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

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Review

"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: 14286 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; 01 edition (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: 4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,185 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
The Devil’s Alliance – Forgotten by Many but not the Few

On 23rd August 1939 in the presence of Stalin his Foreign Minister Molotov signed a pact with the German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and at the same time carved up the future of Eastern Europe between them. When I was taught history at school the pact was nothing more than a footnote in history quickly glossed over and forgotten.

As one of the Polish Diaspora my family was deeply affected by this pact even more so the 17th September 1939 when the Red Army crossed the Polish Border on the same day the Polish government had to escape via Romania in to exile. My grandfather was captured by the Nazis that day (he managed to escape and fight in France 1940 and on into Britain), my great Grandmother saw her husband for the last time that day, he was a police officer, she later found that other families were murdered at Katyn. 13th April 1940 she was arrested at 2am by the NKVD for having a husband who was a Police Officer and a son as a Polish Soldier was an enemy combatant. She was transported by the NKVD on a cattle truck, before the Nazis had used them in the Holocaust, along with thousands of other Polish enemies of the state to hard labour camps. 75% of her fellow Poles on that Journey did not survive the transportation. She was released in 1946 and was not allowed to return home to Skałat but was sent to Krakow to make her home, minus her now exiled son & nephew, her murdered brothers and her missing husband. Like many Polish families we lost more via the Russians than the damage of the German war effort brought to Poland.

Over the years I have heard so many excuses by so many Historians that Stalin made the pact so that he could make sure the Soviet Union was ready for war.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Moorhouse makes the point that most histories of WW2 on the Eastern Front start with the German invasion of The USSR. and treat the preceeding pact between the two countries as an irrelevance at best. He also makes the point that it was anything but, and does it with verve, intelligence and learning. Ascribing motives to minds as convoluted and amoral as Hitler's and Stalin's can not be easy, but a convincing case is made that there were strong, geopolitical reasons both signed - despite the mutual loathing.

Moorhouse's research here is immense and informs every paragraph. Most books founded upon research like this drag their wheezing weight from footnote to footnote, and reading them is like eating soup with a fork. Not this one; for once the blurb has it spot one - this has the pace of a thriller.

Having read this, I am keen to find out more about The USSR in the 30's - and it is surely to this book's credit that it makes the reader want to know more.

Highly recommended.
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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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