On balance, the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact was a necessary evil for Allied victory
Debate Rounds (3)
In this debate, I will seek to prove that the Ribentrop-Molotov pact (otherwise known as the Hitler-Stalin pact) was necessary for the preservation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and consequently, the allied forces.
Rules of conduct
Round one:Opening statements, rebuttals
Round two:Further refutation and further argumentation
Round three:Final refutation and closing argument
In this debate, I wish to establish that, on balance, the Ribbentropp-Molotov pact was necessary for the preseravation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and conclusive allied victory. Con is forbidden from using any biased sources.
Only accepted sources are from distinguished journals or any encyclopedia.
Definition of Distinguished:'
When discussing the second world war, we must be extremely cautious.
Hitler was executing every last Marxist in Germany and was threatening to invade the U.S.S.R. Stalin had to counter him. The Ribbentropp-Molotov pact was meant as a setback for the Nazis, giving the Soviets more time to prepare.
In that sphere of time, in this short epoch, the Soviets were able to:
1. Annex many territories on their borders (Bessarabia, the Baltic states, eastern Poland, Bukovina, Carpathian Rutheni etc.)
2. Prepare rations for the war
3. Mobilize and produce war equipment.
Stalin was well aware of Drang nach Osten, he was well aware of the Lebensraum. He knew precisely what Hitler was planning and attempted to counter it. An opportunist, for sure, but a cunning opportunist. Stalin saw Hitler's conundrum, if the western powers engaged Germany, as Stalin knew they would if Hitler invaded Poland, Hitler would not risk exposing the east.
The entry of Soviet troops into eastern Poland in September 1939 was aimed at pushing the frontiers back before the start of an inevitable war, and at gaining time. Soviet troops only moved into Western Belarus and Western Ukraine, territories that Poland had seized during the war with Russia in 1921.
In 1941, France had been firmly under Nazi control and Britain on the border of annihilation, Hitler saw this as an ideal moment for invasion. Unfortunately, he was held up by Yugoslav resistance in the south, forcing him to reschedule to invasion to later that year, resulting in the Nazis invading the USSR at the worst time possible, winter.
Hitler's final objective was the domination of the U.S.S.R. Since the other allied powers at the time were defeated, the U.S.S.R. remained the only beacon of defiance against the Nazis, meaning that they had the most impact on the progression of the war. It was the red army that killed almost 80% of German troops in Europe. Thus, we can deduce that without the U.S.S.R. the allies could not have won the second world war. Having established that, we need only corroborate my previous statements to conclude that since the U.S.S.R. was they key to the defeat of the Axis and the pact preserved the union, the pact helped allied victory.
The Soviet Union was the only force that could rout Nazism. The lightning defeat of France and British forces in 1940 bore this out. If it had not been for the Eastern Front, where they destroyed hundreds of Nazi divisions at the cost of huge losses, no US or British army would have dared enter Europe. They would have been smashed by the Germans in weeks.
Conclusively, the Ribbentropp-Molotov (Hitler-Stalin) pact was necessary for the preservation of the U.S.S.R. Without the pact, the Soviet union would have been completely crushed, resulting in total Axis domination.
Rüdiger Overmans, Deutsche militärische Verluste im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Oldenbourg 2000
David M. Glantz, Jonathan M. House, When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler. University of Kansas
BA degree in Military History here, so unfortunately I'm going to curbstomp your facts on this one.
Primarily: The Ribbentrop-Molotov (Nazi-Soviet) Pact was NOT a necessary requisite for Allied victory because it is what allowed Germany to effectively plan for war in the first place!
When discussing the second world war, we must be extremely cautious... Germany and was threatening to invade the U.S.S.R. Stalin had to counter him.
Is absolutely false. The whole point of negotiating the Nazi-Soviet Pact on the German end was actually because Hitler was afraid Stalin might invade him in 1940 before he was even ready. Meanwhile, Stalin agreed to the treaty because it included economic incentives and access to markets that were both free from capitalist influences and prevented his encirclement from other rival countries (aka USA, Britain, and France). But had a Nazi-Soviet war broken out on the timeline between 1939-1940, here's what it would have looked like:
.................. Red Army.................. German Army.........Ratio
Divisions..... 128.......................... 55............................ 2.3 : 1
Personnel.... 3,400,000.................1,400,000.................. 2.1 : 1
Artillery ..... 38,500...................... 16,300...................... 2.4 : 1
Tanks ......... 7,500....................... 900........................... 8.7 : 1
Aircraft........ 6,200...................... 1,400........................ 4.4 : 1
Knowing then that he was going to get his virtual *** kicked if Stalin ever attacked, Hitler made a deal with the devil in 1939 so he could build up his military, gather more resources, takeout France and Britain first, and then hurriedly turn around and invade Russia before they got too strong. Which he did. And its why Operation Barbarrosa (like Pearl Harbor) is largely being seen by historians these days as a premptive strike.
And we that know this above Soviet paranoia is true on the Nazi's part because part of the Nazi-Soviet deal was for the Kreigsmarine to build and deliver heavy cruisers for the Russian Navy, which the Germans promptly took thier time, kept the money, and never finished. http://en.wikipedia.org... Hence, a most clever stalling tactic.
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact included Food & Fuel for the Nazi War Machine.
I'll just copy and paste this here because its pretty well summarized:
"Because of the lack of German natural resources, German planners in May 1939 feared that a cessation of Swedish trade would cut key iron ore supplies. In addition, were Russian supplies cut off, German planners estimated that they would need to find substitutes for approximately 165,000 tons of manganese and almost 2 million tons of oil per year. Germany already faced severe rubber shortages because of British and Dutch refusals to trade with Germany. On May 8, German officials produced new planning figures estimating that Germany possessed oil stocks totaling only 3.1 months of usage.
In August, as Germany planned to invade Poland and prepared for an eventual war with France, German war planners estimated that, with an expected British naval blockade, if the Soviet Union became hostile, Germany would fall short of its war mobilization requirements by 9.9 million tons of oil and 260,000 tons of manganese. At that time, Germany possessed only two to three months of rubber stocks and three to six months of oil stocks. Because of the expected naval blockade, the Soviet Union would become the only potential supplier for many items." http://en.wikipedia.org...
A key point in the above article is to remember that without first stockpiling Russian oil, Germany's energy supplies for WWII would have relied soley on hard to manufacture synstheic oil plants. Meanwhile if you look at German supply figures in the prepping stages for Operation Barbarrosa, you can see clearly what a crucial advantage Soviet trade really had.
June 1941German stocks (thousands of tons)
Oil products.......... 1350
June 1941 German stocks W/O Soviet Imports (thousands of tons)
Oil products.......... 438
^^ yes those are incredibly minus signs.
Without Soviet deliveries of these key industrial products, Germany could barley have attacked the Soviet Union, let alone come close to victory.
Annex many territories on their borders
Far from a buffer against invasion, Soviet expansion only served to create distrust with American and British diplomats, while effectively wearing down a good chunk of the Red Army in a no-win blizzard campaign in Finland http://en.wikipedia.org...
Prepare rations for the war & Mobilize and produce war equipment
Only on the German side who otherwise lack fuel, rubber, manganese, and grain without Soviet Imports (please see above arguments). Pro has also ignorantly dismissed some of the industrial merits that Stalin's 5 year plans had in already preparing the USSR for war. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
Stalin was well aware of Drang nach Osten, he was well aware of the Lebensraum. He knew precisely what Hitler was planning and attempted to counter it.
Please explain then why the great and all-knowing man of steel had a nervous breakdown the day Operation Barbarrosa took place. Kruschev is said to have remarked that Stalin looked like a “a bag of bones in a grey tunic.” http://www.historyinanhour.com... and that he could hardly eat, sleep, drink, or say anything for nearly a week. The fact is Stalin trusted that Hitler wouldn't attack, otherwise he wouldn't have purged the Red Army of its generals in the late 1930s.
An opportunist, for sure, but a cunning opportunist
Then he should invaded in 1939 when Germany was still weak and dependant on Soviet trade. In reality, Stalin was a poor strategist who put more fear into being surrounded by capitalist countries then he did to a Fascist takeover.
Hitler's final objective was the domination of the U.S.S.R. Since the other allied powers at the time were defeated
The UK was defeated?!?!? What **** are you smoking because I want some!
U.S.S.R. remained the only beacon of defiance against the Nazis
Not counting Churchill's middle finger of course.
It was the red army that killed almost 80% of German troops in Europe.
And it was the American economy that provided 98% of the raw materials and industrialized resources, not to mention Lend-Lease to the USSR and Great Britain (http://en.wikipedia.org...) Somebody also had to militarily defeat Italy and Japan (aka the USA).
The Soviet Union was the only force that could rout Nazism.
Comrade, please.. give me Ike, Patton, Bradley, the 8th Air Force, British Expeditionary Forces, unlimited steel, food, and gas, and a vibrant super-power industrialized economy and base of operations that is too far away to be attacked, and I'll defeat Hitler any day of the week! And should he make it to next week, I'll have atomic bombs.
Resulting in total Axis domination.
The yanks would have came eventually, but nice try though!
It's nice to see someone with historical knowledge vastly superior to my own. I feel honoured to debate a person of your education level.
The resolution of this debate is 'On balance, the RIbbentrop-Molotov pact was a necessary evil for allied victory'.
When you bring into account such statistics, one thing must be noted. Quality rather than quantity. Germany had extremely developed weapons, due to Hitler's early militarization and transgression on the Versailles peace trety. The soviet union, however, had a number of disadvantages. The first is its size. The Soviet union was exposed on multiple sides and was at war on all sides. The Japanese front up to the battle of Khalkin Gol, the Finnish front etc. This was a prime reason Stalin never moved against Hitler. The second aspect that is related to the size of the U.S.S.R. is the wide spread of Soviet troops across all of northern Asia. If Hitler ever had a prime opportunity to invade the U.S.S.R. it was june 1939, during the peak of Soviet-Japanese conflict in Mongolia.
War was coming. The western “democracies” were not keen on a deal with Stalin. Stalin, the pragmatist, therefore sought a deal with Hitler. This was the solution, or so he thought. After the British handed Hitler Czechoslovakia on a plate, Stalin urgently needed an agreement with Hitler – whatever the cost. Within a week, the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact was signed. 
Not true, Hitler negotiated the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact because he could not risk exposure, not because he feared Stalin. Stalin feared Hitler and Hitler had plenty of opportunities to invade the U.S.S.R. As mentioned above, Khalkin Gol, 1939. It is true that the Nazis benefitted from the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, however, the U.S.S.R.'s benefits were greater. 
You are correct when you assert that German stocks were at an all time low after operation Barbarossa, however, it is to be noted that:
a.) German supplies were running out due to exhaustion of various conflicts (Yugoslavia and the U.S.S.R. in particular)
b.) The Germans contributed 'heavy naval guns, other naval gear and thirty of Germany's latest warplanes, including the Me-109 and Me-101 fighters and Ju-88 bomber. The Soviets would also receive oil and electric equipment, locomotives, turbines, generators, diesel engines, ships, machine tools and samples of German artillery, tanks, explosives, chemical-warfare equipment and other items.'
They were buffers against invasion. This is undeniable. Stalin calculated that the greater the front Hitler would be faced with at invasion, the worse his casualties would be.
That is true, however, the Soviets also had need for rations. The Nazis burned all plots of land behind them. Even in times of plenty, if there is war, there have to be rations.
Stalin was not expecting the invasion at this time and who could blame him. Hitler invaded at the most unconventional moment, after Japanese-Soviet peace, in Russian winter.
Not true, Germany had an ideal opportunity to invade the U.S.S.R. and it did not use it. If Stalin had invaded Germany in 1939, the U.S.S.R. would have been exposed in its eastern flank.
The UK was drained of all resistance. The whole 'We shall fight on the beaches' thing didn't come into play until much later.
True, though that does not negate the fact that the Red army killed 80% of German troops.
That is an invalid argumentation point, however, I can assure you that you would fail.
The yanks would have been too late...
Shirer, William L. (1990) . The rise and fall of the third reich:the history of Nazi Germany. Simon & Schuster.
The resolution of this debate is 'On balance, the RIbbentrop-Molotov pact was a necessary evil for allied victory'.
Again, was not necessary for three reasons:
1) The Nazi-Soviet Pact would grant Hitler the time, space, war materials, and diplomatic leverage he would need to rearm. Most crucially, Soviet oil trade which made Hitler's war possible.
2) Stalin could have destroyed Hitler in 1939 or even in 1940 had he not been so strategically inept.
3) US & UK would still have defeated Germany on their own without the USSR.
Germany had extremely developed weapons,
Not in 1940 they didn't. Taking the best studies of German army figures for the invasion of France for example; 45 percent of the wehrmacht was at least 40 years of age or older, and close to 50 percent of all infantry soldiers had only a few weeks of training (1). Meanwhile, far from being high-tech, only 10 percent of the German armed forces were motorised, and most logistics were in fact handled through horse-drawn carriages (1). In 1940, only half of the German military was deemed by the general staff to be "combat ready," and that the German military lacked critically in areas like heavy tank designs, long-range aircraft, naval cruisers, radar, and standard infantry weapons when compared to Russian and Allied counterparts (1).
The soviet union, however, had a number of disadvantages. The first is its size.
Soviet size was an advantage, not a disadvantage. According to Mackinder's Heartland theory of geopolitics for instance; "He who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; he who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; he who rules the World-Island controls the world." (1) Which is just a fancy way of political scientists expressing that countries of geographic size enjoy vastly superior resources and enough territorial space to place industry deep inside the country, which would be impregnable to attack. You could therefore just pump troops out all day -even when invaded- and win wars through industrial attrition, which is exactly what the Soviets did.
The Japanese front
The Japanese did not have the manpower, oil, technology, or industry needed to launch an all out invasion of the Soviet Union. During its border conflicts with the USSR, the majority of Japanese forces were already tied down in guerrilla conflicts in South East Asia and China. Plus there was the Americans and British navies along with Japanese Pacific interests to consider, which is why Japan ultimately negotiated the Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviets in 1941, because they knew anything more than small occupational advances into Soviet territory was technically impossible.
The Finnish front
A mistake on Stalin's part that resulted from the same Nazi-Soviet Pact that we are debating. Which is just another reason why they shouldn't have made the deal in the first place.
If Hitler ever had a prime opportunity to invade the U.S.S.R. it was June 1939
Then he would have gotten his virtual butt kicked seeing as how the Soviets were militarily stronger in 1939 and that France and UK had yet to be subdued. We can count on UK and French involvement because any Nazi invasion of the USSR must first go through Poland and Eastern European countries, many of whom still had defensive pacts with UK and France.
The western “democracies” were not keen on a deal with Stalin.
This is incorrect. Alarmed by German rearmament, Hitler's violations of the Munich agreement, and the Fascist pact between Germany and Italy, the UK and France had actually reached out to Stalin beginning in 1939 (1), but Stalin distrusted the UK and France based on the fact that he saw capitalist encirclement as more of a direct threat against his rule than Nazi Germany. This mistrust was due to the fact that UK, France, and USA had all deployed troops to Russia during the Bolshevik revolution, while Stalin believed that the UK and France were not serious about containing Hitler and were just content on using him alone to fight Germany (based on UK and French appeasement policies).
After the British handed Hitler Czechoslovakia on a plate, Stalin urgently needed an agreement with Hitler – whatever the cost.
The Munich agreement guaranteed Czechoslovakia to Hitler in exchange that he wouldn't annex anymore countries. A violation should have signaled to Stalin that he should have allied himself with Britain and France, and/or that Hitler could not be trusted to keep his word.
Hitler negotiated the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact because he could not risk exposure, not because he feared Stalin.
As explained in Mein Kampf, Hitler was deftly afraid of Soviet intentions and believed that "Judeo-Bolshevism" was the main cause of the Russian revolution. This was not just a conspiracy theory on Hitler's part to propagate propaganda, this was considered fact, and the German people believed as a whole that unless they did something to prevent it, Jewish-communist takeover would happen to them too.
It is true that the Nazis benefited from the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, however, the U.S.S.R.'s benefits were greater.
I'll post the industrial figures for this later, but without first stockpiling Soviet oil imports, Hitler doesn't get very far at all. Again, the energy situation in Nazi Germany was so bad that they had to rely exquisitely on manufactured-synthetic oil for much of the war.
German supplies were running out due to exhaustion of various conflicts
Another reason why Soviet imports and the Nazi-Soviet Pact was an enabler, and not a hindrance to Nazi war plans.
The Germans contributed arms to USSR.
Many of these are inaccurate or grossly exaggerated (or a contradition on Nazi>Soviet technological superiority by Pro). I'm not aware of any Bf-109s in Soviet possession in 1940 for instance. Meanwhile, much of the Nazi-Soviet arms contracting was a clever ruse on the Nazi's part. Take the money, keep building slow, and stall for time. Which was exactly the case of the Lützow navy cruiser (which I did mention in R1) http://en.wikipedia.org....
They were buffers against invasion.
Soviet expansion was not a buffer because it involved tying down Soviet forces in wars (winter war) and occupational duties. Defeating the purpose of a buffer - which is to provide space and not spread yourself thin.
That is true, however, the Soviets also had need for rations. The Nazis burned all plots of land behind them.
Not as bad as the Nazi's did. Again due to three consecutive 5 year plans beginning in the 1920s that eventually resulted in collective farming and a solid industrial base. Meanwhile "scorch-earth" was actually a Soviet tactic, afforded to them because they had the geographic size and industry to do it.
Stalin was not expecting the invasion at this time and who could blame him.
Historians like myself can, being that it was a drastic strategic miscalculation on his part.
If Stalin had invaded Germany in 1939, the U.S.S.R. would have been exposed in its eastern flank.
Hardly. Again due to its sheer size and the fact that Japan was an island nation effectively tied down in China and in the Pacific.
The UK was drained of all resistance.
With the exception of the USA, the UK fared better than any other country in WWI. The UK still also had a formidable navy, airforce, and a fully motorized expeditionary force.
That is an invalid argumentation point, however, I can assure you that you would fail.
Based on what? Your opinion? When my wartime economy is churning out a huge new trans-atlantic cargo ship every four hours as well as out-producing all axis countries in the world combined, I'd say my chances of success are still pretty high.
benko12345678 forfeited this round.
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