The accusations of the leadership of the USSR that it was de "friendly" with the Third Reich, and not with the "democratic" states are absolutely groundless. Then all countries treated Germany normally and did not consider her an outcast, the same France and England concluded non-aggression pacts with Hitler before the USSR and were not in the least embarrassed by his “anti-Semitism”, “racism” and other evolutions of German Nazism. Even during the Second World War, Sweden and Switzerland, just the standards of "democracy", did not hesitate to take money, jewels, gold, which was looted in the USSR, taken from people killed in concentration camps.
During the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940, London and Paris actually began preparations for a “crusade” against the USSR. And only a confluence of circumstances did not lead to the fact that at the present time we would have known a completely different stories World War II - in it a large-scale war would begin with the fact that Britain and France would attack the Soviet Union. And what would be next, we can only guess. This topic could be a good idea for novelists of alternative history.
From the very beginning, the so-called. The “winter war” of Helsinki was supported diplomatically by the Western democracies. And then they received all-round support: for example, in the Finnish army an international unit of almost a whole division fought against the Soviet army — over 10 thousand people formed from the Swedes, the Norwegians, the Danes. Estonians, Hungarians, citizens of England, the United States, etc. traveled to Finland. Helsinki regularly received finances and armaments: 350 combat aircraft were delivered, 1500 artillery guns, 6 thousand machine guns, 100 thousand rifles.
And most importantly, England and France decided to form the 150 of the expeditionary corps for the war with the USSR on the side of Finland. In fact, London and Paris made a decision on aggression against the Soviet Union! He did not have time to arrive at the site due to the fact that the Red Army was able to break the defensive fortifications of the Finns; Finland was threatened with complete defeat and occupation in case of continued resistance. Helsinki is asking for peace, although their Western allies have asked to continue the war.
Much earlier than Hitler, who approved the plan of war with the USSR in December 1940, London and Paris developed their plan of war with the USSR. And the landing of their troops in the north - in Finland, were not going to be limited. As early as January 19, 1940, that is, almost a year earlier than the Nazis, the French government, in agreement with the British cabinet, began to plan a "direct invasion of the Caucasus." Thus, the Deputy Chief of the French General Staff of the Air Force, General Bergero, wrote the following: "The attack on Baku will begin from the Middle East ... Then it will develop in the northern direction towards the armies advancing from Scandinavia and Finland against Moscow." Interestingly, it was not the first planning to strike Baku, even before the start of the Soviet-Finnish war, in October X. NUMX, U. Billill, the US ambassador to France, reported to Washington that “the possibility of bombing and destruction of Baku is being discussed in Paris ". Moreover, they planned to strike the blow without a declaration of war, unexpectedly, not only in the Baku region, but also in other strategic facilities of the USSR.
British blender Blenheim Mk.IF
What is interesting, at that time France was the “ringleader" in aggressive plans against the USSR. Right, what a coincidence with our time - Sarkozy, French politicians in front of aggression against Libya and aggressive rhetoric against Syria. True, at the present time Paris cannot act independently, it is not enough strength. And then they hoped for the strength of the British. It was England that then had both a powerful fleet, and Aviationable to strike in Baku. But London was cautious, it’s good for the French to rush into battle, and they have “the USSR” - Persia, Iraq, and strategically important - Egypt, India. On February 22, the headquarters of the French Air Force issued a calculation of the necessary forces and means to destroy the Soviet oil base in the Baku region.
3 - 5 April 1940, during a meeting of the Anglo-French Committee of Military Command representatives, which was specifically created to coordinate efforts to prepare and conduct an invasion of Soviet Russia, it was decided that not only Baku, Batumi, but Poti should be bombed, as oil terminals for Baku oil were located there. General Mitchell, commander of the British Air Force in the Middle East, at the end of April 1940 received instructions from England to prepare an air operation to prepare for the bombing of Baku and Batumi. The headquarters of the British Air Force believed that the 3 squadron of bombers for the period from 6 weeks to 3 months will be able to destroy all existing oil fields. General Weygand, who commanded the French forces in the Middle East, told 17 on April 1940 of the French commander-in-chief and the government: “Preparations for the bombing of the Caucasian oil fields are so advanced that you can calculate the time during which this operation can be performed.” Weigan even reported the exact time of the strike on the USSR, when the forces for the strike would be prepared: end of June - beginning of July, 1940.
23 March 1940 from the Heston airfield rose and headed for the southeast of the Lockheed-12А civilian aircraft with the registration number G-AGAR, which was operated by Haig MacLaine. After the interim landings in Malta and Cairo, the plane reached the British military base in Baghdad. The next day, early in the morning of March 24, with two photographers, the scout rose and flew over the Iranian highlands and then found himself in the sky over Baku. Hour, not detected by anyone, the reconnaissance aircraft circled over the city at an altitude of 7 thousand meters and made shooting. Upon the return of the aircraft to the military base, the results of reconnaissance surveys were presented to the intelligence center MI-6 and to the intelligence of the British Air Force. After studying and discussing the results obtained, 2 developed similar plans by code under the names of the British “Ma-6” and French “RIP”.
According to them, it was planned to attract 90 - 100 airplanes for delivering a bombing attack on the oil fields of Baku; it was planned to use American-made Glen Martin bombers and British Blanheim bombers. The strikes were to be carried out both day and night from various heights. As a result of such bombardments, Baku was planned to be destroyed in two weeks, Grozny - in 12 days, and Batumi - in a day and a half. The aircraft of the British Air Force were supposed to take off from the city of Mosul (modern Iraq). To increase the duration of the flight, additional tanks with fuel were attached to some aircraft. The weight of the bomb load of each bomber was 450 kg. By June 1940, the plan was to complete the construction of 20 airfields for the conduct of this war. In France, General de Gaulle opposed these plans, in England, the Minister of War Churchill, they believed that Hitler and his plans were a higher priority goal.
In addition to air strikes, in the war against the USSR, along with Britain and France, they planned to involve Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia. For the war in the Caucasus direction, it was planned to attract the French corps in Syria and Lebanon under the command of General Maxim Weygand.
Weygand Maxim (1867-1965), French general. Since the beginning of 1939 - the commander in chief of French troops in Syria and Lebanon. From 19 in May, 1940 is the chief of staff of the national defense and supreme commander, one of the organizers of the capitulation of France.
Did they know about it in the USSR?
Apparently, they knew, otherwise how to explain the fact that by the end of 1939 of the year, after the start of preparation of the Anglo-French plans for bombing Baku, in the Soviet Union, signs of active movement of troops towards the Baku area began to be observed. 31 December 1939, the Commissar of Defense of the Soviet Union, K.Ye. Voroshilov, ordered to strengthen the forces of the Transcaucasian Military District by invoking reservists over peacetime. January 10 The 1940 Rifle Division from the North Caucasus Military District was redeployed to Azerbaijan in 31. Moscow was seriously concerned about a possible threat in this area - March 6 of the USSR People’s Defense Committee Commissar K. Voroshilov himself personally made an inspection visit to areas of the Baku oil fields. By decision of the government and the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Azerbaijan, local air defense units began to be formed at enterprises of the national economy of the republic, which included sanitary and fire-fighting units.
Much attention was paid to strengthening the fire service facilities of the oil industry. Voluntary cells of the fire-fighting society were created at all enterprises of the oil refining and oil refining industry of Azerbaijan. In mid-March 1940, the French intelligence received information that the Soviet Union had requested specialists to put out oil fields from the Americans, and also asked for recommendations from US experts on “effective firefighting of oil fields in Baku in the event of their bombing.” American experts, responding to a request from the USSR, reported that "the soil of those places is so saturated with oil that the fire will certainly spread with great speed and will move to other fields." According to their experts, extinguishing fires in oil fields will take at least several months, and oil production will be possible only after years. Thus, we can conclude that the Soviet leadership was aware of the preparation of the British and French to launch a bombing attack on the Baku oil fields.
According to the General Staff of the Red Army Air Force, until April 1940, the Air Force of the Transcaucasian Military District consisted of the 60-th air brigade, 5-th far-range squadron and 6-th reconnaissance squadron. But due to the threat of attack in this direction, as early as April - May 1940, controls of the 3, 17 and 64 and 9 and 18 and 41 aircraft were redeployed from the Baltic region to the Transcaucasian region. I am a midbomb brigade, 6-I and 42-I long-range brigades. The 35 Fighter Regiment (IAP) was redeployed from the Belarusian Military District to the Transcaucasian Region, the 133 IAP from the Moscow Military District, the 12 Long-Bomber Aviation Regiment from the North Caucasus District. In addition, in the Transcaucasian Military District, offices of the 45 th air assault brigade, the 82 th and 84 th fighter and 83 th long-range bomber regiments were created. As a result, the flight fleet of the Transcaucasian District Air Force was increased from 243 combat aircraft on 1 March 1940 of the year to 1023 machines on 1 June 1940 of the year.
Why the blow did not take place?
First, Finland suffered a defeat before Paris and London managed to fulfill their plan on the northern flank of the alleged front of the war with the USSR.
Secondly, the Wehrmacht 10 May 1940 struck the Anglo-French-Dutch-Belgian troops, the "strange war" ended. As a result, Paris and London was not up to attacks on Baku. In fact, the Third Reich tore off the British and French intervention against the USSR, which was already ready to begin. Suffer Hitler for another two or three months, and the beginning of Operation Gelb more than once suffered, and the history of the Second World War could have been completely unusual for us.
How in the "democratic" Britain and France hated the USSR, that in the conditions of the officially declared war of Germany, which was called "strange", since there were no active hostilities, up to the Reich strike, they planned and prepared a sudden aggression against the USSR! Although in Paris and London knew about the impending strike of the Wehrmacht - January 10 1940 occurred so-called. "Mechelen incident". A major, a liaison officer made an emergency landing near the Belgian city of Mechelen, he had with him a complete operational German plan of attack in the west, he did not have time to burn it. The Belgians, and through them the English and the French, fell into the hands of the Gelb plan - the strike of the Wehrmacht was planned for January 17, 1940. But this argument did not cool the Anglo-French plans for a war with the USSR. They were cooled by the Germans in Paris, that's such an interesting turn of history.