Britain, France, and the United States just sat on their hands, giving Hitler the idea that he could get away with anything.
It also let the USSR get its hands on the Spanish Republic's entire gold reserves.
Involvement in the Spanish Civil War also didn't slow The Great Terror one bit.
To crown his purge of Soviet society, Stalin turned against the military in 1938.
The purges of the upper ranks were especially bloody, claiming perhaps 80% of the top Soviet generals and admirals.
Only a few real men of genius survived.
Stalin may have felt secure for having purged so many potential enemies.
He had definitely crippled the Soviet Union for the Second World War, which was coming faster than he guessed.
Segment 23d: The Great Patriotic War
Thanks to the first and second five-year plans, Soviet industrial production had literally exploded.
For the first time, the Soviet Union was one of the world's superpowers. The human costs were terrible.
Millions of people starved to death, others worked to death, others murdered, as Stalin assumed complete control of the USSR.