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Primary Sources: World War II

The Soviet Union in World War 2

The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939 established a non-aggression treaty between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union with a secret protocol describing how Poland and the Baltic countries would be divided between them. In the invasion of Poland in 1939, the two powers invaded and partitioned Poland, and in June 1940 the Soviet Union also occupied Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The Red Army had little time to correct its numerous deficiencies before Nazi Germany and other Axis countries allied with it swept across the newly relocated Soviet border on June 22, 1941, in the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa. The poor Soviet performance in the Winter War against Finland encouraged Hitler to ignore the terms of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and take the Red Army by surprise. During the initial stages of the war, Soviet forces were often ordered to stand their ground despite limited defensive capabilities, resulting in numerous encirclements and correspondingly high numbers of casualties. The United States program of lend-lease was extended to the Soviet Union in September 1941, supplying planes, tanks, trucks, and other war materials. Wikipedia

Book Sources: Soviet Union in WWII

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