23 August 1939
23 August: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact concluded by the Third Reich and USSR
The world was surprised by that pact on non-aggression and truly the division of spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. Instead of a pact with France and Great Britain, the Kremlin concluded an accord with war-hungry Germany keen to make territorial gains. The agreement opened the way for Hitler to the assault on Poland on 1 September 1939, joined by the USSR 16 days later. Soon, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany yet failed to meet their ally’s commitments towards Poland.