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Who Started the Second World War?
Future of Freedom Foundation ^ | November 1991 | Richard M. Ebeling

Posted on 05/05/2005 2:13:21 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe

Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? by Viktor Suvorov (London: Harnish Hamilton, 1990); 364 pages; $22.95.

In the early hours of September 1, 1939, the military might of Nazi Germany was set loose on Poland. As Panzer divisions crossed the Polish-German border, the German air force began its devastating rain of death on Warsaw and other Polish cities. On September 3, Britain and France declared war on Germany.

On September 17, the Soviet Red Army invaded Poland from the east and met up with the German forces at the city of Brest-Litovsk. Poland ceased to exist as an independent nation, divided between the two great totalitarian states of the European continent. World War II had begun.But did World War II, in fact, begin in September on the plains of Poland? And was it in fact, Nazi Germany that began the Second World War?

What made it possible for Hitler to feel secure in invading Poland to the east, and not to worry about a two-front war if Britain and France initiated hostilities in the west, was the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of August 23, 1939. In a secret protocol to the pact, Hitler and Stalin had agreed to divide up Eastern Europe. In the event of war, Poland would be split down the middle between Germany and the U.S.S.R., with Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Romanian province of Bessarabia assigned to the Soviet sphere of influence.

Why did Stalin enter into this fiendish pact with Hitler? After all, throughout the 1930s, the Nazi and Soviet leaders had accused each other of being the greatest evil on the face of the earth. Most historians have argued that Stalin had come to the conclusion that the Western powers could not be relied upon in case of war. Rather than face the German army on his own, it was better to sign a non-aggression pact with the Nazi devil and have the extra time to defensively prepare the Soviet Union for the attack that Stalin knew would eventually come from Nazi Germany.

Viktor Suvorov, in his book Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?, challenges this thesis concerning the rationale behind Soviet policy toward Hitler. Mr. Suvorov, a former Soviet army officer who has written extensively on the Soviet military and intelligence network, argues that the Nazi-Soviet pact was not a defensive action on Stalin's part. Instead, it was part of Stalin's Marxist strategy for revolutionary victory in Europe.

Marx and Engels believed that clashes between the capitalist nations would create avenues for the establishment of socialism. Lenin shared this belief. He saw World War I as a way among capitalist-imperialist powers, fighting over the plunder of the world. The more brutal and destructive the war, the more the power bases of the capitalist classes would be weakened. And out of this destruction would come the opportunity to transform a capitalist war into a "class war," resulting in the victory of communism.

World War I created the conditions for the Bolshevik Revolution and the triumph of socialism in Russia. Lenin believed that another world war would bring about the death of capitalism in other nations. Hence, anything that created the conditions for another world war was viewed as good from the revolutionary Marxist point of view.

Suvorov shows that Stalin shared this view. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Soviets assisted the Nazis in destroying the Weimar Republic in Germany. "Icebreaker,, was the Soviet code name for Hitler — the man who Would "break the ice "bring about another world war, and create the opportunity for the destruction of capitalism in Europe and the victory of socialism under Soviet leadership.

By signing the Nazi-Soviet pact in August 1939, Stalin deliberately produced the conditions for the world war that he wanted. Germany would fight the Other two main European powers — Britain and France — and then the Soviet Union would enter the war in its final stages to come out as the ultimate victor.

Suvorov also convincingly demonstrates that Stalin was not developing defensive forces along the new Soviet border with Germany, but rather as building up a vast and powerful offensive military force. Stalin was clearly Planning to enter the war by attacking Germany, and then bringing socialism to Central and Western Europe on the bayonets of the Red Army. Furthermore, all the evidence suggests — and Suvorov musters a vast amount of military and political evidence — that Stalin was planning his attack on Germany for the middle of July 1941.

Hitler preempted Lenin's plan by attacking the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. The staggering defeats suffered by the Soviet army in the early stages of the war was due to the fact that Stalin had tom down many of the Soviet defense positions and had not equipped his armies facing Germany with strategic-defense plans. All of their plans were for offensive operations.

The man who started World War II, therefore, was Stalin, who wanted to use Hitler as a tool for communist victory. And his plan partly succeeded. Out of the war's death and destruction, the Soviet Union was left as master of half of Europe, with Stalin as its Red Czar in the Kremlin.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: 1939; commies; communism; geopolitics; germany; history; hitler; ironcurtain; lenin; molotov; molotovribbentrop; origins; ribbentrop; russia; secondworldwar; sovietunion; stalin; ussr; vilenin; worldwar2; worldwarii; wwii
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To: Irish_Thatcherite

Ding, Ding, Ding.

41 posted on 05/05/2005 2:46:20 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (Democrats haven't had a new idea since Karl Marx.)
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To: bigsigh
Didn't some old lady's cow kick over a lantern?

No, that was the beginning of the Night Chicago Died. Brother, what a night it really was. Glory be!

42 posted on 05/05/2005 2:47:11 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (Freeping since March 1998. This is my blessing. This is my curse.)
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To: Doctor Stochastic
By signing the Nazi-Soviet pact in August 1939, Stalin deliberately produced the conditions for the world war that he wanted.

What a surprise; the Molotov-Ribbentropp Pact was a manifestation that, despite doctrinal differences, tyrants of a feather flock together.

Who'd have guessed.....

43 posted on 05/05/2005 2:47:40 PM PDT by longshadow
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Congress of Vienna 1841
44 posted on 05/05/2005 2:48:04 PM PDT by dts32041 (Two words that shouldn't be used in the same sentence Grizzly bear and violate.)
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To: r9etb
it prompted the Weimar government to initiate hyperinflation to pay off the reparations.

There are a number of reasons for the hyperinflation, but this ain't one of them. Even the French and British weren't stupid enough to take inflated German marks in payment of their reparations.

It did, however, allow the government to pay off its entire debt to its own citizens for essentially nothing.

45 posted on 05/05/2005 2:48:06 PM PDT by Restorer
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To: Restorer
It did, however, allow the government to pay off its entire debt to its own citizens for essentially nothing.

Ooops. My bad -- you're right.

46 posted on 05/05/2005 2:49:17 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: Borges

World War II started because of a lot of tragic coincidences, any one of a thousand events, had they gone the other way, could have avoided the war. Imagine if only someone had bought some of Hitler's paintings when he was in Vienna.

47 posted on 05/05/2005 2:50:00 PM PDT by dfwgator (Minutemen: Just doing the jobs that American politicians won't do.)
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To: RusIvan
"Chemberlain and Deladie"

Who are those guys? A spell checker is our friend.

48 posted on 05/05/2005 2:51:15 PM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: All

It started when the wife of a customs agent gave birth to a son, in Braunau Austria, near the end of the 19th century.

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To: Loud Mime
Don't mention the war.
50 posted on 05/05/2005 2:55:03 PM PDT by Malesherbes
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To: ruiner
You know, they hammered the "treaty of versailles sowed the seeds of ww2" into our heads throughout middle school, high school, and college ... it really starts to come off as a "its really our fault that Hitler and the German people started the war . . .we were mean to them." ... "its really our fault the hijackers flew those planes into the buildings . . .we were mean to them."

Punitive conditions in the Treaty of Versailles were so harsh that some Germans literally starved. If a family had two cows, the Treaty called that one be taken from them as a form of come-uppance. Most of what the German people produced or earned was confiscated due to the Treaty. It debilitated the German economy to the point that there was little incentive to be productive. It also totally demoralized the German people. It wasn't a matter of being "mean to them." It was a matter of an ugly desire for vengeance on the part the Treaty writers. It backfired big-time, which is perhaps why the bible says to leave vengeance to God.

NOTHING like the Treaty of Versailles was ever inflicted on "the hijackers who flew those planes into the buildings." It's a poor analogy.

51 posted on 05/05/2005 3:03:48 PM PDT by Finny (God continue to Bless President G.W. Bush with wisdom, popularity, safety and success.)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Who Started the Second World War?

Please add this observation to the title question's responses.

The WW1 conditions of surrender are what caused WW2. Therefore, several versions of who started WW2 would exist; none would prevail.

52 posted on 05/05/2005 3:05:41 PM PDT by MosesKnows
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To: MacDorcha

Somebody named Archie Duke was shot by an ostrich.

53 posted on 05/05/2005 3:07:07 PM PDT by bagman
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To: Borges
How about the 'Treaty of Versailles'?

The real reason, and a mistake not made after WW2.

54 posted on 05/05/2005 3:08:49 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Who started WWII? That would be the French at Versailles, enabled by the US and Britain who buckled and allowed France to drive postwar Germany into the ground, where it became ripe for Hitler.

55 posted on 05/05/2005 3:10:17 PM PDT by gcruse (
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To: r9etb
Don't include the US in the "we" part. The US never ratified the treaty. Partly out of isolationism, and partly out of concerns for the massively unfair reparations.

The treaty was the direct result of French delusions of grandeur.

Further, the starting point of the war in Europe is the reoccupation of the Rhineland. Had the French stepped up at that point, history MAY have been different. But then there would still be the war in the pacific, which started much earlier.
56 posted on 05/05/2005 3:11:44 PM PDT by Wisconsin155 (newbie)
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To: Borges

"How about the Treaty of Versailles?"

The French and the Russians do seem to be the source of most of the 20th. Century's troubles, don't they? First Russia deploys its army to to attack Germany in 1914 (in those days you didn't do that for show) in defense of Serbian terrorists opposed to the rule of German ally Austria-Hungary. The Kaiser attacks France because they have a treaty to support the Russians in any war. America comes in (for reasons not in our national interest) and puts an end to it. At Versailles, the French demand the looting of German territory and "reparations" heavy enough to destroy its economy.

You know if, and this is a collosal IF, Hitler hadn't been a genocidal, racist maniac, his reaquisition of former German lands, and his war on the French and the Russians would have had my support. I have to admit, when reading accounts of the war between classy Germans like Manstein and Guderian and a loutish pig like Zhukov, I can't help but root for the Wermacht.

Unfortunately, Hitler was what he was. And what he was was just as bad as Stalin. But in terms of Roosevelt's foreign policy I have a question or two:

Why was it that the Japanese invasion of China neccesitated an economic blockade against them that precipitated their attack on us? I only ask because apart from our intervention on China's behalf, the Japanese wouldn't have given a damn about us. Sure, the Japanese murdered about a million Chinese. But Mao murdered over twenty million Chinese, and our Democrat administration wouldn't even support Chaing Kai-Shek against him in the civil war.

Further, when Stalin and Hitler simultaneously launched the war in Europe, why was Stalin not the bad guy? So everyone had to jump in and save Eastern Europe from German domination, just to hand it over to Soviet domination at the war's conclusion.

It does seem that we had a predeliction for fighting evil countries that couldn't have cared less about us, and then losing interest when even bloodier-handed communists, all of whom longed to END AMERICA at their earliest convenience, took home all the spoils. Great thinking FDR. Maybe it had something to do with so much of his administration (including V.P. Henry Wallace) being actual Soviet agents.....

57 posted on 05/05/2005 3:14:05 PM PDT by Burr5
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To: Doctor Stochastic

Good answer.

58 posted on 05/05/2005 3:16:28 PM PDT by wardaddy ( Lucchese Belt Raised)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Imperial Japan.

There was a Pacific Theatre too, ya know.

59 posted on 05/05/2005 3:19:30 PM PDT by StoneColdGOP ("The Republican Party is the France of politics" - Laz)
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To: Burr5
Henry Wallace apologized for having Soviet agents on his staff later on. I don't think he was one himself. He supported Nixon in 1960. But the reason Stalin wasn't the immediate bad guy in 1941 is because Hitler had already been extending into other countries whereas Uncle Joe had shown no such predilection till after the war.
60 posted on 05/05/2005 3:20:25 PM PDT by Borges
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