|Union of Soviet Socialist Republics:|
|As war broke out in 1939, the USSR was already having a border
dispute with Japan, which motivated them to avoid a European war by signing the
Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact in 1939. Soviet troops then marched
into Poland following Hitler's attack on September 1. Also that fall, Soviet troops entered
Finland, attempting to take strategically important territory held by
the Finns. The Soviets then extended into the Balkans without
giving any time for them to respond to the USSR's demands of free
passage there. After the Balkan campaign, the USSR signed a neutrality
pact in 1941 with Japan that was to last for five years.
The scope of war relations radically changed when Hitler attacked Stalin by surprise in June 1941 by launching Operation Barbarossa. As the Axis powers and their satellites declared war on the USSR, Great Britain and the United States came to the aid of the Soviets. Roosevelt was able to get Congress to appropriate $1 billion in lend-lease credit for the USSR. The actual credit would reach almost $12 billion. The three officially allied when the United States entered the war later that year. In 1942, the Soviets signed the Declaration of the United Nations along with the other twenty-five Allied nations. As the Germans continued to advance, Stalin ordered the industrial centers of the nation to be relocated, and what could not be moved to safer geographical location was destroyed so that the Nazis would not be able to use it. The turning point in the war for the USSR was the battle at the city of Stalingrad. The Soviets fought ferociously to fend off the 300,000 troops attacking the city. They were ultimately victorious, at the price of the total destruction of Stalingrad. After that battle, the Germans would not be able to launch any more successful offensives against the USSR. Soviet forces continued to advanced on Germany until their surrender in May 1945. After three months, as Stalin had promised, USSR declared war on Japan. However, they did so after the first atomic strike, so their participation was ceremonial at best. However, it was enough to claim part of the victory over Japan, and the USSR gained some small territories in Asia.
Timeline | Museum | Simulation | Resources | Participation
© ThinkQuest 1998 Team 15511
E-mail us at: email@example.com