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1. The collapse of the Munich policy and the American plans to take over the British Empire
Having sowed the wind, the accomplices of the fascist aggressors reaped the whirlwind. Nurtured by the bigwigs of the City and Wall Street, German fascism undertook, first of all, a military campaign against England and its allies.
The Second World War broke out, which arose "as the inevitable result of the development of world economic and political forces on the basis of modern monopoly capitalism" (1) .
The German, Japanese and Italian monopoly bourgeoisie launched a frenzied attack against other states, seeking to seize markets, sources of raw materials, colonies, and establish their dominion over other peoples. On the other hand, "The United States of America expected to put out of action its most dangerous competitors, Germany and Japan, to seize foreign markets, the world's raw material resources and achieve world domination" (2) . Comrade Stalin points out: "Each of the two capitalist coalitions that clung to each other during the war hoped to defeat the enemy and achieve world domination" (3) .
The second crisis of the capitalist system of the world economy has come. “The first crisis in the period of the First World War and the second crisis in the period of the Second World War,” Comrade Stalin teaches, “should be regarded not as separate, independent crises cut off from each other, but as stages in the development of the general crisis of the world capitalist system” (4) . Capitalism in the era of its general crisis inevitably brings catastrophes and calamities for mankind. Comrade Stalin pointed out:
“Marxists have repeatedly stated that the capitalist system of the world economy is fraught with elements of a general crisis and military clashes, that in view of this, the development of world capitalism in our time takes place not in the form of a smooth and uniform advance, but through crises and military catastrophes. » (5).
The Second World War differed from the first in its character. Comrade Stalin showed what this difference consisted of in. “It should be borne in mind,” said Comrade Stalin, “that the main fascist states — Germany, Japan, Italy — before attacking the allied countries, destroyed the last remnants of bourgeois-democratic freedoms, established a brutal terrorist regime, trampled on the principle of sovereignty and the free development of small countries, declared the policy of seizing foreign lands as their own policy and declared publicly that they were seeking world domination and the spread of the fascist regime throughout the world, and by seizing Czechoslovakia and central China, the Axis showed that they were ready to carry out their threat about enslavement of all freedom-loving peoples.(6) .
The British, American and French imperialists did everything in their power to start the war with an attack by Hitlerite Germany on the USSR (7) . "However, Germany directed its forces primarily against the Anglo-French-American bloc" (8). The non-aggression pact with Germany, which delayed the attack on the USSR for a year and a half, was used by the Soviet country to strengthen its defenses, which thereby led to the strengthening of the position of the entire anti-fascist democratic camp of the world. “We ensured peace for our country for a year and a half and the possibility of preparing our forces to repulse if fascist Germany dared to attack our country contrary to the pact. This is a definite win for us and a loss for Nazi Germany (9).
Both American and British monopoly capital, from the very beginning of the war, each cared only for its own narrow selfish interests: the preservation and expansion of its economic and political dominance. But England during the war became dependent on the United States. Under the sign of this ever-increasing dependence, the further policy of England towards the United States developed. Of course, this situation had certain consequences in the Pacific Ocean as well.
London now depended on Wall Street's economic and political support not only against Germany, but also against imperialist Japan, which looked longingly at the now weakly defended British colonies in South and Southeast Asia.
This does not mean that the British Government has stopped in the Far East the policy of collusion with Japan at the expense of China and the policy of inciting Japan against the Soviet Union. On the contrary, this policy of the British government, like that of the American government, intensified in the second half of 1939 and in 1940, although it was carried out in a more disguised manner.
* * *
The leading circles of the United States at first reacted rather reservedly to the ingratiations of the British imperialists. Wall Street wanted to remain in the role of "third rejoicer." The magnates of American capital counted on raking in large military profits, deploying their expansion throughout the world, primarily due to the weakening and disintegration of the British Empire.
The US financial oligarchy, which for many years had contributed to the restoration of German imperialism and the emergence of German fascism and had also contributed to the Japanese aggression against China and the strengthening of Japanese imperialism, was extremely pleased with the start of a new world war. In the last decade before this - since the beginning of the economic crisis of 1929-1933. - The American economy developed under the sign of a crisis and depression of a special kind, and the positions of American capital in the world market turned out to be unstable. Not only the size of US investments, but also their share in world trade was relentlessly declining, and there was no hope that things could get better in a peaceful environment.
The share of the United States in the imports of the capitalist world was 12.2% in 1929 and only 8.1% in 1938; in exports, the share of the United States, respectively, decreased from 15.6% to 13.5% (10) . The US share in the trade of the capitalist world has almost returned to the level it had reached on the eve of the First World War. US foreign trade declined relatively more than world trade as a whole. If 1929 is taken as 100, then the index of world exports fell to 82 in 1935. After 1935, the index rose slightly.
The British monopolies, although they also suffered greatly, nevertheless, by shifting the burden of the crisis onto the colonies, they coped somewhat better with the situation. British foreign trade has not declined to the same extent as that of the United States. The share of England (the mother country) in the imports of the capitalist countries in 1938 was 17.3%, in exports, 10.3%.
In the context of a fierce war for markets, a currency war was unfolding between imperialist predators, including the United States and Britain.
It should be noted that the role of Asian countries in world trade by the end of the 1930s had increased in comparison with Europe and the United States. The share of Asia in world imports amounted to in 1911-1913. 9.9% on average, 11.3% in exports; in 1926-1930 respectively - 13.7 and 15.9% and in 1938 - 13.9 and 16% (11).
While US foreign trade as a whole declined and its share in the total foreign trade of the capitalist countries fell, the share of trade with Asia (i.e., Pacific trade) in the total US foreign trade turnover increased markedly. The share of Asia in US trade was equal in 1911-1915. an average of 5.6% in exports and 15.8% in imports; in 1926-1930 respectively - 12 and 29.7% and in 1936-1940. - 16.6 and 31.6% (12) . A very significant role in increasing the share of Asian trade in total US trade in the late 1930s was played by the export of military-strategic materials to Japan for the war with China and the import of strategic materials to the United States from Southeast Asia.
Japanese aggression in China directly infringed upon the interests of American traders and investors in this country, but the Japanese occupiers in 1938-1939 were much stronger and more active. harmed British interests. The American imperialists only gloated over this, hoping sooner or later to extract considerable benefits for themselves as a result of the displacement of the British.
(1) I. V. Stalin, Speeches at pre-election meetings of voters in the Stalin electoral district of Moscow on December 11, 1937 and February 9, 1946, pp. 10-11.
(2) IV Stalin, Economic problems of socialism in the USSR, p. 30.
(4) I. V. Stalin, Economic problems of socialism in the USSR, p. 57.
(5) I. V. Stalin, Speeches at pre-election meetings of voters in the Stalin electoral district of Moscow on December 11, 1937 and February 9, 1946, pp. 11.
(6) Ibid., pp. 11-12.
(7) In 1939, “along with open negotiations with the USSR, the British conducted behind-the-scenes negotiations with Germany, and they attached incomparably greater importance to the latter” (“Falsifiers of History (Historical Reference)”, p. 49).
(8) J. V. Stalin, Economic problems of socialism in the USSR, p. 35.
(9) J. V. Stalin, On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, p. 11.
2. Strengthening the aggression of the Hitlerite bloc and the anti-Soviet maneuvers of the ruling circles of England and the USA
In view of the fact that German imperialist aggression also increasingly threatened the interests of the American monopolies, the US government was compelled to come out more and more definitely in favor of rapprochement with Britain. For example, the steps taken by President Roosevelt in May 1940 to prevent Italy from entering the war on the side of Germany (letters addressed to Mussolini) were undoubted political support for England. The speeches of Roosevelt and Hull in June-August 1940 already meant official preparations for the United States to join the anti-German front and, consequently, preparations for an American-British military bloc. But at the same time, American imperialism continued to take advantage of the worsened position of Britain to even greater advantage.
From the end of January to the end of March, informal staff talks were held in Washington, where members of the British delegation arrived in civilian clothes. An agreement was reached that if the United States was involved in the war, the main forces would be directed against Germany, and not Japan (1) .
As before, the influential groups of monopoly capital demanded the appeasement and complicity of Japan and Germany, and their agents openly developed great activity. This agency included such monopoly clerks as the former Deputy Secretary of State Castle, radio Father Coughlin, the publicist Roy Howard, the leader of the fascist "silver shirts" Palley, the fascist Lindbergh, Senator Vandenberg and a number of others. The main line of their propaganda was that it was more profitable for the US financial oligarchy to provide Japan with capital, to allow it to exploit China and other countries and to receive a profitable interest on its capital, than to clash with Japanese imperialism in the struggle for Asian colonies.
Lindbergh opposed Lend-Lease, but demanded "the unification of the United States and Canada", in other words, the participation of the United States, together with the fascist bloc, in the immediate division of the British Empire. Some influential politicians of the American bourgeoisie carried on propaganda for a compromise peace between Germany and England, although they perfectly understood that a compromise under the given conditions would mean the defeat of England and the victory of the fascist bloc, and it was clear that this bloc, after a short respite, would again plunge the whole world into into the war. These "leaders" insisted on maintaining strict neutrality by the United States and motivated their position by the fear of the victory of communism and the revolution in the event of a further continuation and development of the war. Among these open collaborators of the aggressors were Republican presidential candidate Landon, Senator Vandenberg,
On the other hand, many American military and political figures began to openly demand that they immediately enter the war against Germany on the side of England. In this sense, for example, Admiral Yarnell, the former commander of the US Asiatic squadron, spoke. The New York Herald Tribune wrote that delaying US entry into the war was riskier for the interests of the American bourgeoisie than immediately taking part in an anti-German war (2) .
In the Far East, the main line of London and New York political conductors remained the appeasement of Japan, the desire to tie her as thoroughly as possible in China and direct the spearhead of her aggression against the Soviet Union.
When in the summer of 1939, even before the war in Europe, the Japanese insulted - and on occasion beat - the British living in Tianjin, the latter "consoled" with the fact that Soviet and Japanese guns had already been put into action at Khalkhin Gol, on the border Mongolian People's Republic. Many tycoons of international capital during the events at Khalkhin Gol were sure that the war between Japan and the Soviet Union had already begun.
The reactionary elements in Britain and the USA demanded that the policy of cooperation with Japan be "carried to its logical conclusion". Since the United States still supplies Japan with military raw materials, equipment and machinery for military factories and thereby contributes to the seizure of China by Japan, it is hardly; it would be necessary, they said, to formalize this cooperation in an agreement that would give certain benefits to the United States and England. This policy of collusion was inspired mainly by the desire to turn Japan into an instrument of an active anti-Soviet policy.
As the situation in the Pacific in general, and Japanese-American and Anglo-Japanese relations in particular, worsened, the most reactionary elements among the American and British capitalists tried with redoubled energy to defuse the growing tension by directing German and Japanese aggression towards the Soviet Union. To this end, they demanded that the Washington government pursue a "policy of cordial understanding with Japan." These included the renewal of the trade treaty and the increased supply of Japan with military materials, the recognition of Japanese conquests in China, and the conclusion of a non-aggression pact with Japan. This policy, in the opinion of well-known groups of American and British capitalists, could force Japan to resolutely turn its policy into an anti-Soviet channel.
While continuing its active anti-Soviet policy and relying on Japan, the Chamberlain government (like Wall Street) naturally pursued an anti-Chinese policy at the same time, striving in every possible way to earn the favor of the Japanese imperialists.
In particular, at the session of the League of Nations in December 1939, under pressure from the London and Paris governments, the question of helping China in its fight against Japanese aggression was removed. Instead, the Anglo-French imperialists approved and supported the war started by the Finnish rulers against the Soviet Union.
Moreover, while a complete lull reigned on the Anglo-French front against Germany, the American and Anglo-French reactionaries, blinded by class hatred, were preparing a war against the Soviet Union. They prepared to send a 100,000-strong corps "to help" Finland, developed plans for an attack on Baku, etc.
In the three months that have passed since the beginning of the war, England handed over to Finland more than 100 aircraft, more than 200 guns, hundreds of thousands of shells and air bombs; France - about 500 guns, 175 aircraft, more than 5 thousand machine guns, a large amount of ammunition, etc.; The United States provided Finland with 44 aircraft, loans, prevented the export of tin and rubber to the USSR, etc.
The clerks of the American financial oligarchy developed a feverish anti-Soviet activity. Senator Pitman, Chairman of the Military-Political Commission of the Senate, proposed that Britain and France conclude an armistice with Hitler's Germany and that all the imperialist powers "discuss in cold blood" among themselves the situation created in connection with the outbreak of war between Finland and the USSR. This proposal pursued the sole purpose of directing the forces of all the capitalist powers against the Soviet Union. The notorious Swedish adventurer Count Bernadotte at the same time diligently recruited pilots in the United States to participate in the Finnish war against the USSR. American diplomats tried to negotiate with Hitler's government that it should not create obstacles to the entry of British and French troops into Finland.
The Prime Minister of the London government, Chamberlain, declared that in England and France "preparations for the dispatch of the expeditionary units were carried out with maximum speed, and the expeditionary army was ready to be sent at the beginning of March ..." (3) . The French fascist de Gaulle volunteered to command the first corps of the French anti-Soviet expeditionary forces.
US Ambassador to France Bullitt, acting on instructions from the Washington government, was very active in intriguing to "exclude" the Soviet Union from the League of Nations.
All these were attempts to transfer the war to other rails, to the rails of the war against the USSR.
The policy of appeasing Japan and aiding aggression was pursued by the government of Churchill, who replaced Chamberlain at the helm of England.
Seeing Willkie out of England in January 1941, Churchill instilled in him: "At all costs, try to keep peace in the Pacific."
The Konoe government at the same time continued its Jesuit policy. Konoe notes in his memoirs that at a government meeting on April 18, 1941, the point of view was expressed that the United States should be used as an instrument of pressure on China, since “at present, Chongqing is entirely dependent on the United States and therefore no direct negotiations with Chongqing will not produce results if the United States does not play the role of an intermediary” (4). The same representative of the Japanese zaibatsu testifies that the leaders of Japanese imperialism intended to use the United States for mediation between Britain and Germany. On the one hand, this was to lead to the consolidation of Japanese seizures in China and Indo-China, and, on the other hand, to the consolidation of German seizures in Western Europe. In addition, according to the Japanese imperialists, this should have led to the creation of a Japanese-German-Anglo-American coalition against the Soviet Union. Then, having already thoroughly strengthened and strengthened, the Japanese-German aggressors hoped to deal with England and the USA.
The Neutrality Pact, signed on April 13, 1941 between the USSR and Japan (5) .
Although in July 1941 Britain imposed a sequestration on Japanese funds in the British Empire, the American press stated as early as October that the British were continuing to export tin from Malaya to Japan. The American press reported in the autumn of 1941 that the British government was trying to convince the American State Department of the necessity of pursuing a policy of concessions to Japan, although such convictions were not necessary. This pro-Japanese activity in London took place, obviously, not without the knowledge of Tokyo.
Churchill, like other British imperialists, looked at imperialist Japan as a gendarme for the colonial peoples of Asia and as an irreconcilable enemy of the Soviet Union, as well as a potential ally against American imperialism.
This last consideration took on special significance after Hitler's Germany attacked the Soviet Union. The German monopolies saw in the USSR the main obstacle to their world domination. Sending Hess to England on the eve of the invasion of the Soviet Union, the fascist leaders again played anti-Soviet trump cards. The British imperialists, who had already been taught a lesson by the Hitlerite gang many times over, nevertheless began to hesitate as to whether to immediately and completely meet Hess's proposals. The German fascists then failed to achieve complete satisfaction of Hitler's demands.
(1) R. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, NY 1948, p. 272, 273.
(2) New York Herald Tribune, June 10, 1941.
(3) Falsifiers of History (Historical note), p. 61.
(4) F. Konoe, Memoirs, "Asahi", May 1946.
(5) After Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union, Japan began to delay fulfilling its obligation to liquidate Japanese concessions in Northern Sakhalin. The Japanese government, as it turned out later, had entered into a neutrality pact with the perfidious goal of violating it.
3. The attack of Nazi Germany on the USSR and the treacherous policy of the American and British monopolies
After the attack of Hitler and his satellites on the Soviet Union, the war against the bloc of aggressors not only greatly expanded, but its anti-fascist character intensified. "The entry of the Soviet Union into the war against the Axis states could only strengthen, and indeed strengthened, the anti-fascist and liberation character of the Second World War" (1) .
The entry of the Soviet Union into the war led to the creation of a coalition of freedom-loving peoples against the bloc of aggressors. The American government was forced to stop pursuing a policy openly hostile to the USSR. On June 23, it announced the lifting of the sequester from Soviet funds, imposed in 1939, during the anti-Soviet campaign in the United States. The British government, harboring insidious anti-Soviet plans, signed on July 12 an agreement on an alliance with the USSR in the war against Germany. Since the German imperialists were at war with Britain and France and the German-Japanese bloc threatened to eliminate the predominance of the Anglo-French-American bloc, the formation of a common anti-Soviet bloc proved impossible. “And when Nazi Germany declared war on the Soviet Union, the Anglo-French-American bloc not only did not join Hitler Germany, but, on the contrary, was forced to enter into a coalition with the USSR against Hitler's Germany" (2).
Although England, even after the start of the war against the Soviet Union by Hitler's Germany, needed American help, it was no longer so urgent. Hidden hatred for the powerful imperialist rival, who had plundered the English bourgeoisie with great success during the war, began to revive in England with renewed vigor. Before the adoption of the Lend-Lease Act, England paid for American aid mainly with its foreign investments. Of the £3.8 billion Art., constituting the value of British foreign investment, almost half was lost. These investments, as well as part of the British gold and currency, passed into the hands of 60 families of the American financial oligarchy. The rich Americans were given clean money for their "help" to England.
Meanwhile, the Japanese imperialists were feverishly looking for ways to make the best use of the new situation. Many of them planned an immediate attack on the Soviet Union. As Konoe states in his memoirs, on June 23 Foreign Minister Matsuoka already demanded an attack on the USSR. However, the power of the Soviet Far Eastern Army was a very serious factor that could not be ignored. After the capitulation of Japan, the decisions of the "imperial meeting" that ended on July 2, 1941. According to these decisions, Japan had to refrain from an immediate attack on the Soviet Union, waiting for the moment when "the course of the Soviet-German war would take a favorable turn for Japan." The "fall of Moscow", which was expected "in the coming months", should have been a sign of the onset of such an auspicious moment. In order to be ready for the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Japanese General Staff developed, in accordance with the decisions of the "imperial meeting", a plan of aggressive war against the USSR, which bore the cipher name "Kan Toku En" ("Special Maneuvers of the Kwantung Army"). This plan was based on the calculation that during the war with Germany, Soviet troops would be diverted from the Far East and the Kwantung Army would easily capture the Soviet Far East and make a “military walk” to the Urals or further (3) . Konoe admits in his memoirs that "the army concentrated military forces in Manchuria and was ready to start a war against the USSR."
The decision of the Japanese imperialists to postpone the attack on the Soviet Union for some time was also caused by the contradictions between Japan and the United States and Britain, as well as by the imperialist contradictions within the bloc of aggressors, who for the time being were connected only by the commonality of the crimes they committed.
Both the German and Japanese monopolies set themselves the goal of asserting their dominance over the world. Each side thought about how to increase their chances and eventually swallow their ally. These intra-imperialist contradictions were used by the Soviet government, which concluded neutrality pacts with Germany in the summer of 1939, at a time when Japan had already taken up arms against the Soviet Union at Khalkhin Gol, and with Japan in the spring of 1941, when Germany was preparing to launch a treacherous war against the USSR.
Immediately after the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Hitlerite army, the reactionary, fascist elements in the USA and Britain began to make every effort to keep the United States from participating in the war on the side of the democratic countries. A seasoned reactionary, a member of the House of Representatives, Martin Dies, on June 23, expressed his secret dream, declaring that Hitler would conquer the Soviet Union within 30 days (4) . On the same day, Senator Truman, later President, made the following statement: “If we see that Germany is winning, then we should help Russia, and if Russia is winning, then we should help Germany and thus let them kill as much as possible. more" (5) .
On June 29, ex-President Hoover, one of the leaders of the American reactionaries, made a brazen anti-Soviet slanderous speech on the radio.
Pro-German, pro-fascist groups have stepped up their activities in all areas. Senator Nye, together with the German agent Hoffmann, sent out propaganda materials by mail. Another isolationist, Senator Clark, suggested that there be less talk about sending troops across the ocean, and instead use them in the Western Hemisphere and establish American dominance in Canada and Latin America. He demanded that in all American countries the United States should create puppet regimes completely under American control (6) .
The American big bourgeoisie rejoiced at the initial temporary successes of the fascist troops on the Soviet-German front, as well as at the weakening of England. She was looking forward to a big profit at the expense of her recent main rival - England. But it also understood that a new rival had arisen in place of England—a bloc of aggressive countries far more dangerous than British imperialism.
Regardless of the sentiments of the big bourgeoisie, large sections of the American people burned with hatred for the fascist barbarians. As a result of all this, the US government was forced to move towards rapprochement with the states fighting against the bloc of fascist aggressors. However, the contradictions between the US and British monopolies not only were not eliminated, but new ones were added to them. The Americans, of course, demanded leadership in the American-British bloc, placing the British imperialists in a subordinate position.
An important step towards the creation of an American-British bloc was the meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill on the Atlantic Ocean, in the Argentia Bay of Newfoundland, in early August. During this meeting, Churchill raised the question of US entry into the war. The British imperialists also tried to persuade the Americans to send almost all Lend-Lease supplies to England. Any assistance to the Soviets would only lead to a prolongation of the war, and in the final analysis and, moreover, undoubtedly - to defeat (7), they assured. Churchill, like other imperialists, most of all wanted both countries - the Soviet Union and Germany - to weaken and exhaust each other as much as possible. He hoped that a situation would then arise in which British imperialism would be able to dictate its will to both countries.
In October 1941, at a meeting in Argentia Bay, the Americans put forward their counterclaims. Without promising to enter the war, the Americans already at this conference raised the question of the abolition of British imperial trade agreements, which provided advantages to British capital. Roosevelt demanded the opening of "markets for healthy competition" (8) . Churchill persisted, saying that they demanded the liquidation of the British Empire from him, but in the end, according to Elliot Roosevelt, he made concessions in principle at this meeting. This was also reflected in a number of clauses of the Atlantic Charter. Here, in Argentia Bay, the chiefs of staff of England and the United States agreed on a number of practical issues related to Lend-Lease, etc.
(1) I. V. Stalin, Speeches at pre-election meetings of voters of the Stalin electoral district of Moscow on December 11, 1937 and February 9, 1946, p. 12.
(2) I. V. Stalin, Economic problems of socialism in the USSR , p. 35.
(3) The decision of the "imperial meeting" on the Japanese position in connection with the German-Soviet war read: "... we will not interfere in it for some time, but we will take measures on our own initiative, secretly arming for war with The Soviet Union... If the German-Soviet war develops in favor of Japan, we will use weapons to resolve the northern problem...” (New Time, No. 18, 1947, p. 10).
(4) New York Times, June 30, 1941.
(5) Falsifiers of History (Historical Note), pp. 67-68.
(6) New York Times, July 30, 1941.
(7) See E. Roosevelt, Through His Eyes, M. 1947, p. 46.
(8) Ibid., p. 51.