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Being SovietIdentity, Rumour, and Everyday Life under Stalin 1939–1953$
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Timothy Johnston

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604036.001.0001

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Perfidious Allies? Britain, America, and Official Soviet Diplomatic Identity 1941–1945

Perfidious Allies? Britain, America, and Official Soviet Diplomatic Identity 1941–1945

Chapter:
(p.44) (p.45) 2 Perfidious Allies? Britain, America, and Official Soviet Diplomatic Identity 1941–1945
Source:
Being Soviet
Author(s):

Timothy Johnston

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604036.003.0002

The outbreak of the Great Patriotic War threw the USSR into the Grand Alliance with capitalist Britain and America. The wartime diplomatic identity of the USSR stressed the heavy burden borne by the Soviet Union and the Allies’ failure to launch a Second Front. The USSR repositioned itself as a moral and military leader of the anti-Hitler alliance. The most successful rumour of the war years was that the Allies were extracting concessions from the Soviet Union in return for military support. The success of these rumours tells us little about supporters or resisters of the government: they were spread by Baltic nationalists and loyal Stalinists. Instead they reveal the widespread mistrust of the Allies that was a product of the failure of the official press to explain the absence of the Second Front as well as pre-existing ideas about British perfidy and capitalist encirclement.

Keywords:   1941, 1945, Great Patriotic War, Grand Alliance, Anti-Hitler alliance, Second Front, rumour, resistance, nationalism

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