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Thread: Stalin's second option, during the WWII. Reality or speculat

  1. #1 Stalin's second option, during the WWII. Reality or speculat 
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    A Polish-American friend send me a message (in Polish) containing an interesting speculation (see my summary below). Is there any evidence that Stalin was indeed considering the described option?

    Reply in private, if you prefer. My email address is kowalskiL@mail.montclair.edu

    But replying on this forum is likely to be more productive; I am a nuclear physicist, not a historian.


    Thank you in advance.

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    It was clear to Stalin, after the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk, that Hitler would probably welcome a ceasefire at his Eastern front. That would be beneficial to both countries. Hitler would move all the resources to the West and Stalin would gain time to prepare for future confrontations (developing new technological weapons, such radar, jet engine and atom bomb). Nazis would defeat England but would not be ready to attack the USSR immediately. If they did they would be defeated. Gaining time would be beneficial to both sides.

    Churchill was well aware of this possibility. He and Roosevelt did everything to prevent this option. Concessions they made to Stalin in Yalta can be explained in this way.
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    Is there any evidence of “bargaining about this” in Yalta? Do available Soviet archives provide indications that the option was actually discussed by Soviet leaders?

    Ludwik Kowalski (Ph.D.)
    Professor Emeritus


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  3. #2  
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    I have no particular information. However considering what we know of the thinking of Hitler at the time, it is extremely unlikely he could consider any such offer. Although Stalin possibly might have, I doubt if the Politburo would have gone along.


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    Actually, the bargaining process, if any, would have started in Tehran (1943), or earlier (at the ambassadorial level). Yalta would then have been for the final agreements. Stalin, by the way, was afraid of flying. He came Persia (now Iran) in a bulletproof train.
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  5. #4 Re: Stalin's second option, during the WWII. Reality or spec 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil
    It was clear to Stalin, after the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk, that Hitler would probably welcome a ceasefire at his Eastern front. That would be beneficial to both countries. Hitler would move all the resources to the West and Stalin would gain time to prepare for future confrontations (developing new technological weapons, such radar, jet engine and atom bomb).
    Yes, but so would Hitler, and after seizing the resources of Britain he would be in a much better position to develop innovative weaponry. German scientists were already ahead of Russians anyway, with liquid-fuel V2 rockets, experimental jet planes and an advanced nuclear programme. And then he would only have to fight in the Eastern front, rather than both ways.

    All in all, I suppose the Soviet Union would have had a much harder time fighting him later, than at the time they actually did (which wasn't easy either).
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    After Stalingrad and Kursk, the German army was on the run and the Russian army was steamrolling toward Western Europe. Stalin didn't need any time for new weapons etc. The soviet advantage was so great that the allies were seriously worried that Stalin would decide to just keep moving West until he reached the Atlantic ocean, and no one would be able to stop him if he did (including all the other allied forces).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    After Stalingrad and Kursk, the German army was on the run and the Russian army was steamrolling toward Western Europe. Stalin didn't need any time for new weapons etc. The soviet advantage was so great that the allies were seriously worried that Stalin would decide to just keep moving West until he reached the Atlantic ocean, and no one would be able to stop him if he did (including all the other allied forces).
    That's probably a bit of the post-war cold-war spin, trying to make out the Soviets to be a bigger danger than they were at the time.

    Population wise, the UK and the USA alone were able to match the Soviet Union, they had received far less casualties, had superior technology, and were not suffering the resource scarcity the USSR had. Don't forget at the end of the war the soviet navy is virtually non-existent, as is its air force, and 12 million of its people had died of starvation and another 10 million in combat. The USA, by contrast, had a top shape fighting force, a fully functional navy and airforce, and had only suffered around 300,000 casualties.

    The Soviets did have a formidably large amount of moblized soldiers, but it's questionable if that force could be maintained without the infrastructure that the Western Allies had, not to mention the damage agriculturally and industrially that having more than 40% of your male population in the army does.

    A war with the Soviet Union would have been long, expensive and bloody after WWII, but Western Europe would clearly have come out on top. The fact of the matter is, though, that they didn't have the will or desire to pay such a high price. I don't think the Soviets would have either.

    Most importantly, the USA had the nuclear bomb after the war, the soviets didn't. With no real airforce to resist, the USA could literally have wiped every major Soviet city off the map.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    That's probably a bit of the post-war cold-war spin, trying to make out the Soviets to be a bigger danger than they were at the time.
    Nope. Toward the end of WWII the British and US governments did a study on what to do if the Russian decided to just keep pressing west, and the conclusion was that the only option would be to evacuate as much of the allied forces in Western Europe as possible back to England as quickly as possible, because trying to maintain any forces on the continent would have been futile. They wouldn't have been able to invade England due to their lack of a Navy, but they could have had most of the rest of Europe speaking Russian by the end of 1945.
    Most importantly, the USA had the nuclear bomb after the war, the soviets didn't. With no real airforce to resist, the USA could literally have wiped every major Soviet city off the map.
    The allied intelligence analysis concluded that the Russian war industries were too decentralized for strategic bombing to have any significant effect. Remember, by that point the Russian war industry had been facing constant bombing by the German airforce for four years. They had gotten very good at spreading out the important stuff enough to ensure that bombing raids just couldn't do enough damage to the industrial infrastructure to be worth while. As for wiping out cities with nukes, it's important to remember that cities were already being routinely wiped out with conventional bombing raids back then. Also, it took the US a long time to make each bomb back then. It took years to put together enough nuclear materials to make the first three bombs (the trinity test and the two used on Japan). Even by a year later in mid 1946, the US was still producing them slower than 1/month.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil

    Is there any evidence of “bargaining about this” in Yalta? Do available Soviet archives provide indications that the option was actually discussed by Soviet leaders?

    Ludwik Kowalski (Ph.D.)
    Professor Emeritus
    Well, Stalin was a paranoid sociopath, wasn't he? I doubt he discussed his plans very openly, at least not the big picture stuff. I think he would have kept all of his upper leadership guessing until the last moment before rendering a decision.



    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    That's probably a bit of the post-war cold-war spin, trying to make out the Soviets to be a bigger danger than they were at the time.
    Nope. Toward the end of WWII the British and US governments did a study on what to do if the Russian decided to just keep pressing west, and the conclusion was that the only option would be to evacuate as much of the allied forces in Western Europe as possible back to England as quickly as possible, because trying to maintain any forces on the continent would have been futile. They wouldn't have been able to invade England due to their lack of a Navy, but they could have had most of the rest of Europe speaking Russian by the end of 1945.
    Yeah. I'm thinking they would have sustained themselves off of the infrastructure they were conquering, and maybe a bit from pillage or placing levies on the local population. Their food supply would have benefitted a lot from seizing Western Europe's good farm lands.

    On the other hand, the local population would have resisted them. Even the German people would have helped us to whatever degree they still could at that point, after seeing the way the Russians conducted themselves in Berlin.

    Most importantly, the USA had the nuclear bomb after the war, the soviets didn't. With no real airforce to resist, the USA could literally have wiped every major Soviet city off the map.
    The allied intelligence analysis concluded that the Russian war industries were too decentralized for strategic bombing to have any significant effect. Remember, by that point the Russian war industry had been facing constant bombing by the German airforce for four years. They had gotten very good at spreading out the important stuff enough to ensure that bombing raids just couldn't do enough damage to the industrial infrastructure to be worth while. As for wiping out cities with nukes, it's important to remember that cities were already being routinely wiped out with conventional bombing raids back then. Also, it took the US a long time to make each bomb back then. It took years to put together enough nuclear materials to make the first three bombs (the trinity test and the two used on Japan). Even by a year later in mid 1946, the US was still producing them slower than 1/month.
    That is true, but the USA played their Atom bomb shortage issue very close to the chest. That's a lot of the reason why the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not synchronized to happen on the same day. We were hoping they would think we had more than 2 bombs (which we didn't).
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    I have to agree with the position that there's little the West could have done to stop the Russian juggernaut. The Western Armies would have been wildly outnumbered by a force, that contrary to some comments above, was significantly better equipped in some ways, such as armor and artillery.

    Keeping our shortage of nukes close hold was one of the better played hands of the entire war and most likely saved Western Europe from complete Soviet domination.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Yeah. I'm thinking they would have sustained themselves off of the infrastructure they were conquering, and maybe a bit from pillage or placing levies on the local population. Their food supply would have benefitted a lot from seizing Western Europe's good farm lands.

    On the other hand, the local population would have resisted them. Even the German people would have helped us to whatever degree they still could at that point, after seeing the way the Russians conducted themselves in Berlin.
    I'm sure the russians would have supplemented their supplies with whatever they could pillage, but it probably wouldn't have been too necessary. By the end of the war they already had supply lines stretching thousands of miles from the industrial centers around the caspian sea and west of stalingrad all the way to the middle of germany. Extending them the rest of the way to the atlantic ocean wouldn't have been that much bigger of a stretch.

    As for the local populace resisting, I don't think it would really matter.
    That is true, but the USA played their Atom bomb shortage issue very close to the chest. That's a lot of the reason why the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not synchronized to happen on the same day. We were hoping they would think we had more than 2 bombs (which we didn't).
    The russians had the US nuclear bomb efforts very thoroughly penetrated by spies. They had a pretty good idea of what was going on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee

    As for the local populace resisting, I don't think it would really matter.
    I think it would have made gathering intel a lot easier. I doubt the local partisans would have made a very big impact directly, though.

    On the other hand, the Western European populations would have been willing to join our armies as soldiers, something which some of them really hadn't had the opportunity to do yet, at least not in a regular military role, like the French. And, I doubt Switzerland would have remained neutral.

    That is true, but the USA played their Atom bomb shortage issue very close to the chest. That's a lot of the reason why the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not synchronized to happen on the same day. We were hoping they would think we had more than 2 bombs (which we didn't).
    The russians had the US nuclear bomb efforts very thoroughly penetrated by spies. They had a pretty good idea of what was going on.
    Good point. I forget sometimes how good they were at that.
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    Bad assumption. After the Kursk, Hitler did not have enough troops to hold Zimbabwe at bay, much less invade England.
    Marshall Zhukov was virtually unstoppable after Kursk with the morale boost his troops got, there was no way a cease fire would be beneficial.

    Stalin would have won the Cold War in 1948 if he wasn't a retard military-wise. The AK-47 was being mass-produced, and a Soviet soldier could easily take care of 30 to 50 Western soldiers with that kind of a technology gap. He pussied out of the Berlin blocus like an idiot...

    What made Churchill afraid at Yalta ?

    - Soviets being at Berlin, thus not far away from London.
    - Substantial Soviet detachments at Vladivostok (Spetsnaz GRU paratroopers) were prepared to storm US West Coast and invade half the country in 14 days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Krov
    He pussied out of the Berlin blocus like an idiot...
    The Berlin blockade wasn't working. By the time Stalin gave up, it was very clear to everyone that the west was going to be able to keep the city supplied by air. The whole thing had turned into a big embarrassment for Stalin, and had basically become an opportunity for the western allies to show off to the rest of the world. "Look, we can keep an ENTIRE CITY supplied with EVERYTHING it need using nothing but AIRPLANES!!! Beat that, commies!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Krov
    The AK-47 was being mass-produced, and a Soviet soldier could easily take care of 30 to 50 Western soldiers with that kind of a technology gap.
    The AK47 is a pretty good weapon but NOT that good. It's a crude weapon that's not very accurate but of course has higher fire rate and is much more durable than the M1. If I had to quantify each I'd say the AK is perhaps 50% better in most conditions. At long range it's higher firepower would probably make it about evenly matched with the much more accurate M1.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Krov
    - Substantial Soviet detachments at Vladivostok (Spetsnaz GRU paratroopers) were prepared to storm US West Coast and invade half the country in 14 days.
    While the rest of what you said makes a lot of sense, I can hardly imagine Soviet paratroopers getting their feet on the ground in the USA before their planes got shot down and their boats sunk. The Japanese never landed anything on the US West Coast throughout the whole war. (Except a few explosive balloons, which didn't kill anybody.) What makes you think the Soviet navy would have been more effective?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Krov
    - Substantial Soviet detachments at Vladivostok (Spetsnaz GRU paratroopers) were prepared to storm US West Coast and invade half the country in 14 days.
    While the rest of what you said makes a lot of sense, I can hardly imagine Soviet paratroopers getting their feet on the ground in the USA before their planes got shot down and their boats sunk. The Japanese never landed anything on the US West Coast throughout the whole war. (Except a few explosive balloons, which didn't kill anybody.) What makes you think the Soviet navy would have been more effective?
    I believe that there were a small number (at least one) of casualties from the Japanese balloons.
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    The balloons were incendiary, supposed to start forest fires. US and Canadian soldiers would be diverted to fight this more immediate threat. Not a bad plan, but for the fact that hundreds of fires naturally spring up in the Pacific Northwest every summer, so a few incendiary starts made no difference.

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