World War II

World War 2

Pact with Germany

In August 1939, Stalin accepted Hitlers’s pact  to enter into a non-aggression pact with the Germany, negotiated by the foreign ministers  Vyachelav  for the Soviets and  Joachim von Ribbentrop  for the Germans. Officially a non-aggression treaty only, divided the whole of eastern Europe into German and Soviet Union. The USSR was promised an eastern part of Poland , then primarily populated by Ukrainians and Belarusians, in case of its dissolution, and Germany accept the territories of  Latvia, Estonia, Finland  and Lituania  as parts of the Soviet Union.

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The division of Easter Europe

In August 1939, Stalin declared that he was going to solve the Baltic problem, and thereafter, forced Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia  to sign treaties After unsuccessfully attempting to install a comm

unist puppet government in Finland, in November 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Finland . The Finnish defense defied Soviet expectations, and after stiff losses, Stalin settled for an  internal peace  granting the Soviet Union less than total domination by annexing only the Easter

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Germany breaks the pact

During the early morning of June 22, 1941 Hitler ,broke the pact by starting  Operation Barbarossa , the German invasion of Soviet Union  territories and the Soviet Union that began the war on the Eastern Front . Before the invasion, Stalin felt that Germany would not attack the Soviet Union until Germany had defeated Britain.

Seven days before the invasion, a Soviet spy in Berlin warned Stalin that the movement of German divisions to the borders was to wage war on the Soviet Union. Five days before the attack, Stalin received a report from a spy in the German Air Ministry. Stalin increased Soviet western border forces to 2.7 million men and ordered them to expect a possible German invasion, he did not order a full-scale mobilization of forces to prepare for an attack. Stalin felt that a mobilization might provoke Hitler to prematurely begin to wage war against the Soviet Union

In the initial hours after the German attack began, Stalin hesitated, wanting to ensure that the German attack was sanctioned by Hitler, rather than the unauthorized action . Accounts by  Khrushchev and  Mikayan claim that, after the invasion, Stalin retreated to his dacha in despair for several days and did not participate in leadership decisions.

In the first three weeks of the invasion, as the Soviet Union tried to defend against large German advances, it suffered 750,000 casualties, and lost 10,000 tanks and 4,000 aircraft. A pattern soon emerged where Stalin embraced the red armys strategy of conducting multiple offensives, while the Germans overran each of the resulting small, newly gained grounds, dealing the Soviets severe casualties.The most notable example of this was the  Battle of Kiev , where over 600,000 Soviet troops were quickly killed, captured or missing.[58]

By the end of 1941, the Soviet military had suffered 4.3 million casualties and the Germans had captured 3.0 million Soviet prisoners, 2.0 million of whom died in German captivity by February 1942. German forces had advanced. 1,700 kilometers, and maintained a linearly-measured front of 3,000 kilometers.

The Soviet Union enter into Germany

In 1943, Stalin said to his general call for the Soviet Union to take a defensive stance because of disappointing losses after Stalingrad, a lack of reserves for offensive measures and a prediction that the German’s would likely next attack a bulge in the Soviet front at  Krusk such that defensive preparations there would more efficiently use resources. The Germans did  attempt an encirclement attack at Krursk, which was successfully repulsed by the Soviets after Hitler canceled the offensive, in part, because of the allied invasion of Sicily , he  though the Soviets suffered over 800,000 casualties. Kursk also marked the beginning of a period where Stalin became more willing to listen to the advice of his generals.

By the end of 1943, the Soviets occupied half of the territory taken by the Germans from 1941-1942].  Soviet military industrial output also had increased substantially from late 1941 to early 1943 after Stalin had moved factories well to the East of the front, safe from German invasion and air attack] The strategy paid off, as such industrial increases were able to occur even while the Germans in late 1942 occupied over half of European Russia, including 40% (80 million) of its population, and  2,500,000 square kilometers of Russian territory.

Stalin that In November 1943, Stalin met with Churchill and Roosevelt in  Tehran . Roosevelt told he hoped that Britain and America opening a second front against Germany could initially draw 30-40 German division from the  Eastern Fron

In 1944, the Soviet Union made significant advances across Eastern Europe toward Germany, including Operation Bagration  , a massive offensive in Belorussia  against the German Army Group Centre. Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill closely coordinated, such that Bagration occurred at roughly the same time as American and British forces initiation of the invasion of German held Wastern Europe  on France northern cost  .

In his 1944 May Day speech, Stalin praised the Western allies for diverting German resources in the Italian Campaign ,  and Stalin made a speech in November 1944 stating that Allied efforts in the West had already quickly drawn 75 German divisions to defend that región.

Beginning in the summer of 1944, a reinforced German Army Centre Group did prevent the Soviets from  advancing in around Warsaw  for nearly half a year. Earlier in 1944, Stalin had insisted that the Soviets would annex the portions of Poland it divided with Germany in the  Molotv-Ribbentrop Pact , Other important advances occurred in late 1944, such as the innovation of Romania  in August and Bulgaria. The Soviet Union declared war on  Bulgaria in September 1944 and invaded the country, installing a communist government. Following the invasion of these Balkan countries. The Red Army also expelled German forces from  Lithuania and Estonian late 1944 at the cost of 260,000 Soviet casualties.

In late 1944, Soviet forces battled fiercely to capture Hungary in the  Budapest offensive  but could not take it, which became a topic so sensitive to Stalin that he refused to allow his commanders to speak of it.[ The Germans held out in the subsequent Battle of Budapes until February 1945, when the remaining Hungarians signed an armistice with the Soviet Union. Victory at Budapest permitted the Red Army to launch the Vienna offensive in April 1945. To the northeast, the taking of Belorussia and the Western Ukraine permitted the Soviets to launch the massive  Vistula-Order offensive .

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The final victory in Berlin

By April 1945, Germany faced its last days with 1.9 million German soldiers in the East fighting 6.4 million Red Army soldiers while 1 million German soldiers in the West battled 4 million Western Allied soldiers.

Stalin directed the Red Army to move rapidly in a broad front into Germany because he did not believe the Western Allies would hand over territory they occupied, while he made the overriding objective capturing Berlin. After  successfully capturing Easter Prussia , three Red Army fronts converged on the heart of Eastern Germany, with one of the last pitched battles of the war   putting the Soviets at the virtual gates of Berlin. By April 24, Berlin was encircled by elements of two Soviet fronts, one of which had begun a massive shelling of the city on April 20 that would not end until the city’s surrender. On April 30, Hitler and Eva Braum  committed suicide, after which Soviet forces found their remains, which had been burned at Hitler’s directive.

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