An engrossing account of the mutual nonaggression treaty signed by Hitler and Stalin in 1939, and the historical events it produced. Here readers will be able to view the dramatic story of the circumstances behind the signing, and twenty-two months later, the breaking of this notorious pact....
|Title||:||The Deadly Embrace: Hitler, Stalin and the Nazi-Soviet Pact, 1939-1941|
|Number of Pages||:||736 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Deadly Embrace: Hitler, Stalin and the Nazi-Soviet Pact, 1939-1941 Reviews
This is a tremendous account of this startling time period between two of the twentieth centuries great purveyors of evil. The authors write well and at a very personal level, describing the key individuals involved (Molotov, Schulenberg, Ribbentrop - among others). Also recounted are the futile efforts of the British and French to reach some sort of accord with the Soviet Union. One gets the overall impression that Stalin was never interested in this approach from Britain and France - his priorities were the territories he could acquire through his agreements with other nations, as is well illustrated by the secret protocols of Nazi-Soviet Pact. The two dictatorships spoke the same language and understood each others understated intentions, as opposed to the negotiations with the democratic powers.This book can be quite sardonic in tone, adding to its readability. Almost half of it is concerned with the events leading up to the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Also most of the focus is on the Soviet Union. The authors present the multi-faceted points of view of the participants - Britain, France, Italy, Poland, as well as the Soviet Union and Germany.By signing the Pact the Soviet Union isolated herself further from the international community and tarnished her image by ruthlessly going to war with Finland. Ironically the Soviet Union tried negotiating with Finland, but did nothing of the sort when arbitrarily occupying Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Stalin and his country paid a terrible historical price for this.This book is a brilliant narration of this crucial period and illustrates how dictatorships deal sordidly with each other.
Outstanding research and reporting: This is the story of how the world's two greatest (or worst) totalitarian powers reached an agreement to carve Europe between them. Hitler was obsessed with avoiding a two-front war as happened to Germany in WWI. This time, though, the situation was reversed. He sought to knock out the Western powers first before turning to the East. France and England were the major worries at the moment.Stalin also wanted a free hand as he sought to restore the USSR's border's to pre-Revolution range. This naturally included a division of Poland and the absorption of part of Eastern Europe. One is struck at the gall of these powers sitting at a map and drawing lines, dividing the civilized world into spheres of influece, knowing all the while that in the end, they will have to fight.The authors record the pre-talks, the feelers, the struggles of the Western powers to stop this deal at any cost. But Hitler was determined to press ahead and secure at least half of his border. There are several mini-tales included that were affected by the treaty - the tragic dismemberment of Poland, the Russian rape of Finland, the beginning of a pattern embraced by both powers and continued by the USSR after the war: The absurd claim that a government would ask either power to invade its territory in order to crush "warmongers". Both nations shocked their supporters - Germans were puzzled as to why such an agreement was needed with its arch-enemy. Leftists worldwide were struck dumb as their hero, Stalin, smiled and signed on the dotted line. But there was nothing to fear. As the fighting wore on and England refused to bow, Hitler planned the final punch - knock the USSR out of the war and England would be forced to sue for peace. It was almost a success but the supply lines and huge area became a quagmire and the lost retreat was in place. The treaty had served its purpose and like most treaties signed with totalitarian powers it remained in force as long as it was needed.
Most histories involving the Soviet Union are formulaic, attempting to attribute unlimited calamitous foolishness and naivety to the leadership of the USSR in its dealings with Nazi Germany. There is always a massive amount of the story that is left out. This amounts to historically criminal historical dishonesty (yep, that's how I wrote it). This book exemplifies a genre that should have all its works recycled as waste paper-ground to pulp and used for childrens books, appropriate because the level of scholarship is inherently childish or juvenile. Instead of reading this, read 1939: The Alliance That Never Was and the Coming of World War II by Michael Jabara Carley and his paper 'Only the USSR has... Clean Hands' : the Soviet Perspective on the Failure of Collective Security and the Collapse of Czechoslovakia, 1934-1938 in Diplomacy and Statecraft.
One word: biased. Interesting, but biased.