Paths to War pp 330-366 | Cite as

German Mobilisation Preparations and the Treaties Between Germany and the Soviet Union of August and September 1939

  • Esmonde M. Robertson


Although the German — Soviet negotiations which led to the non-aggression pact of 23 August 1939 have been dealt with admirably in several accounts of the origins of the Second World War,2 there is still uncertainty about what Hitler primarily hoped to achieve. Was his first consideration to deter Britain and France from intervention on Poland’s behalf, or to threaten Poland from the east? Did he hope to use the non-aggression pact and subsequent treaty of 28 September in order to create conditions which would render it easier for Italy, whose power he greatly over-rated, to go to war? Did he consider plausible an alternative to a deal with Russia such as agreement with Britain? Could he sell the idea of a deal with Russia and war to his own people? No definite answer to these questions is possible until more is known about the military intelligence of the main participants.3 A short review of German mobilisation plans and operational intentions helps to clarify some of the issues.


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Notes and References

  1. 2.
    C. Thorne, The Approach of War 1938–39 (London, 1967) andGoogle Scholar
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© Esmonde M. Robertson 1989

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