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Title: British Policy Towards the USSR and the Onset of the Second World War
Author: Aster, Sidney
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 8015
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 1969
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This study is concerned with the description and analysis of Anglo-Soviet relations and the onset of the second world war, from t: arch 1938 to August 1939. It is intended to examine the Soviet aspect of appeasement. Did Stalin's foreign policy offer the Chamberlain government an alternative to appeasement; was it viable or not; and why was it rejected? When it was apparently explored in 1939, why did it fail? What was to be the relation of the USSR to a hopefully pacified Germany? Does British policy in eastern Europe support the contention that a free hand - whether by design or implication --was offered to Germany? An introductory background analysis traces the relation of the Soviet Union to the aims of appeasement. This indicates that British foreign policy was always cautious when defining its interests in eastern Europe; and that as long as German pacification remained the intention, the USSR could a priori not participate. An examination of Anglo"-Soviet relations from March to September 1938 shows that the exclusion of Moscow from the Munich conference is the inevitable outcome of Anglo-French efforts at a peaceful solution of the Czech-German crisis. The conference symbolizes the decisive rejection of the Soviet alternative. The strongest evidence on British policy in eastern Europe is embodied in the immediate post-41unich period. On various issues Britain and France pursued the logical sequel to the desired Anglo-German agreement:. d sint6ressement in eastern Europe. The tripartite negotiations in the spring and summer of 1939 are seen to have their origins in the sudden attempts by London in January 1939 to improve relations with Moscow. This was to ensure the latter's benevolent neutrality in case of war. The Anglo-French-Soviet political and military negotiations are then analyzed in terms both of Britain's inability to harmonize short term methods -a deterrent front including the USSR, with long range aims - German appeasement, and of a change in Soviet interests and priorities. This study makes use of the available official government documents on foreign policy, and various collections of private papers. The quite substantial amount of archival material appearing in Russian monographs and articles, despite its selective nature, was found of considerable value.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available