Historical News and Comment

Stalin Prepared for Summer 1941 Attack

Viktor Suvorov is a former member of the Soviet General Staff who now lives in the West. He is the author of three authoritative works on the Soviet armed forces. Writing in the June 1985 issue of the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies, Suvorov assembles impressive evidence to show that Stalin was preparing to attack Germany in 1941. The respected British journal introduced this startling article by noting that "historians who have hitherto uncritically accepted the thesis that Stalin was the victim of unprovoked aggression in the summer of 1941 may have to revise, or at least modify, their views."

Suvorov writes that on June 13, 1941 Stalin secretly began "the biggest troop movement by a single state in the history of civilization," transferring enormous military forces to the Soviet-German frontier. The Soviet troops were deployed there not for defense, but in preparation for a surprise invasion. "It seems certain," writes Suvorov, "that the Soviet concentration on the frontier was due to be completed by July 10. Thus, the German blow which fell just 19 days earlier found the Red Army in the most unfavorable situation -- in railway waggons."

Citing information compiled mostly from official Soviet sources, Suvorov concludes that "the only credible military intention which Stalin could have had was to begin the war himself in the summer of 1941."

Suvorov's essay, which is based on a still uncompleted Ph.D. thesis strengthens the view of David Irving, Erich Helmdach and other revisionist historians that the attack by Germany and her Axis partners against the USSR on June 22, 1941, was a preventive measure necessitated by a forthcoming Soviet onslaught against Europe.

From The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1985-86 (Vol. 6, No. 4), p. 501.