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Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?, by Viktor Suvorov (Russian title: Ledokol, Ледокол) is a book which alleges that Stalin used Nazi Germany as an "icebreaker" to start a war in Europe which would allow for the Soviet Union to come in, clean up, and take control of all of Europe. Suvorov claims that, just as Stalin eliminated his political enemies by pitting them against one another, so too was the plan when he gave Hitler the support to attack Poland, knowing that the act would trigger a war between Germany and the United Kingdom and its allies. The principal argument is based on an analysis of Soviet military investments, diplomatic maneuvers, Politburo speeches and other data. Suvorov suggests that Stalin perceived the outcome of World War II as a loss.
Suvorov challenges the view that Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime attacked an unsuspecting USSR on June 22, 1941 with a much superior and better prepared force. Instead, Suvorov argues that the Soviet Union was poised to invade Nazi-controlled territories in July 1941.
Suvorov claims that Stalin successfully manipulated Hitler into removing the "buffer zone" (Poland) between Europe and the USSR. Suvorov further argues that Stalin's goal was the export of communism to other countries. Once Hitler 'broke the ice', Soviet victory in the large-scale war that followed would enable the USSR to impose Stalinist regimes on most of Europe. In this theory, Nazi military aggression would ironically form the icebreaker for a communist invasion.
Suvorov is often accused (or praised by historical revisionists) of shifting the blame of World War II on Stalin and thus removing the blame from Hitler. However, the actual content of Icebreaker contains no praise of Hitler or justification of his terror. In his later books, Suvorov insists that Stalin was a true evil genius (although unlucky), while describing Hitler as evil but grossly incompetent.
- Soviet offensive plans controversy
- Operation Barbarossa
- Eastern Front (World War II)
- Timeline of the Eastern Front of World War II
- Suvorov, Viktor. Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? (Viking Press/Hamish Hamilton; 1990) ISBN 0-241-12622-3
- Glantz, David. Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War. University Press of Kansas (May 1998), ISBN 0-7006-0879-6
- Gorodetsky, Gabriel. Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia. Yale University Press (2001) ISBN 0300084595
- Suvorov, Viktor. The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II. Potomac Books (July 20, 2007) ISBN 1-59797-114-6
- Short, Neil The Stalin and Molotov Lines: Soviet Western Defences 1928-41. Osprey Publishing; (September 23, 2008) ISBN 1846031923