For twenty years at least (most likely, much longer), Joseph Stalin had but one objective in life – world domination. In other word, to become the ruler, the Master, the owned, the lord, the Emperor of the whole world – by becoming the dictator, the absolute monarch of the gigantic totalitarian state – the global Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In June 1941 he was literally hours away (36 hours or so, in fact) from delivering a devastating blow to German Wehrmacht. Which would have all but guaranteed his conquest and subsequent transformation of continental Europe (in other words, expansion of the Soviet Union to the shores of Mediterranean, Northern Sea and the Atlantic).
However, it was not to happen. In the early morning hours of June 22nd, 1941, German Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS unleashed its own hell (literally) on the Red Army. Thus stopping the Soviet invasion cold – about 36 hours before it was about to begin.
Now, 1418 days later, the “Red Tamerlane” faced a very, very different situation in Europe (and in the whole world). He was now facing a multi-million Allied armed forces (American, British, French, Canadian,. Australian, etc.).
Mighty, well-equipped (far better than the Red Army), experienced, battle-hardened, well-led and well-managed (again, far better than their Soviet counterpart), and very well-motivated (to protect their democratic way of life, they have just crushed one totalitarian regime – and will not hesitate to crush another).
Armed forces that had a sword against which Stalin had no shield – and will not have none in the foreseeable future. A gigantic armada of strategic bombers capable of obliterating entire cities in one night – let alone command, transport and the whole military infrastructure in a matter of weeks.
Stalin was well aware of the devastation unleashed by these bombers on Nazi Germany. Which had an extensive system of countermeasures – radars, night fighters (equipped with radars as well), etc. Soviet Union had none and would not get any in the foreseeable future (Russia still does not have decent night fighters).
Unlike Nazi Germany, pretty much limited to land forces (Army/Heer) and Luftwaffe, the Western Allies had the most powerful Navy in the world. Including aircraft carriers capable of successfully attacking just about any Soviet coastal city or military base
With complete impunity – Soviet air force was totally incompetent and powerless in over-the-water operations and its Navy for all practical purposes did not exist (compared to the Western one, of course).
In addition, Western Allies had extensive experience conducting large-scale amphibious operations in Europe and the Far East. Which all but guaranteed swift occupation of the abovementioned cities and military bases.
And now they had the ultimate weapon – atomic bomb. Stalin was well aware of the unique ability of Americans to mass-produce just about anything, so he had no doubt that by the end of the year the US will have at their disposal dozens of Fat Men and Little Boys. And hundreds – by the end of 1946.
Which made any air defense pointless – when one of several hundred bombers carries a nuclear bomb, it is impossible to identify it. Consequently, the destruction of the target (Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, etc.) was assured with practically a 100% probability.
Stalin had no illusions about why and how the Red Army won the war with Nazi Germany. It gave eight lives of its soldiers and officers for each German life; six aircraft for each German aircraft; five tanks for each German tank and so on.
And even with these sacrifices (made possible by the enormous numerical superiority in “all of the above”) the war was won only because Wehrmacht was commanded by the lunatic who was becoming more and more insane with each passing day, issued genuinely suicidal orders – and insisted that they were followed to a T.
And even that was not enough for the victory. Red Army managed to crush the Wehrmacht because the latter was short of just about everything – food, weapons, ammunition and, especially, fuel. And betrayed – at the crucial moments – by its key allies – Italy, Romania. Bulgaria, Finland…
And, of course, Nazis had to combat Resistance forces (which in places like Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, etc.) were nothing short of guerilla armies that had tens of thousands of fighters, hundreds of artillery pieces and even tanks at their disposal.
Western Allies had none of these problems. Their armed forces were well-equipped (US Army was the only 100%-motorized force and the only one 100%-equipped with semi-automatic and automatic weapons), had plenty of weapons, ammunition and fuel and an enormously powerful military industry that could produce just about anything in enormous quantities.
And with dozens and dozens escort aircraft carriers (not to mention destroyers, corvettes and other fighting ships) to protect them, Allies supplied routes were virtually untouchable. Even to German U-boats which were far, far superior to the Soviet ones.
Stalin was well aware of another problem. There was no way he could win the war with Nazi Germany without receiving the enormous quantities of absolutely vital supplies from the Western Allies. In fact, without these supplies he would have surely lost the war as early as in 1942.
Which meant that there was no way he could hope to win the war with the very nations that supplied him with vital strategic materials (weapons, ammunition, fuel, etc.).
And, of course, he knew for a fact that the outbreak of war with the Western allies will immediately lead to radical increase in anti-Soviet Resistance activities (and very possibly even to uprisings) in Baltic states, Western Ukraine and Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia…
Activities that he would not be able to crush with Katyn-style massacres. Horrified by the just uncovered Nazi atrocities (war crimes and crimes against humanity), Western Allies would react to such criminal measures in one and only one way.
By launching an all-out war on the Soviet Union.
Stalin had intelligence agents (mostly secret die-hard Communists) in very high places in British (and not only British) government and security services (“Cambridge Five” and others).
So he was well aware of the existence of Operation Unthinkable. Not one, but two contingency plans for the war against the Soviet Union. They were ordered by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (a diehard anti-Communist) in early 1945 and developed by the British Armed Forces’ Joint Planning Staff at the end of World War II in Europe.
In the summer of 1941, a surprise attack on Europe would have been a guaranteed success. In the summer of 1945, it was a guaranteed suicide.
Being obsessed with the idea of world domination, Stalin, of course, could not stop. He consolidated his power over Eastern Europe (however, Yugoslavia, Albania and subsequently Romania largely escaped from his clutches), expanded into Asia establishing puppet regime in China (not for long) and North Korea followed decades later by Communist regimes in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Stalin’s successors expanded the Soviet influence into Africa (Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, etc.) and Latin America (Cuba and Nicaragua not to mention Communist guerilla activities in Guatemala, El Salvador, etc.).
But he had to forget about conquering Western Europe (and thus about genuine world domination). For good. This defeat (and it was a defeat all right) was so devastating for the “Red Tamerlane” that he genuinely felt that he had lost the war.
Stalin refused to approve the military rank (the highest in the Soviet military hierarchy) of Generalissimus of the Soviet Union created specifically for him by his cronies.
He died with the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union and was buried in the corresponding uniform flatly refusing to ever wear the uniform of Generalissimus sewn exclusively for him.
He refused to wear two World War II award – the golden star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the star of the Pobeda (“Victory”) order (although he well-deserved both of these awards bestowed on him by his close associates).
Although he led the Soviet Union to a victory over Nazi Germany (by far the most significant and even vital victory in history of Russia), he refused to either command or inspect the parade (Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky commanded the parade and Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov was the parade inspector).
From the perspective of this book it meant that Nazi Germany has fulfilled its Divine Mission – prevented the Bolshevist Soviet Union from conquering and destroying the Western civilization. It succeeded at an enormous (and mostly unnecessary) cost, but it succeeded.
It destroyed sufficient amount of the Soviet military-industrial complex and survived the war of attrition long enough to put an end to the existential Soviet threat to the Western civilization.
Although the very next year (1946) marked the beginning of a new war – de-facto World War III – it was a mostly bloodless Cold War (with the exception of very local armed conflicts in Vietnam and Korea).
The existential Soviet threat to the western civilization persisted for almost half a century, but it was now a very different threat – the threat of the mutual destruction due to horrifying mistakes committed by one or more sides in this war.
Cold War ended forty four years after the end of World War II. Germany was united, the Soviet Bloc (“Warsaw Pact”) was dissolved, Communist regimes in Eastern Europe fell – and two years later the mighty Soviet Union ceased to exist.
The existential threat to Western civilization was gone – for good. Which would not have been possible without a decisive victory achieved by German Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS in the existential war with the Soviet Union.
War for the very existence of human civilization as we know it.