This is a report I handed in for my Freshman Term paper. I didn't get a number grade, but it was an "A." I double checked for mechanical erors, but there might still be some left.
World War II is considered on of the most tragic wars in human history, taking the lives of millions of people. Every allied country had somehow contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany and it's allies, and every country had suffered losses. The Soviet Union, being one of these countries, is no exception. Although it was allied with Germany in the beginning, it received the biggest and most grievous losses of the war, as well as significantly contributed to the allied victory.
Even before World War II had started, the USSR already had tense relations with two of its neighbors, Germany and Japan. Japan had taken control of Manchuria in 1931, which caused an uneasy friction at the border between it and the USSR.
What had started out as small conflicts between the Soviet and the Japanese forces, evolved into full border warfare by 1938. While the Soviet Union was going through its struggle with Japan, Hitler's rise to power in 1933, presented in even greater threat. However, it seems that the threat did not immediately become evident to Stalin, as he gave out instructions to cooperate with Hitler. Apparently, Stalin viewed Hitler as "a harmless ally against liberal and democratic socialist parties ," and did not do much to prevent the menace that he posed. It was only after Hitler started expanding his territory through military force that Stalin realized the misjudgment he had made and began working against Hitler. As a result, the Soviet Union had poor relations with both its eastern and its western neighbors.
The Soviet Union's bad relations with...