Soviet offensive plans controversy
Immediately after the German invasion of the USSR during World War II, Adolf Hitler asserted that the Soviet Red Army had made extensive preparations for an offensive war in Europe, thus justifying the German invasion as a preemptive strike. After the Second World War, this view was supported by some Wehrmacht leaders, like Wilhelm Keitel.
Suvorov, "Icebreaker", and the 1980s
In the 1980s, this claim was reiterated and explored by Vladimir Rezun, under the pseudonym Viktor Suvorov, a former officer of the Soviet military intelligence and defector to the UK in his book Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War and several subsequent books. He argued that Soviet ground forces were extremely well organized, and were mobilizing en masse all along the German-Soviet border for a Soviet invasion of Europe slated for Sunday, July 6, 1941, but they were totally unprepared for defensive operations on their own territory.
One of Suvorov's pieces of evidence favoring the theory of an impending Soviet attack was his claim regarding the maps and phrasebooks issued to Soviet troops. Military topographic maps, unlike other military supplies, are strictly local and cannot be used elsewhere than in the intended operational area. Suvorov claims Soviet units were issued with maps of Germany and German-occupied territory, and phrasebooks including questions about SA offices — SA offices were found only in German territory proper. In contrast, maps of Soviet territory were scarce. Notably, after the German attack, the officer responsible for maps, Lieutenant General M.K. Kudryavtsev was not punished by Stalin, who was known for extreme punishments after failures to obey his orders. According to Suvorov, this demonstrates that Kudryavtsev was obeying the orders of Stalin, who simply did not expect a German attack.
Another piece of evidence, according to Suvorov, was the extensive effort Stalin took to conceal general mobilization by manipulating the laws setting the conscription age. That allowed Stalin to provide the expansive build-up of the Red Army. Since there was no universal military draft in the Soviet Union until 1939, by enacting the universal military draft on 1 September 1939, and by changing the minimum age for joining the Red Army from 21 to 18, Stalin triggered a mechanism whereby a dramatic increase of the military strength of the Red Army was achieved.
This specific law on mobilization allowed the Red Army to increase its army of 1,871,600 men in 1939 to 5,081,000 in the spring of 1941 under secrecy to avoid alarming the rest of the world. 18 million reservists were also drafted. The duration of service was 2 years. Thus, according to supporters of the Soviet Union Offensive Plans Theory, the Red Army had to enter a war by 1 September 1941 or the drafted soldiers would have to be released from service.
Suvorov's main points were:
- The Soviet Union was intrinsically unstable. It had to expand to survive. According to Suvorov's interpretation of the permanent revolution theory the communist system must expand and occupy the entire world to survive. Otherwise, it will fail in a peaceful and/or military struggle with surrounding “capitalist” countries. Stalin and other Soviet leaders had always understood this. It was publicly declared by Stalin that "the ultimate victory of socialism... can only be achieved on an international scale". Therefore, Soviet leaders started preparations for a large-scale war of aggression. However, to mislead the West, they officially declared an adherence to a more peaceful theory of Socialism in One Country, according to which Socialism can win in a single country, without being immediately overthrown by hostile capitalist neighbors. This leading country would then help revolutionary movements in other countries. Either way, the Soviet pre-war doctrine was based on the Marxism-Leninism theory that capitalism will be overthrown through Communist revolution.
- The Soviet Union made extensive preparations for a future war of aggression during the 1920s and 1930s. Suvorov provides an extensive analysis of Stalin's preparations for war. According to Suvorov, there were supposed to be three Five Year Plan phases that would prepare the Soviet Union for war. The first one was to be focussed on collectivisation, the second focussed on industrialisation, and the third phase would emphasize the militarisation of the country.
- Stalin escalated tensions in Europe by providing a combination of economic and military support to Weimar Germany, and later to Nazi Germany. (see Soviet-German relations before 1941). After World War I, the Entente attempted to impose severe restrictions on Weimar Germany to prevent it from rearming and again becoming a significant military threat. During "the early 1920s until 1933, the Soviet Union was engaged in secret collaboration with the German military to enable it to circumvent the provisions of the Versailles Treaty", which limited Germany's military production. Moscow allowed the Germans to produce and test their weapons on Soviet territory, while some Red Army officers attended general-staff courses in Germany. The basis for this collaboration was the Treaty of Rapallo, signed between the two nations in 1922, and subsequent diplomatic interactions. This collaboration ended when the anti-communist Nazis took power in 1933. But, according to Suvorov, in the years 1932-1933, "Stalin helped Hitler come to power, by forbidding German Communists to make common cause with the Social Democrats against the Nazis in parliamentary elections". Suvorov claims that Stalin's plan and vision was that Hitler's predictability and his violent reactionary ideas made him a candidate for the role of "icebreaker" for the Communist revolution. By starting wars with European countries, Hitler would validate the USSR's entry into World War II by attacking Nazi Germany and "liberating" and Sovietising all of Europe. When concluding the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939, Stalin "clearly counted on the repetition of the 1914–1918 war of attrition, which would leave the "capitalist" countries so exhausted that the USSR could sweep into Europe virtually unopposed" (see also Stalin's speech on August 19, 1939).
According to Suvorov and others, Stalin always planned to exploit the military conflict between the capitalist countries to his advantage. He said as early as 1925 that "Struggles, conflicts and wars among our enemies are...our great ally...and the greatest supporter of our government and our revolution" and "If a war does break out, we will not sit with folded arms – we will have to take the field, but we will be last to do so. And we shall do so in order to throw the decisive load on the scale"
- World War II was initiated by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, which became cobelligerents after signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The essence of this pact was in the secret protocols which divided Europe into spheres of influence, and removed the Polish buffer between Germany and the USSR. Some countries that fell into the Soviet sphere of influence - Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, were occupied. The difference between these smaller nations, occupied and annexed by the USSR, and Poland initially attacked by Germany was that Poland had military assistance guarantees from Great Britain and France.
- Stalin planned to attack Nazi Germany from the rear in July 1941, only a few weeks after the date on which the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union took place. According to Suvorov, the Red Army had been already redeployed from a defensive to an offensive stance. Suvorov also states that Stalin had made no major defensive preparations.
- Hitler's intelligence identified USSR's preparations to attack Germany. Therefore, the Wehrmacht had drafted a preemptive war plan based on Hitler's orders as early as mid-1940, soon after the Soviet annexations of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. On June 22, 1941, the Axis began an assault on the USSR.
Reactions and critiques
While most agree that Stalin made extensive preparations for an eventual war and exploited the military conflict in Europe to his advantage, the assertions that Stalin planned to attack Nazi Germany in the summer of 1941, and that Operation Barbarossa was a preemptive strike by Hitler, are generally discounted.
In some countries, particularly in Russia, Germany, and Israel, Suvorov's thesis has jumped the bonds of academic discourse and captured the imagination of the public. Among the noted critics of Suvorov's work are Israeli historian Gabriel Gorodetsky, American military historian David Glantz, and Russian military historians Makhmut Gareev, Lev Bezymensky, and perhaps his most vehement Russian critic, Alexei Isayev, the author of Anti-Suvorov. Many other western scholars, such as Teddy J. Uldricks, Derek Watson, Hugh Ragsdale, Roger Reese, Stephen Blank, Robin Edmonds, agree that the major part of Suvorov's writings rest on circumstantial evidence, or even on "virtually no evidentiary base". According to Jonathan Haslam, Suvorov's claim that "Germany frustrated Stalin's war" "would be comical were it not taken so seriously". Soviet-emigre historian Alexandr Nekrich (extremely critical of Stalin in other contexts) also rejected Suvorov's ideas as unsubstantiated and contrary to Stalin's broader policy. Some of Suvorov's claims have been shown to simply be inaccurate, such as his claim regarding Soviet conscription only starting in 1939, when in fact, conscription existed in the RKKA since 1925 
Nevertheless, studies by some historians, e.g., Russian military historian Mikhail Meltyukhov (Stalin's Missed Chance) gave partial support to the claim that Soviet forces were concentrating in order to attack Germany. Other historians who support this thesis are Vladimir Nevezhin, Boris Sokolov, Valeri Danilov, Joachim Hoffmann and Mark Solonin. Offensive interpretations of Stalin's prewar planning are also supported by Sovietologist Robert C. Tucker and Pavel Bobylev. Moreover, it is argued by Hoffmann that the actual Soviet troop concentrations were near the German-Soviet border in the former Poland, as were fuel depots and airfields. All of this is claimed to be unsuitable for defensive operations.
|Germany and Allies||Soviet Union||Ratio|
|Divisions||166||190||1 : 1.1|
|Personnel||4,306,800||3,289,851||1.3 : 1|
|Guns and mortars||42,601||59,787||1 : 1.4|
|Tanks (incl assault guns)||4,171||15,687||1 : 3.8|
|Aircraft||4,389||11, 537||1 : 2.6|
Supporters of the 'Soviet offensive plans' theory also refer to various facts, such as the publication of Georgy Zhukov's proposal of May 15, 1941, which called for a Soviet strike against Germany, to support their position. This document suggested secret mobilization and deployment of Red Army troops next to the western border, under the cover of training. However, Robin Edmonds argued that the Red Army's planning staff would not have been doing its job well if it had not considered the possibility of a pre-emptive strike against the Wehrmacht, whereas Teddy J. Uldricks pointed out that there is no documentary evidence that Zhukov's proposal was ever accepted by Stalin. Another piece of evidence is Stalin's speech of 5 May 1941, when he spoke to graduating military cadets. He proclaimed: "A good defense signifies the need to attack. Attack is the best form of defense.... We must now conduct a peaceful, defensive policy with attack. Yes, defense with attack. We must now re-teach our army and commanders. Educate them in the spirit of attack". However, according to Michael Jabara Carley, this speech could be equally interpreted as a deliberate attempt to discourage the Germans from launching an invasion.
Other Russian historians, Iu. Gor'kov, A.S. Orlov, Iu. A. Polyakov, and Dmitri Volkogonov, analyzed newly available evidence to demonstrate that Soviet forces were certainly not ready for the attack.
According to Meltyukhov, the January 1941 strategic war games using 'Northern' and 'Southern' variants (conducted respectively on January 2–6 and Jan. 8-11 1941, as also depicted in articles by Pavel Bobylev) did assume that the forces of the 'East' (i.e. USSR) first had to repel an assault by the 'West' (i.e. Germany), though no concrete actions on how this could take place were covered. Instead, the war games concentrated on the Soviet 'counterattack'. As the attack of the forces of the 'East' was more successful in the Southern variant, this area was chosen as the main direction of Soviet forces.
Among the noted critics of Suvorov's work are Israeli historian Gabriel Gorodetsky, American military historian David Glantz, and Russian military historians Makhmut Gareev, Lev Bezymensky, and Dmitri Volkogonov. Many other western scholars, such as Teddy J. Uldricks, Derek Watson, Hugh Ragsdale, Roger Reese, Stephen Blank, and Robin Edmonds, agree that the Suvorov's major weakness is "that the author does not reveal his sources" (Ingmar Oldberg). Historian Cynthia A. Roberts is even more categorical, claiming that Suvorov's writings are based on "virtually no evidentiary base".
Suvorov's most controversial thesis is that the Red Army made extensive preparations for an offensive war in Europe, but it was totally unprepared for defensive operations on its own territory. Thereby Suvorov essentially reiterates the argument put forward by Adolf Hitler in 1941. According to Jonathan Haslam, Suvorov's claim that "Germany frustrated Stalin's war" "would be comical were it not taken so seriously".
Suvorov reluctantly revealed his sources, and that much of his thesis is based on circumstantial evidence. Thus, one of Suvorov arguments is that certain types of weapons were mostly suited for offensive warfare and that the Red Army had large numbers of such weapons. For example, he pointed out that the Soviet Union was outfitting large numbers of paratroopers — preparing to field entire parachute armies, in fact — and states that paratroopers are only suitable for offensive action, which the Soviet military doctrine of the time recognized. Suvorov's critics say that paratroopers were used in defensive actions and that Soviet paratroopers were poorly trained and armed. In like fashion, Suvorov cites the development of the KT/Antonov A-40 "flying tank" as evidence of Stalin's aggressive plans, while his critics say that development of this tank was started only in December 1941.
David M. Glantz disputes the argument that the Red Army was deployed in an offensive stance in 1941. According to Glantz, the Red Army was only in a state of partial mobilization in July 1941, from which neither effective defensive or offensive actions could be offered without considerable delay. Glantz is also explicitly concerned that Suvorov's thesis involves condemnation of the Soviet regime and in his view exculpates Germany:
"In short these new theories categorically blame the Soviet Union for planning preemptive war against Germany in July 1941. Enunciation of this theory further condemns the Soviet regime, and more importantly, justifies the German invasion and absolves Germany of blame for the ensuing human suffering".
In a 1987 article in the Historische Zeitschrift journal, the German historian Klaus Hildebrand argued that both Hitler and Stalin separately were planning to attack each other in 1941. In Hildebrand’s opinion, the news of Red Army concentrations near the border led to Hitler engaging in a Flucht nach vorn ("flight forward"-i.e. responding to a danger by charging on rather than retreating). Hildebrand wrote "Independently, the National Socialist program of conquest met the equally far-reaching war-aims program which Stalin had drawn up in 1940 at the latest".
A middle position seems to be taken by the Israeli historian Martin van Creveld. In an interview in the April 11, 2005 edition of the German news magazine Focus, which is the second largest weekly magazine in Germany, he said: "I doubt that Stalin wanted to attack as early as autumn 1941, as some writers argue. But I have no doubt that sooner or later, if Germany would have been entangled in a war with Great Britain and the United States, he would have taken what he wanted. Judging by the talks between Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov in November 1940, this would have been Romania, Bulgaria, an access to the North Sea, the Dardanelles and probably those parts of Poland that were under German control at that time." Asked to what degree the leaders of the Wehrmacht needed to feel threatened by the Soviet military buildup, van Creveld replies "very much" and adds: "In 1941, the Red Army was the largest army in the world. Stalin may, as I said, not have planned to attack Germany in autumn 1941. But it would be hard to believe that he would not have taken the opportunity to stab the Reich in the back sometime." The actual documents of the Central Command of the Red Army, headed by George Zhukov for the last 6 months preceding the Nazi invasion, remain classified in Russia.
While Western researchers (two exceptions being Albert L. Weeks and R. C. Raack) critised Suvorov's thesis, he has gathered some support among Russian historians, starting in the 1990s. Support in Russia for Suvorov's claim that Stalin had been preparing a strike against Hitler in 1941 began to emerge as some archive materials were declassified. Authors supporting the Stalin 1941 assault thesis are Valeri Danilov, V.A. Nevezhin, Constantine Pleshakov, Mark Solonin and Boris Sokolov. As the latter has noted, the absence of documents with the precise date of the planned Soviet invasion can't be an argument in favor of the claim that this invasion was not planned at all. Although the USSR attacked Finland, no documents found to date which would indicate 26 November 1939 as the assumed date for the beginning of provocations or 30 November as the date of the planned Soviet assault.
One view was expressed by Mikhail Meltyukhov in his study Stalin's Missed Chance. The author states that the idea for striking Germany arose long before May 1941, and was the very basis of Soviet military planning from 1940 to 1941. Providing additional support for this thesis is that no significant defense plans have been found. In his argument, Meltyukhov covers five different versions of the assault plan ("Considerations on the Strategical Deployment of Soviet Troops in Case of War with Germany and its Allies" (Russian original))[dead link], the first version of which was developed soon after the outbreak of World War II. The last version was to be completed by May 1, 1941. Even the deployment of troops was chosen in the South, which would have been more beneficial in case of a Soviet assault.
Mark Solonin notes that several variants of a war plan against Germany had existed at least since August 1940, although the differences between them were slight. Solonin also states that no other plans for Red Army deployment in 1941 have been found so far, and that the concentration of Red Army units in Western parts of USSR was done in direct accordance with the May "Considerations on plan for strategic deployment":
|"Considerations”, May 41||"Reference”, June 13||Actual confinement as of June 22, 1941|
|Northern Front||Three armies, 21 / 4 / 2||------ 22 / 4 / 2||14th, 7th, 23rd Armies, 21 / 4 / 2|
|North-Western Front||Three armies, 23 / 4 / 2||------ 23 / 4 / 2||27th, 8th, 11th Armies, 25 / 4 / 2|
|Western Front||Four armies, 45 / 8 / 4||------ 44 / 12 / 6||3rd, 10th, 4th, 13th Armies, 44 / 12 / 6|
|South-Western Front and Southern Front||Eight armies,122 / 28 / 15||------ 100 / 20 / 10||5th, 6th, 26th, 12th, 18th, 9th Armies,
80 / 20 / 10
|Stavka reserve||five armies, 47 / 12 / 8||five armies, 51/ 11 / 5||22nd, 20th, 21st, 19th, 16th, 24th, 28th Armies, 77 / 5 / 2|
Notes: - first digit – total number of divisions, second digit – tank divisions, third – motorized divisions
- on June 21, armies expanded in the Southern Theatre of Military Operations, and were divided into two Fronts: South-Western and Southern. The table contains the total number of divisions in the two Fronts and in the Crimea.
- according to the Plan of Cover, after the commencement of combat actions, two divisions of the Northwest front, expanded in Estonia, were transferred to the Northern Front, but the table doesn't indicate this.
In Stalin's War of Extermination, Joachim Hoffmann made extensive use of interrogations of Soviet prisoners of war, ranging in rank from general to private, conducted by their German captors during the war. The book is also based on open-source, unclassified literature, and recently declassified materials. Based on this material, Hoffmann argues that the Soviet Union was making final preparations for its own attack when the Wehrmacht struck. He also remarked that Zhukov's plan of May 15, 1941 had long been known and analyzed. Danilov and Heinz Magenheimer examined this plan and other documents in the early 1990s, which might indicate Soviet preparations for an attack, in the Austrian military journal (Österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift, nos. 5 and 6, 1991; no. 1, 1993; and no. 1, 1994). Both researchers came to the conclusion that Zhukov's plan of May 15, 1941 reflected Stalin's May 5, 1941 speech heralding the birth of the new offensive Red Army.[clarification needed]
In 2006, a collection of articles (entitled The Truth of Viktor Suvorov) by various historians who share some views with Suvorov was published. This was followed by a number of sequels, six as of September 2010. In a 2009 essay entitled "Don’t Blame Hitler Alone For World War II", journalist Eric Margolis endorsed Suvorov's assertion that Operation Barbarossa was a "preventive war" forced on Nazi Germany by an alleged impending Soviet attack, and that it is wrong to give Hitler "total blame" for World War II.
In another sequel to the collection, entitled the New Truth of Viktor Suvorov, Uri Milstein also defended Suvorov's positions.
Several politicians have also made claims similar to Suvorov's. On August 20, 2004, historian and former Prime Minister of Estonia Mart Laar published an article in The Wall Street Journal titled When Will Russia Say 'Sorry'?. In this article, he said: "The new evidence shows that by encouraging Hitler to start World War II, Stalin hoped to simultaneously ignite a world-wide revolution and conquer all of Europe". Another former statesman to share his views of a purported Soviet aggressive plan is Mauno Koivisto, who wrote: "It seems to be clear the Soviet Union was not ready for defense in the summer of 1941, but it was rather preparing for an assault.... The forces mobilized in the Soviet Union were not positioned for defensive, but for offensive aims." Koivisto concludes: "Hitler's invasion forces didn't outnumber [the Soviets], but were rather outnumbered themselves. The Soviets were unable to organize defenses. The troops were provided with maps that covered territories outside the Soviet Union."
- Operation Barbarossa
- Eastern Front (World War II)
- Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact
- German–Soviet Axis talks
- Molotov Line – An incomplete Soviet defense line at the start of Operation Barbarossa
- Stalin Line – Soviet defense line that was abandoned before Operation Barbarossa
- Mark Solonin
- Stalin's Missed Chance
- Stalin's speech on August 19, 1939
- Führer Directive 21
- Teddy J. Uldricks. The Icebreaker Controversy: Did Stalin Plan to Attack Hitler? Slavic Review, Vol. 58, No. 3 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 626-643
- André Mineau. Operation Barbarossa: ideology and ethics against human dignity Rodopi, 2004. ISBN 978-90-420-1633-0
- Viktor Suvorov, Thomas B. Beattie. Icebreaker: who started the Second World War? Hamish Hamilton, 1990. ISBN 0-241-12622-3, ISBN 978-0-241-12622-6
- Suvorov, Viktor. The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008.
- V. Suvorov, The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War 2 Naval Institute Press (2008)
- Pravda, February 14, 1938, cited from V. Suvorov Last Republic (Последняя республика), ACT, 1997, ISBN 5-12-000367-2, pages 75–76
- Richard Pipes Communism: A History (2001) ISBN 0-8129-6864-6, pages 74–75.
- Glantz, David M., Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of War, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1998, ISBN 0-7006-0879-6 p. 4.
- David M. Glantz (Source: The Journal of Military History, Vol. 55, No. 2 (Apr., 1991), pp. 263-264
- See Alexei Isayev at Russian Language Wikipedia (Russian)
- Source: Slavic Review, Vol. 59, No. 2 (Summer, 2000), pp. 492)
- Hugh Ragsdale, Reviewed work(s): Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia by Gabriel Gorodetsky, Slavic Review, Vol. 59, No. 2 (Summer, 2000), pp. 466-467
- Slavic Review, Vol. 59, No. 1 (Spring, 2000), p. 227
- Russian Review, Vol. 59, No. 2 (Apr., 2000), pp. 310-311
- Reviewed work(s): Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? by Viktor Suvorov ; Thomas B. Beattle. Source: International Affairs, Vol. 66, No. 4, Seventieth Anniversary Issue (Oct., 1990), p. 812
- Chris Bellamy. Absolute war. Soviet Russia in the Second World War. Vinage, 2007. ISBN 9870375724718. p.103.
- Cynthia A. Roberts. "Planning for War: The Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941" Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 47, No. 8 (Dec., 1995), pp. 1293-1326
- V. Suvorov, Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? (London, 1990) p. 325
- Jonathan Haslam. Reviewed work(s): Stalin's Drive to the West, 1938-1945: The Origins of the Cold War. by R. Raack The Soviet Union and the Origins of the Second World War: Russo-German Relations and the Road to War, 1933-1941. by G. Roberts. The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 69, No. 4 (Dec., 1997), pp. 785-797
- Aleksandr Moiseevich Nekrich, Adam Bruno Ulam, Gregory L. Freeze. Pariahs, Partners, Predators: German-Soviet Relations, 1922-1941. Columbia University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-231-10676-9, ISBN 978-0-231-10676-4, p. 233
- Roger R. Reese, Stalin's Reluctant Soldiers, University Press of Kansas, 1996. pp.9-15. ISBN 0-7006-0772-2.
- Bellamy 2007, p. 115.
- Mark Solonin. June 22 (The Cask and the Hoops)
- Weeks 2003, p. 103.
- (Maser 1994: 376–378; Hoffmann 1999: 52–56)
- Bergström 2007, p. 130:Uses figures from German archives. Bundesarchiv-Militararchiv, Frieburg; Luftfahrtmuseum, Hannover-Laatzen; WASt Deutsche Dienststelle, Berlin
- Bergström 2007, p. 131-2: Uses Soviet Record Archives including the Rosvoyentsentr, Moscow; Russian Aviation Research Trust; Russian Central Military Archive TsAMO, Podolsk; Monino Air Force Museum, Moscow.
- Meltyukhov 2000, (electronic version). Note that, due to the fact that Soviet archives were (and in some cases still are) inaccessible, in some cases exact figures have been difficult to ascertain.
The official Soviet sources generally overestimated German strength and downplayed Soviet strength, as emphasized by David Glantz (1998:292). Some of the earlier Soviet figures claimed that there had been only 1,540 Soviet aircraft to face Germany's 4,950; that there were merely 1,800 Red Army AFVs facing 2,800 German ones, etc.
In 1991, Russian military historian Meltyukhov published an article on this question (Мельтюхов М.И. 22 июня 1941 г.: цифры свидетельствуют // История СССР. 1991. № 3) with figures that differed slightly from those of the table here, though with similar ratios. Glantz (1998:293) was of the opinion that those figures "appear[ed] to be most accurate regarding Soviet forces and those of Germany's allies", though other figures also occur in modern publications.
- Russian original
- Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives, Anchor, (1997) ISBN 0-385-47954-9, pages 454-459
- Robert Service, Stalin: A Biography,Macmillan, 2004 ISBN 978-0-330-41913-0, Chapter: The Devils Sup', Volkogonov Papers, reel no.8, p.1.
- N. Lyashchenko, 'O vystuplenii I. V. Stalina v Kremle, 5 maya 1941', Volkogonov Papers, reel no.8, p.1.
- Michael Jabara Carley. Review: Soviet Foreign Policy in the West, 1936-1941: A Review Article. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 56, No. 7 (Nov., 2004), pp. 1081-1093
- Бобылев П.И. Репетиция катастрофы//Военно-исторический журнал. 1993. № 7. С. 14—21; № 8. С,28—35; Русский архив: Великая Отечественная. Т.12(1). М..1993. С,388—390; Бобылев П.Н. К какой войне готовился Генеральный штаб РККА в 1941 году//Отечественная история. 1995. № 5. С.3—20
- David M. Glantz; Suvorov, Viktor (1991). "Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?". The Journal of Military History 55 (2): 263–264. doi:10.2307/1985920.
- Slavic Review 59 (2): 492. 2000.
- Hugh Ragsdale; Gorodetsky, Gabriel (2000). "Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia". Slavic Review 59 (2): 466–467. doi:10.2307/2697094.
- Slavic Review 59 (1): 227. 2000.
- Russian Review 59 (2): 310–311. 2000.
- Source: International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944–), Vol. 66, No. 4, Seventieth Anniversary Issue (Oct. 1990), p. 812
- Ingmar Oldberg (1985). "Review: The USSR. Evil, Strong, and Dangerous? Reviewed work(s):The Threat: Inside the Soviet Military Machine by Andrew Cockburn, Inside the Soviet Army by Viktor Suvorov". Journal of Peace Research 22 (3): 273–277. JSTOR 423626.
- Cynthia A. Roberts (1995). "Planning for War: The Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941". Europe-Asia Studies 47 (8): 1293–1326. doi:10.1080/09668139508412322. JSTOR 153299.
- Jonathan Haslam (1997). "Soviet-German Relations and the Origins of the Second World War: The Jury Is Still Out". The Journal of Modern History 69 (4): 785–797. doi:10.1086/245594.
- Chris Bellamy. Absolute War. Vintage Books, 2008, ISBN 978-0-375-72471-8, p. 101-104.
- Алексей Исаев. Вертикальный охват // Неправда Виктора Суворова. М.: Яуза, Эксмо, 2007, pp. 257–289
- Василий Чобиток. Кое-что о волшебных танках // Неправда Виктора Суворова. (Something about magic tanks / lie of Victor Suvorov) Мoscow: Яуза, Эксмо, 2007, pp. 136–137 (in Russian)
- Stumbling Colossus:The Red Army on the Eve of World War, D.Glantz, preface p. xii-xiii
- Evans, Richard In Hitler's shadow: West German historians and the attempt to escape from the Nazi past, New York, NY: Pantheon, 1989 p. 43 ISBN 0-394-57686-1
- SERIE Teil VI: Ans Hakenkreuz geschlagen – Archiv – FOCUS Online. Focus.de (2011-04-16). Retrieved on 2011-04-26.
- Stalin's Other War: Soviet Grand Strategy, 1939–1941 ISBN 0-7425-2191-5 
- Raack, R.C. (1996). "Stalin's Role in the Coming of World War II". World Affairs 158 (4). JSTOR 20672468.
- Raack, R.C. (1996). "Stalin's Role in the Coming of World War II: The International Debate Goes On". World Affairs 159 (2). JSTOR 20672480.
- Stalin's Drive to the West, 1938–1945: The Origins of the Cold War ISBN 978-0-8047-2415-9
- (e.g., according to Raack, arguments in favor of the thesis “have not so far been systematically reported in, for example, the Journal of Slavic Military Studies. Indeed, one searches in vain in North America for a broad discussion of the issues of Soviet war planning” R. C. Raack [Review of] Unternehmen Barbarossa: Deutsche und Sowjetische Angriffsplane 1940/41 by Walter Post Die sowjetische Besatzungsmacht und das politische System der SBZ by Stefan Creuzberger Slavic Review. Vol. 57, No. 1 (Spring, 1998), pp. 213
- Данилов.В.Д. Сталинская стратегия начала войны: планы и реальность—Другая война. 1939–1945 гг; or Danilоv V. "Hat der Generalsstab der Roten Armee einen Praventiveschlag gegen Deutschland vorbereitet?" Österreichische Militarische Zeitschrift. 1993. №1. S. 41–51
- Невежин В.А. Синдром наступательной войны. Советская пропаганда в преддверии "священных боев", 1939–1941 гг. М., 1997; Речь Сталина 5 мая 1941 года и апология наступательной войны http://sscadm.nsu.ru/deps/hum/kirillov/ref-liter/nevezhin-95.html online text Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
- Соколов Б.В. Неизвестный Жуков: портрет без ретуши в зеркале эпохи. (online text); Соколов Б.В. Правда о Великой Отечественной войне (Сборник статей). — СПб.: Алетейя, 1999 (online text)
- Собирался ли Сталин напасть на Гитлера?. Militera.lib.ru. Retrieved on 2011-04-26.
- Meltyukhov 2000:375
- Meltyukhov 2000:370–372
- Meltyukhov 2000:381
- Comrade Stalin's Three Plans -Mark Solonin's article on his personal website
- Хмельницкий, Дмитрий (сост.). Правда Виктора Суворова. Переписывая историю Второй Мировой. Москва: Яуза, 2006 (ISBN 5-87849-214-8) Some of the articles appear here :
- Margolis, Eric (September 7 2000). "Don't Blame Hitler Alone For World War II". ericmargolis.com. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
- Koivisto, M. Venäjän idea, Helsinki. Tammi. 2001
Books that support Soviet offensive plans existence
- Dębski, Sławomir. Między Berlinem a Moskwą: Stosunki niemiecko-sowieckie 1939–1941. Warsaw: Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych, 2003 (ISBN 83-918046-2-3).
- Reviewed by R.C. Raack in The Russian Review, 2004, Vol. 63, Issue 4, pp. 718–719.
- Edwards, James B. Hitler: Stalin's Stooge. San Diego, CA: Aventine Press, 2004 (ISBN 978-1593301446, paperback).
- Grzelak, Czesław. Armia Stalina 1939-1941: Zbrojne ramię polityki ZSRS. Warsaw: Oficyna Wydawnicza RYTM, 2010 (ISBN 978-83-7399-387-7)
- Hoffmann, Joachim. Stalin's War of Extermination. Capshaw, AL: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2001 (ISBN 0-9679856-8-4).
- Maser, Werner Der Wortbruch. Hitler, Stalin und der Zweite Weltkrieg. Olzog, München 1994. ISBN 3-7892-8260-X
- Fälschung, Dichtung und Wahrheit über Hitler und Stalin, Olzog, München 2004. ISBN 3-7892-8134-4
- Pleshakov, Constantine. Stalin's Folly: The Tragic First Ten Days of World War Two on the Eastern Front. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005 (ISBN 0-618-36701-2).
- Reviewed by Ron Laurenzo in The Washington Times, May 22, 2005.
- Reviewed by Robert Citino in World War II, Vol. 21, Issue 1. (2006), pp. 76–77.
- The series of books authored by Victor Suvorov about the outbreak of the Nazi-Soviet War
- Icebreaker (Ледокол) 1990, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, ISBN 0-241-12622-3
- Day "M" (День "М")
- Suicide. For what reason Hitler attacked the Soviet Union? (Самоубийство), Moscow, ACT, 2000, ISBN 5-17-003119-X
- Last Republic, ACT, 1997, ISBN 5-12-000367-2.
- The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008 (hardcover, ISBN 978-1-59114-838-8).
- Raack, R.C. "Did Stalin Plan a Drang Nach Westen?", World Affairs. Vol. 155, Issue 4. (Summer 1992), pp. 13–21.
- Preventive Wars?" [Review Essay of Pietrow-Ennker, Bianka, ed. Präventivkrieg? Der deutsche Angriff auf die Sowjetunion. 3d ed. Frankfurt-am-Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 2000. ISBN 3-596-14497-3; Mel'tiukhov, Mikhail. Upushchennyi shans Stalina: Sovetskii Soiuz i bor'ba za Evropu 1939–1941. Moscow: Veche, 2000. ISBN 5-7838-1196-3; Magenheimer, Heinz. Entscheidungskampf 1941: Sowjetische Kriegsvorbereitungen. Aufmarsch. Zusammenstoss. Bielefeld: Osning Verlag, 2000. ISBN 3-9806268-1-4] The Russian Review, 2004, Vol. 63, Issue 1, pp. 134–137.
- "Stalin's Role in the Coming of World War II: Opening the Closet Door on a Key Chapter of Recent History", World Affairs. Vol. 158, Issue 4, 1996, pp. 198–211.
- "Stalin's Role in the Coming of World War II: The International Debate Goes On", World Affairs. Vol. 159, Issue 2, 1996, pp. 47–54.
- Stalin's Drive to the West, 1938–1945: The Origins of the Cold War. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995. (ISBN 0-8047-2415-6).
- "Stalin's Plans for World War Two Told by a High Comintern Source", The Historical Journal, Vol. 38, No. 4. (Dec., 1995), pp. 1031–1036.
- "Breakers on the Stalin Wave: Review Essay [of Murphy, David E. What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005 (ISBN 0-300-10780-3); Pleshakov, Constantine. Stalin’s Folly: The Tragic First Ten Days of World War II on the Eastern Front. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Co., 2005 (ISBN 0-618-36701-2)]", The Russian Review, Vol. 65, No. 3. (2006), pp. 512–515.
- Solonin, Mark. «22 июня, или когда началась Великая Отечественная война?» — Moscow: «Яуза», «Эксмо». 2007. ISBN 5-699-15196-6
- Topitsch, Ernst. Stalin's War: A Radical New Theory of the Origins of the Second World War. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1987 (ISBN 0-312-00989-5).
- Weeks, Albert L. Stalin's Other War: Soviet Grand Strategy, 1939–1941. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 (hardcover; ISBN 0-7425-2191-5); 2003 (paperback, ISBN 0-7425-2192-3).
Books that oppose existence of Soviet offensive plans
- Acton, Edward. "Understanding Stalin’s Catastrophe: [Review Article]", Journal of Contemporary History, 2001, Vol. 36(3), pp. 531–540.
- Carley, Michael Jabara. "Soviet Foreign Policy in the West, 1936–1941: A Review Article", Europe–Asia Studies, Vol. 56, No. 7. (2004), pp. 1081–1100. [Review of Silvio Pons, Stalin and the Inevitable War, 1936–1941. London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2002 and Albert L. Weeks, Stalin's Other War: Soviet Grand Strategy, 1939–1941. Oxford and Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.]
- Erickson, John. "Barbarossa June 1941: Who Attacked Whom?" History Today, July 2001, Vol. 51, Issue 7, pp. 11–17. online text
- Edmonds, Robin. "[Review: Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?", International Affairs, Vol. 66, No. 4. (Oct., 1990), p. 812.
- Glantz, David M. Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998 (ISBN 0-7006-0879-6).
- Reviewed by David R. Costello in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 63, No. 1. (Jan., 1999), pp. 207–208.
- Reviewed by Roger Reese in Slavic Review, Vol. 59, No. 1. (Spring, 2000), p. 227.
- Glantz, David M. "[Review: Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?", The Journal of Military History, Vol. 55, No. 2. (Apr., 1991), pp. 263–264.
- Gorodetsky, Gabriel. Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1999 (ISBN 0-300-07792-0).
- Reviewed by David R. Costello in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 64, No. 2. (Apr., 1999), pp. 580–582.
- Reviewed by Stephen Blank in The Russian Review, 2000, Vol. 59, Issue 2, pp. 310–311.
- Reviewed by Hugh Ragsdale in Slavic Review, Vol. 59, No. 2. (Summer, 2000), pp. 466–467.
- Reviewed by Evan Mawdsley in Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 52, No. 3. (May, 2000), pp. 579–580.
- Harms, Karl. "The Military Doctrine of the Red Army on the Eve of the Great Patriotic War: Myths and Facts", Military Thought, Vol. 13, No. 03. (2004), pp. 227–237.
- Haslam, Jonathan. "Soviet–German Relations and the Origins of the Second World War: The Jury Is Still Out [Review Article]", The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 69, No. 4. (Dec., 1997), pp. 785–797.
- Humpert, David M. "Viktor Suvorov and Operation Barbarossa: Tukhachevskii Revisited." The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Vol. 18, Issue 1. (2005), pp. 59–74.
- Lukacs, John. June 1941: Hitler and Stalin. New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2006 (ISBN 0-300-11437-0).
- McDermott, Kevin. Stalin: Revolutionary in an Era of War (European History in Perspective). New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006 (hardcover, ISBN 0-333-71121-1; paperback, ISBN 0-333-71122-X).
- Murphy, David E. What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa. New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2005 (ISBN 0-300-10780-3).
- Reviewed by Robert Conquest at The American Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 2. (2006), p. 591.
- Reviewed by Raymond W. Leonard in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 37, No. 1. (2006), pp. 128–129.
- Neilson, Keith. "Stalin's Moustache: The Soviet Union and the Coming of War: [Review Article]", Diplomacy and Statecraft, Vol. 12, No. 2. (2001), pp. 197–208.
- Roberts, Cynthia A. "Planning for War: The Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941", Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 47, No. 8. (Dec., 1995), pp. 1293–1326.
- Rotundo, Louis. "Stalin and the Outbreak of War in 1941", Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 24, No. 2, Studies on War. (Apr., 1989), pp. 277–299.
- Gerd R. Ueberschär, Lev A. Bezymenskij (Hrsg.): Der deutsche Angriff auf die Sowjetunion 1941. Die Kontroverse um die Präventivkriegsthese Wissenschaftliche Buchgemeinschaft, Darmstadt 1998
- Uldricks, Teddy J. "The Icebreaker Controversy: Did Stalin Plan to Attack Hitler?" The Slavic Review, 1999, Vol. 53, No. 3, pp. 626–643.
- Keep, John L.H.; Litvin, Alter L. Stalinism: Russian and Western Views at the Turn of the Millennium (Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions). New York: Routledge, 2004 (hardcover, ISBN 0-415-35108-1); 2005 (paperback, ISBN 0-415-35109-X). See chapter 5, "Foreign policy".
- The Attack on the Soviet Union (Germany and the Second World War, Volume IV) by Horst Boog, Jürgen Förster, Joachim Hoffmann, Ewald Osers, Louise Wilmott, Dean S. McMurray (Editors), Ernst Klink (Translator), Rolf-Dieter Müller (Translator), Gerd R. Ueberschär (Translator). New York: Oxford University Press (USA), 1999 (ISBN 0-19-822886-4).
- Carley, Michael Jabara. "Soviet Foreign Policy in the West, 1936–1941: A Review Article", Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 56, No. 7. (2004), pp. 1081–1100.
- Drabkin, Ia.S. "'Hitler’s War' or 'Stalin’s War'?", Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, Vol. 40, No. 5. (2002), pp. 5–30.
- Ericson, Edward E., III. "Karl Schnurre and the Evolution of Nazi–Soviet Relations, 1936–1941", German Studies Review, Vol. 21, No. 2. (May, 1998), pp. 263–283.
- Förster, Jürgen; Mawdsley, Evan. "Hitler and Stalin in Perspective: Secret Speeches on the Eve of Barbarossa", War in History, Vol. 11, Issue 1. (2004), pp. 61–103.
- Haslam, Jonathan. "Stalin and the German Invasion of Russian 1941: A Failure of Reasons of State?", International Affairs, Vol. 76, No. 1. (Jan., 2000), pp. 133–139.
- Koch, H.W. "Operation Barbarossa—The Current State of the Debate", The Historical Journal, Vol. 31, No. 2 (Jun., 1988), pp. 377–390.
- Litvin, Alter L. Writing History in Twentieth-Century Russia: A View from Within, translated and edited by John L.H. Keep. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001 (hardcover, ISBN 0-333-76487-0).
- Melyukhov M.I. (2000) Упущенный шанс Сталина. Советский Союз и борьба за Европу: 1939–1941 (electronic version of the book) For a review of the book, see ), Moscow, Вече
- Roberts, Geoffrey. "On Soviet–German Relations: The Debate Continues [A Review Article]", Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 50, No. 8. (Dec., 1998), pp. 1471–1475.
- Vasquez, John A. "The Causes of the Second World War in Europe: A New Scientific Explanation", International Political Science Review, Vol. 17, No. 2. (Apr., 1996), pp. 161–178.
- Ziemke, Earl F. The Red Army, 1918–1941: From Vanguard of World Revolution to America's Ally. London; New York: Frank Cass, 2004 (ISBN 0-7146-5551-1).
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- Bergstrom, Christer (2007). Barbarossa - The Air Battle: July–December 1941. London: Chervron/Ian Allen. ISBN 978-1-85780-270-2.
- Bethell, Nicholas and Time - Life Books Attack of USSR (Hard cover, ISBN 80-7237-279-3)
- Förster, Jürgen; Mawdsley, Evan. "Hitler and Stalin in Perspective: Secret Speeches on the Eve of Barbarossa", War in History, Vol. 11, Issue 1. (2004), pp. 61–103.
- Farrell, Brian P. "Yes, Prime Minister: Barbarossa, Whipcord, and the Basis of British Grand Strategy, Autumn 1941", The Journal of Military History, Vol. 57, No. 4. (1993), pp. 599–625.
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- Hoffmann, Joachim. Stalin's War of Extermination. Capshaw, AL: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2001 (hardcover, ISBN 0-9679856-8-4).
- Kershaw, Robert J. War Without Garlands: Operation Barbarossa, 1941/42. Shepperton: Ian Allan, 2000 (hardcover, ISBN 0-7110-2734-X).
- Krivosheev, G.F. ed. Soviet casualties and combat losses in the twentieth century. London: Greenhill Books, 1997 (hardcover, ISBN 1-85367-280-7). Available on-line in Russian.
- Koch, H.W. "Hitler's 'Programme' and the Genesis of Operation 'Barbarossa'", The Historical Journal, Vol. 26, No. 4. (1983), pp. 891–920.
- Latimer, Jon, Deception in War, London: John Murray, 2001
- Maser, Werner. Der Wortbruch: Hitler, Stalin und der Zweite Weltkrieg. München: Olzog, 1994 (hardcover, ISBN 3-7892-8260-X); München: Heyne, 2001 (paperback, ISBN 3-453-11764-6).
- Megargee, Geoffrey P. War of Annihilation: Combat and Genocide on the Eastern Front, 1941. Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littelefield, 2006 (hardcover, ISBN 0-7425-4481-8; paperback, ISBN 0-7425-4482-6).
- Mineau, André. Operation Barbarossa: ideology and ethics against human dignity. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2004 (ISBN 978-90-420-1633-0).
- Murphy, David E. What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa. New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2005 (hardcover, ISBN 0-300-10780-3); 2006 (paperback, ISBN 0-300-11981-X).
- Reviewed by Robert Conquest at The American Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 2. (2006), p. 591.
- Nekrich, Aleksandr Moiseevich. "June 22, 1941; Soviet Historians and the German Invasion". Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1968.
- Pleshakov, Constantine. Stalin's Folly: The Tragic First Ten Days of World War Two on the Eastern Front. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005 (hardcover, ISBN 0-618-36701-2).
- Rayfield, Donald. Stalin and his Hangmen,London, Penguin Books, 2004, ISBN 0-14-100375-8
- Reviewed by David R. Snyder in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 69, No. 1. (2005), pp. 265–266.
- Roberts, Cynthia. "Planning for War: The Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941". Taylor and Francis Publishers. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 47, No. 8 (December, 1995), pp. 1293–1326.
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- Shirer, William L. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Simon and Schuster, 1960 (1964 Pan Books Ltd. reprint, ISBN 0-330-70001-4).
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- Suvorov, Viktor. The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2007 (hardcover, ISBN 1-59797-114-6).
- Taylor, A.J.P. and Mayer, S.L., eds. A History of World War Two. London: Octopus Books, 1974. ISBN 0-7064-0399-1.
- Waller, John. The Unseen War in Europe: Espionage and Conspiracy in the Second World War. Tauris & Co, 1996. ISBN 978-1-86064-092-6
- Weeks, Albert L. Stalin's Other War: Soviet Grand Strategy, 1939–1941. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 (hardcover; ISBN 0-7425-2191-5); 2003 (paperback, ISBN 0-7425-2192-3).
- Wegner, Bernd ed. From Peace to War: Germany, Soviet Russia, and the World, 1939–1941 Providence, RI: Berghahn Books, 1997 (hardcover, ISBN 1-57181-882-0).
- Reviewed by Peter Konecny, Canadian Journal of History, Vol. 34 Issue 2. (August, 1999) pp. 288–290.
- Wieczynski, Joseph L.; Fox, J.P. "Operation Barbarossa: The German Attack on The Soviet Union, June 22, 1941", The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 74, No. 2. (1996), pp. 344–346.
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- (English) Operation Barbarossa Original reports and pictures from The Times
- (English) Relationship between the campaigns in the Balkans and the invasion of Russia and associated timeline on a US Army website
- (English) Multimedia map—Covers the invasion of Russia including Operation Barbarossa
- (English) Operation Barbarossa—Detailed analysis of the operation by author Bevin Alexander.
- (English) Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Current Intelligence. The Soviet History of World War II, 28 October 1959.
- (English) June 22 (The Cask and the Hoops) by Mark Solonin
- (English) Criticism of Rezun's Ledokol in Russian Journal Military Thought
- (English) Raack, R.C. "Stalin's Role in the Coming of World War II" at Vincent Ferraro's web site (published in World Affairs (1996) vol. 158, no. 4
- (English) Did Stalin deliver his alleged speech of 19 August 1939? by Carl O. Nordling
- (German) Criticism of the Preventive War Theory by Wigbert Benz
- (Romanian) Andreea Tudorica, Ovidiu Ciutescu, Corina Andriuta, "Giurgiuleşti, piedică în calea lui Stalin", Jurnalul Naţional, June 26, 2007.
- (Russian) Иоахим Гофман. "Сталинская истребительная война".