The controversy over who was the aggressor behind Operation Barbarossa, Hitler’s 1941 attack on the Soviet Union, has focused largely on political and military analyses. However, a study of Soviet economics sheds critical light on this debate. The success of Joseph Stalin’s regime rested squarely upon a foundation of economic growth. In the late 1930s, he viewed trade with Germany as the way to achieve his capital investment objectives. Any economic gains proffered by Stalin’s Third Five-Year Plan would be threatened by the prospect of war. Thus, Stalin tenaciously held to his non-aggression pact with Germany. It is the contention of this paper that, due to the primacy of Stalin’s economic plan involving trade with Germany, Stalin had no intent to violate the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. Hitler’s attack was aggressive, not preemptive.
Novey, Adam G.
"Operation Barbarossa Interpreted in Light of the Primacy of Stalin's Economic Plan and Trade with Germany,"
Bound Away: The Liberty Journal of History: Vol. 2
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/ljh/vol2/iss1/2