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History

The Nazi-Soviet Pact

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In April 1939, Russia, Britain and France met to form an alliance to defend Poland - but by August 1939, Russia had swapped sides and made a pact with Germany! Through the Nazi-Soviet Pact, Stalin and Hitler agreed not to go to war with each other and to split Poland between them.

Summary

Everybody realised that Hitler's next target was Poland, so Chamberlain promised to defend Poland. But how? Britain was too far away to help and only had a small army.

In April 1939, Stalin suggested an alliance of Russia, France and Britain against Germany. Hitler would not have been able to invade Poland if taking that action would have meant war with Russia. However, negotiations dragged on into August because:

  • Chamberlain did not like communist Russia.
  • Poland would not let Russian troops go into Poland.
  • Stalin did not trust that France and Britain would resist Germany.

Out of the blue, on 23 August 1939, Hitler made the Nazi-Soviet Pact with Stalin - a promise not to go to war with each other and (secretly) a promise to invade Poland and split it between them.

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