Germany–Soviet Union relations, – - Wikipedia
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers Soviet Russia had lost substantial territory in Eastern Europe as a result of the Treaty Main article: Germany–Soviet Union relations before The German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact fell apart in June , when Nazi forces war, in which they would be fighting Russians troops in the east and French and cautiously begun exploring the possibility of a thaw in relations with Stalin. German–Soviet Union relations date to the aftermath of the First World War. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, dictated by Germany ended hostilities between Russia.
The treaty, which required Germany to make numerous concessions and reparations, was highly unpopular with Hitler and his Nazi Party. It also seemed that Hitler was planning to strike next against its neighbor Poland. The British and French also stepped up diplomatic engagement with the Soviet Uniontrying to draw it closer by trade and other agreements to make Hitler see he would also have to face Joseph Stalin if he invaded Poland.
But Hitler already knew the Soviets would not stand by if he tried to occupy Poland—an act that would extend the border of Germany right up to the Soviet Union. Visit Website It was clear during the tense spring and summer of that little, if anything, could be taken for granted. Hitler also wanted to put a stop to the alleged mistreatment of Germans living in the western regions of Poland.
At the same time, he advanced his plans for attacking Poland in August if his demands were not met. To avoid such a scenario, Hitler had cautiously begun exploring the possibility of a thaw in relations with Stalin. He had negotiated with the German armaments makers throughout the summer of and was determined to modernize his armed forces.
Relying on the foreign affairs doctrine pursued by the Soviet leadership in the s, in his report of the Central Committee to the Congress of the All-Union Communist Party b on June 27,Joseph Stalin welcomed the international destabilization and rise of political extremism among the capitalist powers.
On June 24,an extension of the Berlin Treaty was signed, though it was not until that it was ratified by the Reichstag due to internal political struggles. The Soviets were also quick to develop their own relations with France and its main ally, Poland. Some authors claim that Stalin deliberately aided Hitler's rise by directing the policy of the Communist Party of Germany on a suicidal course in order to foster an inter-imperialist war,  a theory dismissed by many others. Department of State shortly thereafter.
Initial relations after Hitler's election[ edit ] After Adolf Hitler came to power on January 30,he began the suppression of the Communist Party of Germany. The Nazis took police measures against Soviet trade missions, companies, press representatives, and individual citizens in Germany.
They also launched an anti-Soviet propaganda campaign coupled with a lack of good will in diplomatic relations, although the German Foreign Ministry under Konstantin von Neurath foreign minister from — was vigorously opposed to the impending breakup.
Moscow's reaction to these steps of Berlin was initially restrained, with the exception of several tentative attacks on the new German government in the Soviet press. However, as the heavy-handed anti-Soviet actions of the German government continued unabated, the Soviets unleashed their own propaganda campaign against the Nazis, but by May the possibility of conflict appeared to have receded.
The extension of the Berlin Treaty was ratified in Germany on May 5. However, as the Red Army was perceived as not strong enough, and the USSR sought to avoid becoming embroiled in a general European war, he began pursuing a policy of collective securitytrying to contain Nazi Germany via cooperation with the League of Nations and the Western Powers.
The Soviet attitude towards the League of Nations and international peace had changed. In —34 the Soviet Union was diplomatically recognized for the first time by Spain, the United States, Hungary, CzechoslovakiaRomaniaand Bulgariaand ultimately joined the League of Nations in September It is often argued that the change in Soviet foreign policy happened around —34, and that it was triggered by Hitler's assumption of power. The authenticity of the book is controversial: Rauschning records Hitler as saying of the Slavs: Here yawns the eternal abyss which no political interests can bridge.
We must win the victory of German race-consciousness over the masses eternally fated to serve and obey. We alone can conquer the great continental space, and it will be done by us singly and alone, not through a pact with Moscow.
We shall take this struggle upon us. It would open to us the door to permanent mastery of the world. That doesn't mean that I will refuse to walk part of the road with the Russians, if that will help us. But it will be only in order to return the more swiftly to our true aims.
One of the most painful mistakes the German General Staff made in World War I was its belated appreciation of the role of armored vehicles on the battlefield.
In contrast to the Allies, who had fielded tanks by the thousands inGermany started late and had manufactured only a handful of tanks by the end of the war. Although denied tanks by the Versailles Treaty, the Germans made the development of modern armored forces a high priority in the s. The tank prototypes were to incorporate the most advanced engines and transmissions, be gas-proof, and be able to cross rivers.
In the order was followed up by contracts to produce light tanks, also with all the latest engineering features. In keeping with the highly secret nature of the program, the Germans used code names for the armor in all military correspondence: By the German companies had produced six prototype heavy tanks and four light tanks and shipped them to the Russian industrial city of Kazan to be tested. Along with military personnel, dozens of German engineers were secretly brought to Russia to oversee the armored experiments.
The Soviets were just beginning to organize mechanized forces inso they were especially eager to support the German tank school and testing station. Along with 10 German tanks, the Germans could now practice battalion-sized and larger operations.
German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact - HISTORY
Although the armored warfare course was only for German officers, Soviet technicians were allowed to examine and test-drive the German prototype equipment, and more than 60 carefully selected Red Army officers were allowed to participate in the exercises and war games. As the Soviet tank force expanded, the Red Army formed its new tank units near Kazan so they could conduct large-scale maneuvers with the Germans in and Between and30 German officers went through the months-long armored warfare course at Kazan; another 20 served as instructors.
Although small, the course was very thorough and certainly the equal of any offered by the other major powers. For the Soviets, the greatest benefit of the alliance was in German officer training. In the s, the German army had the well-deserved reputation of having the best officer training in the world. Conversely, a German officer visiting the Soviet army in the mids had summed up the state of the Russian forces as: Between and the Red Army sent many of its most promising officers to courses in Germany.
The Allies had placed no restrictions on foreign officers training in Germany, and the Germans and Russians exploited this opportunity to the fullest.
The Red Army used the German army courses as a means of polishing the men who had been selected for high command. Each year from to25 to 45 Russian officers visited Germany, some to take short courses or to observe German maneuvers and war games.
To help establish a general staff course for the new Soviet air force, the Germans sent a small team to Russia headed by Capt. Martin Fiebig, who would, incommand a Luftwaffe air corps in Russia. From to he and his fellow Germans were the lead instructors for the men who led the Soviet air force.
The same could be said of the Red Army in the s. They found the Russian operations characterized by poor coordination of infantry, artillery, and air support. And, because Soviet tactics did not take into account the technological advances ushered in sinceRed Army planning and operational doctrine was also deficient. The Russians were eager to learn from their erstwhile enemies, and took the criticism seriously.
The German doctrine of the s, which emphasized rapid maneuver and combined arms in the offense, appealed greatly to the Russians, and the Soviet officers worked to adapt the German approach to war to their own conditions. During the next few years the Germans noted a steady improvement in Soviet tactics and doctrine.
Germany and Russia's contradictory relationship
Ultimately, the German army had a huge influence on the development of the Soviet armed forces in the s and s. While they remained likely enemies, the Germans came to have a high respect for many of the Russian commanders on a personal level. And though the German and Russian armies had developed a healthy professional respect for each other, beneath the veneer of civility the officers of both nations understood that a capitalist and a communist nation could not easily coexist.
At home, the Reichswehr readily shot Marxist rebels; in Russia, other Germans were training Marxist officers to a high professional standard. In the Inter-Allied Military Control Commission formally issued its final report and declared that Germany had been disarmed according to the terms of the Versailles Treaty.
Without Allied inspectors on German soil, the German military no longer had to worry as much about having its illegal weapons programs exposed. It became just a matter of time until the Germans ended their cooperation with the Soviets. The relationship with Moscow is a pact with the Devil— but we have no choice. In the German military leaders decided to shut down the Russian operations the following year.
Weapons testing and training could be carried out on German soil at far lower cost. The Soviets, who wanted the cooperation to continue and who offered the Germans various incentives, were markedly disappointed at the end of the German presence in Russia. During top-level staff discussions between the German and Soviet general staffs, the Russians made several proposals to continue military cooperation; the Germans rejected all of them. Ultimately, it was Germany that profited the most from the year cooperation with the Soviet Union.
Hitler could never have rearmed the nation so quickly without the testing programs in Russia. In its secret bases, the German army and secret air force developed and tested prototypes of new weapons that were ready for production when he came to power in and began largescale rearmament.
The Russian venture left the German army and air force doctrinally ahead of the other major powers. Likewise, the courses at Lipetsk and Kazan provided Hitler with a small but very capable inner circle from which to build the Luftwaffe and a panzer force: Of 40 officers in the Lipetsk course, 12 became Luftwaffe generals, while Kazan provided it with a small but superbly trained cadre of panzer experts.