The Devils' Alliance

The Devils' Alliance

Hitler's Pact With Stalin, 1939-1941

Book - 2014
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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.

Publisher: New York : Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group, [2014]
ISBN: 9780465030750
Branch Call Number: 940.532 MOO
Characteristics: xxxiv, 382 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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4Bibliomania Jan 23, 2015

This is a very good book in several respects. It reports and analyzes many aspects of this little-remembered, but quite important part of WWII, which virtually no one else has. The military side of the book is its weakest. He doesn't realize how despite having the world's most proficient army, the Wehrmacht was very vulnerable in 1939-41, having only a few medium tanks in '39, how Goebbels bluffed the French into thinking the West Wall then was powerful against a French counter-stroke during & after Poland, nor how vulnerable the Reich would have been to the kind of plan Suvorov outlines in detail in Icebreaker, which Moorhouse does not even cite by title in his study, but dismisses him with a politically expedient sideswipe. Stalin's strengths in 1941 are not analyzed in detail, nor his conscious 1927 decision to indirectly support Hitler in the German elections by focusing attacks on the Social Democrats to have him as an icebreaker. Nor is FDR's secret, multi-channeled and false guarantee to the Poles to keep them from being satellite-ized by Hitler, a key factor in shaping the timing and configuration of the war(almost universally ignored). Moorhouse is excellent on economic aspects of the H-S Pact. The secret clauses of the Pact are not explicated in the appendix. Moorhouse is quite moving in explicating what military occupation by these ruthless invaders meant in human terms to Poles, Balts, Romanians, Jews, and others, including the inter-group relations among these conquered peoples. Highly recommended.

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