Franco-British Plans of Attacking the USSR. November 1939 – ​May 1940

When the Anglo-­French allies declared war on Germany, they avoided engaging in active combat and sought to contain the Third Reich through economic blockade. For this reason, they began making plans to stop the deliveries of strategic raw materials and foodstuffs to Germany.

To this end, Paris and London began in late 1939 to discuss the possibility of intervening in Scandinavian countries (the Germans were getting iron ore from Sweden) and attacking the oil-producing districts of the Soviet Caucasus. the French and British governments began to prepare for a strike against the southern borders of the USSR from Syrian territory with the help of Iran and Turkey.

After the signature of the Peace Treaty between Finland and the USSR in March 1940, France and Britain stepped up preparations for attacking Caucasian oil fields, as they were no longer able to undertake anything against the Soviet Union in the north of Europe. In April 1940, they elaborated two detailed plans of invading the USSR from the south – the British ‘MA‑6’ and the French ‘RIP’ – ​both of which called for bombing Caucasian oil production facilities. the British believed that the implementation of their plan would lead to the collapse of the Soviet war machine.

Thanks to information received through diplomatic and intelligence channels, the Soviet leadership was aware of the plans of the Franco-­British allies. In response, it began to build up troops in the North Caucasian and Transcaucasian Military Districts.

9 April 1940
Russian State Archives of Film and Photo Documents
Ser. 1, album 545, № 57.