Alarmed by the growing power of Nazi Germany, Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, approached the French and British governments with a proposal to form a united front to resist German aggression. However, both the French and British government were slow to respond to Stalin’s initiatives. By July 1939, Stalin approached the German government in the hopes of reaching an understanding with the Nazi Régime. Throughout August the foreign ministers of Germany and the Soviet Union, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Moltov conducted secret negotiations for a Non-Aggression Treaty. By 23 August, the two governments signed a Non-Aggression Pact that recognized each nation’s territorial claims in Eastern Europe. The Pact geographically isolated Poland. The British and French were in no position to offer direct military aid to Poland in the event that war broke out.

 

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Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre
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