Oh golly gosh.... What if Russia had chosen to help the AXIS directly with troops and aircraft?....They could have switched sides at any time in a very Orwellian manner.. Ok, lets just consider this statement a moment. Could have switched sides???? I just dont get your reasoning on this. The Germans marched into the Ukraine as conquerors and the soldiers were hailed as heros by the majority of the population. 6 months later they were hated. Why? Because the Germans aim was to enslave them. The Germans had the chance to recruit an entire army in the Ukraine and in Belarus to fight the soviets but because of their racial policies they managed to undo all the goodwill. Dont believe me - google Gauleiter Erich Koch. Now there's a chap who was involved in his fair share of brutality. The very essence of Nazism precluded the two countries fighting side by side. Stalin only went into the alliance to give himself time. Even whilst the pact was active the Germans sent aid to Russia's enemy Finland. Even if the Russians wanted to switch sides the germans wouldnt have let them. To the Germans the Ostfront was the real deal, Russia was the enemy since Mein Kampf!!! The west happened because Hitler misjudged the intentions of Britain and France over Poland. He didnt declare war on Britain or France - They declared war on Germany.