Stalin's War: A New History of World War II

By Sean McMeekin
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In "Stalin's War" by Sean McMeekin, the author delves into the often overlooked history of Joseph Stalin's role in World War II. McMeekin argues that Stalin played a crucial role in starting the conflict and expanding Soviet power throughout Europe.

The book begins by examining Stalin's early years in power, his consolidation of control within the Soviet Union, and his aggressive policies towards neighboring countries. McMeekin highlights the dramatic and brutal purges that Stalin orchestrated within his own party, which decimated the Soviet military leadership and left it ill-prepared for war.

Moving forward, the author explores Stalin's motivations for signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany, which resulted in the division of Eastern Europe between the two totalitarian regimes. McMeekin argues that Stalin knowingly sacrificed the independence of these countries in order to gain time to build up his own military forces.

As the war progresses, McMeekin details Stalin's skillful manipulation of the Allies and his strategic decision to join the war against Hitler only after it became clear that the Nazis were losing. The author also reveals Stalin's relentless pursuit of territorial gains, such as the annexation of the Baltic states and the establishment of pro-Soviet regimes in Eastern Europe.

Throughout the book, McMeekin challenges the prevailing narrative that portrays Stalin as a heroic figure and instead presents him as a ruthless dictator who exploited the chaos of war for personal and ideological gain. Drawing on extensive research and archival sources, the author provides a fresh perspective on the often misunderstood role of Stalin in World War II.

"Stalin's War" offers a comprehensive and thought-provoking analysis of Stalin's actions during the war, shedding light on his motives, strategies, and impact on the broader conflict. Through meticulous research, Sean McMeekin presents a compelling case for the significance of Stalin's role in shaping the course of World War II and its aftermath.
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