At the end of the European war in 1945 it now appears that Stalin was going to play the 'might is right' card -
and 'liberate' from capitalist rule the rest of Europe, and given that he had 477 divisions and 35,000 combat aircraft in that theatre he probably would have been successful.
The US estimated that Stalin would be able to conquer Europe in 45 days; the Soviets thought it would take upto 2 weeks.
A colonel of the NKVD,on Victory Day addressed his men thus:
'For some people,perhaps,the war was over,but for us Chekists this was not so in any sense.
The real war,to bring about the final destruction of the capitalist world, was only just beginning.'
A session of the Politburo was devoted to the question of whether the USSR should conquer all Europe.
Marshal Budenny said the the Red Army had made a bad mistake in halting at the Elbe,
that they ought to press on and that this was not very complicated from the military standpoint.
According to an officer of the First Byelorussian Army Group, D. Samoilov:
'Conquering the rest of Europe and going to war with our allies
did not seem at all unrealistic either to me or to my comrades-in-arms.
Our victories,our feeling of invincibility,our offensive spirit which had not yet been weakened,
all encouraged us to suppose that conquest of Europe was possible.'
The development of the atomic bomb negated those 'might is right' plans
and a large part of the Red Army was redeployed to the Far East to prepare for war against Japan.
Beria - Stalins 'Himmler' thought that Churchill was the greatest British statesman since Disraeli:
'He is a man dominated by feeling and capable of making mistakes when he acts under the influence of his
emotions. He has a stubbornness that is dangerous for a statesman, but his political flair is incredible.'