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The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II [Paperback]

Viktor Suvorov
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 April 2013
Bestselling author Victor Suvorov probes newly released Soviet documents and reevaluates existing material to analyze Stalin's strategic design to conquer Europe and the reasons behind his controversial support for Nazi Germany. A former Soviet army intelligence officer, the author explains that Stalin's strategy leading up to World War II grew from Vladimir Lenin's belief that if World War I did not ignite the worldwide Communist revolution, then a second world war would be needed to achieve it. Stalin saw Nazi Germany as the power that would fight and weaken capitalist countries so that Soviet armies could then sweep across Europe. Suvorov reveals how Stalin conspired with German leaders to bypass the Versailles Treaty, which forbade German rearmament, and secretly trained German engineers and officers and provided bases and factories for war. He also calls attention to the 1939 nonaggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany that allowed Hitler to proceed with his plans to invade Poland, fomenting war in Europe. Suvorov debunks the theory that Stalin was duped by Hitler and that the Soviet Union was a victim of Nazi aggression. Instead, he makes the case that Stalin neither feared Hitler nor mistakenly trusted him. Suvorov maintains that after Germany occupied Poland, defeated France, and started to prepare for an invasion of Great Britain, Hitler's intelligence services detected the Soviet Union's preparations for a major war against Germany. This detection, he argues, led to Germany's preemptive war plan and the launch of an invasion of the USSR. Stalin emerges from the pages of this book as a diabolical genius consumed by visions of a worldwide Communist revolution at any cost--a leader who wooed Hitler and Germany in his own effort to conquer the world. In contradicting traditional theories about Soviet planning, the book is certain to provoke debate among historians throughout the world.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press; Reprint edition (30 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591148065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591148067
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 17.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 318,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A provocative study compelling...A highly controversial study, Suvorov's book is nevertheless well researched and warrants further examination into this critical period in the history of the war."-- War in History"

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suvorov's best work yet by far! 13 Feb 2009
Disclaimer: I've studied loads of books on this subject, from authors both agreeing and disagreeing with Mr. Suvorov and have read most of his books.

One of the last bones of contention in Soviet history is the question whether Stalin had planned to attack Nazi Germany in the summer of 1941. His book "Icebreaker: Who started the Second World War?", published in 1990 and in which he argued that the Soviet Union was preparing for an offensive war but was preempted by Hitler's "Operation Barbarossa", a huge debate was initiated by historians both in- and outside the Soviet Union.

In "Icebreaker", Mr. Suvorov asked all types of inconvenient questions for orthodox communist historians in the Soviet Union and their adherents in the West, the latter not necessarily being communists themselves but sympathizing with the Soviet system or/and communist ideology, but therefore not being able to confront the possibility that there might have been two aggressor on the eve of World War II and not just the one usual suspect, Adolf Hitler. Suvorov, as a defector from the Soviet Union in the late seventies, was for obvious reasons not granted access to his home country, let alone the Russian archives.

Although highly controversial in some respects (the most important controversial issue is the question whether Hitler knowingly preempted a surprise attack by the Red Army, as Suvorov argued), in "Icebreaker" Suvorov convincingly showed that Stalin solely prepared his Red Army for offensive deployment and was about to attack Germany in order to launch the long awaited World Revolution.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Suvorov builds from open sources, an inescapable picture of how Stalin and the Communists planned the Second World War as part of their plan to export Communism world wide.

He shows how massive, and well equipped the Soviet army was before WW2. He shows how all their equipment was developed for offensive, not defensive operations. He shows how Stalin was sucker punched by Hitler in Operation Barbarossa.

The question all Communists have to answer is if the truth is with you, why do you have to keep lying?

A must, must read.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting new view on WWII in the east 1 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read Victor Suvorov original book in this series "Icebreaker". I found the idea behind the book - that Stalin was planning to attack Hilter but that the Germans attacked first- interesting. At the time my knowledge of the Russia-German side of WWII was limited to "the Germans attacked the russians, winter stopped them at Moscow, the russians counter-attacked at Stalingrad and the russians then chased the Germans back to Berlin". I was surprised at the sheer scale of the soviet military before the German attack and that the peaceful soviets had been busy conquering a number of nations between 1940 & 1941. This book updates and expands on the ideas put forward in Icebreaker. I found it very interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hoodwinked 10 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
How have we as an entire culture, an entire civilisation, allowed ourselves to be so deceived? They say the bigger the whopper the more believable it is. Just read the first 4 pages where Suvorov compares Hitler to Stalin. This is quality writing. Have you seen this guy on YouTube (Suvorov)?? An extraordinary tour de force!...and actually quite funny too..a real performance. This is a book that needs to be read by everyone as it alters -or should- our complete world view. Unfortunately it will require all our history syllabuses in schools to be completely rewritten. So what will probably happen is that it will be ignored. Based on documents and files available since the collapse of the Soviet Union it shows clearly that Stalin set up Hitler as the fall guy ('Icebreaker' was Stalin's codeword for Hitler) to prepare the ground for a complete Soviet conquest of Europe...and beyond. And the beauty of the plan was that Stalin was going to be seen as a liberating hero!! Barbarossa as 'sucker punch'? No. Hitler's last desperate throw of the dice as he slowly realised he had been duped...and how!
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