Hello everyone welcome to my World War II Timeline series where I write from the beginning of World War II all the way to the end. Where I talk about the big battles like D-Day but also the smaller events in the war that are not as popular or well known. Now onto the story of The German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact.
The German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact
It all started on the day of August 23, 1939. It was shortly before WW2 was about to break out in Europe. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union shocked the world by signing the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact.
Which stated that both countries would not fight and go to war for the next 10 years. Both countries had a different and unique and interesting reason to sign it. The Soviet Unions leader Joseph Stalin choose to sign it because he thought that it would keep tensions between the Soviet Union and Germany more peaceful and on the down low.
While also giving him ample time to build up the Soviet army. While Adolf Hiter the Chancellor of Germany signed it so he could invade and take over Poland unopposed and unimpeded. The pact also contained a certain clause or agreement or stipulation you might say.
That Germany and the Soviet Union agreed upon how to divide up Eastern Europe later on. Except that this all came crumbling down and feel apart when Germany did happen to indeed invade and attack the Soviet Union in June of 1941 rendering this pact and agreement useless.
Hitlers Aggression In Europe Starting To Stir Up A War
Then as you would expect on March 15, 1939, Hitler invades Czechoslovakia, therefore breaking and rendering the Munich agreement signed last year by Great Britain, France, and Germany useless. After saying that he would not take over any more land and stop warring he lied surprisingly enough (sarcasm) and took over Czechoslovakia.
This act of aggression by Hitler made the leaders of Britain and France come to a conclusion that the leader of Germany Adolf Hitler could not be trusted and the only way of stopping him is by a force.
Then even previously Hitler had taken over and conquered Austria and had taken the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia for himself.
Then even in March 1939, he sent his army in to capture and control the rest of Czechoslovakia which was forbidden in the Treaty of Versailles (Which is the 1919 peace treaty which ended the first World War? Then even after all this Hitler is like I want more so then he plans to conquer and invade Poland.)
So then to try and help and prevent this from happening Britain and France pledged to Poland on March 31, 1939, to help guarantee Poland’s independence and safety and to keep it a sovereign independent nation.
Britain and France also tried stepping up their diplomatic game with the Soviet Union. To try and bring them closer into a deal so that Hitler would also know that he has to face and go through Joseph Stalin if he wanted to attack and invade Poland and the aftermath of that.
Hitler although was not worried since he knew that the Soviet Union would not stand by and stand up and defend Poland if he tried to invade Poland.
Since that might mean war and both sides at that time signed an agreement that said no military action against the other side and both sides I believe did not want war at this time. So Poland was basically out of luck and just had to hope and pray that Hitler would just change his mind and be like I don’t actually feel like invading Poland.
This I think was a bad move on the Soviet Union’s part since Poland goes right up to the Soviets border so its more easy access to the Soviet Union than before. Hitler also knew that France and the Soviet Union had ended a defense alliance several years earlier.
Which gave the Soviets an extra incentive into helping Poland in the case of an invasion. It must have been a tense and miserable year in 1939 for Poland not knowing what is gonna happen and when and just everything.
They must have had so much fear and anxiety I feel bad for those people that lived through that. While Poland was scared and anxious waiting what was gonna happen next. Hitler was making an alliance with Italy and Hitler’s diplomats were starting to have trade talks with the Soviet Union.
Hitler and Stalin Reconsider Their Stance
Throughout the Spring and Summer of 1939, Hitler ramped up his demands on the Polish government in Warsaw and keep on pushing and trying to reclaim the port city of Danzig (which is a former German city internationalized by the Treaty of Versailles).
So there goes Hiter again trying to violate the treaty once more to suit his own agenda and purpose and for his own satisfaction). Hitler also wanted to stop the alleged bullying and abusing that was happening to the Germans in the western parts of Poland.
While this was all happening he was also advancing his plans to attack Poland in August 1939 if his demands were not met to his standards.
(Wow, it must be a 24/7 job being a fascist, dictator dreaming of world domination and wanting to take over the world since Hitler was bossing people around while wanting to end oppression for some Germans in Poland while wanting to take over and conquer Poland).
All of this talk with invading and attacking and going to war with Poland make Hitler’s generals nervous. Knowing that Stalin had done a major purge and wipeout of his generals in 1937 and 1938. Making the Soviet Unions army weaker and more vulnerable.
Still, though the Germans where afraid and apprehensive of a plan that could lead them to the ordeal of World War 1 where Germany was fighting Franch and British troops on the west and Russians troops were fighting them on the east.
Effectively attacking them from both sides and mowing them down and dwindling their forces and gaining the victory over them. To hopefully try and avoid such an ordeal again Hitler had begun to carefully consider wanting to open relations to Stalin again.
So as tensions continued to rise across Europe major powers were frantically looking around trying to find allies and people they could work with. So to try to sweeten the pot and entice the Soviets to talk with them after some failed diplomatic talks in May.
Hitler’s foreign minister dropped a line and feed them insight to them to entice them and basically said if Hitler does capture and take over Poland we may give you some of Poland’s land.
Now, this caught Stalin’s eye. So then on August 20, Hitler sent a personal message to the Soviet premier saying. War with Poland was imminent.
If Hitler sent his foreign minister to Moscow would Stalin listen to him and take him inside for some very important diplomatic discussions? Stalin replied with yes.
Hitler and The Soviets Do a Deal
So it happened on August 22nd, 1939, That Hitler’s foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop flew from Berlin to Moscow to discuss a deal with Stalin. He arrived and was soon enough face to face with the leader of the Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin and his own foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov.
Who also was working with Joachim von Ribbentrop to try and discuss and talk about a deal. Ribbentrop went all out and offered a deal from Hitler that both countries signed a nonaggression pact that would last for 100 years.
Stalin was like not necessary 10 years is good enough. The proposal also had a stipulation in it which stated that neither country would help and provide assistance and aid to any third party which attacked either country who signed this agreement.
Lastly, the proposal stated that there was a secret protocol specifying the spheres of influence in Eastern Europe that each side would take over and control once Hitler conquered and took over Poland.
The Soviet Union would take control and ownership of the eastern half of Poland and the countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania too.
While the meeting was happening Ribbentrop repeatedly telephoned in Hitler, who was being filled in on the news and anxiously awaiting more news and how the deal is going and is there a deal yet?
Then finally in the wee hours of the morning on August 23, Ribbentrop could call Hitler and tell him that the deal was done and that it was settled and a deal had been made.
Then as Ian Kershaw states in his book “Hitler: 1936–1945: Nemesis,” the German chancellor was ecstatic. He then congratulated he foreign minister and says that the pact “will hit like a bombshell.”
This then dissolved the French-Soviet treaty, which would reassure and give comfort to Germany’s generals now knowing that they would not be attacked on two sides by two different enemies. Which basically gave Hitler a cleaner and easier way into taking over Poland and help pave the road into taking over Poland.
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Hitler and Stalin signed a nonaggression pact. Which gave them access and territory to certain parts of Poland and had some of its own stipulations and secret stuff in there.
I hope you enjoyed reading my article and you thought it was interesting and you learned something new that you have not learned before and you can more be more knowledgeable in this area and can hopefully share this new found knowledge with some of your family and friends to show them how smart you are.
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Did you know? Hitler disliked the photograph taken when the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact was signed in the Kremlin because it showed Stalin with a cigarette in his hand. Hitler felt the cigarette was unsuited to the historic occasion and had it airbrushed from the photo when it was published in Germany.
The Soviet minister Vyacheslav Molotov is also where the name molotov cocktail originates from.
The Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of 1939. Diigital Image. Thoughtco. www.thoughtco.com/nazi-soviet-non-aggression-pact-1779994
The signing of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, 1939. Digital Image. Alamy. www.alamy.com/stock-photo-signing-of-the-german-soviet-non-aggression-pact-1939-36998714.html
Stalin and others laughing and having a good time. Digital Image. GHDI. http://ghdi.ghi-dc.org/sub_image.cfm?image_id=1999
Stalin and others gathering around the signing of the pact. Digital Image. FCIT. https://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/gallery/ww279.HTM