- Jan 2015
- Ontario, Canada
Gifts would be an obvious overstatement, but Stalin and the Soviet Union REALLY banked on Hitler and Nazi-Germany continuing to be in good faith about the new relationship. Even as evidence was mounting Nazi-Germany was preparing to abandon it, and jump the USSR.
This to the point that when the attack came in 1941 the USSR, and Stalin personally, had been willfully blind and ignoring what was about to happen for some time. And it's not as if the Soviet espionage wasn't good enough to find the information. It did. But it didn't fit the politically preferred scenario of Nazi-Germany remaining on friendly terms with the USSR, at least for the time being, and so was ignored. Until the Germans actually attacked.
Although Stalin was planning on keeping the Germans in his pocket for many years to come. I'm not even convinced that he wanted to get rid of Hitler. I think he was fine with Hitler so long as it fit the agenda, Stalin was more pragmatic than one tends to think. Stalin needed time to revamp his army and state, at least 3 years if not 5.
At which point the USSR forces in the newly acquired parts of eastern Europe, Poland most of all, were in no position to offer effective resistance, because the USSR had planned and prepared for Nazi-Germany to remain friendly for several years more. It's a big part of why the central front of the USSR caved so spectacularly early in Barbarossa. On the southern front, where the Soviet forces defended properly designed positions they had planned to if necessary fight from for years, the offensive was a lot slower.