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When the World Held its Breath: Fixed Bayonets

The Red

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Stalin's ability to shut his eyes and stopper his ears to things he didn't want to believe were true was truely astounding.
It was a particularly convoluted feat of mental gymnastics, involving both head-in-the-sand denialism that went on into the first hours of the invasion combined with an obsession that because the German attack could theoretically be postponed that it would be delayed if the Soviets went out of their way to make peace more attractive. What made things worse was that Soviet intelligence were wary of actively refuting Stalin on this and so were more likely to mark evidence backing him up as 'trustworthy' and the great weight of evidence to the contrary as 'doubtful' so Stalin felt that he wasn't alone in believing that appeasement would work so long as provocations could be avoided.
 

Alex Richards

She needs an artificial Mountain, not AV
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
It was a particularly convoluted feat of mental gymnastics, involving both head-in-the-sand denialism that went on into the first hours of the invasion combined with an obsession that because the German attack could theoretically be postponed that it would be delayed if the Soviets went out of their way to make peace more attractive. What made things worse was that Soviet intelligence were wary of actively refuting Stalin on this and so were more likely to mark evidence backing him up as 'trustworthy' and the great weight of evidence to the contrary as 'doubtful' so Stalin felt that he wasn't alone in believing that appeasement would work so long as provocations could be avoided.
There's a great quote about how 'every bird was tweeting that the invasion was coming' or something like that.
 

The Red

Well-known member
Published by SLP
There's a great quote about how 'every bird was tweeting that the invasion was coming' or something like that.
In the last days Soviet troops complained that they could hear the German engines roaring.

There was a brief sigh of relief when Germany invaded the Balkans as it was believed Yugoslavia (who the Soviets had signed a non-aggression pact with ) could hold out for three months, ensuring that the Soviet Union could stay out of the war for another year. Stalin appeared vindicated but then a week later Yugoslavia collapsed and the cycle of evidence-denial began anew.
 

The Red

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Another fine article, Paul. Don't have much to say that hasn't alredy been said, but a good read.

The new bit of information for me was Stalin sending vast shipments of supplies to the Reich without either request or payment.

Madness.
The thing is that these actions were having an effect, those within Germany who were opposed to Barbarossa had failed to convince Hitler that the plan was going to fail but now they could argue that the Soviets were giving them everything despite the fact they had started to actively renege on their own deliveries. Stalin's near fatal mistake was that Hitler didn't care about how attractive continued peace was, everything the Nazi state had done up until now had been building towards this moment and the German dictator wasn't going to let something as cursory as "logic" or "pragmatism" get in the way.
 
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