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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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,114
Sydney
Churchill deliberately sought to influence the rather unsophisticated Truman in the evil nature of Stalin
While Roosevelt was very friendly , he had his own view on Churchill Imperial mindset which he rejected
he also had deep disagreement with Churchill on the conduct of the war and the post war arrangement
Truman , a rather provincial figure with little international knowledge fell for Churchill as a mentor
Stalin had respect for roosevelt and loathed churchill
from Potsdam on , Stalin could see a mental wall being erected against him
the US sudden suspension of lend lease food shipment even turning ships in mid course was as unfriendly a gesture as they come
 
Nov 2015
1,725
Kyiv
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
- Stalin did not withdraw from Austria. He died in 1953. And Russians moved their troops from the part of Austria Russia occupied in Oct 1955. And the Russians had a huge army in Eastern Germany and a solid military forces in Hungaria and Poland.


Communism took over China and North Korea by the beginning of the 1950s. And it radically increased its weight in the world. The Russians conducted an active dig under Turkey and were forced to withdraw their forces from Iran just under strong pressure from the West. Communism was actively spreading around the globe at the time . And this is a historical fact. And the West had several decades to clear up the consequences of its weakness before this expansion.
 
Likes: arkteia
Nov 2010
1,254
Bordeaux
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.
Indeed, and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is a direct consequence of that.
The USSR had been trying to reactivate the Franco-British-Russian alliance for ages, only facing disdain from Western leaders.
Britain and France didn't want to have anything to do the communist Soviets, regardless of the reality of the threat posed by Hitler and the absence of a dual front in case of another conflict.
As Stalin was well aware of the state of his army, he had no choice but to gain as much time as possible until the inevitable happened, thus signing a non-agression pact with Hitler.
And so, just as the Russian front prevented a quick collapse of the Western front in 1914, the absence of a Russian front made the collapse of May-June 1940 all the more evident and inevitable.
Add to this the utter stupidity and incompetence of the French High Command in 1940 and the outcome becomes even more self-evident.
 
Dec 2011
1,321
Belgium
Indeed, and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is a direct consequence of that.
The USSR had been trying to reactivate the Franco-British-Russian alliance for ages, only facing disdain from Western leaders.
Britain and France didn't want to have anything to do the communist Soviets, regardless of the reality of the threat posed by Hitler and the absence of a dual front in case of another conflict.
As Stalin was well aware of the state of his army, he had no choice but to gain as much time as possible until the inevitable happened, thus signing a non-agression pact with Hitler.
And so, just as the Russian front prevented a quick collapse of the Western front in 1914, the absence of a Russian front made the collapse of May-June 1940 all the more evident and inevitable.
Add to this the utter stupidity and incompetence of the French High Command in 1940 and the outcome becomes even more self-evident.
Frog, happy to see you again after some time. Are you still on Passion Histoire too? And yes as I read it from my study that I made on the small Res Historica board that was my conclusion too from the four entries I mentioned up thread.

Kind regards, Paul.
 
Nov 2015
1,725
Kyiv
Indeed, and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is a direct consequence of that.
The USSR had been trying to reactivate the Franco-British-Russian alliance for ages, only facing disdain from Western leaders.
Britain and France didn't want to have anything to do the communist Soviets, regardless of the reality of the threat posed by Hitler and the absence of a dual front in case of another conflict.
As Stalin was well aware of the state of his army, he had no choice but to gain as much time as possible until the inevitable happened, thus signing a non-agression pact with Hitler.
And so, just as the Russian front prevented a quick collapse of the Western front in 1914, the absence of a Russian front made the collapse of May-June 1940 all the more evident and inevitable.
Add to this the utter stupidity and incompetence of the French High Command in 1940 and the outcome becomes even more self-evident.

I think the Russians had very different priorities at the time. And they had a visual format. Image of the globe on the national emblem of the Soviet Union. In politics, these priorities reflected the Comintern. Its main goal was the expansion of the ideas of Bolshevism in Western countries and the formation in them of the pro-Moscow fifth column. Russia's hatred of the German Nazis was no more than its hatred of "rotten Western democracies"

The third argument in favor of these Russian priorities was the huge Red Army with its unprecedented striking power, 30 thousand tanks and 20 thousand combat aircraft.

The idea of a non-aggression pact with Russia in 1939 belonged to the leadership of the Third Reich. But for Russian priorities, the neutrality of Russia in the upcoming big war such a pact meant little. And so Moscow offered the Germans in response to their idea of a non-aggression pact completely different thing. The Secret protocol. An agreement between the two aggressors - Germany and Russia - on the upcoming capture of the countries of Eastern Europe or some their territories.

All Russian "anti-fascism" evaporated without a trace by the beginning of WWII. And on September 17, 1939 Russia became a combat ally of the Third Reich in World War II. Aggressor and invader of foreign territories. And on October 28, 1939 — that is, during the WWII — the Russians signed the Treaty of Friendship and the Border with the nazis. Secure the new role of Russia in the war. Russia became a good friend of Nazy Germany for the first two years of the WWII
 
Aug 2014
214
New York, USA
The idea of a non-aggression pact with Russia in 1939 belonged to the leadership of the Third Reich. But for Russian priorities, the neutrality of Russia in the upcoming big war such a pact meant little. And so Moscow offered the Germans in response to their idea of a non-aggression pact completely different thing. The Secret protocol. An agreement between the two aggressors - Germany and Russia - on the upcoming capture of the countries of Eastern Europe or some their territories.

All Russian "anti-fascism" evaporated without a trace by the beginning of WWII. And on September 17, 1939 Russia became a combat ally of the Third Reich in World War II. Aggressor and invader of foreign territories. And on October 28, 1939 — that is, during the WWII — the Russians signed the Treaty of Friendship and the Border with the nazis. Secure the new role of Russia in the war. Russia became a good friend of Nazy Germany for the first two years of the WWII
A couple of caveats to your narrative:
- Stalin had already read Hitler's Mein Kampf at this point. As far as we know, he possessed one of the few (if not the only) Russian translation of Mein Kampf as part of his dossier on Hitler prepared by NKVD and army intelligence. This book was not circulated in the Soviet Union.
- The pact with Ribbentrop was only made after Stalin realized that the British/French were not serious about an alliance against Germany and were not negotiating in good faith. Stalin had to ally with someone in Europe as he was simultaneously fighting a border conflict with expansionist Japan that he was really worried about.
- Stalin kept postponing the invasion of Poland and didn't actually abide by the protocol, which would include the Red army invading Poland almost simultaneously with the Wehrmacht. The Red army was sitting at the border, and Stalin only gave the command to enter Poland after the Polish army was already defeated in the field by the Germans after a really poor defensive strategy, and he saw that the British/French did not actually attack the Germans and were all talk no action. The aim of the Red army was simply to secure the land agreed upon by the protocol, as Stalin did not trust Hitler to keep to their agreed-upon border.
- In September 1939, Stalin ordered the Red army to attack the Wehrmacht after the German army violated their border agreement. Manstein had to organize a fighting retreat back to the German side of the border. Just FYI, this is not how "good friends and allies" act. They may say certain things in propaganda or in official diplomatic meetings between themselves, but everyone knew what was up. This was the first clash of the Red army vs the Germans in WW2, not the beginning of Barbarossa.

The whole situation was a lot more complicated, and not straight forward at all.
 
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Likes: sparky
May 2017
807
France
A lot of people considered France as the winner of the WW1,a strong state with a big army.It is a child vision.Our land was destroyed,our nation wounded by 1,5 millions of KIA,our economy in difficulties (the conséquences of the US crisis of 29 had shocked us until 32,the franc of 1918 had the valor of 30 % of the franc of 1914).So ,our government had a diplomacy of "the rabbit in front of the woolf".Allways waiting after the foreign politic of the conservatives of England,we were unable to do something serious,except figures of dancing in front of Hitler.If UK had do nothing for Poland,we would have choosen the same road of the trahison.In these conditions,how Stalin could believe in the capacities of France and UK ? France allways told "our allied ,our allied"....It significates that we hope with the strict fidelity to UK the key of the US intervention,like in 1917.
 
Jul 2012
748
Australia
Avalon Project - Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941[/URL]

Any "conflict" in 1939 was simply to enforce what had been agreed to earlier. The demarcation line between German and Soviet occupation zones of Poland was modified by negotiation. The Pact did call for collaboration between German and Soviet security bureaus and was carried on in Krakow until early 1941.
 
Jul 2012
748
Australia
In September 1939, Stalin ordered the Red army to attack the Wehrmacht after the German army violated their border agreement. Manstein had to organize a fighting retreat back to the German side of the border. Just FYI, this is not how "good friends and allies" act. They may say certain things in propaganda or in official diplomatic meetings between themselves, but everyone knew what was up. This was the first clash of the Red army vs the Germans in WW2, not the beginning of Barbarossa.
The Pact did not recognise Germany and the Soviet Union as "friends". Negotiations leading to the pact were explicit that the agreement would be based on both parties acting in their own interests, that the pact did not mean that one party approved of the other party's views, that nationals within the borders of the other would be treated as "persona non-grata", the pact was solely focussed on the problem caused by the actions (or inactions) of the West.

see: Avalon Project - Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941

Any "conflict" in 1939 was simply to enforce what had been agreed to earlier. The demarcation line between German and Soviet occupation zones of Poland was modified by negotiation. The Pact did call for collaboration between German and Soviet security bureaus and was carried on in Krakow until early 1941.
 

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