Why did Stalin sign the Nazi-Soviet pact?

This essay examines how mistrust led Stalin to sign the Nazi-Soviet Pact.

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Why did Stalin sign the NaziSoviet pact?
Many historians feel that the main reason as to why Stalin signed the NaziSoviet pact was
because he was not convinced that Britain and France would be strong and reliable allies against
Stalin had been very worried about the German threat to the Soviet as Hitler had openly stated
his interest in conquering the Russian land as well as overpowering communism. In 1934, to gain
allies for the Soviet Union, Stalin joined the League of Nations, but it was to prove
disappointing. Stalin lost all faith in the League after it had failed to stop Mussolini when he
invaded Abyssinia and when the League was powerless when Hitler and Mussolini intervened in
the Spanish Civil War. In 1935, Stalin signed a treaty with France which stated that France
would help the USSR if it was invaded by Germany. Although Stalin had signed the treaty with
France, he believed that the French were making empty promises which would not be fulfilled.
He used the example when the French failed to stop Hitler invading the Rhineland. In
September 1938, the Munich Agreement was signed. This agreement stated that Hitler could
have the Sudetenland, in return for the promise that he would not invade anywhere else. Stalin,
as a major political figure in Europe, felt that he should have been consulted about the
agreement, but he concluded that France and Britain were either powerless to stop Hitler or
they were happy for Hitler to take over Eastern Europe and then eventually the USSR.
Despite his concerns, Stalin continued to hold talks with Britain and France about an alliance
against Hitler. When the three countries met in March 1939, chamberlain was reluctant to
commit to an alliance. While talks were being held between Britain, France and the USSR,
Stalin was holding talks with the Nazi foreign minister Ribbentrop. In August, Stalin made the
decision to sign the NaziSoviet pact. This pact agreed that neither country would attack one
another, and privately they agreed to divide Poland between them.
Historians feel that there are three reasons as to why Stalin signed the Nazisoviet pact:
He was not convinced that Britain and France would be strong and reliable enough as
allies against Hitler.
He had designs on Poland himself.
He did not believe that Hitler would keep his word, but he hoped for time to build up
his forces against the probable attack.
Historians feel that the most important reason for Stalin signing the pact was that he thought that
Britain and France would not be reliable as allies. He believed that Britain and France were
weak because they had not yet recovered from the devastations of the Great War.
Historians also believe that he had plans to attack large sections of eastern Poland and wanted
to take over the Baltic States, because he wanted it to be like the days of the Tsar. Also, he
may have wanted time to arm the Russian troops in case of the start of war.


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