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Discovery of Red Army phrasebook hints at Soviet plans to fight Hitler on British front
Scotsman ^ | 26 Mar 2006 | MURDO MACLEOD

Posted on 03/26/2006 9:10:56 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe

IT IS a world away from the holiday phrasebook. A newly discovered relic of the Second World War shows how the Red Army was expected to take a no-nonsense attitude if they ever encountered English speakers.

The Russian-English military phrasebook told officers how to interrogate English-speaking soldiers and civilians, demand food and water and order people to help repair roads for troops. It even included a phrase for how to demand more tea.

But the date of the phrasebook's publication, summer 1940 - a year before the Soviets published their equivalent German phrasebook - is seen as highly significant. Some historians based in the former Soviet Union believe it adds weight to a controversial theory that Stalin would have sent troops to Britain if the Nazis invaded in order to open up a "Second Front" against Hitler.

The 100-page Short Russian-English Military Phrasebook was published by the People's Commissariat for the Defence of the USSR in 1940.

It is clear from the phrases in the book that the Red Army would be taking no chances if soldiers found themselves in an English-language situation. The book includes staples of military confrontations such as "Hands Up!", "Surrender!" and "If you make noise I shall kill you!" all with guides to pronunciation in the Cyrillic alphabet.

Others are aimed at calming down nervous civilians, such as "Do not be afraid of the Red Army men!", "Everything taken by the Red Army from the inhabitants will be paid for!" and even how to ask for more tea.

Some of the phrases serve to remind that the war was fought in an age before the advent of much modern technology, such as how to ask for carrier pigeons or question whether a well had been poisoned.

The book's emergence is seen as supporting the idea that Stalin hoped to attack Hitler through Britain as part of a plan to double-cross the Nazi tyrant.

Kejstut Zakoretskii, a Kiev-based historian, unearthed the phrasebook along with landing plans which apparently included pictures of the British naval base at Scapa Flow and images of British battleships.

He said: "In summer 1941, Stalin believed that the German attack would not be on the USSR, but on Britain. Military threats to Britain from the south would be a very good excuse to send Britain some military assistance, requested by the British or even not requested."

But Euan Mawdsley, professor of international history at Glasgow University, doubted whether the Soviets could have mounted a successful attack through Scotland. He said: "It would have been very difficult indeed."


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: britian; nazis; russia; sovietunion; stalin; worldwar2
Stalin would have sent troops to Britain if the Nazis invaded in order to open up a "Second Front" against Hitler.

Ah yes, I'm sure the Red Army would have "liberated" Britain from the fascists, just like they liberated Eastern Europe.

Who Started the Second World War? - 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.

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.


1 posted on 03/26/2006 9:10:59 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe
The whole article misses the point: the phrasebook and plans show that the Soviets would have joined not opposed, a Nazi invasion of Britain.

Why else would instructions be given on how to take English speaking prisoners?

2 posted on 03/26/2006 9:14:34 PM PST by pierrem15
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To: Tailgunner Joe
But the date of the phrasebook's publication, summer 1940 - a year before the Soviets published their equivalent German phrasebook - is seen as highly significant. Some historians based in the former Soviet Union believe it adds weight to a controversial theory that Stalin would have sent troops to Britain if the Nazis invaded in order to open up a "Second Front" against Hitler.

1940 was a year before Germany and the Soviet Union started a war. In 1940, Germany and the USSR were at peace after having split Poland and Germany was at war with France, England and much of the rest of Western Europe. Those historians seem to have forgoten history and are thus condemned to repeat it in a remedial class.

3 posted on 03/26/2006 9:20:57 PM PST by KarlInOhio (The tree of liberty is getting awfully parched.)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

The book was dated 1940. Sounds to me more like Stalin was preparing the Red Army to take part in Operation Sea Lion along with his Nazi allies.


4 posted on 03/26/2006 9:27:38 PM PST by fso301
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To: Tailgunner Joe

To send troops to Britain Stalin would have needed long distance sea lift on a massive scale, which he did not have. Having a land-lubbing army, the only way it could make sense would be for operations in a Nazi alliance.


5 posted on 03/26/2006 9:28:02 PM PST by GSlob
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To: Tailgunner Joe

bttt


6 posted on 03/26/2006 9:30:25 PM PST by prophetic
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To: Tailgunner Joe

bttt


7 posted on 03/26/2006 9:33:41 PM PST by nopardons
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To: pierrem15; KarlInOhio

For a country so fixated on uniform policy and mass production, could a forgotten little phrasebook be so important?

It would have been everywhere, were it not just another contingency plan out of hundreds of bizarre scenarios. We would have heard about it.


8 posted on 03/26/2006 9:35:45 PM PST by SteveMcKing
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To: pierrem15
The whole article misses the point: the phrasebook and plans show that the Soviets would have joined not opposed, a Nazi invasion of Britain.

Precisely. Unless I'm missing something fundamental here, I suspect the writer of this piece is an idiot.

9 posted on 03/26/2006 9:38:16 PM PST by Petronski (I love Cyborg!)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

"My hovercraft is full of eels"


10 posted on 03/26/2006 9:42:51 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (Red meat, we were meant to eat it - Meat and Livestock Australia TV ad campaign)
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To: fso301
The book was dated 1940. Sounds to me more like Stalin was preparing the Red Army to take part in Operation Sea Lion along with his Nazi allies.

Yes, Stalin had an alliance with Hitler until Germany launched Operation Barbarossa in May of 1941.

11 posted on 03/26/2006 9:43:51 PM PST by demlosers
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To: demlosers

The British and French were preparing an expedition to land in Norway and march to Finland to assist the Finns in fighting the Soviet invasion of Finland in the winter and early spring of 1940.

When the Germans invaded Norway, this force ended up in Narvik in an attempt to defend northern Norway from the Germans. It was withdrawn when the Germans invaded France proper.

I suspect this phrasebook may have its orgins in that whole affair. I'm sure the author of the piece was indeed utterly clueless.


12 posted on 03/26/2006 9:48:43 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: GSlob
To send troops to Britain Stalin would have needed long distance sea lift on a massive scale, which he did not have. Having a land-lubbing army, the only way it could make sense would be for operations in a Nazi alliance.

The British had a Navy. The whole thing seems pretty far fetched, but presumably the Brits could have ferried the Russians to England.

13 posted on 03/26/2006 10:00:37 PM PST by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: Strategerist
The British and French were preparing an expedition to land in Norway and march to Finland to assist the Finns in fighting the Soviet invasion of Finland in the winter and early spring of 1940.

The Brits invaded Norway to prevent a German invasion (not, btw, a good idea), not to fight the Russians.

14 posted on 03/26/2006 10:01:37 PM PST by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: Petronski

Gerhard Weinberg's history of WWII details Soviet offers to join the war against Britain.


15 posted on 03/26/2006 10:05:57 PM PST by flying Elvis
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To: Alter Kaker
"the Brits could have ferried the Russians to England."
For doing field interrogations in English? One might be out of phase by a few degrees, but one should not become mentally defecative.
16 posted on 03/26/2006 10:07:09 PM PST by GSlob
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To: SteveMcKing
were it not just another contingency plan out of hundreds of bizarre scenarios. We would have heard about it.

After what the Russians went through between 1941-1945, I'm sure Stalin wanted and ordered that all memory of his 1939-1941 alliance with Hitler be erased.

17 posted on 03/26/2006 10:11:51 PM PST by fso301
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Russian sent a battalion or two to France during the first world war. They were forgotten, ill-used and mostly died. They were looked down upon by the French not tolerated by the populance.

I dont think the British would have suffered Stalins 'help' for long. The fear of the 'red menace' was high in pre-war England.


18 posted on 03/26/2006 10:40:53 PM PST by truemiester (If the U.S. should fail, a veil of darkness will come over the Earth for a thousand years)
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To: demlosers

"The book was dated 1940. Sounds to me more like Stalin was preparing the Red Army to take part in Operation Sea Lion along with his Nazi allies."

Which underscores what great heroes the outnumbered RAF pilots were in defeating the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. The defeat of the RAF had to happen first before Operation Sea Lion could be put into effect. Think what might have happened had the RAF been defeated! Could the US have defeated a Europe and Britain entirely in the hands of a Hitler/Stalin alliance? Scary thought indeed.

Never was so much owed to so few.


19 posted on 03/26/2006 10:43:24 PM PST by sasportas
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Why would Stalin need pictures of Scapa Flow and the British battleships there if the plan was to help the British? It defies common sense. He would need the pictures if he intended to attack there.

Stalin joined Hitler in dismembering Poland in 1939. They remained solid allies throughout 1940 and into 1941, despite Hitler's growing desire to doublecross Stalin. To think that Stalin, who was deathly afraid of German military might, would strain to put Soviet troops in England to fight Hitler - when it would be much easier to do it in, say, Poland or East Prusssia - is in the realm of weird doublethink fantasy.

20 posted on 03/26/2006 11:34:43 PM PST by KellyAdmirer
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To: Alter Kaker

The British were considering an invasion of Norway, but the Germans beat them to it. The actual British troops sent were in response to the German invasion.


21 posted on 03/27/2006 12:41:08 AM PST by Cheburashka (World's only Spatula City certified spatula repair and maintenance specialist!!!)
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To: fso301
After what the Russians went through between 1941-1945, I'm sure Stalin wanted and ordered that all memory of his 1939-1941 alliance with Hitler be erased.
---
Under Gorbachev during Glastnost the Russians asked the West Germans for copies of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, and the other agreements the two governments signed in 1939.
Gee, I wonder what happened to their own copies?
22 posted on 03/27/2006 12:45:31 AM PST by Cheburashka (World's only Spatula City certified spatula repair and maintenance specialist!!!)
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To: Strategerist
The British and French were preparing an expedition to land in Norway and march to Finland to assist the Finns in fighting the Soviet invasion of Finland in the winter and early spring of 1940.

There is evidence that the real target was Swedish steel production. In any event, the pretext went away with the Treaty of Moscow on March 12. The British force (and don't forget the Poles) doesn't sail for another month.

When the Germans invaded Norway, this force ended up in Narvik in an attempt to defend northern Norway from the Germans. It was withdrawn when the Germans invaded France proper.

The forces in the Narvik area were withdrawn after Dunkirk. The Norway evacuation was June 4 - 8 according to a quick check of internet sources, and Dunkirk was wrapped up on June 4.

23 posted on 03/27/2006 1:18:56 AM PST by PAR35
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To: demlosers

June 1941 ... June 22, 1941


24 posted on 03/27/2006 2:36:45 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: Alter Kaker

There were a couple of different British plans for Scandinavia. One of them was, indeed, to send British forces into Norway, through Sweden, and into Finland to assist the Finns in the Winter War against the Russians. That fell through when Mannerheim sued for peace. The second, in the early spring of 1940, was for a pre-emptive strike through Norway (then neutral) and into Sweden (then neutral) to seize the Swedish iron ore fields, from which the Reich was getting the majority of the iron ore it needed.

Hitler didn't have much interest in invading Norway at first, but when it became clear that the British might take steps to cut off the Swedish ore, and block the Norwegian sea lanes, that stirred him into action, and as a result the plans for the invasions of Norway and Denmark were thrown together hastily. The actual German invasion of Norway caught the British by surprise, but they did respond quickly.

}:-)4


25 posted on 03/27/2006 4:52:36 AM PST by Moose4 ("I will shoulder my musket and brandish my sword/In defense of this land and the word of the Lord")
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To: Tailgunner Joe; All


"But the date of the phrasebook's publication, summer 1940 ... The book includes staples of military confrontations such as "Hands Up!", "Surrender!" and "If you make noise I shall kill you!" all with guides to pronunciation in the Cyrillic alphabet. Others are aimed at calming down nervous civilians, such as "Do not be afraid of the Red Army men!", "Everything taken by the Red Army from the inhabitants will be paid for!" and even how to ask for more tea"

--- A possibly more reasonable explaination is found in Russia's long time desire for a warm water port. Most of the Middle East and all of India was under British rule or occupation at that time. Relatively easy matter for the Soviets to attack from the 'stans into Iran then turn west into Egypt & east in India.


26 posted on 03/27/2006 5:49:25 AM PST by Casekirchen (That the MSM like John ("Keating 5") McCain is reason enough to disqualify him from elected office)
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To: Casekirchen

Doesn't really matter, the point remains that the book was for an invading force, not an allied force.
What a wonderful find!


27 posted on 03/27/2006 6:10:39 AM PST by Little Ray (I'm a reactionary, hirsute, gun-owning, knuckle dragging, Christian Neanderthal and proud of it!)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
If Stalin was considering putting troops in England... it was only because he desired a portion of it... just like he managed to do with Poland.

When one offers Stalin... as opposed to Hitler, you are not given much of a choice.

28 posted on 03/27/2006 6:19:33 AM PST by johnny7 (ďNah, I ainít Jewish, I just donít dig on swine, thatís all.Ē)
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To: pierrem15

Another possibility is that Stalin was aware of British plans to hold Norway against the Germans, and was considering taking advantage of the situation to grab it himself.


29 posted on 03/27/2006 6:23:09 AM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: steve-b
Another possibility is that Stalin was aware of British plans to hold Norway against the Germans, and was considering taking advantage of the situation to grab it himself.

How does such theory explain phrases directed at English speaking citizenry?

30 posted on 03/27/2006 7:12:19 AM PST by fso301
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To: Tailgunner Joe; SteveMcKing; Petronski; Strategerist; Alter Kaker; GSlob; truemiester; All
The author is either a screaming idiot, a watermelon (green on the outside but red inside) or, some other socialist/red sympathiser out doing his best to rewrite history and avoid anything casting communism in a bad light.

In 1940, Germany and Russia were allies. A phrasebook containing English phraseology directed at an English speaking military and civilian population means Stalin was considering taking part in operation Sea Lion alongside his Nazi allies.

The author is just trying his best to keep that from getting out.

Some on this thread advance theories that the book may have been prepared for possible use in Skandanavia or in Central Asia where British Colonies existed. The Skandanavian theory cannot explain the need for phraseology directed at English speaking civilians and can therefore be eliminated.

The theory about Stalin making a move in South Central Asia for a warm water port has some merit as India, Pakistan and Iran were all British possessions or colonies and some portion of the civilian population might speak English. However, why didn't the book include phrases in local languages such as Farsi, Urdu, Pashtun or Hindi as one would expect when confronting a mixed language allied force/population?

The exclusively English nature of the books points to only one explanation. Stalin was planning to assist his Nazi allies in the invasion of Britian. That is what the author tried so desperately to avoid mentioning.

31 posted on 03/27/2006 7:37:37 AM PST by fso301
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To: GSlob
To send troops to Britain Stalin would have needed long distance sea lift on a massive scale, which he did not have. Having a land-lubbing army, the only way it could make sense would be for operations in a Nazi alliance.

Agree. The only way he could have gotten troops onto the British Isles was to have the Germans transport them.

32 posted on 03/27/2006 7:44:11 AM PST by Ditto
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To: fso301; Tailgunner Joe
I believe the thread title can now be changed to reflect reality - for example:

Liberal Fruit Claims Discovery of Red Army phrasebook hints at Soviet plans to fight Hitler on British front.

33 posted on 03/27/2006 8:01:39 AM PST by SteveMcKing
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Being a man of simple interpretations, to me, this revelation means only one thing. The "Icebreaker" theory is completely true, the Kremlin's goal was to use WW2 as the entree to conquer all of Europe, and the assault on the UK (from which an island hopping campaign across the North Atlantic, coincident with a simulatneous one across the Aleutians orignating in Kamchatka, would be launched) was a key objective.

Interestingly, keeping all this in mind, and viewing the new demon, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, I'd have to say that significant elements of that old plan are still relevant. What are the West's contingency plans for a multipronged SCO conquest into Europe, SE Asia, the Persian Gulf, and beyond? If the answer is "ICBMs" then whoever made that plan is an idiot. Oh, of course we need ICBMs, but we need a whole lot more than that!


34 posted on 04/19/2006 9:11:48 AM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Stomping on "PC," destroying the Left, and smoking out faux "conservatives" - Take Back The GOP!)
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