An interesting article in the Daily Telegraph, has stimulated speculation that had Britain and France (and ally Poland) agreed joint military action proposed by Stalin the Second World War.could have prevented.

Stalin ‘planned to send a million troops to stop Hitler if Britain and France agreed pact’

Stalin was ‘prepared to move more than a million Soviet troops to the German border to deter Hitler’s aggression just before the Second World War’

by Nick Holdsworth in Moscow


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.

But the British and French side – briefed by their governments to talk, but not authorised to commit to binding deals – did not respond to the Soviet offer, made on August 15, 1939. Instead, Stalin turned to Germany, signing the notorious non-aggression treaty with Hitler barely a week later.


More at




2 thoughts on “Could the Second World War have been prevented?

  1. Britain and France never took the Soviet offers seriously as they found the idea of an alliance with the USSR to be undesirable.

    Right up until the eve of war, Britain and France still hoped to turn Hitler towards the goal of destroying the USSR (something which the Western Allies had failed to do in 1918-1922), hence Soviet offers of help were rebuffed at every stage.

    The West was happy to sell the democratic Czechoslovak state to Hitler in return for empty promises, but his designs on the deeply reactionary Polish state headed by a dictator was a step too far. Czechoslovakia was pro-USSR but Poland was extremely anti-USSR.

  2. This article was published in 2008 and I referred to it in my article on “Why the Molotov-Ribbnetrop was Necessary” in Communist Review Autumn 2010. In fact Churchill mentioned it in his “History of the Secon World War. He wrote a note at the time which he said “the Soviet Union was willing to send thirty divisions to help bolster the Czech army and would have been a substantial deterrent upon Hitler… the Soviet offer was in effect ignored. They were not bought into the scale against Hitler and were treated with an indifference -not to say disdain-which keft a mark on Stalin’s mind”.

    Hitler could have been stopped much earlier in 1936 when with only four divisions the Germans marched into the Rhineland and France which had 100 divisions was requested by the Tory government “not to do anything to upset Hitler.” The Soviet Union attempted several time to form a united front against the Nazis only to be rejected by the Tory and French governments . The Soviet Union had no other option but to reach an agreement with Hitler to buy them time to build up their arms and defences.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s