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View Full Version : Stalin 'planned to send a million troops to stop Hitler if Britain and France agreed



Laisrean
October 21st, 2008, 09:43 AM
Link (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/3223834/Stalin-planned-to-send-a-million-troops-to-stop-Hitler-if-Britain-and-France-agreed-pact.html)


Papers which were kept secret for almost 70 years show that the Soviet Union proposed sending a powerful military force in an effort to entice Britain and France into an anti-Nazi alliance.

Such an agreement could have changed the course of 20th century history, preventing Hitler's pact with Stalin which gave him free rein to go to war with Germany's other neighbours.

The offer of a military force to help contain Hitler was made by a senior Soviet military delegation at a Kremlin meeting with senior British and French officers, two weeks before war broke out in 1939.

The new documents, copies of which have been seen by The Sunday Telegraph, show the vast numbers of infantry, artillery and airborne forces which Stalin's generals said could be dispatched, if Polish objections to the Red Army crossing its territory could first be overcome.

David19
October 21st, 2008, 03:23 PM
Interesting, I wonder how different history would have been, if Stalin had sent over a million troops.

Laisrean
October 21st, 2008, 04:21 PM
Interesting, I wonder how different history would have been, if Stalin had sent over a million troops.

It would have been different, that's for sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean it would have been better.... just different. The war may still have dragged on for just as long, or even longer, and it probably would have been a worse thing for Poland (including the Jews who lived there) because a lot more of fighting would have been taking place there instead of in other places.

The Germans did fight the entire Red Army historically as it was. This would only have meant they would fight them in late 1939 instead of summer of 1941. Maybe the Germans would actually have had a better advantage in this, because they wouldn't be dealing with Russia's difficult weather and terrain, and the Red Army would be far from its homeland and more difficult to supply and so forth.

David19
October 21st, 2008, 09:00 PM
It would have been different, that's for sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean it would have been better.... just different. The war may still have dragged on for just as long, or even longer, and it probably would have been a worse thing for Poland (including the Jews who lived there) because a lot more of fighting would have been taking place there instead of in other places.

The Germans did fight the entire Red Army historically as it was. This would only have meant they would fight them in late 1939 instead of summer of 1941. Maybe the Germans would actually have had a better advantage in this, because they wouldn't be dealing with Russia's difficult weather and terrain, and the Red Army would be far from its homeland and more difficult to supply and so forth.

I guess that's true, maybe, the Nazi's would have even won, which is a scary thought ('cause, I think, the Soviet Union was one of their biggest challenges?).

Valnorran
October 22nd, 2008, 03:22 PM
Considering the Red Army's inability to take Finland, I'm not sure thing's would've been significantly different. In fact, I've heard some speculate that the Soviet debacle known as the Winter War may have been somewhat encouraging to Hitler.

LostSheep
October 22nd, 2008, 04:03 PM
Would anyone have really trusted Stalin any more than they'd trust Hitler? And the Red Army was in a much worse state in 1939 than it was in '41, with the effects of Stalin's purges still very fresh, and with the modern equipment (the T-34, modern planes, etc) that were just coming into service in '41 still on the drawing board, if that. The Germans would have walked even further all over them than they did in '41.

Laisrean
October 22nd, 2008, 04:09 PM
Considering the Red Army's inability to take Finland, I'm not sure thing's would've been significantly different. In fact, I've heard some speculate that the Soviet debacle known as the Winter War may have been somewhat encouraging to Hitler.

The Red Army in 1939 was a shambles, thanks to Stalin's mass murdering of pretty much any general of real competence. The military was also very poorly equipped, in fact there was only enough rifles and ammunition for the half the soldiers... the idea was when the one carrying the rifle was killed, one of the soldiers would pick it up and charge on.

So yeah, I don't think they would have been able to save Poland. If anything, their forces might have been cut-off and they might suffer the same sort of disaster the German's suffered at Stalingrad, where their army is surrounded and unable to retreat in any direction and then forced to surrender...

Ironically, had Stalin actually tried to stop Hitler, he may have helped Hitler win the war.

Laisrean
October 22nd, 2008, 04:14 PM
Would anyone have really trusted Stalin any more than they'd trust Hitler? And the Red Army was in a much worse state in 1939 than it was in '41, with the effects of Stalin's purges still very fresh, and with the modern equipment (the T-34, modern planes, etc) that were just coming into service in '41 still on the drawing board, if that. The Germans would have walked even further all over them than they did in '41.

You beat me to it, but that's it.

An Operation Barbarossa in '39 or '40 probably would have led to the German's seizing the oil rich caucus region, and giving them a springboard to move into the middle-east and seize all the oil there. Then as now, something like 2/3rds of the oil in the world resided in that region, and its loss would have crippled the Allies. Only the USA would have been able to offer any rescue at that point, but this would still be before Pearl Harbor, and would we have even entered at all considering how badly things were unfolding? That's hard to say.

Valnorran
October 23rd, 2008, 09:14 AM
... the idea was when the one carrying the rifle was killed, one of the soldiers would pick it up and charge on.
LOL! Now there's a winning strategy!

Laisrean
October 23rd, 2008, 09:48 AM
LOL! Now there's a winning strategy!

No kidding. That strategy only managed to "work" thanks to the USSR's nearly inexhaustible supply of manpower, as well as its total disregard for human life. The Soviets ultimately did triumph over the Germans, but when you consider how many Soviet soldiers were killed for every German soldier killed, its pretty appalling...

That's what's called "human wave" doctrine.

Edit: for another example of this, check out the battle of Isandlwana where 20,000 Zulus with nothing more than spears and shields were able to overwhelm a small British force. No matter how more advanced your weaponry is, it's no good once the ammo runs out, or when the enemy gets within stabbing distance. :hahugh:

Valnorran
October 23rd, 2008, 10:12 AM
I read a book on the Zulu War. They gave the Brits a run for their money, that's for sure. Pretty impressive considering the technological disparity between them.

LostSheep
October 23rd, 2008, 10:14 AM
I read a book on the Zulu War. They gave the Brits a run for their money, that's for sure. Pretty impressive considering the technological disparity between them.

*ponders parallels with more recent military adventures.*

omar
October 31st, 2008, 09:49 PM
The USSR Red Army had 100 div. active duty & 80 res. all poorly train & poorly armed & poorly led. They had the biggest air force 18,ooo aircraft all biplanes but 400. Poland whipped the Red Army & Air Force in 1920. Then they could not take the Finns? So much for big armies.