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The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941 [Kindle Edition]

Roger Moorhouse
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £25.00
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Book Description

For nearly two years the two most infamous dictators in history actively collaborated with one another. The Nazi-Soviet Pact stunned the world when it was announced, the Second World War was launched under its auspices with the invasion and division of Poland, and its eventual collapse led to the war’s defining and deciding clash.

It is a chapter too often skimmed over by popular histories of the Second World War, and in The Devils’ Alliance Roger Moorhouse tells the full story of the pact between Hitler and Stalin for the first time, from the motivation for its inception to its dramatic and abrupt end in 1941 as Germany declared war against its former partner.

Using first-hand and eye-witness testimony, this is not just an account of the turbulent, febrile politics underlying the unlikely collaboration between these two totalitarian regimes, but of the human costs of the pact, as millions of eastern Europeans fell victim to the nefarious ambitions of Hitler and Stalin.

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"The Devils' Alliance is a marvellous achievement. No event was more crucial to the outbreak of the Second World War than the Nazi-Soviet Pact of August 1939, and no-one is better qualified to explore its grim implications than Roger Moorhouse" (Norman Davies)

"Superbly researched and academically impeccable, yet written with all the pace of a thriller, The Devils' Alliance shines a powerful beam into one of the undeservedly least known aspects of the Second World War" (Andrew Roberts)

"Meticulous and vividly readable… Moorhouse’s grim and compelling book could not be more topical" (Sunday Telegraph)

"A highly enjoyable history written with verve and attention to detail" (Financial Times)

"Superb" (Brendan Simms Wall Street Journal)

Book Description

The gripping story of the last great unexplored aspect of the Second World War

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 14424 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (21 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JWV164W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,288 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best introduction to Nazi-Soviet diplomacy 25 Dec. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a first-rate history of the Nazi-Soviet pact, which led to nearly two years of uneasy cooperation between Europe's two worst dictatorships at the outset of world war two and came to an end with the German attack on the USSR of 22 june 1941.

in a lively and readable text, Moorhouse charts a skilful course between the anecdotes and personal colour that will interest the lay reader, and the weightier requirements of the academic reader, with a good index and useful footnotes, as well as a nicely chosen selection of photos.

There is good analysis of the background to the pact on both sides, plenty of detail on how the pact actually functioned in practice and due regard paid to the ups and downs of nazi Soviet relations, as seen, for example, in the Yugloslav crisis and invasion of April 1941. In addition the full text of the pact with its secret protocol is inlcuded in an appendix.

This is a far superior work to the only other recent book on the topic, which appeared as far back as 1988, and will no doubt become the standard work in this area. I should also add that when many history titles that are frankly rotten retail at £30 or more, this excellent book is also superb value.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dividing the world 15 Feb. 2015
By Antenna TOP 100 REVIEWER
This readable and informative analysis of the infamous 1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact covers an aspect often confined to a few paragraphs in a history of the Second World War. In upsetting "the ideological clarity of the bipolar world of communist versus fascist", this Pact dismayed many in both camps, justified to communists by the specious argument that: "Soviet leaders had a responsibility to the working class of the world to defend the USSR and could, if necessary, for this reason make an alliance with the devil himself".

On one hand, mistrustful of imperial Britain and the US, Stalin felt more comfortable with an agreement that would leave Europe to exhaust itself through conflict at little cost to the USSR. He also saw a chance to regain and occupy eastern Europe - parts of Poland, the Baltic States, Finland and Bessarabia (from Romania), sanctioned by the secret protocol which his henchman Molotov signed with the Germans, but always denied.

On the other hand, the Pact gave Hitler the confidence to fight on a single front in 1940, sweeping through the Low Countries, France and Norway, humiliating Britain in the process. The map showing Europe largely under Axis control or neutral in June 1941 reminds us of how scaring it must have been to be living in the UK at this time.

By then, the stage was set for Operation Barbarossa, since the unnatural alliance had fractured under Hitler's fears over the long-term Soviet designs on Europe, and his hubristic underestimate of the risks involved in overextending his forces in the throes of a Russian winter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fills a huge gap 18 Jan. 2015
By Strv 74
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very timely and much needed book about a chapter in the Second World War that has for far to long been neglected by historians and subjected to a lot of disinformation from Moscow. The Pact between Hitler and Stalin, carrying the name of their two foreign ministers, had an enormous impact on the Second World War and still does. Few people today realize that some of the borders we have in Eastern Europe are actually the result of what these two dictators agreed upon.

Roger Moorhouse has written a book that focuses on the political aspect of the alliance and what impact it had on nations and people. He has also written about the more practical aspects of the alliance as economy and military cooperation. Also a large part of the book is focused on the various atrocities committed by the Germans and the NKVD against people in the occupied territories. There are in principle no difference between the German various killing sprees and the NKVD. Just different methods and sometimes targets.

The Pact itself is in the book both in its official and in its secret part. Just two pages that led to such horrors.

The Book is well written and there is a lot of information in it that is hard to find. There are a few mistakes concerning military designations and events but they have very little impact on the story. The Portraits he paints of how the important actors in this drama, like Stalin, Hitler, von Ribbentrop and Molotov, acted are very interesting.

From my point of view I would have liked to see more of the economic and military impact and maybe less on how various people in several countries felt about the news of the pact. There is a lot of economic information but it would have been helped by tables and statistics.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent and timely book. 22 Aug. 2014
Essential reading for anyone interested in WW2.

The Devils' Alliance gives us a timely reminder of the fact that, for nearly half of the Second World war, the Nazis and Soviets colluded in carving up Europe.

Moorhouse is particularly strong in describing the atrocities, committed by the Nazis and Communists, that happened in Poland. There is also an excellent chapter on the Winter War.

Book is structured well and broken up into chapters which provide narrative and argument on a diverse range of subjects.

A small criticism would be that author could have devoted more time to the post-war legacy of the pact, but don't let that dissuade you from reading rest of book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and authoritative account
This is a well written and authoritative account of the infamous Nazi Soviet Pact. Notoriously supported by the Left in Britain, including historian Eric Hobsbawm, the Pact's... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Jon Simpson
1.0 out of 5 stars Dishonest
This is a profoundly dishonest and derivative book. It seeks to sell its second hand account of well trodden history by claiming that some mythical left wing persists in admiring... Read more
Published 28 days ago by C. Hale
4.0 out of 5 stars Although I knew the general outline of this period.
Although I knew the general outline of this period . Moorehouse included much detail that was new to me and wrote in an interesting way
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Hilda Cole
3.0 out of 5 stars Sleep with the devil
Good.very interesting details
Published 3 months ago by David Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Excellent
A well written book which brings a rather dry subject very much to life. One eye however needs to be kept on the chronology. Read more
Published 3 months ago by The Wargamorium
5.0 out of 5 stars OK
I am satisfied
Published 3 months ago by Jorgen Posborg
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
There are some excellent reviews here which give a clear precis of the book's contents. I just want to add a reassuring note to readers who are not drawn to military history: this... Read more
Published 3 months ago by John Davison
3.0 out of 5 stars A more refined approach would have been indicated
Not a particularly bad overview, but I'm not sure if the author has really invested much effort into his research. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Suetonius
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's Alliance
This is a very well-written and researched account of the notorious pact which was the prelude to the Second World War.I very much enjoyed reading it.
Published 7 months ago by Ludder
4.0 out of 5 stars and was very pleased to get it
This was a present, but the person who received it likes the book, and was very pleased to get it.
Published 7 months ago by madison
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