Should Britain and France have tried harder to create an alliance with the USSR in 1939?

Should Britain and France have tried harder to create an alliance with the USSR in 1939?

  • Yes

  • No


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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,279
Republika Srpska
Yeah, despite Dir's claims, the German occupation was still a pretty harsh period for Ukrainian peasants. In early August 1942, a special emissary from the food and agriculture department of Reichskommisariat Ukraine announced that peasants in the Kiev region had no more grain. There was almost no tractors and combines due to lack of fuel. From May 1st 1942, every peasant ages 18-60 had to work 5 days a week with room to tighten the rules which local German commanders often did.

Also, I find it funny that @Dir claims that Nazi plans were simply illusions and therefore should not be discussed, but is pefectly willing to discuss Soviet plans to expand Communism to the whole world, which was just as much an illusion as the German plans.
 
Likes: Futurist
Aug 2014
151
New York, USA
Do you understand the purpose of such "declassification"? Military-patriotic education of the Russian youth, and not at all the restoration of the real history of the Second World War. With this filter, a group of old generals that are engaged in the Russian Ministry of military archives and write articles about the history of WWII, and filter archival documents before they are published.

And what has been declassified since 2000? This is an interesting question. You describe some details of the general plan of the defence of the 1941. I have never seen it. Can you let me have a link for the plan?
I am not talking about plans put out on the internet by the Russian ministry for propaganda purposes or otherwise. I am talking about archival original source documents that became available to historians.
The rest of your post is just a bunch of conspiracy theories that remind me of Icebreaker (a work of fiction couched in "history") similar to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.

If you want the source that discusses various plans that were actually available, considered, and/or implemented by Stalin and Stavka, please read Stephen Kotkin's exhaustive and definitive biography of Stalin:
Stalin: Volume II: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941, Penguin Press 2017
This book references the actual original archival source material, with no guesswork needed on your part. The paperback version just came out recently too!
 
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Nov 2015
1,572
Kyiv
Yeah, despite Dir's claims, the German occupation was still a pretty harsh period for Ukrainian peasants. In early August 1942, a special emissary from the food and agriculture department of Reichskommisariat Ukraine announced that peasants in the Kiev region had no more grain. There was almost no tractors and combines due to lack of fuel. From May 1st 1942, every peasant ages 18-60 had to work 5 days a week with room to tighten the rules which local German commanders often did.

Also, I find it funny that @Dir claims that Nazi plans were simply illusions and therefore should not be discussed, but is pefectly willing to discuss Soviet plans to expand Communism to the whole world, which was just as much an illusion as the German plans.
Maki, I completely agree with you that the German occupation of Ukraine in 1941-1944 was a bad thing. And it was a sad time for our peasants. But if we compare their lives and their realities with the Russian occupation of Ukraine in the 1930s, then the comparison with the German occupation is a comparison of very bad or just unbearable - with bad. Exactly.

And I do not argue here about the plans of the Russians to curb the whole world. I just say that you can not get too carried away by the plans of totalitarian countries. And I'm not talking here only about the Russian plans to conquer other countries during the WWII. I say that in 1939-1940 Russia already captured other countries completely or part of their territories. I have already provided a list. And according to the results of WWII, she safely secured all these seizures

On the other hand there is a question for the German plans for Ukraine, as among the bosses of the Third Reich there were serious contradictions regarding Ukraine. And the main plan — that is, the uniquely accepted Rosenberg plan — was quite loyal to Ukraine.
Against this background, the Moscow plans for Ukraine and for the whole Country of the Soviets were the most optimistic and humane. And this in no way prevented Russian Bolshevism from becoming one of the world champions in the mass extermination of the citizens of their own country. And the scale of repression against the civilian population.

Ukraine, together with Kazakhstan, became the two republics where the Moscow authorities carried out an act of genocide against their title nations. The Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine and artifical famine in Kazakhstan. A series of actions of these authorities during the great famine of 1946-1947 in Ukraine and the scale of its victims also makes it possible to speak of this as genocide.
 
Mar 2019
9
Madeira, Portugal
I'm gonna go out on a limb here, and risk stating what's obvious:
In 1945, there was a Soviet-French-British-American alliance, and Nazi Germany was annihilated.
What did Stalin do?

Did the Red Army retreat back to the Soviet Union, and permit Eastern European "democracies" to return to their pre-war status quo?
The answer is NOT a matter of opinion: It is NO. Of course not. The Soviet Union occupied Eastern Europe, lock, stock and barrel, and there was an
Iron Curtain thru Central Europe. Does anyone deny this fact?

Why did the Red Army NOT retreat behind the borders of the Soviet Union, just as Britain and France retreated their armies, by 1960?
NOT because the Soviets were afraid of Germany, this is certain.
The real reason is that Bolshevism had ALWAYS INTENDED to export their "dictatorship of the proletariat"
to ALL OF EUROPE, and eventually to the entire Earth. The Soviets had no sympathy for Britain, France, any capitalist democracies, and indeed the Soviets considered fascism
to be just another expression of "capitalist imperialism". This is not a conspiracy theory, it's exactly what the ComIntern had always propagated,
so in their own words, we know this to have always been their agenda... Stalin's goal too. Indeed, Molotov himself was a surviving leader of the Bolshevik Revolution,
one of the chosen few who organized side-by-side with Lenin, Trotzky, Stalin, Bukharin, etc. Only after Lenin's death, and Stalin's purges that forced Trotzky into exile,
murdered Zinoviev, Kamenev, and eventually Bukharin too, was Molotov able to rise up and implement the Bolshevik agenda, "diplomatically". The strategy of encouraging the
"imperialists" to bleed themselves to exhaustion in a protracted war of attrition, then to enjoin the battle when resistance was weakest, to claim victory and collect the spoils,
was exactly what had always been the Bolshevik blueprint for all of Europe.

How remarkable is it that Molotov tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to negotiate an Alliance with Britain and France against Hitler, THEN immediately negotiated the non-aggression pact
with Ribbentrop instead? Whose side was he really on? Yes, Molotov considered Hitler to be a threat, but Hitler was a threat as an obstacle for the spread of Bolshevism.
Britain and France were not obstacles; they were weaker targets to be swept away, more easily done by the Red Army than how Hitler demonstrated it after September 1939.

So, in 1939, if Stalin had had the opportunity to march the Red Army into Central Europe and defeat Hitler, without the presence of the United States Army and Air Force,
neither France nor Britain (and certainly not Poland) could have stopped him to CAKEWALK past Berlin, take Holland, Belgium, Paris, and probably Rome and Madrid too.
Meanwhile, the United States would not have been aroused by such a turn of events, because Pearl Harbor wouldn't happen until 1941...
It was a missed opportunity, the one that the Bolsheviks had been waiting for since before 1919.

What would Europe look like today given this scenario?
Would Churchill have appeased Stalin too?
Would he have had a choice?
 
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May 2017
666
France
I agree completely with you for the first part of your article:nature of the political regime of Stalin,position of the Komintern etc...but i don t agree about the prospection of summer 1939.At this time,my maternal s family finished the spanish war (1936-1939) with soviets materials (Tanks T26//general Dimitri Pavlov) and a cousin of my granfather,the international geophysician Maurice Martin (10 years in Bakou and Grozny)left USSR for the "Second Office" (Intelligence Service) of the french army.They agree with one point:the soviet army had good weapons and could fight against little adversaries,spanisn nationalists,italians,finlanders,japaneses troops in Mandchouria.But the forces of Stalin couldnt succeed on a double front Japan and Germany at the sames times.Even if Japan had been defeated in a first battle,the japanesearmy could attack for a revenge with more troops and weapons.And in the center of Europe,URSS would have fight against everybody:Germany and satellits,Finland,Italy of Mussolini,Spain of Franco,Portugal of Salazar,and perhaps french and English….If i would have been Stalin,i would have choosen a prudent neutrality until the complete defeat of Japan,and after i would have Advanced in Balts territories and Poland.I wouls have considered a fight with Hitler as a possiblity of disaster able to destroy the conquests of the communist system.The military industrial complex of Stalin was inferior at the Hitler s one (quantitiesand qualities (the official statistics of Stalin were a classical weapon of propaganda) but Stalin could hope in a first time a long war between Hitler and GB/french.If the resistance of the GB/french was long ,Stalin wasin condition to accelerate in all the matters his regime was in late (i think everything except the tanks which were really goods).Who could imagine the defeat of France in three weeks ? Nobody.MM had annonced for all the officers of my family in Versailles,the 31 december 1939,a complete defeat in october-november 1940 second offensive of Hiler).
 
May 2017
666
France
I have ordinator s problems.In Bitche (Second Office) the officers of the Intelligence Service had good informations (desertors of the Hitler s armies; jewish soldiers,communists,social democrats).The french army was totally informed about the possibility of a big future disaster in may,after the come back of the nazi troops from Poland.But what were the other possibilities ? Stalin with his communists friends everywhere had the same informations….In reality,the battle of 1940 is an inevitable disaster.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,608
Sydney
Stalin withdrew from Austria and was in the process of withdrawing from Czechoslovakia when the cold winds of the cold wars started to blow
as usual Churchill is to blame , the man was a walking talking diplomatic disaster

with the US having the nuclear bomb , keeping US bombers out of range did seems to be a good idea at the time
as for the concept of "democracy" that's a bit of a contentious argument
communists usually have no love for bourgeois politicians who were compromised time and again
 
Jan 2017
1,142
Durham
With hindsight, should Britain and France have tried harder to create an alliance with the USSR in 1939?

Anyway, I voted Yes. While Britain and France might have feared the consequences of the Soviet military advancing into Central Europe, this ultimately ended up happening anyway, but with a lot more Soviet and Jewish deaths than would have been the case had Britain and France allied with the Soviet Union back in 1939. Also, with the USSR being in the war as early as 1939, the odds of France ever falling probably go down--perhaps way down. In addition, while the Americans might not be happy with such an alliance, Britain and France can tell the Americans that they were left with no choice as a result of US isolationism.

With the Soviet Union being neutral, Britain and France would have had to take much more casualties to defeat the Germans in the event of a long war since there wouldn't be an Eastern Front to put pressure on the Germans. Indeed, it is worth noting that there was a risk of a long war even if anti-Nazis in the German military would have overthrown Hitler and the Nazis sometime after war would have broken out due to the fact that even anti-Nazis in the German military and elsewhere don't appear to have been particularly eager or willing to return Germany to its August 1939 borders. There would have been a possibility of anti-Nazis overthrowing Hitler and the Nazis before the war would have broken out had an Anglo-French-Soviet alliance been created and announced before the war, though; in such a case, war would have likely been avoided.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this?
No. The Soviet Union was a totalitarian, ruthless state, and not one we should look to for friendship.

Principles before outcome.
 
Mar 2019
9
Madeira, Portugal
Whether or not the Soviet Union was prepared for a war against the Nazis in 1939 is not something I know much about,
but the fact that the Soviets were negotiating with Britain, France and Poland to create an alliance against Germany before the outbreak of WW2, AND
offering 1 million Red Army troops for that alliance, suggests that Stalin was contemplating hostilities against Nazi Germany as early as 1939, provided that
Britain and France would participate. Of course, Hitler was an aggressive nationalist, and was threatening to invade Poland unless the Polish Government
made concessions on the issue of Danzig, thereby provoking France and Britain to take assertive action against Germany, as ultimately happened (unlike when Hitler invaded
Czechoslovakia in 1938). I'm pretty sure that Stalin knew and understood these facts, because he wasn't stupid.
War in Europe seemed inevitable, and Stalin evidently preferred not to remain neutral. When the alliance talks with France and G.B. broke down, for Stalin the M-R non-agression pact was a better option
than no agreement whatsoever, given the real potential for hostilities between Germany and the Soviet Union on ideological grounds. And Hitler too was clearly interested in avoiding a two-front war predicament, in which the Soviet Union would have had the upper hand of greater natural and human resources for a protracted war.
As we know, even Barbarossa in 1941 was a disaster for the Nazis because they weren't prepared and equipped for the Russian winters, and they lacked many resources for the vastness of Russia, strained supply lines, and partisan warfare. Stalingrad was their nemesis. A two-front war situation in 1939 would have been substantially worse for the Nazis, and the possibility for that could have been a deterrent against Hitler's aggression against Poland, but we'll never know. The hot-headed Hitler sure was in a hurry to consolidate his Third Reich, so anything was possible.
Nevertheless, In 1939, the Nazis were even weaker than in 1941, considering that they lacked the resources of 1941, such as the Romanian oil fields.
Delaying war with Germany was a worse option for Stalin, as it turned out, but did he have much of a choice? The push for the Sovietization of Europe, and ultimately the world,
required patience and the right conditions, which an alliance with France and G.B. may have provided; but without such an alliance, buying time via the M-R pact seemed like the right alternative.
 
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redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,566
Stockport Cheshire UK
Stalin withdrew from Austria and was in the process of withdrawing from Czechoslovakia when the cold winds of the cold wars started to blow
as usual Churchill is to blame , the man was a walking talking diplomatic disaster
Go on, explain how Churchill was to blame.:rolleyes:
 

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