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Why did Stalin sign the Nazi-Soviet Pact?

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Introduction

Why did Stalin sign the Nazi-Soviet Pact? On August 28th, 1939, the foreign minister of Nazi Germany, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and of the Soviet Union, Vyacheslav Molotov, signed in Moscow a Nazi-Soviet pact of nonaggression and neutrality, as a result of Hitler's efforts to ensure safe grounds in Eastern Europe. The agreement really guaranteed the Soviets Finland, Latvia, Estonia and the lands East of the line of Vistula, which divided Poland in between the two powers; the Nazis could conquer west from these lines, and neither power would judge one another's actions in their 'spheres of interest'. What was the real interest, however, of the Soviet leader , behind the signing of this pact, which rather guaranteed the proximity of another world war considering the terms under which it was signed? Why did Stalin overlook the communist policy and forge an alliance-like treaty with his nation's worst enemy and clearly an ideological counterpart? This essay will attempt to answer these questions and unveil the real motivations of Stalin's actions, much as most of his dictatorship's own foreign (and internal) policy. Stalin's first objectives- Throughout the first years of the 1930's it became clearly perceivable for Stalin's empire that the rise of Hitler was to be the largest threat to his empire. ...read more.

Middle

In the beginning, he limited his policies into signing assistance pacts with the Baltic states which were now to annex to the USSR. As Hitler begins to focus his war efforts in the west, Stalin begins to apply his terms of the Nazi-Soviet pact: establishes a puppet government in Finland, and, closing in to the boundaries, "admits" the Baltic states into the USSR, as well as certain provinces of Rumania and southeastern Europe, creating the Moldovian SSR with the leftover annexed territories. Once comfortable with this established buffer zone, the Iron Man begins to work into his internal policy, while the Nazis begin invading France. Internal policy objectives- This second step in the process- almost directly simultaneous to the first one- is the safe arms buildup. Stalin seizes the opportunity to transfer the military industry into central-eastern Russia, along the Eurasian boundaries. Huge industrial cities along the Urals, the Dnieper and the Dnester, such as Magnitogorsk, which had been the legacy of his 'industrialization at all costs', became great centres of production. Hundreds of thousands of tanks were developed and transferred to the western, urbanized territories along the civil war and NEP-resulting modern railroad systems. Stalin had no necessary risk to his industry or homeland now, and as he openly built up his army- while Hitler occupied denmark and France- he patiently awaited the inevitable, which still remained unexpected: Hitler's strike. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the end, while the reduced German army suffered grave and vital losses, Russian production and all-cost policy still allowed to maintain a supply which provided for a return, through the same buffer zone, into an invasion of a weakened germany by 1945, and the end of the war in Europe. Conclusions- Stalin obviously did not have an amicable intention with the signing of this pact with his evident nemesis. The inevitability of war was the trigger to a pact which only a totalitarian dictator such as Stalin would sign; he knew such treaty would imply the sacrifice of millions of people from central-eastern Europe and his own country, but this was the means into a defeat, by exhaustion, of the nazi eastern front. It becomes visible that stalin's peace time and war time policies begin to combine as he foresees the possible outcome of this pact, this being his NEP and 5YP industrialization, his great human losses and the defensive, rather than offensive strategy to defeat Hitler. Wether or not he estimated the great aid the winter became to his strategy could be discussed, but he counted with some clear, costly plans which makes one reconsider the seriousness of his phrase: "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic". Clearly, and willingly, stalin becomes a great political strategists and sets what would be the USSR's cold war policy of the "Buffer Zone". ...read more.

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