If Hitler hadnt invaded the USSR would Stalin have invaded him?

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,314
#21
Your last question is an internal contradiction I hear often. WWII in Europe was all but over in 1941 without Hitler attacking the USSR. So yes all he had to do was nothing and he won WWII, in 1940 the war was covered as basically the Germans winning, the end, Hitler chose to flip that book to a new page. But invading the USSR wasn't a means to an end, it's the end itself. You can't negotiate with people about their end goals so of course he was going to attack the USSR. So it's hard to call it a mistake, we just think his end goal was stupid but that was his end goal and while there's things he could have done different to change the outcome the biggest thing he could have done was to not be him and not have his homicidal goals in the first place. .
While there is much truth in your statement, there is the matter of timing... Even if his end goal (and I am not really sure that was his end goal, but rather the path to his 1000 year reich, itself the ultimate end goal) was to attack the USSR there is no compelling reason to do it in 1941.... yes there was a window of opportunity on one hand, but on the other hand he could have waited to have a settlement in the west (btw did he think German would occupy France and the low countries for 1000 years ? ) ..... and with his rear secure, build up his strength, perhaps even get even more countries on board with his anti bolshevik crusade....
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,714
Stockport Cheshire UK
#22
That's real politik for you

The UK and (to a lesser extent) France, were hardly blameless virgins.... They hoped Germany and the USSR would somehow get into a fight while they would benefit...
Not really, the British and French governments distrusted the Soviets as much as the Nazis, but they hoped that an alliance between the 3 nations would restrain Germany from any more aggressive acts towards her neighbour's without the need for war
 
Likes: Futurist

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,314
#23
Not really, the British and French governments distrusted the Soviets as much as the Nazis, but they hoped that an alliance between the 3 nations would restrain Germany from any more aggressive acts towards her neighbour's without the need for war
But they did not really do anything serious to get that alliance going... .As Aggie noted they had this opportunity in 1938, instead they chose to do a deal with Germany........ thereby weakening their own position since Czech was now out of the game...... Later, re Poland, they sent only minor representatives to Moscow for discussions who apparently had no authority..... No serious figures met with their soviet counterpart... This is indicative of either very poor diplomacy or lack of serious intent..... (which is how the soviets took it)
 
Likes: Futurist

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,714
Stockport Cheshire UK
#24
Your last question is an internal contradiction I hear often. WWII in Europe was all but over in 1941 without Hitler attacking the USSR. So yes all he had to do was nothing and he won WWII, in 1940 the war was covered as basically the Germans winning, the end, Hitler chose to flip that book to a new page. But invading the USSR wasn't a means to an end, it's the end itself.
Hitler couldn't do nothing, even with most of Continental Europe under his control, he was still faced with the British naval blockade stopping him from accessing vital resources, and the Soviets playing hard ball on their demands for payment of further supplies.
He could either give in to Soviet demands (unacceptable), or invade them ( which was always his long term plan ) but doing nothing was not an option in Hitler's mind
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,714
Stockport Cheshire UK
#25
But they did not really do anything serious to get that alliance going... .As Aggie noted they had this opportunity in 1938, instead they chose to do a deal with Germany........ thereby weakening their own position since Czech was now out of the game...... Later, re Poland, they sent only minor representatives to Moscow for discussions who apparently had no authority..... No serious figures met with their soviet counterpart... This is indicative of either very poor diplomacy or lack of serious intent..... (which is how the soviets took it)
The French and British were at a grave disadvantage in negotiations with the Soviets, they couldn't offer them anything in return for an alliance, while Germany could. The Soviet territory lost to Poland in the war of 1920.
 
Likes: Futurist
Jul 2016
9,304
USA
#26
The French and British were at a grave disadvantage in negotiations with the Soviets, they couldn't offer them anything in return for an alliance, while Germany could. The Soviet territory lost to Poland in the war of 1920.
The info I read about the subject was the British and French sent personnel with no power to make any decision, who were extremely pessimistic and admitted to not having the power or desire to preemptively attack Germany.

Now I despise the Soviet Union and Stalin in particular. But even in their defense if that meeting happened and the info about it is true, then USSR didn't exactly have many choices. They were in no position to fight Germany alone, it would take years to rebuild the Red Army, so if war is impossible, make a deal that at least buys some time to mobilize and prep.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#27
From my understanding of uncovered declassified papers, the Soviet Union tried to create an alliance with France and Great Britain to invade Germany pre-emptively, but both the latter sent uncommitted representatives unwilling to discuss anything seriously, so the Russians balked and instead made an alliance with Hitler instead.

Stalin 'planned to send a million troops to stop Hitler if Britain and France agreed pact'

If true, it would seem that the USSR did consider Nazi Germany enough of a threat that military operations were not off the table. Without UK and France, with USSR having to do it alone, and especially after the evidence of the outstanding performance of the Wehrmacht in Poland and France in 39-40, and the rather uninspiring performance of the Red Army against the Japanese in 1939 and the horrible performance of it in the Winter War of 39-40, they needed years to build up the Red Army to sufficient numbers, supplies, quantity before any subsequent offensive plans to attack German territory could ever be possible.
Wasn't there a fear among the Anglo-French that if they will ally with the Soviets and the Soviets are going to use this alliance as an opportunity to occupy additional territory, then the Soviets are going to refuse to leave this territory afterwards? In other words, if the Soviets will liberate Poland from the Nazis, then they will refuse to leave Poland after the end of the war--which is indeed what happened in real life.

Britain and France might have been paranoid due to their memories of the Soviets attempting to export their revolution in 1919-1921. They successfully exported their revolution to Ukraine and the Caucasus and unsuccessfully tried to export their revolution to Finland, Poland, and the Baltic countries. This was only two decades before 1939--well within living memory.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#28
The info I read about the subject was the British and French sent personnel with no power to make any decision, who were extremely pessimistic and admitted to not having the power or desire to preemptively attack Germany.

Now I despise the Soviet Union and Stalin in particular. But even in their defense if that meeting happened and the info about it is true, then USSR didn't exactly have many choices. They were in no position to fight Germany alone, it would take years to rebuild the Red Army, so if war is impossible, make a deal that at least buys some time to mobilize and prep.
It would have also been great for the Soviets had the Anglo-French and Germans bled each other dry while they themselves would have sat on the sidelines--sort of how it was great for Britain and the US to see the Germans and Soviets bleed each other dry in real life.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#29
The French and British were at a grave disadvantage in negotiations with the Soviets, they couldn't offer them anything in return for an alliance, while Germany could. The Soviet territory lost to Poland in the war of 1920.
The Germans could also offer the Soviets the Baltic countries, perhaps Finland, Bessarabia, and northern Bukovina.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#30
But they did not really do anything serious to get that alliance going... .As Aggie noted they had this opportunity in 1938, instead they chose to do a deal with Germany........ thereby weakening their own position since Czech was now out of the game...... Later, re Poland, they sent only minor representatives to Moscow for discussions who apparently had no authority..... No serious figures met with their soviet counterpart... This is indicative of either very poor diplomacy or lack of serious intent..... (which is how the soviets took it)
Had the Soviets fought in 1938, would they have demanded territorial compensation anywhere?

Not really, the British and French governments distrusted the Soviets as much as the Nazis, but they hoped that an alliance between the 3 nations would restrain Germany from any more aggressive acts towards her neighbour's without the need for war
Interestingly enough, the Soviets were only willing to ally with the Anglo-French due to their fear of Nazism, no? In other words, if Weimar Germany would have survived (and rearmed) and would have started a war with Poland, then the Soviets would have been uninterested in allying with the Anglo-French to prevent this because they wouldn't have actually viewed Weimar Germany as a threat, correct?

For that matter, had Weimar Germany survived, would Britain have actually been willing to fight on Poland's behalf? After all, a surviving Weimar Germany is unlikely to ever lay claim to any part of Czechoslovakia.