mid- January 1937? He must have been relieved when he learned in June 1937 that the traitor Tukhachevsky had been shot. Soviet secret initiatives in the Third Reich gave the executions of Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky and the forty thousand Red Army officers a new dimension: these men were killed for alleged policies that Stalin himself had tried to pursue.
With all potential rivals shot, Stalin felt satisfied. 75 When the dispirited and poorly led units of the Red Army found themselves consistently outmaneuvered by the German onslaught during the summer of 1941, however, the Kremlin tyrant must have realized that his purge might well have been one of the most notorious Pyrrhic victories in modern history.