed at the border.
What a first strike would look like from the Soviet side according to the May plan.[102]Geoffrey Roberts, 75. What is not shown on the map is that the 16th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 24th and 28th armies were either on their way to the front-lines, or were in the process of being created. Remember that at this point a large portion of the German panzer divisions were not yet stationed at the border.

The new armies that were being forward deployed would later form the core of the Soviet military resistance. Some of these armies, such as the 16th army, came from the Far East and was initially stationed in the Transbaikal military district. It just so happened that this army was redeployed to the west on 25 May 1941.[103]Vladimir Nevezhin, “Stalin’s 5 May 1941 Addresses: The Experience of interpretation,” The Journal of Slavic Military Studies 11, no. 1 (1998): 116-146, 127.

How the Soviet divisions were deployed on 22 June 1941. As we can see on the map, the 16th, 19th, 21st , 20th, 22nd armies were either in the process of being created, or they were in the process of moving closer to the German-Soviet border. The Soviet deployments lacked depth which would have made sense for a defensive strategy. But there was still sufficient ground between the border and the second echelon to allow, for example the 16th, 19th  and 20th army to re-group near Smolensk. Although resulting in a decisive Soviet defeat, the battle at Smolensk was a protracted battle that some historians have argued bought the Soviets enough time to defend Moscow. Had these armies been forward-deployed, as they were intended to be, the Germans might have rolled through Smolensk unhindered.
How the Soviet divisions were deployed on 22 June 1941.[104]Menning, 228. As we can see on the map, the 16th, 19th, 21st , 20th, 22nd armies were either in the process of being created, or they were in the process of moving closer to the German-Soviet border. The Soviet deployments lacked depth which would have made sense for a defensive strategy. But there was still sufficient ground between the border and the second echelon to allow, for example the 16th, 19th and 20th army to re-group near Smolensk. Although resulting in a decisive Soviet defeat, the battle at Smolensk was a protracted battle that some historians have argued bought the Soviets enough time to defend Moscow.[105]This is one of the central points of Glantz’ book Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk Volume I. Had these armies been forward-deployed, as they were intended to be, the Germans might have rolled through Smolensk unhindered.

In section II of the May plan, Zhukov proposes that the main Soviet strike was to be delivered by the Kiev military district, which was to be renamed the South-Western front. The main goal was to defeat the German army that was deployed south of the Brest-Demblin line. Once that objective was achieved, the next territorial conquest would encompass the Narev River, Lovich, Lodz, Kreizburg, Oppeln and Olomouc.

Zhukov then intended to cut Germany off from Romania. This pincer movement was expected to result in the defeat of the German army west of the Vistula River. It would furthermore result in the capture of Katowice, which was located in the industrially developed region of Silesia. In addition, though not explicitly mentioned by Zhukov in his proposal, this would also effectively cut German troops off from the Balkans and thus remove Romanian oil as a strategic resource. Since the Germans relied on Romania for most of its oil, had the Red Army succeeded in executing Zhukov’s plans then effectively the Germans would have been deprived of about 90% of their oil. The dependence of the Germans on Romanian oil must have been well known by the Soviets.

Gorodetsky calls the plan limited in scope, yet it is obvious that it wasn’t limited at all.[106]Gorodetsky claims such in Grand Delusion, 238. The plan called for the conquest of objectives some 500 kilometers from the German-Soviet border as it stood in May 1941. In practice, if the plans was successfully carried out the Soviets would become the new masters of the entirety of Poland and East Prussia. It is difficult to imagine that the Red Army would not have marched into Germany as well, had the operational objectives of the plan been achieved and the German Army destroyed.

Section III-VIII covers the strategic deployment of the Soviet armed forces. Zhukov estimates that he can deploy about 303 divisions against the Germans. MP-41 also envisioned that many divisions to be available by 1 July 1941. In document number 272 we read that ‘on the mobilization within the Red Army, including the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuaian territorial corps, 300 divisions will be deployed.'[107]Aleksandr Vasilevsky, ”Document number 272 Note of the Nko of the USSR and the General Staff of the Red Army to the Politburo of the CPSU – I.V Stalin and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Red Army” accessed 4 May 2021 https://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/1011413 Stalin did actually have that many divisions come June 22.

An oft-heard argument by traditionalist is that Stalin had crippled his own armed forces by purging a section of his officer cadre, depriving the Red Army of the much-needed leadership against the German invaders.[108]For example Cynthia Roberts, 1293. Roger Reese has demonstrated in his book Stalin’s Reluctant Soldiers that the impact on the purge has been highly overstated.[109]Roger Reese, Stalin’s Reluctant Soldiers: a Social History of the Red Army, 1925-1941 (Lawrence, KS: Univ. Press of Kansas, 1996). What was far bigger problem was that between 1939 and 1941, Stalin had expanded the army by about 280% in terms of army personnel alone.[110]Rotundo, 280. In other words, Stalin never had enough experienced officers to fully outfit all the new divisions he was creating, even if he never initiated the purges. And where other than warfare were these newly promoted officers supposed to get experience from?

Section IX of the plan covers a list of specific demands. For example Zhukov demands the following: ‘Timely allow the consistent conduct of hidden mobilization and hidden concentration in the first order of all armies of the reserve of the High command and aviation’ as I have demonstrated, hidden mobilization was ongoing in the months March through May. In addition he asks the industry to ‘deliver the material parts of tanks and aircraft, as well as production and supply of ammunition’ as I shall demonstrate later, Stalin massively expanded his war economy in the years 1938-1941 that would have made this demand possible and lastly ‘approve the proposal for the construction of new facilities’ it is unclear what is meant in this instance by facilities but the construction of new airfields and factories were ongoing. Concerning new airfields, Dmitry Pavlov was executed in July 1941. He admitted to making the criminal mistake of allowing airfields to be located nearer to the border.[111]Sokolov, 133. However in the system that Stalin had created especially after the purges, Pavlov was probably forced to admit to shift the blame of the political leadership on to the military leadership for the early German success in destroying Soviet air power. Orders to construct more airfields along the German-Soviet border could not have come from Pavlov alone.

The central point of David Glantz’ book Stumbling Colossus is that the Soviet Union could not have carried out a first strike because of material and structural deficiencies in the Red Army. Many divisions were not up to their intended strength or they were not properly trained or equipped. There are three main problems with that assertion which I will deal with here. First, there was a gap between the political leadership and the military leadership, so in this regard it is more important what Stalin thought than whatever Zhukov or Timoshenko thought. The decision to launch a first strike was Stalin’s to make, and he might not have been as acutely aware of the deficiencies as the military was. His speech of 5 May which I will discuss later certainly points in the direction that he was very confident in the Red Army’s ability to attack.

Secondly, a comparative analysis between German and Soviet preparations can prove to be insightful. While such an analysis warrants a thesis or indeed, an entire book of its own, I think it is important to highlight a couple of examples. In his book Operation Barbarossa and Germany‘s defeat in the East, David Stahel notes many deficiencies on the German side as well. For example, Air Corps VIII was still short some 600 motor vehicles, most communication equipment and 40% of its aircraft on the eve of Barbarossa. Most of the German war machine was not motorized, which meant that during the operation the infantry lagged far behind the much faster panzer/motorized divisions. Germans were also severely lacking in food, oil, rubber, metals and other resources which they acquired in part from the Soviet Union. Like MP-41, the Germans had equally ambitious plans like ‘armour programma 41’ that envisioned the construction of some 35000 tanks, which required the quadrupling of German manufacturing capabilities as of 1941. The fact that German manufacturing stagnated between 1940 and 1941 is highly indicative that they were dealing with structural deficiencies themselves. The Soviets, by comparison, doubled their industrial capacity in the same time-frame. For Barbarossa, half of the motorized divisions and two of the panzer divisions were inadequately trained. An evaluation of German infantry divisions revealed that 73 divisions were not ready for offensive actions for a host of reasons, which included improper training, lack of manpower or lack of arms or other equipment. Clearly, these deficiencies did not abstain Hitler from attacking the Soviet Union, despite the fact that the Soviet numerical superiority in both material as well as manpower was recognized by Hitler himself.[112]David Stahel, Operation Barbarossa and Germany‘s Defeat in the East (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Chapters 3-4.

The third is that the Soviet economy was geared towards waging a two-front war, and Stalin was preparing for a war of attrition at least since the mid-thirties.[113]Samuelson, 6. Even civilian industries were constructed with war in mind: Factories producing consumer products could easily be converted into war factories.[114]Mark Harrison, Soviet Planning in Peace and War, 1938 1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 47-48. It is very revealing that, despite the catastrophe which befell the Soviets on 22 June, the Soviets maintained a higher aircraft production than Germany throughout the war.[115]Stahel, 125. Meanwhile the Germans only planned to fight short wars on single fronts at times of their own choosing.[116]Harrison,48. So whatever deficiencies the Soviets had could more rapidly be resolved, and it did once the German advance slowed down. The Soviets also mastered the concept of mass-production better, with vehicles being streamlined and standardized, which made them cheap and easy to produce and repair. German military production was over-specialized. Many parts of vehicles were not interchangeable, which made repairs in the field harder. A lack of standardization especially in the motor department made training harder. Just to give one example, Germans used 150 different trucks, from many different nations and manufacturers.[117]Stahel, 105. This made the manufacturing of replacement parts a nightmare. Most of the German armed forces still had to rely on horses to haul equipment such as cannons.

The biggest issue with the May plan is not that it lacked Stalin’s signature, rather that it lacked a schedule by which operations were presumed to start. Hitler had originally set his invasion of the USSR on 14 May 1941, but was forced to postpone it to 22 June. Pavel Bobylev has argued that mid-July would have been a possible date for the Soviets to strike, given that a (secretly) mobilized Red Army could not sit around doing nothing.[118]Weeks, 103. He also argues that the second strategic echelons would have been in their proper positions by mid-July, which would have enabled a first strike. If a first strike was executed, Stalin could order general mobilization and quickly fill in the remaining deficiencies in manpower. But unless other documents become available, deducing an exact date for a possible first strike is purely conjecture.

In conclusion, the many similarities between MP-41 and the May war plan, the fact that Stalin deployed massive concentrations of Soviet forces at the border before (full) German deployment even began, that mobilization in a covert manner was done to maintain a the surprise factor, that the second strategic echelon was moving further and further west all point to Stalin wanting to execute a first strike. It was simply the case that Hitler beat Stalin to the punch, mostly because of the underestimation of German deployment speed and the lingering uncertainty that a full-scale attack on the Soviet Union was even on Hitler’s mind.

Propaganda or appeasement?

On 5 May 1941 Stalin held a speech in front of an officer cadre. The content of the speech has been included in appendix I. It has generally been argued by traditionalists that this was a form of bravado – a speech intentionally leaked by Stalin in order to give the Germans the impression that the Red Army was strong, willing to fight and above all not afraid of them.[119]For example Gorodotsky, 208. And: David M. Humpert, “Viktor Suvorov and Operation Barbarossa: Tukhachevskii Revisited,” The Journal of Slavic Military Studies 18, no. 1 (2005): 59-74, 68. They argue that the speech needs to be understood as part of an extensive appeasement campaign Stalin was supposedly waging in the first half of 1941 to prevent or at least stall a war with Germany.

The speech included an analysis of why the German army was so successful. It was not because it was invincible, Stalin said, but because it could fight on single fronts and because their foes were either weak or foolish. The Poles, Stalin believed, were weak militarily, while the French had no taste for war and believed themselves safe behind their Maginot line. Stalin applauded the Red Army for actually having broken through the heavy fortifications of the Mannerheim line in Finland, contrasting their achievements with the Germans who had merely circumvented the Maginot line. Stalin reassures his audience that the same fate would not befall the Soviet Union. This reassurance is strange especially given the abandonment of the Stalin line and the Molotov line that was under construction.

Stalin also applauds the intense modernization the Red Army went through – and he solely points to advancements in military technology: Faster planes, tanks with four times as much armor as older models, more divisions, more accurate artillery and so on. Stalin certainly wasn’t bluffing here. He also highlights some deficiencies however, that the military leadership were still not properly trained to use all the new technology effectively, especially not on an operational or strategical scale. Again he stressed that lack of public support and love for the French army spelled their doom, implying that this mistake would not be repeated by the Soviet government. But can we find evidence that Stalin did anything to counteract this?

Stalin was drilling the Soviet people into a war mentality in the late thirties. In fact, propaganda from the time indicates that Stalin was preparing for a war explicitly against Germany. A book known as The First Blow: The story of the Coming War was widely circulated among servicemen.[120]Adam Ulam, Stalin: The Man and His Era (London: Allen Lane, 1973), 492. This propaganda was removed from circulation following the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, but began reappearing in April 1941. Anti-German films such as Alexander Nevskii (a movie directed by the jew Sergei Eisenstein) began being displayed in cinemas again, even though the film was three years old at that point. Strangely enough it was awarded that month with the Stalin prize, the highest award in the arts sector. In addition, Soviet propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg (who like Eisenstein was jewish) was allowed to publish his anti-fascist novel Fall of Paris.[121]Nevezhin, 125-126. This hardly sounds like the actions of a man who desperately attempted to appease the Germans. Why try to appease someone while simultaneously trying to vilify him? These developments could not have been kept secret from German observers after all.

During the same day the speech was held, a major-general who was also a speaker for that day applauded Stalin for his peaceful foreign policy. Stalin interceded:

‘Allow me to make a correction. The peaceful policy has ensured peace for our country…. up until a certain time we have taken the line of defense… But now that we have redesigned our army… now that we have become strong, we have to move from defense to attack… We have an obligation to act aggressively. We must move from defense to offensive action. We have to rebuild our education, propaganda and our press in an offensive spirit. The Red Army is a modern army, and a modern army is an offensive army’

Again, hardly the words of someone who tried to appease the Germans in any way he can. Still, other actions by Stalin have been regarded as being part of this so-called appeasement campaign. Gorodetsky for instance sees the non-aggression pact with Japan, signed on 13 April 1941, as the epitome of Stalin’s supposed appeasement campaign.[122]Gorodetsky, 211. It seems more likely that Stalin was pulling wool over Hitler’s eyes, ensuring that his eastern regions were secure from Japanese invasion so that he could focus his attention on the west, while giving Hitler the impression that Stalin was currying favour with Hitler’s allies. As I have already demonstrated, the 16th army was being redeployed to the west, allowing him to create an even stronger second strategic echelon now that the Japanese were less of an immediate threat

Another issue with the appeasement hypothesis is why Stalin would make so many harsh demands during Molotov’s disastrous visits to Berlin in November 1940. While it is true at this point Operation Barbarossa had not yet been definitely decided upon, if Stalin’s principle aim was security, Stalin could have simply joined the tripartite pact, this would ensure security from both of the ‘capitalist powers’ as well as make it all the more likely that Hitler would concentrate his forces elsewhere. Yet Stalin never intended to join – his main reason for sending Molotov to Berlin was to find out what exactly the Germans were planning for the future.[123]Broekmeyer, 103. The later counter proposal by Molotov, delivered to the Germans in December 1940, were too unreasonable to the Germans given that these proposals would have made the Germans even more dependent on the Soviet Union for crucial resources. The conclusion then, is that the speech clearly intended to drill the Soviets into a war-mindset, and his further actions both before and after the speech prove that he wasn’t exactly afraid of a German invasion, at least not on 5 May. He may not have wanted war with Germany as early as June 1941, but nothing indicates that Stalin’s main intention was appeasing the Germans. Instead his actions and his speech all point to him preparing his country for a war.

Conclusion

In the years 1939-1941, Stalin ruled the Soviet Union with the idea that war would be inevitable. Stalin had been preparing for that inevitability both before and during those years: This is evidenced from many developments, from the economy, to propaganda, to Red Army deployments at the border. With his poker game conception, the only question that remained is who would become Stalin’s main adversary? After the fall of France – which happened so swiftly that it baffled and enraged Stalin – it became more and more obvious that the main adversary would be Hitler. Rather than picking up the scraps of two foes who had battled each-other to exhaustion, he would now have to face Hitler alone on the European continent

There were good reasons for Stalin to fear encirclement, but even the Soviet defensive strategy contained fundamentally offensive operations which included defeating and conquering the enemy on his own territory. The neglect of defensive lines, the offensive posture of Soviet divisions, Stalin lambasting the Maginot defense strategy of the French, the brutal imposition of the Stalinist system on the conquered territories in the years 1939-1940 all point to Stalin not being afraid of the Germans. Instead it points that he was confident enough to fend them off and counter-strike in case of an attack.

There have been many Soviet war plans, many of which can be regarded to be contingency plans in case of an attack. Germans had these too even before Operation Barbarossa was decided upon. The May war plan was the plan that contained proposals for the Soviets to strike first. To date, the revisionists, especially Ewan Mawdsley, have mostly compared the May war plan with other Soviet war plans, while I attempted to compare the Mar war plan with the mobilization plan of 1941 and saw many similarities. MP-41 predates German deployments to the Soviet border. The completion of MP-41 would have enabled the Soviets to carry out the May war plan. The biggest issue as I have already highlighted was the date at which the Soviets would launch their preemptive strike.

Stalin’s rhetoric and behavior in the months February-May cannot possibly be construed as him waging a campaign of appeasement against the Germans. Soviet deployments, along with aggressive propaganda campaigns that intended to fuel hatred against Germans, interrogation reports of captured soviet soldiers saying that they were expected to attack soon and the stepping-up of military production all point to Stalin intending to strike against Hitler. Stalin may have become concerned in June when Germans completed their deployments, probably a lot faster than he expected. But at that point, it was too late to shift all his armies from an offensive to a defensive posture. Alternatively, Stalin may have remained confident for his armies abilities to hold off the Germans at the border in order to launch a counter-attack. Zhukovs and Timoshenko’s directives on 25 June to counter-strike and capture Poland and East-Prussia certainly points in that direction.[124]Geoffrey Roberts, 93.

So did Stalin intend to invade Germany? Yes I think that he did. But it needs to be stated that both traditionalists as well as revisionists operate on circumstantial evidence alone, granted the burden of proof is on the revisionists. I hope to have convinced the reader that the evidence points into the direction of Stalin preparing to invade Germany. Oleg Khlevniuk, one of Stalin’s biographers and member of the Russian State Archives, has said that a definite answer to the question may still be locked behind the (now closed) Presidential Archives.[125]Oleg Khlevniuk, Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015), x. One can only hope that a definite answer to the question can be found in those archives, if they are ever to be opened again.

Bibliography

Besymenski, Lew. ”Die Rede Stalins am 5. Mai 1941: Dokumentiert und interpretiert” Osteuropa, Vol. 42, No 3 (1992)

Broekmeyer, Marius. Bedrogen Bedriegers: Stalin Contra Hitler. Amsterdam: Mets & Schilt, 2006.

Carley, Michael J. ”Fiasco: The Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance That Never Was ” The International History Review, Volume 41, issue 4 (2019)

Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers: inside Kremlin Politics: Conversations with Felix Chuev. Chicago: I.R. Dee, 1993.

Erickson, John. Stalins War with Germany. London: Cassell, 2003.

Erickson, John. ”Barbarossa June 1941: Who attacked Whom?” History Today 51, issue 7 (2001)

Gray, Colin S. The Implications of Preemptive and Preventive War Doctrines: a Reconsideration. Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2007.

Glantz, David M. Barbarossa Derailed: the Battles for Smolensk, July-August 1941. Solihull: Helion, 2010.

Glantz, David M. Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of War. Lawrence: University Pr Of Kansas, 2011.

Gorodetsky, Gabriel. Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.

Hardesty, Von, and Ilya Grinberg. Red Phoenix Rising: the Soviet Air Force in World War II. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2012.

Harrison, Mark. Soviet Planning in Peace and War, 1938 1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Hoffmann, Joachim. Stalin’s war of Extermination 1941-1945:Planning, Realization and Documentation. Uckfield: Castle Hill Publishers, 2015.

Humpert, David M. “Viktor Suvorov and Operation Barbarossa: Tukhachevskii Revisited.” The Journal of Slavic Military Studies 18, no. 1 (2005): 59–74.

Khlevni︠u︡k, Oleg. Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.

Mawdsley, Evan. “Crossing the Rubicon: Soviet Plans for Offensive War in 1940–1941.” The International History Review 25, no. 4 (2003): 818–865.

Menning, Bruce and Jonathan House. ”Soviet Strategy” in The Cambridge History of the Second World War: Volume 1, Fighting the War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Meltyukhov, Mikhail. Stalin’s Missed Chance. Riga: VDM Publishing, 2010.

Murphy, David E. What Stalin Knew: the Enigma of Barbarossa. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006.

Nevezhin, Vladimir. “Stalin’s 5 May 1941 Addresses: The Experience of interpretation.” The Journal of Slavic Military Studies 11, no. 1 (1998): 116–146.

Overy, Richard. Russia‘s War: a History of the Soviet War Effort: 1941-1945. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1998.

Ribbentrop, Joachim von, and Oliver Watson. The Ribbentrop Memoirs. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1954.

Reese, Roger R. Stalin’s Reluctant Soldiers: a Social History of the Red Army, 1925-1941. Lawrence, KS: Univ. Press of Kansas, 1996.

Roberts, Geoffrey. Stalin’s Wars: from World War to Cold War, 1939-1953. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008.

Rotundo, Louis. “Stalin and the Outbreak of War in 1941.” Journal of Contemporary History 24, no. 2 (1989): 277–299.

Samuelson, Lennart. Plans for Stalin’s War Machine: Tukhachevskii and Military-Economic Planning, 1925-1941. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000.

Sebag-Montefiore, Simon, Aad Zwaard, and Martin Appelman. Stalin: Aan Het Hof Van De Rode Tsaar. Houten: Het Spectrum, 2008.

Short, Neil. The Stalin and Molotov Lines: Soviet Western Defences, 1928-41. London: Osprey Publishing, 2013.

Sokolov, Boris Vadimovich. “Did Stalin Intend to Attack Hitler?1.” The Journal of Slavic Military Studies 11, no. 2 (1998): 113–141.

Stahel, David. Operation Barbarossa and Germany‘s Defeat in the East. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Suvorov, Viktor. Icebreaker: Who really started the Second World War? Grafton Books (HarperCollins), 1992.

Suvorov, Viktor. Chief Culprit: Stalins Grand Design to Start World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2013.

Uldricks, Teddy J. “The Icebreaker Controversy: Did Stalin Plan to Attack Hitler?” Slavic Review 58, no. 3 (1999): 626–43.

Watson, Derek. Molotov: a Biography. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Weeks, Albert Loren. Stalins Other War: Soviet Grand Strategy, 1939-1941. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003.

Zhukov, Georgy translated by Geoffrey Roberts. Marshal of Victory: The Autobiography of General Georgy Zhukov. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books, 2013.

Appendix I: Stalin 5 May Speech

Comrades, allow me, on behalf of the Soviet Government and the Communist Party, to congratulate you on completing your training and to wish you success in your work. Comrades, you left the army three or four years ago, now you are returning to your ranks and you will not recognize the army. The Red Army is no longer what it was a few years ago.

  1. a) What did the Red Army represent three to four years ago? The infantry was the main branch of the army. She was armed with a rifle that was reloaded after each shot, with light and heavy machine guns, with howitzers and cannons with an initial speed of up to 900 m / sec. The speed of the planes was 400-500 km per hour. The tanks had thin armor that at most withstood a 37mm cannon. Our division was up to 18,000 men strong, but that said nothing about its combat strength.
  2. b) What is the Red Army currently representing? We have redesigned our army, we have equipped it with modern military technology. But first of all it must be said that many comrades overestimate the importance of the events at Lake Khassen and Khalkin Gol from the point of view of war experience. We were not dealing with a modern army, but with an outdated army. Not to tell you all of this would be to lie to you. Certainly, Khassan and Khalkhin-Gol had played their positive role. Their positive role is that we defeated the Japanese in the first and second cases. The real experience for the transformation of our army has come from the Russo-Finnish war and from the current war in the West

I said that we have a modern army with the latest technology. What does our army represent now? There used to be 120 divisions in the Red Army. Now there are 300 divisions. The divisions themselves are somewhat smaller. In the past, a division was 18.000-20.000 strong. Now been divisions are a bit smaller with 15.000 men. One third of the total number of divisions are mechanized divisions. We don’t talk about it, but you should know. Of 100 divisions, two thirds are armored and one third are motorized. The army will have over 500,000 tractors and trucks this year. Our tanks have changed their shape. In the past everyone was thinly armored. This is not enough now. Today you need armor three to four times thicker. We have tanks of the first line that will break through the front. There are tanks of the second and third lines – these are support tanks for the infantry. The firepower of the tanks has increased.

There used to be a great deal of enthusiasm for howitzers. The modern war made a correction here and increased the role of cannons. The fight with the fortifications and the tanks of the enemy requires direct fire and a higher initial speed of the projectile flight – up to 1,000 and more meters per second. Cannon artillery plays a major role in our army.

In the past, an air force speed of 400-500 km per hour was considered ideal. Today this is obsolete. We have enough planes that can reach 600-650 km per hour, and we manufacture them in bulk. These are first line aircraft. In the event of war, these aircraft are used first. They will clear the way for our relatively outdated aircraft 1-15, 1-16, 1-53 (Tschajka) and SB. If we sent these machines into battle first, they would be shot down. You can have good commanders, but if you don’t have modern military technology you can lose the war. In the past, no attention was paid to artillery as cheap but as valuable as grenade launchers. They have been neglected. Today we have modern grenade launchers of various calibers among our weapons. There used to be no motorized units. Now we’ve created them – this motorized cavalry, and we have enough of them. In order to manage all this new technology – the new army – need leadership cadres who have a perfect command of the modern art of war. Such changes have taken place in the organization of the Red Army. When you come to the Red Army units, you will see the changes that have taken place.

Our military schools lag behind the growth of the Red Army. Here the speaker, Comrade Smirnov, appeared and spoke about the graduates, about their training based on new war experience. I do not agree with him. Our schools still lag behind the army. They are still being trained on old technology. I was told that training on the three-inch cannon took place at the Artillery Academy. Is that so, comrades artillerymen? (Turns to the artillerymen.) The school is lagging behind the army. The Air Force Academy is still training on old machines 1-15, 1-16, 1-153, SB. One must not train on the old technology. Training on the old technology means dismissing backward people [as graduates]. This lagging behind is also favored by the curricula. Because in order to teach new things and to train them in new ways, you have to change the curriculum, but you have to work hard. It is much easier to train according to the old curriculum, you have less worries and trouble. Our school must and can redesign its leadership training with the help of the new technology and use the experience of modern war. Our schools are lagging behind; this lagging behind is understandable. You have to liquidate it. When you will re-join with the army, you will see the changes made

To make things easier for you, I told you about the reorganization of our army. Why did France suffer a defeat and Germany win? Is the German army really invincible? You will come to your units from the capital. Red Army soldiers and commanders will ask you what is happening now. You studied at academies. You stood there closer to the superiors, report on what is going on around you. Why was France defeated? Why did England lose and Germany win? Is the German Army really invincible? A commander doesn’t just have to give orders, that is not enough. One must learn to speak to the soldiers, explain what has happened to them, and have a frank conversation with them. Our great military leaders have always been closely associated with the soldiers. One must act like Suvorov. You will be asked what the reasons are for Europe being turned upside down, why France suffered a defeat, why Germany wins. Why did Germany’s army turn out to be better? It is a fact that Germany’s army has proven better in terms of both technology and organization. How can this be explained? Lenin said that defeated armies learn well. This idea of ​​Lenin also applies to nations. Defeated nations learn well. The German army, defeated in 1918, learned well. The Germans have critically examined the reasons for their devastating defeat and found ways to better organize, train and equip their army. The military thinking of the German army advanced. The army was equipped with the latest technology. She was trained in new methods of warfare. In general, this question has two aspects.

It is not enough to have good technology and organization. Precisely because defeated armies learn well, Germany has taken past experiences into account. In 1870 the Germans beat the French. Why? Because they fought on one front. The Germans suffered defeat in 1916-1917. Why? Because they fought on two fronts. Why didn’t the French learn anything from the last war of 1914-1918? Lenin teaches: parties and states perish when they close their eyes to defects, when they are enthusiastic about their successes, when they rest on their laurels and let their successes go to their heads. Victories and complacency went to the head of the French. The French missed and lost their allies. The Germans took away their allies. France rested on its successes. Military thinking in his army was not advancing. It stayed at the level of 1918. The army was not cared for, nor was it given moral support. A new morality arose which disintegrated the army. The military was treated with contempt. The commanders began to be viewed as unlucky, the last figures who, since they had no factories, works, banks and shops, were forced to join the army. Even young girls did not marry military men.

Only with such a contemptuous attitude towards the army could it happen that the military apparatus could fall into the hands of Gamelins and Ironsides, who understood little about military matters. The same attitude towards the military prevailed in England. The army must enjoy the utmost care and love from the people and government – therein lies the greatest moral force of the army. The army must be cherished and looked after. If such a [contemptuous] morality arises in the country, there will be no strong and combative army. It was the same with France. In order to prepare well for war, one not only has to have a modern army, but also prepare for war politically. What does it mean to prepare for war politically? Preparing for war politically means having a sufficient number of reliable allies and neutral countries. When the war began, Germany accomplished this task, but England and France did not accomplish this task. This is precisely where the political and military reasons for France’s defeat and for Germany’s victories lie. Is the German army really invincible? No. There are and there were no invincible armies in the world. There are particularly good, good and weak armies. Germany started the war and entered the first phase under the slogan of liberation from the yoke of the Versailles Treaty. This slogan was popular and found support and compassion from all who were offended by Versailles. Now the situation has changed. Now the German army is fighting under different slogans. It replaced the slogans of the liberation of Versailles with slogans of conquest.

The German army will not succeed under these new slogans. These slogans are dangerous. As long as he waged the war, Napoleon I found support and sympathy. When Napoleon I went over to wars of conquest, he suffered a defeat. Since the German army does not lead the war to victory under the slogan of the subordination of other peoples by Germany. Boasting, complacency and arrogance also appeared in the German army. Military thinking is not advancing, military technology is not just lagging behind our technology. America is beginning to overtake Germany in terms of air forces. How did it happen that Germany won victories? 1. Germany succeeded in this because its defeated army learned, restructured and revised old values. 2. It happened because England and France, who were successful in the last war, did not look for new ways, did not learn. The French army was the dominant army on the continent. That is precisely why Germany went uphill until a certain moment. But Germany is already waging war under the flag of subjugation of other peoples. While the old slogan against Versailles united those dissatisfied with Versailles, it is dividing Germany’s new slogan. With a view to further military growth, the German army has lost interest in further improving military technology. The Germans believe that their army is the most ideal, the best, and the most invincible. That’s not true. An army has to be perfected every day. Any politician or statesman who allows a feeling of complacency can be faced with a surprise, as France is with a catastrophe. Once again I congratulate you and wish you success.

COMMERCIAL STALIN’S FIRST ADDRESS AT THE RECEPTION

Allow me to make a toast to our academy leaders, to the leaders, to the lecturers, to the elimination of the backwardness with regard to the study of modern equipment. Why did this backwardness come about? Firstly, because it is easier for the lecturers to teach the already known old technique. In order to teach the listeners using the new equipment, the lecturers have to know and study them themselves. You have to relearn. The academies teach according to old curricula. That is the first reason. The second reason is that our supply organs in the army are not giving schools and academies new technology. This new technology must be made available to our listeners for study in order to liquidate the backwardness in our schools and academies.

SECOND ADDRESS BY STALIN AT THE RECEPTION

To the good of the artillerymen! Artillery is the most important branch of the army. Artillery is the god of modern war. Artillery can be found in all branches of the armed forces: in infantry, in tanks, in airplanes. To the health of the tank crews! The tanks are moving artillery pieces protected by armor. The artillery of the tanks can be raised to 130 mm. To the health of the aviators! There are two types of armed forces. Air forces for long-range operations, air forces for attacks on the hinterland, and air forces for partisan operations, air forces for diversion, but they are not of great importance. Air forces of closer quarters combat, which have been underestimated, which have been neglected, are of decisive importance. It’s about air forces that work directly with artillery, tanks, infantry, fighter-bombers and dive-bombers. To the health of the cavalrymen! We have reduced it the size a little, but even now the cavalry still plays an extraordinarily large role and is still numerically strong in our country. The role of the cavalry is extremely important in modern warfare. After breaking through the front, it will move up rapidly. It will pursue the withdrawing troops of the enemy and drive a wedge into the breakthrough [of the front]. Above all, it is incumbent on it to ensure that, in the pursuit of the withdrawing artillery troops, [the enemy] has no opportunity to seek out new firing positions and to establish themselves there. To the health of our intelligence forces, to the health of our glorious infantrymen! I didn’t mention the infantry here. The modern infantry – these are the mechanized units, the tank drivers. About the importance of the self-loading rifle. One fighter with a self-loading rifle corresponds to three fighters equipped with an ordinary rifle.

THIRD ADDRESS FROM COMRADE STALIN AT THE RECEPTION

A major general of the mechanized troops took the floor. He made a toast to Stalin’s peaceful foreign policy. Comrade STALIN: Allow me to make a correction. The peaceful policy has ensured peace for our country. Peaceful politics is a good thing. Up until a certain time we have taken the line of defense, when we had not fuly equipped our armies, until we have not yet equipped the army with modern weapons. But now that we have redesigned our army, equipped it with plenty of technology for modern combat, now that we have become strong, now we have to move from defense to attack. In realizing the defense of our country, we have an obligation to act aggressively. We must move from defense to a military policy of offensive action. We have to rebuild our education, our propaganda, agitation, our press in an offensive spirit. The Red Army is a modern army, but a modern army is an offensive army.

Appendix II: May war plan

(Source: Albert Loren. Stalin’s Other War: Soviet Grand Strategy, 1939-1941. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003. Appendix II)

Strategic Deployment Plan Considerations
forces of the Soviet Union in case of war
with Germany and its allies

People’s Commissar of Defense of the USSR

May 1941
Only in person.

To the Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR comrade Stalin

I am reporting on your consideration of the plan for the strategic deployment of the armed forces of the Soviet Union in case of war with Germany and its allies.

I. At present, according to the intelligence of the Red Army, Germany has deployed about 230 infantry, 22 tank, 20 motorized, 8 air and 4 cavalry divisions, and only about 284 divisions. As of 15.4.41, of these, up to 86 infantry, 13 tank, 12 motorized, and 1 cavalry divisions, totaling up to 120 divisions, were concentrated on the borders of the Soviet Union.

It is assumed that in the current political situation, Germany, in the event of an attack on the USSR, will be able to put up against us – up to 137 infantry, 19 tank, 15 motorized, 4 cavalry and 5 airborne divisions, and a total of 180 divisions. The remaining 104 divisions are likely to be located[1]Lloyd Clark, Kurks: The Greatest battle – Eastern front 1943. (London: Headline Review, 2012), 82.:

PD MD TD KD VDD Total
1 In the center of the country in reserve 22 1 1 – 1 25
2 In Denmark, Belgium, Holland, France 40 2 1 – 2 45
3 Yugoslavia 7 – – – – 7
4 Greece 7 1 – – – 8
5 Bulgaria 3 – – – – 3
6 Africa 5 1 1 – – 7
7 Norway 9 – – – – 9
Total 93 5 3 – 3 104

Most likely, the main forces of the German army, consisting of 76 infantry, 11 tank, 8 motorized, 2 cavalry and 5 air divisions, and up to 100 divisions, will be deployed south of the Brest-Demblin line to strike in the direction of Kovel, Rivne, Kiev.

At the same time, one should expect attacks in the north from East Prussia to Vilna and Riga, as well as short, concentric blows from the side of Suwalki and Brest to Volkovysk, Baranovichi.

In the south – one should expect blows:

a) in the direction of меmeřín, the Romanian army supported by German divisions,
b) in the direction of Munkach, Lviv and
c) Sanok, Lviv.

The probable allies of Germany can put up against the USSR: Finland up to 20 infantry divisions, Hungary – 15 infantry divisions, Romania up to 25 infantry divisions.

In total, Germany and its allies can deploy up to 240 divisions against the USSR. Given that Germany is currently keeping its army mobilized, with its rear deployed, it has the ability to prevent (underlined in the text. – Yu. G.) deployment and deliver a surprise strike

In order to prevent this, I consider it necessary in no case to give initiative to the German Command, to prevent (underlined in the text) the enemy in deployment and attack the German army at the moment when it is in the deployment phase and does not have time to organize the troops.

II. The first strategic goal of the actions of the Red Army forces is to set up – by playing out the main forces of the German Army deployed south of the Brest-Demblin line and reaching the Ostrolenka front by the 30th day of operation, p. Harev, Lovich, Lodz, Kreuzburg, Oppeln, Olomouc. The next strategic goal is to advance from the Katowice region in the north or north-west direction, to destroy the large forces of the center and the north wing of the German front and master the territory of the former Poland and East Prussia. The immediate task is to defeat the German army east of p. Hanging and on the Krakovsky direction, go to p.p. Harev, Wisla and take possession of the Katowice region[2]Cynthia Roberts, ”Planning for War: The Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941” in Europe-Asia Studies, Volume 47, No. 8 (1995): 1293-1326, 1307.. for that:

a) to strike the main blow with the forces of the Southwest Front in the direction of Krakov, Katowice, cutting Germany off from its southern allies;

b) apply an auxiliary left-wing strike of the Western Front in the direction of Siedlec, Demblin, with the aim of holding down the Warsaw grouping and mastering Warsaw, as well as promoting the Southwest Front in the partition of the Lublin grouping of the enemy;

c) conduct active defense against Finland, Eastern Prussia, Hungary and Romania and be prepared to strike against Romania in a favorable environment. In this way, the Red Army will begin offensive operations from the front of Chizhov and Lutovisko, with the forces of 152 divisions against 100 German forces. In other parts of the state border, active defense is provided[3]Hitler for example voiced his surprise during a meeting with Mannerhiem in 1942. A recording of the meeting can be found and accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClR9tcpKZec The recording is also interesting, because it was only one of two known recordings where Hitler spoke in a private, conversational manner, rather than during a public speech..

III. Based on the stated concept of strategic deployment, the following grouping of the USSR armed forces is provided.

1. The ground forces of the Red Army in the composition – 198 SD, 61 TD, 31 MD, 13 CD – a total of 303 divisions and 74 military regiment of the RGK, to distribute as follows:

a) The main forces of 163 cd, 58 td, 30 md, and 7 cd of them: as part of the North, North-Western, Western and South-Western fronts – 136 sd, 44 td, 23 md, 7 cd divisions) and 53 artillery regiment of the RGK; in the reserve of the High Command for the South-West and Western Fronts – 27 div, 14 TD, 7 MD (total 48 divisions);

b) The remaining forces consisting of 35 SD, 3 TD, 1 MD, 6 CD (total of 45 divisions) and 21 AP RGKs are assigned for the defense of the Far Eastern, southern and northern borders of the USSR, of which:

– in the Far East and in Zabvo – 22 units, 3 units, 1 unit, 1 unit (total 27 divisions) and 14 AP RGKs;
– in Central Asia – 2 mountain shooting and 3 caves. divisions (only 5 divisions);
– in Transcaucasia – 8 rifle and 2 cavalry divisions (total 10 divisions) and 2 ap RGK;
– on the defense of the Black Sea coast of the North Caucasus and Crimea – 2 pages. divisions;
– on the coast of the White Sea – 1 page division. A detailed grouping of forces is shown on the supplied map.

2. The Air Force of the Red Army, consisting of currently available and combat-ready 97 dads, 75 bbp, 11 cap, 29 dbp and 6 tbp — a total of 218 air regiments — can be divided as follows:

a) The main forces, consisting of 66 IAP, 64 BBP, 5 cap, 25 DBP and 5 TBP – a total of 165 air regiments, deployed in the West, of which:

– as part of the North, North-West, West and South-West fronts – 63 IAP, 64 BBP, 5 cap, 11 DBP and 1 TBP – a total of 144 air regiment;

– as part of the reserve of the High Command for the Southwestern and Western fronts

– 14 DBP and 4 TBP, a total of 21 air regiments;

b) The remaining forces consisting of 31 IAPs, 11 bbp, 6 chaps, 4 dbp and 1 tbp – leave 53 air regiments altogether on the defenses of the Far Eastern, southern and northern borders and the air defense point of the mountain. Moscow, of which:

– in the Far East and in Zabvo – 14 IAP, 9 BBP, 5 cap, 4 DBP and 1 TBP, a total of 33 air regiment
– in Savo – 1 IAP and 1 cap, only 2 regiment;
– in Zakvo – 9 IAPs, 2 bbp, a total of 11 air regiments;
– in Archvo – 1 historical. air regiment

On the defense of the city of Moscow – 6 East

In the defense of the city of Moscow – 6 fighter aviation regiments.

A detailed grouping of forces is shown on the supplied map.

In addition to the indicated Air Force, there are currently at the stage of formation and still completely incompetent 52 IAP, 30 BBP, 4 cap, 7 DBP and 22 dis, a total of 115 air regiments, which can be fully operational by 1.1.42.

These regiments, according to their readiness, are scheduled to be distributed as follows:
– to the West, assign 41 IAP, 30 BBP, 4 hat, 5 DBP, 14 dis, and a total of 94 air regiment, of which:
– the composition of the fronts 41 IAP, 33 BBB, 6 cap, 7 dis, a total of 87 air regiments;
– in the reserve of the High Command – 4 IAP,. 3 DBP, a total of 7 aviation regiments;
– leave for DVfront and Zabvo 10 and in Zakvo – 6 air regiments;
– on the defense of Moscow – 5 Istr, air regiments.

The approximate dates for the entry of these regiments into operation are according to the table on the maps.

IV. Composition and tasks of the fronts deployed in the West (map 1: 1,000,000): Northern Fron (LVO) – 3 armies, consisting of 15 infantry, 4 tank and 2 motorized divisions, and a total of 21 divisions, 18 aviation and northern naval regiments , with the main tasks – the defense of the city of Leningrad, the port of Mormansk, the Kirov railway and together with the Baltic navy ensure for us complete dominance in the waters of the Gulf of Finland. For the same purpose, provide

The transfer of the Northern Front from Pribovo to the defense of the northern and north-western coast of the Estonian North is underway. Borders of the left front – Ostashkov, Ostrov, Voru, Viljandi, Hall. Matsalu, the islands of Ezel and Dago exclusively. Headquarters – Paragolovo.

North-West Front (Pribovo) – three armies, consisting of 17 infantry divisions, 4 armored, 2 motorized divisions, and a total of 23 divisions and 13 aviation regiments, with the tasks of: stubborn defense, having to close the Riga and Vilnius directions without turning Eastern Prussia; the defense of the western coast and the islands of Ezel and Dago to prevent the landing of enemy naval assaults. The frontier border on the left is Polotsk, Oshmyany, Druskeniki, Marghgrabova, Summer. Headquarters – Ponevezh.

The Western Front (ZAPOVO) – four armies, consisting of 31 infantry, 8 tank, 4 motorized and 2 cavalry divisions, and a total of 45 divisions and 21 aviation regiments. Tasks: stubborn defense on the front of Druskeniki, Ostrolenka firmly close the Lida and Bialystok directions;

– with the transfer of the South-Western Front army to the offensive, with a left wing attack in the general direction of Warsaw and Siedlec, Rhode, break the Warsaw group and take control of Warsaw, in cooperation with the South-West Gates Wisla and take over the mobile parts of Rad. The front border to the left is p. Pripyat, Pinsk, Wlodawa, Deblin, Radom. Headquarters – Baranavichy

The South-Western Front – eight armies, consisting of 74 rifle, 28 tank, 15 motorized and 5 cavalry divisions, and a total of 122 divisions and 91 aviation regiments, with immediate tasks:

a) concentrate impact of the armies of the right wing of the front to surround and destroy the main grouping of the enemy east of p. Vistula in the area of Lublin;

b) at the same time, with a blow from the front of Senyav, Peremyshl, Lyutovisk, break up the forces of the enemy on Krakowok and Sandomierz-Kielce, and take control of the Krakow, Katowice, Kielce region, with the intention of further attacking from the north to the north or to the north the northern wing of the enemy and the conquest of the territory of the former Poland and East Prussia;

In order to ensure the fulfillment of the above plan, it is necessary to carry out the following events in advance, without which it is impossible to deliver a sudden blow to the enemy both from the air and on the ground:

1. to produce a hidden mobilization of troops under the guise of training;

2. under the guise of going out to the camp, produce a hidden concentration of troops closer to the western border, first focus all the armies of the reserve of the High Command;

3. It is hidden to focus aviation on field airports from remote districts and now begin to deploy the aircraft rear;

4. gradually under the guise of training fees and rear exercises to deploy the rear and the hospital base.

V. Grouping of reserves of the High Command. In the reserve of the High Command, have 5 armies and concentrate them:

– two armies, consisting of 9 rifle, 4 tank and 2 motorized divisions, and a total of 15 divisions, in the region of Vyazma, Sychevka, Yelnya, Bryansk, Sukhinichi;

– one army consisting of 4 rifle, 2 tank and 2 motorized divisions, and a total of 8 divisions, in the area of Vileyka, Novogrudok, Minsk;

– one army consisting of 6 rifle, 4 tank and 2 motorized divisions, and a total of 12 divisions, in the area of Shepetovka, Proskurov, Berdichev and

– one army consisting of 8 rifle, 2 tank and 2 motorized divisions, and a total of 12 divisions, in the area of Belaya Tserkov, Zvenigorodka, Cherkassy. VI. Closure of Concentration and Deployment. In order to protect yourself from a possible sudden strike by an adversary, close the concentration and deployment of our troops and prepare them for the transition to the offensive, it is necessary:

1. To organize strong defense and the closure of the state border, using for this all the troops of the border districts and almost all the aircraft designated for deployment in the west;

2. To develop a detailed plan for the air defense of the country and bring it fully prepared for air defense.

On these issues, I have been given orders and the development of defense plans for the state border and air defense completely ends by 1.6.41.

Composition and grouping of cover forces – according to the attached map.

At the same time, it is imperative to thoroughly broaden the construction and armament of reinforced areas, begin the construction of fortifications at the rear border of Ostashkov, Pechep and consider the construction of new fortifications in 1942 at the border with Hungary, and cut off the border

VII. The tasks of the Navy are set – according to my reports approved by you earlier.

Viii. The deployment of troops and their military operations with available reserves are provided:

on ammunition –

small-caliber shells for three weeks;
medium-sized – for a month;
heavy – for a month;
minami – for a fortnight;

on anti-aircraft shots – 37 mm – for 5 days;
76 mm – for one and a half months;
85 mm – for 11 days;

by ammunition –

high-explosive bombs – for a month;
armor-free – for 10 days;
concrete slaughter – for 10 days;
fragmentation – for a month;
incendiary – for a fortnight;

on fuel and lubricants –

B-78 gasoline – for 10 days;
B-74 – for a month;
B-70 – for 2 1/2 months;
gasoline – 1 1/2;
diesel fuel – for a month;

Fuel reserves destined for the western districts are separated in a significant amount (due to the lack of capacity on their territory) in the inner districts.

IX. I ask:

1. To approve the proposed plan for the strategic deployment of the USSR armed forces and the plan for the planned military operations in case of war with Germany;

2. Timely allow the consistent conduct of hidden mobilization and hidden concentration in the first order of all armies of the reserve of the High Command and Aviation;

3. to demand from the NKPS full and timely implementation of the construction of railways according to the plan of 41 years, and especially in the Lviv direction;

4. oblige the industry to fulfill the plan for the release of the material parts of tanks and aircraft, as well as the production and supply of ammunition and fuel strictly at the appointed time;

5. approve the proposal for the construction of new facilities[6]Boris Sokolov, ”Did Stalin intend to attack Hitler?” in The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 11:2 (1998): 113-141, 129-130..

Appendices:

1. deployment scheme on the map 1: 1.000.000, in 1 copy;
2. a deployment scheme for closing on 3 cards;
3. power balance diagram, in 1 copy;
4. Three maps of the basing of the Air Force in the west.

People’s Commissar of Defense of the USSR Marshal of the Soviet Union S. Tymoshenko

Head of the General Staff of the Soviet Army General G. Zhukov

Notes

[1] Lloyd Clark, Kurks: The Greatest battle – Eastern front 1943. (London: Headline Review, 2012), 82.

[2] Cynthia Roberts, ”Planning for War: The Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941” in Europe-Asia Studies, Volume 47, No. 8 (1995): 1293-1326, 1307.

[3] Hitler for example voiced his surprise during a meeting with Mannerhiem in 1942. A recording of the meeting can be found and accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClR9tcpKZec The recording is also interesting, because it was only one of two known recordings where Hitler spoke in a private, conversational manner, rather than during a public speech.

[4] Cynthia Roberts, 1307.

[5] David Glantz, Barbarossa Derailed: the Battle for Smolensk, 10 July to 10 September 1941 (Solihull, West Midlands: Helion & Company, 2016), 37.

[6] Boris Sokolov, ”Did Stalin intend to attack Hitler?” in The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 11:2 (1998): 113-141, 129-130.

[7] Viktor Suvorov, Ice-Breaker: Who Started the Second World War? (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1990), 97.

[8] Suvorov, Icebreaker, 10.

[9] Suvorov, Icebreaker, 129.

[10] Suvorov already published articles with the same basic points as in his book Icebreaker. An example of his articles can be found for example in: Viktor Suvorov, ”Who was planning to attack whom in June 1941, Hitler or Stalin?” in Journal of the Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies, Vol 130 Iss. 2 (1985): 50-55.

[11] Evan Mawdsley, ”Crossing the Rubicon: Soviet Plans for Offensive war in 1940-1941” in The International History Review, Vol. 25, No.4 (2003): 818-865, 818.

[12] Joachim Hoffmann, Stalin’s War of Extermination 1941-1945: Planning, Realization, Documentation. (Uckfield: Castle Hill Publishers 2001), 329.

[13] Gabriel Gorodetsky, Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia (New Haven: Yale University Press 1999), 29.

[14] David M Glantz, Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998), 4.

[15] Albert Loren Weeks, Stalin’s Other War: Soviet Grand Strategy, 1939-1941 (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002), 21.

[16] Weeks, 140.

[17] Mawdsley, 818-819.

[18] Weeks, Appendix I-II

[19] Aleksandr Vasilevsky, ”Document number 272 Note of the Nko of the USSR and the General Staff of the Red Army to the Politburo of the CPSU – I.V Stalin and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Red Army” accessed 3 May 2021 https://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/1011413 and Aleksandr Vasilevsky ”Document number 273 – Draft decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR ”on the mobilization plan for 1941”’ accessed 3 May 2021 https://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/1011435

[20] For the historiography as well as a background of the speech, I will refer to the work of Lew Besymenski in his article ”Die Rede Stalin am 5. Mai 1941: Dokumentiert und interpretiert” in OstEuropa Vol 42, No. 3 (1992), 242-264.

[21] Von Ribbentrop wrote his memoirs shortly before the Nuremberg trails, so he had every reason to try to diminish his role within the decision-making process of the Third Reich. Molotov consistently denied the existence of the secret clauses of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact throughout his life, indeed this would remain the official position of the Soviet Union until 1989. Finally, according to Oleg Khlevniuk, the Zhukov memoirs have been republished so many times by the communist party that it is hard to gauge which version of the memoir is the original one written by Zhukov’s hand.

[22] This is Suvurov’s position, and the argument has been put forward by historians as well, including, but not limited to Ernst Topitsch in his book Stalins Krieg: Moskaus Griff Nach Der Weltherrschaft – Strategie Und Scheitern (Herford: Busse Seewald, 1998). And Heinz Magenheimer in Der deutsche Angriff auf Sowjetrussland 1941. Das operative Problem in Planing und Ablauf des Feldzuges. (Vienna, University of Vienna, 1969).

[23] Colin S. Gray, The Implications of Preemptive and Preventive War Doctrines: a Reconsideration (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2007), v-vi.

[24] Von Hardesty and Ilya Grinberg, Red Phoenix Rising: the Soviet Air Force in World War II (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2012), 6.

[25] Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Stalin: Aan Het Hof Van De Rode Tsaar (Houten: Het Spectrum, 2008), 288.

[26] Michael Carley, ”Fiascso: The Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance That Never Was” The International History Review Vol 42, Issue 4 (2019) 701-728, 703.

[27] Derek Watson, Molotov: a Biography (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 158.

[28] Watson, 163.

[29] Lennart Samuelson, Plans for Stalin’s War Machine: Tukhachevskii and Military-Economic Planning, 1925-1941. (London: Macmillan Press, 200), 198-199.

[30] This what Stalin said during the 18th congress of the All-Union Communist Party. A full transcript of the speech can be found on this website: Stalin, ”Report on the Work of the Central Committee to the Eighteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U” Accessed December 6, 2020 https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1939/03/10.htm.

[31] Joachim von Ribbentrop translated by Oliver Watson, The Ribbentrop Memoirs (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1954), 109.

[32] Felix Chuev translated by Albert Resis, Molotov Remembers: Inside Kremlin Politics. (Chigago: Ivan R. Dee, 1993), 192.

[33] Montefiore, 295-296.

[34] Montefiore, 296.

[35] Viktor Suvorov, Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2013), 31.

[36] Watson, 172.

[37] Robert Service , Stalin: a Biography (London: Macmillan, 2004), 403.

[38] Montefiore, 317.

[39] Alexander Hill, The Icebreaker Controversy and Soviet Intentions in 1941: The Plan for the Strategic Deployment of Soviet Forces of 15 May and Other Key documents ” in Journal of Slavic Military Studies 21:1 (2019): 113-128, 118.

[40] Chuev, 25-26.

[41] Gorodetsky, 162.

[42] Gorodetsky, 168.

[43] Service, 402.

[44] Marius Broekmeyer, Bedrogen Bedriegers: Stalin contra Hitler. (Amsterdam: Mets & Schilt, 2006), 183-185.

[45] Broekmeyer, 129-131.

[46] Chuev, 23.

[47] Bruce Menning and Jonathan House ”Soviet Strategy” in The Cambridge History of the Second World War: Volume 1, Fighting the War. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 230.

[48] Service, 414.

[49] Gorodetsky, 299.

[50] Gorodetsky, 183.

[51] Watson, 189.

[52] Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin’s Wars: from World War to Cold War, 1939-1953 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006), 93.

[53] Geoffrey Roberts, 91.

[54] Chuev, 22.

[55] Watson, 178.

[56] Chuev, 22.

[57] Chuev, 22.

[58] Neil Short, The Stalin and Molotov Lines: Soviet Western Defences, 1928-41 (London: Osprey Publishing, 2013), 44.

[59] Short, 9.

[60] Short, 11.

[61] Short, 40.

[62] Short, 15.

[63] Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Linia_Mo%C5%82otowa.jpg

[64] Source: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/proxy.php?image=http:%2F%2Fwww.journal.forces.gc.ca%2Fvo9%2Fno3%2Fimages%2FCanuel-6t.jpg&hash=58e804cf754f75643042daa7d6608b3c

[65] Broekmeyer, 121-122.

[66] Hoffmann, 37.

[67] Weeks, 96.

[68] Cynthia Roberts, 1316.

[69] Cynthia Roberts, 1308.

[70] Chuev, 22.

[71] Cynthia Roberts, 1296.

[72] David Murphey, What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 245.

[73] Glantz, Barbarossa derailed, 21.

[74] Source:

[75] Glantz, Barbarossa derailed, 21.

[76] Georgy Zhukov translated by Geoffrey Roberts, The Autobiography of General Georgy Zhukov. (Barsnley: Pen & Sword Military, 2013), 455-456.

[77] Murphey, 248.

[78] Mawdsley, Crossing the Rubicon.

[79] Menning, 227.

[80] Cynthia Roberts, 1318-1319.

[81] Aleksandr Vasilevsky ”Document number 273 – Draft decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR ”on the mobilization plan for 1941”’ accessed 3 May 2021 https://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/1011435

[82] Broekmeyer, 176.

[83] Menning, 230.

[84] Geoffrey Roberts, 69.

[85] Louis Rotundo, “Stalin and the Outbreak of War in 1941,” Journal of Contemporary History 24, no. 2 (1989): 277-299, 291.

[86] Aleksandr Vasilevsky, ”Document number 272 Note of the Nko of the USSR and the General Staff of the Red Army to the Politburo of the CPSU – I.V Stalin and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Red Army” accessed 3 May 2021 https://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/1011413

[87] idem

[88] Geoffrey Roberts, 69.

[89] Gorodetsky, 240.

[90] Teddy J. Uldricks, “The Icebreaker Controversy: Did Stalin Plan to Attack Hitler?” Slavic Review 58, no. 3 (1999): 626-643, 636-637.

[91] Broekmeyer, 158.

[92] Hill, 119-28.

[93] Gorodetsky, 229.

[94] Glantz, Barbarossa Derailed, 24.

[95] Christian Hartmann, Operation Barbarossa: Nazi Germany‘s War in the East, 1941-1945. (Oxford: Oxford university press, 2013), 41.

[96] Glantz, Barbarossa Derailed, 37.

[97] This detial is important because it meant that any initial strike could quickly be followed up by a second wave of a attack.

[98] Gorodetsky, 180.

[99] Rotundo, 291.

[100] Often popularized as ‘blitzkrieg warfare.’ Basically combined-arms warfare where tanks instead of infantry are the main spearheads for striking against enemy forces, with support from other elements like the air force or mechanized infantry.

[101] Rotundo, 293.

[102] Geoffrey Roberts, 75.

[103] Vladimir Nevezhin, “Stalin’s 5 May 1941 Addresses: The Experience of interpretation,” The Journal of Slavic Military Studies 11, no. 1 (1998): 116-146, 127.

[104] Menning, 228.

[105] This is one of the central points of Glantz’ book Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk Volume I.

[106] Gorodetsky claims such in Grand Delusion, 238.

[107] Aleksandr Vasilevsky, ”Document number 272 Note of the Nko of the USSR and the General Staff of the Red Army to the Politburo of the CPSU – I.V Stalin and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Red Army” accessed 4 May 2021 https://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/1011413

[108] For example Cynthia Roberts, 1293.

[109] Roger Reese, Stalin’s Reluctant Soldiers: a Social History of the Red Army, 1925-1941 (Lawrence, KS: Univ. Press of Kansas, 1996).

[110] Rotundo, 280.

[111] Sokolov, 133.

[112] David Stahel, Operation Barbarossa and Germany‘s Defeat in the East (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Chapters 3-4.

[113] Samuelson, 6.

[114] Mark Harrison, Soviet Planning in Peace and War, 1938 1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 47-48.

[115] Stahel, 125.

[116] Harrison,48.

[117] Stahel, 105.

[118] Weeks, 103.

[119] For example Gorodotsky, 208. And: David M. Humpert, “Viktor Suvorov and Operation Barbarossa: Tukhachevskii Revisited,” The Journal of Slavic Military Studies 18, no. 1 (2005): 59-74, 68.

[120] Adam Ulam, Stalin: The Man and His Era (London: Allen Lane, 1973), 492.

[121] Nevezhin, 125-126.

[122] Gorodetsky, 211.

[123] Broekmeyer, 103.

[124] Geoffrey Roberts, 93.

[125] Oleg Khlevniuk, Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015), x.

 
• Category: History • Tags: Academia, Hitler, Iosif Stalin, Nazi Germany, World War II 
Of Related Interest
The Shaping Event of Our Modern World
A review of Sean McMeekin, Stalin’s War: A New History of World War II
Hide 817 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Nick J says:

    Did Stalin intend to invade the Nazi Germany? Yes, he obviously saw war as inevitable.
    Was he preparing for it? Yes.
    Was he ready? No, and for that reason any conclusion that Hitler beat him to the punch fails.

    Conversely Hitler was well aware that the Soviet state was gearing for war and knew that he would have to act first.

    The major factor missed on all these arguments is what was really forcing German haste. It was food, Europe was not feeding itself. It was raw materials, Europe could not provide enough for Germanys war economy. The problem as in 1914-8 was the Royal Navy command of the Atlantic which effectively isolated Europe from resources.

    The solution was invade the Ukraine and Caucasus. Stalin lost the battle for readiness, the Purges put paid to that. Yes he deployed forces to the west, that concurs with military defensive thinking of the time. If they didn’t have plans for a first strike that would be negligent. But did Stalin want to pull the trigger? I think yes, in 1942 or 1943.

  2. What is also a known fact, is that the German Government of the time, had many many communist traitors. This was true of many Germans since before WW 1 even. So it was never a case that the government fanatically eliminated all the communists. The government was in reality, too easy going in finding and eliminating the many German communist traitors.

    • Agree: Carolyn Yeager
    • Replies: @Nick J
  3. Wokechoke says:

    If we go back to the Napoleonic Era we see a Western European coalition fight the East. Tsar Alexander lost personally at Austerlitz, then saw Moscow burn but was occupying Paris and dominating Europe a few years after that crushing invasion. We tend to forget just how mighty Muscovy is. The other Czarina we forget is Elizabeth who occupied Berlin and almost snuffed out Prussia. All through the 1700s the Russia’s are controlled by Empresses who terrified the Germans and Turks. Stalin dominated Europe terrifying everyone.

  4. Nick J says:
    @Dr. Charles Fhandrich

    Interesting comment about the German government being “easy going”. We were educated in the 60s about efficient robotic Nazis, supposedly higher organised. That appears to be a total misconception especially compared to how Britain and the US committed organisation to production. Germany was not in the same league.

    • Replies: @Dr. Charles Fhandrich
  5. This is a part of history that has been conveniently ignored…

    Hitler had a massive and deep-reaching intelligence network inside the Kremlin beginning in 1935. Hence, he knew what was going on, and often the German Intelligence Network knew of events, policies, etc. long before such arrived on Stalin’s desk, in some cases just seconds!

    [MORE]

    The plan was for the Georgian Khazarian Zionists to invade the Western Christian Nations in late 1943-early 1944, and continue ‘The Purge’ (a convenient name for a series of movies of the same name) that was started against the Russians, Ukrainians, and satellite territories against those citizens who were Russian Orthodox Christians, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Lutherans!

    That ‘Purge’ was to be carried out via Gulag scenarios, outright sham trials (if any were afforded to the condemned), or mass genocide via CHEKA / GRU / KGB Death Squads. This was accomplished also via ‘Holodomor’ (starvation via seized crops from the west of Russia, Ukraine, etc.) See the movie online titled ‘CHEKA’ which was released in 1993, after the fall of the Zionist Khazarian Soviet Union.

    Finland fought Russia in what is known as ‘The Winter War’, and this deserves credible mention here, as well as a huge greeting of thanks for the Finnish Veterans who tied-up the Zio-Communist Forces in the eastern flanks.

    President Vladimir Putin is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, re-affirming the same some years ago in the Russian Orthodox Ceremonies, and has done well to keep the left wing Zio-Communists out of Russian society. He knows full well the Modus Operandi of such horrifying people (see ‘Pictures From The Gulag’, illustrated by a former camp guard) and the massive suffering and paranoia such a tyrannical state infuses. As long as Dr. Putin is President of the Russian Federation, the Globalist Deep State will never gain a foothold in Russia! Dr. Putin witnessed the massive dysfunction of the Zio-Communist State, and will never allow such to rise again on his watch!

    There is also a movie out titled ‘Devyateva’ which is a true account of a Russian Pilot in World War Two who was shot down, and later encountered many Russians who sided with the Germans and flew as pilots against the tyranny of Stalin. These Russians were motivated to do this due to the murder / disappearances of friends and family members by the GRU / SMERSH / CHEKA / KGB.The movie is only in clips now, but trying to get Russian DVD’s is difficult in the West for the most part, as the Khazarian Communist Zionists own Hollywood, and many aspects of the media.

    Hitler was well aware of the dangers of Holodomor, and the GULAG Concentration Camps. He knew such worked well and adapted the same to go after the elements of German Society that would eventually tie-in to a massive Zio-Communist force that would over-run Western Europe. This was done via ‘profiling’ (sound familiar today???) those who stood to gain, in only on a temporary basis, from a Soviet Invasion from the East. hence, Hitler incarcerated those who were prone to such influences.

    But, the NAZI State proved no better, and a warning about this appears in the book ‘Animal Farm’ which shows repeated redundancy irregardless of who might be ‘in charge’.

    The ‘what if’s of such a scenario are unbelievably complicated, but when Nikita Kruschev pounded his shoe at the U.N. in the early 1960’s, he shouted ‘We will bury you!”. This wasn’t so much a threat to over-run and roll-over the West- it was a literal threat that they would bury people as a result of institutional murder as seen in the USSR under Stalin.

    Interesting to note that these ‘Jewish’ Khazarian Zionist Communists were mostly from the country of Georgia

    For those who don’t know;
    Joseph Stalin; real Jewish Khazarian name; Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili
    Vladimir Lenin; real Jewish Khazarian name; Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov
    Leon Trotsky (assassinated in Mexico); real Jewish Khazarian name; Lev Davidovich Bronstein
    Nikita Kruschev; real Jewish Khazarian name; Solomon Perlmutter.

    Check out the Jews of Hollywood who changed their names…

    Note also that the Khazarian Jews essentially saw the Ashkenazi Jews, Orthodox Jews, Hasidic Jews, and Shepardic Jews as disposable since these would not serve such a monsterous system which had been enacted by Stalin. This is why there was a migration of Jews to the West in the mid-20th Century from the Soviet Union. Khazarian Jews and hard core criminals in Germany often served in the NAZI SS Koncentration Kamps as ‘Kapos’ due their pre-disposed murderous leanings.

    Any assertion that President Putin and the Russian Federation is continuing the hostilities of the Cold War is rubbish and has it’s roots in Khazarian Zionist Propaganda. The Religious War is waging against Christianity, and the Talmud gives specific instructions on how to do that!

    Russia isn’t the problem-the Zionists continue to wage war against the ‘non-Jew’ via George Soros (aka Georg Schwartz), Karl Schwab (you will own nothing and like it!), and the various AIPAC-infused organizations that have declared Global Forever Wars on the Goyim!

    • Replies: @Rocha
  6. At this point, I’ve only scanned this article, so forgive me if the points I’m about to make have already been addressed.

    First, Soviet war plans always assumed the best defence is a good offense. So the concentration of Soviet forces near the frontier is not necessarily evidence that Stalin intended to initiate hostilities. It merely implies that if hostilities did break out, he had no intention of confining himself to parrying the German thrusts.

    Secondly, it’s been argued — and I agree — that Stalin assumed that any break out of hostilities would be preceded by a series of escalating demands. This had happened with Czechoslovakia in 1938, and with Poland in 1939. It had been the pattern Stalin himself had followed with the Baltic states and Finland. Stalin supposedly assumed that any aggressive intentions on the part of the Germany would be signaled by the presentation of such demands. That he himself was avoiding doing this in the Spring of 1941 hardly suggests that he himself was about to strike.

    The interpretation I’ve read that makes most sense to me — that fits best both with Stalin’s behavior and with the Russian state of readiness — was that he intended to begin the war in 1942. In the meantime, he was determined to avoid allowing it to break out prematurely. Hence his refusal to respond to the rather obvious German provocations of the Spring of 1941. Almost no matter what Germany did he was not going to respond. In fact, it would have suited his plans perfectly if Germany had followed the anticipated pattern of provocations and demands, finally culminating in the outbreak of hostilities in 1942.

    Then he would be able to say ‘you can see who started it, can’t you?’ It was more a matter of Hitler failing to conform to his expectations than of the war being not wanted at all. Hitler blindsided him by simply striking without the expected preliminaries. There was supposed to be some strutting and posturing first.

  7. This is a very thorough analysis of the Soviet military preparations leading up to the German invasion. The author covers a wide variety of sources to give a full picture of what was going on at that time. The question of whether or not the Soviets were planning to launch an invasion of their own is of great importance. Those arguing for or against this position do so on circumstantial evidence only, as the author himself acknowledges.

    From the outset, it is true that Stavka did not make any defensive plans, and that they had only made offensive plans. This doesn’t imply that they had the intent of launching an attack, but it does illustrate their state of mind as far as military operations. Stavka believed that defense alone was insufficient in the age of mechanised warfare, and that offense was the only way to achieve a decisive victory.

    The author mentions an especially relevant article, Planning for War: The Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941. This text goes into detail about something the Red Army called ‘the initial period of war’, a concept about how the course of wars are shaped in the first hours and days of fighting. The article suggests that Stavka had a ‘deeply flawed conception’ of how this initial period of war would unfold against Germany. To be specific, they believed that ‘an interval of approximately two weeks would separate the outbreak of hostilities and the clash of the main forces of the antagonists.’

    Stavkas conception was that the Wehrmacht would only be able to bring a portion of its strength to bare against the Red Army in the first days of the conflict, while both sides would desperately race to mobilise their main forces and deploy them into battle. This helps to explain their expectation that they would be able to throw back whatever attack the Germans mounted, and follow up with an invasion into the Reich proper. Stavka did not consider the possibility that the Wehrmacht would already be fully mobilised on the first day of the war, and that they would be able to bring their full strength against the Red Army.

    Due to this fact, their war plans were invalidated from the outset.

    • Replies: @Mutt Anonymous Mat
  8. anonymous[139] • Disclaimer says:

    Stalin had crippled his own armed forces by purging a section of his officer cadre,

    Seems that expanding the armed forces would make the increasingly smaller portion of capable and experienced officers more valuable, not less. One can’t just capriciously arrest and murder thousands of people without it affecting the morale of all others who see what’s happening. Rule through murder and terror doesn’t inspire loyalty. The initial debacle of defeats and huge losses show the deficiency created by the communists who scapegoated someone else. A feeling of national survival is what helped them to prevail, nothing to do with workers of the world united, etc. They had plenty of good intelligence, including from the Sorge spy ring giving the actual date, yet thought they knew better, typical of too smart for their own good types.

  9. Anonymous[191] • Disclaimer says:
    @Colin Wright

    Still whoring for the Zionists, I see. Is it as boring for you as it is for us?

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  10. Suvorov is not a historian, but his work has received both criticism and support from the academic community

    What’s a historian? He wrote a popular detailed historical book but you deem him not a historian. In our western world, an official historian is one who recites official history that allowed him to obtain a PhD and academic chair along with connections to major publishers. If one becomes popular by defying official history, they end up like David Irving.

    In Mein Kampf, Hitler cited the huge mistake of World War I of fighting a two front war. He wouldn’t do that unless forced. Germany was fighting Britain in the skies and in Africa and pacifying the Balkans and Greece. Oil was key and the Middle East oil was within reach. Attacking the Soviet Union at this time was obviously foolish, and he did so because he had no choice. This is obvious, but official historians must support the myth that Hitler was crazy and evil. The same lie persists blaming him for invading Norway, when he did so only to counter a British invasion.

    Hitler voiced concerns to the Finns about the massive Soviet build-up, but this is never mentioned.

  11. @Anonymous

    ‘Still whoring for the Zionists, I see. Is it as boring for you as it is for us?’

    You’re an idiot. There are trolls; you’re just an idiot.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  12. Anonymous[282] • Disclaimer says:
    @Colin Wright

    Better that than a Zionist whore, which is what you are. And boring, I should add.

  13. Mulegino1 says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    What’s a historian? He wrote a popular detailed historical book but you deem him not a historian. In our western world, an official historian is one who recites official history that allowed him to obtain a PhD and academic chair along with connections to major publishers. If one becomes popular by defying official history, they end up like David Irving.

    Exactly!

    Genuine and objective historical research has been replaced, mostly by regurgitation of pseudo-academic slogans and distortions.

    The demonization of 1933-1945 Germany is absolutely necessary to sustain the mendacious founding myth of the NATO-Atlanticist domination of Western and Central Europe, i.e., the so called “liberation.” That is the primary reason that even today western institutions must hold their chronic Russophobia in abeyance with respect to the period of 1941-1945- during that time they were our “noble Soviet allies” in the common work of “liberation.” If what happened is truly “liberation” then I would hate to see the establishment definition of oppression.

    • Agree: John Wear, HdC
  14. karel says:

    Why should anyone take ”Suvorov”, who defected at the age of 31, seriously? His new masters in the UK had undoubtedly their own plans with him and he had not been given much choice, except to obey. Even if one takes his biography at a face value, he was a small fishy fish in the USSR before his assignment in Geneva and could have hardly ever gotten close to any sensitive information.

  15. karel says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    In Mein Kampf, Hitler cited the huge mistake of World War I of fighting a two front war. He wouldn’t do that unless forced. Germany was fighting Britain in the skies and in Africa and pacifying the Balkans and Greece.

    Hmm, a very convincing nonsense of yours Carlton. You must have forgotten to mention that Yugoslavia was just about to attack Germany which necessitated the German invasion on April 6, 1941, with a help of its friends. There used to be a popular joke in Italy that Mussolini spoiled Hitler’s chance to defeat the USSR by the former’s stupid decision to invade Greece on October 28, 1940.

    • Replies: @Fox
  16. karel says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Before the invasion of Yugoslavia, there was an expectation of a German attack so that negotiation was initiated between Vyshinsky and Gavrilovic. Here are the excerpts.

    During the talks, says Vyshinsky, Gavrilovic said that his government «strongly desired and expected the alliance with the Soviet Union.» Simic added, «Simovic instructed me to convey to the Soviet government that Yugoslavia was entirely on the side of the USSR. Simovic asked to assure specifically the Soviet government that Yugoslavia would have no contracts either with England or with any other state without the consent of the USSR.» Vyshinsky promised to report all this to his government, and asked about the materials Yugoslavia would like to receive. Simic said in Russian: «Everything that can be delivered by plane.»

    The treaty was signed on April 5, 1941, just one day before the German invasion but it did not contained a clause of mutual assistance. Hence, there was no Soviet intervention in the hostilities. One may naively assume that if Stalin was so hot on attacking Germany, then it would have been a good chance in April 1941.

    • Replies: @Marcali
  17. Right_On says:

    There used to be a popular joke in Italy that Mussolini spoiled Hitler’s chance to defeat the USSR by the former’s stupid decision to invade Greece on October 28, 1940.

    Yep. Hitler was stymied by having to waste three summer months dealing with Mussolini’s fiasco in the Balkans. That delayed the invasion of Russia; the on-set of winter then brought the German advance to a stop; the rest is history . . .

    What also forced Hitler’s hand was the British decision to deploy medium bombers on the Greek mainland. Hitler feared the Brits would later add heavy bombers, which could reach the Romanian oilfields he would soon be reliant on.

  18. “it is difficult to imagine that the Red Army would have eagerly left”

    It’s a historical fact that the Soviet Army did leave Austria in 1955. Moreover, the consolidation of power by Communist parties in eastern Europe was only carried to the full in 1948 as the Cold War began setting in for other reasons. Until then Soviet forces had tightened enough of a hold to guarantee that nothing would slip out of the hand, but continued to watch how diplomatic relations with the US and UK went.

    In a hypothetical scenario where Stalin sends troops through Poland to fight Hitler in 1939 there would be much stronger reasons for Stalin to plan on an even quicker withdrawal once the war was done. Such a war would not have left Britain and France exhausted if Stalin had pushed his troops through Poland and into Germany. Churchill would still be looking out for a chance to make a name for himself with a ‘Good War’ under his belt. We know that in the spring of 1945 Churchill had ordered his staff to prepare plans for Operation Unthinkable which was meant to be a war against the USSR which Churchill hoped to launch in July with Poland as the justification. His officers persuaded him against this option, but Churchill would have been much more insistent if Stalin had gone to war in 1939, won a fast victory, and then attempted to stay in Poland.

    Gorodetsky’s claim is perfectly consistent with all of this. What is really inconsistent with the historical evidence is Rezun’s charge that Stalin would have imagined that he could Sovietize the whole European continent without landing in an all-out war against a US-UK-Japan alliance. Stalin would have known very well that even if he had made a preemptive strike against Hitler, whether in 1939 or 1941 or 1942, he would need to reach a consensus with Churchill and Roosevelt which could be sold to the publics of the UK and US.

    Of course if Stalin had attacked Hitler after the Axis alliance was signed between Germany and Japan, but before June 22, 1941, then he would immediately have had a war with Japan on his hands. Japan occupied French Indochina on July 24, 1941, at a time when it was generally assumed that Hitler was on the verge on defeating the USSR. Roosevelt seized Japanese assets 2 days later. But if Stalin had struck at Hitler first then Japan would have ignored French Indochina and gone to war against the USSR. In such a case it would have been impossible for Roosevelt to sell the public on a policy of sanctions against Japan. Instead people like Harry Truman, Herbert Hoover, Charles Lindbergh et al would have had their arguments strengthened that the US should stay out of such a squabble.

    In such a case, if Soviet forces quickly became bogged down in an attack on Germany while fighting Japan in the rear then Churchill would probably have offered an alliance to Stalin, while Roosevelt would have been pressured to stay out of the war. But if Stalin did manage to quickly triumph over Germany then Churchill would have been the first one raising the issue of a Soviet withdrawal from Poland, just as he wished to do in the spring of 1945. This would have easily led to a UK-Japan alliance, and if Stalin really seemed on the verge of swallowing all of Europe the way that Rezun claimed he intended to then it would also have brought the US into such an alliance.

  19. “it was never for defensive purposes that the Soviet Union expanded westward”

    That’s an overstretched claim. The problem here is that a retroactive view allows to see things which would not have been obvious at the time. Throughout the history of warfare it was common for wars to see-saw back and forth for a while in the beginning. The Confederacy was able to make some strikes against the Union before the war turned into a long march of Union forces across the Confederacy. Napoleon III marched on Saarbrucken before the Prussian forces got the offensive. After the defeat in 1871 the French officers spent the next 4 decades theorizing about how in a future war they would move to the offensive repeatedly and never allow a defeat like 1871 to repeat itself.

    The actual war in 1914 showed that defensive military technology (machine-guns) had developed much more swiftly than offensive techniques (airplanes, tanks, jeeps) and so the French strategy of an offense proved to be a waste. The French responded by making a reverse-error with the Maginot Line and preparing for a defensive war. However by 1939 offensive military technology had not only caught with the defensive, it had surpassed it by far. Now the party which took the first offense could potentially penetrate very far into enemy territory before being stopped,

    Soviet military plans were based on the assumption that the new offensive technology had simply restored the balance of 1871 so that a German offensive against the USSR would be like the French offensive against Saarbrucken. There might be some hard fighting in the early stages, but it was assumed that this would not result in a need for a deep retreat. In that respect it was all wrong. But the preparations made before June 22, 1941, fit with a conception where the only need for a buffer would be to absorb something like the French advance into Prussia in 1870.

  20. “hard to construe the Soviet deployments in March as defensive measures .. given the proportion of forces”

    That’s really a play on words. Given the possession of the US atomic bomb and how this determined the proportion of forces, it’s hard to construe any on the measures taken by the Truman administration in the war-scares of 1947-8 as defensive. But it still is true that Truman did not go to war at that point, though Churchill urged him to. This just brings one back to the fact that Soviet strategists had underestimated the likely advance of an initial German offensive and therefore felt more comfortable than they should have about bringing forces close to the frontier. But it gives no reason to believe that Stalin would have planned on making a first strike. Stalin simply expected that his forces would be able to stop an initial German offensive more quickly than proved feasible.

  21. “His speech of 5 May .. points in the direction”

    What is critical about the speech of May 5, 1941, is that excerpts were deliberately leaked to the German diplomats. It was not a secret speech that was simply kept hidden and then later uncovered by historians. It was part of the back and forth going on between Hitler and Stalin where Stalin was communicating the message that the USSR was capable of fighting. Hence of course the speech expressed a general confidence in this, because that was the message that was leaked to the German diplomats. That tells us nothing about whether or not Stalin thought it would be a good idea to start a war on his own anytime soon.

  22. “Hoffmann’s findings .. needs .. skepticism, given that the Soviet soldiers could simply have told”

    It goes beyond that. During the war rumors spread among the German populace which sometimes entailed versions of what today would be thought of as “early reports of the Holocaust” but which are not regarded as factually accurate even by orthodox historians of today. Rumors can easily grow under conditions of a police state, especially when a war is already going on and is likely to expand. Since Hitler had been preparing for Operation Barbarossa since mid-1940, with the final confirmation order given in December, it’s not surprising that Soviet citizens would have heard about the likelihood of a war coming. In such a case it would not have been wise to sarcastically comment that Stalin was about to be caught with his pants down by Hitler. Hence, conversation when it occurred would have favored the impression that the USSR was ready to strike first. While debates today tend to focus on whether or not Stalin really did plan to strike first, with the assumption that not striking first is a more benign approach, the opposite would have been the case among Soviet citizens conversing in early 1941. It would have been safer to offer assurance that Stalin was ready to strike before Hitler did, even as Hitler was building up his own forces. This may have easily fed rumors within the USSR independently of what Stalin’s actual intent was.

  23. Another consideration in judging Stalin’s intentions is that he wasn’t terribly original; throughout his career, he displayed a strong prejudice in favor of recovering whatever lands the Tsarist empire had once held.

    For example, he managed to put off withdrawing from Port Arthur until 1950. Why? I’d suggest it was because the Tsars had once held it. Similarly, in 1945, he attempted to force Turkey to cede those provinces of Anatolia Russia had held from 1877 to 1917. Conversely — although it had a strong Communist guerrilla movement — Stalin displayed little interest in acquiring Greece after the war. It had never been part of the Russian Empire, ergo…

    Given this perspective, I’m skeptical of Stalin engaging in some venture to overrun all of Western Europe. It’s possible — but I suspect he would have pursued more modest goals. He’d already ‘recovered’ the Baltic States and Moldavia — he may have been thinking about revisiting Finland in 1941.

    Eventually, he might have decided he just had to have Poland back as well — but I don’t see the great drang nach Paris. Stalin just didn’t operate that way.

  24. Of course. Tl;dr, never did that before on a comment. But, yea the Jewish bolsheviks were ready to attack anywhere, to expand Jewish control. Which is now totally complete across the western world.

  25. gT says:

    Oh God, right now Russia has the overwhelming bulk of its military forces located in its Western regions, right next to Europe’s borders. Oh God, right now Russia has its armed forces at a higher state of readiness and better equipped than the European forces, with more and better weaponry being added to its arsenal every day. Oh God, its proof that Russia is about to attack Europe.

    Oh God, for centuries Russia has always had the overwhelming bulk of its forces located on its Western borders, and its forces have always been bigger than Europe’s. Oh God …

    Yada yada yada.

    • Replies: @Marcali
  26. Max Edge says:

    >Suvorov is not a historian
    And what exactly does this elitist view of knowledge have to do with whether or not someone is telling the truth?
    History is not particle physics, anyone can have an opinion, and public scrutiny is sufficient to correct any opinion until it conforms to the facts. Which again, aren’t difficult to ascertain, unless of course, one party is being dishonest and trying to hide something. Such dishonesty usually hides behind elitist pretenses of credentials.

  27. Fox says:
    @karel

    You as a Czech have your own specific reason to sidestep and disperse any discussion about the Czech treatment of Germans. No one forced Czechs to occupy German provinces in 1919 and no one forced Czechs to treat the Germans they had forcibly included in their new state like dirt, and no one forced the Czechs to occupy the German provinces in 1945 and cast out all of their 3.5 million inhabitants. You feel a need to justify what has been done to them by demonizing the victims. “He did nothing to me, but what I did to him was evil, therefore I hate him.” You are a prisoner of the past.

    • Replies: @JM
    , @karel
  28. @karel

    Why should anyone take ”Suvorov”, who defected at the age of 31, seriously?

    I surely don’t. Got his first book on a discount table years ago, and found it to be a fantasy. The volume went into the next brush fire, I think.

    That said, except for the Suvorov stuff, this appears to be a pretty good analysis. At first glance, anyhow. (too late to actually read it carefully)

    Nobody expected that one of the world’s greatest powers at the time could be defeated in a month, yet it happened regardless.

    Definitely true. Stalin wasn’t nearly as clever as he thought he was when he greased the skids for the destruction of Western Europe. The man believed a war between France and Germany would last a few years, and by then he could move in and scoop up the entire lot. But all of a sudden Hitler was the winner, and Stalin wasn’t nearly ready for a fight. The Soviet Union had been gravely embarassed by tiny Finland – mostly on account of Stalin murdering most of his Officer Corps.

    Clearly Stalin hadn’t paid any attention to the details of Mein Kampf, and would have been too arrogant to have listened to a report. (also paranoid as hell) Lebensraum (living space) was what Hitler lived for, and when Stalin came begging to become the fourth member of the Axis, he was just stalled until Hitler was ready for his attack.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German%E2%80%93Soviet_Axis_talks

    Harry S. Truman was never a friend of communism. In 1941, after Germany invaded Russia, the then-U.S. senator said, “If we see that Germany is winning the war, we ought to help Russia; and if that Russia is winning, we ought to help Germany, and in that way let them kill as many as possible.”

    Senator Truman was a hick from the sticks, and his attitude wasn’t an unusual one for the Power Elites of the day. People a bit more into reality well understood that while both Hitler and Stalin were two world-class monsters, Hitler was an immediate threat to the US of A and Stalin was not. Though Roosevelt wasn’t the brightest bulb in the lamp, for some reason he understood the threat more clearly than most. Good thing, too. A President Truman in 1941 would have meant a victory for Germany in WW2.

    • Replies: @Franz
    , @Marcali
    , @Observator
  29. Did Denmark plan to invade Germany? Or how about the Netherlands, Belgium or Norway? Well, how about Luxembourg? The Grand Duchy must have been been amassing forces for a really grand occupation of Germany. As just like the USSR they were invaded by Germany. – preemptively I presume.

    • Replies: @John Wear
    , @HdC
  30. Wow, I bookmarked this excellent piece for further reference. If this were a movie it would be one of the greatest war movies the world has ever known.
    As General Patton once said, “we fought the wrong enemy”.

    • Agree: John Wear
  31. @Carlton Meyer

    Had Hitler’s Germany won, we wouldn’t be in the GlobalHomoZioBIGsRxMIC3 mess we are in today.
    BLM/Antifa, black, black black in every ad, movie, ad neausium would cease to exists. Black riots, illegals, refugees would never prevail.
    Life as a white global order would have made humanity a better place to prosper.
    Now we are declared domestic terrorists.
    What the Phuc happened?

    • Agree: John Wear, HdC, E_Perez, anaccount
    • Replies: @anon
    , @Carolyn Yeager
  32. Derer says:

    Soviets were poorly prepared for war with Germany as indicated by initial heavy losses. Stalingrad was the turning point, but Soviets victory there was substantially aided by extreme cold winter that debilitated German’s army.

    Suggesting that Stalin wanted to invade Germany is a complete sensationalist nonsense. He was a Bolshevik believing in one country revolution and eliminated Trotsky opposing him on that issue. He made non-aggression pact with Hitler and was completely dejected when it was broken by Hitler. Hitler was encouraged for Barbarossa by early success of defeating Western weaklings.

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
    • Replies: @JM
  33. Ghali says:

    Anyone knows who Egbert Dijkstra is?

  34. Bankotsu says:

    I don’t think that Stalin was planning to attack Germany in 1939-1941.

    German military strength was at its peak at the time, Stalin was too shrewd to attack Germany when German strength was at its peak.

    Also Stalin feared that UK was pushing Germany eastwards to destroy USSR. His idea was that Chamberlain was directing Hitler to expand eastwards so that Germany would finally attack USSR and the two would destroy each other. This of course, was the actual British policy.

    For details on the British policy see below links:

    …the British Conservative government had reached the fantastic idea that they could kill two birds with one stone by setting Germany and Russia against one another in Eastern Europe…

    …In order to carry out this plan of allowing Germany to drive eastward against Russia, it was necessary to do three things:

    (1) to liquidate all the countries standing between Germany and Russia; (2) to prevent France from honoring her alliances with these countries; and (3) to hoodwink the English people into accepting this as a necessary, indeed, the only solution to the international problem.

    The Chamberlain group were so successful in all three of these things that they came within an ace of succeeding, and failed only because of…”

    http://www.yamaguchy.com/library/quigley/anglo_12b.html
    http://www.carrollquigley.net/books.htm
    http://www.yamaguchy.com/library/quigley/anglo_01.html
    http://web.archive.org/web/20130710133808/http://real-world-news.org/bk-quigley/06.html
    http://web.archive.org/web/20130710133851/http://real-world-news.org/bk-quigley/12.html#42
    http://web.archive.org/web/20140808125553/http://real-world-news.org/bk-quigley/13.html
    http://www.carrollquigley.net/books.htm

    Russians and Poles don’t agree on much, but they do agree on the goals of British policy during this time:

    Statement by His Excellency Mr. Adam Daniel ROTFELD, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

    Fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

    Commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War:

    “…We are told sometimes that the criminal plot of the two dictatorships – Stalin’s and Hitler’s – was legitimate under the international law of the time.

    What’s more, it constituted a justified or even essential defense in view of the Munich Agreement concluded in September 1938 among Nazi Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and France.

    That treaty was designed to channel German aggression eastward. True, it was a shameful Agreement conceived to appease the aggressor at the expense of Czechoslovakia….”

    https://web.archive.org/web/20060512101037/http://www.polandun.org/templates/statementRotfeld09may.html

    Vladimir Putin, Russian President:

    “…Britain, as well as France, which was at the time the main ally of the Czechs and Slovaks, chose to withdraw their guarantees and abandon this Eastern European country to its fate. In so doing, they sought to direct the attention of the Nazis eastward so that Germany and the Soviet Union would inevitably clash and bleed each other white.

    That is the essence of the western policy of appeasement, which was pursued not only towards the Third Reich but also towards other participants of the so-called Anti-Comintern Pact – the fascist Italy and militarist Japan.

    In the Far East, this policy culminated in the conclusion of the Anglo-Japanese agreement in the summer of 1939, which gave Tokyo a free hand in China. The leading European powers were unwilling to recognize the mortal danger posed by Germany and its allies to the whole world. They were hoping that they themselves would be left untouched by the war…”

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/vladimir-putin-real-lessons-75th-anniversary-world-war-ii-162982?page=0%2C1

    Stalin didn’t want to play into the hands of the British by doing the exact thing that the British wanted which was a war of mutual annihilation between Germany and Russia.

    If Stalin was to plan a war against Germany, it would be after UK and Germany had mutually destroyed each other, hundreds of thousands of troops dead – that would be the time for USSR to strike and take advantage of the situation. 1939-1941 wasn’t the time.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  35. JM says:
    @Fox

    …no one forced the Czechs to occupy the German provinces in 1945 and cast out all of their 3.5 million inhabitants.

    And to cruelly violate the unarmed German civilians in the process.

    • Agree: John Wear
  36. @Nick J

    you are spreading lies, my friend. read Viktor Suvorov’s ‘The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II’.

    • Troll: Olivier1973
  37. “Concerning the May plan”

    The most important thing about it is that it confirms that Stalin’s speech of May 5 was not any clear order for war but was merely part of the diplomatic wrangling with Hitler, exactly as Gorodetsky argued. The common claim among Rezunists is that on May 5 Stalin gave secret order for a Soviet invasion of western and central Europe, then for some reason on May 15 Zhukov found it necessary to recommend to Stalin that the USSR should make a preemptive strike against Germany, and this somehow proves that it was always Stalin’s plan to invade Europe anyway. Completely contradictory.

    Stalin was watching the signs that Hitler was likely getting ready to move and was hesitant to believe the evidence in front of his eyes. The speech of May 5 was deliberately set up to be leaked in parts to German diplomats as a way of sending a warning to Hitler that the USSR was ready to fight if need be. But it was not a definitive order for a preemptive Soviet attack, and this was why Zhukov found it necessary to recommend 10 days later that the USSR should make such an attack.

    You’ll notice that no one has ever uncovered any secret recommendation by Guderian, Jodl or anyone else from May 15 recommending to Hitler that he should attack the USSR by June 22. Why not? Because Hitler had given clear orders to prepare an invasion of the USSR as far back as June 31, 1940. It would have sounded silly if Paulus or Rommel had out of nowhere suggested to Hitler on May 15 that he should attack the USSR. But this didn’t sound silly coming from Zhukov to Stalin with the recommendation that a preemptive strike should be made against Hitler, because Stalin had not yet ordered such a strike.

    This also underscores the fallacy in Hoffmann’s argument that because we have evidence of rumors flying around among lower level Soviet troops and commanders that Stalin was allegedly planning to attack. Rumors about a possible Soviet attack seem to have been circulating among Soviet forces from the early months of 1941 onward. That is accounted for the very clear sense that a general war was approaching, with Hitler having long since ordered his generals to prepare Barbarossa, combined with the way it would have been unthinkable in the USSR of 1941 to suggest that Stalin was about to be caught off-guard by surprise.

    But if those rumors, which were relayed to German forces by Soviet POWs after June 22, had reflected an actual clear decision by Stalin to attack, then Zhukov’s recommendation of May 15 would have been unnecessary. Zhukov made this recommendation because he knew that Stalin had not yet reached any such decision. Moreover, as a military man Zhukov would have begun to appreciate the potential for a first strike by Hitler to reach deeply into Soviet territory. Up until this time all Soviet plans had presumed that a first strike by Hitler would mean nothing much more serious than Napoleon III’s advance into Prussia in 1870. Hence there was no need to preempt Hitler but Soviet forces could simply wait for and meet the German attack when it came. Zhukov saw things differently by May 15, whereas Stalin had not come around.

    • Thanks: Wizard of Oz
  38. Jim C says:

    Were the Soviet weapons and deployments and so forth primarily defensive or primarily offensive?

    I think that is the core issue and from what I can discern is that the Soviets were building an offensive war machine not prepping to defend.

    Framing their invasion of the Baltics as so defensive/security related is so idiotic and absurd one wonders at the motives at one claiming so. Eaatern Poland and the Katyn Massacre must gave been ‘defense’ and not more conquest because…

    Hitler has to remain a caricature because that caricature buttresses very disproportionate Jewish power which it is ‘hate’ to discuss because they are victims still of Hitler who was the most evil, most murderous person ever.

    Even if Jewish Bolsheviks murdered more before the warz

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
  39. JM says:
    @Derer

    Suggesting that Stalin wanted to invade Germany is a complete sensationalist nonsense. He was a Bolshevik believing in one country revolution and eliminated Trotsky opposing him on that issue. He made non-aggression pact with Hitler and was completely dejected when it was broken by Hitler. Hitler was encouraged for Barbarossa by early success of defeating Western weaklings.

    Notwithstanding the polemics and propaganda, in this statement you’ve missed the whole of the action at the end of the war where Stalin’s armies took over all of Eastern Europe and the eastern part of Germany, incorporating, assimilating, all of them into the “Soviet” “socialist” system. He ordered his minions to back down from those – like Greece, France, Italy, that were unattainable outside of another major war.

    • Replies: @Derer
  40. @Max Edge

    “History is not particle physics, anyone can have an opinion”

    I agree and this was why despite an intense teenage interest in history I chose to major in math some decades ago. But Rezun does make blatantly false statements which show a general carelessness. One of the most widely spread fallacies which originated from Rezun is the claim that the USSR had almost 24,000 tanks facing German forces.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20160702210306/english.battlefield.ru/analytics/132-failed-historian.html

    In reality the USSR had 10,540 operable tanks in the Western Defense Districts on June 1, 1941. There were also 2,242 tanks listed as broken down and in need of repairs in the same general area of the Western Defense Districts, while across the USSR right up through Asia there were as many 23,106 in various conditions including those 2,242 that needed repairs. It’s likely that a similar proportion of the 10,324 = 23,106 – (10,540 + 2,242) tanks placed outside of the Western Defense Districts also had a similar proportion that were broken down and in need of repairs. Stalin himself was never confident about reports from Richard Sorge and maintained forces in the Soviet Far East.

    While the Soviet tank forces were clearly bigger than Germany’s, Rezun’s exaggeration of the total was just a way of making an argument seem persuasive than it is. The 3,350 German tanks made ready for Barbarossa were clearly still numerically surpassed by the operable 10,540 Soviet tanks in the West, but using a number like “24,000” the way Rezun did more than doubles this numerical ration. An author like this must be regarded as sloppy at best.

    • Replies: @Marcali
  41. @Colin Wright

    The entire Soviet armor corps was offensive in nature and the most massive in history to this date. It was only intended to invade Germany. This issue is settled and anyone saying different is a liar.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  42. Franz says:
    @Zachary Smith

    Hitler was an immediate threat to the US of A and Stalin was not…Roosevelt … understood the threat more clearly than most. Good thing, too. A President Truman in 1941 would have meant a victory for Germany in WW2.

    Immediate threat? The USA was still unsure of Canada at that time. Germany was what 90 percent of the American population were ignoring, not wanting a repeat performance of the mess WWI left it in, not to mention the debt.

    Incidentally, Truman was a future president when he made that wicked joke, it was matched by past president Herbert Hoover who said “let those two tyrants EXHAUST each other” and leave us out of it.

    The “immediate threat” to the USA was of being dragged into an Unnecessary War, the title of Pat Buchanan’s book on the waste WWII was and the legacy it has damned us with. A fine book by the good old Pat, worth a read.

    And my guess is if Harry was president in ’41, the same bankers who got to Woodrow Wilson would have got to him and the war would have happened anyway — Pat’s excellent objections notwithstanding.

  43. @Bankotsu

    ‘If Stalin was to plan a war .. it would be after UK and Germany”

    Not only that, but any Soviet plans would have taken the US into account. It would not be so simple to just have Britain and Germany devastate each other while the US remains isolated. Even if Roosevelt had been unable to bring the US into an open alliance with the UK, there would have been many calls for US aid to Europe in the aftermath of a German-British war which had destroyed the continent. No way would it have been possible for the USSR to simply claim the continent for itself. Stalin thought of these types of things in advance, unlike Hitler. A scenario where the USSR swoops across all of Europe in 1942 would have likely resulted in atomic bombs being used against the USSR in 1945. Even renowned isolationists like Herbert Hoover and Charles Lindbergh would have demanded this.

    It shows the half-baked way that some authors will selectively cite someone like John T. Flynn where it is convenient, but then fail to go to a logical conclusion when that would be inconvenient. Flynn charged that Roosevelt was looking for a war after the recession of 1937. There is a good bit of truth to that. Roosevelt did not cause the war in Europe to break out, but he was clearly hoping that such a war would enable him to facilitate government spending which Robert Taft had blocked. This would still have been true if Stalin had invaded Europe in 1942, except that now Roosevelt would no longer have the option for a war against Hitler. Instead, everyone from Winston Churchill to Harry Truman would be advocating for a war against Stalin.

  44. Best defense is a good offense. That’s what Hitler thought. The colossal armaments of the Soviet Union under Stalin were inseparable from the Communist ideology of world domination. “Defending the Revolution” = seeking world domination. Those who insist that Hitler was mistaken in assuming the Soviets would attack or refusing to acknowledge the reasonableness of such a motivation in launching Barbarossa fall into two camps. Those committed to a liberal mythology of the irrational militarist aggressor for whom the true conditions of the event are irrelevant (Clemenceau “Belgium didn’t invade Germany!”) or those who more esoterically would see Stalin invading Europe as a grand act in defense of their ideological world system.

    • Agree: HdC, ivan
  45. @Max Edge

    I don’t want to make a big point of it but one could expect a professional historian to seek to maintain a good reputation as a historian. A journalist or historical fiction writer, for example, might have feel less compulsion to be scrupulous.

    • Replies: @HdC
  46. Suvorov’s thesis that “Stalin may have started the war”, is untrue. The Nazis lived beyond their means and were already short on means in 1940. In order to feed Germany and expand its industry, the Nazi regime needed grain and other crops, raw materials like oil and ore, and an expansion of soil, which could best be achieved eastward, as Poland was expected to be overrun easier than countries in the west or south. Operation Barbarossa was undertaken out of necessity. Buildup of Russian forces on its own side of the border had been going on for years (you don’t build airports, bases and gun batteries overnight) and through reconnaissance reports, Hitler was fully aware of that. But he waged the attack nonetheless, not expecting that the Russian buildup had reached the levels that they did.

    Stalin knew about the German needs and expected plunder attempts on Russian resources. He had watched the Nazi buildup of hardware, but his own buildup was only partly meant for defense. Stalin hoped for a war of exhaustion between England, France and Germany, weakening all parties to such extent that he could march his Red Army all the way to Berlin, meeting only minor resistance. Stalin knew that the Brits had lost their Empire and their number 1 status in the world, and he expected the Americans to increase their world influence, as the Americans had already tried to increase their influence inside Russia after the Russian Revolution, which was supported by Western capital. By marching westward and dominating Germany, Stalin hoped to beat the Americans becore they could execute the same plan. By late 1940, he had already occupied the east of Poland, the Baltic states, the east of Finland and the north of Romania, to fortify the flanks and to prepare against surprises that might draw away focus and energy from the central push forward to the west.

    But events turned out differently. The Germans conquered France quite quickly and Britain had nearly bankrupted itself with its all-out efforts. Roosevelt only needed a pretext to get involved and Churchill literally invited and urged him to participate. This, and the fact that Germany had energy left for a second front, put an end to Stalin’s plans. The initial losses in Russian ranks during Barbarossa were huge, with lots of casualties. Airfields were bombed and the few planes up to scratch against German planes, were destoyed. The T34 was not in production yet and of the tank types in action, many were destroyed, like the planes. Logistics helped to turn the tide for the Russians. Against advice of tank batallion commanders, the German military high command had kept insisting on tanks powered by gasoline, of which there was soon a shortage, and the German tanks were complex and in need of regular maintenance and repair. The T34 tanks were diesel powered and simple yet reliable, and they surprised the Germans once the production got underway in big numbers. German supply convoys lagged behind or got bogged down, hampering German power and advancements.

    Stalin’s foresight proved right. Tbere had been occasions to reach peace agreements with Hitler, but Churchill was intent on crushing the Germans. The Allied forces didn’t help out the Russians at the eastern front, where the fighting was much heavier and the casualty rate much higher. With England losing its Empire and now playing second fiddle, the US could increase its afterwar influence in Europe at leisure. The Marshall Plan was set up to get European economies back on their feet, to keep communism from getting a grip on politics. Europe was targeted as a sales area for American consumer goods (all those US factories having been reverted to crack out war supplies, now wanted to go back making cars and fridges and consumer electronics) and for a while, plans were entertained to appoint the US Dollar as the universal European currency. Germany was acquitted of a considerable part of its war reparation duties and was granted a quick rebuilding of its industrial and financial sector. There was a purpose to that: Germany was considered the only European nation strong enough to be respected by the Russians. This, especially put in the context of the NATO alliance, was enough insurance to make the Russians think twice before invading. This capitist neo-colonial spread was enough to invoke countermeasures like the Iron Curtain and the Warsaw Pact. The Russian occupation of Middle and East European countries was a measure to guard communism against deterioration and to keep capitalist influences from getting a foothold. We know the rest. As soon as the Curtain fell and Glasnost was the new hope, neocon capitalism spread its tentacles in the new chaotic Russia as quickly as it could.

    • Agree: Olivier1973
    • Replies: @Zachary Smith
    , @karel
    , @bronek
  47. “Gorodetsky calls the plan limited in scope”

    Words can mean different things in different contexts, but since Rezun had claimed that Stalin was preparing to Sovietize the whole of Europe then a recommendation by Zhukov that the Soviet army should move into the rest of Poland does seem rather limited. If one is discarding Rezun from the onset then it’s possible to reopen the issue of what is limited and what is not.

  48. “it is more important what Stalin thought”

    While that is certainly true, every single piece of evidence about Stalin’s nature shows him to be a very cautious politician who would have been wary of the consequences of going on a march of conquest. Stalin knew about the original Allied plans for Operation Pike which was meant to be an Allied attack on the USSR in the Caucasus that would have been launched in 1940 if Hitler hadn’t stopped it with the attack on France. Stalin pushed through a peace with Finland because he knew of Allied plans to send forces there. Every piece of evidence about what Stalin thought shows that he was worried about Churchill tricking him into a war with Hitler. But even had he decided that a Soviet preemptive strike against Hitler was necessary, he would have thought about the obvious fact that Japan would have gone to war against him. He would further have thought about how to accommodate Churchill and Roosevelt so that they did not find it necessary to join with Japan.

    This just underscores that while there are military fallacies in the Rezun scenario such as the myth of the 24,000 Soviet tanks facing Hitler’s 3,350, the more important Rezun-fallacy is at the level of political analysis. Every critical examination of not only Stalin but all Soviet leaders, including Lenin and Trotsky, points against such a reckless move being carried out. The USSR lasted as long as it did because its leaders were cautious about starting confrontations.

    • Troll: GazaPlanet
  49. JackOH says:

    Just finished Suvorov/Rezun’s Icebreaker. Looking forward to Sean McMeekin’s Stalin’s War. McMeekin is a fairly impressive intellectual raconteur. His speech at an American WWI museum, available on You Tube, may be worth watching. He has a fine capacity for mixing the particular in great detail and the general within a few sentences.

    I’m not yet quite sure what to think. I do despair of the idea that American popular and often elite opinion can ever be dragged from its cliched view of the 1914-1945 European War.

  50. “these deficiencies did not abstain Hitler”

    Obviously Hitler had a very different frame of mind from Stalin. In places where Stalin’s paranoia would take over, Hitler would show bull-headed confidence. This was a big part of Hitler’s key to success up through 1942, although he overreached himself fatally. The USSR lasted until 1991 because all of its leaders, from Lenin and Trotsky onward, were much more cautious than Hitler. Stalin was particularly cagey. While he deserves to be condemned for paranoia, even this can sometimes have a positive side to it.

  51. It is obvious that at least troop-wise, MP-41 was far too ambitious, however document 273 envisions that ‘ mobilization according to the mob plan [mobilization plan] should begin immediately, with the expectation of the completion of all work, both in the center and in the field, by 1 July 1941.’

    Pavel Bobylev has argued that mid-July would have been a possible date for the Soviets to strike, given that a (secretly) mobilized Red Army could not sit around doing nothing.[118] He also argues that the second strategic echelons would have been in their proper positions by mid-July, which would have enabled a first strike.

    This was the exact same conclusion reached by Mikhail Meltyukhov in his book, Stalins Missed Chance. A secret military conference by the Soviets was held on May 24, when they apparently decided to adopt Zhukovs proposal for an offensive orientation against Germany. The Red Army would finish deploying their troops for this by July 15. When the Germans invaded on June 22, they were still in the middle of mobilising for their pre-emptive strike.

  52. “Red Army could not sit around doing nothing.”

    In a liberal state such as the US or UK that would be true. But in the USSR it would have been easy for Stalin to move the forces into fighting positions while waiting out the summer and withdraw in the fall, if that was what he wanted to do. A leader subject to elections would have to account for this. Stalin wouldn’t have needed to.

    • Replies: @Marcali
  53. anon[320] • Disclaimer says:
    @CelestiaQuesta

    I daresay even if the USSR won the Cold War, the world would not be as fucked as it is now. Germany/Japan being defeated in 1945 and USSR collapsing in 1991 created this kike-nigger-faggot clown show we have now.

  54. Rocha says:
    @King Lizard

    Thank you. Very pertinent as we will shortly be experiencing a good few days celebrating ‘the good war’
    To paraphrase General Patton. We defeated the wrong enemy. We should have joined the fascists to defeat the communists. IN 50 YEARS THE USA WILL BE MORALLY DESTROYED.

  55. Sean says:

    In 1939, Stalin viewed foreign policy as a grand game of poker. In Europe, this game was attended by three players. The fascists were represented by Adolf Hitler, the capitalists were represented by Chamberlain and finally the Bolsheviks were represented by Stalin himself.[25] The third player would try to entice the other two players to go to war against each other, giving him time to build up his military forces and invade when the other two players had weakened themselves sufficiently in combat.

    That is very close to the truth. Hitler went West instead of East, thereby duping Chamberlain. Then Hitler gave Stalin to understand that Germany would invade Britain, which Stalin understood would be the ty up and exhaust Germany, and in due source provide and opportunity for Stalin to not so much attack the German army as roll into Germany. Hitler played Stain for a fool

    https://www.thefreelibrary.com/What+Stalin+Knew%3A+The+Enigma+of+Barbarossa-a0143341225
    David Murphy was chief of the CIA’s Berlin base from 1950 to 1961 and then chief of Soviet operations at the CIA, so he has a long-standing, intimate, and deep knowledge of Soviet intelligence.

    In this book Murphy focuses on only one aspect of the Soviet intelligence empire: military intelligence and its networks in European embassies and Soviet agent networks. He reveals, as have others who have tracked the other branches of this intelligence system (foreign communists, sources from the Communist International, intelligence agents from the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs [NKVD]), just how thoroughly Soviet intelligence had penetrated Europe both before and after the Nazi conquests. The amount and scope of intelligence coming into Soviet offices and to Stalin was truly unbelievable. Yet it was not believed. And few, if any, officials in Russia were prepared to confront Stalin and his no-less-odious toadies on this score. Murphy actually devotes a chapter to the tragic fate of one of those few, General I. I. Proskurov, who paid the ultimate price for his honesty and independence.

    Stalin was also taken in by a masterful German deception scheme, beginning with letters to Stalin by Hitler. This campaign magnificently exploited Stalin’s belief that the intelligence reports of German buildups, even down to predictions of the correct time of invasion, were nothing more than provocations (Stalin would habitually prefix that word with some choice Russian obscenities in his notes on these reports). Stalin also apparently believed, as did so many others, that, after all, Hitler would not lie to him. What Stalin also evidently believed is that many, if not all, of these intelligence reports, and not just from military intelligence, represented British or other imperialist efforts to entangle him in a war with Germany. Thus Stalin persisted in his stubbornly held and utterly misguided convictions that Hitler had promised him there would be no invasion despite the growing unease of his subordinates who, after all, had to process these voluminous intelligence reports of an unparalleled military buildup. As Murphy points out, this deception campaign was imperative for German success.

    Hitler was an astoundingly capable man who wagered against the odds. Stalin has been overestimated by historians. Hogan’s Heroes and all that talk about the Russian Front I suspect .

    • Replies: @Olivier1973
  56. Marcali says:
    @karel

    “then it would have been a good chance in April 1941.”

    But MP-41 stipulates only that:

    “Mobilization would start in April-June.” – in main article above.

    • Replies: @karel
  57. The central problem with the Suvorov thesis is that the ideal time for a Soviet attack was May 1940. After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, a slugfest between Germany and the Anglo-Franco alliance was inevitable. German operations in Denmark/Norway in April 1940 would have confirmed this to any doubters. As Germany made the first move in 1914, a repeat performance would be expected. Therefore if a Soviet attack on Germany was planned, it should be made while nearly all the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe was commited in the West.

  58. Marcali says:
    @gT

    Did you serve in any of the Warsaw Pact armies?
    I did between 1966 and 68.
    We planned to attack, that was our military doctrine and nothing else, to the end of the European land mass.

    • Replies: @Olivier1973
    , @karel
  59. John Wear says:
    @Commentator Mike

    Hitler’s invasion of Denmark and Norway was in response to Britain’s plan to invade Norway. Germany’s invasion of these countries was totally preemptive. For more detailed information, see my article at https://www.inconvenienthistory.com/11/3/6845.

    Germany invaded the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg to prevent France’s and Britain’s attack of Germany. Hitler let the British get away at Dunkirk hoping the British would want peace instead of war. For more information, please see my article at https://www.inconvenienthistory.com/11/3/6814.

    • Agree: nokangaroos, Mulegino1
  60. Marcali says:
    @Patrick McNally

    Development of the armed forces of the Soviet Union
    from 1939 to 1941[60]

    1 January 1939 22 June 1941 % increase
    Divisions calculated 131.5 316.5 140.7
    Personnel 2,485,000 5,774,000 132.4
    Guns and mortars 55,800 117,600 110.7
    Tanks 21,100 25,700 21.8
    Aircraft 7,700 18,700 142.8
    from Wiki as at 30 Nov 2012

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  61. Interesting analyses starting here:

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/operation-barbarossa-overview/5760636

    For instance:

    Zhukov told Stalin repeatedly, and as late as mid-June 1941, to be prepared in the case of a German attack. Stalin in turn insisted a few days before Wehrmacht-led armies invaded, “Germany has a Treaty of Non-Aggression with us. Germany is involved up to its ears in the war in the West, and I believe that Hitler will not risk creating a second front for himself by attacking the Soviet Union”.

    From November 1940 to June 1941, Stalin personally received a total of 80 intelligence reports warning about a German invasion, according to English historian Andrew Roberts. In mitigation to Stalin, a fair proportion of the intelligence accounts proved inaccurate regarding the invasion start date; others constituted misinformation planted by the Germans; but most reports were genuine and some uncannily close to the mark, like the material sent to the Kremlin by Richard Sorge, a now famous Soviet spy then operating in the German embassy in Tokyo.

    Stalin was further warned about Nazi intentions by Soviet agents like the courageous Leopold Trepper in Paris, and also Victor Sukolov in Belgium. The most plausible and detailed reports of all indeed came from Soviet sources, and they peaked in intensity during the first three weeks of June 1941 – along with alarming information forthcoming that Hitler’s allies Finland and Romania were mobilizing for war against Russia. This could not be ignored.

    But it was ignored unfortunately.

    This Suvorov thesis was resurrected as anti-russian propaganda to prepare the western opinion to a war with Russia (motto: Russia is preparing to invade Europe). The stupid europeans leaders (by the way “young leaders”) cannot understand that the US are dreaming of a new war with an european battlefield so as to destroy again those countries.

    Advice to Russia and China: install hypersonic nuclear missiles in Cuba and Venezuela, and pull them away when US will do the same in Europe and Turkey.

    • Replies: @Corrupt
  62. This all doesn’t matter.

    Hitler spoiled everything with his stupid racial policies from 1933. That was all wrong. Even if he had succeeded in taking Moscow and Leningrad, he would have been defeated.

    What did he think, that Russians would just get their nails manicured behind the Urals?

    And Americans would simply sleep through the war?

    Judging the 20th C mass murderers, Stalin had possessed the greatest sense of black humor & was the most paranoid; Hitler was a coffeehouse philosopher & the most dogmatic.

    As regards the white race, Hitler was the worst news- ever.

  63. Germany did the best with what they had at the time.

    The end result is that both Germany and Russia now support Yankee Global-Homo. Every country and empire that aligned with the Yankees lost their empires in so doing. Not just Germany, Italy or Japan.

    They died at Normandy, Stalingrad and Iwo Jima to end up supporting men in skirts using girls bathrooms and homosexuals marrying each other, purchasing babies and pretending to be mom’s… Because Yankee infinity money can buy a cabinet appointment.

    This is the world now… Yankee shit libs printing infinity Zog money and threatening nuclear war if someone refuses to give them something for nothing.

  64. JamesinNM says:

    In Bern, Switzerland in 1960, Winston Churchill said: “Germany’s unforgivable crime before WWII was it’s attempt to loosen its economy out of the world trade system and build upon an own exchange system from which the world-finance couldn’t profit anymore.”

  65. @Marcali

    And? When did you attack?

    By the way the US planned to nuclear bomb every big city of the Warsaw Pact.

    • Replies: @Marcali
  66. Rich says:

    Whether or not Stalin was going to attack Germany, (of course he had plans to attack, doesn’t mean he would have), Hitler’s Barbarossa was one of the biggest blunders in military history. He didn’t have the troops or the supplies to carry on a two front war and his refusal to listen to his generals who called for a withdrawal from Stalingrad was criminal. I know it’s easy to say how stupid it was in hindsight, but we have hindsight now and can see that Mr. Hitler made one tragic mistake after another and led his people into the worst defeat in their history.

  67. @Jim C

    – There is no conceivable reason for forward deployment of aircraft other than staging for an attack; and the Germans destroyed over 2000 on the first day.

    – It is hard to convey the superiority of the BT-7 and T-34 tanks over any other
    (the irony being that Christie, who did the basic chassis design, had been laughed
    off in his native USofA – much like Goddard). Their dedicated alu W-6 Diesel was
    optimized for strategic penetration. The Germans had better radios but were
    futzing around with Zeppelin engines, and the US were still in the steam age,
    powering theirs with several car motors in a row.

    – The railcars full of maps of Central Europe were there (and the lack of Russian ones
    was too), as were the little phrase booklets (“Where is your Ortsgruppenleiter?” –
    but I´ve seen German and US ones too, doesn´t mean much).

    – The only one of Suworow´s points that cannot be independently verified are
    the fabled “ten airborne divisions”; what is known is the Soviets did a brigade-size
    airlanding with heavy equipment (on a frozen lake) in 1928.

    (Also, in % of GDP, it took the Germans until 1943 to spend what Little Britain did
    in 1936) I would say the picture is unequivocal.

  68. @Sean

    Hitler was an astoundingly capable man who wagered against the odds. Stalin has been overestimated by historians.

    How funny: Stalin won the war and Hitler lost it. Great capacity indeed.

    • Replies: @HdC
    , @Johnny Rico
  69. Interesting article, but I think the author could have saved himself a lot of time and energy by first reading the book by the former GDR General, Bernd Schwipper, Deutschland im Visier Stalins (2015), which is truly the last word on the issue.

    It is inexplicable to me that mr. Dijkstra, who is apparently Dutch, would not know Schwipper’s book or that he cannot read German. Obviously, any serious author on the period should be able to read German.

    Nor can I understand why Mr. Unz would have published this piece. I did mention Schwipper’s work in an earlier comment on one of his own articles.

    Here is a link to a presentation by Bernd Schwipper. It is in German, however: https://youtu.be/6zaR-kHsFAY

    • Agree: L.K
  70. Aw, poor Hitler, he was a good boy, he dindu nuffin. He was just getting his life back on track!

  71. John Wear says:

    This is an excellent article. In my opinion, Hitler attacked the Soviet Union for preemptive reasons.

  72. Suvorov has become historical gospel for some people. For those who treat Suvorov as historical gospel you would never know that historians have written a very serious critique of Suvorov’s evidence. So this makes the enthusiasts for Suvorov highly dishonest.

    The Nazis took a gamble and they lost. Now they are occupied by Global Homo-Negro America. Russia is lead by a devout Slavic Russian Man. If one more young pregnant Orthodox Christian Russian Women in the Donbas has her fetus blown out of her womb by a an artillery shell fired by the Nazi Brigade…Hundreds of Iskander missiles will be fired into the Ukraine destroying Ukraine Nazi Army. And this Nazi Ukraine Army is Hillary Clinton’s…Barack Obama’s….Susan Rice’s…Samantha Power’s…and Donald Trump’s…and Floyd Atkin’s Pet from Hell…..

    The quality of Suvorov’s scholarship has been debated here with significant critiques by the Saker and Andrie Martyanov….

    The Ukraine Nazis are going to die….As are the US and British Special Forces embedded with them-they are going to suffer a Falluja Bridge fate……As far as WW2 goes…I’ll go with the Soviet Union over the Jap bastards and the Bosnian Muslims and the Croatians….

    Larger picture:there is a direct road from the Cold War to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act…The passage of the 1965 Immigration Act was a direct consequence of the 1964 Civil Rights Act……Barack Obama and Kamala Harris and AOC are a direct creation of enthusiastic Cold Warrior JFK’S nonwhite LEGAL Immigration Enthusiasm. All you Suvorov worshippers are jackasses…

    • Replies: @Marcali
  73. karel says:
    @Fox

    Liško, have you noticed that we are discussing a somewhat different topic?

  74. The Russian Military has a red-line in the Ukraine…cross it….and the napalm artillery will painfully burn Loyd Atkins US Special Forces Negro Monkeys embedded with the Azov Brigade…..The gd napalm will rain down upon you…the wrath of Slavic Russia!!!!!!!!!

    • Replies: @Dingo bay rum
  75. karel says:
    @Marcali

    Possibly, as the invasion of the SU started too late for the Germans to have a realistic chance of reaching Moscow before the onset of the winter.

    • Replies: @Marcali
  76. karel says:
    @Marcali

    Yes, I have heard from friends, who also served, similar stories. Except there was no Warsaw pact in 1941. I hope that you may notice the difference.

    • Replies: @Marcali
  77. A good corrective to the Suvarov aguments. Though it is largely restating historical orthodoxy. Old orthodoxies are not always factually incorrect.
    The Soviet’s envisioned outcome of an Axis attack was a battle on the frontiers where the invading force would be tied up fighting the frontier armies and then the reserve armies would use all that material that had been stockpiled to deal a crushing riposte. All in all not a bad or stupid plan. This is how Field Marshall von Rundstedt hoped to deal with an Angl0-American landing in France.

  78. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Nick J

    Did Stalin intend to invade the Nazi Germany? Yes, he obviously saw war as inevitable.
    Was he preparing for it? Yes.
    Was he ready? No, and for that reason any conclusion that Hitler beat him to the punch fails.

    Conversely Hitler was well aware that the Soviet state was gearing for war and knew that he would have to act first.

    The major factor missed on all these arguments is what was really forcing German haste. It was food, Europe was not feeding itself. It was raw materials, Europe could not provide enough for Germanys war economy. The problem as in 1914-8 was the Royal Navy command of the Atlantic which effectively isolated Europe from resources.

    The solution was invade the Ukraine and Caucasus. Stalin lost the battle for readiness, the Purges put paid to that. Yes he deployed forces to the west, that concurs with military defensive thinking of the time. If they didn’t have plans for a first strike that would be negligent. But did Stalin want to pull the trigger? I think yes, in 1942 or 1943.

    Major countries having disagreement with each other have strategy sessions that include hypothetical instances of war.

    The USSR understandably saw the Western appeasement of Czechoslovakia as a threat. The West refused an anti-Nazi alliance regarding Czechoslovakia. At that juncture, Stalin sought an accommodation with Nazi Germany. When the Nazis attacked, the Soviets were simultaneously shipping supplies to Germany.

    Stalin was foolishly unprepared for a Nazi attack, with the Nazis foolishly launching a second front. Note that the Soviets shifted their industry east away from Nazi occupied parts of the USSR, after (not before) the Nazi attack.

  79. As history subsequently showed how the First World War was inevitable, and also the Second, history is prophesying the Third – in advance.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

  80. I’m always amazed by the historical knowledge that many of you possess on this site, much of which contradicts the official narrative, but nonetheless true. I have a question I’m hoping someone could shed light on, since the official story just doesn’t seem right:

    They say Stalin suffered a nervous breakdown for two days during the invasion of Russia; betrayed by Hitler. This just never sat well with me as being truthful, what really happened during the two days of isolation?

  81. A possible explanation is that Western historians simply did not have access to the Soviet archives and so may have found Suvorov’s writings to be false if not outright fanciful.

    Another more probable explanation is that such “historians” are simply underlining a prepared script, that civilisation (ie judeo-bolshevism) was only saved by the entire world uniting against the evil Nazi, making it necessary to blast, bombard and virtually level Germany in its entirety. They may accurately be called “Court Historians”.

    It is important to realise that Op Barbarossa was not an attack on Russia per se but an assault and a justified assault on judeo-bolshevism. Proved by the millions of Russians who aided the Axis in this assault. This shows that the annual “Great Patriotic War” victory parades in Moscow are simply the product of continued propaganda supporting the prepared script. One might regard the author of these, a “former” communist apparatchik, with suspicion.

    Lastly, it was not only the Germans who attempted to destroy judeo-bolshevism. Divisions of fighting troops from all over Europe joined Barbarossa. The so-named Schutzstaffel or SS was the first ever international army. Nor is it a stretch to say that if former military heroes such as Gen Pyotr Wrangel and many others similar had been alive and given the chance, they would have asked to be in the front rank of Barbarossa.

    • Replies: @Rocha
  82. Note that Stalin had invaded Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and eastern Poland, yet some claim Stalin had no aggressive intentions afterwards. France and Britain declared war on Germany for invading Poland but didn’t declare war on the Soviet Union. The Poles were putting up a good fight after initial German successes, but gave up after the French made little attempt to attack Germany from the west as promised, and the Soviets attacked from the east.

    To add to the confusion, note that Britain teamed up with the Soviets to invade and partition Iran in August 1941, just a couple a years after they went to war because the Soviets invaded and partitioned Poland with the Germans.

  83. Marcali says:
    @karel

    But communism already was.

    • Replies: @karel
  84. Marcali says:
    @War for Blair Mountain

    There is also Mark Solonin to consult before dismissing Suvorov lightly.

  85. Marcali says:
    @karel

    And who became the masters of Churchill after this?

    Winston Churchill penned an editorial entitled “Zionism versus Bolshevism,” which was published in the Illustrated Sunday Herald. In the article, which asserted that Zionism and Bolshevism were engaged in a “struggle for the soul of the Jewish people”, he called on Jews to repudiate “the Bolshevik conspiracy” and make clear that “the Bolshevik movement is not a Jewish movement” but stated that:
    [Bolshevism] among the Jews is nothing new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxemburg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing.[43]

  86. WWI and WWII were both the result of Stalin and Hitler being put in power by the zionist central bankers of the US and Europe, get the books Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler and Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution by Anthony Sutton and The Controversy of Zion by Douglas Reed , these can be had on amazon.

    Stalin and Hitler were both psycopaths and mass killers hired by the zionist central bankers to destroy both Germany and Russia and Europe to the lay the platform for the zionist one world government using the UN as the structure which is using the covid-19 scam and psyop to destroy the world, google and read UN Agenda 2030, this explains it all.

    • Replies: @RestiveUs
  87. @Gerhard57NL

    A most interesting analysis. I do have a couple quibbles though.

    The Allied forces didn’t help out the Russians at the eastern front, where the fighting was much heavier and the casualty rate much higher.

    The Americans and Brits didn’t send troops, basically because they didn’t have any to spare. Britain is not a large nation, and their Army was playing third string behind the Navy and RAF. The US Army was beyond pitiful with neither troops nor weapons.
    But you overlook Lend Lease. When this program finally got well started, the aid going to the Soviet Union was enormous. I doubt that the SU could have survived without it. Not that this was any sort of kind-hearted charity, for if the USSR had stopped fighting, the war would have taken a drastic turn against the Allies. Certainly to a draw, and maybe to a loss.

    There was a purpose to that: Germany was considered the only European nation strong enough to be respected by the Russians.

    The defeated Germany wan’t ‘respected’ by anybody, for it had been crushed. And also divided. For quite a long while West Germany rebuilt infrastructure. What influenced the Russians was 1) their weakness. That nation had just been through hell, and was exhausted. 2) A surplus of conquests to digest. 3) US nuclear weapons.

    Stalin was still full of piss and vinegar, but he didn’t press the situation with the Berlin Blockade. And he took care to use North Korean proxy forces to attack the US in that war.

  88. We’ve known all about this counter-factual since first-edition Suvarov and it is neither here nor there. MacMeekin’s “Stalin’s War” has lately put the entire wretched business into context. Scribble on, historians.

  89. HdC says:
    @Commentator Mike

    Belgium and Holland were anything but neutral during the lead up to WWII. Belgium was prepared to let French and British troops cross its territory, and Holland permitted British airplanes to fly over its territory.

    The other countries were threatened with invasion by Britain. Germany preempted those invasions.

    One hardly ever hears anything about the forgoing scenarios. Court (paid) historians will not touch this subject because it is not politically correct. Anything written that flies in the face of this standard narrative would immediately lose his job, whether a reporter or historian.

    • Agree: John Wear
  90. HT says:

    The Jews including Jew bankers in America helped fund the Russian communist revolution and welcomed the same for Germany. Jews within Germany, with help from their brothers around the world, were undermining Hitler financially and in other ways from within. They would have welcomed Stalin with open arms into Germany. As we now know, the greatest threat to America was not Hitler, it was communism which, led by Jews like Herbert Marcuse, has destroyed America from within. Yet, of all the people in history, the only one vilified is not Stalin or Mao. It is Hitler and that is because the Jews have written the history. Even as the white race is now being oppressed for its “racism”, Jews controlling the institutions of America continue to attack Hitler and Nazism and link them to “white supremacists”. Meanwhile Marxism descends over America. Sad to watch.

  91. @Marcali

    Well, that does it, Solonin….propagandist for the Maiden Coup…is the final word.

    Listen up Turd:‘if the Neo-Nazis blow another fetus out of a young pregnant Russian Orthodox Woman in Donbass…The Iskanders are going to come raining done on the Nazi Azov Brigade and the Ukraine Military….If the US Military doesn’t like this…well, what the fuck is this collection of filthy Negros…Lesbians…and homosexual pederasts going to do about it?…What is the Ape Llyod Atkins going to do about it?

    Crimea does not belong to the US Negro…Lesbian…Homosexual Pederast Military…

    Let me guess:is it (((Mark Solonin)))…seriously go fuck yourself…

  92. Marcali says:
    @karel

    Panic in Moscow
    ww2history.com
    “By October 1941 the situation for the Soviet Union looked desperate. At the start of the month the 3rd and 4th Panzer armies had joined together to create a massive encirclement around the town of Vyazma, west of Moscow, with the Germans trapping five Soviet armies. And together with the German victory at the nearby town of Bryansk, more than 600,000 Red army soldiers were captured. The road to the Soviet capital now seemed open to the Germans.”

    This, after Hitler stopped his panzers in August and turned south.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  93. HdC says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    A historian and his family need to eat and pay rent/mortgage. Consequently he does whatever enables him to pay the bills, regardless of the veracity of his verbiage. And during these times that requires to be politically correct: It was all the fault of dem Naaaaziiis.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  94. @JamesinNM

    They didn’t want to be part of Yankee Globo-Homo? Providing a fair alternative to the New York-London Axis of financial bubble boom and bust?

  95. Marcali says:
    @Zachary Smith

    Suvorov has more than one book on this subject:
    About the outbreak of the Nazi-Soviet War

    Icebreaker (Ледокол) (1980s), Hamish Hamilton Ltd, ISBN 0-241-12622-3
    Day “M” (День “М”)
    Suicide. For what reason did Hitler attack the Soviet Union? (Самоубийство), Moscow, ACT, 2000, ISBN 5-17-003119-X
    The Last Republic, ACT, 1997, ASIN B00271256C
    Cleansing (Очищение). Purification. Why did Stalin behead his army?, Moscow, 2002, ISBN 5-17-009254-7
    Last Republic II. Why did the Soviet Union lose the Second World War? (Последната република II), Sofia, Fakel Express, 2007, ISBN 978-954-9772-51-7
    The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II.. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008 (hardcover, ISBN 978-1-59114-838-8).
    Defeat. Why was the “great victory” worse than any defeat? (Разгромът), Sofia, Fakel Express, 2009, ISBN 978-954-9772-68-5

  96. HdC says:
    @Olivier1973

    Even the most courageous lion will lose against a rabble of hyenas.
    The USA supplied 450000 trucks, factories, radios, food, and even US currency PRINTING PLATES, etc. to the Soviet Union.

    • Replies: @H. Ph. Vogel
  97. I noticed none, or at least precious few commenters here have read Gerd Schwipper.

    Nor have they apparently taken notice of the work by Finnish historian Erkki Hautamäki (Finland i stormens öga, 2005), https://www.litmir.me/br/?b=719860&p=1

    Those who would like to read a fresh synthesis of European 20th-century history, taking into account these and other sources usually ignored by court historians, might enjoy How Europe Became American (2021): https://www.amazon.com/Europe-Became-American-Hans-Vogel/dp/1914208005

    • Replies: @Fox
  98. Thomasina says:

    Oswald killed JFK.
    Sirhan Sirhan killed RFK.
    Arabs with box cutters caused 9/11.
    Saddam Hussein had WMD.

    Germany is solely responsible for WWI and WWII.

    Hitler killed the Jews.

    Hitler is a bad man.

    Sarc off.

    “All lies and jest, still a man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.”

  99. augusto says:

    yes, it was difficult in 1944.

    But it does nt matter , bad old comrade Stalin had planned to invade Germany in 1939-1940 with five million men with sticks and stones.

  100. @karel

    karel is a pro-communist Czech troll, USSR apologist, and a Germany hater.

    • Replies: @karel
  101. karel says:
    @Marcali

    Perhaps in North KOrea.

  102. Unless one is willing to spend thosands of dollars for a book it is unlikely you will find ICEBREAKER on the shelf.

    • Replies: @Zachary Smith
  103. karel says:
    @Gerhard57NL

    You are right, The conquest of the SU was an inevitable consequence of the clever plan devised by bankers, principally by the director of the Reichs bank, Hjalmar Schacht. His grand invention was the introduction of the so-called Mefo bills, which were promissory notes issued to pay for the rearmament of Germany. Just as today’s fiat currencies, e.g. the USD, the Mefo bills were covered by guns only. When the Mefo bills became too numerous, it was obvious that the promissory notes could never be repaid. Hence, the conquest of SU, accompanied by pillaging and subsequent exploitation of natural resources became the only viable option to prevent the collapse of the economy. It was no accident that Schacht was tried in Nurneberg for crimes ”against peace”. But Schacht escaped a well-deserved sentence, which confirms the rule that bankers almost never end up in jail.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  104. @War for Blair Mountain

    Yes, cross it and a rain of russian bullshit will come down on american special forces.Don’t worry we have lots of detergent.

  105. Wokechoke says:

    We have to think about ww2 as a war to survive. The individual Germans rather than the nation, for example. Even ww1 which erased ancient imperial dynastic families. Many important Germans had to figure out a survival strategy. Look at all the writers hiding in Paris or the Natsoc soldiers who ended up in Spain, Egypt or Argentina. The British, Churchill, fought an air/naval campaign and held off on the land only until US and USSR pressurised the British to land their army in Normandy. Germany wasn’t fighting a two front war until 1944. Stalin survived the first onslaught of Barbarossa and shouldn’t have. He ought to have been shot by a disillusioned Russian General. Or a palace coup. That’s what I’d have expected by late November in 1941. Stalin’s political survival is the real mystery.

  106. Wokechoke says:
    @Marcali

    In a normal political environment Stalin by September, 1941 should have been removed from office and the interim leader sent to Berlin to arrange a surrender. That’s what the Germans expected just like in the French, Polish, Czech, context. Stalin kept a grip on power somehow. It’s a mystery. Chamberlain was removed AS the French collapsed for example. Hitler was aiming for a regime change event in Autumn 1941 but normal politics did not apply.

  107. Wokechoke says:
    @karel

    A lot of German history is currency scamming.

  108. @HdC

    And the US also kept the German war machine moving: some 70% of all German trucks were built by Ford and General Motors, and these companies also built tanks, aircraft engines etc. in their German plants. Coca Cola had developed Fanta especially for thirsty German soldiers. US investments made between 1923 and 1933 amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars, making Germany essentially a US economic ally. Same goes for the USSR, also a US economic ally.

    Read Guido Giacomo Preparata, Conjuring Hitler.

    • Replies: @HdC
    , @HdC
  109. Fox says:
    @H. Ph. Vogel

    Thanks. I was recently looking at the availability of Schwipper’s book. Is Hautamäki’s book availbale in any language other than Finnish or Swedish? Likewise the last book you mention looks interesting, a topic I have thought about a lot.

    • Thanks: Fox
    • Replies: @H. Ph. Vogel
  110. (((GlobalHomoZioBIGsRxMIC3))) scum use Hitler’s white Germany and Holocaust hoax to hide Jewish Supremacist global terrorist groups.
    They’re like rabid carrier rats of Black Death, and they’re everywhere.

  111. @the grand wazoo

    https://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl&st=sl&ref=bf_s2_a1_t1_1&qi=ZWbA2nNgrT5757lqR6qgEWKLKwI_1497963026_1:2:5&bq=author%3Dviktor%2520suvorov%26title%3Dicebreaker%2520who%2520started

    Somebody has reprinted it, and the eBay price is \$60. Still, that’s a lot more than I’d have expected. Also, I tend to distrust reprints. The same is true for digital copies, but “free” has a lot to recommend it.

    https://www.jrbooksonline.com/PDF_Books/icebreaker.pdf

    https://archive.org/search.php?query=Viktor%20Suvorov&and%5B%5D=mediatype%3A%22texts%22

    Four copies available for viewing at the Archive site.

    I once bought a book about the collapse of complex societies by a Libertarian “scholar”. Many rave reviews, and I was suckered into paying a huge price for the thing. Guess I could have gotten much of my money back on eBay, but the satisfaction from tossing that silly thing into the fire was much more pleasing.

    • Replies: @the grand wazoo
  112. @CelestiaQuesta

    You can’t know where we would be today. Hitler didn’t have that much longer to live — maybe 10 years on average? Course he would have had good people in place, but that’s another question mark. Worse though, was the hostility toward Germans that Fox and I have talked about. Having to keep all your enemies subdued with military force/occupation is not a situation that can go on for long. With the British and their auxiliaries, Americans, French (the “United Nations”), plus the power of World Jewry most of all, against you and uncooperative, the odds are not good. So I see the real problems with that picture is HOSTILITY TOWARDS GERMANS that is still in operation today. Germans are now part of the ruling global power block because they’re no long German. Today’s “Germans” renounce Hitler’s Germany and even yesterday’s Germans. We have the “New Germans” who don’t resemble the Germans of the Third Reich.

    Look to yourselves for allowing that to happen – and to continue – with your “Ethics” beliefs that prevent natural justice from taking place.

  113. karel says:
    @Carolyn Yeager

    It is an honour to be mentioned by the sweet, sweet Caroline, the famous Foxhunter.

    • Replies: @RobinG
  114. Mulegino1 says:

    The Soviet troop and material deployments themselves (which are unquestionable in light of the subsequent developments during the first few weeks and months of Barbarossa) indicate that some kind of westward offensive was imminent.

    The deployment of the 9th Army on the Romanian border is certainly indicative in this regard, as are
    the deployments of the bulk of the Soviet forces in the vulnerable Lvov and Bialystok salients.

    The simple fact is that there was no way that the Soviets were going to continue building up such enormous troop and material deployments along the western frontiers of the USSR unless they intended to either launch an offensive or a counter-offensive against a German led invasion. Deploying such an enormous force in the west and continuing to build up that force well into mid and late summer, and either keeping it supplied or withdrawing it in the early fall would have involved a logistics nightmare of the first magnitude. Were the Soviets going to use their rail systems to withdraw this force when the trains would be required for the autumn grain harvest?

    Another telling- and to my mind decisive- deployment was that of the air force to close proximity to the borders. This makes no sense from a defensive standpoint.

    Of course, for those stuck in the old paradigm of establishment history nothing will suffice to even make them rethink their interpretation of the events, i.e.:

    “The Soviet forces were a ‘staggering colossus’ even after they had achieved their stunning victory against the Japanese at Khalkin Gal and had won the Winter War against Finland-albeit at enormous cost. It is not at all significant that the Soviets had invaded Eastern Poland, occupied the Baltic countries, annexed Bessarabia from Romania and, during Molotov’s last visit to Berlin , insisted upon the right to re-occupy Finland, annex Bukovina, and make a move to seize the Dardanelles. None of that matters. Barbarossa was simply an invasion by an evil madman intent upon seizing lebensraum and exterminating the Slavs. End of story.”

    The world as defined by Hollywood creates its own egregores out of establishment narratives. These serve to cognitively anchor the infotainment proles. To destroy their hold is difficult socially and psychologically.

    Suvorov’s critics would have us believe that the idea of Barbarossa as a preemptive invasion began with him, which was nonsense. Suvorov is good at tying the loose ends of the circumstantial evidence together, but the reality is that there are plenty of solid historians and plenty of solid and direct evidence to substantiate that Stalin did indeed plan on a gigantic offensive, possibly sometime in July of 1941.

    • Agree: Carlton Meyer
    • Replies: @Carlton Meyer
    , @karel
  115. Suvorov among friends-Zionists. In the photo on the left Berezovsky, on the right – the Ukrainian commentator D.Gordon(born on October 21, 1967 in Kiev in a Jewish family) associate of Igor Kolomoisky (oligarch of Ukraine ;he has citizenship of Israel, Ukraine and Cyprus).

    On the eve of the war, Stalin carried out the great purge(1922-1936 = cold phase; 1936-1940 = hot period of the purge; 1937 = peak). Purges of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, government officials, and the Red Army… The so-called Trotskyists=Mensheviks=Socialist-Revolutionary, were either forced to leave the country(Leon Trotsky=Lev Davidovich Bronstein) or were put on trial(Grigory Zinoviev=Hirsch Apfelbaum; Lev Borisovich Kamenev=Lev Borisovich Rozenfeld).
    Most of these bosses of trotskyists, like Feiga Haimovna Roytblat(She shot Lenin) associated their political roots with General Jewish Labour Bund. The majority faction of the Russian Bund was dissolved in 1921 and incorporated into the Communist Party. Before Stalin’s purge, power in the USSR belonged to them. After the purge, WW2 began.
    let’s go back to our time…
    Semibankirschina (семибанкирщина), or seven bankers, was a group of seven business oligarchs who played an important role in the political and economical life of Russia between 1996 and 2000.Those include: Boris Berezovsky(since 1993 citizenship of Israel), Mikhail Khodorkovsky(Israel is ready to grant citizenship), Mikhail Fridman(he has Israeli and Russian citizenship), Petr Aven(he has Israeli and Russian citizenship), Vladimir Gusinsky(he has Israeli citizenship), Alexander Smolensky(can obtain Israeli citizenship at any time),Vladimir Potanin. Power in the Russia belonged to them.
    The 1999 saw the sudden rise to power of the unknown FSB officer Vladimir Putin. The following years saw a quick demise of most of the seven bankers.

    • Agree: Derer
    • Replies: @karel
  116. Marcali says:
    @Olivier1973

    1. We did not. But we were trained for that.
    2. And vice versa.

  117. RobinG says:
    @karel

    I share that honor, gloriously bestowed.

    Carolyn is the Queen of the Circular Fallacy Squad.

  118. Marcali says:
    @Patrick McNally

    What forces?
    „But we have a series of estimates, most of them working independently from one another. The figure of 27 million Soviet war death must therefore be taken as the minimum figure for military deaths, as opposed to the German figure of 2,416,784 killed and missing, this latter category including all prisoners of war, some of whom eventually returned alive from the Gulag.”
    (John Mosier: Deathride, Hitler vs. Stalin: the Eastern Front, 1941-1945, Simon & Schuster, 2010, p. 338.)

  119. @JamesinNM

    Hello,

    Could you give the source of that quote? I can’t find it. Thanks

  120. Derer says:
    @JM

    Of course, you must understand that this was done for the creation of a buffer zone or “iron curtain” for future Western enemies attack. It has nothing to do with ideology. Churchill or Roosevelt are long gone and still what happened in 90’s with NATO expansion betrayal and now Ukraine. The crony capitalists appetite for Russian resources is hardly subsiding. Who is playing dirty in present conflict?

    • Replies: @JM
  121. @Dingo bay rum

    Really?…You believe your own faggot bullshit? You gd fag…..

    Get the fuck off of Russia’s borders you goddam fag……and if you cross Slavic Russia’s redline you and your negro-lesbian-pederast homosexual US Special Forces will be toasted into charcoal briquetes…just like at the Falluja Bridge…..

    US Special Forces…Hillary Clinton’s Army of homosexual pederasts…

  122. GMC says:

    Did the USA intend to invade Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and a dozen others – yep. Does it matter anymore.?? NOPE. All the real facts about WWII are the most interesting readings in the past decades, but it shows how manipulated – everything was in the past and how it is today – still.
    The imortal regiment march in Russia on Victory Day will not change because of what may have happened or what could have ocurred. But it certainly looks like Russias foreign policy is no way, the same as Stalins was – if indeed he was going to invade Europe. Calling out the people who have lied and destroyed country after country is more important.

  123. R2b says:

    Perfidious Albion was jealous of Germania.
    Wall Street funded the Revolution, The Soviet Union and armed them.
    The corporal, the great man, Adolph Hitler, we are to believe, thought good, of Perfidious Albion.
    So he unleashed Barbarossa (and let the Brits go at Dunkirk.)
    And what was the result of all of this?
    Well Herrn Stalin just had to wait a bit, cause Adolphus had to be exhausted, that is betray his country.
    Germania shouldn’t have taken the bait.
    There were a thousand more ways, than the nazi one which sucked the Zio-Anglo scheme, which would have created sympathy all around the World.
    And further result?
    Israel, of course!
    Wake up folks on the right!
    It’s talmud Pharisaism on both sides.
    And still further result?
    Nazi social engineering Klaus Schwab.

  124. HdC says:
    @H. Ph. Vogel

    Proof? I suspect the Brits and French top that list.

    • Replies: @Olivier1973
  125. @Fox

    Hautamaki is only available in Swedish and Finnish. Swedish is readable with a basis of English and a smattering of German. Preparata is strongly recommended, and very very insightful. Top notch research by a financial historian.

  126. @Marcali

    I won’t bother tracking where the Wiki gets its claim of 25,700 from, but the more valid source which was cited in the Russian Battlefield article listed above is the Military History Journal, Number 11 of 1993, where what appears from the Russian archives is that there were 23,106 tanks all around the Soviet Union just prior to the war with 12,782 of these being in the Western Defense Districts (as opposed to being stationed in the Far East where Japan was) and of those 12,782 there were 10,540 which were operable whereas the remaining 2,242 were in need of repair. Even among the 10,540 tanks that were actually operable it was 2,157 that were brand new with zero mileage whereas the other 8,383 had been in active service and sometimes needed minor repairs. If one is going to make a comparison with the 3,350 or so tanks which Hitler had moved up to the Soviet border then one needs to be consistent with focusing on those Soviet tanks which were positioned on the Western Defense Districts and were in working order. That gives us the 10,540 figure, not anything approaching 20,000.

    • Replies: @Marcali
  127. HdC says:
    @H. Ph. Vogel

    What you say may very well be true. But those US plants were made as sound investments in Germany before the war.
    You cannot say that about all the stuff sent to the Soviet Union during the war. Was the US ever paid for all this war material? If yes, with all the US money printed with the US currency printing plates so kindly sent to the Soviets.

    • Replies: @H. Ph. Vogel
  128. Marcali says:

    Heaps of good reading of this subject at http://www.solonin.org/en

  129. @JamesinNM

    That alleged quote was apparently invented in 2001 in the foreword to a republication of a 1938 book by Sydney Rogerson, Propaganda in the Next War.

  130. Agent76 says:

    Feb 13, 2017 The rise of Hitler 1929-1934: revision for IGCSE & GCSE History exams

    The podcast is the second of two that explore how Hitler came to power. This episode covers the period from the Wall Street Crash to Hitler’s self-appointment of the Fuhrer of Germany in 1934.

    September 13th, 2021 THE REAL CRIMINALS WERE NEVER TRIED AT THE NUREMBERG TRIALS SO DON’T EXPECT NUREMBERG 2.0



    Video Link

  131. big daddy says:

    I still maintain that the time Hitler lost in the Balkans bailing out “his loyal friend” Mussolini cost him the war. If May 14th instead of June 22 had been invasion day Stalingrad might have fallen before the early winter with all its oil for Hitler and not Stalin.

    • Replies: @TheJamesRocket
  132. @HdC

    Few people realize there was a massive, structural cooperation between Wall Street and US big business and the Soviet Union, that even predated the 1917 “Revolution”.

    Anthony Sampson made this clear with a wealth of evidence: Western technology and Soviet Economic Development, 3 vols. 1968-73. For instance the giant tractor plant at Stalingrad was built with US money and technology.

    However, Western court historians have conveniently and consistently ignored Sutton and others who provide unwelcome data.

    • Replies: @Carolyn Yeager
  133. Baron says:

    If the Georgian thug wanted to take over Germany (or even Europe) he could have done so after the Red Army conquered Berlin in 1945, his armed forces were superior both in numbers and quality to those of the Allies (the Americans didn’t yet have the nuclear bomb), he didn’t, he wouldn’t have attacked first in the late thirties either for one simple reason, the Red Army soldiers would have seen that conditions in the European countries were far superior to those in the USSR, that would have engendered not just unhappiness with communism, but very likely an uprising, it was also why many of the soldiers that returned from Europe after the war were despatched to the Gulags in Siberia, there was a high risk they would describe what they’d seen in Europe.

    • Troll: GazaPlanet
  134. @Mulegino1

    the reality is that there are plenty of solid historians and plenty of solid and direct evidence to substantiate that Stalin did indeed plan on a gigantic offensive, possibly sometime in July of 1941.

    And this makes sense because the Germans didn’t invade until June 22nd. Everyone knows they had to reach Moscow before winter. See the video I linked above where Hitler explained that he had a good weather Army that would be ineffective in the winter. If the Germans had planned to invade, they would have started in April. We are told they were delayed in order to invade Yugoslavia and Greece, and that silly excuse is promoted. Some say the Germans needed resources in the Soviet Union, but the Soviets were selling them whatever they needed.

    Invading the Soviet Union was the most complex and difficult challenge for the Germans. They wouldn’t have bothered with the unneeded sideshows in Yugoslavia and Greece that could be dealt with later. This used up needed logistics, required 680,000 troops, 1200 tanks, 700 aircraft and most could not redeploy in time to support the invasion of the Soviet Union. It’s more likely that Stalin saw that Germans forces were diverted to these sideshows and saw this as the best time to strike. Hitler learned of this plan and was forced to attack with what he had ready.

    If Hitler really wanted to invade the Soviet Union, waiting would have proved much better. He could have sent forces to Africa to help the Italians easily conquer Egypt and seize Middle East oil fields, cutting off the Brits from their primary supply while threatening Soviet oil fields in the Caucasus and cutting Soviet supplies lines from the British and Americans. Seeing victorious Germans all around, the Turks would probably have joined the Axis to reclaim some lands they lost in 1919, like in Syria and Iraq. Stalin saw this looming threat too, so took action.

    • Agree: Mulegino1
  135. karel says:
    @Mulegino1

    Where would you as an armchair general deploy the armed forces then? Would you prefer Ural or Čukotka?

    • Replies: @Mulegino1
  136. @H. Ph. Vogel

    Anthony Sutton AND you AND Guido Preparata are full of manure. Real historians, of any persuasion, know better than to use your and their “data.”

    HdC, beware.

    • Replies: @H. Ph. Vogel
  137. @Zachary Smith

    A nearly landlocked central European nation of 75 million people posed no credible military threat to a US boasting almost double her population and vastly greater resources. Germany had no long-range aircraft and almost no surface navy, while the US enjoyed overwhelming air and naval superiority over the Atlantic. In any event 75% of the US war effort in WWII was in the Pacific theater, lest Japan – again, an island nation smaller than California, for pity’s sake – invade and enslave us all. Like the man said, if you’re going to lie, lie big, and don’t stop lying, ever.

    • Agree: Carolyn Yeager
  138. “ensuring that his eastern regions were secure from Japanese invasion”

    The agreement with Japan ensured nothing of the kind. Japan was in an alliance with Germany which did not allow for Stalin to violate the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The agreement with Japan was only of relevance insofar as it meant that after Hitler had attacked the USSR that Japan would instead occupy French Indochina, thereby triggering Roosevelt’s sanctions and starting the march towards Pearl Harbor. To this extent the agreement with Japan served some purpose for Stalin, since the alternative might have been that Japan could have chosen to assault the USSR in the Far East while Hitler attacked from the west. But if Stalin had attempted to initiate war against Germany in mid-July then Japan would not have bothered about French Indochina but would have gone to war against the USSR.

    What makes such pseudo-arguments particularly silly is that everything known about Stalin’s character shows that he was the type to weigh scenarios carefully. In contemplating a possible preemptive strike against Hitler, Stalin would not have blithely assumed that he could trust Hirohito and Tojo to adhere to an agreement while he tore up his own agreement with Hitler. Stalin would understand very well that Japan had first taken an interest in alliance with Germany in 1937 to advance anti-Soviet strategies. It was Hitler who had exerted an influence on Japan to pick fights with Britain and France while he expected to conquer the whole USSR rapidly in 3 months at most. But if Stalin had struck first then Japan would have returned to its anti-Soviet stance.

  139. Seraphim says:

    The trend to blame Russia for both World Wars and whitewash Germany doesn’t go away despite all the evidence to the contrary. The trend started with the ‘discovery’ of the ‘Testament of Peter the Great’ which is permanently ‘reactivated’ although it was proved that it was a fake. The myth of Russia’s ‘aggression’ and perversity became constitutive of Western ideology (‘right’ and ‘left’). It is like the famous maniacal ‘Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam’ of the Elder Cato.

    • LOL: GazaPlanet
    • Replies: @Schuetze
  140. @Carlton Meyer

    Hitler gave the order to prepare an invasion of the USSR in July 1940. He finalized the order in December 1940. The decision to invade the USSR wasn’t some sudden idea that Hitler had after noticing something happening in the spring of 1941. It was the fulfillment of Hitler’s great aim of conquering living space and he expected the campaign to be done within 3 months or less.

  141. karel says:
    @Height_776

    Having friends of that caliber, Suvorov must be believed whatever he writes.

    • Replies: @Height_776
  142. karel says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Pitty you were not alive then. You may have given Hitler some valuable advice. Are you not sad?

  143. niceland says:

    Gorodetsky maintains that Stalin never abandoned his principle aim of national security for the USSR. The Soviet occupation of eastern Poland, of the Baltic states, of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina needs to be understood within the context of Stalin’s desire for security arrangements rather than for realizing imperialist ambitions.

    If Stalin took over eastern Poland for national security reasons in September 1939.

    Why did this happen in April 1940?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyn_massacre

    The Katyn massacre[a] was a series of mass executions of nearly 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia carried out by the Soviet Union, specifically the NKVD (“People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs”, the Soviet secret police) in April and May 1940. Though the killings also occurred in the Kalinin and Kharkiv prisons and elsewhere, the massacre is named after the Katyn Forest, where some of the mass graves were first discovered.

    The massacre was initiated in NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria’s proposal to Stalin to execute all captive members of the Polish officer corps, approved by the Soviet Politburo led by Joseph Stalin. Of the total killed, about 8,000 were officers imprisoned during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, another 6,000 were police officers, and the remaining 8,000 were Polish intelligentsia the Soviets deemed to be “intelligence agents, gendarmes, landowners, saboteurs, factory owners, lawyers, officials, and priests”.[1] The Polish Army officer class was representative of the multi-ethnic Polish state; the murdered included ethnic Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Jews including the chief Rabbi of the Polish Army, Baruch Steinberg.[2]

    This trimming of the upper class in Poland indicates Stalin wasn’t on short visit, rather he was forcing the Soviet mold on Poland “realizing imperialist ambitions”. He was there to stay.

    National security reasons?!

  144. GeneralRipper [AKA "J.S. Tomlin"] says:

    Of course he did.

    Worldwide Revolution has been the stated goal of ((( Communism))) since it’s founding.

    A slew of the same characters have used a similar blueprint and duly turned this once great nation into shit.

    Read any of the numerous (((Neocon))) scribblings if you need more proof.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @Derer
  145. @forgotten_builder

    It would be a good start to making your comments credible and useful if you learned how educated English speakers use the words “li” and “liar” if they are not merely seeking to be offensive.

  146. @TheJamesRocket

    Two books,

    revised as

    English Captain Liddell Hart, an early advocate of tank warfare, interviewed German Generals after the war. He was fluent in german.

    These books are original source material – interviews with participants.

    Not one of these generals breathed a single word about Russian war preparations.
    Not one word.

    This article is an excellent example of fantasy, of big IF’s , of reverently referencing other fantastic writing, of quibbling .

    • Replies: @Marcali
    , @Kurt Knispel
  147. @HdC

    Fantasy! “In these times” a historian can say almost anything he likes about the Nazi and Soviet warmaing (unless perhaps it is part of some anti-Semitic conspiracy theory). And it is beyond ridiculous to suggest that all historians have financial obligations to meet that makes them untrustworthy. Did it seem clever to say something stupidly cynical like that?

    • LOL: GazaPlanet
    • Replies: @Max Edge
    , @HdC
  148. @Olivier1973

    The United States was the only country that came out of WWII better off than before the war. Hitler destroyed Stalin’s Soviet Union. It only took another 40 years for it to collapse entirely.

    • Agree: Sean
    • Replies: @HammerJack
  149. @Patrick McNally

    ‘…Hitler gave the order to prepare an invasion of the USSR in July 1940. He finalized the order in December 1940. The decision to invade the USSR wasn’t some sudden idea that Hitler had after noticing something happening in the spring of 1941. It was the fulfillment of Hitler’s great aim of conquering living space and he expected the campaign to be done within 3 months or less.’

    That was indeed Hitler’s eventual goal. However, he only decided it had to happen now when it became clear in the course of Molotov’s November 1940 visit that Russia was not going to be diverted into attacking Britain and that her demands in Europe were only going to become more exorbitant. Certainly he was contemplating it before that date — but it was only at that point that his resolve became definite.

    Among other things, Russia was clearly threatening to gain control of Germany’s source of nickel in Finland and her source of oil in Romania. Hitler’s attitude towards Russia may have been ultimately aggressive, but his decision to attack now can be seen as in a sense defensive. If Germany was going to avoid becoming dependent on Russian good will, the best possible solution would be to destroy the Russian state.

    Since Stalin’s good will was hardly something to bank on, Hitler’s decision to attack is understandable. It wasn’t just a wanton act of aggression.

    • Agree: The Old Philosopher, HdC
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  150. @niceland

    The motive for the Katyn Massacre was in response to Operation Pike. This was a planned attack on Soviet Baku which Allied planners had intended to launch in Mat 1940. Hitler’s strike against France put an end to this before it started. But the original intent of Allied officers had been that the Allied attack would trigger an uprising by the captured Poles and thereby facilitate the Allied offensive. This was why the Poles were not shipped to Siberia and worked to death slowly put simply rounded up and shot quickly. It was expected by Beria (who knew about Operation Pike through the Cambridge spies) that an Allied attack might come at any time and so the Poles needed to swiftly be rendered inoperable. Once Hitler had invaded France all of this suddenly became redundant. For more details see Patrick Osborn, Operation Pike.

    • LOL: GazaPlanet
    • Replies: @niceland
  151. @niceland

    Stalin’s army also halted in the Warsaw suburbs when the Poles rebelled during the Warsaw uprising, allowing the Germans to destroy them, before continuing their advance. The Brits entered the war supposedly to save Poland, but then gave Poland to the Soviets after the war.

    • Thanks: niceland, Agent76
    • Replies: @karel
  152. @HdC

    Obviously you ignore what Albert Speer said about the invasion of Poland by Hitler.

    Obviously you are not here to learn something.

    • Replies: @HdC
    , @Checheno
  153. I’ve finally found time to examine this piece a bit more carefully than late last night.

    Stalin could have simply joined the tripartite pact, this would ensure security from both of the ‘capitalist powers’ as well as make it all the more likely that Hitler would concentrate his forces elsewhere. Yet Stalin never intended to join – his main reason for sending Molotov to Berlin was to find out what exactly the Germans were planning for the future.[123]

    This contention contradicts virtually every reference book I have. Stalin was bending over backwards to coddle Hitler, and I believe he wanted to become a “partner” with Germany, Italy, and Japan.

    So my present stance on this story is that it’s interesting reading.

    I will take up a revisionist position, thus arguing that Stalin planned to invade Germany, and was actively working towards that goal in the months leading up to Operation Barbarossa.

    And the primary premise is wrong.

  154. “Barbarossa had not yet been definitively decided on”

    Hitler had decided on Barbarossa as far back as July 31, 1940. There’s always the matter of giving a final confirmation order and that was only given in December when the main plans had already been laid out. But Hitler’s original order to prepare Barbarossa in July were given with the understanding the only possible qualifier would be Operation Sealion. At the time when Hitler the order to make preliminary plans for an invasion of the USSR the Battle of Britain was just getting underway. If Germany had succeeded in invading the UK in the fall of 1940 then this might have postponed Barbarossa by another year. Once it became clear that Britain would not be invaded Hitler’s very next strategy for causing the downfall of Churchill was to knock the USSR down and kill Churchill’s hopes of a 2nd front. That was how the issue had been laid out in the summer of 1940.

  155. @Colin Wright

    The relevant attack on Britain here was not by the USSR but by Germany. Hitler had stated already in the summer of 1940, when he first ordered his officers to prepare the plans for Barbarossa, that the key issue would be whether or not Germany could win the air war over Britain and hence invade the UK. If not, then the only next option for Germany would be to attack the USSR and swiftly seize the resources of eastern Europe. When the Battle of Britain came to an end that was the moment that Hitler was committed to Barbarossa. It had nothing to do with the meeting with Molotov.

    • Disagree: Colin Wright
  156. karel says:
    @Patrick McNally

    I have just recalled that some time ago, I wrote a comment to Laurent Guyenot, who is also a somewhat of a true believer. It is below.
    I do not see any first-hand accounts in your ref. list. The inflation of references to Meekin, or whatever his name is, makes the reading tedious. I would recommend reading Hitler’s order No. 21 cf.
    https://www.ns-archiv.de/krieg/1940/unternehmen-barbarossa-18-12-1949.php
    if you can read german, which I doubt very much. In the text above, there is not a single sentence mentioning that Stalin or whoever plans an attack on Germany. This is odd, as it would have provided a logical step for a German attack and some justification for making the preparations for Unternehmen Barbarossa. May I recommend Mein Kampf, where you may find some answers to the conundrum?

    It is tedious explaining to amateur historians, fond of revising the official history, that there are primary sources to be read and understood. Most, who are so fond of WWII, speak neither German nor Russian but try to spin a new story from various snippets. One can only laugh at them, even though this makes me feel like I am joking about the Invalides de guerre (FPGIG). Perhaps some of the WWII masturbators suffer from the brain fog that follows Covid infection. I hope that their fog may clear on some sunny day.

  157. @Patrick McNally

    Exact.

    It is enough to read Mein Kampf to understand that it was a main objective of Hitler (cf. Lebensraum).

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  158. @big daddy

    I still maintain that the time Hitler lost in the Balkans bailing out “his loyal friend” Mussolini cost him the war. If May 14th instead of June 22 had been invasion day, Stalingrad might have fallen before the early winter with all its oil for Hitler and not Stalin.

    Thats nonsense, though. The German objective for the fall of 1941 was Moscow, not Stalingrad. They didn’t go after Stalingrad until the next year, in the summer of 1942. And BTW, the city itself did not have any oil fields: Those were located far away in the Caucasus.

    • Replies: @big daddy
  159. Mulegino1 says:
    @karel

    Where would you deploy them, armchair Field Marshal?

    Would you deploy them in offensive positions- on an east-west axis- in vulnerable salients which could be encircled almost immediately by an attacking force if your plan was a defensive one?

    Would you deploy your front line air force on air fields in close proximity to the border if you were worried about an imminent sneak attack by an enemy, and not dispersed and well camouflaged?

    I don’t think that the Soviet generals were idiots.

    • Agree: niceland
    • Thanks: L.K
    • Replies: @RobinG
    , @karel
    , @Marcali
  160. JM says:
    @Derer

    True. But how far is it reasonable for real politik to go in destroying national sovereignty to retain it for ones own nation? That’s why real politik is cloaked in implicit or explicit higher ideological claims.

    And certainly, Ukraine is no buffer state for America and the western banks, but a stepping stone to control the Russian economy, something that almost happened in the transition from “communism”.

    • Agree: Derer
  161. Mulegino1 says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Correct.

    If Hitler had really planned to invade the USSR in 1941 (which he and his generals surely knew would be a Herculean task) why did he wait until 1943 to put the German economy into full wartime production mode?

    Hitler’s foreign policy up to September of 1939 had been a relatively successful one which relied on the balancing of opportunity and risk taking. Neither he nor his generals were deranged fools, as has been the contention of establishment historians since 1945, at least in his own case; they all knew that the USSR would be a formidable opponent and its defeat a Herculean task, which would dwarf the campaigns in the west.

    As he admitted to Mannerheim in the surreptitious recording, he knew Barbarossa was a desperate gamble, and would have to be won before the snow fell. And he also admitted that he vastly underestimated Soviet war production capabilities. But, when faced with such an enormous buildup on the eastern frontiers, what choice did he really have? Sitting and waiting for the Soviets to fire the first shot would most likely have led to a German defeat within a few weeks, especially if the Soviets had severed his fuel supply from Romania.

    P.S. Many thanks for your great series of documentaries!

  162. Avery says:

    The way we absolutely, positively know that Stalin was going to invade Nazi Germany is that in early 1920s he secretly wrote a secret book, Mein Kayf (кайф*) in which he detailed his grand plan to invade Germany and acquire rich German agricultural lands, the excellent Autobahns, capture and move to USSR all the fine German engineers and scientists, the great German factories,…….

    Furthermore, it is not widely known that Hitler’s agents deep in the Kremlin and very close to Stalin read the manuscript pages as Joseph was writing them and transmitted the contents to Adolf. That is why Adolf wrote Mein Kampf and published it in 1925 to let Joseph know that he was unto him. A stroke of genius: Stalin was ready to invade in 1926, but since Adolf outed him, Joe decided to stand down and wait for a better opportunity. But of course, Adolf was too smart for Joe: he struck first in 1941, before Joe had built up his Red Army for the invasion**.

    And the rest is history, as they say.

    __________________________________________________
    * …….delight, enthusiasm, rapture, admiration, elation,

    ** Quiz: “built up the Red Army for invasion”..…by Nazi Germany or USSR ????

  163. ivan says:
    @Nick J

    I agree in totality with your assessment. Stalin was very disappointed – to put it mildly – that the French collapsed in about a month. The thinking behind the Nazi-Soviet pact was that the Germans would get bogged down in France just as in WWI – in the war of the ‘imperalists’ – with the Soviets marching in later to pick up the pieces. In the event, that did not happen. Stalin then spent all that time upto Barbarrossa, excepting occasions such as the May 5 speech, trying not to provoke Hitler. That accounted for his criminal orders right up to June 22, 1941 to the frontline forces not to respond to German movements. I really don’t understand how so-called historians cannot grasp these elementary motivations for Stalin’s conduct.

    The authour should have included Stalin’s War by Sean McMeekin among his references. It tells the story in great detail.

    Notwithstanding Putin’s hysterical attempts to whitewash Soviet history, for the peoples of Central Europe there was little to choose between Hitler and Stalin, unless one happened to be a Jew.

    Communists are such great liars. Appropos of this I once read from an old Catholic priest in Glasgow, who recalled that right from the time of the Nazi-Soviet pact, the commie agitators in the shipyards were sabotaging work on warships, for they did not want to fight for ‘British Imperialism’, but right after June 22 1941, the tune changed to one of fighting the Nazi fascists to the bitter end.

    • Replies: @Bugey libre
  164. @Carlton Meyer

    In Mein Kampf, Hitler cited the huge mistake of World War I of fighting a two front war. He wouldn’t do that unless forced. Germany was fighting Britain in the skies and in Africa and pacifying the Balkans and Greece. Oil was key and the Middle East oil was within reach. Attacking the Soviet Union at this time was obviously foolish, and he did so because he had no choice. This is obvious, but official historians must support the myth that Hitler was crazy and evil. The same lie persists blaming him for invading Norway, when he did so only to counter a British invasion.

    No, historians don’t say he was crazy to have done this. A huge gamble and reckless perhaps, but not crazy.

    Why not? Because it was SO CRAZY, the idea is that Stalin believed Hitler would never do something that crazy.

    Even a crazy idea isn’t so crazy if people don’t believe you’re crazy enough to do it.

    It’s like Lawrence of Arabia crossing a desert to hit the Turks from the rear. Turks never expected anyone to do something that crazy.

    The French didn’t think the Germans would attack through the forest and hardly defended those areas… but that is precisely what the Germans did.

    So, all things being equal and all sides being aware, a two-front war would have been disastrous for Germany. Everyone knew this. But precisely because that was so well-understood, the assumption is that Stalin never imagined Hitler could do something so stupid. But it was smart precisely because Stalin believed it was too crazy for Hitler to pull off.

    In football, even a crazy move can work IF the other side doesn’t expect it.

    And if weather had been better and if Germans had taken Moscow and won, Hitler would be remembered as the greatest military commander of all time.

    But blitzkrieg dragged onto shitzkrieg, and the Soviets had more depth.

    • Replies: @L.K
  165. niceland says:
    @Patrick McNally

    This is strange rebuttal.

    This was why the Poles were not shipped to Siberia and worked to death slowly put simply rounded up and shot quickly.

    It seems you claim Operation Pike only accelerated Stalin’s plans? The upper class was purged right away instead of sending them to Siberia!?

    The question is – why did Stalin take over eastern Poland? He did so for national security reasons is something that might fly until one realizes he started butchering the Polish upper class several months later. In similar fashion to what happened years earlier in Russia. This changes the picture, something else was going on as well. Perhaps imperial ambitions?

    It was expected by Beria (who knew about Operation Pike through the Cambridge spies) that an Allied attack might come at any time and so the Poles needed to swiftly be rendered inoperable.

    Why was it necessary to kill Polish: landowners, factory owners, priests and lawyers in response to operation Pike to render the Poles inoperable? (instead of sending them to Siberia later?)

    Bottom line: The Katyn massacre shows Stalin intended to expand the Soviet to eastern Poland. As did some of his other actions, like the Winter War with Finland etc.

    • Agree: Mulegino1, Stephane
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  166. @Colin Wright

    First, Soviet war plans always assumed the best defence is a good offense. So the concentration of Soviet forces near the frontier is not necessarily evidence that Stalin intended to initiate hostilities. It merely implies that if hostilities did break out, he had no intention of confining himself to parrying the German thrusts.

    Right. This is especially in light of what happened to France after it declared war on Germany. Despite having declared war, it put up a totally defensive posture, like a turtle hiding in its shell. It seemed scared and anxious, and Germans took advantage of this.

    It’s possible Stalin was going for psychological warfare with Hitler. By putting up massive forces in offensive position, force Germans into a defensive position.

    The fact is Stalin was never a gambler. Indeed, the ONLY reason so much of the East fell into Soviet hands is because Germans lost and Soviets were able to sweep through much of Eastern Europe. And from 39 to 41, Stalin took parts of Eastern Europe only because of the pact with Germany. There was a wink-wink understanding between the two behemoths that they would take various parts… though Stalin took more than Hitler was willing to tolerate. Without the Nazi-Commie Pact, it’s doubtful Stalin would have taken even Lithuania.
    Stalin knew that if he moved first and grabbed territories, the capitalist nations would all gang up on him. He could do it and get away with it ONLY because he was allied with Germany that was also aggressive. As the capitalist nations were mostly alarmed with Germany, they ignored Soviet aggression(in the hope of eventually winning over Russia to its side against Germany).

    Look at Stalin and Yugoslavia, a very difficult and mountainous area. Stalin went for easy prey, not tough ones. He accepted the independence of Yugo-communists. And look how he reacted to the Korean War. He helped set it off but when the UN decided to enter the war, Stalin just hid and begged Mao to do the fighting.

    So, the idea that Stalin nurtured grand visionary plans of taking over all of Europe in one clean sweep by first attacking Nazi Germany is far-fetched.

    Psychology goes a long to explain a person, and such a move on Stalin’s part would not have been Stalinesque.

    • Replies: @ivan
  167. @Olivier1973

    ‘It is enough to read Mein Kampf to understand that it was a main objective of Hitler (cf. Lebensraum).’

    Granted. However, why strike now? Here, I think Russia’s actions in the Summer and Fall of 1940 led Hitler to decide to attack. After all, Hitler had all sorts of great plans. Why the Drang nach Osten first instead of the autobahn to Trondheim? Why not the reverse? Sure, Barbarossa fit in with his plans — but lots of things fit in with his plans. Hitler had a lot of plans.

    To compose an analogy, I hope some day to buy five acres on the river. Indeed, that would be one of my main desiderata for what remains of my life.

    However, I’m not doing it now, and it’s perfectly possible I won’t for another year or so. For that to happen, there has to be some spur — an attractive piece of property, a sudden fall in property values, prospective hyper-inflation…

    Ditto for Hitler and Barbarossa. It was Russia’s increasingly threatening actions over the course of 1940 that led him to the decision to strike now.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  168. ivan says:
    @Colin Wright

    Among other things the devil became paranoid after Hess’ flight to Britain on May 10, 1941. Having killed thousands on mere suspicion of ‘conspiracies’, Stalin was not above falling victim to his own conspiratorial mind. Nothing could shake him of the conviction that the ‘imperialists’ Hitler and Churchill were making a deal behind his back. This more or less sealed the fate of the Red Army as Stalin was fearful of any provocations.

    Stalin in the Soviet/Russian rush to divide Poland rushed up to the Soviet half in September 17 1939, along with swallowing some Central European countries along the way. He had little time to build fortifications. All in all most who are not taken in by Soviet propaganda would agree that the Soviets were preparing to strike sometime in 1942. Hitler just beat him to the punch.

  169. @Mulegino1

    Hitler’s conversation with Mannerheim is meaningless for assessing his motives for ordering the preparation of Barbarossa in July 1940. In every statement which Hitler made prior to June 22, 1941, he clearly evinced the belief that Barbarossa would be over and done with after perhaps 6 weeks, no more than 3 months. Even the author of this very article has the basic honesty to briefly mention Hitler’s own statement that it would be like kicking the door in and making a house of cards fall. Hitler did not foresee any military challenge.

    The reality had become clear by the fall of 1941 and this is why when you read through either Hitler’s meeting with Mannerheim or the Table Talk starting from 1942 onward you now found Hitler emphasizing what a serious challenge he had faced. But the first recorded statements from where he talks about the USSR as an actual military challenge don’t appear until 3 months into Barbarossa. Even with the shock of seeing a Soviet army much stronger than he had expected it wasn’t until Stalingrad that he really changed his frame of mind.

    This was why Katyn Forest was suddenly discovered in 1943. In the first month after Barbarossa began it would have been easy for the SS to interview Poles in the area and find the Katyn graves. It might have had serious consequences for Roosevelt attempting to win over Polish voters. But there was no investigation until after Stalingrad, when suddenly Goebbels saw the need to start appealing to the Slavic subhumans.

    • Replies: @Mulegino1
  170. A casual remark by Christian Hartmann in his book “Operation Barbarossa” led me in a new and unexpected direction:

    Stalin had been repeatedly warned about the build-up to Operation Barbarossa but had consistently refused to put the Red Army into defensive readiness. Instead, his High Command had concentrated the majority of its forces on the border, because Soviet doctrine stipulated that, in the event of war, the army was immediately to carry the war onto enemy soil.

    Soviet doctrine? An internet search for that immediately turned up Planning for War: The Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941 https://doi.org/10.1080/09668139508412322

    There was a big internal debate in the Red Army about the wisdom of this, and the main voice for change was an officer named Alexander Svechin. He lost the debate, and his life, in the 1938 Purge of the officer corps.

    So this wasn’t entirely Stalin’s fault after all, but rather a massive flaw deep in the guts of the Red Army.

    The condemnation of Svechin’s views, together with the fact that the Red Army was forward deployed on the eve of Operation Barbarossa, calls into question the argument of some scholars that the Red Army had adopted a deliberate plan for strategic defence. In fact, the Red Army committed its best troops and equipment to the border military districts (20 of 29 mechanised corps, nearly 80% of all new tanks, over 50% of the most advanced aircraft), and these forces suffered horrendous losses as the Wehrmacht repeatedly stove in the Soviet defensive line. The commander of the Western Special Military District in June 1941, Dmitrii G. Pavlov, would later testify at his trial before the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court that Soviet planes had been positioned near the border without any consideration of defensive operations. 55 Indeed, Red Army aerodromes were so close to the frontier that the Luftwaffe destroyed 800 aircraft on the first day, and by the end of September the Soviet air force in the western border districts had lost 8166 combat aircraft, over 82% of its prewar total. Two hundred of the 340 military depots in the western border districts were overrun during the same period. And at the end of six months of fighting (and the close of the initial period of war), the Red Army had lost a total of 20,500 tanks, 89% of its prewar tank park. Most tragically, perhaps as many as five million Soviet troops were either killed, wounded or captured.

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Despite the two very different results for the ‘Eastern’ or Soviet side in the games, both exercises were similar in their failure to consider realistic contingencies. Most important, the war games did not employ scenarios which fully embodied the experience of German operations in the West, thereby avoiding the importance of surprise, mass and striking power in German Blitzkrieg. Nor did the games reveal any recognition of the impediment that the Red Army, like its tsarist predecessor, was slow, inefficient and cumbersome. Germany’s defeat of France and the Soviet Union’s pyrrhic victory in the Winter War had demonstrated that the Red Army was unprepared for modern warfare; nevertheless, Soviet commanders continued to adhere to an obsolete doctrine which assumed a slower than realistic initial rate of advance for the enemy and the ability of the Soviet defender to stop the invader near the frontier and push him back across the border.

    The latter section referred to a pair of war games headed by Zhukov and Dmitry Grigoryevich Pavlov

    (Russian: Дми́трий Григо́рьевич Па́влов; 4 November [O.S. 23 October] 1897 – 22 July 1941) was a Soviet general who commanded the key Soviet Western Front during the initial stage of the German invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa) in June 1941. After his forces were heavily defeated within the first few days of the campaign, he was relieved of his command, arrested, charged with military incompetence and executed.

    Alexander Andreyevich Svechin – executed for rocking the boat on a rotten Red Army doctrine.
    Dmitry Grigoryevich Pavlov – executed for being unable to win with the rotten Red Army doctrine.

    Many millions of Red Army soldiers died for their Motherland. And on account of the rotten Red Army docrine.

  171. @Colin Wright

    It’s funny that this website features A.J.P. Taylor and yet ignores the point he made. When Hitler first put forward the order to prepare a plan for an attack on the USSR in July 1940 he didn’t reference living space, and he certainly nothing to indicate the slightest fear of the USSR. Instead he was arguing over how to deal with Churchill. At this time the Battle of Britain was just roaring up and there was the possibility that Operation Sealion, an invasion of Britain, might be launched in the fall. When Hitler ordered his generals to start readying plans for Barbarossa in July 1940 he was raising the issue of what to do if Britain could not be invaded because the air war failed. Hitler’s solution was to invade the USSR and thereby confront Churchill with the reality of Germany now having gained a vast backyard of resources which allow it to go on indefinitely.

    When Taylor mentions this point his argument is around the issue of to what extent was Hitler following a well-planned script for starting a broad war versus stabbing out in the dark. Taylor relates that, despite having made many statements about living space in eastern Europe on many previous occasions, the specific motive for the specific decision to invade the USSR at that point was not about living space. It was about undercutting Churchill’s campaign by creating a fait accompli which would force the British public to see the war as hopeless. What Taylor mentions casually without as strong an emphasis as he could have given was that Hitler’s decision to order Barbarossa also had nothing to do with fear of the Soviet military.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  172. @niceland

    Hitler killed many more members of the Polish educated class than Stalin did. It was Hitler’s declared intent that the Poles be reduced to illiterate beasts of burden for the Germans. Stalin had no interest in killing of the Polish intelligentsia once they were forced to accept his terms. There were executions of landowners and such as part of the general revolutionary ideology. But it was taken for granted that the Sovietized territory of Poland would have its own revolutionary intelligentsia.

    The killings at Katyn were more specific in intent than executions of landowners and other aristocrats. The revolutionary doctrine did not dictate their execution. This specific execution was carried out because it became known that the Allies had specific hopes that the trained officers and accessories who had been taken as prisoners of war would form a front behind the lines when Operation Pike was launched. Allied plans were that the intended attack on Baku would create the opportunity for these Polish officers to strike out and make contact with the Allied offensive. This, by the way, is all acknowledged by Sean McMeekin who has been celebrated on this site. I have simply referred to the original researcher, Patrick Osborn, whose book Operation Pike details the general plans and discusses how this relates to Katyn.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  173. RobinG says:
    @Mulegino1

    Ignoble Knight of the Queen’s Circular Fallacy Squad gets a gold border. Whoopee!

    • Troll: L.K
  174. @Mulegino1

    The definitive word on the Great One´s “plans” is the Z-Plan
    (naval rearmament master plan of 1939) that relied on
    “war no earlier than 1946”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_Z

    (pardon the source but mine are not handy, and it´s sufficiently well documented they can´t lie too much)
    It is imperative to understand the Germans had other things to do –
    as a result of heroic liberator Anglo-French sanctions 1.5 million children had died of starvation, the economy was in tatters, and the Wehrmacht was grossly outgunned and outnumbered by the freaking Poles (still in 1939, at least the part that could be spared from the Western Front).
    No matter how kind you are, German children are Kinder 😀
    (of course the medium-term prospect of war against the Soviet Union was a given,
    as was the military-economic cooperation with the fellow loser – in fact
    Tauroggen/Rapallo/(?) is still what (((they))) fear most).

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  175. L.K says:
    @Patrick McNally

    You are full of S, as usual…

    Until the highly provocative Soviet actions in June of 1940, Germany did not even have rough drafts/ staff studies/contingency plans for military action against the USSR, which was common practice in Western and Central European militaries.
    For the first time beginning in late June/July 1940, initial steps in the form of contingency plans for military action against the Soviets were taken by the Germans. These were mere staff studies and not the Barbarossa directive.

    The definitive decision to go to war against the USSR was made much later. In fact, after the end of the victorious summer campaign of 1940 against the West, Hitler ordered a large reduction of the German armed forces and many units were demobilized( some 35 army divisions), plus a big cutback in military production, tanks and munitions got cut back by a third( Dr. Post, Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof, etc).

    On the other hand, Russian military historian Mikhail Meltyukov states that the general staff of the Red army had already begun a plan for war against Germany in October 1939. After revision, this plan was approved by the Soviet regime on 14 October 1940. Furthermore a mobilization plan was also developed; it called for the provision of 9 million men, 37.800 tanks & 22.000 aircraft.
    It was only after the complete failure of the Molotov visit in November of 1940, due to the extreme and provocative Soviet demands, that the Barbarossa directive no.21 for an attack on the USSR was initiated on 18 Dec. 1940.

    Even then, the decision to go to war against Soviet Russia was not final or irrevocable, as made clear by the directive’s paragraph IV, which clearly stated that those were precautionary measures in the case the USSR changed its policies towards Germany in the future.

    • Agree: Mulegino1
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  176. L.K says:
    @Priss Factor

    You don’t really know a damn thing about WW2, but obviously you got plenty of free time to post silly comments, at times extremely long, but always foolish and ignorant, like your recent blabber about the holocaust, under an article by Giraldi.

    If you were interested in the subject, as opposed to being a spamming TROLL, you would have done your homework by now, since you have been hanging around this webzine for years…

    Ron Unz own work on the subject of WW2 could help you as a starting point.
    But you are NOT INTERESTED.

    Why don’t you just piss off and go write about your obsessions with blacks and the gay agenda and what not? Silly question right, you are a troll, after all…

  177. L.K says:

    From the article:

    Almost no historian to-day supports all of Suvorov’s points entirely, but some do support components of it.[11] Joachim Hoffmann, for example, in his book Stalin’s War of Extermination writes that Stalin did indeed have plans of his own to invade Germany, however he believes that Operation Barbarossa cannot be understood to have been a preemptive strike. Instead, he argues that both Hitler and Stalin had ambitions of their own to invade each-other, but Hitler just so happened to launch his invasion before Stalin could launch his.

    The above misrepresents German military historian Joachim Hoffmanns position, as clearly stated in the aforementioned work.
    Also, the context of the situation for WW2 historians in Germany must be considered re any small concessions made by J Hoffmann. A couple of quotes from his book:

    During these circumstances in late 1940, while the strategic military situation for Germany and its Axis partner, Italy, was becoming increasingly more difficult, Stalin—through Molotov in Berlin on November 12-13, 1940—transmitted the delivery of a demand. The demand boiled down to an expansion of the Soviet “sphere of influence” that was to include Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Greece, i.e., all of southeastern Europe, and, in the north, Finland—with which a peace treaty had only been solemnly concluded in March of that year. A so-called “Swedish question” was also raised. The Soviet Union, in other words, was now demanding a dominant position in all of Eastern Europe and the Baltic.
    Furthermore, it demanded the creation of bases on the outlets of the Black Sea as well as discretionary passage through the outlets of the Baltic (Great Belt, Small Belt, Sund, Kattegat, and Skagerrack).
    The Reich, engaged in a struggle for its existence, would be hemmed in simultaneously from the north and south.

    These demands, delivered in the midst of an increasingly difficult military situation, were so provocative that they left the Germans, as a practical matter, only one alternative: to submit to subjugation or to fight. These demands amounted to a deliberately calculated provocation in which the psychological motive is of principal interest, because it reveals the extent to which Stalin must have believed himself to be utterly safe in terms of his military superiority at that time. If Stalin had really been afraid of Hitler, as he repeatedly allowed the German Embassy in Moscow to believe, he would hardly have provoked the Germans in a manner that, in the view of Ernst Topitsch, amounted to a “summons”—a thinly disguised demand for subjugation.

    The German-Soviet war was inevitable.The only open question was which of the two competing powers would strike first to preempt its adversary. The rapidly increasing superiority and strength of Soviet armaments, especially in tanks, aircraft, and artillery, over the troops of the Wehrmacht, dispersed over all parts of Europe, led the Germans to view June 1941 as the last possible opportunity for German initiation of preventive war. Further delay would have eroded the only factor favouring the Germans, which was their level of training.

    The most recent discoveries in Soviet archives illustrate the extent to which Soviet military preparation and deployment had in fact already been completed. To all appearances, Stalin moved the attack date forward from 1942 to the months of July-September 1941.This would offer a plausible explanation of Stalin’s desire to postpone the initiation of hostilities “even if only for… a month, a week, or a few days,” to complete his own military preparations—without the slightest fear of German attack.
    Soviet research has also arrived at the conclusion that the “military struggle against Germany might have begun in July 1941.”[ Russian military historian Mikhail Ivanovich Meltyukhov ]

  178. ivan says:
    @Priss Factor

    You do realise that Stalin was a megalomaniac in his own way right? There is nothing farfetched in thinking that he wanted to dominate the globe, through his chosen instruments such as the Comitern and the fellow – travellers he was cultivating. Trotsky was the hare, Stalin the tortoise. Same goal, different means.

  179. Mulegino1 says:
    @Patrick McNally

    Hitler’s conversation with Mannerheim is meaningless for assessing his motives for ordering the preparation of Barbarossa in July 1940.

    He ordered preparations for a contingency which was increasingly likely, as any sane leader of a great power would. Preparations do not equate to execution of same. Besides, he did not order active preparations for such an execution until after the final conference with Molotov in November of 1940.

    His candid admissions to Mannerheim are very meaningful. He admits his underestimation of Soviet production capacity and he admits he had no other choice. Mannerheim was not an idiot or a Hitler toady, and was fully aware of what the Soviets were capable of militarily.

    In every statement which Hitler made prior to June 22, 1941, he clearly evinced the belief that Barbarossa would be over and done with after perhaps 6 weeks, no more than 3 months. Even the author of this very article has the basic honesty to briefly mention Hitler’s own statement that it would be like kicking the door in and making a house of cards fall. Hitler did not foresee any military challenge.

    Once a course of such an action has been decided upon, the one who is responsible for that decision is naturally bound to make optimistic statements and be sure. What do the establishment historians have expected him to say- “Okay, men. We have little chance of winning and will probably all die. This is going to be a disaster”?

    The foregoing has nothing to do with Soviet deployments along the western frontier or perceived Soviet intentions, and the idea that Hitler did not foresee any military challenge is simply ludicrous. The Soviet deployments were unprecedented in size and scope in warfare. As a veteran of the Great War, Hitler was no lightweight or oblivious Pollyanna.

    This was why Katyn Forest was suddenly discovered in 1943.

    What? The Germans were alerted to the existence of mass graves in the region by locals in the area during the retreat through the Smolensk area. Are you suggesting that the retreating forces were tasked with locating mass graves around that area? Of course they were going to use them as propaganda once they found them. Unlike the lurid Soviet and Polish Underground atrocity propaganda directed against the Germans, these were real mass graves and a real forensic investigation was carried out, which included neutral observers and western Allied prisoners of war.

    On the ground, the Soviets exceeded any brutality realistically imputed to the Third Reich by orders of magnitude.

    The exaggerated atrocity propaganda is still needed to prop up the false Manichean narrative of the Second World War and the so called “liberation.”

    • Agree: HdC, Fox
    • Replies: @RobinG
    , @Patrick McNally
  180. @Patrick McNally

    ‘…When Hitler ordered his generals to start readying plans for Barbarossa in July 1940 he was raising the issue of what to do if Britain could not be invaded because the air war failed. Hitler’s solution was to invade the USSR and thereby confront Churchill with the reality of Germany now having gained a vast backyard of resources which allow it to go on indefinitely…’

    This is the justification for his decision Hitler offered to his generals — and he may well have sincerely thought it was a valid argument.

    However, he was also trying to convince Russia to stop pressing for further concessions in Eastern Europe, and to turn to the south — against Britain — instead. Had Russia done that, then he might well have found Russia as an ally more useful as Russia as an enemy.

    But Russia wouldn’t cooperate — and of course it’s indeed true that Hitler’s overall geo-political theory called for smashing Bolshevism and seizing living space in the East. So — just like most of us — Hitler did what he did for more than one reason. Smashing Russia could indeed be a route to forcing Britain to recognize the hopelessness of her position. It would certainly address the genuine threat posed by continuing Russian demands in the East. Finally, it fit in with the general plan.

    To get back to the land on the river, I want it. Now, tell me it’s a good investment, and then show me the right parcel, and you’ve got a sale. But all three elements are entering into my decision. It’s not like Hitler did it for this reason, or for that reason. He did it for several reasons.

    • Thanks: HammerJack
  181. @Patrick McNally

    ‘…Allied plans were that the intended attack on Baku would create the opportunity for these Polish officers to strike out and make contact with the Allied offensive…’

    I’m afraid that’s definitely nonsense. Worse, it’s patent nonsense.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  182. Max Edge says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    a historian can say almost anything he likes about the Nazi and Soviet warmaing (unless perhaps it is part of some anti-Semitic conspiracy theory)

    The truth itself is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. And for that reason alone official historians are suspect. I assume any eminent historian is a liar unless proves otherwise. I think David Irving said it best when he described these clowns as all plagiarizing off each other’s nonsense with no personal connection whatsoever to actual historical evidence or primary documentation. It’s just an academic shell game. I wouldn’t trust anything that comes out of Western academia.

  183. RobinG says:
    @Mulegino1

    “Preparations do not equate to execution of same.”

    Of course in your mind that only works one way, lol. Circular Fallacy Squad strikes again!

    • Replies: @Fox
  184. @ivan

    You do realise that Stalin was a megalomaniac in his own way right? There is nothing farfetched in thinking that he wanted to dominate the globe, through his chosen instruments such as the Comitern and the fellow – travellers he was cultivating. Trotsky was the hare, Stalin the tortoise. Same goal, different means.

    Look, world domination was baked into the cake of communism. It was messianic, like Christianity and Islam. Also, power has its own logic. Once the British began to expand, it had to break down every barrier and penetrate into all parts of the world.

    Still, remember that while Trotsky called for World Revolution, Stalin called for communism in one country. Also, he often used Comintern against fellow communists than against capitalists. In Spain, he often sabotaged the Loyalists because he would rather have the Republic lose than win with anti-Stalinist leftist factions. Stalinists in Spain were often busier fighting anarchists and socialists than Franco’s troops. And Stalin wasn’t too keen about Mao taking over China. He often advised Mao to make peace with Chiang and rule over a divided China.

    The fact is after the defeat to the Poles, the Soviet Union focused on national development. And Stalin didn’t go for territorial aggression until Hitler came to him with a deal with divvy up Poland. And once the West was at war with Germany, Stalin took advantage to chip away for more territories, but in some ways, his demands made sense from an Imperial Russian perspective because the lands had been part of the Russian Empire.

    Is it possible that Stalin planned to attack Germany and maybe grab all of Europe? Well, anything is possible, but it would have been out of character for Stalin who thought more like a hyena(looking for opportunities) than an eagle with a fixed sight of what to attack.

    • Replies: @ivan
  185. RestiveUs says:
    @Desert Fox

    You give the “zionist central bankers” too much credit. They could not have planned the outcome of either war. They were merely opportunistic parasites who exploited the aftermaths of both.

  186. @Johnny Rico

    The United States was the only country that came out of WWII better off than before the war.

    That is the received wisdom, and obviously there’s a lot of support for it. However, in some very significant and consequential ways the USA lost the war. The Tribe which hijacked the USA are the ones who won the war.

    Si ēvidentem ruquiris, circumspice.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  187. Bankotsu says:

    Vladimir Putin answers question on who was to blame for starting WWII:

    • Agree: Alfred
    • Thanks: GMC
  188. Petermx says:
    @Nick J

    If he saw war as inevitable he may have suspected France and England might start a war with Germany, as they did when they declared war on Germany in September 1939 commencing the naval war between Germany and England, and with the Jewish Bolshevik USSR and National Socialist Germany being arch-enemies, he would not keep the USSR out of that war, similar to the fact he eventually attacked Japan in 1945.

    More generally speaking, England and world Jewry (as numerous people said at the time) were the groups that “started” or pushed the world into WW II. Historian David Irving provides the evidence of this in his widely acclaimed book (and widely despised by Churchill fans) “Churchill’s War”. Germany’s dispute with Poland over German lands and Germans under Polish occupation was no reason to destroy Europe (and the British Empire itself), except that the corrupt Churchill was being paid huge sums of money by Jews (including Britain’s own Jewish Board of Deputies) to do just that. Britain had as much business interfering in a German-Polish dispute as Germany would have had if it announced it would join forces with Indian nationalists to expel the British from India.

    I don’t think President John F Kennedy, who said ‘The Germans really are too good – therefore people have ganged up on them to protect themselves’ prior to becoming president as a young man in the 1930’s was the only one to have those feelings. He also, was not the only admirer of Germany and Adolf Hitler. There were many others, but when a war is over and the victor is looking for blood, the vanquished and their sympathizers or supporters do their best to disappear.

    It is also worth noting; no, it should be repeated often enough until the false narrative changes. Prior to the beginning of WW II, Germany did not have mass incarcerations or mass death. There was political violence between Communists, National Socialists and others, but even this did not involve such large numbers (as in the case of the USSR). And Germany’s Jews were not subjected to physical attacks. They did have their rights stripped from them and were encouraged to emigrate. By contrast, in the 1930’s, England, France and the USA’s most important ally, the USSR was murdering millions of people across the USSR and sending many to Siberia where many never returned from. And during and after WW II, the USSR sent huge numbers of Latvians, Estonians and other ethnic groups to far off places never to be seen again also.

    It is estimated 8 million Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death in the 1930’s, with Jews playing a/the major role in this atrocity. How many people know the name Lazar Kaganovich, the Jewish Bolshevik that played such a big role in the death of those Ukrainians? No war crime trial for him. He was a top Bolshevik, very close to Stalin (Wikipedia is careful not to call him a friend, not wanting to tarnish the Jew too much) who died peacefully in Moscow in 1991.

  189. ivan says:
    @Priss Factor

    I have to say – at least for rhetorical purposes, since you can always throw it back at me – that you are underestimating Stalin. JV Stalin was a disciple of VI Lenin. All the biographers agree that Stalin had genuinely considered Lenin his mentor, perhaps even sought his affection as a father figure, in as much as a psychopath desires such things.

    Now Lenin was a preacher of World Revolution, he had his famous thesis that the in Marxism-Leninism, the withering away of the state can be accomplished by the “vanguard of the proletariat”, without waiting for the tedious stages of capitalistic development as Karl Marx had it. In practice of course this meant that Soviet Union had to support subversion abroad. In no way did that diminish, whether that subversion was carried by the acolytes of Trotsky or of Stalin. As with so much that Stalin did, he just did what appeared to counter Trotsky. Trotsky was for World Revolution, so Stalin checked him with “Socialism in One Country”. The man was jealous of Trotsky. Trotsky like all the big-time Jews could produce thousand page narratives in his sleep, Stalin was a plodder of a writer. These things hurt as Stalin came to consider the Writer as “The Engineer of the Human Soul”.

    But like all the Communists from the periphery of the West, Stalin considered the main texts of Communism as some kind of history of the future, providing a more superior insight into the evolution of history than other means.

  190. @Carolyn Yeager

    How fascinating! Please enlighten all of us here as to the methods and standards you employ to distinguish “real historians” from others! I suspect you consider historians who delve up data that you do not like or that do not fit your preconceived notions to be no “real historians.” If such is the case, you are no different from countless other people out there, who do not allow their cherished beliefs to be shaken by unwelcome facts.

    Moreover you, like most other commenters here, apparently are not truly familiar with the literature on the topic. Otherwise your first observation would have been that Dijkstra’s article is totally superfluous, since it does not take into consideration the work by Bernd Schwipper (2015).

    • Replies: @karel
    , @Carolyn Yeager
  191. @ivan

    Hello,

    There are ample archive documents now showing that The French industrialists at the comité des Forges for instance and French bankers were favorable to a German invasion. Ironicaly it has been mainly documented by a communist historian, Annie Lacroix-Riz:

    https://www.historiographie.info/

    Her main book on the subject: https://www.armand-colin.com/le-choix-de-la-defaite-9782200354916

    “Quelles sont les causes de la Défaite de 1940 ? Le grand historien Marc Bloch écrivait en avril 1944 : « Le jour viendra […] et peut-être bientôt où il sera possible de faire la lumière sur les intrigues menées chez nous de 1933 à 1939 en faveur de l’Axe Rome-Berlin pour lui livrer la domination de l’Europe en détruisant de nos propres mains tout l’édifice de nos alliances et de nos amitiés. »
    Annie Lacroix-Riz analyse l’histoire des années 1930 pour éclairer les causes de la défaite de 1940. Selon elle, les Français n’ont pas été simplement vaincus en cinq jours par une Wehrmacht invincible ; le haut patronat les a sacrifiés à son plan de « réforme de l’État » copié sur les voisins fascistes et à son obsession d’accord avec le Reich. Cette affirmation incroyable paraît moins audacieuse à la lecture des archives, françaises et étrangères, relatives à une décennie d’actions des élites : militaires ; politiciens ; journalistes ; hommes d’affaires surtout, qui régnaient sur tous les autres, avec à leur tête la Banque de France et le Comité des Forges.
    L’autonomie des politiciens ou des journalistes relève ainsi du mythe, celle des militaires aussi. C’est bien la France des grands intérêts économiques et financiers qui dicta le choix de l’Allemagne comme partenaire privilégié dès les années 1920 et sabota l’alliance russe de revers qui avait évité la défaite en 1914. Aujourd’hui, l’accès aux archives éclaire les causes intérieures et extérieures de la Défaite et permet « l’instruction du procès de la vaste entreprise de trahison » que réclamait Marc Bloch. ”

    How come Stalin would not have known about this while there were such a powerful communist party in France?

    I come here with candor to learn, not to argue because I read these debates as an agnostic and I just try to make sense… And it is a mess, to say the least.

    Thanks

    • Replies: @ivan
  192. karel says:
    @Mulegino1

    I would not know how to recognize ”vulnerable salients” as these can be defined only in time by the dynamics of the attacking units. As far as the placements of airfields go, they could not have been too far from the front line as the range of the aircraft then was short. Considering the so-called masking it is a joke as you can not camouflage an airfield and their exact locations were known in any case. It is a pointless discussion and stop inventing ”evidence” in support of an improbable hypothesis. May I give you an example? Standing in front of a brothel does not mean that I want to go inside, even though a couple of whores looking through the window may think so.

  193. karel says:
    @H. Ph. Vogel

    Did you not know that Foxhunter is a Romanian gypsy girl, which is a great asset in our woky, woky culture. She indirectly outed herself some time ago and I commented that on Unz platform at some length. My suspicion is that as a truth-teller she finds answers to everything from her cards.

  194. Spot on! Annie Lacroix-Riz may be a Communist, but she is a very good historian and Le choix de la défaite is a great book and very well researched and documented. Many European businessmen were greatly in favor of Fascism and National Socialism, if only because fascists and nazis were such warm-hearted supporters of big business!

    • Replies: @Bugey libre
  195. karel says:
    @Bankotsu

    Putin as a president, gives clear answers, but the morons do not want to hear that. I have not heard any prominent German politician publically stating that it was the SU who was diligently preparing to attack Germany, rather than the other way around. Why is that, I wonder? Are they afraid of Putin or their Jewish masters?

    • Replies: @GMC
  196. big daddy says:
    @TheJamesRocket

    Taking Stalingrad would have blocked Soviet access to the Caucasus oil. Also the Soviets would have had to retire “behind the Urals.”

  197. ivan says:
    @Bugey libre

    Sir whom to blame for France going down so quickly to the Germans is I think the only genre of WWII history that French historians are capable of. That and how Vichy France represented what all Gentile French are and therefore should be in a permanent state of contrition towards the Jews. If I were a Frenchman I would not wish to fight the Germans to the death , only to benefit the Soviet Union in the end.

    Further the French armed forces themselves were pretty confident they could hold the Germans. It was only a streak of luck in the battlefield that enabled the Germans to beat the French in 1940.

    Not all Germans or even the majority of them welcomed the war with France. They were as fearful as anyone else. They only went full jingo in the aftermath of the victory over France, which was as unexpected to them as to anyone else.

    • Replies: @Bugey libre
  198. karel says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Hmm, another crime of Stalin, I suppose. Why did the impatient Poles not consult the Stavka before launching their premature ejaculation that was planned to install an anticommunist government in Warsaw?

  199. Egbert Dijkstra:


    Stalin applauded the Red Army for actually having broken through the heavy fortifications of the Mannerheim line in Finland, contrasting their achievements with the Germans who had merely circumvented the Maginot line.

    The “heavy fortifications of the Mannerheim Line” only exist in Communist propaganda. There was very little by way of fortifications on the Karelian Isthmus. Contemporary accounts tell of having to steal barbed wire from pastures to erect barriers.

  200. @Petermx

    I choose just two examples of your ignorant semiliterate blather to try and tempt you to read some real history, and remember what you read.

    You write

    Prior to the beginning of WW II, Germany did not have mass incarcerations or mass death

    Hitler started Aktion T4 (the killing of the disabled) in September 1939.

    Also

    And Germany’s Jews were not subjected to physical attacks. .

    Ever heard of Kristalnacht?

    • Disagree: Carolyn Yeager
    • Replies: @Petermx
  201. @karel

    False friends are worse than open enemies. Suvorov is the little trap marionette. Another puppet from the Puppet Master…

    • Replies: @karel
  202. HdC says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Hmmm, I suppose that’s why all western court historians blow their trumpets off the same sheet music: It was all those nasty Nazi’s fault.

    Please provide the names of, say, 6 historians in various countries, employed at universities (because that’s where court historians ply their miserable trade), that have published works that do not regurgitate the politically correct vernacular: It was all those nasty Nazi’s fault.

    Hell, those court historians are not even capable of grade 1 arithmetic because, according to those historians, 6 million less 3 million equals 6 million. Ie. 6-3=6. Must be the modern math.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  203. HdC says:
    @Olivier1973

    Why don’t you enlighten us?

    • Replies: @Olivier1973
  204. GMC says:
    @karel

    Good point K. Today, who goes around and cries about North Korea is building nukes, so we need a missile defense system in Alaska.? The USG did in 2000 and built the system because they say N K could Attack us.??
    Who goes around and tells the world if Iran gets nukes they could /would Attack us.? The USGs and Israel.
    Who went around the world and said Iraq had W of M D and will use them, The USG, Israel, Nato etc. How many countries are sanctioned these day, which is an attack.

    The USA gets away with saying that other countries are going to attack them or attack their allies and they destroy others countries in order to secure “Democrazy”. Fact is that the German Army attacked the USSR and paid the ultimate price. Actually both countries did.
    Hopefully the USA gets their ass handed to them someday but they don t take on other super power armies. They use proxy terrorists and Naton to PO any equivilant powers. Spacibo
    J

  205. @H. Ph. Vogel

    What have you said here? And what does the Ph. stand for in your name? Your book is attributed to plain old Hans Vogel. https://www.amazon.com/Europe-Became-American-Hans-Vogel/dp/1914208005

    In the comment you’re replying to, I wrote that Anthony Sutton, You, and Guido Preparata were not worthy of the attention of serious historians. Sutton’s “Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler” has deceptive errors of fact & research, intended to give the appearance of discoveries of connection between Hitler and British, American & Jewish backers and bankrollers. It’s all illusion (confusing this with that) so that those who WANT to believe it have something to point to. Preparata’s book, “Conjuring Hitler,” is even worse. And then there’s you. You have one book that came out in June of this year, so I guess that’s why you’re here. It can’t be so different from the previous two mentioned.

    But now you want to accuse me of much more than that. Now, I have not read important works by other authors you deem essential. Namely Bernd Schwipper, who writes in German (not translated), whose one book is supposed to supply all the answers we need. Well, I’ll wait to see if the trustworthy Fox reads it and gives his verdict on it.

    You also throw Anthony Sampson’s name in the mix, whose English Wikipedia page offers these insights:

    … [he] saw power as personal. He occasionally offered psychoanalytical interpretations of power players …
    and
    Sampson was a personal friend of Nelson Mandela before Mandela became politically active. In 1964 Sampson attended the Rivonia Trial in support of Mandela and other ANC leaders, and in 1999 he published the authorised biography of Mandela.[2]

    Sampson was also a founding member of the now defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP).[3]

    Anthony Sampson was editor of Drum magazine in South Africa from 1951-1955, “mainly aimed at black readers.”

    Psychoanalytical interpretations of Hitler and the National Socialists abound among the Jews in the Intelligence services at that time. Just slander and conspiracy theories, all.

    I base what I say, and what I am willing to believe, on what can be proved. You have a talent with words, but no substance to them, at least in this thread. I will not engage in such empty arguments.

    • Replies: @H. Ph. Vogel
  206. @HdC

    You are carelessly cryptic. Your last paragraph makes no sense. The fact that the 6 million sacred figure, which contrasts with the 4.5 million totted up (and no doubt including duplicates and the living) at Yad Vashem is routinely trotted out by historians on TV is no evidence that they are “court historians”: only that it is not a subject on which they are prepared to say they know better and can give an accurate answer.

  207. Petermx says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Aktion T4 did not involve millions of people and it was stopped when the German public complained. Germans were the victims although many of those people would have lived sorrowful lives. It was not done out of malice. What do you think of the Tuskeegee Study when Americans deliberately infected blacks (and only blacks) with Syphilis. That shows a degree of malice. Do you get as worked up over that?

    How do you compare 85 Jews, the estimated number who died on Kristallnacht, to 8 million Ukrainians or over 135,000 Germans burned alive in a few hours at Dresden. You idiot. Also, the violence at Kristallnacht ended on Hitler’s order immediately after he found out about it? Do you know why the rioting started? A Polish Jew murdered a 29 year old German diplomat in France when his family was being deported to Poland. Life in Germany, even under Hitler, was better and they wanted to stay in Germany. You know nothing.

    • Agree: Mulegino1, HdC
    • Replies: @Fox
    , @Wizard of Oz
  208. Fox says:
    @RobinG

    In the case of the SU the unprovoked preparations it made did resulted in attacks on Finland, the occupation of Poland, the Baltic States, Bessarabia, the Bukovina – did I forget something?
    The preparations of the German military were on the other hand caused by an inexplicable military buildup of the Red Army along the SU’s western frontier, followed by a series of aggressive moves against said neighbors.
    I think everyone should be alarmed by such developments. They originated from the Soviet Union. What do you think the purpose was the immense military build up which can only be maintained for a limited time? It is like a state of emergency with high-energy output that wears resources thin quickly. I.a.w.: Action must follow soon. And again: The SU military build up was begun prior to even the conception of operation to be called eventually Barbarossa. At a minimum, one has to attribute serious reasons for Barbarossa and not wander off into the infinite fantasy land with “Lebensraum”, “World Conquest”, “Evil”. “Mein Kampf Programs”, “German Lust for Domination” and the like claptrap. It’s one thing to sit in London or perhaps in Omaha and to pontificate about the only imaginary threat posed by 10000 tanks and 4 millions battle ready troops of your aggressive neighbor and to know that those tanks are just 20 miles away and growing in numbers every day. To take such a situation seriously is not insane, to laugh it off is.
    What would be your course of action?

    • Agree: Mulegino1, HdC
  209. @H. Ph. Vogel

    It seem highly probable that their pet project was what would become the EU. Koudenhove-Kelergi and his pan-european movement was very influencial in devising a project to unite the continental countries. The National Socialists and Fascists were also very keen on such a union. Walter Hallstein’s involvment in the NSADP is still a subject of debate but not his role in the creation of the EU.

    Sorry for being sketchy but if some of you have thing to add to picture the subject more clearly, welcome! Because the aftermath of the German-Soviet Russia confrontation would be that devide between to organised political economic blocs. The EU becoming more and more a statist dictatorship similar to the USSR…

    • Replies: @H. Ph. Vogel
  210. @ivan

    Thanks for your comment. To bad you can’t read French. Annie Lacroix-Riz demonstrates that the “luck” you refer to might have not been “luck” but rather a choice of some very powerful people who were willing to join the movement lead by Hitler and Mussolini’s experience. The Koudenhove-Kalergi crowd finaly had their way after the war.

    Take care

    • Replies: @ivan
  211. Who profited, who profits?

    US & SU, the two sides of the same Shekel!

    And who is „USA“ and „Russian Federation“?

    Who needs the lies? Who needs the tensions nowadays?

    The Putina of three Jewish mothers: Putin’s father was a inveterated Bolshevik and his father (Putin’s grandfather) was Jewgashvili’s cook (and probable poisoner of the Jewgashvili, aka Stalin).

    Versus the Jew Trump? The Jewish dialectic! The Donald regrets that the Jews no longer dominate the congress – which ofcourse is another one of that snake’s false flags. (Remember how he invited everyone to the 6th of January.)

    At least Biden is bent as he can get in every sense of the word, „America abides” (definitely since 1913):

    https://thepoliticsforums.com/threads/176567-Biden-Bows-on-Bended-Knee-for-Foreign-Leader-*crickets*

    Millions of Jews (including Trump) dominate the Americas.
    Millions of Jews (including the Putina) dominate the RUS.
    Millions of Jews (including Merkel) dominate “Old Europe”.

    The deviders are at large and probably one of the largest people on earth (and in hell).

    200 – 300 million Jews?

    (Now some Hasbara troll will answer with a link to Jewpedia…showing how little poor Jews there are…)

  212. @Carolyn Yeager

    Wow, that’s quite an avalanche of assumptions and non-sequiturs indeed! Now, “real historians ” have morphed into “serious historians,” but still you fail to indicate how you define these adjectives.

    If, as you state, Sutton is guilty of “errors of fact & research,” that does not make him necessarily a bad historian. There just aren’t any historians around that never make “errors of fact & research.” That is one of the reasons why there is historical debate. As for your characterization of Guido Preparata, this could only be made by a person supremely knowledgeable concerning all the relevant archives of the period and on the sources on which he has based his monograph. So far, I haven’t seen any evidence that you would be such a person.

    But now you want to accuse me of much more than that. Now, I have not read important works by other authors you deem essential. Namely Bernd Schwipper, who writes in German (not translated), whose one book is supposed to supply all the answers we need.

    Indeed, that is what I would argue: it is not Schwipper’s fault that he writes in German. Nor can he be blamed for there not being available a translation into English, French, Spanish, Russian or any other language that you might be able to read. However, anyone taking part in a public discussion on the very topic of his book (the period immediately preceding Operation Barbarossa), cannot be taken seriously unless he has read Schwipper’s book.

    English may have become the imperial language but that does not mean that work in another language than English should be dismissed or ignored.

    I have always told my students they could write their theses on any subject, but they had to make sure to cover all the available relevant literature on the subject of their choice, in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish etc.

    Mr. Dijkstra writes a big 60-page article on what Ernst Topitsch called Stalins Krieg (1985) and demonstrates not having a clue of the existence of a well-researched scholarly work by a man who has seen most of the relevant sources available, in German AND Russian.

    Hence mr. Dijkstra does not seem to be what I would call a serious historian and I am sure you would agree with that judgment.

  213. @Bugey libre

    It is, of course, very difficult to indicate with any precision who and what groups are and were behind the creation of the EEC/EU in particular, and the postwar world in general. In part these would include the usual suspects, but the people involved cannot be defined merely in broad genetic or religious terms. Like criminals tend to do always and everywhere, they have been taking the utmost care to hide their true identities. Caroll Quigley has written about them, and Bill Clinton was his student. Yet Clinton seems to have done his best to promote and solidify the reign of those very groups Quigley was critical about. Robin de Ruiter is another source.

    • Replies: @Bugey libre
  214. Fox says:
    @Petermx

    It should be added that the deportation of Grynspan’s (the assassin) parents to Poland was the result of a Polish directive which ordered all people with a Polish passport to come to Poland within a very short time (it might have been a month) to receive a stamp to continually validate their passport. Failing to do that, these people would lose their Polish citizenship. Attempts by Germany to at least extend this time to receive the stamp were torpedoed by Poland. There would have been suddenly thousands of stateless people in Germany due to this Polish directive. His parents lived in Hanover, had a tailor shop and were for a time also on unemployment in Germany. It is certainly harsh to be made to leave so suddenly, but the fault lies entirely with the instigator of such a measure.
    I don’t know whether these people were re-admitted or what happened to them once in Poland. The transport in trains to the Polish border was (referring to Prof Grimm’s book “Politische Justiz”) was organized, Red Cross nurses accompanied the unfortunate deportees and provided as much comfort as possible. According to this account lengthy negotiations ere necessary to allow the trains to cross into Poland.

    • Thanks: Petermx
  215. Marcali says:
    @Mutt Anonymous Mat

    Speaking about fantasies consider the soviet histories of the war:

    Suvorov: The story of this history is miserable. There was only one book allowed on the history of the war in Stalin’s time, and that book was written by Stalin: J.V. Stalin, On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union. In early July 1941, Stalin addressed the nation on radio: “Brothers and sisters, I appeal to you, my friends.” Then he says, he have to destroy the enemy whatever it takes. Stalin’s second speech was on Nov. 6, 1941 at Mayakovskaya metro station. But we are told there was only one speech by Stalin. Historians somehow put them together into one. In this speech Stalin was calling on the citizens to be brave. He demanded more tanks, and called for the destruction of the enemy in the air, on the ground, and at sea. This was printed in all the languages of the country, in multi-million circulation. Stalin rarely spoke in public; and when he spoke it was only on the most important issues. And whenever he spoke, his words were recorded and made into a book. In the end he said, “I want to thank the Russian people for their patience.” And later this was put together in a larger account – that’s all. There were no memoirs, no histories published under Stalin. And when Stalin went to the next world – or someone helped him die – only then it was discovered that there is only one book in the Soviet Union about this grandiose war that recently ended, and that this book had to be confiscated from all the libraries and destroyed. That was done. When Zhukov and Khrushchev were sharing power in the Kremlin, and they ordered a five volume history of the Great Patriotic War to be written. When Zhukov was removed from power the work was stopped. Then, under Khrushchev a six volume history was published. As soon as Khrushchev fell, it was a disgrace to show this book to friends and to enemies, because the book was ridiculous. The number of volumes increased under Brezhnev. They produced 12 volumes. As soon as Brezhnev departed to the other side, the 12 volumes also became unacceptable. In Khrushchev’s sixth volume, Khrushchev won the war. In Brezhnev’s 12th volume, Brezhnev won the war. There was an attempt to rewrite a history of the war from the Gorbachev angle as well, but it failed. Then there were attempts at the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the war, but all of them failed. So now we have this book by a group of writers under the supreme command of Comrade Naryshkin, circulation 1,000. I made an attempt to acquire the volumes. Book sellers demanded \$300 without guarantee of delivery. Meaning, basically, you give them \$300 and Russia never sends the books. Maybe somebody sells for less, but you cannot get it. The Russian state has so much money, they don’t know where to put it, so they load it into cargo containers and export billions to the United States. But they cannot afford a decent history of the war. Merely 1,000 gift copies.

    • Replies: @Bankotsu
  216. @nokangaroos

    It’s amazing how a site which A.J.P. Taylor will have so many readers who simply ignore what Taylor actually argued out. It’s particularly since everything which Taylor maintained has been incorporated into the writings of current academics such as Ian Kershaw and Richard Evans. Taylor stressed that Hitler did not have any cohered plans for launching a world war in 1939. At the same time Taylor laid out how Hitler stumbled his way into a war by his readiness to overestimate what he could get away with on the cheap. As a result Hitler increasingly found himself in circumstances where an expansion of the war continually seemed the easy way out. This is what Taylor’s book The Origins of the Second World War is actually about, for anyone who bothers to read it.

    Through the first 6 years in office had been able to get a series of notable victories which resulted simply from the fact that people within Britain and the US, most notably John Maynard Keynes among others, had been very critical of the Versailles Treaty. The Great Depression had brought those criticisms to the fore and made it possible for Heinrich Bruning to persuade the Allies to drop the demands for reparations. That started Germany on the road to economic recovery before Hitler had come into office. When Hitler had gained office through backdoor machinations with Franz Papen and Otto Hindenburg (at a time when the vote for the NSDAP had already begun to fall from a peak of 37% in July 1932) all that he had to do was let Hjalmar Schacht continue with a program that had already been initiated by Kurt Schleicher.

    While Hitler consolidated his popularity from an economic recovery which others had initiated, he first waited before doing anything on the international stage. But in 1935 he was able to reclaim the Saar just from the terms of the Versailles Treaty. With that as a starter Hitler gradually began pressing demands about patches of territory which nobody in the Allied nations wanted to go to war over. The Rhineland was reoccupied and then Austria incorporated into the Reich and no influential in London thought that it made sense to start a war over this. But then Hitler made a new demand that the whole of Czechoslovakia should be incorporated into the Reich.

    That proved to be too much and Chamberlain came down hard against it. Instead Chamberlain offered Hitler to simply take the Sudetenland and leave the rest. Hitler was furious over this. He had not intended to start a major war anytime soon. But his intent was more than simply bringing back patches of territory which already had German inhabitants. The goal was to prepare the way for an eventual move for the conquest of living space by taking in territory that would lead to this goal. That is why there was no conflict with Mussolini over South Tyrol. Hitler was willing to simply work out an exchange of populations with Rome because South Tyrol was geographically relevant to his drive to the east. But Czechoslovakia was and so Czechoslovakia had to be swallowed up.

    Faced with Chamberlain’s warning, and reading the public opinion data, Hitler backed down and accepted the Munich Agreement temporarily. But less than 6 months later he called the Slovaks in and told them that unless they invited a German protectorate he would support a bid by Hungary and Poland to pick them apart. In the aftermath of the loss of the Sudetenland there were no good defenses for the Slovaks to fight a war on these terms. While the Slovaks debated this, Hitler called in the President of Czechoslovakia and began demanding that he too should invite a protectorate. Emil Hacha gave in and Czechoslovakia was occupied in Germany in violation of the Munich Agreement.

    From that time the ball began rolling irreversibly. The decision by Britain to issue a declaration of support for Poland over Danzig would never have occurred if not for this occupation of Czechoslovakia. As ambassador in the US, Jerzy Potocki had written many notes expressing hostility towards Roosevelt as a tool of Jewish interests. But in response to March 15, 1939, Poland immediately tightened its hold on Danzig. They saw that any compromise made over this would eventually lead to Hitler occupying Poland the same way he had Czechoslovakia. So now a confrontation was set that would lead to war.

    All of the above is covered in great detail in Taylor’s classic. Taylor does not serve as an apologist for Hitler over any of this. Taylor simply makes the point that Hitler did not wind his way into this mess because of a plan to start WWII. It was rather that he overestimated what he could get away with in the small case of occupying Czechoslovakia without appreciating the likely ramifications. But these events were what forced Hitler to accelerate all of his plans for the conquest of living space in the east.

    At the time when Hitler first raised the idea of invading the USSR in July 1940 his emphasis was not upon grabbing living space, and he certainly gave no hint of being worried about Soviet military power. Hitler’s initial motive for ordering Barbarossa was simply to force Churchill out of office and make Britain come to terms with Germany as the new dominant power of Europe. Speaking as the Battle of Britain was just beginning to unfold Hitler touched on the possibility that if aerial dominance over Britain was not gained then an invasion might not be realistic. In such a case the logical alternative would be a swift knock-out blow against the USSR.

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
  217. @L.K

    Hitler’s decision to plan for an attack on the USSR is laid out in Franz Halder’s war diary:

    “With Russia smashed, Britain’s last hope would be shattered. Germany then will be master of Europe and the Balkans. Decision: Russia’s destruction must therefore be made a part of the struggle. Spring 1941.”

    Take as much time to go through the full volume as you wish. Nothing about this early declaration of the aim to conquer the USSR talks about the USSR as a military threat. It was all about taking away Churchill’s “last hope.”

    • Replies: @Checheno
  218. @ivan

    Stalin was a paranoiac with a tendency to envision enemies all around him, but that has only limited relevance to determining what was contemplated in international affairs. During the centuries when Europe was rising over the world it was common for European rulers to view the growth of their national influence as part of a triumph of Christianity over the world. But that doesn’t most wars between Britain, Spain, France et al of that time are best understood as derived from the spreading of Christianity. Usually the war would develop for other reasons and whichever power would see this as a vindication of its own brand of Christianity.

    Trotsky certainly ant reckless military ventures by the Soviet state. After Pilsudski had attacked the USSR it was Lenin who entertained the idea that the Polish proles might be ready to rise up in revolution if they saw the Soviet army approaching. Trotsky was one of those who cautioned that the Poles were more likely to see this as the Great Russian Bear coming into Poland again. He had no delusions that reckless military ventures would accomplish anything.

    The thesis of world revolution was built around the idea that the class contradictions within capitalism were building inexorably towards a crisis that would lead to revolution. This was largely independent of the USSR. While there could be occasions when the interests of the Soviet state, as the first bastion of the revolution, could benefit from territorial expansion here and there, this was never the primary way that world revolution was expected to spread.

    • Replies: @GazaPlanet
    , @ivan
  219. ivan says:
    @Bugey libre

    The “luck” I referred to was on the battlefield.

    http://web.mit.edu/SSP/seminars/wed_archives98fall/doughty.htm

    Have a nice day.

    • Thanks: Bugey libre
  220. @Mulegino1

    That’s wrong on multiple levels. Hitler’s statements as recorded by Halder, where he gives the specific order of July 31, 1940, to prepare the invasion of the USSR, leave no ambiguity. His rationale for this is simply that it will deprive Churchill of his last best hope. There isn’t even a hint of concern about the USSR as an actual military force. Hitler is also perfectly clear that this is a definitive decision for spring 1941. No one who reads through Halder’s diary memo could honestly think either that Hitler was undecided or that he was motivated by fear of a Soviet attack.

    Hitler’s aims for Poland were outlined in his dictates to Bormann on October 2, 1940:

    —–
    It must absolutely be taken into account that there must be no ‘Polish masters’; where such masters do exist, they should, as harsh as it may sound, be killed… The Government General is a reservation for the Poles, one vast Polish labor camp… a central issuing department for unskilled workers, in particular for agricultural workers. The existence of these workers will be secured, as cheap laborers will always be needed.
    —–

    Poland was certainly better off with 45 years of Soviet dominance than with Hitler’s plans for the country.

  221. @Petermx

    And Germany’s Jews were not subjected to physical attacks. They did have their rights stripped from them and were encouraged to emigrate.

    I agree, except that it should be said that the taking away of the rights of Jews was a gradual process of several different citizenship laws passed over 5 years, not a sudden stripping away. It began with the racial purity marriage laws and increasingly became more restrictive for Jews. And yes, the idea was to encourage Jews to emigrate, to relocate. Interestingly, Jews still did not want to leave Germany because life there remained better than in other places they were able to go! It wasn’t because they felt so German, identified as German, but because they still preferred Germany in spite of the sanctions.

    So put this in your pipe, Wiz of Oz.

    • Thanks: Petermx
    • Replies: @Bugey libre
    , @Wizard of Oz
  222. @H. Ph. Vogel

    Thank you for De Ruiter, I have read “Le livre jaune” 15 years ago but I had forgotten the name of the author, I will dig deaper in his work. I will also get your book.

    Take care

  223. smiddy012 says:

    All Hitler had to do was close off the Mediterranean to win the war, instead he literally ensured the Allies would all be well-supplied and invaded Germany’s greatest oil supplier. And yet so many of you pathetically cling to Muh Hitler exactly like your opponents cling to Muh Holocaust.

    Imagine if Hitler simply closed off the Mediterranean (at the strait of Gibraltar), actually supplied/re-enforced Rommel, took the Suez Canal, and all the oil/territory in the Middle East (Germans had already ensured Iraq was friendly for this purpose), thereby opening up a second potential front against Russia, also cutting off/occupying the supply lines from US to Russia, let alone the lifeline (Suez Canal) of the entire British Empire itself…

    Imagine a zealous, high verbal IQ, Moses-like orator with the textbook physical language of a woman, whose politics were centered on victim mentality, who never showed even one morsel of interest in any woman ever publicly (in fact the opposite), a bastard whose childhood history was murky (with rumors of teenage homosexuality), a momma’s boy, a failed artist, a vegetarian…
    And yet, despite all this, to win the war, literally all he had to do was stay out of his generals (many of whom were trying to have him killed) way…

    Imagine not realizing in 2021 that Hitler was a British/crypto-Rothschild agent, or, at the very, most wishful, of leasts, that he acutely devolved into an imbecile from D-day on.

    Imagine if Hitler was really going after “international Jewry”, he would’ve taken Zurich, the Vatican, and London, as opposed to scapegoating Russia instead (which isn’t exactly a new trick)… Too bad Zurich and London (and the Federal Reserve) financed his way into power… But oh right, he “didn’t want to invade fellow Aryans” in England, that’s why he never made a navy by begin with! That’s also why he declared war on the Aryan US after his Japanese allies bombed them! Makes total sense!

    Declassified FBI documentation, JFK’s diary, as well as Stalin himself are all on record that Hitler did not die in the bunker, that he had survived the war.

    David Irving is on record that Mein Kampf was written pseudonymously. Major book sellers still sell it, Neo-Nazis are controlled opposition now just like Nazis always were.

    And it gets even worse, Stalin was the only major leader of the 4 who wasn’t entirely controlled by the bankers/bloodlines. And once Hitler invaded him, he realized their grand plan, and that he had totally played into it; he thought Hitler and himself had developed a relationship, and that Hitler wouldn’t ritually sacrifice his nation by invading Russia, that’s why he locked himself away for 2 weeks once he heard Hitler invaded… Any military preparations he made in case of a German invasion were extremely prudent.

    This also explains why “they didn’t want to wake up Hitler on D-day”. Believing this is akin to believing ball-point pens existed during WW2…

    “After WWI, Germany fell into the hands of the German International Bankers. Those bankers bought her and they now own her, lock, stock and barrel. They purchased her industries, they have mortgages on her soil, they control her production; they control all her public utilities. The International German Bankers have subsidized the present government of Germany and they have also supplied every dollar of the money Adolf Hitler has used in his lavish campaign to build up a threat to the government of Bruening. When Bruening fails to obey the orders of the German International Bankers, Hitler is brought forth to scare the Germans into submission. Through the Federal Reserve Board over thirty billions of dollars was pumped into Germany…You have all heard of the spending that has taken place in Germany…modernistic dwellings, her great planetariums, her gymnasiums, her swimming pools, her fine public highways, her perfect factories….All this was done with our money. All this was given to Germany through the Federal Reserve Board. The Federal Reserve Board has pumped so many billions of dollars into Germany that they dare not name the total.” – Rep. Lewis T. McFadden (D PA), Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee, 1931

  224. Hitler’s statements as recorded by Halder, where he gives the specific order of July 31, 1940, to prepare the invasion of the USSR, leave no ambiguity.

    I’m sure our Pentagon has been directed to prepare for an invasion of Russia. Nothing serious, just something senior officers like to wargame for fun, and to provide advice should a President ask about such a possibility. Such plans take months to develop. Just last week, the US Army activated V Corps headquarters in Poland.

    https://www.stripes.com/branches/army/2021-11-03/v-corps-army-poland-fort-knox-3481506.html

    Is this proof there is a plan to invade Russia?

    • Agree: Mulegino1
  225. Mulegino1 says:

    Hitler’s statements as recorded by Halder, where he gives the specific order of July 31, 1940, to prepare the invasion of the USSR, leave no ambiguity. His rationale for this is simply that it will deprive Churchill of his last best hope. There isn’t even a hint of concern about the USSR as an actual military force. Hitler is also perfectly clear that this is a definitive decision for spring 1941. No one who reads through Halder’s diary memo could honestly think either that Hitler was undecided or that he was motivated by fear of a Soviet attack.

    This is nonsense. Hitler gave an order to prepare for a contingency which was becoming more and more likely in the light of Soviet aggression towards the countries bordering on the USSR.

    As late as November of 1940, Hitler still had hopes that the USSR would join the Tripartite Pact.

    It was evident from the last meeting with Molotov in that month, that the Soviets were planning to continue their expansionary aggression by reoccupying Finland, annexing Bukovina and getting control of the Dardanelles- and even controlling the Denmark Straits.

    Despite Hitler’s optimistic rhetoric, he certainly considered the Soviet Union a threat and was perfectly aware of the vast military buildup on its western borders in 1941.

    In April of 1941:

    Hitler telephoned Ribbentrop in Vienna, summoned
    him to his special-train headquarters, and told him he had decided finally to attack Russia.

    Ribbentrop later recalled:

    He said that all the military Intelligence reaching him confirmed that the
    Soviet Union was preparing in a big way along the entire front from the
    Baltic to the Black Sea. He was not willing to be taken by surprise once
    he had recognised a danger. Moscow’s pact with the Serbian putschist
    government was a downright provocation to Germany and a clear departure from the German-Russian treaty of friendship.

    In this conversation I recommended that he listen first to our [Moscow] ambassador, Count [Werner von der] Schulenburg. . . I wanted to
    try a diplomatic settlement with Moscow first. But Hitler refused any
    such attempt and forbade me to discuss the matter with anybody; no
    amount of diplomacy could change the Russian attitude, as he now recognised it, but it might cheat him of the important tactical element of
    surprise when he attacked.

    David Irving, “Hitler’s War”

    Poland was certainly better off with 45 years of Soviet dominance than with Hitler’s plans for the country.

    This is simply a regurgitation of establishment narrative with no real supporting evidence. Where are all the mass graves of the victims of the Germans in Poland which compare to those at Katyn?

    • Agree: Fox
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  226. @Patrick McNally

    So far, so reasonable …

    – Keynes´major objection to Versailles was that reparations would invigorate
    the German economy (and piss them off royally) while weakening the British.
    That prescience is not quite as impressive as it looks, as the example of France
    after 1871 was still fresh.
    – The Poles got to squat on the Reich´s erstwhile breadbasket –
    during Stalin´s pleasure – and turn it into North Zimbabwe. What was so great
    about that? It´s just a poison pill for the next generation.

    Other than that I have few gripes 😀

  227. @Colin Wright

    If you mean that the Allied plans themselves were silly, well, yes, I agree. If you mean that Patrick Osborn misread something in the documents, I doubt it, but check it out yourself and decide. Osborn obviously views all of the plans for Operation Pike as a monumental snafu. But that’s a different matter.

    What motivated the Allies to conceive of this idea was past events in the Russian Civil War. At that time there were Czech forces which formed out of Austro-Hungarian POWs that had been originally captured by the Czarist armies. The Czech armies were not interested in getting involved in the Russian Civil War, but they wanted to go home. As a result they created a lot of disruption in the attempts by the Bolsheviks to consolidate authority. These Czech forces were generally much more motivated than someone who had simply landed in the White armies because of prior recruitment into the Czarist army. The eventual solution for the Bolsheviks was to let the Czechs shuffle themselves out of the scene and not try to fight them unnecessarily.

    Anyway, Patrick Osborn’s conclusion was that the Allied planners hoped that by striking at the USSR they would be able to trigger something by the captured Polish troops that would be similar to what happened back in 1918 with the Czechs. Sean McMeekin has been quoted here on this site a lot and he makes multiple references to Operation Pike. Since Patrick Osborn’s book was the actual first study of this it makes sense for anyone willing to quote McMeekin to also look up Osborn.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  228. @Carolyn Yeager

    “Interestingly, Jews still did not want to leave Germany because life there remained better than in other places they were able to go! It wasn’t because they felt so German, identified as German, but because they still preferred Germany in spite of the sanctions.”

    Sorry for calling you attention again Madame Yeager, but… You should definitely read “Hitler’s Jewish Soldier”…

    You’d learn that many so called “Jewish” felt German deep in their heart, supported the Reich and that they suffered from being considered outsiders. And I’m not talking about the financial elite which could leave Germany but regular… Germans of ‘Jewish’ origins who loved the German ‘genius’ they had embeded and for many of them, who had fought WWI courageously against my grand father for oligarchic British interests.

    Hitler had always paid respect to his German’Jewish’ officer in WWI…

    And you know I dispise the nefarious Jewish Organised Community and the delirium of the kabbalistes/ Shabbatean/ transhumanists psychos.

    • Replies: @Carolyn Yeager
  229. @Petermx

    That 8 million figure is a fabrication of Cold War propaganda, along with the “intentional famine” claim itself. About 2.6 million Ukrainians died in the famine caused by crop failure in the harvest of 1932. For the number of Ukrainian losses see:

    Population Studies, November 2002, “A New Estimate of Ukrainian Population Losses” by Vallin, Mesle, Adamets, Pyrozhkov

    For actual data on the natural disasters behind the crop failure of 1932 Mark Tauger is the authority on the subject. Two specific pieces that deserve emphasis are:

    Natural Disaster and Human Actions in the Soviet Famine of 1931-1933; Statistical Falsification in the Soviet Union.

    During the 1930s the press of Goebbels and Hearst ran stories which claimed that the famine which had occurred in 1933 was going on into 1935. This resulted in a lot of lurid stories being printed as late as 1935 about a famine going on. These fake stories were subsequently incorporated into Cold War propaganda by authors such as Dana Dalrymple, James Mace and Robert Conquest. Of course if you extend the famine for a whole year then you start to arrive at something like “8 million.” But Cold War hacks like Conquest used to quietly acknowledge that the famine had ended in the fall of 1933, while citing reports from 1935.

    This was how Walter Duranty got the reputation as a so-called “famine denier.” Anyone who has read Duranty writings from that time knows that he reported about a famine killing a couple million in Ukraine. But in later years he became involved in disputes as the Hearst press continued to push stories of a famine going on as late as 1935. But Duranty never denied an actual famine when such was occurring. He correctly denied the claims that famine continued on after the summer of 1933.

    The best book on the false stories printed through 1935 alleging an ongoing famine was by the Canadian labor journalist Douglas Tottle, Fraud, Famine and Fascism. Tottle was no academic and there spots which one can criticize in his writings, but he is at least as good as Udo Walendy ever was at showing how photos were taken from one period and then recycled with false headlines about a later event. For more academic work on the Holodomor Hoax, Mark Tauger is the one to go to.

    What makes this really funny here is that, while Stalin definitely never wanted to have a famine occurring in the USSR, especially not he himself had declared the collectivization project completed in its essentials in 1931, yet Hitler specifically endorsed the plans by Herbert Backe that 30 million Soviet citizens should starve to death as a way facilitating the use of resources for German settlers. These plans were in practice aborted because the USSR did not collapse with a few months and Backe’s plan was based on a swift victory. But Backe’s plans are the only known example from this time of a policy aimed at creating an intentional famine that would starve the Slavs.

    • Replies: @L.K
  230. @Carlton Meyer

    If you bother to read Halder’s record (I provided a small quote from it) it is very clear that this not some generic plan. Hitler specifically argues that the USSR must be knocked out in spring 1941 because this is the only thing that can force Britain to come to terms if Operation Sealion proves unworkable. It was a very definite decision made at that point that the USSR would be attacked next spring except possibly in the event Germany was able invade and occupy Britain.

  231. @Mulegino1

    The order which Halder records from July 31, 1940, is perfectly clear when one reads it that the USSR was to be attacked in the spring with the motive being one of forcing Britain to accept Germany as the major continental power. The only conditional ambiguity which can be read into it is that Hitler was still contemplating an invasion of Britain if the Battle of Britain had turned out successfully. That could have altered plans for later. But failing the possibility of Operation Sealion, Hitler was perfectly clear that the only workable alternative was to rapidly defeat the USSR and thereby force Britain to accept Germany’s position on the continent.

    • Replies: @Mulegino1
  232. Agent76 says:

    Feb 13, 2017 The rise of Hitler 1929-1934: revision for IGCSE & GCSE History exams

    The podcast is the second of two that explore how Hitler came to power. This episode covers the period from the Wall Street Crash to Hitler’s self-appointment of the Fuhrer of Germany in 1934.

    End Of Mussolini

    In Milan the bodies of Mussolini and his mistress were kicked and abused by Italians. After the mob had been dispersed by firemen their bodies were hung upside down outside a petrol station.

    • Replies: @Marcali
  233. …the motive being one of forcing Britain to accept Germany as the major continental power.

    After crushing France and routing the Brits, why would Hitler care what Britain thought? This logic fails the smell test.

    If he wanted to get the attention of the British, rather than mobilize and send 150+ divisions into a risky invasion against the powerful Soviets, he could have dispatched airpower and some 10 divisions to Africa to help the Italians overrun Egypt and take control the Suez canal, then take over the Middle East oil supplies that were vital to Britain. This would make him a world power that then threatened Britain’s prized colony of India. He had just invaded Greece and Crete, so was on the way there. Why stop for a mad dash into the Soviet Union?

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  234. karel says:
    @Height_776

    He may end up like Skripal, when no longer needed.

    • Replies: @Height_776
  235. Corvinus says:
    @GeneralRipper

    Hello, General Ripper. So you are up to five on the sock puppet meter. Congratulations.

  236. Derer says:
    @GeneralRipper

    Worldwide Revolution has been the stated goal of ((( Communism))) since it’s founding.

    For the above position Bolshevik Trotsky lost his life by the Bolshevik Stalin insisting on quite the opposite position of one country revolution. Learn the deeper intricacies of the Soviets era, do not rely on the US textbooks.

    • Replies: @Marcali
  237. karel says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Makes sense, Carlton. I have been making plans to invade a plot of land belonging to my neighbor for months. I must admit that the preparation makes a lot of fun. Sometimes, I dance and sing to mentally prepare for the attack and while relaxing compose little songs to celebrate my final victory of setting his house on fire. Unfortunately, he is a little stalin-like creep, which makes me wonder whether prevarication may deprive me of my well-deserved spoils. What should I do?

  238. @Bugey libre

    I do not want to get into a discussion with you, as I am trying to stay away from here. I believe it’s a waste of time to “argue” with those who are set in their views, and frustrating too. But I have forgotten more about Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich than you have even yet learned. I know the contents of this book. It is written by a Jew. It has to be remembered that most of the “Jews” in WWI were 1/4 to 1/2 Jews, which means they were 1/2 to 3/4 White German. Some leading figures from WWII that are said to be half Jewish, were really not Jewish at all. Erhard Milch is one.

    Did these “German Jews” who “loved Germany so much” want more Jews to enter Germany? Sure they did. Just like Jews here in the USA … and in France. Did they love their Jewish relatives, wherever they were? Of course. Can a nation like Germany afford to worry about the “suffering” of Jews because they feel like outsiders, when their own people are suffering at the hands of International Jewry? No, not after the way the Great War ended and the far, far greater suffering endured by 100% Germans due to the actions of Jewry. Some of the things you’ve said here make my blood curdle.

    Choices have to be made. Weak, ignorant Frenchmen like you, whose own country and race are decimated by liberalism and fraternité due to your poor choices & susceptibility to communist thought, do you actually think you should tell the Germans what they should do? [Your leaders tried their best to flood Germany with Blacks during & after WWII.] Are you a good example of … anything? Why be so concerned with what Germany is, and what it should do? Take care of yourself and your own country.

  239. @Carolyn Yeager

    It is ridiculous to draw conclusions favourable to Hitler or the Nazis from the natural tendency of people to believe their countrymen would remain civilised, to want to stay in a familiar neighbourhood, keep their children in good local schools, and not face all sorts of hassles in moving to a non German speaking country. On top of which other countries weren’t offering any special deals and Germany was more prosperous. And you are quite wrong about them not identifying as German in most cases (not perhaps including OstJudenwho hadn’t deep roots in the country). The rate of intermarriage was huge (see Ron’s figures on half and quarter Jews in the Wehrmacht and Jews’ service in WW1).

    Of course Hitler, and even Himmler and Goes elsewhere, would have preferred to solve the “Jewish problem” without murder on their records.

    • Replies: @Carolyn Yeager
  240. @Bankotsu

    It is sometimes overlooked that, before D-Day, Germany was devoting enormous resources of men and material to defence against US and RAF bombing. It tends to be a greatly underrated factor.

    • Agree: John Wear, JackOH
  241. Mike Tre says:

    “Gorodetsky maintains that Stalin never abandoned his principle aim of national security for the USSR.”

    Totally proven true by the result of WWII granting the Soviet Union almost the entire Eastern half of Europe.

    Stalin also never abandoned his other principle aim of feeding his people by effectively starving millions of them to death.

  242. @Petermx

    What do you think of the Tuskeegee Study when Americans deliberately infected blacks (and only blacks) with Syphilis. That shows a degree of malice. Do you get as worked up over that?

    The way you ask the question makes it pretty clear that you are driven by emotions and select your facts accordingly. I am unlikely to engage with you much in future. Obviously the treatment of black Americans was unconsconable but I don’t get “worked up” about that OR the facts of Nazi persecution of Jews.

    BTW, estimates of deaths, including suicides, resulting from the Kristalnacht attacks, which were government supported and included the Sturmabteilung all over the country, were, according to some sources, over 800. Nothing compared with what was to come, but more than enough to counter the implications of your downplaying original words.

    • Replies: @Fox
    , @Petermx
  243. Mulegino1 says:
    @Patrick McNally

    It was a plan for a likely contingency- it was not set in stone.

    Hitler and Ribbentrop sounded out Molotov on Soviet intentions for the last time starting on November 13, 1940.

    After their meetings it was clear that the USSR was going to step beyond even the Secret Protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (Molotov indicated that Moscow was not even willing to forego control over the Denmark Strait at some point).

    It was obvious that the Soviets had entered into the non-aggression pact as a way to bide their time until a war of attrition was being waged in the west.

    • Agree: John Wear
    • Thanks: L.K
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  244. @Carolyn Yeager

    Some of the things you’ve said here make my blood curdle.

    By “here,” I meant on this entire thread, not in this particular comment.

  245. @Wizard of Oz

    Flash. I don’t care what Jews want or what makes them happy. I don’t care whether Jews die, or whether they die out altogether — but I’m not going to kill them. Nor should Germans care. How many OstJuden were in the country then? Way too many. The intermarriage was a problem for the National Socialists too. And not only them. So Jews were only bad for Germany. This was proved when it was such a better, happier place when the majority of Jews were gone. Of course, it’s this as much as anything that causes Jews to grind their teeth when hearing it. Jews are simply not good for anyone. If a few “good” Jews suffer because of all the others, well that’s just too bad. Not my problem. Not our problem. It’s their problem.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  246. Fox says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    The outrages on Nov. 9, 1938 appear to be of the same nature as the “spontaneous” demonstrations we can witness in the color revolutions and where the origins can be traced to some foreign secret services.
    The leadership of the N.S.d.a.P. was in Munich at that time to commemorate the 9th of November, 1923. Late in the evening the news of attacks on Jews and some synagogues came in, and Hitler immediately ordered to quell these actions. None of the Gauleiter had given such orders, but it was found that in various Party headquarters telex orders had come in; they could not be traced back to an origin. Furthermore, instigators from out of town were reported to kindle unrest among the population where possible. The telexes came in during the absence of the political leaders who would otherwise have made decisions, and have made inquiries at higher party offices as to the authenticity of such an order. However, they were at a celebration in Munich and could therefore not set things straight.
    There is one conclusion forcing itself upon an observer so many years after the event: This looks like a concerted and well-orchestrated action from abroad in order to undermine the progress that had just been made for a peaceful accord between Germany, France and England over the resolution concerning Czecho-Slovakia in October of 1938, and in general for a peaceful accord on disputes within Europe’s frontiers.
    Nothing could be gained by the German leadership through such an action, and the reaction of Hitler and Dr. Goebbels was immediately one of alarm. Jews were emigrating at that time in record numbers, with the main obstacle of foreign governments restricting the number of them allowed to enter, or cutting down their number by requiring them to carry an ever-increasing amount of “presentation money”, i.e., cash they had to carry on their person in order to be allowed in over the border.

    • Agree: John Wear
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  247. @Carolyn Yeager

    Jews were only bad for Germany. This was proved when it was such a better, happier place when the majority of Jews were gone

    So’ when do you say a majority of Jews were gone? 1943? (Are you counting those in the Wehrmacht?).

    What’s your evidence of its being a much better, happier place?

    • Replies: @Carolyn Yeager
  248. @Carolyn Yeager

    Madame Yeager,

    You said:”Take care of yourself”.

    Thank you very much for your benevolence. Take care of your blood pressure, go for a walk in a forest, seek for beauty and breath…

    • Replies: @Carolyn Yeager
  249. GMC says:

    Bottom line, the USA and their Axis invades country after country and tells the World that Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc. – either need to be freed from Communism, needs Democrazy,or is going to attack them – then invades them, just like Germania did to the CCCP.

    • Agree: Bugey libre, John Wear
    • Replies: @L.K
  250. Bankotsu says:
    @Marcali

    Official Soviet histories of WWII can be found here:

    The Russian version of the Second World War : The history of the war as taught to Soviet schoolchildren

    https://archive.org/details/russianversionof00lyon

    http://www.amazon.com/Russian-Version-Second-World-Schoolchildren/dp/0871961369

    The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, 1941-1945 A General Outline (1974)

    https://www.marxists.org/history/ussr/great-patriotic-war/index.htm

    amazon.com/Great-Patriotic-Soviet-Union-1941-1945/dp/B0000EBTSF/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=The+Great+Patriotic+War+of+the+Soviet+Union%2C+1941-1945+A+General+Outline+%281974%29&qid=1636529045&qsid=135-7926652-2634231&sr=8-1&sres=B0000EBTSF%2CB004YZCIZW%2CB07PHH966D%2CB001QZN474%2CB018ZGU87A%2CB0060L6EE4%2CB01I5GPG7W%2CB074T5HB7K%2CB06WCZZQ98%2CB08HR5DMXR%2CB00629WC3Q%2CB06XXMK63X%2CB0040F21ZI%2CB07CG9MSFC%2CB095KL172T%2CB01JZF8C64&srpt=ABIS_BOOK

  251. @Patrick McNally

    And why would Hitler not be the master of Europe, why would Britain hold out hope, if the Soviet Union was allowed to continue its buildup?

    The selective blindness is incredible, to offer the specious argument that Hitler had no worries about an attack from the Soviet Union because they were Britain’s only hope of carrying the war to a successful conclusion.

  252. Petermx says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    You’re wrong. The estimate is about 85 people. But even 800 does not compare to 8 million Ukrainians starved by Jews.

  253. @Mutt Anonymous Mat

    “The other side of the hill”; Liddell Hart:

    Page 177:

    THE IMPULSE TO INVADE RUSSIA

    [MORE]

    As a next stage in my enquiry I sought such light as the generals could shed on the question why Hitler invaded Russia.

    Page 178, Rundstedt quoted by Hart:

    „Hitler insisted we must strike before Russia became too strong, and that she was much nearer striking than we imagined. He provided us with information that she was planning to launch an offensive herself that same summer, of 1941.“ Page 181, bottom, Kleist quoted by Hart:

    “It was the same with the other high commanders. We were told the Russian armies were about to take the offensive, and it was essential for Germany to remove the menace. It was explained to us that the Ftihrer could not proceed with other plans while this threat

    182 The Other Side of the Hill

    loomed close, as too large a part of the German forces would be pinned down in the east keeping guard. It was argued that attack was the only way for us to remove the risks of a Russian attack.

    believe that Jodi was opposed to Hitlei’s con- clusion, as well as Brauchitsch and Haider. Keitel, loo, was doubtful about it, but he was more hesitant to make his doubts clear to Hitler.”

    Kleist went on: ‘‘We did not underrate the Red Army, as is commonly imagined. The last German nGulitary attach^ in Moscow, General Kostring — 3, very able man — ^had kept us well informed about the state of the Russian Army. But Hitler refused to credit his information.

    “Hopes of victory were largely built on the prospect that the invasion would produce a political upheaval in Russia. Most of us generals realized beforehand that, if the Russians chose to fall back there was very little chance of achieving a final victory without the help of such an upheaval. Too high hopes were built on the belief that Stalin would be overthrown by his own people if he suf- fered heavy defeats. The belief was fostered by the Fuhrer’s political advisers, and we, as soldiers, didn’t know enough about the political side to dispute it.

    “There were no preparations for a prolonged struggle. Everything was based on the idea of a decisive result before the autumn.”

    An even more astonishing fact is that Hitler embarked on the invasion of Russia in face of the knowledge that his forces would be fewer than those opposing him at the outset, and were bound to be increasingly outnumbered if the campaign were prolonged. That alone made the invasion an offensive gamble -without precedent in modem history. When Hitler’s plan had been unfolded to the generals in February, they had been peiturbed by Keitel’s estimate of the comparative strengths on either side. For,

    Frustration at Moscow 183

    even on his figures, the Red Army had the equivalent of 155 divisions available in Western Russia, whereas the invading forces could muster only 12 1. (Actually Keitel’s estimate was a little imder the mark.) The assurance that the German forces were “far superior in quality” did not suffice to allay their qualms.

    Comment:

    Liddell Hart did not seem primarily interested in the politics but in saving British and to some extent the face of the Wehrmacht:

    Liddell Hart:

    “If one traveled through the liberated countries after the war, one heard everywhere the praise of the German soldiers – and all too often not very friendly observations about the behavior of the liberating troops.”

    After the Second Jewish World War LH saw the British declaration of guarantee as the main reason for the war.

    He was also an opponent of the Nuremberg Tribunal and Wehrmacht.

    • Thanks: nokangaroos
    • Replies: @Matt Anonymous Mitt
  254. @Carlton Meyer

    It is universally understood they are there to threaten Germany, not Russia.

  255. @Petermx

    the [sic] estimate”

    God’s? YHWS? L.Ron Hubbard’s. Yours?

    How did I show any interest in comparisons when I noted your literal inaccuracies?

  256. @GazaPlanet

    And be sure to check out Erkki Hautamäki on this Anglo-Soviet relationship.

  257. @GazaPlanet

    From what I know, and I might be wrong, but it is documented, many US companies and interests were also involved in the Soviet buildup.

    As to the question of why wouldn’t Hitler be the “master” of Europe, it is because most of the people in Europe didn’t want Germany to master the continent, especially because he considered Slave sto be inferior and to be subjugated to become “the Indians” of the so called Arians. The only ones who wanted it were a couple of industrialists and bankers.

  258. @Petermx

    What do you make of Patrick McNally’s comments on the extent of the Holomodor and that 8 million figure?

    • LOL: L.K
    • Replies: @Petermx
    , @Petermx
  259. Marcali says:
    @Mulegino1

    I certainly did not decommission the Stalin-line.

  260. @karel

    You are absolutely right. like Skripal, like Litvinenko…. After that, the fake news will begin another operation demonizing Russia and Putin personally.

  261. Marcali says:
    @Derer

    The problem is, that while Trotsky disappeared from the stage in 1940, we in communist lands were subsequently told to fight for the triumph of world communism.

    • Replies: @Height_776
  262. Marcali says:
    @Agent76

    What an Anti-semitic crowd!

    „(T)he Fascist movement was itself disproportionately Jewish – that is, Jews made up a greater proportion of the party at all stages of its history than of the Italian population as a whole. … and by 1938 the party had 10,215 adult Jewish members.” (Out of a Jewish population in Italy of about 47,000 people.) „Mussolini had had several Jewish ollaborators, including his favorite and most influential mistress, Margherita Sarfatti. He had been officially blessed by the chief rabbi of Rome and had assisted in the early development of a Zionist navy as a maneuver against British imperialism.”
    Stanley G. Payne: A History of Fascism, 1914-1945, The University of Wisconsin Press, 1995, p. 240.

  263. An anti semite is an anti halver.

    Is there anyone more facist than Jewry?

    Greetings to the Hasbara trolls, the Wikipedia Jews and the Israeli Neocon smear outlets;
    paid with money sucked from White Man.

  264. @Bugey libre

    This third snarky reply and passive-aggressive reference to my age shows that your earlier attempt to make amends was not sincere. I know how to take care of myself, thank you, that should be apparent–but you can’t stop giving advice where it is not warranted or wanted. Yes, that’s how you protect yourself, by persuading others that “I am a good guy, and I’m here to help.” It doesn’t work on me.

    Lest you and others failed to read the page I linked to above, I’ll tell you that jew Bryan Mark Rigg’s follow-up book to the one you’re recommending, which is The Rabbi Saved by Hitler’s Soldiers, tells the thrilling tale of how German traitors “saved” and brought to America the Hasidic Rabbi Joseph Schneersohn, head of the large and growing Lubavitcher cult.
    [The freedom of religion and financial benefits for religious institutions guaranteed in the U.S Constitution was more than these crafty Russian jews would have dreamed of back home. They’ve been booming in New Jersey-New York, disenfranchising and pushing out the local residents, with no sympathy for them I might add. Search “Special Treatment for Jews” at http://carolynyeager.net for a series of articles exposing the crimes against our government of this particular group of Schneersohn-Lubavitcher Cultist Jews.]
    From the book description:

    The leader of the rescue operation, the decorated Wehrmacht soldier Ernst Bloch, was himself half-Jewish, and a victim of the rising tide of German anti-Semitism. Perhaps even more remarkable were the central roles of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the Nazi military intelligence service, and of Helmuth Wohlthat, chief administrator of Göring’s Four Year Plan.

    So Bloch, who “loved Germany so much” according to you. was disloyal to his country and it’s leadership in wartime, disloyal to his oath as a soldier, by following a ‘higher authority’ in order to save his fellow religionists. It happens all the time !!!

    • Replies: @Bugey libre
  265. @Marcali

    You are right, the departure of Trotsky-Bronstein into emptiness did not solve the problem of Trotskyism a.k.a. now NeoTrotskyism = neocons ideology = PNAC (William Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, R. Kagan, Paul Wolfowitz, Adam Shulsky).
    PNAC’s stated goal was “to promote American global leadership.”
    “the triumph of world communism” or “to promote American global leadership” = Same old soup just reheated.
    The death or murder of Stalin in 1953 gave a second wind to Trotskyism. Let me remind you that Stalin died for five days – on March 1-5, 1953. It is curious that March 1, 1953 was the Jewish holiday of Purim. is a Jewish holiday which commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman…After Stalin’s death, Trotskyists became more active in the country. They united around the figure of N. Khrushchev. A large number of Trotskyist prisoners were released.

    • Replies: @Derer
  266. @Carolyn Yeager

    „Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience“ Mark Twain

    Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are dreamtime compared to the Hasbara trolls, the Wikipedia Jews and the Israeli Neocon smear outlets creeping around here.

    He who has the damage does not need to provide for the ridicule.

    Of course the Jewtrolls are violently interested in maintaining their highly profitable narrative. Self-evidently truth means nothing to the Saujud. The Saujud is very very violent on top of it. Truth is very good for Germans and a nightmare for the Nightmare of Mankind, the Saujud! That is, why he gets more and more violent and now hast started to poison everybody (yet again).

    So why bother with „wizards“, bugs and other creeps?

    • Replies: @Carolyn Yeager
  267. Petermx says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Like you, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  268. Petermx says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    List blames Jews for Ukrainian famine
    https://www.jta.org/2008/07/27/default/list-blames-jews-for-ukrainian-famine

    Vladimir Putin; 80 – 85% of First Soviet Government were Jews

  269. @Wizard of Oz

    2020-12-29 https://carolynyeager.net/brooklyn-clinic-owned-orthodox-jews-investigated-vaccine-fraud
    2018-08-31 https://carolynyeager.net/seven-ny-orthodox-arrested-14-million-scam-steal-school-money
    2018-06-01 https://carolynyeager.net/new-jersey-towns-losing-battle-prevent-orthodox-jewish-takeover

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  270. L.K says:
    @Patrick McNally

    As I have said before, you are so completely full of S.

    One of the leading Russian historians on the Stalinist period, Oleg Khlevniuk, a senior researcher at the State Archive of the Russian Federation in Moscow, wrote in his book “Stalin: new biography of a dictator”, regarding the victims of the regime:

    Between 1930 and 1952, some 20 million people were sentenced to incarceration in labor camps, penal colonies, or prisons. During that same period no fewer than 6 million, primarily “kulaks” and members of “repressed peoples,” were subjected to “administrative exile”: forced resettlement to a remote area of the USSR. On average, over the more than twenty-year span of Stalin’s rule, 1 million people were shot, incarcerated, or deported to barely habitable areas of the Soviet Union every year.

    Furthermore, in addition to the 26 million who were shot, imprisoned, or subjected to internal exile, tens of millions were forced to labor on difficult and dangerous projects, arrested, subjected to lengthy imprisonment without charges, or fired from their jobs and evicted from their homes for being relatives of “enemies of the people.” Overall, the Stalinist dictatorship subjected at least 60 million people to some sort of “hard” or “soft” repression and discrimination.

    To this figure we must add the victims of periodic famines or starvation, which during 1932–1933 alone took the lives of between 5 and 7 million people. The Stalinist famine was largely the result of political decisions. In its campaign to break peasant opposition to collectivization, the Stalinist government used famine as a means of “punishing” the countryside. All opportunities to relieve the situation—such as purchasing grain abroad—were rejected. Starving villages had their last stores of food expropriated.

    Soviet General Dmitri Volkogonov, who was Director of the Institute for Military History and had unrivaled access to Soviet military archives, Communist Party documents and secret presidential files, wrote in “Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy”:

    “To repeat: the restructuring of the agrarian economy could have been accomplished entirely without recourse to the terror and the tragedy that, both in scale and consequence, exceeded the repressions of 1937-38. It goes without saying that in both cases the use of force was criminal. The successful ‘liquidation of the kulaks as a class’ inflated Stalin’s confidence in himself as a dictator and he did not hesitate to liquidate all those who either had or might still come out against him. …

    Stalin’s forced ‘agrarian revolution’ condemned Soviet agriculture to decades of stagnation. The bloody experiment costing millions of lives brought the country no relief.”

    In another book, ‘Autopsy for an Empire: The Seven Leaders Who Built the Soviet Regime’, General Volkogonov stated that between 1929 and 1953 the Soviet regime caused the deaths of 21.5 million Soviet people.

    The marks left by Stalin on the face of the earth cannot easily be wiped away. Whether the thousands of buildings in the Stalinist style of architecture, the canals, highways, blast furnaces, mines and factories – built to a large extent by the slave labor of millions of anonymous inmates of his Gulag – or nuclear weapons, his traces are steeped in blood.

    Between 1929 and 1953 the state created by Lenin and set in motion by Stalin deprived 21.5 million Soviet citizens of their lives. No one in history has ever waged such war on his own people.
    Source: Dmitri Volkogonov. Autopsy for an Empire: The Seven Leaders Who Built the Soviet Regime. pp. 139

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  271. @Kurt Knispel

    This is an absolutely dishonest quoting from Hart, and the German generals, and it conclusively refutes this articles thesis.

    https://libgen.rs/book/index.php?md5=08936EEA136D18CDC55EDB4677284308

    Chapter 13

    The Impulse to Invade Russia

    [MORE]

    As a next stage in my enquiry I sought such light as the generals could shed on the
    question why Hitler invaded Russia. It was a dim light. Although the project had been
    incubating in his mind since July, 1940, and had taken definite form before the end of that
    year, it was remarkable how hazy most of his generals were about the reasons for a step
    that had decided their fate. Most of them had been apprehensive when they were told of
    the decision, but they were told very little, and told very late. Hitler was clever in the way he
    kept his commanders in separate “water-tight compartments” — each was told only what
    Hitler considered necessary for him to know in carrying out his own localized task. They
    were almost like prisoners on piecework in a row of cells.

    As I heard from all of them that Rundstedt had been the strongest opponent of the invasion
    — and the first to urge its abandonment — I was anxious to get his views on the question.
    He told me: “Hitler insisted we must strike before Russia became too strong, and that she
    was much nearer striking than we imagined. He provided us with information that she was
    planning to launch an offensive herself that same summer, of 1941. For my part, I was very
    doubtful about this
    — and I found little sign of it when we crossed the frontier. Many of us
    who had feared such a stroke had been reassured by the way the Russians had remained
    quiet during our battles in the West, in 1940, when we had our hands full. I felt that our
    best way of guarding against the danger was simply to strengthen our frontier defence,
    leaving the Russians to take the offensive if they chose. That would be the best test of their
    intentions, and less risk than launching into Russia.”
    I asked him further about the reasons that had led him to discredit Hitler’s belief in an
    imminent Russian offensive. He replied: “In the first place, the Russians appeared to be
    taken by surprise when we crossed the frontier. On my front we found no signs of offensive
    preparations in the forward zone,
    though there were some farther back. They had twenty
    five divisions in the Carpathian sector, facing the Hungarian frontier, and I had expected
    that they would swing round and strike at my right flank as it advanced. Instead, they
    retreated. I deduced from this that they were not in a state of readiness for offensive
    operations
    , and hence that the Russian Command had not been intending to launch an
    offensive at an early date.”

    • Replies: @Kurt Knispel
  272. L.K says:
    @GMC

    You are correct about the USA*, but then you create a FALSE equivalency by comparing the wars of choice and Empire of the US with the war of necessity fought by NS Germany against the Soviet Union.
    The ‘neutral’ Soviet ‘ally’ behaved in such a way behind Germanys back as to pose an existential threat to a Germany embroiled in a serious war she had NOT wanted with the West.

    BTW, it was the US government, not the Stalinist regime, which was the MAIN culprit for starting WW2. By 1937 Roosevelts New Deal had utterly failed and the US needed a war. It began instigating war in Europe already in 1937/38, pushing Poland, Britain and France toward confrontation with Germany. Without American meddling, the Danzig/corridor situation, i.e, to physically re-unite Germany, a situation created by the Great War victors with decisive US support, would probably have been resolved peacefully and war with Poland averted.

    * Former US President Jimmy Carter said the US has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 242-year history, making the country “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” Carter said. This is, he said, because of Washington’s tendency to force other nations to “adopt our American principles.”

    https://ifpnews.com/us-enjoyed-16-years-of-peace-in-its-242-year-history-carter

    • Agree: Carlton Meyer
  273. ivan says:
    @Patrick McNally

    Patrick, I have to hand this to you. You are a dab hand at pushing lies while mixing it up with half-truths.

    Christian rulers considered all of the globe to be fertile ground for evangelization according to you, but this had nothing to do with a monarch like Phillip II spending all his money defending Christian interests?

    In the same vein Suleiman the Magnificent was brought up to believe that the infidels inhabited Dar al Harb, the House of War but this had nothing to do with him wanting to bring the whole world under the Dar al Islam?

    And Pilsudski was to invade the Soviet Union according to your esteemed
    Soviet sources? Next you’ll be telling me that Mannerheim was planning to lunge for Leningrad, when Stalin had to regrettably stop him in a defensive war.

    Pull the other one Pat.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  274. @Carlton Meyer

    His reasoning is spelled out in the record which Halder made of the whole thing. He was persuaded that the only thing allowed Churchill to hang on was the possibility of using the USSR as an ally. At the time when he spoke of this July 31, 1940, Hitler was strongly contemplating an invasion of Britain, Operation Sealion, which could only depend on how the air war, the Battle of Britain, turned out. But the possibility was already open to consideration that the Luftwaffe might not be able to defeat the Royal Air Force and in that case an alternate option to invading Britain would have to be found. With that in mind Hitler decreed that next spring the USSR should be invaded. The only possible caveat being that if Operation Sealion went through then this might hold priority then.

    It’s not a matter of anything passing a “smell test” of any kind. Halder’s diary had long been available for anyone who bothers to look it up. No one had ever disputed its authenticity. After all Halder lived until 1972 and the diary itself is not some retroactive memoir but was simply taken from the daily records which Halder made at the time.

  275. L.K says:

    While it is known that the German leadership underestimated Soviet war capacities, it is less well known that Stalin overestimated Soviet military capabilities and underestimated those of the Germans.

    The newspaper Pravda, an organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, stated as much in May, 1991:

    Unrealistic [Soviet] plans of an offensive nature were drawn up before the war as a result of an overestimation of our own capabilities and an underestimation of the enemy’s. In accordance with these plans we began deploying our forces on the western frontier. But the enemy beat us to it.

    On May 5, 1941, Stalin delivered a speech* at a ceremonial banquet in the Kremlin to graduates of the Frunze Military Academy, which underscores the points made in the 1991 Pravda article:

    “Our war plan is ready … We can begin the war with Germany within the next two months … There is a peace treaty with Germany, but this is only a deception, or rather a curtain, behind which we can openly work …

    “The peaceful policy secured peace for our country … Now, however, with our reorganized army, which is technologically well prepared for modern warfare, now that we are strong, we must now go from defense to attack.

    “In fully defending our country, we are obliged to act offensively. We most move from defense to a military policy of offensive action. We must reorganize our propaganda, agitation, and our press in an offensive spirit. The Red Army is a modern army, and a modern army is an offensive army.

    “The motto of a peaceful policy of the Soviet government is now out of date, and has been overtaken by events … A new era in the development of the Soviet state has begun, the era of the expansion of its borders, not, as before, through a peaceful(!) policy, but rather by force of arms. Our country has available all the necessary conditions for this.

    “The successes of the German army are due to the fact that it has not encountered an equally strong opponent. Some Soviet commanders have falsely overestimated the successes of the German army …

    “Therefore, I propose a toast to the new era that has dawned in the development of our socialist fatherland. Long live the active offensive policy of the Soviet state!”

    Of course there was NOTHING peaceful about Soviet policy, as underscored by their invasion of Poland, grabbing more than half of that country, the invasion of Finland, annexation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as Bessarabia and Bukovina from Romania…
    * The text of a part of the speech was found by Russian historian Lev Bezymensky, in Kremlin archives. See also Sean McMeekin’s new book Stalin’s War, Prologue.

  276. @Patrick McNally

    ‘If you mean that the Allied plans themselves were silly, well, yes, I agree. If you mean that Patrick Osborn misread something in the documents, I doubt it, but check it out yourself and decide. Osborn obviously views all of the plans for Operation Pike as a monumental snafu. But that’s a different matter.’

    Alright then.

    But people — starting with our own Ron Unz — read far too much into Operation Pike. It was merely an attempt to somehow fight the German-Soviet combine without actually restarting the dread Western Front of the First World War.

    That’s all it was — an abortive attempt to find some way of striking at the enemy that wouldn’t be too painful to the Anglo-French themselves.

    …and nothing came of it. It all proved to be quite impracticable, given the range of the available aircraft, the absence of facilities in Northern Iraq, and the neutrality of Turkey.

    It’s all a bit like making a big deal of the fact that I once got so interested in emigrating to New Zealand that I worked out what I would have to do to ensure I was admitted.

    Well, I lost interest, and now I’ve gone on to other things. So?

  277. By 1937 Roosevelts New Deal had utterly failed and the US needed a war.

    HIGHLIGHTS OF MOBILIZATION, WORLD WAR II, 1938-1942; Office of the Chief of Military History; Department of the Army; Dr. Stetson Conn; 10 March 1959;
    https://history.army.mil/documents/WWII/ww2mob.htm

    and…

  278. Evidence from Albert Speer that Hitler had a plan to attack CCCP as early as 1936 and that it was a necessity to gather the means to deploy his Macht further. So that Suvorov thesis falls to pieces.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1979/08/31/archives/albert-speer-on-the-nazi-invasion-of-poland-sept-1-1939.html

  279. @Carolyn Yeager

    Madame Yeager,

    Unless you prove otherwise, I haven’t mentioned Bloch nor mr Brigg’s book “The Rabbi Saved by Hitler’s Soldiers”. I haven’t read that book and I won’t do it, there are much more book I would read if I can offer to acquire them, like Mr Vogel’s one. At the present moment I am reading Ariel Toaf’s book (unfortunatley the trunkated french translation) and Theodore Kaczynski’s manifesto in PDF. Close to my bed there is the second tome of the great Afghani poet Sayd Bahodine Majrouh “Ego Montre, Le rire des amants” about the psychopathology of power and a book about Maître Philippe of Lyon who is always a source of inspiration.

    I have absolutly no more sympathy for the Lubavitcher cult than I have for the Shabbateans/Frankists/transhumanists or the free Maçons or some Mithraïc psychos.

    Still, Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers is a must read.

    The mountains of bugey are full of beauty in this automn season, many birds of prey…

    If you know how to take care of yourself, that is a good thing, keep on doing it.

  280. @L.K

    England also resolved to go to war, even earlier than FDR.

    In 1935 England offered Germany a naval treaty allowing for a massive build-up of the Kriegsmarine. This was at the same a dagger stabbed in the back of England’s ally France, because it forced France to redeploy much of its Mediterranean fleet to the Atlantic and Channel coast, which meant a weakening of its strategic position.

    Now England’s covert ally Italy became the greatest maritime power in the Mediterranean.

    Meanwhile the Royal Air Force embarked on a build-up of its bomber force. In hindsight all of this is a clear indication that the “deep state” in England was planning for a war.

    • Agree: nokangaroos
  281. @Bugey libre

    Sorry, the Majrouh’s book is Ego Monstre, le Rire des Amants…

    Majrouh studied in the University of Montpellier and was found of French wine.

  282. @H. Ph. Vogel

    England’s “deep state” seems to always have been the engine of war and madness. It was the same for the first world war and I remember the creepy speech Tony Blair gave to the Brit ambassadors after 9/11…

  283. @Mulegino1

    The contingency that was at issue had nothing to do with Molotov. The contingency was about whether or not Operation Sealion, the planned invasion of Britain, could go through. When the Battle of Britain was won by the RAF that determined that a move against the USSR was the logical next option for toppling Churchill. The invasion of the USSR was expected to succeed within a few weeks or months at most.

    The later point is illustrated by the way that on July 14, 1941, just 22 days after the onset of Barbarossa. Hitler issued an edict that the emphasis in arms production should be shifted to U-boats and planes. This would prove costly for the Wehrmacht in Russia. But 3 weeks into Barbarossa it looked to Hitler as if the whole thing was in the bag.

    It’s true enough that Hitler was shocked by Molotov’s arrogant posture in November. But he never evinced any sign of having been persuaded that the USSR now represented a military challenge. Had he been worried over that he could have calmly kept the arms production focused on things which were most likely to benefit the Wehrmacht in the coming winter. But he always believed that that would be an easy campaign.

    The clownish nature of his rant with Mannerheim is shown by his absurd invented claim that the Germans had destroyed 34,000 Soviet tanks. This goes way beyond the Rezun-hoax of claiming that Stalin had “24,000 tanks” assembled to attack Hitler. In fact what the records from the Russian archives showed back in 1993 when it was then published in the Military History Journal was that across the entire expanse of the USSR there were 23,106 tanks in all conditions. Of these, 12,782 were in the Western Defense Districts while the rest were in places such as the Far East facing Japan. Of those in the Western Defense Districts, 10,540 were listed as combat-ready on June 1, 1941m while the other 2,242 were broken down needing repairs.

    But even if we somehow assumed that all 23,106 of these tanks were somehow brought to the West and destroyed by the German army, we would still be short of Hitler’s invented “34,000” by more than 10,000. Since Sean McMeekin has been enthusiastically quoted here on this site, and he insists that Soviet war production was virtually rendered inoperative by the start of Barbarossa, we can safely assume that this gap is not accounted for by new tanks produced after June 1, 1941. Especially since no one has ever alleged that the Soviet army ran out of tanks at any time in the war. Most likely this another case of Hitler making a tenfold exaggeration of numbers, the way that he did with the Bromberg massacre. Perhaps about 3,400 Soviet tanks were destroyed, or about one third of the 10,540 that were ready on June 1, 1941.

    The fact that Hitler makes up such nonsense with Mannerheim is simply evidence that this is not an honest conversation. If Roosevelt was found to have conversed with a foreign leader and given inflated figures this would be jumped all over by commenters here. But instead people display an innocent gullibility over Hitler’s talk with Mannerheim. Hitler’s purpose in that conversation was simply to rationalize the painful way that he had underestimated the capacity of the USSR prior to Barbarossa.

    • Replies: @Mulegino1
    , @Mulegino1
  284. Derer says:
    @Height_776

    Stalin initiated famous process against Jewish doctors at the time of his death, his death saved their lives – motive, opportunity and means.

    • Replies: @Height_776
  285. @Fox

    That’s one of the more absurd claims promoted in certain quarters. To be fair, neither David Irving nor Germar Rudolf attached themselves to this bit of silliness. The reality is that if such an outside conspiracy had been able to cause such disruption that Heinrich Himmler would have been given the boot. Instead he was promoted. That makes no sense if you believe that the Gestapo were so clumsy as to allow a large-scale operation like this to unfold within the Third Reich.

    Although there is no documentary record which lets us say exactly what was going on, a reasonable surmise can be made at a general level. In 1934 Hitler sought to appease the army by moving against the SA with The Night of the Long Knives. By 1937 Hitler had grown strong enough that he was ready to move against the army. He started this with a meeting that gave rise to Hossbach Memorandum. At the meeting Hitler tossed around a hypothesis that a big war was likely to occur in the next few years. Several prominent officers spoke out against this idea saying that it should be avoided. In the next year Hitler utilized a bunch of sex-scandals involving charges of homosexuality, pornography and such to remove the officers who had displayed qualms about another war approaching.

    While this was going on the SA began to capitalize off of the attacks on the officers and seemed to be strengthening its position at the expense of the army. Then Crystal Night occurred. As David Irving describes, Joseph Goebbels was deeply involved in stirring up the SA in ways which went around the normal command chain. But Goebbels himself seems likely to have been a dupe of Hitler and Himmler. To the extent that one goes by the idea of “cui bono?” then it’s obvious that Himmler was the big beneficiary, with the approval of Hitler. The SA was discredited by The Night of Broken Glass and Himmler was granted a rise in his authority. That would have been unthinkable if Hitler and Himmler had been caught off guard by an operation staged by foreign hands. More plausible is that Hitler and Himmler led Goebbels to egg the SA men on in the mistaken belief that his career would benefit. Then they turned the incident around to justify strengthening the SS over the SA.

    • Replies: @Alexandros
  286. @GazaPlanet

    If you read the actual transcript of Halder’s diary it is clear that Hitler did not in the least see the USSR as having any way of bringing Churchill’s war to a successful conclusion. What he argued was that the British would simply never give up as long as they thought there was still a possibility of the USSR entering the war. But he was not in the least bit concerned about the USSR as a military force. He was seeking a way to force the British leadership to give up any further hope of winning. To do that he expected that a rapid campaign in the spring of 1941 would lead to a swift conquest of the USSR and then the British would have to reconcile themselves to German mastery over Europe.

  287. @Bugey libre

    I did not say you mentioned Bloch and Bigg’s other book. I mentioned them to you to inform you about a much larger picture about your heros than you want to present. But what they actually represent, you don’t want to talk about at all. You are really a creature that one can have no respect for at all–no saving grace in you. In fact, you’re probably the worst I’ve ever come across here at Unz–out of a large company of such types. So I hope I don’t hear from you again.

  288. @Petermx

    Putin appears to be borrowing that hoax from Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn in his last ideological tract 200 Years tossed out an imaginary claim that “from 22 ministers in the first Soviet government three were Russian, one Georgian, one Armenian and 17 Jews.” In fact the Council of People’s Commissars which was the first Soviet government had 15 members with Trotsky as the only Jew, although one could count Lenin as a quarter-Jew.

    The last fad among hucksters seems to be that they will quote this false assertion by Solzhenitsyn about “the first Soviet government” and then when one points out that it pure BS they will suddenly out of nowhere dig up the story of the irrelevant “politburo” which briefly existed in 1917 and never did anything nor held any power. What causes confusion for some is that when Brezhnev reinstated the politburo in 1966 after its having been gone for 14 years, he now made the politburo into a powerful agency. Hence when the irrelevant politburo of 1917 is sometimes mentioned people may have the misconception that it was somehow a powerful body.

    The politburo that existed in 1917 lasted for 2 weeks, never played any role in the October Revolution, and was disbanded immediately after. It had had 5 members, with only Lenin and Trotsky playing a role in the October Revolution, neither of them acting under the authority of this politburo. The next politburo was formed in 1919. Regardless, Solzhenitsyn did not even mention that politburo and his 17/22 figures are a pure invention. Putin only damages his own credibility by rehashing such nonsense.

  289. Mulegino1 says:
    @Patrick McNally

    The contingency that was at issue had nothing to do with Molotov.

    Certainly Molotov’s response was part of that contingency as it would indicate Soviet intentions in the coming year.

    There is little controversy surrounding the aggressive actions of the USSR via the nations contiguous to its territory. The USSR, without bellicose provocation, had already invaded eastern Poland, annexed Bessarabia, invaded Finland and occupied the Baltic countries.

    If the Soviet Union had indeed joined the Tripartite Pact, it would have sealed Britain’s fate anyway, at a cost to Germany far below that of an invasion of the USSR. At that point, the political status quo in the US would have made intervention in the European theater virtually impossible.

    Besides, the order to plan an invasion of the USSR had not made the execution of same irrevocable not s at that point:

    On September 19, the OKW issued a document stating that the ‘real
    jobs’ – which were not to be made apparent to either the Romanian or the
    German mission’s members – were as follows:

    1. to protect the oil fields from the clutches of a third power, and from
    destruction;

    2. to enable the Romanian forces to fulfill specific tasks to a rigid plan
    aligned with German interests…

    3. to prepare the operations of German and Romanian forces from Romanian soil in the event we are forced into war with Soviet Russia.

    The reader should be reminded however that even at this stage no irrevocable order for an attack on Russia had been given; Hitler was still only
    preparing the military machine.

    David Irving, “Hitler’s War”

    So no, the irrevocable decision to attack the Soviet Union was not made in July of 1940.

    The clownish nature of his rant with Mannerheim is shown by his absurd invented claim that the Germans had destroyed 34,000 Soviet tanks.

    What “rant” are you referring to? The definition of “rant” is to speak or shout in a wild, impassioned way, or a tirade. There is no rant in the conversation with Mannerheim. Hitler speaks in a level, measured baritone throughout the the recording.

    If he did exaggerate the number of Soviet tanks destroyed, it was no doubt due to the embellishments of his commanders in their reports of enemy losses- something which tends to happen in every major conflict. How was Hitler in a position to know personally, with absolute exactitude, how many Soviet tanks had been destroyed?

    In fact what the records from the Russian archives showed back in 1993 when it was then published in the Military History Journal was that across the entire expanse of the USSR there were 23,106 tanks in all conditions. Of these, 12,782 were in the Western Defense Districts… Of those in the Western Defense Districts, 10,540 were listed as combat-ready on June 1, 1941m while the other 2,242 were broken down needing repairs.

    So even with the tanks under repair in the western districts, the Soviets had over a 5:1 advantage over the Germans along the western frontiers. This is entirely consistent with offensive intent.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  290. @H. Ph. Vogel

    This was at the same a dagger stabbed in the back of England’s ally France, because it forced France to redeploy much of its Mediterranean fleet to the Atlantic and Channel coast, which meant a weakening of its strategic position.

    I am currently researching for a mini-doc about Britain’s fixation with destroying the French fleet from 1941-1942. The cover story was to keep it out of Germany’s hands. But it was far more likely Vichy France would join the Axis each time Britain attacked. This was an empire kicking another empire in the ribs while it was down.

  291. @L.K

    Oleg Khlevniuk’s own book The History of the Gulag does not come out with anything even remotely like the claptrap which you’ve attributed to him. It may very well be that he just decided to start pumping inflated figures, or perhaps he is being misquoted. I won’t try to figure that out here. But everything which Khlevniuk wrote in his book was in line with the earlier brief succinct treatment given here:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20030514122730/etext.org/politics/stajlin/stajlin/articles/ahr/ahr.html

    That article comes originally from the American Historical Review of October 1993:

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/2166597

    Whether or not Khlevniuk has really backtracked from his more accurate treatment in The History of the Gulag or has simply been misquoted is a matter for another day. Certainly no one has reported any new discoveries in thee last 18 years which would substantively change what is gone through in that piece from the American Historical Review, Volume 98, Number 4.

    • Troll: L.K
    • Replies: @L.K
  292. Mulegino1 says:
    @Patrick McNally

    If Roosevelt was found to have conversed with a foreign leader and given inflated figures this would be jumped all over by commenters here.

    What do you mean, “if”? FDR was an incorrigible liar. He lied to everyone- except perhaps Stalin.

    He lied to the American people repeatedly; he lied about how much he hated “wah”; he deliberately provoked the Japanese into firing the first shot at Pearl Harbor by a long series of provocations (re: the McCollum Memorandum). He deceptively engaged in a secret and illegal naval war in the Atlantic.

    MacArthur was wrong about a lot of things, but he was right about FDR: “He never told the truth when a lie would suffice.”

    • Agree: Arthur MacBride
  293. TheIdiot says:

    “Indeed, Germany only invaded Russia in 1941 to search for the WMD”

    The reason humanity just entered the second Dark Age and a permanent dictatorship
    Is because Egberts Dickshits constantly re-write the history and get published

    Make no mistake, Germany will soon have another war with Russia –
    the last one ever of all wars for Germany
    and for its Dickshits

  294. @ivan

    Pilsudski did attack the USSR in April 1920. If you imagine that that comes from Soviet propaganda then you are really confused. As for Mannerheim, he contemplated giving some aid to the White forces in 1918 but avoided doing so because they declared the aim reestablishing the Czarist Empire. Lenin was instead nominally declaring his support for Finnish independence, so Mannerheim saw no incentive to aid the Whites. Even though Lenin proved in Georgia that he was willing to override the stuff about national independence when it was convenient, that was still not an incentive for Mannerheim to aid Kolchak. Pilsudski simply waited longer to 1920 when he was confident that the Whites could not be a threat to Poland and then decided to move against the USSR.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @ivan
  295. @Petermx

    What is your point in relation to anything I may have raised and you purported to reply to – except to show that you have a wandering mind which occasionally halts to focus on fodder for your Jew obsession?

  296. @Zachary Smith

    Thank you. I do use Archive.org, but the fingers of censorship are slowly showing their nails.

  297. @L.K

    “without American meddling, the Danzig/corridor situation, .. would probably have been resolved peacefully”

    Nonsense. It was Hitler’s occupation of Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939, which compelled the Poles to refuse to deal over Danzig. The documentary record shows that Jerzy Potocki, the Polish ambassador to Washington. expressed scathing contempt for Roosevelt as a tool of Jews. Nowhere is there any evidence of Poland’s stance over Danzig tightening up because of Roosevelt having some influence. It was simply when Hitler tore up the Munich Agreement that the Poles first cooperated in the dismembering of Czechoslovakia, but then decided that they could not afford to make any deals with Hitler over Danzig.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @John Wear
  298. @L.K

    How well authenticated is. that supposed speech by Stalin in May 1941? I am no specialist but it wreaks to me of fabrication.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  299. @L.K

    Actually, it’s well known that Stalin overestimated the ability of the Soviet army. This was why he had not made any plans to start a preemptive war but simply was willing to wait for Hitler to strike first. He thought that the Soviet army would be able to stop the German advance close to the border, just as the Prussian stopped the French advance in 1870. It was a big mistake.

    The importance of that May 5 speech was that it was part of the back and forth with Hitler. Stalin gave the speech and then arranged for excerpts to be leaked to German diplomats who reported back to Hitler. Stalin was trying to convey to Hitler that the USSR was ready to fight if his military build-up on the Soviet border was intended that way.

    Of course the later recommendation made by Zhukov on May 15 makes no sense at all if you assume that this May 5 speech was a declaration of intent by Stalin to launch a preemptive war. Zhukov recommended on May 15 that the USSR should strike first. But if Stalin had already given the order to do so on May 5, then Zhukov’s new proposal makes zero sense.

  300. Incitatus says:

    Interesting discussion of ‘what Stalin was thinking’ vis-à-vis historians.

    Hitler (after victory over France) wasn’t thinking about immanent attack. Quite the opposite, he viewed Russia as a low-hanging, rotten “house of cards”:

    “We must act. Moscow wants to keep out of the war until Europe is exhausted and bled dry. At that point Stalin is aiming to act, to Bolshevize Europe and begin his reign. Tokyo would never act against the USA if Russia was still intact in its rear. Thus Russia must be destroyed for this reason as well. England wants to maintain Russia as its hope for the future…But Russia would attack us if we became weak and then we would have a two-front war, which we shall avoid through this preventative action. Only then shall we have our backs free…We must also attack Russia in order to free up manpower. So long as the Soviet Union exists Germany is compelled to maintain 150 divisions, whose personnel is urgently needed for our war economy, for our weapons, U-Boat, and airplane programs…so that the USA can no longer threaten us.”
    -Adolf Hitler on Barbarossa, the impending invasion of Russia, to Joseph Göbbels 15 Jun 1941 Reich Chancellery, Berlin, Göbbels Tagebücher 16 Jun 1941

    Gee whiz! “Moscow wants keep out of the war” isn’t at all the same as ‘Moscow wants to immanently invade the Reich’. Hitler’s remedy? A quick campaign (a brief ‘two-front war’ on a rotten enemy, and Hitler had it under control – he walked with Providence). Hitler estimates the ‘action’ will take approximately four months and “Bolshevism will collapse like a house of cards.” Göbbels sums up:

    “Bolshevism must be destroyed, and England will then have its last conceivable continental sword struck from its hand…And when we’re victorious who will question our methods. We have done so many things that we must win because otherwise our whole nation, with us at the forefront with everything that is dear to us, would be eradicated.”
    -Joseph Göbbels [Longerich ‘Göbbels’ p. 478];

    Concern with destroying Russia to deprive England of a last potential continental ally is magnified in the Reichstag speech:

    “The victory on Poland, gained exclusively by German troops, gave me the occasion to extend a new offer of peace to the Western powers. It was rejected by the international and Jewish warmongers. The reason was that England still hoped to mobilize a European coalition against Germany that would include the Balkans and Soviet Russia. Those in London decided to send Ambassador Cripps to Moscow. He has clear orders to improve relations between England and Soviet Russia, and to develop them along lines England wanted.”
    – Adolf Hitler 22 Jun 1941 Address to the Reichstag

    The following day: (23 Jun 1941) Göbbels gives his staff three reasons for invading the USSR:
    1) “The possibility of mounting a major attack on England…did not exist so long as Russia remained a potential enemy [requiring troops defending the border]”;
    2) The attack will provide an enormous “increase in gasoline, petroleum and grain supplies”;
    3) “Conflict with Russia [is basically unavoidable]…For Europe to remain at peace for several decades Bolshevism and National Socialism could not exist side by side…It’s better for the conflict to happen now than when Russia has got its act together internally and has rearmed.” [Göbbels MK 23 Jun 1941, Tagebücher 24 Jun 1941; Longerich ‘Göbbels’ p. 480-481];

    Fifteen days later (8 July 1941) – Hitler orders Göbbels to start a new press campaign insisting the Barbarossa was pre-emptive defense against an imminent Soviet attack [Longerich ‘Göbbels’ p. 482]. Perhaps the Führer recognized his opponent was stronger than imagined, Russian space was infinite (only 25% of German invasion forces were mechanized – the rest – like Napoléon 1812 – were on foot or horse), and he’d need all the juju he could muster to excuse his cardinal mistake (fingers crossed).

    Though Stalin may have had future plans, immanent attack isn’t supported even in the Führer’s own fantasy world. Nor in Manstein’s accounts of what they found on invasion.

    Unz Review ‘Stalin was about to invade Germany’ is a perennial favorite: a ‘revisionist’ foil attempting to justify Barbarossa ala ‘Germany had no choice’. Much more palatable than admitting Hitler made a colossal blunder in opening a two-front continental war. Let alone lacking contingency plans for an extended campaign. By winter 1941 it was obvious to Germans:

    [MORE]

    “Many presented themselves for treatment with emergency bandages that had been applied more than a week before. One soldier has an exit wound in his upper arm. The whole arm was now black, and puss [sic] was running from his back down to his boots. We had to amputate it at the joint. Three of my helpers smoke cigars during the operation because the stench was so great.”
    -Medical Orderly Anton Günder, Army Group Center Dec 1941 [Stahel ‘Retreat from Moscow’ p.404];

    “I dare not tell the Führer that I have received reports that eighty percent of a battalion froze to death during the retreat. The Führer would reply that these casualties would not have occurred if positions had been held.”
    –Generaloberst Franz Halder to Generalfeldmarschall Günther von Kluge (commander Army Group Center requesting local freedom of acton) 26 Dec 1941 [Stahel ‘Retreat from Moscow’ p.206].

    Göbbels had to play PR catch-up instructing his press:

    “Particular care must therefore be taken when selecting PK pictures to avoid publication of pictures which might suggest that our troops have not been yet received any winter clothing. (Undesirable, for instance, are pictures showing a column of enemy prisoners in greatcoats, while their German escorts are marching along without coats. This danger exists, in particular, with older pictures).”
    – Joseph Göbbels, RMVP [Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda] Conference Minutes 18 Nov 1941 [‘The Secret Conferences of Dr. Göbbels: The Nazi Propaganda War 1939-43’ ed. Willi A Boelcke p.191]

    Winter clothing arrived late January 1942. Too late, of course, for the 80% battalion frozen to death mentioned by Halder. But nobody’s perfect.

    Other Führer blunders:
    • Ordering Schliefen Plan invasion of France Nov 1939 (despite exhausted troops, low ammunition, unfavorable weather prospects and an all-too well known plan): his generals talked him out of it, Manstein produced the Ardennes surprise;
    • Stopping the Jun 1940 land advance before Dunkirk, believing party crony Göring could destroy the enemy;
    • Believing party crony Göring could destroy Britain by air;
    • 9 Nov 1942 –ordering most of the 150,000 artillery and transport horses in Sixth Army be sent several hundred kilometers to the rear, ostensibly to save transporting fodder to the front at Stalingrad; it deprives all unmotorized divisions of mobility, removes any possibility of fluid movement or retreat; Paulus is ordered to send almost all his Panzer forces into the ‘final’ battle for Stalingrad [Beevor ‘The Second World War’ p.367-68];
    • Believing party crony Göring’s 22 Nov 1942 claim he could supply Stalingrad by air with 500 tons/day (700 tons/day requested); in fact fewer than 30 tons/day are delivered.

    The victims of incompetent, unaccountable German leadership (just like WW1) were millions of ordinary Germans (as well as tens-of-millions non-Germans).

    On Unz, ordinary Germans are once again victimized by want-to-bes aching for a rematch.

    • Replies: @Olivier1973
    , @Marcali
  301. Corrupt says:
    @Olivier1973

    What hypersonic missiles does the US have in Europe or Turkey?

  302. @Carlton Meyer

    Are you trying to con understandably and respectably ignorant people with a tabloid beat up on something long settled – – by common sense inter alia? Churchill had an agonising decision to make aimed at not losing the war in the near future. It is fantasy to suggest that reducing France’s strength as an imperial power even entered into it.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  303. @Wizard of Oz

    Ah… Isee Patrick McNally accepts and explains it.Do you agree with his interpretation?

    Ild still like to know how well authenticated it is. Where is it in German records?

  304. JackOH says:

    Churchill had an agonising decision to make aimed at not losing the war in the near future.

    Wiz, that’s my understanding also of the awful position Churchill was in, perhaps with emphases on “agonizing” and “not losing the war”. (I was not in Sir Winston’s fan club, and disliked his fawning cheerleaders. I guess I’ve come to understand a bit about the awful choices before him.)

    • Thanks: Wizard of Oz
  305. @Patrick McNally

    ‘…As for Mannerheim, he contemplated giving some aid to the White forces in 1918 but avoided doing so because…’

    Mannerheim’s a curious case. He really seems to have known how to talk to the Russians…and how to talk to Stalin.

    It was either incredible luck or a demonstration of Mannerheim’s genius that Finland emerged from the Second World War as autonomous, if not precisely independent. It should have wound up reabsorbed into the Bear, one way or another.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  306. @Wizard of Oz

    ‘Are you trying to con understandably and respectably ignorant people with a tabloid beat up on something long settled – – by common sense inter alia? Churchill had an agonising decision to make aimed at not losing the war in the near future. It is fantasy to suggest that reducing France’s strength as an imperial power even entered into it.’

    Most likely, ‘Carlton Meyer’ is French. They like to pretend to be objective and rational, but deep down inside…

    Inside every Frenchman is a Balkan Slavic lunatic chauvinist struggling to get out. And after all, what language does ‘chauvinist’ come from? Agincourt — Fashoda — Mers el Kebir…it’s all a plot.

    Q.E.D.

    • Thanks: Wizard of Oz
    • LOL: Bugey libre
  307. L.K says:
    @Patrick McNally

    Look, imbecile, the “claptrap’ I “attributed” to Oleg Khlevniuk was transcribed by me from HIS BOOK, which I gave the title for(Stalin: new biography of a dictator).

    I have noticed you are silent about Soviet Gen and historian Dmitri Volkogonov. Good.
    Here is a bit more, oh dear troll! Now from the Russian historian Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev, himself initially a fervent Stalinist:

    Stalin indeed turned out to be a worthy pupil of Lenin’s in his hatred and in his taste for blood. He not only carried on doggedly with Lenin’s criminal endeavors but completed the destruction of the peasant class in the dreadful years of collectivization and dekulakization, the most tragic in Russia’s history. To the sound of executions by rifle and machine gun, the country entered a frightful phase of its development, comparable perhaps only to the years of World War II. The Bolshevik regime did colossal damage to the national economy, destroyed the centuries-old traditions and foundations of the Russian village, and created an essentially feudal kolkhoz-sovkhoz system.

    The peasantry was finished off—finished off cruelly, bloodily. Except for the lords and masters of the nomenklatura, the entire country was forced for years to stand in line for bread and meat. It is a sin to forget this, a great sin.

    The famine was man-made, the handiwork of the Bolshevik rulers.

    My own many years of experience in the rehabilitation of victims of political terror allow me to assert that the number of people in the USSR who were killed for political motives or who died in prisons and camps during the entire period of Soviet power totaled 20 to 25 million. And unquestionably one must add those who died of famine—more than 5.5 million during the civil war and more than 5 million during the 1930s.

    SOURCE: Yakovlev, Alexander N. A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia.

  308. Vaterland says:

    Comment thread cluttered with all the worst people again who have either no idea what they are talking about or are actual shills. Exceptions are John Wear, Carolyn Yaeger, L.K. and Fox as usual and a few others.

    But it’s funny: just about now that America’s (((cultural industry))) is cranking out the latest anti-German torture porn, Twitter for example, is filled with the trans-Bolshevik bloodlust of the pronouns brigades. https://twitter.com/AmericanKrogan/status/1457502240214822913?cxt=HHwWgsC59Zaki7ooAAAA

    I am not sure though, if I should be scared of the murder and torture lust of transsexual furries…

    And even though America is, without a doubt, Germany’s enemy today, as in the past, is it a scary enemy at this point? Curtis Yarvin may shill American race war with Germany all he desires, I do wonder, if what they lack in real strength, they could actually compensate with their unfiltered psychopathic sadism. After all, the torture and murder fantasies are products of the physically crippled and impotent. Which in itself would already reveal the real character of America’s Kulturindustrie. And there are no more Pattons and McArthurs (in power) in America today. Or Bill Odoms for that matter.
    All they got are homosexuals like Peter Thiel and Jews like Yoram Harzony or Benjamin Netanyahu. Who is going to fight their war this time when the only class of people capable of doing so is their ‘American Nazi’ target today? Maybe that is what Curits Yarvin and Tucker Carlson are actually about: to give America a new white generation to be used to murder and torture Germans for their empire and leave the psychopathic fantasies of the trans-Bolsheviks for later, for German prisoners of war.

  309. L.K says:
    @H. Ph. Vogel

    In hindsight all of this is a clear indication that the “deep state” in England was planning for a war.

    As you know, since the late 19th century, part of the British elite turned very hostile toward the new, unified Germany.
    When Germany had been divided and weak, the British felt secure in their global hegemonic position, and their propaganda did not view the Germans as “brutish Huns”, etc.
    Once unified, Germany developed its economy very rapidly, and, despite not having a gigantic empire like the Brits – in fact the British Empire is the largest in history – became a serious economic competitor to Britain. It’s similar to the intense hostility that one now detects in USA elites towards a rising China. So eventually this very hostile anti-German sector of the British elite got together with the revanchist French, who had been soundly defeated in the Franco-Prussian war they STARTED, and Russian imperial designs over the straits and the Balkans, eventually provoking WWI.

    The British then started lobbying for the US to join in on their side. Interestingly, British and US relations had been generally strained during the 19th century, but later a rapprochement took place. The British obsession with Germany made them forget about the much more formidable rising rival across the Atlantic, the USA. Instead, the ‘too smart for their own good’ British helped US interventionism into European affairs, which had catastrophic consequences for Europe and set a speedier demise to the British, and French empires, good riddance.
    So, that influential portion of the British elites that were extremely germanophobic indeed kept working to destroy Germany, “Germaniam esse delendam”.
    German historian Max Klüver documents this process quite aptly in DIE KRIEGSTREIBER – Englands Politik gegen Deutschland 1937 -1939.

    That said, the US government was absolutely instrumental in supporting exactly this Germanophobic portion of the British elite, as well as inciting and pressuring the sectors which did not wish a new war, the same with the Poles and the French, all this already by 1938 and even earlier.
    Although the US war was directed outwardly against the Axis countries, with Germany being the key target, it also had the goal of bringing about the disintegration of the British Empire, which it did in the end, making the US, once and for all, the new world hegemon. Total hegemony was not to be however, at least for the duration of the Cold War and the eventual disintegration of the Soviet empire and its satellites.

    A good, concise book discussing the matter of US responsibility in provoking WW2 is Das erste Opfer des Krieges ist die Wahrheit – Wie die USA den Zweiten Weltkrieg planten, by E. Dahl.

    Vorwort
    So ungeheuerlich es auch klingen mag: Der Zweite Weltkrieg ist nicht von Adolf Hitler, sondern von Franklin D. Roosevelt geplant worden.
    Wie historische Dokumente zeigen, hatte das Weiße Haus seit Herbst 1938 politischen Druck auf Polen, Frankreich und England ausgeübt und sie zu einem Krieg gegen Deutschland genötigt. Hiermit, so die Hauptaussage dieses Buches, haben sich die USA einer indirekten Kriegsentfesselung schuldig gemacht.
    Das Motiv, das Roosevelt dabei verfolgte, bestand keineswegs darin, die Welt von der „Pest des Nationalsozialismus“ zu befreien. Es bestand auch nicht darin, Hitlers vermeintliche Pläne einer „Eroberung der Welt“ oder einer „Auslöschung der Juden“ zu vereiteln. Das Motiv war, wie bei nahezu allen Kriegen, rein ökonomischer Natur.

    Roosevelt war mit seiner neuen Wirtschaftspolitik, dem „New Deal“, gescheitert. Wie Hitler, so hatte auch Roosevelt bei seiner Wahl versprochen, sein Volk wieder in Lohn und Brot zu bringen. Anders als Hitler konnte Roosevelt sein Versprechen aber nicht einlösen. Von den 14 Millionen Menschen, die 1933 arbeitslos waren, waren 1938 immer noch 10 Millionen arbeitslos. Wie schon der Erste Weltkrieg, so sollte nun auch der Zweite Weltkrieg die Wirtschaft ankurbeln, die Arbeitslosigkeit beseitigen und der Rüstungs- und der Finanzindustrie riesige Gewinne ermöglichen. Tatsächlich sorgte der Kriegseintritt der USA schon 1943 für Vollbeschäftigung.

    Zudem übernahm Amerika geopolitisch wichtige Stützpunkte des britischen Imperiums.
    Und schließlich sorgte der Krieg sogar dafür, dass die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika zu der größten Weltmacht auf Erden wurden.
    Diese Sicht auf den Zweiten Weltkrieg mag verstörend wirken. Doch sie ist keineswegs neu. Tatsächlich war sie bereits unmittelbar nach dem Ende des Krieges von vielen amerikanischen Politikern und Historikern vertreten worden.
    Dieses Buch erhebt daher auch keinerlei Anspruch auf Originalität.
    Edgar Dahl Gießen, im Sommer 2019

    • Agree: nokangaroos
    • Thanks: Arthur MacBride
    • Replies: @nokangaroos
    , @H. Ph. Vogel
  310. ivan says:
    @Patrick McNally

    Pilsudski did attack the USSR in April 1920. You are right there, I apologise. But there is less to this to this than meets the eye. As is usual with the Soviets, they organise rag-tag bands of flotsam and jetsam of various nationalities into militias, with the intent of carrying the Revolution abroad when the opportunity arose. But by your logic, these are not acts of war, just pantomine. Sabotage and unrelenting propaganda through fifth columnists are just the instruments by which liberation is achieved.

    I am familiar with this line of horseshit : Whatever the Communists do is justified in the light of the struggle of the “masses” for liberation, or the unfolding of the World Geist but if anyone were to resist them, they are lackeys, imperialists and reactionaries fit to be consigned to the dustbin of history, with great gnashing of teeth from the Reds. It sounds very much like Jewish BS about how if anyone were to oppose them, it must because they are Amalek, or against God or idolators and evildoers. But if they in turn were on the offensive, this is out of sheer necessity, the arc of history or the irredeemably evil nature of their enemies.

    Anyway thanks for your reply, for otherwise I would not have looked up this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish–Soviet_War

  311. @Patrick McNally

    ‘Nonsense. It was Hitler’s occupation of Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939, which compelled the Poles to refuse to deal over Danzig. The documentary record shows that Jerzy Potocki, the Polish ambassador to Washington. expressed scathing contempt for Roosevelt as a tool of Jews. Nowhere is there any evidence of Poland’s stance over Danzig tightening up because of Roosevelt having some influence. It was simply when Hitler tore up the Munich Agreement that the Poles first cooperated in the dismembering of Czechoslovakia, but then decided that they could not afford to make any deals with Hitler over Danzig.’

    What reason do you have for thinking that Poland was prepared to negotiate over Danzig at any point?

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  312. @Patrick McNally

    Mr Mc Nally,

    Can you provide a source for your claim? I would like to check by myself because what you pretend would then be a game changer . Thank you and have a good day.

    • Thanks: Bugey libre
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  313. John Wear says:
    @Patrick McNally

    You write: “It was simply when Hitler tore up the Munich Agreement that the Poles first cooperated in the dismembering of Czechoslovakia, but then decided that they could not afford to make any deals with Hitler over Danzig.”

    My response: Hitler did not tear up the Munich Agreement. Please read my
    article at https://www.inconvenienthistory.com/12/4/7463 for more information.

    In regard to why Poland “could not afford to make any deals with Hitler over Danzig,” please read my
    article at https://www.inconvenienthistory.com/11/1/6391 for more information.

    Hitler did not violate the Munich Agreement, and did not create conditions which caused Poland not to make any deals with Hitler.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
    , @karel
  314. @Matt Anonymous Mitt

    …says the politician.

    As headlined the quote stems from “The other side of the hill”

    (and now you are quoting from a different book…)

    Are you getting paid? I am not.

    [MORE]

    What are you trying to proof?

    That Germans invaded Russia?
    Germans invaded Russia!

    It is true: We invaded Russia. Fullstop.
    Our leader was an artist; unfortunately not a Ludendorff.
    The artist should have painted and befriended Jewgashvili instead of licking the Pope.
    We failed.
    We failed to kill all the traitors beforehand, including Hitler.
    He did not understand evil Rome (and betrayed South Tyrolia e.g.)
    We failed to kill 6 million Jews.
    We failed to nuke Jewyork. (We could have)
    We failed to nuke London (We could have)
    We fostered Paris.
    We fostered Rome.
    We did not delete the VatiCan (We could have)
    We utterly failed.
    (Hitler feared the threatened Allied mega gas attack).

    That is why the world is in such a mess today.
    Germany failed to be ruthless.

    “It is a Jewish world. It is our world”, as the ruthless howl (since 1913 all openly)

    • Troll: Carolyn Yeager
    • Replies: @more Anonymous Mott
  315. @L.K

    The “Huns” were an own goal of Wilhelm II who sent a congratulatory telegram to his troops during the Boxer Uprising, exhorting them to
    “make the German name feared like whilom the Huns´”,
    and it was pounced on by propaganda (maybe not common knowledge 😉 ).

  316. @L.K

    entire period of Soviet power totaled 20 to 25 million. And unquestionably one must add those who died of famine—more than 5.5 million during the civil war and more than 5 million during the 1930s.

    Completely irrealist figures. The CCCP lost more than 26 millions people because of the WW2, which is showed by the demographic evolution. In no other period was there such a diminution of the population.

    Pure anti-soviet propaganda.

    And why not to mention the demographic collapse of the Eltsine area?

  317. @Incitatus

    This revisionist thesis is meant for today when the current propaganda wants the EU people to believe that Russia is getting ready to invade them. Same plot as in 1941; today it is the NATO which is ready to attack Russia. Too bad, the agressors would be destroyed as the US Al-Tanf base in Syria was destroyed.

  318. @Derer

    I agree, but the so-called “Doctor’s Case” this is only the tip of the iceberg and the end of the story.
    On the eve of Stalin’s death, two issues-projects were acute. Jewish autonomy in Crimea or Jewish autonomy in Far East(Birobidzhan)…
    In May 1928, in the Far East, in the former district of the Amur region, an autonomy for Jews was created with the administrative center of Birobidzhan.
    But the Jews wanted Crimea and did not move to the Far East. in 1944, a letter from Mikhoels, Fefer and Epstein about Jewish autonomy in the Crimea was sent to Stalin. An attempt the project of Jewish autonomy in the Crimea in 1944 was rejected by Stalin. But there are rumors that there was an agreement: autonomy in the Crimea in exchange for the transfer of American nuclear secrets to the USSR. Was Stalin preparing to deport Jews to Birobidzhan in 1953? It is not known for sure.But the Soviet Jews were sure that a mass deportation to the Far East was being prepared.
    The Israeli historian K. Lerner wrote that “during Stalin’s lifetime it was planned to expel all Jews from Georgia.

    • Replies: @Mulegino1
  319. @Bankotsu

    No, only half of the Wehrmacht at the Bolshois’ hands and that after the big surrender, after the 8th of May; similar to the courages JewSau-Army:

    „April Prisoner Bag Over 1,000,000 Paris. April 24-AF-The Allied bag of German prisoners during April already has passed the one million mark with six more days left in the month. From April 1 to 22 inclusive 992,578 prisoners were killed. It is estimated that well over 20,000 were captured yesterday.“

    …992,578 prisoners were killed…

    US & SU, the two sides of the same bloody Shekel!

  320. @L.K

    Thanks for those comments! Of course Edgar Dahl is right, but his book confirms earlier research and insights offered by others. All things considered, there is a quite a lot of evidence for what he and others are sustaining, it is just that it never seems to find its way to the work of the court historians, which for some reason is invariably praised to the skies.

    I think the best work on the topic is by Gerd Schulze-Rhonhoff, Der Krieg der Viele Väter hatte, are you familiar with that?

    • Replies: @L.K
  321. @Carlton Meyer

    England has never been a trustworthy ally. Perfide Albion, after all. But then again, deception is inseparable from politics.

    • Thanks: Bugey libre
  322. Mulegino1 says:
    @Patrick McNally

    The composition of the first Soviet government:

    Bronstein (Trotsky) Jew
    Apfelbaum (Zinovief) Jew
    Lourie (Larine) Jew
    Ouritski Jew
    Volodarski Jew
    Rosenfeldt (Kamanef) Jew
    Smidovitch Jew
    Sverdlof (Yankel) Jew
    Nakhamkes (Steklof) Jew
    Ulyanov (Lenin) Russian
    Krylenko Russian
    Lounatcharski Russian

    “The Council of the People’s Commissars comprises the following:

    [MORE]

    MINISTRY NAME NATIONALITY
    President Ulyanov (Lenin) Russian
    Foreign Affairs Tchitcherine Russian
    Nationalities Djugashvili (Stalin) Georgian
    Agriculture Protian Armenian
    Economic Council Lourie (Larine) Jew
    Food Schlichter Jew
    Army & Navy Bronstein (Trotsky) Jew
    State Control Lander Jew
    State Lands Kauffman Jew
    Works V. Schmidt Jew
    Social Relief E. Lelina (Knigissen) Jewess
    Public Instruction Lounatcharsky Russian
    Religions Spitzberg Jew
    Interior Apfelbaum (Zinovief) Jew
    Hygiene Anvelt Jew
    Finance Isidore Goukovski Jew
    Press Volodarski Jew
    Elections Ouritski Jew
    Justice I. Steinberg Jew
    Refugees Fenigstein Jew
    Refugees (assist.) Savitch Jew
    Refugees (assist.) Zaslovski Jew

    “The following is the list of members of the Central Executive Committee:

    NAME NATIONALITY
    Sverdlov (president) Jew
    Avanessof (sec.) Armenian
    Bruno Lett
    Babtchinski Jew
    Bukharin Russian
    Weinberg Jew
    Gailiss Jew
    Ganzburg Jew
    Danichevski Jew
    Starck German
    Sachs Jew
    Scheinmann Jew
    Erdling Jew
    Landauer Jew
    Linder Jew
    Wolach Czech
    Dimanstein Jew
    Encukidze Georgian
    Ermann Jew
    Joffe Jew
    Karkline Jew
    Knigissen Jew
    Rosenfeldt (Kamenef) Jew
    Apfelbaum (Zinovief) Jew
    Krylenko Russian
    KrassikofSachs Jew
    Kaprik Jew
    Kaoul Lett
    Ulyanov (lenin) Russian
    Latsis Jew
    Lander Jew
    Lounatcharski Russian
    Peterson Lett
    Peters Lett
    Roudzoutas Jew
    Rosine Jew
    Smidovitch Jew
    Stoutchka Lett
    Nakhamkes (Steklof) Jew
    Sosnovski Jew
    Skrytnik Jew
    Bronstein (Trotsky) Jew
    Teodorovitch Jew
    Terian Armenian
    Ouritski Jew
    Telechkine Russian
    Feldmann Jew
    Froumkine Jew
    Souriupa Ukranian
    Tchavtchevadze Georgian
    Scheikmann Jew
    Rosental Jew
    Achkinazi Imeretian
    Karakhane Karaim (Jew)
    Rose Jew
    Sobelson (Radek) Jew
    Sclichter Jew
    Schikolini Jew
    Chklianski Jew
    Levine (Pravdine) Jew

    “The following is the list of members of the Extraordinary Commission of Moscow:

    NAME NATIONALITY
    Dzerjinski (president) Pole
    Peters (vice-president) Lett
    Chklovski Jew
    Kheifiss Jew
    Zeistine Jew
    Razmirovitch Jew
    Kronberg Jew
    Khaikina Jewess
    Karlson Lett
    Schaumann Jew
    Leontovitch Jew
    Jacob Goldine Jew
    Glaperstein Jew
    Kniggisen Jew
    Latzis Lett
    Schillenkuss Jew
    Janson Lett
    Rivkine Jew
    Antonof Russian
    Delafabre Jew
    Tsitkine Jew
    Roskirovitch Jew
    G. Sverdlof Jew
    Biesenski Jew
    Blioumkine Jew
    Alexandrevitch Russian
    I. Model Jew
    Routenberg Jew
    Pines Jew
    Sachs Jew
    Daybol Lett
    Saissoune Armenian
    Deylkenen Lett
    Liebert Jew
    Vogel German
    Zakiss Lett

    Of course, everyone who claims that Jews were overrepresented in the first Soviet government was wrong: Churchill was wrong, British Intelligence was wrong, American Intelligence was wrong, Solzhenitsyn was wrong, and Putin is wrong. The Jews had almost nothing to do with the revolution and its aftermath. They were just, as always, poor innocent scapegoats.

    When Bolshevism and the USSR were popular and considered the wave of the future ( a la Bernard Shaw, John Dewey, inter alia), international Jewry gladly acknowledged the murderous, central role that the Jews played in it.

    • Agree: John Wear
  323. Mulegino1 says:
    @Height_776

    In 1944, a letter from Mikhoels, Fefer and Epstein about Jewish autonomy in the Crimea was sent to Stalin. An attempt the project of Jewish autonomy in the Crimea in 1944 was rejected by Stalin.

    They tried again, on an international level, to achieve their (neocon/oligarch based) autonomy in Crimea in 2014, but again, they failed.

    • Replies: @Derer
    , @Height_776
  324. @Colin Wright

    Mannerheim’s astuteness was shown early on when he was able to maintain basic courteous relations with someone like Vaino Tanner, the leading Finnish Social Democrat whose party had initially dumped him in forming the Finnish Communist Party. Tanner became Prime Minister of Finland in 1926 and went on holding positions in later Finnish governments before being sentenced to 5 years in 1946 over WWII. Mannerheim’s handling of Tanner would be analogous to Admiral Kilchak maintaining polite relations with Julius Martov. The Russian Whites were never as sensible as Mannerheim had been in assessing political reality.

  325. @L.K

    Year-by-year deaths in the Gulag, broken down into camo deaths, prison deaths and colony deaths, are reproduced from the archives on pages 214-5 of Michael Haynes & Rumy Husan, A Century of State Murder? Death and Policy in Twentieth Century Russia. As an example, the year 1938 had 14,799 colony and prison deaths as well as 90,546 camp deaths. Hence about 105,345 deaths. Definitely one of the worst peace-time years in the Gulag. But nowhere close to 1 million Gulag deaths in a single year. Of course these death rates were much higher during 1942 with 103,673 colony deaths, 29,788 prison deaths and 248,887 camp deaths, for a total of 382,348. Even at this high point of the war the death toll, no matter how ugly, was well short of an annual million.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  326. @Colin Wright

    It’s obviously impossible to say for sure what would have happened, but it is clear that Poland tightened its hold on Danzig after the occupation of Czechoslovakia. One might ascribe this to Chamberlain’s declaration of support for Poland, but Chamberlain only gave that declaration of support of Poland as a response to the occupation of Czechoslovakia. Without the takeover of Czechoslovakia there would have been no such British declaration of support. Now may be the Poles would have been arrogant enough to still pick a fight on their own over Danzig. But there are signs of a different view among Polish officials before March 15, 1939.

    As an example, Jerzy Potocki reported on February 9, 1938, to the Foreign Ministry in Wardaw that:

    “The pressure of the Jews on Roosevelt and on the State Department is becoming ever more powerful… In conversation with Jewish press representatives I have repeatedly come up against the inexorable and convinced view that war is inevitable. This international Jewry supports every means of propaganda to oppose any tendency towards any kind of consolidation and understanding between nations. In this way, the conviction is growing steadily but surely here that the Germans and their satellites, in the form of fascism, are enemies who must be subdued by the ‘democratic world.’”

    Potocki was the Polish ambassador to the United States and many of his commentaries all the way into early 1939 show a sympathy to Germany while repeatedly stating suspicions of Jewish motives. It’s obvious that Roosevelt wasn’t influencing Potocki to seek a war with Germany. Rather, Potocki was suspicious of the motives which Roosevelt had for wanting such a confrontation. But all of this became irrelevant after the occupation of Czechoslovakia.

    Granted, it still is possible that the high command in Warsaw might have been more reckless than Potocki was and might have chosen a war over Danzig even if Hitler had not taken over Czechoslovakia in violation of the Munich Agreement. But that’s by no means obvious, and even if they had then British policy would have been geared towards reaching a fast settlement instead of declaring war. Britain quite specifically chose its course of action because of the March 15 occupation of Czechoslovakia.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @Alexandros
  327. @Bugey libre

    I’m not really sure which claim you have in mind, but if you just mean the quote from Solzhenitsyn that can be accessed online and Wikipedia in its article on 200 Years even carries a link to the text.

    • Replies: @Bugey libre
  328. @John Wear

    That just regurgitates Hoggan’s misrepresentation of what went on. Hitler called in Tiso on March 13 and Hitler threatened that if Tiso did not invite a German protectorate then Hitler would support Hungary in annexing Slovakian territory. It was not a matter of Hitler just noticing “Gee whiz, I notice that Slovakia wants to declare independence.” It was a case of Hitler simply telling Tiso that if he didn’t Hitler’s protectorate then he might find himself annexed by Horthy with Hitler’s blessing. Hitler used such pressure tactics to make Tiso and Hacha agree to everything as an alternative to having Hungary and Poland come down on them. It was a contrived agreement which would never have occurred as a spontaneous event in March 1939. Hoggan was just smoothing over the reality of how Hitler threatened and forced Tiso and Hacha to accept his terms.

    • Replies: @John Wear
  329. @Patrick McNally

    ‘Granted, it still is possible that the high command in Warsaw might have been more reckless than Potocki was and might have chosen a war over Danzig even if Hitler had not taken over Czechoslovakia in violation of the Munich Agreement. But that’s by no means obvious, and even if they had then British policy would have been geared towards reaching a fast settlement instead of declaring war. Britain quite specifically chose its course of action because of the March 15 occupation of Czechoslovakia.’

    I’d agree with this as far as it goes.

    I’d merely add that my belief is that the Poles — rightly or wrongly — are chronically intransigent. It’s definitely academic, but even if there had been a kinder, gentler Germany, I don’t think the Poles would have compromised with it.

  330. @Patrick McNally

    Hitler, cui bono? That is an absurd claim. The incident was a catastrophe for Hitler. He had spent the good part of 5 years convincing the world he was not the rabid lunatic the media presented him as. Largely he had been successful. In one night it was all shattered.

    The image of the Gestapo as all seeing and all knowing is a myth. Look at the numbers, they were a tiny agency with only a handful of men in the field. There were conspiracies at the highest level and it did not get fully uncovered until July 1944. At best the Gestapo had a decent grasp on regular Germans. They did not control the flow of foreigners coming over the borders. Contrary to what you might expect Germany was not a closed country like the USSR or North Korea. It is entirely plausible that foreign provocateurs could exploit the mood in a fully anti semitic country following the assassination of Von Rath by a Jew. We know Grynzpan was funded and protected by high Jewish circles. We know there is no evidence and no motive linking Heydrich or Himmler to the events. Goebbels was the Reich Propagandaminister. He would be mad to attempt something going completely contrary to his job description and personal conviction, and as before, no evidence. The evidence we do have all points to anonymous men smashing windows and stirring up shit in quite a robotic way, then disappearing into the night after the mob took over.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  331. @Patrick McNally

    ‘Year-by-year deaths in the Gulag, broken down into camo deaths, prison deaths and colony deaths, are reproduced from the archives on pages 214-5 of Michael Haynes & Rumy Husan, A Century of State Murder? Death and Policy in Twentieth Century Russia. As an example, the year 1938 had 14,799 colony and prison deaths as well as 90,546 camp deaths. Hence about 105,345 deaths. Definitely one of the worst peace-time years in the Gulag. But nowhere close to 1 million Gulag deaths in a single year. Of course these death rates were much higher during 1942 with 103,673 colony deaths, 29,788 prison deaths and 248,887 camp deaths, for a total of 382,348. Even at this high point of the war the death toll, no matter how ugly, was well short of an annual million.’

    But these are merely recorded deaths. The Russians actually had quite an accounting problem with deaths that occurred, but for whatever reason, couldn’t be recorded.

    I’d guess that ultimately, the fallacy you’re falling into here will turn out to be a variation on the Holocaust denial routine. ‘Well, you can’t PROVE these deaths happened — so they didn’t occur.’

    One has to appraise all the evidence — recorded, claimed, demographic, anecdotal, cultural…

    Do that, and something around a million killings and excess camp deaths per year in the Soviet Union sounds about right. These people did not have a high survival rate. When we can isolate a specific group and look at it, we get some idea. For example, of the hundreds of thousands of Poles deported in 1939-40, by the time the tune changed in 1941, a third were already dead.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  332. @Mulegino1

    The Council of People’s Commissars which was formed right after the October Revolution did not have the people whom you have listed.

    https://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/decree-forming-soviet-government-1917

    • Replies: @Mulegino1
    , @Mulegino1
    , @Ron Unz
  333. @Alexandros

    The obvious motive for Himmler and Hitler was that they wanted to put the SA away and concentrate authority onto the SS. If this had really been a Zionist plot hatched under Himmler’s nose then Himmler himself would have been at least fired. It would not have been a trivial failing to have such a secret Zionist plot raise disturbances across Germany without the Gestapo ever having caught anyone. That fact that Hitler promoted Himmler right after the event shows that Hitler had no fears that the whole thing had been stirred up by outside agents.

    • Replies: @Alexandros
  334. @Colin Wright

    Throughout the war there was a lot of people dying in various areas scattered far and wide, but if one is talking about camps and such in a proper sense during peacetime then any margin of error would be well contained. The obvious thing is that i one is going to consider all evidence such as anecdotal and cultural then this clearly does not support such a claim. Solzhenitsyn’s own recollections that “the brightest of futures lay ahead” when recalling the time of 1937 is quite typical of most people who lived through the era. There is no indication of anyone noticing year after year a sudden disappearance of a million in unexplained ways. What is common is people having a great sense of optimism about the better future they were building and then, for some of them, suddenly being arrested and baffled over how the police could have mistaken them for an enemy agent. But nothing about the demographics i either 1939 or other years supports such claims of a million dying year after year. For that to be true the USSR would have needed to maintain the high birth rates which had existed in the decade before WWI. Instead every demographic recording shows that birth and death rates had gone down by 1939 from where they were in 1913, and by the 1950s the death rates would fall much more drastically while the birth rates didn’t start to go down much until the 1970s.

    • Disagree: Colin Wright
  335. John Wear says:
    @Patrick McNally

    You write: “Hoggan was just smoothing over the reality of how Hitler threatened and forced Tiso and Hacha to accept his terms.”

    My response: David Hoggan had a PhD in diplomatic history from Harvard University, took the time to learn Polish to read all of the documents, did extremely extensive research into this historical period, and had no financial interest to reach his conclusions. In fact, his teaching career suffered from making what you call his “misrepresentations.” What documentary support do you have for your conclusions?

    • Agree: Mulegino1
  336. @Mulegino1

    I hope the well informed Patrick McNally, even if a confederate of team Sean, will help sort out this confusion.

  337. @Patrick McNally

    When speaking of Germany occupying Czechia, not Slovakia, it is helpful to illustrate the political realities of the day. It was in fact the Czech President Hacha who came to Hitler to request “protection” in light of deteriorating political stability. Otherwise people are left with the impression Hitler woke up one day and decided to invade a neighboring state. Czechia was on shaky ground with domestic disturbances and hostile, expansionist neighbors looking for any opening. Poland had already exploited events to unilaterally grab territory. When a Czech willingly submits himself to German rule you know he is in a pretty tough spot.

    Whether this move was a mistake or not depends on perspective. Public relations wise it is a terrible move and it would be wise to allow the Czech crisis to unfold without German interference. That however will guarantee that the Czech state falls into the lap of hostile powers. Geography wise it is still a country that protrudes into the Reich. “A staging ground for enemy bombers” as the French said after engineering the state at Versailles.

    Clearly Hitler favored military security over foreign relations in this instance. Already in January Chamberlain had admitted the Munich pact was just a ploy to gain time for military preparations. Probably Hitler too saw war coming and was focused on any geopolitical gains he could make to strengthen the Reich before it broke out. Germany’s subsequent aggression bears evidence to their ruthless mindset once they feel the door on peaceful solutions have been shut.

  338. @Patrick McNally

    I’m sorry but that is completely ludicrous. Hitler was supreme leader of the SA. The moment to “cull them” came in 1934. From then on they were his to do with as he wished.

    We are supposed to believe he would provoke an international incident with severe ramifications to German foreign policy for this? It is complete nonsense. You know it is. If that was the goal there would be any number of low key alternatives available. Hitler is the last guy in the world who would want this.

    Likely Himmler was promoted because this was exactly the type of crisis for such a man to make himself useful. He wasn’t blamed because he didn’t do anything wrong. Hitler blamed Goebbels instead, but I guess he soon realized the futility of such blame. Hitler wasn’t exactly innocent of incitement himself. The lack of an investigation suggests he considered the whole thing embarrassing and wanting to move on.

  339. @Mulegino1

    I’ll assume that this was just a casual typo. 10,540/3,350 is around 3.1463. A clear numerical advantage, but not by 5.

    Hitler was prone to exaggerations in his rhetoric. While realistic estimates of the number of ethnic Germans killed in the Bromberg Massacre range from 2,000 to 5,800, Hitler promoted the claim of 58,000. Hitler also tried claiming to his own officers in a speech of December 12, 1944, that the US Army had “lost about 240,000 men in just three weeks.” While the Battle of the Bulge did create some troubles for the US Army, no estimate of US casualties from those 3 weeks, even when wounded and missing are included, has ever remotely approached 240,000. This inventiveness with numbers is where Hitler gets the 34,000 from.

    • Replies: @Mulegino1
    , @Alexandros
  340. Mulegino1 says:
    @Patrick McNally

    So we have dueling lists.

    What makes your list more accurate than the one I provided? After all, Putin himself validated the overwhelmingly preponderant role of Jews in the first Soviet government. But he must not be in a position to know, right? Neither was Solzenhitsyn, right?

    Neither were the philo-semite Churchill nor the American intelligence officer Montgomery Schuyler presumably.

    The revolution was clearly dominated by the Russian Orthodox, right?

    • Agree: Bugey libre, HdC
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  341. Mulegino1 says:
    @Patrick McNally

    “It is probably unwise to say this loudly in the United, States, but the Bolshevik movement is and has been since its beginning guided and controlled by Russian Jews of the greasiest type, who have been in the United States and there absorbed every one of the worst phases of our civilization without having the least understanding of what we really mean by liberty. (I do not mean the use of the word liberty which has been so widespread in the United States since the war began, but the real word spelt the same way), and the real Russian realizes this and suspects that Americans think as do the loathsome specimens with whom he now comes in contact. I have heard all sorts of estimates as to the real proportion of Bolsheviks to that of the population of Siberia and I think the most accurate is that of General Ivanov-Rinov who estimates it as two per cent. There is hardly a peasant this side of the Urals who has the slightest interest in the Bolshevik or his doings except in so far as it concerns the loss of his own property and, in fact, his point of view is very much like that of our own respectable farmers, when confronted with the I [?] ideal.”

    –Captain Montgomery Schuyler, American Expeditionary Forces Siberia, Intelligence Section

    • Thanks: L.K
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  342. Mulegino1 says:
    @Patrick McNally

    Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxemburg (Germany ), and Emma Goldman (United States)…. this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence and impossible equality, has been steady growing….with the exception of Lenin, the majority of leading figures are Jews.

    Winston Churchill

    Again, another wrong headed goy who missed the fact that the Bolshevik revolution was brought about mainly by the Russian Orthodox Christians. Again, the poor scions of Judah were simply scapegoats”

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Patrick McNally
  343. Incitatus says:

    “This [Hácha’s dismissal of Nazi ally Tiso] is a launching pad. Now we can get a complete solution to the problem we were only half able to solve in October…Decision: on Wednesday15 March [1939], we’ll invade and destroy the entire monstrous construct that is Czechoslovakia”

    – Joseph Göbbels Tagebücher part 1, vol.6, p.279f

    Whad’ya think John Wear? No need to parse remarks with some crackpot Harvard PhD. Here you’ve got Clubfoot Joe, the root of truth!

    No need to thank me.

    • Replies: @Fox
  344. @Patrick McNally

    The realistic number is at least 58,000 for the Polish campaign. That number was provided by the Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau. 5000 is just the number of confirmed cases, the larger number is assumed cases based on named missing persons. Hitler was in fact not exaggerating at all and only using dry “independent” government statistics. Probably thinking the number was high enough as it was and exaggerating it would only make it less credible. The Bureau was certainly not a Nazi instrument.

    • Agree: Mulegino1
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  345. Fox says:
    @Incitatus

    What’s the date of this entry? Which edition of the diaries are you referring to?

    May you be reminded again -as an inveterate anti-German – of the fact that neither Germany nor Hitler created the problems which arose from the founding, existence and internal crisis of the state of Czecho-Slovakia. Germany, however was from the very beginning subject to its policies which were as a founding purpose directed at constituting a constant threat and a ready launching pad for either military blackmail or attacking Germany. Main sponsors were France and England and the SU was a willing participant in maintaining this threat.
    When Slovakia in 1939 decided to secede from the hard-handed, Czech-dominated government in Prague, a crisis that was equal to c civil war broke out, the remaining Czech part of the former multi-national state Czecho-Slovakia found itself abandoned. No one would, no one could help. Even if Germany had not obtained the signature for a voluntary opening of the Czech borders for German military to cross, the Czech rumpstate Bohemia-Moravia would have been in complete dependence of the relationship it had with Germany. I think that this recognition, and the recognition that Czechs had lived side by side and in close neighborhood with Germans in the German Reich for a thousand years made Hacha’s signature on March 15, 1939 possible.
    So, what if Goebbels was a very smart man who was writing down what he foresaw to happen? “The political situation in (did he write Czecho-Slovakia or Czechia?-big difference as to date of entry) will decay and make the country ungovernable and we’ll occupy the monstrous construct”. From a German point of view, even after Czecho-Slovakia had lost its German areas, along with the Hungarian and the area the Poles took in 1938, it was still an unnatural force-conglomerate stemming from the ignorant and hateful decisions made at Versailles by a handful of old men who had made their life’s work that of cultivating a deadly enmity against the German peoples. Since both the Ruthenians and the Slovaks wanted to leave that state in which they were forcibly imprisoned under Czech dominance, to speak of a monstrous construct would reflect the feeling such a forced state would elicit in an observer that is either subject to it himself or seeing the prison-like nature of it, all provided by Christian-minded “democrats’. Perhaps you could understand that not everyone would be sad if the EU were to collapse on its own weight of ignorance, stupidity, heavy-handedness, and welcome the event in an expression containing “monstrous construct”.
    In an event, an accord was reached on March 15, 1939 between the German government and Hacha as authorized deputy of the Czech government outlining the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, i.e., the Czech area. It was out of bitter necessity and not a happy one. In hindsight, it was a mistake. What would have happened with the Czech state if there had been no German occupation could be speculated on. It would probably have undergone internal turmoil, perhaps a sort of civil war. As it is, it survived the war very well, except for the minor destruction caused by some Allied bombing runs which might have been by errors of navigation. Prague, unlike other German cities, is still a model of medieval German city building.

    As with all such writings, it will be necessary to see the original German text as written down by Dr. Goebbels. Any translation bears the risk or intent of alteration of the original meaning. Even the best translation by an honest individual will have substantial shortcomings.

    • Agree: L.K
    • Thanks: Arthur MacBride
  346. Ron Unz says:
    @Patrick McNally

    The Council of People’s Commissars which was formed right after the October Revolution did not have the people whom you have listed.

    I’m not sure if a late 1917 list of Soviet government officials is very useful for anything, especially determining the extent of Jewish influence among the early Bolsheviks.

    Consider that at the very height of his later power, Stalin held no official government position. But when he grew tired of the head of the Soviet government, he just had the fellow shot and replaced by someone else.

    Indeed, Stalin’s early position as General Secretary had never been regarded as an important Party position, but he then managed to use it to outmaneuver and defeat his far more prominent Bolshevik rivals.

    For these reasons, I think determining the top Bolshevik leaders is a far more subjective undertaking than merely consulting old official lists. Was the Hygiene Minister really as important as the War Minister?

    Back during the late 1970s and 1980s, I had a strong interest in Soviet history, and probably read sixty or seventy mainstream books in that general subject. Obviously, none of them ever discussed the ethnic angle, but the universal consensus was that Lenin and Trotsky were the top early Bolshevik leaders, with Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, and Stalin ranked somewhat below. Prior to his death in early 1919, I think Sverdlov might have actually ranked third, at least based upon my more recent reading. Among other things, Zinoviev and Kamenev ran Leningrad and Moscow respectively, plus the Comintern. This is the sort of universally-acknowledged historical reality found in the relevant Wikipedia pages.

    So four of the top seven early Bolsheviks were Jewish, plus Lenin who was part Jewish, which seems about right to me. If you can persuade me that some other Gentile Bolshevik was more powerful than either Zinoviev or Kamenev, just go ahead and give me his name.

    I think I remember that Albert Lindemann, an eminent and very mainstream scholar, tried to produce a reasonable estimate of the twenty-odd most influential early Bolshevik leaders, and according to his list about half of them were Jewish.

    It’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that Putin was exaggerating a little when he mentioned that 80-85% of the top early Bolsheviks were Jewish, and I personally think 50-60% would probably be more accurate. But considering that Jews were around 3% of the Soviet population, that sort of dispute seems pointless.

    Meanwhile, your apparent claim that the top early Bolshevik leadership was only about 7% Jewish seems as utterly absurd and ridiculous as your other repeated claim that the gigantic famine produced by Mao’s Great Leap Forward never actually happened and is merely a Western propaganda-hoax.

  347. Seraphim says:
    @Mulegino1

    Churchill, one should remember, was at the time when he wrote the article ‘Zionism versus Bolshevism’ (February 8, 1920) Secretary of State for War and Air (1919-1921) and as such controlling the British Intelligence (which he was instrumental in establishing it in the first place when he was Home Secretary 1910-11). He was one of the best informed men about the political situations in various countries (Russia especially).
    So, what he wrote in that article was based on incontrovertible facts:
    ”The National Russian Jews, in spite of the disabilities under which they have suffered, have managed to play an honourable and useful part in the national life even of Russia. As bankers and industrialists they have strenuously promoted the development of Russia’s economic resources and they were foremost in the creation of those remarkable organisations, the Russian Co-operative Societies. In politics their support has been given, for the most part, to liberal and progressive movements, and they have been among the staunchest upholders of friendship with France and Great BritainIn violent opposition to all this sphere of Jewish effort rise the schemes of the International Jews. The adherents of this sinister confederacy are mostly men reared up among the unhappy populations of countries where Jews are persecuted on account of their race. Most, if not all, of them have forsaken the faith of their forefathers, and divorced from their minds all spiritual hopes of the next world. This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognisable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.
    Terrorist Jews.
    There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews. It is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd), or of Krassin or Radek – all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses. The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing”.
    He was a pro-Zionist.
    ”Zionism has already become a factor in the political convulsions of Russia, as a powerful competing influence in Bolshevik circles with the international communistic system. Nothing could be more significant than the fury with which Trotsky has attacked the Zionists generally, and Dr. Weissmann in particular. The cruel penetration of his mind leaves him in no doubt that his schemes of a world-wide communistic State under Jewish domination are directly thwarted and hindered by this new ideal, which directs the energies and the hopes of Jews in every land towards a simpler, a truer, and a far more attainable goal. The struggle which is now beginning between the Zionist and Bolshevik Jews is little less than a struggle for the soul of the Jewish people”.

    • Replies: @Bugey libre
  348. L.K says:
    @H. Ph. Vogel

    Thanks, Vogel. Yes, I have a copy of Rhonhoffs excellent Der Krieg der Viele Väter hatte. I actually used it when I wrote a series of, 11 posts I think, all in order, explaining the real reasons for the German-Soviet war. I used several other works for that as well, most of which remains unavailable in English, big surprise, eh?

    If it interests you, check out the work of historians like Heinz Magenheimer and Walter Post. For ex:
    -Kriegsziele und Strategien der großen Mächte 1939-45. 2008
    -Die Ursachen des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Ein Grundriß der internationalen Diplomatie von Versailles bis Pearl Harbor.
    -Unternehmen Barbarossa. Deutsche und sowjetische Angriffspläne 1940/41.

    BTW, Schwippers “Deutschland im Visier Stalins: Der Weg der Roten Armee in den europäischen Krieg und der Aufmarsch der Wehrmacht 1941 – Eine vergleichende Studie anhand russischer Dokumente” must be the most detailed, best account to date, at least until/IF the Russians finally open the 100s of thousands of archives which were never opened and those they closed up again… and since Schwipper cannot be refuted, he must be ignored.

    The important work done by Erkki Hautamäki, mentioned by you, is nearly totally unknown, as far as I can tell only available in Finnish and Swedish. I heard of a German ed being in the works years ago, but apparently nothing came of it. Most of the work done by the “new” Russian historians in Soviet archives after the Cold War has only become known to me through German and Austrian historians who have incorporated these sources, which are nearly totally unavailable in English.
    As we both know, this is all by DESIGN.
    Regards

    • Replies: @H. Ph. Vogel
  349. Derer says:
    @Mulegino1

    Furthermore, the Crimea was chosen for an American military base after Yanukovich removal in Ukraine. Putin made an admirable move to return Crimea to Russian jurisdiction by a referendum. There is an origin of Putin continuous slander and hate by the Washington backroom gang.

    • Agree: Mulegino1
  350. Derer says:
    @Ron Unz

    David R. Francis US ambassador to Russia sent a dispatch to Washington in Jan. 1918:

    “The Bolshevik leaders here, most of whom are Jews and 90% of whom are returned exiles, care little for Russia or any other country but are internationalists and they are trying to start a worldwide social revolution.”

  351. L.K says:
    @Fox

    Well informed post as usual, Fox.
    In regards to the creation of those encircling satellite states, such as Czechoslovakia, let’s not forget the decisive role played by the USA, which made it all possible. Burton Y. Pines, who was associated with the neocons, so no friend of Germany, wrote in AMERICA’S GREATEST BLUNDER: The Fateful Decision to Enter World War One:

    On that day, April 6, 1917, the United States entered what was being called The Great War, bringing its extraordinary industrial and manpower resources to the side of Britain and France and against Germany. With that decision, America transformed the conflict into a true world war.

    The dispatch to Europe of more than two million American doughboys, as they affectionately became known, sharply tilted the balance on the stalemated Western Front and, in effect, won the war against Germany. This allowed Britain and France to impose a punishing peace on the vanquished, thus setting in train events and actions that helped make the 20th Century the West’s most destructive as it subsequently suffered the horrors of Nazism, the devastation of yet a second great and even broader war and the often terrifying tensions and at times bloodshed of a Cold War.

    Without America’s 1917 entry into Europe’s war, the 20th Century would have been extraordinarily different: No punishing Versailles peace treaty, no humiliation of Germany, no toxic German drive for revenge, no Hitler, no World War Two and likely no Cold War. Entering Europe’s war truly was a gigantic and fateful American decision. As it turned out, it was America’s greatest blunder of the century.
    The April 6 declaration of war against Germany was no surprise. America had been inching toward it for many months.

    • Agree: Carlton Meyer
    • Replies: @Fox
    , @Colin Wright
  352. Seraphim says:
    @Bugey libre

    Madame La Chasseresse is obviously an irritable perimenopausal Valkyrie. There is little to do until menopause settles for good. Maybe ‘a glass of Champagne’ can help relieve the symptoms. I know cases.
    Santé!

    • Replies: @Bugey libre
    , @karel
  353. @Nick J

    What would Churchill say —Adolf was an honroable man—-Chamberlain a peace dove–Hitler needed room to expand —East was it –get Sudetenland back –then Poland —then Russia —Nordic Supreme People must expand —

  354. Fox says:
    @L.K

    Thanks, L.K. and thank you for bringing up the First World War as the ultimate cause for last century’s catastrophic sum total.
    That the US entered the First World War on the Entente side was not only America’s greatest blunder in the 20th century; it was perhaps the greatest blunder in the history of the European world. A negotiated peace would in all likelihood have ended the war even in 1917. The warring parties were exhausted, and each country saw the flower of its youth, the future, die in a war of attrition.
    Yet Wilson had from the beginning sympathized with the Entente and tipped the scales at a time when the Central Powers were reaching the end of their strength, and relieved France and England from the necessity to finally live in a world in which they had a neighbor in Europe they had to recognize. Wilson was invited by France and England, and his sympathies and perhaps some hidden interests, made him accept that invitation.
    This fateful intervention is the ultimate reason for the position the white race is finding itself in, now.
    Had the Aufruf an die Kulturwelt (Appeal to Civiliziation) of September 1914 by 93 leading German persons been taken to heart, the war could have ended. It was a warning that the war was destroying the future of the European Peoples.
    Why was such an appeal only made in Germany? Is there an English, French, Russian, Italian equivalent? I have no knowledge of any such appeal coming from these countries.
    The War was from the German point a defensive one. A combination of France, Russia and England as the third unnamed party of the Entente had prepared the destruction of Germany in a general European war.
    If ever a miscalculation had been made, then this was one. France, England and Russia combined were unable to beat Germany, and in the attempt their nations were bankrupted. In consequence they attempted to draw America into the war. Why Wilson felt that he had to be part of the Entente is ultimately not clear to me, it was, however, another display of this man of whom someone, whose name I can’t recall, said that “his mind was highly cultured, yet infertile”. That’s a polite way of saying that he was a practical bore and couldn’t think for himself what the consequences of his actions might be.

    • Agree: HdC
    • Replies: @Schuetze
    , @L.K
  355. @Patrick McNally

    The claim that Solzhenitsyn ‘s figure are hoaxes. I have read 200 ans ensemble last year. Where can I find the proof that what you say is right… And it might be.

    Thank you , have a good day

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  356. @Seraphim

    Hi Seraphim,

    Thank you for your contribution. I hope you are in good health.

    Take care

  357. @Seraphim

    If one of these days you come around I’d be glad to disagree (on any subject) with you in real life around a good ‘Bugey’s juice’, Romanian ‘would be celestial winged creature’…

    Santé!

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  358. @Alexandros

    ‘…The realistic number is at least 58,000 for the Polish campaign…’

    But Patrick was referring only to the Bromberg massacre — for which 58,000 is obviously an absurd exaggeration.

    My impression from my reading is that 58,000 would be an exaggeration even for all of Poland — but the precise figure doesn’t strike me as particularly important in any case. What interests me more is that the retreating Poles clearly did murder ethnic Germans in numerous locations — and the advancing Germans encountered the victims of these atrocities. Everyone would have been hearing about them, if not actually seeing the corpses.

    Without finding in this justification for Germany’s occupation policies in Poland, wouldn’t this go far towards explaining how willing Germans were to accept these policies? After all, it could now be argued that the Poles ‘had asked for it.’

    Such a pattern seems to have recurred in 1941, when the Germans promptly encountered evidence of horrific Soviet atrocities, as when a Soviet counter-attack had overrun a German field hospital in the opening days of the campaign. Wouldn’t — again — this have helped to justify subsequent German atrocities?

    It takes two to tango. German occupation policy in Bohemia and Moravia, while not as benign as some would make it out to be, was a pale shadow of what went on further East. This in spite of the fact that ideologically, there was no reason Czechs should have been regarded more favorably than Poles or Russians. But they didn’t offer any resistance to speak of, so German policy had to be implemented under conditions that offered no pretext for committing brutalities of their own.

    • Replies: @Alexandros
  359. @L.K

    ‘…Entering Europe’s war truly was a gigantic and fateful American decision. As it turned out, it was America’s greatest blunder of the century…’

    On the other hand, American entry into war was a foregone conclusion once Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare — and Germany knew that.

    At least in hindsight, wouldn’t Germany have been wiser to have continued to avoid provoking America, and thus at least still further delay her entry into the war? After all, Russia was visibly collapsing by that point. Germany could reasonably hope to win the war as matters stood.

    So the blunder becomes not just America’s, but Germany’s as well.

    • Replies: @John Wear
    , @Fox
  360. @L.K

    Thanks for those suggestions! I agree that Schwipper so far has the last word on the subject. That is why I am amazed most commenters here have not heard of him, or perhaps they did, but cannot read German. Dijkstra himself hasn’t even read him, otherwise he would not have written this long article. A total waste of time and space, in my opinion.

    As a matter of fact, with a friend I have been working on a translation of Schwipper into English, but things have bogged down a bit due to the Great Covid Show.

    Hautamäki can basically be read in Swedish if you understand German and English. Parts were available on the web until recently, but have disappeared.

    However, I used both his and Schwipper´s work (among others) for the book I published earlier this year with Arktos.

    • Replies: @Bert Bervoets
  361. Kikl says:

    I think it is no longer controversial that Stalin Was planning to attack.

    “The Germans would only come to learn of Soviet resources, manpower and manufacturing capabilities after they had already launched their invasion.”

    The German New enough to know that Stalin Was preparing to attack.

    Bernd Schwipper Has recently published two large volums:

    ” Die Aufklärung der Bedrohung aus dem Osten”, parts 1 and 2,

    Roughly translated: The “enlightenment” or “Discovery” of the threat from the east.

    these two books Show that Hitler New that enormous armies were being concentrated secretly on the German border. Thus, comrad Stalin was planning to attack.

    Schwipper explain in Detail how Hitler duped Stalin to believe that the German troops were no threat to Stalin.

    • Thanks: L.K
  362. @Colin Wright

    Patrick is wrong. Hitler did not claim 58,000 died in Bromberg. That number always referred to all of Poland. It is based on named persons, not guesses or estimates. They only estimate is that those missing persons are dead.

    German policy was never harsh for no reason. There was always ample justification when they took the gloves off. And for the most part they did not. When the soldiers discovered the Bolshevik atrocities they wanted to start killing a bunch of prisoners, but the German commanders held them back because it was against the law and not in the spirit of Germany. You are right that it would require some very bad incidents in very large numbers for the Germans to lose their minds like that.

    In my opinion Germany was by far the most humanitarian of all the big nations in WW2. That’s the shocking truth about that war.

    • Agree: HdC
    • Disagree: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  363. @H. Ph. Vogel

    Heer Vogel,
    Duidelijk dat u het meest ingevoerd bent in deze materie.
    Enkele vragen:
    1. Staat niet vast, dat de US ambassade in Moskou (Charles E. Bohlen) binnen uren de volledige tekst van het Molotov-Ribbentroppact in handen had (incl. de geheime protocollen)?
    2. Zou Molotov’s kleinzoon, Vyacheslav Nikonov (1956), niet via zijn opa het fijne weten van Stalin’s plannen?

    • Replies: @H. Ph. Vogel
  364. karel says:
    @John Wear

    I do not know what you mean by tearing up the Munich agreement. Have you assumed that Hitler would have torn up the paper to wipe his arsehole with it or have you got a more refined interpretation of your statement?

    Apart from the dubious validity of the Munich agreement from the time, it was signed, may I point out article five that refers to a plebiscite. cf.
    (5) The international commission referred to in paragraph 3 will determine the territories in which a plebiscite is to be held.
    These territories will be occupied by international bodies until the plebiscite has been completed. The same commission will fix the conditions in which the plebiscite is to be held, taking as a basis the conditions of the Saar plebiscite. The commission will also fix a date, not later than the end of November, on which the plebiscite will be held.

    Well, no plebiscite was hled. Either you are a semiliterate misfit or a weary fraud. Choose yourself.

  365. maz10 says:

    Do not have the time to respond to everything but a couple of thoughts. Hitlerian fanboys and girls take note.

    About pre-emptive moves and provocations. The usual suspects commenting here have a habit of leaving out some “minor details” such as for example that Germany was abusing Norway’s neutrality incl its neutral waters which led to the very unfortunate Altmark affair. In that respect who was provoking whom into action looks “slightly” different does it not? In addition the Germans did not need provocations. For example the Danes would not dig trenches along the border and failed to initiate other defensive measures not to provoke the Germans … Leaving aside the fat that defensive measures are not provocative Germany did not need provocations to attack – it chose to do so and attacked regardless of the victims actions or lack thereof. Ditto Belgium which did not want French or any other troops on its soil precisely to maintain neutrality and not to provoke the Germans and in fact the Allies did not enter its territory but only after the German attack – with disastrous consequences for themselves as it turned out.

    Hitler obviously tore up Munich for the idea that he had to act to stabilize the situation is akin to the idea of an arsonists having to put out a fire. He destabilized it first and then “had to” act in order to re-stabilize it by tearing up an agreement he signed and expanding at some else’s cost. Very convenient “stabilization”. BTW Emil Hacha was asking for protection so much he had to be threatened with the bombing of Prague. The Germans were “offering protection” mafia style which is not surprise because they were a mafia operating at European scale which if anyone had doubts till then, well the tearing up of the Munich agreement demonstrated this to everybody who wanted to see it.

    Those German actions had considerable effect on how Poland view negotiations with Germany but … When it comes to Poland negotiating over Danzing or other matters, aside the fact that there were some talks as well as “feelers” send out via third party (Italy) how about this: Hitler sticks his demands up his ass? By rocking the boat he risked sinking it and drowning in the process. Which is exactly what happened. Play stupid games, win stupid prises. He should have stopped with this nonsense not for others but for Germany’s and his own sake.

    Regarding the main subject: it has been laid out in detail in the comments above that Hitler decided to invade the Soviet Union in 1940 (not new to me but thx to everyone who wrote it out nicely here). Stalin’s deployment of the Red Army is in this respect a gift that keeps on giving to the Hitler fanboys and girls. Yes, Stalin was an evildoer, yes the deployment of Soviet forces must have been viewed with suspicion. However to ascribe posterior action (1941) as a motive to prior decisions (1940) is an obvious logical fallacy.

    The Hitlerian fan club has one major problem. Stalin was evil, FDR, Churchill and a host of others were not necessarily always good. However that does not make Hitler good, and in fact if he was so good would it be necessary to omit facts, make up endless excuses for his aggressive acts, twist logic into pretzels, time wrap events etc. to make him the good guy? The answer is obvious.

    • Disagree: HdC
    • Replies: @John Wear
  366. karel says:
    @Fox

    Nice speculation of yours.

    What would have happened with the Czech state if there had been no German occupation could be speculated on. It would probably have undergone internal turmoil, perhaps a sort of civil war. As it is, it survived the war very well, except for the minor destruction caused by some Allied bombing runs which might have been by errors of navigation

    You are a very diligent joker and clever little Fox. So German occupation prevented a civil war. Very good, millions of fools, like you, will believe it.

    From your text, it seems that you are somewhat sad that the country was not destroyed more by the Americans. The innocent Americans mistook Prague for Dresden on 14th February 1945. Very credible indeed. Almost no small city in Czechia was safe from an American bombing lust. Perhaps the pilots thought that they were bombing Berlin. The reason why not more was destroyed was the short range of the bombers and a long distance of the airfields from Bohemia, a condition that persisted until 1944. You have a mind of a war criminal Fox.

  367. karel says:
    @Seraphim

    Have you also entered menopause Seraphim, or was it the Bugger libre? Let us your treue Leser know?

    • Replies: @Bugey libre
  368. John Wear says:
    @Colin Wright

    You might enjoy reading my article on why Germany declared war against the United States at https://www.inconvenienthistory.com/9/3/4882.

    • Replies: @kikl
  369. @karel

    Do you want your share of champagne?

    • Replies: @karel
  370. John Wear says:
    @maz10

    You write: “Germany was abusing Norway’s neutrality incl its neutral waters which led to the very unfortunate Altmark affair.”

    My response: Even Winston Churchill has acknowledged that Germany’s invasion of Norway and Denmark was preemptive in nature. Please read my article at https://www.inconvenienthistory.com/11/3/6845 for more information.

    You write: “Hitler obviously tore up Munich for the idea that he had to act to stabilize the situation is akin to the idea of an arsonists having to put out a fire.”

    My response: Hitler did not encourage and was not responsible for the destabilization of Czechoslovakia. Please read my article at https://www.inconvenienthistory.com/12/4/7463 for more information.

    You write: “Those German actions had considerable effect on how Poland view negotiations with Germany but … ”

    My response: Poland committed atrocities against its German minority which provoked Germany’s invasion of Poland. Please read my article at https://www.inconvenienthistory.com/11/1/6391 for more information.

    You write: “However to ascribe posterior action (1941) as a motive to prior decisions (1940) is an obvious logical fallacy.”

    My response: Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union was preemptive in nature. Please read Chapter One of my book “Germany’s War” on this website at https://www.unz.com/book/john_wear__germanys-war/ for more information.

    • Replies: @maz10
  371. @Mulegino1

    Yep. You’re right.
    Chief among of the Ukrainian jews who dealt with the issue of Crimea is the oligarch I. Kolomoisky (the so-called Ukrainian Berezovsky). Kolomoisky’s political positions are very close to one media figure, D. Gordon.(there is a photo of Berezovsky, Suvorov(Rezun), Gordon higher up the branch).After the referendum in Crimea, Kolomoisky & Co declared war on Putin and started verbally insulting the president of Russia in the media.At that time, Kolomoisky was, in addition to an oligarch with the citizenship of three countries, also the president of the European Jewish Union. Today Kolomoisky is one of the main sponsors of Dnepropetrovsk Chabad.

    • Thanks: Mulegino1
    • Replies: @Seraphim
  372. kikl says:
    @John Wear

    A declaration of war creates a state of war. The USA and Germany were at war in Decembre 1941, at war in the North Atlantic.

    Therefore, I find it wrong to call the letter Ribbentrop wrote to the American charge d’affaire a declaration of war. Germany never declared war on the USA. It told the USA that Germany would cease diplomatic relations with the USA, because both countries had been de facto at war for months.

    The term “declaration of war” is Roosevelts propaganda lie to the American people. We should not repeat this propaganda.

    • Replies: @John Wear
  373. maz10 says:
    @John Wear

    Believe it or not but I have read them and there is nothing new there.

    Granted it is aptly titled Inconvenient History because it omits inconvenient historical facts.

    Just a few to bring to your attention (you do not need to thank me):

    That the Germans pre-empted / derailed the British “Wilfred” plan is no secret. What you conveniently omit is that the Germans were using & abusing Norway’s neutral waters among other attempting to sail back to Germany a supply ship serving Kriegsmarine’s commerce raiders. The vessel had Allied detainees abord who should have been released once the ship was in neutral waters which equate with neutral territory. No German innocence here for developments in Norway. Ditto Denmark: hate to repeat myself but the Danes would not dig trenches along the border and failed to initiate other defensive measures not to provoke the Germans. Did not help them much as we know because the Germans invaded anyway.

    Munich greatly weakened Czechoslovakia yet the mortal blow was delivered by Germany. The latter was not an innocent onlooker. It was fuelling the crisis among others threatening to abandon Slovaks to the will of Hungary’s territorial ambitions, and promising to protect and safeguard the integrity of the Slovak state if it declared independence. In addition Hacha was a WD and he did not need to be “bullied” (as in a schoolyard), the threat to bomb Prague was enough.

    Since you are so well versed in pre-war Polish-German relations you certainly know about German attempts to limit Polish right in Gdansk as well as numerous German provocations which were also carried out by members of the German minority in Poland. Why not include them in such a lengthy article – lack of space?

    As to the German decision to go to war against the USSR take at least a couple of minutes to read the comments above.

    And so on …

    This is just a tip of the iceberg, a few useful hints for you to follow. A historian will certainly appreciate them but as I said you do not need to thank me.

    Kindly upgrade your writings with facts you omit – I am sure they just somehow escaped your attention because you would not be engaged in selective propaganda masquerading as historical writing – and re link your writings once you have done so. Otherwise please do not waste our time. Before you do that a disclaimer about selectiveness and omissions would be welcomed, otherwise someone who unlike me is less versed in history, could be under the false impression that you are attempting to present real history and not a very bias selection.

    • Replies: @karel
    , @John Wear
  374. John Wear says:
    @kikl

    Thank you for your response. Adolf Hitler declared war against the United States in a speech he made on December 11, 1941.

    Hitler’s speech is quite remarkable and well worth a read. You can read it at http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v08/v08p389_Hitler.html.

    • Replies: @kikl
  375. kikl says:
    @John Wear

    Dear Mr. Wear,

    I appreciate your work a lot. But, this small semantic difference is very important. Therefore, let me make my point very clearly.

    A declaration of war is a formal act by which one state goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act (or the signing of a document) by an authorized party of a national government, in order to create a state of war between two or more states.

    Thus, a declaration of war creates a state of war. You cannot create something, which already exists. In Decembre 1941, the USA and Germany were at war for several months. Why?

    War is an intense armed conflict between states, governments, societies, or paramilitary groups such as mercenaries, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces.

    Germany and the USA were at war using regular forces, submarines and destroyers, in the North Atlantic from the time president Roosevelt had issued the shoot on sight order, irrespective of whether this order was justified or not. The existence of this order is incontroversial.

    Let me quote your link:

    “About two hours before Hitler began his address to the Reichstag, Germany formally declared war against the United States when Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop delivered a diplomatic note to the American Chargé d’Affaires in Berlin, Leland B. Morris. ”

    This is wrong. Mr Ribbentrop could not create a state of war, irrespective of the content of the letter, because both nations were already in a state of war.

    Additionally, the form of the letter does not represent a declaration of war. Ribbentrop does not state the intention to create a state of war between both contries. Read the letter carefully. You will find that this letter is not intended to create a state of war. Instead, the letter only announces that the state of war has existed for quite some time. Therefore, the German Government chose to recognize this officially and discontinue diplomatic relations.

    This is the content of the letter.

    “MR. CHARGE D’AFFAIRES:

    The Government of the United States having violated in the most flagrant manner and in ever increasing measure all rules of neutrality in favor of the adversaries of Germany and having continually been guilty of the most severe provocations toward Germany ever since the outbreak of the European war, provoked by the British declaration of war against Germany on September 3, 1939, has finally resorted to open military acts of aggression.

    On September 11, 1941, the President of the United States publicly declared that he had ordered the American Navy and Air Force to shoot on sight at any German war vessel. In his speech of October 27, 1941, he once more expressly affirmed that this order was in force. Acting under this order, vessels of the American Navy, since early September 1941, have systematically attacked German naval forces. Thus, American destroyers, as for instance the Greer, the Kearney and the Reuben James, have opened fire on German submarines according to plan. The Secretary of the American Navy, Mr. Knox, himself confirmed that American destroyers attacked German submarines.

    Furthermore, the naval forces of the United States, under order of their Government and contrary to international law have treated and seized German merchant vessels on the high seas as enemy ships.

    The German Government therefore establishes the following facts:

    Although Germany on her part has strictly adhered to the rules of international law in her relations with the United States during every period of the present war, the Government of the United States from initial violations of neutrality has finally proceeded to open acts of war against Germany. The Government of the United States has thereby virtually created a state of war.

    The German Government, consequently, discontinues diplomatic relations with the United States of America and declares that under these circumstances brought about by President Roosevelt Germany too, as from today, considers herself as being in a state of war with the United States of America.

    Accept, Mr. Charge d’Affaires, the expression of my high consideration.

    December 11, 1941.

    RIBBENTROP.”

    • Replies: @John Wear
  376. karel says:
    @Bugey libre

    If it is not a piss, then yes. come to Prague or Berlin. London will be OK too but only after February.

    • Replies: @Fox
    , @Bugey libre
  377. karel says:
    @maz10

    Not quite certain what you meant by ”Hacha was a WD’. Please explain. Hácha was a sad case. By constitutional arrangement, he as the chairman of the highest administrative court, was forced to become a president after the abdication of Beneš. Threatened by Hitler, he suffered a minor cardiac infarction while in Berlin, where he was apparently treated by the kind Dr. Morrel.

  378. Fox says:
    @Colin Wright

    On the other hand, America under Wilson saw no need to enforce maritime law with respect to England. England interfered with trade of neutrals, inspected any ship it wanted, seized freight, interned foreigners a n d blockaded Germany’s food supply. If your neighbor cordons off your property so that you can’t receive food anymore, you have the right to take this neighbor very hard by the neck. It is the concept of self-defense. The blockade was directed against German civilians, an early form of ‘moral bombing’ of cities.
    That America under Wilson saw no legal or moral problem with such behavior is a great failing that can be laid at Wilson’s feet. Unrestricted sea warfare was resumed after England failed to respect Maritime Law despite a cessation of German sea operations and Wilson was making no attempt to slap these criminals in London down. Not even a diplomatic protest was produced. What neutrality!
    I have always seen Wilson as a version of the Bible-wielding itinerant preacher America has been subjected to. There is a fearful extremism welling out of these people, and as curious they may be at a street corner, in power they are as dangerous as a Torquemada.

    I have come across an account of the situation by the American Thomas St. John Gaffney, ‘Breaking the Silence: England, Ireland, Wilson and the War’ (1930). Gaffney was American Consul-General to Germany until 1915.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  379. @Kurt Knispel

    The Other Side of the Hill is the “second” edition of The German Generals Talk.

    Below is full first hand evidence – interviews with actual decision makers, tested against documentary evidence.
    As you mentioned before, Hart may have been sympathetic to Germany, therefore if this is true, he would have put more weight on USSR intentions. He does not.

    The Other Side of the Hill

    [MORE]

    Preface to this Edition

    page 11

    The original edition of this hook was composed from evidence I gathered in discussions with the German generals five years ago, soon after their capture. Since then 1 have collected a large amount of fresh material, much of it from generals whom I did not have an opportunity of seeing in 1945, while I have also been able to check such evidence by reference to documentary records. The present book is the revised and enlarged product.

    Chapter 13

    page 205

    Here is the most startling of all. What saved Russia above all was, not her modern progress, but her backwardness. If the Soviet regime had given her a road system comparable to that of western countries, she would probably have been overrun in quick time. The German mechanized forces were baulked by the badness of her roads.

    page 210

    The Impulse to Invade Russia

    As a next stage in my enquiry I sought such light as the generals could shed on the question why Hitler invaded Russia. It was a dim light. Although the project had been incubating in his mind since July, 1940, and had taken definite form before the end of that year, it was remarkable how hazy most of his generals were about the reasons for a step that had decided their fate. Most of them had been apprehensive when they were told of the decision, but they were told very little, and told very late. Hitler was clever in the way he kept his commanders in separate “water-tight compartments” — each was told only what Hitler considered necessary for him to know in carrying out his own localized task. They were almost like prisoners on piecework in a row of cells.

    page 211

    As I heard from all of them that Rundstedt had been the strongest opponent of the invasion — and the first to urge its abandonment — I was anxious to get his views on the question. He told me: “Hitler insisted we must strike before Russia became too strong, and that she was much nearer striking than we imagined. He provided us with information that she was planning to launch an offensive herself that same summer, of 1941. For my part, I was very doubtful about this — and I found little sign of it when we crossed the frontier. Many of us who had feared such a stroke had been reassured by the way the Russians had remained quiet during our battles in the West, in 1940, when we had our hands full. I felt that our best way of guarding against the danger was simply to strengthen our frontier defence, leaving the Russians to take the offensive if they chose. That would be the best test of their intentions, and less risk than launching into Russia.”

    I asked him further about the reasons that had led him to discredit Hitler’s belief in an imminent Russian offensive. He replied: “In the first place, the Russians appeared to be taken by surprise when we crossed the frontier. On my front we found no signs of offensive preparations in the forward zone, though there were some farther back. They had twenty five divisions in the Carpathian sector, facing the Hungarian frontier, and I had expected that they would swing round and strike at my right flank as it advanced. Instead, they retreated. I deduced from this that they were not in a state of readiness for offensive operations, and hence that the Russian Command had not been intending to launch an offensive at an early date.”

    page 212

    Further sidelights came in discussion with Field-Marshal von Kleist, who remarked that he was only told of Hitler’s intention to invade Russia a short time before the attack was launched. “It was the same with the other high commanders. We were told the Russian armies were about to take the offensive, and it was essential for Germany to remove the menace. It was explained to us that the Führer could not proceed with other plans while this threat loomed close, as too large a part of the German forces would be pinned down in the east keeping guard. It was argued that attack was the only way for us to remove the risks of a Russian attack.

    “I believe that Jodl was opposed to Hitler’s conclusion, as well as Brauchitsch and Halder. Keitel, too, was doubtful about it, but he was more hesitant to make his doubts clear to Hitler.”

    page 213

    As regards Hitler’s motives for the invasion a more illuminating view was given me, later, by WarIimont. who, being at O.K. W., was more closely in touch with the stream of Hitler’s thought during the months before it was canalized into a definite decision to direct his forces against Russia. “The answer to the question why Hitler invaded Russia is, in my opinion, that’ he found himself in exactly the same situ- ation as Napoleon. Both men looked upon Britian as their strongest and most dangerous adversary. Both could not persuade themselves to attempt the overthrow of England by invading the British Isles. Both believed, however, that Great Britain could be forced to come to terms with the dominating continental power, if the prospect vanished for the British to gain an armoured arm as an ally on the Continent. Both of them suspected Russia of becoming this ally of Britian’s. Both recognized this danger to be gradually increasing with the pro- longation of. the war. Both were convinced that the central European power could not allow the peripheral powers (Britain and Russia) to wait for the most favourable moment in order to quench the ‘heart of the Continent between them. Therefore both men, Hitler as well as Napoleon, were of the opinion that they had to strike in time -being consciously, or not, in a position of strategical defence.

    “These considerations may have been supported, so far as Hitler was concerned, by a fateful underrating of Russian military strength and her war potential-prevailing at least in Hitler’s entourage. This opinion of mine is borne out by a statement, probably emanating from Hitler himself, which was made by Keitel and Jodl in turn, when they were dealing with. the Italians and Finns prior to the Russian campaign-it read:

    page 215

    ‘The war has been won already; it has only to be terminated.’” Warlimont added that JodI often made similar remarks in his own circle.

    While the German Intelligence under-estimated Russia’s forces, what it did report provided substance for apprehensiveness about the impending danger of a Russian attack. The concentration of divisions in Western Russia (and Russian-occupied Poland) went on rising steadily during the first half of 1941, and by May was double what it had been before the outbreak of war with Poland. The concentration of air force and expansion of airfields was also very marked. All this fomented Hitler’s fears. When he talked to his generals and others about the likelihood that the Russians were planning to attack him before the end of the summer, there is little doubt that he was expressing fears that he actually felt, and which a number of his advisers shared. That does not necessarily mean that the fears were correct – Germans have always been apt to overlook the natural reaction that their own measures cause in other people, and this was particularly true of Hitler. On the other hand, it is understandable that with every report of Russia’s rising numbers in the frontier zone, Hitler might feel that time was running short.

    page 216

    In the light of events it became clear that Hitler’s belief in the power. of technical quality to discount superior numbers had more justification than appeared in the final issue of the war. The test of battlefield results for long bore out his assurance of the decisive advantage of quality over quantity. It brought his gamble dangerously near fulfilment. The chances

    page 216

    would have been greater if the aim had been more clearly visualized and defined beforehand. Divergence of view on the German side was of great help to Russian resistance in producing a miscarriage of the invasion.

  380. Fox says:
    @karel

    Meine Güte, you guys are so hysterically witty. I can just see how you slap one another on the shoulder and can’t stop laughing about your own clever smarts.
    Do me the favor and drink much of that Schaumwein.

    • Replies: @Bugey libre
    , @karel
  381. John Wear says:
    @maz10

    Thank you for your response. I am glad that you read Inconvenient History. You might notice that Germar Rudolf has just posted a new article of mine there.

    You write: “Kindly upgrade your writings with facts you omit – I am sure they just somehow escaped your attention because you would not be engaged in selective propaganda masquerading as historical writing – and re link your writings once you have done so. Otherwise please do not waste our time.”

    My response: You make statements without providing any supporting documentation. As I am sure you have noticed, everything I write has footnotes with supporting documentation. This is a major difference in our writing.

    So that I can learn from you, I will start out with one of your statements. You write: “Since you are so well versed in pre-war Polish-German relations you certainly know about German attempts to limit Polish right in Gdansk as well as numerous German provocations which were also carried out by members of the German minority in Poland. Why not include them in such a lengthy article – lack of space?”

    My response: Please list with supporting documentation all of the “German provocations which were also carried out by members of the German minority in Poland.” Also, please tell me with supporting documentation about “German attempts to limit Polish rights in Gdansk.” I will be glad to hear from you. Please make sure you document all of your statements with credible book and/or article references.

    • Agree: kikl
    • Replies: @Mulegino1
    , @maz10
  382. John Wear says:
    @kikl

    Thanks for your detailed response.

    • Replies: @kikl
  383. @karel

    Es wird die beste mein freund aber, ich habe angst das… the covidian totalitarian state of affair wouldn’t let me travel since I have no “pass sanitaire” to justified my submission to the mandated poisoning.

    Meanwhile, if you happened to come to France, I swear to stick to my word and invite you. Even if the Champ’ is not affordable, you might be satisfied with what we have in the area (a place of résistance if there had been): https://ds2vin.fr/champagnes/374-bugey-cerdon-bio-methode-ancestrale-domaine-balivet-vincent-et-cecile-75cl.html

    If Seraphim is here we would disagree together.

    Forget my french, Ich habe nicht deutsh geshprochen für jahren.

    Thanks to all on this thread and the last one about the same subject by Monsieur Guyénot. Fascinating. History is such a mess.

    Yesterday was a day of commemoration in ‘Frankreich’ end of WWI slaughter. So we gathered around the dedicated monument where we were supposed to respect the memory of those “fallen for France” but in my mind it was “fallen for the Brits and bankers”… May their abused soul be blessed.

    Then we had the great moment of sharing together the apéritif, good local wine of course. Beside that I had the pleasure to talk with a woman who happen to be a archeologist working in a nearby museum. She told me that is is better not to talk, if one don’t want troubles or carreer shortening, not to talk about…Alésia!

    aren’t we collectively silly? good trip

  384. Mulegino1 says:
    @John Wear

    I just finished reading your latest article on the Inconvenient History site. Like your other work- (I purchased a copy of “Germany’s War” last year)- it is very well written and straight to the point.

    There is very little question about the untoward and malign influence of international Jewry over the American and British governments. With its tentacles in the FDR administration and the British War Party (with its drunken deadbeat figurehead) was instrumental in bringing about the war against Germany for reasons which are quite at variance with the typical establishment/History Channel pablum which is fed to the intellectually deprived and incurious.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks: John Wear
  385. kikl says:
    @John Wear

    This is the US response to Ribbentrop’s letter:

    “Seventy-Seventh Congress of the United States of America; At the First Session Begun and held at the City of Washington, on Friday, the third day of January, 1941.

    JOINT RESOLUTION Declaring That a State of War Exists Between The Government of Germany and the Government and the People of the United States and Making Provisions To Prosecute The Same

    Whereas the Government of Germany has formally declared war against the Government and the people of the United States of America:

    Therefore be it

    Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between the United States and the Government of Germany which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Government of Germany; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.

    (Signed) Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives

    (Signed) H. A. Wallace, Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate

    Approved December 11, 1941 3:05 PM E.S.T.

    (Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt”

    This US declaration is a bald-faced lie! And please do not repeat the lie over and over again.

    Personal annectode:

    I used to be completely brainwashed by my high school. I believed in almost everything I was taught. The only thing that truly troubled me was the second world war. Nothing appeared to make any sense. It was history without reason. I could not understand under any circumstance, why Hitler would have voluntarily declared war on the USA, while he was at war with two world powers, the UK and the USSR. The only possible motive in my mind was suicide. A bullet would have sufficed.

    I read countless articles and explanations by the smartest and most prestigious historians of our times, nothing made any sense. “Hitler war crazy” was the best answer, which amounts to admitting, we do not know. Noone knew.

    Then, after countless years, I decided to research the matter myself. It took around one day for me to find out using the internet what innumerable professional historians could not explain. This was the day, when I swallowed the red pill.

    The history of the second war is the matrix used for enslaving the peoples of europe and in particular my people, the Germans.

    • Agree: Bugey libre
    • Replies: @H. Ph. Vogel
  386. @Fox

    Monsieur Renard,

    bienvenue… Welcome… willkommen…

    • Thanks: Fox
    • Replies: @kikl
  387. @Bert Bervoets

    Wat betreft allerlei details zijn er velen die meer weten dan ik.

    Wat betreft uw vragen ga ik ervan uit dat de VS vast en zeker van de details op de hoogte was, al was het maar omdat echte geheimen op dat niveau eigenlijk niet bestaan, en al helemaal niet gezien de uiterst nauwe samenwerking tussen de VS, Duitsland en de USSR op economisch en technologisch terrein. Echte bewijzen zijn alleen erg moeilijk te vinden, dat is altijd het probleem bij dergelijke gevoelige zaken. Vaak speelt het toeval een rol daarbij, denk aan het boek van Wim Klinkenberg, Buitenlandse Zaken.

    Op vraag 2 moet ik het antwoord vooreerst schuldig blijven. Daar zou ik eerst eens wat anderen over aan de tand moeten voelen.

    • Replies: @Bert Bervoets
  388. @kikl

    Da haben Sie recht! Bleibt nur die Frage, wer diese Leute eigentlich sind…

    • Replies: @kikl
  389. bronek says:
    @Gerhard57NL

    Jozef Stalin sent out peace feelers, in an attempt to end the conflict. Stalin was willing to give up partitioned Poland, the Ukraine, the Baltics, Finland and Romania. We read that “Molotov described the offer of territory in exchange for an end to the fighting as a possible second Brest-Litovsk Treaty…” On August 18th the Fuhrer conversed about the treaty with Joseph Goebbels. Hitler wanted to finish kicking in the rotten door. The war would continue.

  390. @Fox

    ‘On the other hand, America under Wilson saw no need to enforce maritime law with respect to England. England interfered with trade of neutrals, inspected any ship it wanted, seized freight, interned foreigners a n d blockaded Germany’s food supply…’

    All of this misses the point. The question wasn’t whether Germany was justified in doing this or that; the question was what approach gave Germany the best chance of winning the war.

    Germany’s choice to resume unrestricted submarine warfare may or may not have been morally defensible…but did it cost her the war?

    • Replies: @Fox
  391. Seraphim says:
    @Bugey libre

    I’d love it very much! I can’t figure out the possibility of doing it in a foreseeable future, that I hope it won’t be a too distant one, but in reality my doing so requires some twenty more hours than if I came from Bucharest. But I will be necessarily in France at some point in time as I have some obligations in France (only for you, I am a ‘concessionaire à perpétuité’ of a grave at Père Lachaise in the section of “Etrangers morts pour la France” – malgré le fait que le frère de mon arrière-grand-père qui est enseveli la bas mourut en 1881, étudiant a L’École Libre des Sciences Politiques), so it might turn out that our beloved Paris could be my final resting place!).
    Noroc și sănătate! C-așa beau oamenii buni, de Sâmbată pînă Luni!

    • Replies: @Bugey libre
  392. Seraphim says:
    @Height_776

    To quote only Wikipedia:
    ”The Menorah center (Ukrainian: Центр “Менора”, Russian: Центр “Менора”) is a cultural and business center of the Jewish community in Dnipro in Eastern Ukraine. Some sources declare it to be the biggest multifunctional Jewish community center in Europe or in the world. The heart of the complex is the historic Golden Rose central synagogue, built in the 19th century.
    and this link:
    ”Dnepropetrovsk: The New Jewish Capital of the World?”@https://rusvesna.su/english/1495528747

  393. Fox says:
    @Colin Wright

    The point is: Wilson elected to disregard maritime law and to enforce it at the same time against Germany. That was the basis of his thinking. He also sported the idea that he could be a partisan neutral.
    There is no ambiguity there. Germany was left no choice but to strike at the evil bastards with the most severe counter measures at her hands.
    It is easier to find after the event that another course of action might have been more productive towards victory than to advise the surest way to victory in the middle of a multitude of crises.
    England used its undisputed naval superiority for a despicable purpose. To make the British navy look impotent was a good strategy by Germany. Too bad that it failed. Europe, our world and the future of the white race would not lie in gloom if Germany had carried the day. What would you have thought of as a better strategy than trying to force England to refrain from the policy of strangulation of the continent?

    • Agree: Carolyn Yeager
  394. @Fox

    ‘What would you have thought of as a better strategy than trying to force England to refrain from the policy of strangulation of the continent?’

    Not building a High Seas Fleet at all would have been a good start.

    • Troll: L.K
    • Replies: @kikl
  395. @kikl

    I appreciated your sense of humour, but it would be more like that:

  396. @Seraphim

    Seraphim,

    “Dites donc!Vous êtes dans les beaux quartiers mon cher!”…And your family kept the funeral concession until now. That is fidelity. I am from Lyon, a beautiful rather esoteric city but you must have been there. Maybe could I give you an email adress.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  397. @H. Ph. Vogel

    Nog dank voor deze link in #99:
    (Finland i stormens öga, 2005), https://www.litmir.me/br/?b=719860&p=1
    Op mijn laptop verscheen een pop-up met vertaal-aanbod

    Erkke Hautamäki
    Finland at the epicenter of the storm. Secret Folder C-32 of Marshal K.G.E. Mannerheim. Years 1932-1940
    This book is dedicated to Vilho Tahvanainen (1913-1952) incorruptible patriot and personal agent Marshal of Finland K. G. E. Mannerheim

    England, France and the Soviet Union acted together despite the Hitler-Stalin pact (August 1939). They intended to use the occupied Scandinavian and Baltic countries as a springboard for a decisive joint offensive and defeat of Nazi Germany from the North. The plan of the operation was agreed upon and approved on October 15, 1939 – a little more than a month before the Soviets attacked Finland.

    But, says Hautamäki, the Churchill-Stalin plan was not destined to come true, since Hitler, in order to prevent a new threat from the North, in the winter of 1940 demanded that Stalin conclude peace with Finland, and in an ultimatum form threatened otherwise to take the war on the side of Finland

    The cunning Stalin liked to “work” simultaneously with several alternatives of action, and that is why such a development of events could take place. In this book, Churchill is presented as the driving force behind such a plan. In September 1939, he became Minister of the Navy and really wanted to involve Scandinavia in the war against the Germans. According to the plan presented, the Western powers sacrificed Finland to Stalin in exchange for freedom of action in Scandinavia – a fact that should have been hidden after the onset of a certain stage of the war.

    Dit brengt me op een volgende vraag.
    Wikipedia over Churchill:
    In May 1940, he became Prime Minister, replacing Neville Chamberlain.
    Wikipedia over Election Day (United Kingdom):
    14 November 1935
    5 July 1945
    Waarom waren er in 1940 geen verkiezingen???

    • Thanks: Bugey libre
  398. Checheno says:
    @Olivier1973

    Hey idiot, Speer’s memoirs aren’t even a reliable source, since Speer was a megalomaniac. Even Tooze himself argues that such memories should be taken with care, especially considering the amount of lies Speer tells in them.
    But anti-Nazis don’t read books, especially if they are boomers like you.

  399. Checheno says:
    @Patrick McNally

    McNally, the usual idiot anti-Nazi, using Halder’s diary as source LOL
    All of that has been refuted in the work of Bernd Schwipper, please read books.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  400. Seraphim says:
    @Bugey libre

    Hélas, j’ai toujours manqué Lyon. Mais il n’est jamais trop tard, j’espère.

    • Replies: @Bugey libre