A very interesting WWII hypothetical, "if Hitler had offered a compromise peace to Stalin"


Eugenio Battaglia writes:
A very interesting WWII hypothetical, "if Hitler had offered a compromise peace to Stalin." Such a possibility was strongly supported by Mussolini and the Japanese Ambassadors, but Hitler could no longer trust Stalin (only the senile FDR could trust him), and the oil wells of Romania were never openly involved.

To justify the friendly relations of 1939, Hitler stated that in spite of the political differences between Nazism and Communism, peace between the Third Reich and the Soviet Union was necessary for the well-being of both peoples, having been friends for a very long time.

So there two treaties were signed in 1939. On 23 August the Non-Aggression Treaty and on 28 September the Friendship and Demarcation of Borders Treaty. With the second treaty, the two zones of interest were clearly defined. In the Secret Protocol of the first treaty, Ribbentrop agreed that Germany had no interest in Romanian Bessarabia. The basic idea was to go back to the old borders between the Soviet Empire with the German and the Austro-Hungarian empires.

Bessarabia, following the Soviet Revolution in 1917, became the Moldova Republic, but in 1918 it united with Romania. This was never recognized by Russia, which in 1924 created a "Moldova Republic" in Transnistria. So on 26 June 1940 Russia sent an ultimatum to Bucharest imposing the annexation of Bessarabia and Bukovina. Germany was unhappy but agreed to it, even if the annexation of Bukovina was a violation of previous treaties.

August 30th saw new changes of Romanian borders. Parts of Transilvania, inhabited by ethnic Hungarians, were transferred to Hungary. The new borders and independence were recognized by Germany and Italy.

On 12 November 1940 Hitler invited Molotov to Berlin. At the moment Hitler was prone to peace, as he had already granted Bukovina and Lithuania to Stalin. He remembered his offer of peace to Great Britain and was worried about a possible military intervention of the USA in case Sweden should feel menaced. He had even prepared a draft for a large alliance of Germany, Italy, Japan, and USSR, assuring that the German Lebensraum was completed and would need 100 years to be viable, as some of the newly achieved territories were liabilities.

Molotov instead was insatiably asking for the complete defeat of Finland, as well as permission for Soviet troops to pass through Romania for stationing in Bulgaria and controlling the Dardanelles and Bosphorous Straits.

I believe that it was at this time that Hitler, considering also Russia's special relations with the Serbian High Brass of Yugoslavia, with the huge increase of Soviet troops at the border, realized that Stalin was planning to encircle and then attack the Third Reich at the first opportunity.

JE comments: An Axis including the USSR would truly have been bad news for the Western democracies, but if the Soviets were bordered by allies Germany on the West and Japan on the East, they wouldn't have had anyone to fight (geographically speaking). Poor Poland perhaps, but the Poles got carved up in any case

A lasting Hitler-Stalin alliance sounds preposterous, but the Germans did cooperate military with the Soviets in the Interwar period. And then there was the strangest treaty of all, Molotov-Ribbentrop.