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Did Stalin kill all Soviet officers involved in the Winter War?

Wikipedia article on the Winter War The 3 top Soviet officers (apart from Stalin): Kliment Voroshilov: died 2 December 1969. Semyon Timoshenko: died 31 March 1970. Kirill Meretskov: died 30 December ...
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43 votes
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Why did Stalin keep the famine of 1932 a secret?

1932 There are two chief interpretations of the 1932 Soviet famine, or especially the more infamous Ukrainian component, the Holodomor. That the famine was at least partially caused or exacerbated by ...
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42 votes
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Why did Stalin and the Soviet leadership have Leon Trotsky assassinated?

Trotsky, as the leader of the Fourth International, was a direct competitor to Stalin as the Leader of the World Worker Movement. Stalin needed all the communists to be subservient to him, especially ...
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37 votes

How did the world react to Trotsky's assassination?

Short Answer Despite the 'distraction' of World War II, Trotsky's assassination was widely reported and commented on, but the 'interest' did not last except among Trotskyists. Stalin's Soviet Union ...
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33 votes
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Is this anecdote about Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill true?

Stalin made the suggestion of executing 50,000 German officers at the Tehran Conference in 1943. The story was reported by President Roosevelt’s son Elliot and in Churchill's memoirs after the war. ...
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31 votes

Did Stalin kill all Soviet officers involved in the Winter War?

Certainly not "all officers", but some: According to Robert Edwards, the [44th] division's Commander A. Vinogradev managed to escape, but later, on the orders of Stalin's emissary, Lev Mekhlis, ...
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29 votes

Why did the rest of the Eastern Bloc not invade Yugoslavia?

The main Wikipedia article on the Tito–Stalin split is not quite as definitive about the alleged invasion plans, saying simply that: Between 1948 and 1952, the Soviet Union encouraged its allies to ...
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23 votes

Why did Stalin deem Quantum Mechanics 'counter-revolutionary'?

Stalin took ideology seriously... He started the Soviet meme "на идеологии мы не экономим" ("we don't skimp on ideology"). He also believed that "Учение Маркса всесильно, потому что оно верно" ("The ...
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21 votes

Why didn't Stalin use force to bring Tito into line?

Unlike other East European states, the Russians did not free Yugoslavia from the Axis, so they never had forces deployed in the country. An attack would be an invasion. Also, Yugoslavia was easy for ...
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20 votes

Why did Stalin push for the Great Purge against the Red Army in 1936?

It is impossible to tell for sure what was inside Stalin's brain. Historians can only speculate on this. I can outline some principal opinions stated in the process of this speculation: a) Stalin's ...
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20 votes

Why was Stalin surprised by the German attack in June 1941?

David Glantz in his book Barbarossa: Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941 mentions several contributing factors. Stalin wanted to believe that Hitler would hold to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. This is ...
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18 votes

Why did Stalin push for the Great Purge against the Red Army in 1936?

It is worth noting that in 1917, in the midst of The Great War (as it was then commonly known) both the French and Russian armies mutinied. That the French mutiny ultimately amounted to little was in ...
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16 votes

Did Hitler, or any non USSR residents in the 30s-40s know about Stalin's purges?

Of course. It wasn't much of a secret. Some 85% of the Soviet military's top positions were removed; the scale alone makes it rather impossible to hide. In fact, knowledge that Stalin had decapitated ...
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15 votes

Why was Stalin surprised by the German attack in June 1941?

I don't know a ton about this topic, but in Molotov Remembers, a reprint of a bunch of conversations with Molotov in the 70s and 80s, the interviewer asks a lot of questions about this topic. Molotov ...
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14 votes

What was the logic behind Stalin's brutality?

Summary: Don't confuse cause and effect - Stalin succeeded because he was the most brutal and ruthless Politburo member. Only someone even more brutal and ruthless could have succeeded in his place. ...
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13 votes

What legal or moral mechanism ensured Stalin's grip on power?

Beria I think it would be extremely instructive to consider the anti-Beria coup. The conspirators discussed the plans in secret and Beria was arrested by Marshal Georgy Zhukov himself. This plan ...
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13 votes

Why did Stalin push for the Great Purge against the Red Army in 1936?

Stalin developed Lenin's idea of absolute value of the power to the upper limit. Never was he interested in effectiveness for the sake of Russia or even "The Revolution". His only aim was his own ...
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13 votes

Why were Soviet attitudes towards Israel inconsistent in the late 40's and 50's?

The policies of Soviet Union were never determined by "hate" or other emotions. They were always pragmatic. (For example, they "hated" Nazism when they found it useful, and then suddenly made a U-...
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13 votes
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Did Soviet people know Stalin's birth name?

Of course it was widely known. In Lenin's case, in 1924 they even renamed his native city Ulyanovsk. For instance, the History of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks): Short Course, which was ...
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12 votes
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Did Trotsky serve as a hate-figure in PRC propaganda?

Trotskyism, and by extension Trotsky himself (and vice versa) was definitely denounced in early Communist Chinese propaganda. Whether or not he was a "hate figure" depends on what criteria you use for ...
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12 votes

When did the Great Purge start?

The problem is the definition. Great Purge as itself wasn't a single event under Stalin's rule but waves of executions and convictions. In fact after Lenin's death in 1922 Stalin came to power. With ...
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12 votes

How did historians find out about the undoctored version of Stalin's doctored photographs?

I found the answer: It’s thought that Stalin’s obsession with photo doctoring constituted a mini industry in the USSR. Publishers were contacted by Stalin’s minions and told to eliminate the enemy ...
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12 votes

Why did Stalin exile Trotsky instead of killing or imprisoning him?

According to Trotsky (excrept from Коминтерн и ГПУ, published in Бюллетень оппозиции (большевиков-ленинцев) № 85, translation mine): In 1928 […] not only the shooting squad, but even arrest would ...
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11 votes

Did Stalin have full control of the government in 1936?

Yes, by 1936 Stalin was firmly in control. In fact, any non-underground opposition was officially finished by the XVII Congress of the CPSU in 1934 - there, all the leaders of the former opposition (...
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10 votes
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What is / are the specific reason(s) for Vyacheslav Molotov's fall from grace with Joseph Stalin?

There's not really a "specific reason" since he lost favour over some period of time, rather immediately in response to a single event. But some generally agreed factors were Stalin's paranoia and ...
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9 votes

What legal or moral mechanism ensured Stalin's grip on power?

What do you mean, 'legal mechanisms'? Putting "how tyrants hold power" and "legal or moral mechanism" in the same sentence is completely missing the point. Stalin didn't have power because being ...
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9 votes

Did Stalin believe Israel would go communist?

Stalin was an ideologue, but not a very rigid one, and he was not an idiot. He supported Israel because it was a thorn in the side of the British Empire (and its Arab relationships), not because the ...
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  • 25.6k
9 votes

How did Charles de Gaulle become the leading figure of French liberation movement?

Why did Churchill choose de Gaulle to lead the French resistance? (and was it really up to Churchill to decide?) Churchill could decide among what he had available. De Gaulle was in the UK, had the ...
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8 votes

Why was Stalin surprised by the German attack in June 1941?

Stalin received a large number of contradictory puzzle pieces. He and his intelligence analysts believed the information which suggested no attack yet and disbelieved the information which suggested ...
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