TheMarcksPlan wrote: ↑
16 Dec 2019 02:06
I also reject the premise that Stalin and Hitler could peacefully coexist in the long run.
I reject the premise that war between Hitler and Stalin was inevitable because of Stalin's agenda. It was Hitler's attitudes, Hitler's aggression that made war inevitable. Nothing on the Soviet side of the equation dictated that the SU and Germany must go to war. Everything was solvable diplomatically in Moscow. It was in Berlin that the power elite had completely lost their minds.
How does surrounding Romania on three sides and demanding the withdrawal of German troops there not impact vital interests? Is oil optional in modern war?
Soviet bases in Turkey and Bulgaria would have zero impact on Romanian supply to Germany. In fact, a Soviet occupation
of Rumania would be necessary by 1944 or 1945 in order to prevent the USAAF bombing Romania's oil production flat. (Allied bombers could not cross Soviet areas such as Turkey or Bulgaria to reach targets Romania, but by 1945 B-29's should be able to reach Ploesti directly from bases in Southern England?)
Stalin's demand for free movement on the Danube was aimed at strengthening Yugoslavia against Germany as well, a country you're ignoring despite my mentioning it a couple times now.
Yugoslavia's impact on Germany's war effort was negligible. OTOH, if Yugoslavia was allied to the Soviet Union, then Allied bombers crossing its air space would be shot down by Soviet fighters.
And despite your italicizing of obviously etc., it doesn't change the fact that Stalin delivered a proposal to wage war on Hitler with England, France, and Poland in 1939. Somebody scrupulously careful not threaten Germany would not have done so.
By November 1939, through to June or July 1940, the Reich was practically defenseless against the Soviets. I would not have considered Stalin's failure to exploit this potentially fatal German vulnerability as evidence of Stalin's intentions to attack Hitler.