It’s
always a pleasure to have an excuse to take any Alan Clarkbook off the shelf – particularly one as richly idiosyncratic as his history of
the war on the eastern front, Barbarossa. It seems to be the natural place to
turn to for parallels to the left/right leadership peace ticketannounced by the South Australian Liberals after their shocking showing last
weekend.

That
unlikely treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, was signed on August 23, 1939. The
Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation
Barbarossa, was launched when more than two million men attacked less than two
years later, on June 22 1941. As Clark records:
“The date most conveniently ascribed to the start of German planning for war
with Soviet Russia is 29th July, 1940.” And he suggests that the idea first
began to take shape as early as the winter of 1940.

There
aren’t as many personnel in South Australia to
stack the branches with, but the rest of the timeframe seems sound enough,
given that the history of mutual mistrust in the local Liberals dates back
much longer than the enmity between Hitler’s Germany
and Stalin’s Russia.
Of course, rather than repeating history, the South Australian Libs could learn
from it. Could…

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW