Continuing my review of this piece by Herman Sadulaev, entitled
Why the USSR Was Not Ready For War With Nazi Germany
My goal is to translate/summarize or do whatever I have to, to break down and explain Sadulaev’s theory. I find this interesting myself, because I had never heard this particular argument made before. And, frankly, didn’t even know about the Iranian connection…
Sadulaev: I believe that historians should consider the hypothesis that the highest leadership of the USSR did not expect a war with Germany, because they had reasons to believe that the deployment of German units on their [Soviet] Western border was in preparation for a [German] attack against Great Britain, and not the USSR. A detailed study of the facts shows that this theory deserves more attention, and inspires more confidence, than the “sensational discovery” of Traitor-to-his-Country Rezun-Suvorov about how, allegedly, the Soviet Union was itself preparing to attack Europe.
[yalensis: Rezun-Suvorov, that’s a new name to me, so I googled it. The guy’s actual name is Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun; but he goes by Viktor Suvorov. Born in 1947, way out there in the Primorye Krai. He is a writer who achieved some fame (or infamy) with his ALT-Historical scenarios. In Soviet times was a GRU operative for the Soviet Union and was based in the Soviet Embassy in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1978 he defected to Great Britain. Was sentenced to death back in the USSR (but only if they could catch him). Apparently is still alive and well, living in Great Britain and writing ALT-History. Including the above-mentioned hypothesis that Stalin was planning to launch a surprise attack against Western Europe, but Hitler beat him to the punch. Uh huh… Suvorov also writes historical fiction utilizing his “inside knowledge” of the Soviet system; it goes without saying that he is a wildly popular author in the West.]
Sadulaev: There is one theory that even back in 1940 the USSR and Germany were considering a plan to launch a joint operation against Great Britain, in Iran. At the time, the nation of Iran was in a state of “joint subjugation”.
Economically, Iran was under the influence of London, which controlled the oil industry there. But ideologically, Iran was closer to Germany. The Nazis flattered the Iranians, calling them the “true Aryans”, and even introduced amendments into their racial laws, according to which Persians were considered racially pure and equal to the Germans. The Persian Nationalists enthusiastically supported these ideas about Aryan superiority. They organized their own groups similar to the HitlerJugend, and Hitler was, in general, very popular there. Undoubtedly the goal of the Nazis was to subjugate Iran to their influence, first driving out the English; and then next on the list was to break India away from Great Britain. With the Indian Nationalists, the Nazis also fostered a certain connection, with their theory about the racial superiority of Aryans. At one time, even Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian Independence movement, was enchanted by Hitler and most likely considered the idea of forming an alliance with Germany, in the Indian struggle to break away from Great Britain.
On the other hand, England was inclined very negatively against the USSR. The English even had a contingency plan, in the case of conflict, to bomb the Baku oil fields, from the territory of Iran. This would leave the Soviets without oil. The Soviet leadership knew of this plan [yalensis: maybe thanks to Kim Philby?] and was working on a contingency plan of their own: a preventative seizure of Iran, which would make secure the Caucasian oil fields.
And then June 22, 1941. This surprised everybody in the world. Not only Moscow was surprised, but also London, and Teheran, and the whole world. Nobody expected this, and nobody was prepared for it…
[to be continued]