Molotov and Ribbentrop seal the pact.

The Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, commonly referred to as the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, after Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was formally a non-aggression pact. But according to the secret additional protocol, annexed to the agreement official document, it concerned the partition of territories and regulation independence of sovereign states: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Romania. Also referred to as the fourth partition of Poland. Established cooperation of the treaty sides in planned future war. Signed between Nazi Germany and Soviet Union in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939.

The pact's publicly stated intentions were a guarantee of non-belligerence by each party towards the other and a commitment that neither party would ally itself to or aid an enemy of the other party. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol that divided territories of Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland into German and Soviet "spheres of influence", anticipating potential "territorial and political rearrangements" of these countries. Thereafter, Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. After the Soviet–Japanese ceasefire agreement took effect on 16 September, Stalin ordered his own invasion of Poland on 17 September. Part of southeastern (Karelia) and Salla region in Finland were annexed by the Soviet Union after the Winter War. This was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and parts of Romania (Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina, and the Hertza region). It was only in 1989 that the Soviet authorities admitted the existence of the secret protocol of the Nazi–Soviet Pact. A concern about ethnic Ukrainians and Belarusians had been proffered as the reason for the Soviet invasion of Poland, rather than Soviet expansionism.

The pact remained in force until the German government broke it by invading the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941.

Literary comment[]

The above occurred in all Harry Turtledove timelines with a POD after 1941, and is referenced in most of his World War II-related writings with a POD after that time. The treaty was also signed in "The Phantom Tolbukhin," with the only difference being that it was violated in May 1941 rather than June.

Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the USSR In Joe Steele[]

In 1939, Adolf Hitler was screaming about the Polish Corridor. Britain and France, having been deceived over the Sudetenland the previous year, did not accept his claims and threatened to go to war if Germany attempted to seize it. In addition, they sent delegations to the Soviet Union to try to convince Leon Trotsky to support them.

Trotsky listened to what they had to say and then to Germany. In the last week of August, Maxim Litvinov flew to Berlin and signed a non-aggression treaty and trade package with Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Litvinov-Ribbentrop Pact. A week later, Germany invaded Poland. Britain and France declared war but aside from a few minor skirmishes on the western frontier, did not invade. With Poland nearly defeated, Trotsky then attacked from the east, nominally to restore order but in reality to split the country with Germany. The two armies meet at the new, pre-arranged frontier with Nazi and Red officers shaking hands.[1]


  1. Joe Steele, pg. 209-215, HC.