Nazi-Soviet Pact (1939)

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 09-04-19 14:39

National Security

Protection from foreign powers:

- Winter War in Finland in 1939 had left USSR weak, but the pact provided protection (it also provided economic breathing space to concentrate on internal affairs)

- prevented Anglo-French military mission never became reality as it didn't reach Moscow until 1939 (Nazi-Soviet Pact already being negotiated)

- treaty with France in 1935 offered further protection if Germany invaded Russia (however, negotations in 1939 slowed in 1939 as Britain was reluctant to join)

Stalin's Ideal Situation:

- Stalin's ideal situation was war where he remained neutral                                                    1. facsist countries, Germany, Italy & Japan fought capitalist/democratic countries Britain & France) 2. War would consequently leave Britain, France & Germany economically + militarily exhausted

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Stalin's Näivity

Stalin was unwilling to accept that he had been outmanouvered by Hitler (stating 'actuallly it is I who have outsmarted him')


- Stalin failed to allow his forces to mobilise in time (he refused to listen to intelligence from Britain & Japan + was further convinced of Hitler's treaty when the invasion arrived late)

Previous History:

- previously Russia had entered into greatly beneficial treaties with Germany (e.g the treat of Rapallo in 1922 & 1926 Treaty of Berlin)

- the Pact provided economical breathing space to concentrate on internal affairs (meanwhile the Treaty of Berlin held fast for 5 years during which Germany's significant long-term loans boosted Stalin's 3rd 5-Year-Plan)

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Military Preparation

Armed Forces:

- Stalin took advantage of the pact to extend Soviet frontiers westward (the old defensive line was abandonned + preparations moved to a new one)

       1. by 1941 prepartions for the new line were incomplete and there was no second one to fall back on as the old line had been left in a state of disrepair

- Stalin had purged the armed forces of commanders between 1937-8 (this undermined moral + paralysed initiative)

- Russian territory was already protected geographically (the large population & area of land suggests that Stalin was already sufficiently prepared)

        1. a Soviet Census in 1939 showed a population of 170.6 million

        2. the USSR extended approximately more than 8,00,000 square miles

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