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.
Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were the most influential dictators of the XX century who to a very significant extent shaped it. Both used very similar methods (including some purely criminal ones) to achieve their fundamental objectives.
Which were radically different, though. Adolf Hitler wanted to make Germany a secure, prosperous and genuinely happy nation (at the expense of other nations) while Joseph Stalin wanted to acquire unlimited power over the maximum number of nations and individuals (ideally, over the whole world).
Although the former objective was far nobler than the latter, it produced strikingly similar results. Both mega-projects ultimately contributed to the outbreak of the World War II which resulted in millions dead and injured in Germany and in the Soviet Union (and in many other nations), colossal devastation on an unprecedented scale in both nations (and in many other countries) and in horrific war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Both dictators met a miserable end. Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker having lost the war that he has ignited six years prior and Joseph Stalin was directly or indirectly murdered by his henchmen and died in a pool of his own urine.
- The most fundamental difference between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin was that the former was a national-sociopath while the former was a classic psychopath. A mega-psychopath, sure, but still a psychopath.
- In other words, Adolf Hitler was a genuine patriot who deeply and sincerely loved Germany and Germans but viewed all other nations (and individuals belonging to these nations) as mere tools to be used for the benefit of Germany and Germans. Joseph Stalin was a fundamental egocentric who loved only himself and considered all other individuals (both citizens of the Soviet Union and citizens of other nations) as mere tools to be used for his personal benefit
- Consequently, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin had fundamentally different objectives. The former wanted to make Germany a secure, prosperous and genuinely happy nation (at the expense of other nations) while the latter wanted to acquire unlimited power over the maximum number of nations and individuals (ideally, of the whole world)
- Adolf Hitler failed to reach his objectives. And failed miserably. Instead of making Germany a secure, prosperous and genuinely happy nation, his rule resulted in a total military defeat, horrible and comprehensive devastation, millions killed and injured, Germany occupied and divided for almost half a century. Stalin achieved some of his objectives, having occupied the Eastern Europe and established Communist regimes in China, North Korea and North Vietnam. However, Stalin failed to completely conquer Europe or Asia (let alone the Americas or even the Middle East). And paid a horrendous price (in terms of lives lost and economic devastation)
- Adolf Hitler made a whole series of strategic mistakes during World War II which ultimately led to the military defeat and unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany (and to his suicide on 04/30/1945). Joseph Stalin made only two strategic mistakes – failed to anticipate German invasion on 06/22/1941 and underestimated the power of the survival instinct of his henchmen in the late winter of 1953. The first mistake cost him his dream of conquering the world; the second one cost him his life
- Adolf Hitler was a mystic and an idealist. Consequently, his strategic decisions in many (if not most) cases were based on mystical revelations or beliefs and principles. Joseph Stalin was a materialist and a pragmatist; consequently, his decisions were based strictly on logical reasoning (facts, logic and common sense). Which explains why Stalin was far more successful and became far more influential than Adolf Hitler
- Although both Hitler and Stalin widely used blatant lies in their propaganda, the percentage of lies in Stalin’s propaganda was far, far higher than in Hitler’s. Actually, the former was a one Big Lie while the latter was a mixture of truth and lies
- Adolf Hitler sincerely believed in the national-socialist ideology (which for him and for other Nazis was essentially a neo-pagan quasi-religion). Joseph Stalin did not believe in Soviet Bolshevist ideology (or in any other ideology) – for him it was only one of the tools that he used to achieve absolute power
- While both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin transformed their nations into economic, political and military superpowers, Hitler’s Germany was only a European superpower. Stalin transformed post-Great War and post-Civil War Russia into the Soviet Union – a global superpower
- Although both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were the most influential political leaders of the XX century and to a very significant extent shaped it, Joseph Stalin was far more influential that Adolf Hitler (the influence of the former is felt even today)
- Adolf Hitler came to power in a legitimate way – by being legally appointed the Chancellor of Germany by President Hindenburg. Joseph Stalin came to power in an illegitimate way – after successful Bolshevik Coup
- Adolf Hitler was a deist – he believed in Higher Power (‘Providence’). Joseph Stalin was an atheist – he did not believe in God, Higher Power or anything supernatural
- Adolf Hitler was a valiant soldier during the Great War and received the Iron Cross (both Second and First Class – a very rare decoration for a mere corporal) for bravery on the battlefield. Stalin never fought in any war but ‘distinguished’ himself as a successful bank robber and murderer (i.e. gangster).
- Both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin committed war crimes and crimes against humanity of a comparable horror and scale (Holocaust, other mass murders on occupied territories, concentration camps vs. Golodomor, Great Terror, other democides and mass murders, Gulag and post-WW2 ethnical cleansing and mass murder of Germans). However, if one takes into account crimes against humanity committed by Communist regimes established by Stalin in Eastern Europe and Asia, the latter is responsible for a much higher death toll than the former
- Both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin created unique civilizations significantly different from the ‘liberal-democratic Western civilization’. Consequently, both civilizations were a threat to the ‘Western civilization’. However, ‘Stalin’s civilization’ was radically more different from the ‘Western civilization’ than the ‘Hitler’s civilization’. Besides, Adolf Hitler was concerned only about making Germany a secure, prosperous and genuinely happy nation and viewed all his conquests only as means to that end. Stalin’s ultimate objective was to conquer the whole world, destroy all existing human civilizations and replace them with ‘Stalin’s civilization’. Consequently, Joseph Stalin and his civilization constituted an existential threat to the Western civilization while Adolf Hitler and his ‘Nazi civilization’ did not. In fact, the latter actually saved the Western civilization (albeit at a horrendous price) by preventing Stalin from achieving his objectives
- Although both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin built ‘socialist’ systems (civilizations, actually), Hitler’s national-socialism was very different from Stalin’s Bolshevist socialism. In fact, Hitler’s version of socialism was far closer to the fundamental concept of socialism than Stalin’s one (the latter was actually a modern incarnation of Asian despotism disguised as ‘socialist state’)
- Both Nazi ideology of Hitler’s Germany and Bolshevist ideology of Stalin’s Soviet Union were fundamentally anti-Christian as they preached principles, values and objectives radically different from Christian ones. However, Adolf Hitler committed himself to a more or less peaceful coexistence with Christian Church (by signing concordats with both Catholic and Protestant Churches). Stalin completely annihilated both Churches in the Soviet Union and was committed to doing the same with Russian Orthodox Church (only the war prevented him from making it happen). Consequently, Stalin and his Soviet Union constituted an existential threat to the Christian Church while Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany did not. In fact, the latter actually saved the Christian Church (albeit at a horrendous price) by preventing Stalin from achieving his objectives
- By 1938 at the latest, Adolf Hitler radically transformed Germany into a genuinely happy nation (possibly the happiest in human history). Soviet citizens under Stalin were deeply unhappy which was proven beyond the reasonable doubt during the first weeks of German invasion in summer 1941 (when millions of Red Army soldiers refused to fight and surrendered to victorious Wehrmacht and millions of Soviet citizens welcomed the German Army as liberators from Stalin’s regime)
- Adolf Hitler committed suicide after losing World War II in Europe surrounded by his loyal followers who still loved and admired him. Joseph Stalin was murdered at the height of his power by his henchmen (partners in crime) – either poisoned by them (most likely) or left to die after a stroke (which for all practical purposes is a murder)
- Both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were self-made men – both started at the very bottom of social ladders in their countries and transformed themselves into immensely powerful leaders of economic, political and military superpowers
- Both were foreigners among their countrymen – Hitler was Austrian among Germans; Stalin was Georgian among the Russians
- Both have radically reengineered their respective countries – Russian ‘February’ Republic and Weimar Republic
- Both have built unique totalitarian systems (unique civilizations, actually) – the Third Reich and the Soviet Union
- Both based these unique civilizations on unique totalitarian ideologies – national-socialism and Bolshevism (‘Communism’ is a much less appropriate term)
- Both made a personality cult of a Leader (‘Führer’ and ‘Vozhd’) a central part of the corresponding ideology
- Both created essentially criminal political regimes (systems) that committed horrendous crimes on a daily (if not hourly) basis
- Both transformed countries devastated by war and economic disasters into political, economic and military superpowers (i.e. performed incredible quantum leaps)
- Both were the most influential political leaders of the XX century, essentially shaping it (to a very significant degree)
- Both essentially restored the empires (German Reich and Russian Empire) by taking back territories lost after the military defeats in World War I (Great War)
- Both conquered vast territories in Europe during World War II
- Both invaded the same country – Poland – in 1939 thus sharing the responsibility for the outbreak of World War II
- Both committed horrible crimes and crimes against humanity
- Both used violence, terror and omnipresent propaganda to achieve their objectives
- Although both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were enormously, incredibly, unbelievably successful in many endeavors – economic, political, social and military – both made existential mistakes for which both paid the ultimate price.
‘Mainstream’ (‘orthodox’) historians mostly agree that both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin created essentially criminal political regimes (systems) that committed horrendous crimes on a daily (if not hourly) basis. Including (but not limited to) horrible crimes against humanity. Which is, of course, true and correct.
However, most (if not practically all) ‘mainstream’ historians share a fundamental opinion that on the Eastern front of World War II a ‘good’ dictator (Stalin) was fighting a ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ dictator (Hitler). In this section I will demonstrate (beyond the reasonable doubt) that it was not exactly the case.