четверг, 25 сентября 2008 г.
THE CAUCASUS APPETITES OF THE "TRUE ALLY"
During Word War II, London planned occupation of Transcaucasia and led separate negotiations with the Nazi
The joint activities of Germany, Turkey, and Great Britain in Transcaucasia in 1920s are described in detail in modern Russian school textbooks. It is less known that even in the period of the wartime alliance with the USSR, Anglo-Americans conducted separate negotiations with Germany over a possible division of the Black Sea-Caucasus-Caspian region in case of military defeat and political collapse of the USSR.
In July 1941, believing that the Red Army was soon going to be defeated, the British Government established a special bureau in the Middle East for coordination of intelligence operations against the USSR. This efforts involved coordination if Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi Armenians, Azerbaijanians, Turks and Kurds for subversive operations in Northern Iran (where the Russian military were staying since September 1941), in North Caucasus, Transcaucasia and Central Asia, in Eastern Ukraine (Donbass) and Crimea. The British were focused on training guerilla groups in the Middle East and British India for destabilization of Russian railroads and evacuated industrial facilities. At the same time, the British intelligence resumed cooperation with Dashnaktsutyun, the largest Armenian nationalistic organization. This work was entrusted to British intelligence officer R. Monks who arrived in the USSR illegally on July 13, 1941 – but the Soviet counterintelligence managed to promptly curb his activities. It is noteworthy that the Oct.1945 special report "On Wartime Subversive Operations of British Special Services against the USSR", prepared for Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov and Andrei Zhdanov, indicated that "British intelligence bodies, using broader possibilities in the framework of military alliance with the USSR, stepped up espionage on the Soviet territory. During the war, various regions of the USSR were visited by 200 officers of British intelligence, 110 of them being deployed to Moscow, 30 to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, 30 to the Caucasus, Transcausasia and Central Asia, and 20 among various delegations".
In 1941, Franz von Papen, ex-German Chancellor and Ambassador in Turkey, initiated separate negotiations with Germany and the United States, discussing the perspectives of USSR's disintegration in the context of probable surrender of the USSR.
In early May, 1942, a Soviet source reported about Turkey's efforts to serve as a mediator in the separate peace diplomacy between Britain and Germany. According to the report, the British Ambassador in Ankara "had a talk with the general secretary of the Turkish Foreign Minister. The latter provocatively claimed that the USSR was allegedly going to strike peace with Germany, "leaving Britain to its fate". He urged London to forestall the Russians and to strike peace with Germany earlier, leaving the Soviets to solve their problems alone".
On May 8, 1942, the same Turkish official, meeting with the British Navy attaché, claimed that Germany was going to cease the offensive at the eastern front, as Berlin and Moscow "are about to strike a deal that will be catastrophic for Britain and Turkey".
In summer-autumn 1942, when the German troops were close to Transcaucasia, and Hitler already appointed General Arno Schickedanz to the post of Commandant of Tbilisi, Winston Churchill proposed military assistance to Moscow. He asked for permission for the British-Canadian troops to enter Armenia and Azerbaijan, or replace the Soviet contingent in Iran and along the border of Turkey. However, Joseph Stalin rejected this "gift".
In his turn, Churchill acknowledged that the second front that the allies had promised to open in autumn 1942, could be opened only by summer 1943. Thus, the proposal to "assist" Moscow by getting access to the Caspian and the Black Sea ports, implied geopolitical blackmail. It is noteworthy that USSR's request to London to convince Ankara not to join the Nazi coalition had been earlier rejected: Churchill claimed that he did not have "the required forces and arguments" to succeed in these talks. Meanwhile, British diplomats hinted to the Soviet side that London actually could convince Turkey, but only under the condition that Moscow agree to concede Batumi, and desirably, the whole territory of Adjaria, to Ankara.
At the same time, Britain and its dominions rapidly boosted their military presence in the north-west of India (in today's Pakistan) and in the north of Iraq. Some Western, particularly Turkish historians later admitted that the Western allies were concentrating their forces to invade Soviet Central Asia via Afghanistan.
In February 1943, Nazi emissary count Hohenlohe met with Allen Dulles in Switzerland. These secret talks, as well as the negotiations of US and British diplomats with Germany's representatives in Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Ireland, involved plans of joint mobilization of anti-Soviet émigré groups, headquartered in Germany, the United States and Britain and operating in the Caucasus, the Baltic area and the Volga region.
The talks on division of Transcaucasia lasted until 1944. "According to reliable sources, Germany's Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop had a secret meeting with some top London officials in order to discuss conditions of separate peace with Germany", reported Pravda's special correspondent in Cairo on January 17, 1944.
Thus, Britain's proposals of military assistance to the USSR during World War II did not contradict to deals with the Nazi on the division of the Soviet territory. The Western democracies have been thus using any opportunity of Moscow's weakness to pursue policies of disintegration and humiliation of Russia. The current policy of London during the crisis in Transcaucasia indicates that these goals have not changed during the past sixty years.