Cuba, USSR and Africa

Mark Jones jones.mark at
Thu Mar 29 02:26:07 MST 2001

Jared wrote

>>To me that does not suggest the opposite of "Stalin was the decisive force"
but if it does to Mark, I stand corrected.<<

Let's not quibble about the semantics of "decisive roles" v. "decisive
factors". Stalin played a decisive political role (but then so did Churchill,
Roosevelt, Mao...), but the *material factors* which underpinned the Soviet
victory were what was militarily and historically decisive.

>>As for Mark's claim that Stalin ordered the actual coup against the
pro-Hitler regime, by whom is this "well attested"?  If the coup was a secret
plot by Stalin, working through Cetniks in the army, my hat is off to him -
but please, where is the evidence? According to Partisans I have spoken to
the communists initially stood aside.  If this is untrue it would be
wonderful news to me, and to them of course, so please - give me the

You are right: the Communists did stand aside. They were indeed told to.
Stalin was, as you rightly say, trying to avoid war with Hitler.  The coup
which Soviet intelligence agencies facilitated was a *pro-British* coup. The
British were of course, already at war with Hitler.

Avoiding war with Hitler was the entire purpose of the 1930 Nazi-Soviet
Non-Aggression Pact. That was why, of course, the CPs were told to stop
anti-Nazi agitation. You have mentioned this more than once. It would be
helpful if you also mentioned the colossal work done by the Comintern and the
CPSU *throughout the 1930s* to alert the world to the real menace of fascism,
beginning with Dimitrov's Trial. What happened after 1939 was already the
end-game: Soviet attempts to block Hitler with a genuine insternational system
of collective security had already been thwarted by Anglo-French appeasement.
War was now inevitable, the only question was when.

The British wanted to involved the USSR in their war with Hitler. The Soviet
leadership wanted to stay out as long as possible, by any means possible. This
was surely the only sensible thing to do. If the USSR had managed to avoid war
until 1942, Soviet war production and the strengthening of the Red Army might
have forestalled the debacle which actually happened in the immediate
aftermath of Barbarossa. In fact. Soviet production of new types of armour,
aircraft and the mechanisation of the Red Army were still inadequate in 1941.
The Germans knew all this, of course. In the weeks before the war broke out, a
high level delegation from the Wehrmacht was shown around the USSR's most
secrete and advanced defence plants. Was this yet another sordid betrayal by
the evil, insane Stalin? No, it was a desperate last minute attempt to
demonstrate to the Germans that the Soviet were genuinely gearing up for 'deep
war', even if they were not well prepared on the frontiers at that  moment.
Well, they *were* gearing up, weren't they? Hitler might have saved himself a
deal of bother if he'd taken nbote of the German high command report-backs,
which incidentally did raise the demand for diesel-powered pnazers, among
other things. Hitler thought he could overrun the Soviet Union before the new
wave of Soviet military production got into full swing. He was nearly right.
For more on this, see Andrew Crozier's recent book 'Causes of the 2nd world
war', or recent writing by Gabriel Gorodetsky. There is of course a lot of
much earlier *Soviet* writing on these issues, and in particular on the drama
of Soviet v.Nazi policy in the Balkans.

Revisionist anti-Stalin historians contradict themselves wildly, in their
hurry to get their accusations in. On the one hand, we are told that the
craven, supine, spineless coward Stalin was grovelling at the feet of Hitler,
desperate to appease the Nazis. On the other hand, we are also now told by the
likes of Viktor Suvorov, that Stalin was an evil, megalomaniacal, demonic
Genghis-Khan clone obsessed with world conquest, who in June 1941 was about to
launch an attack on Germany, which is why poor Hitler and his timid, nice,
proletarian lads in the Wehrmacht were forced to defend themselves by
attacking Russia first. Neither version is true, of course.


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