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Two Treaties

Two Treaties
Alexander Trubitsin 01.06.2007

Someone from great figures said that the history repeated twice: the first time as the tragedy, the second - as a farce. But even great people sometimes make mistakes - it happens that the tragedy repeats as tragedy.

What sobbing and cries were extorted by our homebrew moralists in occasion of Stalin and Hitler's arrangement, of the treaty of Molotov-Ribbentrop! He is both immoral and short-sighted, he didn't prevent from war and untied Hitler's hands - in general, all this nonsense is known well to everybody, we wouldn't repeat such nonsense.

Relations with France up to the end of the 18th centuries were traditionally friendly - geographically Russia and France did not adjoin, there was nothing to divide. The French language reigned in interiors of the Russian nobility, Paris was the fashion-maker. But there was a revolution, emigrants rushed to Russia, relations with France resolutely were spoiled. Then Napoleon came to power, France began to gain rapidly in strength, grasp adjacent territories. Russia closely observed Napoleon, Suvorov spoke "Well! Far walks a boy! It's high time to damp him down!" And - he did it. There was Italian campaign of the Russian Army, there were brilliant victories -French banners captured by Suvorov in Italy keep their memory. Suvorov died, another imperator appeared in Russia and they didn't manage to "damp down a boy".

The gaining in strength France which aspired to establish domination above the Europe waged war on Prussia. The Russian army also battled against Napoleon together with Prussian one, under command of general Benigsen. On June, 14th 1807 at Freedland Napoleon crushed the Russian army and it retreated to Neman together with Prussians.

On the other side of Neman, in the city of Tilsit (nowadays the city of Sovetsk of the Kaliningrad area) there was Napoleon with the French army. The ambassadors from the Russian emperor Alexander I - feudal lord Lobanov-Rostovsky and from the Prussian king Fredrik-Vilgelm III - general Kalkrate. Napoleon received ambassadors but being not for a pound ashamed stressed that he would speak and make peace only with imperator Alexander.

As in those days - moreover in field conditions - there were no premises for confidential negotiations, the raft was constructed for negotiations about the treaty Russia and France, there was a tent on the raft and the raft was placed on the middle of Neman. There the treaty was discussed by two governors of powers - they were alone within an hour. It is quite clear that they discussed interests and division of spheres of influence of their powers - it was so, it is so and it will be so. Napoleon received half of Prussia which he gave to his protege Ieronim (second half was left to Fredrik-Vilgelm III only because of the respect to Alexander I, as Napoleon assured). Warsaw dukedom controlled by Napoleon was created from the Prussian provinces. Russia received as compensation Belostoksky department. Gdansk (Dantsig) was declared as free city. All puppet "monarchs" appointed by Napoleon were approved by Russia and Prussia.   

But the most important item of Tilsit treaty was strictly coded. According to it Russia and France undertook to help each other with any offensive and defensive war where it would be required by circumstances, i.e. from enemies they became allies. Napoleon could solve easily his business matters in the Europe not being afraid of intervention of Russia.

The union had been lasting not for long - in 1812 Napoleon attacked Russia. World War I began, there was Borodino, there was a fire of Moscow and then there was a capture of Paris by the Russian army.

But Russia received a respite to solve its own problems. War with Turkey was completed - Russia received Bessarabia and Serbia - an autonomy in structure of Ottoman empire. War with Sweden was carried out - Russia received Finland, the best base for fleet - Helsingfors (nowadays Helsinki) and "an unsinkable aircraft carrier" allowing to keep Baltic under control - Aland islands.

In many respects situation repeated already in XX century. Relations with Germany were traditionally friendly. There was nothing to divide - moreover, the victory over France in 1871 enabled Russia to tear the shameful Parisian treatise and to restore fleet on Black sea. In 1904 Germany secretly (the official help was forbidden) helped with deliveries of the weapon to Russia in war against Japan. German language was language of technics and reigned at Russian factories. Berlin was the legislator in mechanical engineering and machinery. In the World War I because of the stupidity of Nikolay II Russia and Germany, natural geopolitic allies, became enemies and both sufferred defeat. But active rapprochement began after the war. When fascists came to power, emigrants rushed into Russia, relations with Germany resolutely worsened. Germany was gaining in strength, grasping quickly adjacent territories. Russia closely observed Hitler. There was a war in Spain where our and German pilots battled from different sides. Republican army where there were our volunteers defeated. Germany gaining in strength was aspired to reign over the Europe.

In these conditions the treaty between Russia and Germany was signed. There was no such exotic as a meeting on a raft, but there also was a division of spheres of influence. Russia and Germany from enemies became allies. Hitler could solve easily his business matters in the Europe not being afraid of intervention of Russia.

The union has been lasting not for long - in 1941 Hitler attacked Russia. World War II began, Germans stood at Moscow and then there was a capture of Berlin by the Red Army.

But Russia received a respite to solve its own problems. The arrangement with Romania - Russia again, as well as at Alexander, received Bessarabia. War with Finland was carried out - Russia removed borders from Leningrad. War with Poland took place - Russia received a significant part of territories which entered before the structure of the Russian empire. In peaceful manner, under the decision and under the request of parliaments of Baltic republics they became a part of the USSR. And competency of this decision was not contested by any state in the world. Russia significantly strengthened its positions in Baltic though it failed to return itself neither Helsingfors, nor Aland islands.

But besides territorial purchases (and they were strategically important - that were those kilometers which Germans missed to reach Moscow, on which their communications were stretched) Russia received important political advantages.

The treaty disturbed plans of Chamberlain ("Plan Z" according to which "Germany and England are two pillars of the European world...... It will be possible to find solution comprehensible to everybody but for Russia") to set Hitler on Russia.

The treaty broke plans of Japan to attack Russia. It was meaningful to do it only in the union with Germany and the treaty meant that there would be no attack. Japan began war with America - and stuck in it, to begin war with Russia in 1941 was impossible for it. Alignment in the world changed, Germany had to be at war on two fronts. As a matter of fact, Stalin won the war due to that treaty before its beginning.

So characteristic of Alexander I that "he is thin as a tip of a pin and sharp as a razor in politics" is quite applicable to Stalin.

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