Stalin an urgent warning that the invasion was at hand. There was no reply. The Russians seemed ready to accept any provocation to appease the Germans. In March, the Germans ended the work of a Russian economic commission in Germany. No protest from Moscow. Indeed, a month later, Soviet officials agreed to increase grain deliveries to Germany to a total of five million tons yearly.
The Kremlin paid little attention to the stream of reports from British and other sources that German Poland was being converted into a base for invasion. New highways, railroad sidings and airfields were under construction. Week by week, German troop concentrations grew. Russian intelligence may have been hoodwinked (although other services were not) by German deceptions. Gen. Alfred Jodl ordered that the number of troops in Poland be ''distorted'' and their movements explained as part of a retraining program. The bolstering of the antiaircraft defenses was to be explained as the result of the acquisition of captured French guns. Improvements in rail, road and air communications were said to be necessary ''for economic reasons in the recently conquered territories.'' By the end of May, the British Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Intelligence Committee advised Churchill that the invasion was imminent. An American reporter returning to London through Lisbon, then a center of espionage and counterespionage, was told flatly that the attack would come on the weekend of June 21-22. Yet Russian accommodation of the Nazis continued. On May 9, the Russians threw out the diplomatic representatives of the governments in exile of Belgium, Norway and Yugoslavia. Three days later, Russia recognized the pro-German government of Rashid Ali that had launched an insurrection against the British in Iraq. On June 3, the Greek legation was closed. ADVERTISEMENT Continue reading the main story There is no record that the German Government had even sought these steps by the Russians. They were part of Stalin's general appeasement policy, as was a curious Tass statement. On June 13, nine days before the invasion, the Soviet news agency denied that Germany had made any territorial demands of Russia and it stated emphatically that Germany was not concentrating troops on the Soviet frontier. Red Army intelligence told the armed forces that reports that war was imminent must be regarded as ''forgeries'' spread by the British. There is some similarity, but not much, between Franklin Roosevelt's attitude toward the possibility of a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Stalin's before the German invasion. Roosevelt and his advisers were reasonably sure that the Japanese were about to launch a major military operation. However, almost to the end, they believed it would be directed at the British and Dutch possessions in Southern Asia and, possibly, the Philippines. Those military precautions that were taken at Pearl Harbor were intended to meet a Japanese invasion of Hawaii - not a strike at the battleship fleet. The Americans had a general warning of Japanese belligerence, but they did not have the military assets to do much about it.
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