The Outbreak Of War: The Pact

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The Pact was divided into several articles. Both countries were to, at all times, keep each other informed about problems that would affect their common interest. If any disputes were to arise they would be settled through fair and friendly exchange of opinion. The signing of the secret protocols, essentially divided up Europe between the two powers. The Northern border of Lithuania would be the boundary of the spheres of influence between the two (Lynch 1990). In Nazi archives after 1945 evidence of secret protocols were found. Although the Soviets denounced the documents until the late 1980s they showed the division the Pact had created in Europe. Stalin received Eastern Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Bessarabia in Romania and Hitler…show more content…
Stalin’s plan was to improve his military for future conflict and he would do this while Germany entered into hostility with Britain. The Pact bought Stalin some extra time to do this. The Soviets did not want a future where a powerful and victorious Germany would be their next door neighbour (Gorodetsky 1990, p29). In September 1939 Hitler invaded Poland. Neither Hitler nor Stalin had foreseen that this would lead to the Western Allies declaring war on Germany on the first of September 1939. In actual fact Hitler and Stalin believed they had prevented the outbreak of war with the signing of the Pact not brought it on (Taylor 1963). The Pact convinced Hitler that the Western Powers could not now intervene to save Poland. To the Western Powers the Pact proved how unreliable the Soviets were. However, Britain had already based their strategy on the assumption that the USSR would remain isolated from the conflict, or even if they did get involved their military would be of little help to anyone, thus had no influence the decision to go to war. Of course if Britain and France had reached a firm agreement with the Soviets, Hitler might well have held back from invading Poland and have resorted to diplomatic and economic pressure instead (Overy…show more content…
There can be little doubt that for the immediate future Stalin seemed to have gained more from the treaty than Hitler. He could now strengthen the Soviet Union’s military economy and raise the striking power of the Red Army (Boyce and Robinson 1989). By the 28 September, Warsaw was under attack but the question of Poland still had not been addressed, so Ribbentrop returned to Moscow and agreed to sign an additional ‘boundary and friendship treaty’ with Stalin. This created various alterations to the demarcation line of Russia’s occupied boundaries. Stalin could now have almost all of Lithuania and in return Germany was given a slight increase in their occupied territory of Poland (Beevor 2012). This would mean that in the future any attack on the Soviet Union by Germany would have to come from a distance far away enough from the USSR’s border to be seen coming (Lynch
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