The Devil’s Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin, 1939–1941

Roger Moorhouse. Basic, $29.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-465-03075-0
Moorhouse (The Wolf’s Lair) delivers a straightforward diplomatic history of the nonaggression pact signed between Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union in August 1939, asserting that the concord was the key enabling event of the early years of WWII. Moorhouse describes why and how the pact came to be before highlighting the broad spectrum of its effects. Militarily, it permitted Hitler’s early European conquests and set the conditions for the German attack on Russia. It also facilitated the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states and the invasion of Finland. Economically, the pact convinced Hitler that he could prosecute global war despite a lack of natural resources. Finally, the pact allowed for the Soviet and the Nazi policies of massive deportation, political murder, and genocide. An interesting and somewhat original assertion is that Soviet policy in 1939 was fundamentally aggressive and that the pact enabled expansion without combat. Moorhouse draws archival records to supply the main narrative, illustrating the human dimension of the period through memoirs, interviews, and unpublished diaries. The personal stories integrated throughout transforms a dry diplomatic history into riveting drama. Readers of military and diplomatic history as well as those interested in the Holocaust will find this book immensely interesting and informative. 30 b&w images. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/11/2014
Release date: 10/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 440 pages - 978-0-465-05492-3
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