By Richard Overy

ISBN-10: 0670022098

ISBN-13: 9780670022090

A major historian re-creates the ultimate hours of peace in Europe.

On August 24, 1939, the realm held its collective breath as Hitler and Stalin signed the now notorious nonaggression pact, signaling an drawing close invasion of Poland and bold Western Europe to respond.

during this dramatic account of the ultimate days sooner than the outbreak of worldwide warfare II, award-winning historian Richard Overy vividly chronicles the unraveling of peace, hour through grim hour, as politicians and usual voters brace themselves for a struggle which could spell the top of ecu civilization. not anything was once completely predictable or inevitable. The West was hoping that Hitler may see experience in the event that they stood enterprise. Hitler was once confident the West could go into reverse. Moments of uncertainty alternated with these of war of words; mystery intelligence used to be utilized by either side to aid their hopes. the single consistent function used to be the choice of Poland, a rustic created merely in 1919, to guard its newfound independence opposed to a enormously more desirable enemy. 1939 records a defining second within the violent background of the 20 th century.

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Extra info for 1939: Countdown to War

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42 THE SHADOW ARMY - NKVD FORCES NKVD force missions and size As imposing as the Red Army was in size and variety of forces, it was not the only armed force available to the Soviet State. Supplementing the Red Army was an immense structure of security forces under the control of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, commonly referred to by its acronym, the NKVD. NKVD forces [voiska NKVD or vnutrennie voiska] had increased in strength steadily from 334,900 men on 22 June 1941 (171,900 men in internal forces and 165,000 in border guards forces), to 493,379 (and 2,895 in hospital) in March 1942, and to 516,000 (and 4,600 in hospitals) on 2 February 1943.

Since the Stavka considered the 70th Army to be an elite force, at least in terms of its soldiers' motivation and discipline since many were Party and Komsomol members, it accorded it an important role in the final culminating phase of the 1942-43 winter offensive. Additionally, during the first week of February the newly formed 2d Tank Army was transferred to the Stavka Reserve from the Briansk Front. This army had peen formed in January and early February 1943 on the base of the Briansk Front's 1former 3d Reserve Army with the veteran 11th and 16th Tank Corps as its nucleus.

V. : Dokumenty i materialy [Internal forces in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945: Documents and materials] (Moscow: Iuridicheskiai literatura, 1975), P. 544. 13 44 , ,-. Figure 18. NKVD border guards districts in the west in June 1941. District Murmansk Karelo-Finnish Leningrad: Baltic: Belorussian: Ukrainian: Detachments 82d (Restikent) I 0 I st (Kouloiarsk) 1OOth ( Ozerkov) Sep. Iokan'gsk Command Seg. Terebersk Command 80 (Kipran-Miask) 3d (Sortovala) 73d (Rebol' sk) 1st (Ukhtinsk) 72d (Olan'sk) 33d (Vyborg) 5th (Enso) 102d (Elisenvaar) I 03d (Rempettisk) 12th (Leipaia) lOth,(Kurosaar) 8th (Haapsala) 6th (Rakvere) 99th (Hango) 510 men 12th Sep.

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1939: Countdown to War by Richard Overy

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