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The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's…
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The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941

by Roger Moorhouse

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Very engaging account of the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939: the history of its conception and creation, including many details that I have not read in other accounts. This is an essential topic to understand if one is going to grasp the European theater during WWII. I especially appreciate that Moorhouse details all the meetings, offers of negotiation, the back-and-forth, the advantages and disadvantages as seen by not only the Nazis and Soviets, but also the view from England and the Allies. I highly recommend this book. ( )
  eowynfaramir | Jan 28, 2017 |
Good review of the actual history of the Nazi-Soviet alliance 1939-1941. It is at its best deconstructing the mostly Soviet ex-post facto myths surrounding this period. It correctly shows that Stalin had chosen a side, rather than just using it to buy time. It also shows that through the Fall of France, the Soviets mostly slow walked the economic cooperation. Its most questionable thesis is to essentially blame’s Stalin’s belligerence for Barbarossa. The author does an excellent job of showing that Stalin simply refused to adjust to the change in the power relationship brought on by the Fall of France. With France gone and the UK driven from the continent, Hitler again had a military option in the East. Where I feel the author overstates the case is in minimizing how early the Barbarossa plan went from contingency plans to a fixed future event. Most other sources believe there was a firm decision made by the winter of 1940-1941. This author disagrees and in my opinion does not spend enough energy on refuting the established wisdom. ( )
1 vote agingcow2345 | Jun 11, 2015 |
The Devil’s Alliance – Forgotten by Many but not the Few

On 23rd August 1939 in the presence of Stalin his Foreign Minister Molotov signed a pact with the German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and at the same time carved up the future of Eastern Europe between them. When I was taught history at school the pact was nothing more than a footnote in history quickly glossed over and forgotten.

As one of the Polish Diaspora my family was deeply affected by this pact even more so the 17th September 1939 when the Red Army crossed the Polish Border on the same day the Polish government had to escape via Romania in to exile. My grandfather was captured by the Nazis that day (he managed to escape and fight in France 1940 and on into Britain), my great Grandmother saw her husband for the last time that day, he was a police officer, she later found that other families were murdered at Katyn. 13th April 1940 she was arrested at 2am by the NKVD for having a husband who was a Police Officer and a son as a Polish Soldier was an enemy combatant. She was transported by the NKVD on a cattle truck, before the Nazis had used them in the Holocaust, along with thousands of other Polish enemies of the state to hard labour camps. 75% of her fellow Poles on that Journey did not survive the transportation. She was released in 1946 and was not allowed to return home to Skałat but was sent to Krakow to make her home, minus her now exiled son & nephew, her murdered brothers and her missing husband. Like many Polish families we lost more via the Russians than the damage of the German war effort brought to Poland.

Over the years I have heard so many excuses by so many Historians that Stalin made the pact so that he could make sure the Soviet Union was ready for war. Poppycock and in the Devil’s Alliance Roger Moorhouse shines a light on this dark episode of history and debunks a lot of the Soviet and their western communist supporters lies, which continue to this day. Moorhouse has already had this excellent piece of work attacked by various left wing historians. For them the lie continues and while they espouse their trash it will continue.

As Moorhouse notes in The Devil’s Alliance both Hitler and Stalin were form the same totalitarian feather and that even though they may have seemed different they were a lot closer in character of leadership than they would ever admit. Behind the spin of the apologists Moorhouse notes that Nazi and Soviet regimes during the life of this pact worked closely and traded secrets and blueprints, technology as well as raw materials. One just has to point out the oil wells in Ukraine as an example.

As The Devil’s Alliance reminds us the pact facilitated the invasion of Poland and during the later stages of that invasion the Nazis were wondering when the Soviets would enter to split the Polish Army. The Pact also has had a long lasting effect on the map of Europe as many of the borders there still remain, for Poland, the Baltic States, Finland and large swathes of Eastern Central Europe.
It is right and correct that Roger Moorhouse shines a light in this long forgotten by many episode of history. For those who do not know what really went on at that time really need to have a good read of Chapter 6 “Oiling the Wheels of War” which is an very illuminating chapter that in my case annoyed me at the closeness of the Alliance greasing those wheels of war. While Britain and France were dealing with the phoney war things were quite different in the East.

The Devil’s Alliance is a well written well researched history that has been crying out to be revealed to those in the west and this book does that. Roger Moorhouse has had access to some brilliant primary source material as well as an excellent bibliography. This is a book for all those who are bored of all the rehashed stories of the period and introduces them to the forgotten pact and the tragedy that it brought to Eastern Europe who for many the war did not end until 1989.

Brilliant read buy it borrow it and tell people about this book as it deserves a wide audience. ( )
  atticusfinch1048 | Aug 26, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465030750, Hardcover)

History remembers the Soviets and the Nazis as bitter enemies and ideological rivals, the two mammoth and opposing totalitarian regimes of World War II whose conflict would be the defining and deciding clash of the war. Yet for nearly a third of the conflict’s entire timespan, Hitler and Stalin stood side by side as partners. The Pact that they agreed had a profound—and bloody—impact on Europe, and is fundamental to understanding the development and denouement of the war.

In The Devils’ Alliance, acclaimed historian Roger Moorhouse explores the causes and implications of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, an unholy covenant whose creation and dissolution were crucial turning points in World War II. Forged by the German foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and his Soviet counterpart, Vyacheslav Molotov, the nonaggression treaty briefly united the two powers in a brutally efficient collaboration. Together, the Germans and Soviets quickly conquered and divided central and eastern Europe—Poland, the Baltic States, Finland, and Bessarabia—and the human cost was staggering: during the two years of the pact hundreds of thousands of people in central and eastern Europe caught between Hitler and Stalin were expropriated, deported, or killed. Fortunately for the Allies, the partnership ultimately soured, resulting in the surprise June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union. Ironically, however, the powers’ exchange of materiel, blueprints, and technological expertise during the period of the Pact made possible a far more bloody and protracted war than would have otherwise been conceivable.

Combining comprehensive research with a gripping narrative, The Devils’ Alliance is the authoritative history of the Nazi-Soviet Pact—and a portrait of the people whose lives were irrevocably altered by Hitler and Stalin’s nefarious collaboration.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:16 -0400)

Explores the causes and implications of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, an unholy covenant whose creation and dissolution were crucial turning points in World War II. Forged by the German foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and his Soviet counterpart, Vyacheslav Molotov, the nonaggression treaty briefly united the two powers in a brutally efficient collaboration. Together, the Germans and Soviets quickly conquered and divided central and eastern Europe; Poland, the Baltic States, Finland, and Bessarabia. The human cost was staggering: during the two years of the pact hundreds of thousands of people in central and eastern Europe caught between Hitler and Stalin were expropriated, deported, or killed.… (more)

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