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View Full Version : Discovery of Red Army phrasebook hints: Soviet plans to fight Hitler onBritish front


bhk
03-27-06, 12:37 AM
http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=469222006

Discovery of Red Army phrasebook hints at Soviet plans to fight Hitler on British front
MURDO MACLEOD
IT IS a world away from the holiday phrasebook. A newly discovered relic of the Second World War shows how the Red Army was expected to take a no-nonsense attitude if they ever encountered English speakers.

The Russian-English military phrasebook told officers how to interrogate English-speaking soldiers and civilians, demand food and water and order people to help repair roads for troops. It even included a phrase for how to demand more tea.

But the date of the phrasebook's publication, summer 1940 - a year before the Soviets published their equivalent German phrasebook - is seen as highly significant. Some historians based in the former Soviet Union believe it adds weight to a controversial theory that Stalin would have sent troops to Britain if the Nazis invaded in order to open up a "Second Front" against Hitler.

The 100-page Short Russian-English Military Phrasebook was published by the People's Commissariat for the Defence of the USSR in 1940.

It is clear from the phrases in the book that the Red Army would be taking no chances if soldiers found themselves in an English-language situation. The book includes staples of military confrontations such as "Hands Up!", "Surrender!" and "If you make noise I shall kill you!" all with guides to pronunciation in the Cyrillic alphabet.

Others are aimed at calming down nervous civilians, such as "Do not be afraid of the Red Army men!", "Everything taken by the Red Army from the inhabitants will be paid for!" and even how to ask for more tea.

Some of the phrases serve to remind that the war was fought in an age before the advent of much modern technology, such as how to ask for carrier pigeons or question whether a well had been poisoned.

The book's emergence is seen as supporting the idea that Stalin hoped to attack Hitler through Britain as part of a plan to double-cross the Nazi tyrant.

Kejstut Zakoretskii, a Kiev-based historian, unearthed the phrasebook along with landing plans which apparently included pictures of the British naval base at Scapa Flow and images of British battleships.

He said: "In summer 1941, Stalin believed that the German attack would not be on the USSR, but on Britain. Military threats to Britain from the south would be a very good excuse to send Britain some military assistance, requested by the British or even not requested."

But Euan Mawdsley, professor of international history at Glasgow University, doubted whether the Soviets could have mounted a successful attack through Scotland. He said: "It would have been very difficult indeed."


Interesting find.

Bronkster
03-27-06, 12:59 AM
Я приглашал грызуна к чаю но он принял мои кальсоны

NCMojo
03-27-06, 07:05 AM
This should really be posted in Other... unless someone is going to start harping on the Communist Party...

:hscratch:

classicman2
03-27-06, 07:10 AM
If a thread about Walmart & organic food can find its way into the politics forum - I guess this thread can too. ;)

CRM114
03-27-06, 08:12 AM
If a thread about Walmart & organic food can find its way into the politics forum - I guess this thread can too. ;)

At least this one is interesting.

nemein
03-27-06, 08:16 AM
Really more of historical than current political interest... moving.

NCMojo
03-27-06, 08:31 AM
I have frankly always wondered why Hitler didn't secure his western border before turning his attention east. Especially if the Soviets would have helped him secure Great Brittain... ye gods, it would have turned everything around.

Numanoid
03-27-06, 08:41 AM
Especially if the Soviets would have helped him secure Great Brittain... ye gods, it would have turned everything around.I may be reading that wrong, but doesn't that say that Stalin would have been fighting Hitler through Britain?

Tracer Bullet
03-27-06, 08:52 AM
I may be reading that wrong, but doesn't that say that Stalin would have been fighting Hitler through Britain?

Yes.

I've never heard this theory. Would the USSR really have wanted to basically declare war on the Allies at the same time they were being invaded by Germany? Seems unlikely.

NCMojo
03-27-06, 09:06 AM
Yes.

I've never heard this theory. Would the USSR really have wanted to basically declare war on the Allies at the same time they were being invaded by Germany? Seems unlikely.
Yes, I read the article wrong. God, do I suck at this whole skimming thing! :(

But I share your confusion. What would be gained by the Soviets carrying out this plan?

Numanoid
03-27-06, 09:10 AM
Wait...what? I think it is saying that Russia was planning on building a British front, if necessary. A flanking maneuver against Hitler, if you will. Fighting alongside the Brits, I imagine, not invading them (though you never know with them godless commies).

Tracer Bullet
03-27-06, 09:13 AM
Wait...what? I think it is saying that Russia was planning on building a British front, if necessary. A flanking maneuver against Hitler, if you will. Fighting alongside the Brits, I imagine, not invading them (though you never know with them godless commies).

The book includes staples of military confrontations such as "Hands Up!", "Surrender!" and "If you make noise I shall kill you!" all with guides to pronunciation in the Cyrillic alphabet.

Others are aimed at calming down nervous civilians, such as "Do not be afraid of the Red Army men!", "Everything taken by the Red Army from the inhabitants will be paid for!" and even how to ask for more tea.

:hscratch:

Do you really need to know how to say "Surrender" and "Hands up!" if you're planning on working with someone?

Numanoid
03-27-06, 09:26 AM
Some historians based in the former Soviet Union believe it adds weight to a controversial theory that Stalin would have sent troops to Britain if the Nazis invaded in order to open up a "Second Front" against Hitler. Invaded Russia, or Britain?

It is clear from the phrases in the book that the Red Army would be taking no chances if soldiers found themselves in an English-language situation. The book includes staples of military confrontations such as "Hands Up!", "Surrender!" and "If you make noise I shall kill you!" all with guides to pronunciation in the Cyrillic alphabet.You have to have contingencies for all situations I suppose.

I guess this is the most telling line: "In summer 1941, Stalin believed that the German attack would not be on the USSR, but on Britain. Military threats to Britain from the south would be a very good excuse to send Britain some military assistance, requested by the British or even not requested." I guess Stalin would have sent "help" to England, even though some of the British may have fought that help as well (hence the need to say "Hand's up!" to an English speaking citizen).

Tracer Bullet
03-27-06, 09:28 AM
Interesting. I think your reading sounds plausible.

Can you imagine a world with free North Britain and communist South Britain? :lol:

Numanoid
03-27-06, 09:44 AM
Can you imagine a world with free North Britain and communist South Britain? :lol:And how would it have affected Pink Floyd's music? -eek-