If you remember way back to this site’s younger days, you might recall the discussion of the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Signed in August of 1939, it allowed for the disappearance of Poland, half of which went to Germany, and the remainder going to Russia.
But included in the pact was permission for the Russians to do as they pleased with the Baltic States…Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. Of course, that permission didn’t come from any of the named countries. Funny how that works sometimes.
Well, on June 15, 1940, Russia began cashing in on their end of the deal. It actually began a little before that with accusations by the Russians that the Baltic States were sympathetic to the Allies. They were followed by more accursations, this time that the Baltics were actually collaberating with the Allies. On the 12th, the Russian government simply issued an ultimatum, demanding that the country allow Red Army troops to cross the border. And on the 15th, the Soviets simply moved in and occupied Lithuania.
The following day, Latvia and Estonia would follow suit, falling victim to the bloodless war.
A little more than a month later, all three states would be absorbed into the Soviet Union. And they would remain so for less than a year. Then the Germans would come calling…
Recommended Reading: Hitler and Stalin