Feeding the German Eagle: Soviet Economic Aid to Nazi Germany, 1933-1941

Feeding the German Eagle: Soviet Economic Aid to Nazi Germany, 1933-1941

Feeding the German Eagle: Soviet Economic Aid to Nazi Germany, 1933-1941

Feeding the German Eagle: Soviet Economic Aid to Nazi Germany, 1933-1941

Synopsis

The dramatic story of Hitler and Stalin's marriage of convenience has been recounted frequently over the past 60 years, but with remarkably little consensus. As the first English-language study to analyze the development, extent, and importance of the Nazi-Soviet economic relationship from Hitler's ascension to power to the launching of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, this book highlights the crucial role that Soviet economic aid played in Germany's early successes in World War II. When Hitler's rearmament efforts left Germany dangerously short of raw materials in 1939, Stalin was able to offer valuable supplies of oil, manganese, grain, and rubber. In exchange, the Soviet Union would gain territory and obtain the technology and equipment necessary for its own rearmament efforts.

Excerpt

"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong," states Murphy's Law. and this proved to be the case with the economic foreign policy that the ruthless leader of the Soviet Union, Josef Stalin, attempted to follow from 1939 to 1941 in regard to Germany. According to his logical and cautious plan, trade with the Nazis would simultaneously keep war away from Soviet borders, prolong a debilitating struggle between communism's capitalist enemies, and significantly strengthen the Soviet military and war economy. It all made perfect sense, except for the appearance of Mr. Murphy, this time in the guise of the equally brutal, but often incautious and illogical, Adolf Hitler. While contemporary military wisdom assumed that Germany would become enmeshed in World War I--style, drawn-out conflicts, Hitler won a series of rapid military victories at the longest of odds against Poland, Norway, France, Yugoslavia, and Greece. and while contemporary military wisdom also assumed that Germany would have to deal with the growing Anglo- Saxon alliance first before a struggle with the ussr would be at all possible, Hitler did the unthinkable and launched his invasion of the Soviet Union, codenamed Operation Barbarossa, on June 22, 1941. in short, Stalin's rational plans fell victim to Murphy's Law.

Mr. Murphy has also made an occasional appearance in the course of researching and writing this project. On the whole, however, I have been continually amazed by the incredible support I have received. I would like to acknowledge first of all the guidance and sound advice of James Diehl of Indiana University-Bloomington and of my father, Edward Ericson, Jr., of Calvin College. I also want to thank the following senior colleagues for their advice and the insights of their works: William Cohen, Hiroaki Kuromiya, Charles Jelavich, and the late Barbara Jelavich, all of Indiana University; John Dodge of Indiana Wesleyan University . . .

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