Molotov pp 187-198 | Cite as

The Great Patriotic War

  • Derek Watson
Part of the Studies in Russian and East European History and Society book series


Molotov continued to be preoccupied with foreign affairs in early 1941. From late January he was protesting to Schulenburg over the entry of German troops into Bulgaria and was involved in negotiations with Italy and Germany over the question of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus.1 He was particularly concerned with the ‘Treaty of Friendship and Non-Aggression’ with Yugoslavia in April. Gorodetsky claims that Molotov pressed Stalin to sign the agreement as a deterrent to Hitler, as it was not a military alliance which the Germans were bound to see as a provocation.2 At this time Molotov established a pattern of dismissing the German threat as ‘only a bluff’ with Sir Stafford Cripps, the new British ambassador, and as late as June, despite warnings of an imminent German attack including those from Dekanazov, now ambassador in Berlin,3 he made the comment: ‘Only a fool would attack us!’4 It is therefore not surprising that in the early weeks of the war he appeared embarrassed when Steinhardt reminded him that he had rejected warnings of a German attack as false rumours,5 but there can be little doubt that he was copying Stalin’s line.


Foreign Affair General Staff Military Alliance High Command Deputy Chairman 
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Copyright information

© Derek Watson 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Watson
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Russian and East European StudiesThe University of BirminghamUK

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