An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.
Clarissa? You to me allow to publish this diagram in my blog? I think it it will be very important for Russian-speaking readers
The strength about the Soviets was in numbers and brutality. Everything else was deplorable from tactics, to weapons, to the treatment they gave to their own soldiers. This explains why they lost so many more people than any other nation.I guess what I am trying to say is numbers do not mean much in modern war. Germany pretty much took over the entire continent and they did not have nearly as many soldiers as the Soviets. Same goes for Britain, the US, and France.
Of course, Natasha, feel free.
"Same goes for Britain, the US, and France"-Same what? The British and the Americans acted shamefully in that war. The French lost from day one. Learn your history, dude. The Soviet Union won the war because the people fought heroically and with no help from anybody. If you are here to argue that the Brits won the war, you will be making yourself look ridiculous.
I'm not saying they didn't fight heroically. But they would not have been able to defeat Germany without the Americans, British, and Canadians attacking the Germans from the East. Germany had to fight on two fronts, and put up great resistance. If they had had only one front to worry about, things may have been much more different.Now, that is all hypothetical. Fact of the matter is the Allies defeated Germany. It's absolutely wrong to say one single country beat Germany because no single country fought against Germany alone.I'm sorry, but last time I checked, the Americans nor the British massacred innocent Poles in cold blood during WWII. Sure, they bomb the shit out of Germany, but given what the Germans were up to with the Jews I won't shed a tear.
Buddy, USSR had already won the war by the time the so-called "Allies" decided to show up. Please, get yourself a history book or something.All major historians in the world have already recognized that the war was won by the Soviet Union. As for massacring innocent civilians, are you being serious here? Who dropped TWO nuclear bombs on the innocent civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I'm now seeing that history isn't being taught in American schools either.
Yes, the Soviets won the war. So did the British, the Americans, the Canadians and everyone else who fought against Nazi Germany.Massacring thousands of Poles for political reasons is not the same as dropping two atomic bombs to avert an invasion that would have cost millions of more lives. How do you explain the Soviets massacring poles? Huh?You're only seeing what you want to see.
Anybody who defends dropping nuclear bombs on civilians (or on anybody) isn't welcome here. What if tomorrow somebody drops the nuclear bomb on you in order to prevent their own invasion of your country?Soviet Union engaged in acts of genocide not only against the Poles but also against my people, the Ukrainians. If you are here to enlighten me about the wrongs committed by the USSR, you are wasting your time. I was born in the USSR, buddy, so I know a lot more about it than you ever will.However, none of this changes the fact that the USSR and the USSR only won WWII. When the so-called allies entered into the war, the result was already obvious. Do I need to list for you the major battles of the war and the years when they were fought for you to see that the Allies entered the war long after all these battles? Or will you go and get that history textbook already?
Dropping the atomic bombs was a lose-lose situation, but it was the logical decision to make. It has been documented that the Japanese would not have surrendered and they would go as far as to commit suicide. Look up the battle of Iwo Jima. They forced their own citizens to commit suicide rather than surrender.You need to understand that we were up against a monstrous genocidal and brutal force here and dropping the atomic bombs put an end to that nightmare. The lives of the innocents are sacred, but in this case we had to choose between killing about 300K innocents or killing millions of innocents later on.Since you like to point out about historians, show me a historian or a reputable source that says that the Soviet union could have won had it been a one on one war. Heck, show me where it says the the Soviets alone won the war without any indirect help from the Allies.
"you need to understand that we were up against a monstrous genocidal and brutal force here and dropping the atomic bombs put an end to that nightmare."-What you need to understand is that today many people around the world are saying these exact words about your culture. Should they start dropping nuclear bombs on you tomorrow?'the Soviet union could have won had it been a one on one war.'-It was and it did."any indirect help from the Allies"-Oh, now you have agreed that the Allies didn't fight and just sat there like scared little rats? What's that "indirect" help, I wonder? Some canned meat, was it? Yeah, that's what won the war.In my country, there isn't a single family, not one, that didn't have people fighting in the war, dying in the war, being wounded in the war. And your country sent some canned meat, right? Yes, that was an important contribution.
"What you need to understand is that today many people around the world are saying these exact words about your culture. Should they start dropping nuclear bombs on you tomorrow?"- You're comparing the US today to Japan in WWII? Come on, you can't be that obtuse. Do you have any idea the kind of atrocities that the Japanese committed during WWII?You tell me to go educate myself, but you seem very ignorant about the Japanese mentality and atrocities in WWII."It was and it did."- Bullshit, you can't substantiate that claim. A picture of Soviet numbers after WWII doesn't anything."Oh, now you have agreed that the Allies didn't fight and just sat there like scared little rats? What's that "indirect" help, I wonder? Some canned meat, was it? Yeah, that's what won the war."- The Allies fought the Eastern front, the Soviets took the Western front. The Allies did not fight along with the Russians, but they did attack Germany from the East. Had the Germans only had one front to worry about, things may have been very different."In my country, there isn't a single family, not one, that didn't have people fighting in the war, dying in the war, being wounded in the war. And your country sent some canned meat, right? Yes, that was an important contribution."- That's because the Soviet army's strength was in numbers. So they had to send in massive numbers of soldiers to die. Where as the Americans and British had better weapons and tactics, so they didn't need to send in so many soldiers but were just as effective.So many Soviet soldiers had to die because Soviet leaders were major assholes and would not even accept their own people who had been taken prisoners.http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v14/Teplyakov.html
I guess what I was trying to say is the Soviets paid such a heavy price in great part due to their leader's brutality against their own people. So did the Soviet population suffer more than any of the Allies? Yes. But it wasn't necessarily because of Germany.
The Eastern front was brutal, with Soviet military deaths far outsripping those of any other nation in the European war, including Germany on both fronts. This front all by itself was the biggest landwar in history. Of course, until 1944 there was no Western front at all, so the Eastern portion of the war was the European ground war for a long stretch of time. Of course, the East was also where a huge number of holocaust victims lived.
You seem to be conflating the British Empire and the USA here. The UK “showed up” in September 1939 (when the USSR was allied to Nazi Germany) and fought against the Axis Powers on three continents throughout the war. For a year (summer 1940 to summer 1941) the British Empire were the only people resisting the Nazis.No, we couldn’t win the war all by ourselves. But we voluntarily fought a war for world civilisation, knowing that it could have ended in the destruction of our country, knowing that it certainly would destroy our empire, and by fighting alone for that year we did our bit.So I’m not sure your dismissal of the British contribution to the Second World War is altogether fair.
Eric Hobsbawm, the greatest British historian of our times, says: "the victory over Hitler's Germany wasessentially won, and could only have been won, by the Red Army."What are we arguing about here, really?The British allowed Hitler to do whatever he wanted as long as he didn't pay attention to them. When they realized they won't be able to sit it out, Churchill started groveling and humiliating himself before Stalin (and when that didn't work tried to manipulate Stalin) in order to get the USSR to enter the war. This demonstrates how well Churchill knew that without the Soviet Union, Britain would be crushed as easily as France had been.
As far as I know there were occupational forces in the netherlands, france and such and forces had been send to syria, crete and wherever else the italians had fucked up, but the mass of german troops were committed (and essentially slowly run into the ground) to a russian offense.And I know that the invasion of Russia started either 1940 or 1941 (history classes were a few years ago) and that the Allied invasion didn't start until 1944, where the soviets had already been fighting for 3 years or so.Though you can't deny that Britain (was essentially forced to) engaged in naval combat and did win the war for air superiority over the north europe.
I should really study it. All my parents and everybody were in this except my father who was 4F due to athsma. Otherwise all the men I know of the right age participated in the invasion of Germany. Interestingly, they came back. And the war seems to have been a big thing but for US it seems really most of the effort went into the Pacific. In SF my mother tells tales of endlessly rolling bandages and going out with troops being shipped off to Japan. They'd come into Oakland on the train from places like Omaha, spend their PX dollars on my mother and grandmother who would cook steaks in butter (from the PX) for the last US meal of these guys, Mom would go out dancing with them, and then they'd get on ships going toward Japan and not come back. This is all based on what I've been told so I should study some facts.
And yet Britain fought without the Soviet Union for nearly two years and somehow wasn’t crushed.And the British did not “allow Hitler to do whatever he wanted as long as he didn’t pay attention to them.” There were British people who thought that this should have been government policy, but even the appeasers (Chamberlain and Halifax) eventually decided to go to war. And this was over Poland, (compounding Hitler’s duplicity over Czechoslovakia). Neither of those was realistically in the British national interest, as Hitler himself was keen to remind them - he had no designs on Britain before the war started.As for Churchill grovelling to Stalin ... really? I hope this doesn’t sound obnoxious, because it’s not intended to, but do you have a source for that?
"And yet Britain fought without the Soviet Union for nearly two years and somehow wasn’t crushed."-And did it win? Because this is what is being discussed. Who WON the war. Not who fought and wasn't crushed.
Well, Britain sure as hell didn't lose. I that must mean it won it.
There is also a role of damsel in distress in need of a savior. Just sayin.' :-)
Britain's strategy to appease Hitler was tried re Chekoslovakia, and did not work. They then said they would declare war on Germany if it invaded Poland. They and France, and also Hitler, courted Stalin as an ally.Stalin chose Hitler (Hitler-Stalin pact, August 1939). The deal made was that Stalin would let Hitler take Poland / W. Europe and the USSR would take the East.So Britain really did stand pretty much alone for 2 years until the US and the USSR came in on their side. US and USSR both came in due to being attacked or invaded. US does seem to be the one who fought the most in the Pacific, and USSR had the most armies in Europe, but Brits really do deserve some cred on this war. And they had a lot of grit in the first part, virtually alone.
Stalin was planning to attack Hitler, but he needed time to prepare for that.
I find this comment thread somewhat fascinating. When I was in middle and high school (in the US) we were taught that while lot of countries made valuable contributions to the war in Europe, it was the Soviets who ended it, in a truly brutal land war, losing an incredibly large number of people by number and by percentage of the population. I don't really read or discuss WWII a lot, so I didn't realize the extent to which this post would be contested.
Thank you, Shedding Khawatir. It's curious how some cultures try to put themselves into the center of everything. I once had a very protracted discussion with a group of Americans as to which country put the first man and the first woman into outer space. They were sure it was the US.
^Totally agree. Like the Russians today claiming they won the war all by themselves. Talk about putting yourself in front of everyone else.
Who's Russian here? I'm definitely not. Or did you mean Eric Hobsbawm?That was one weird comment.
If you go to a school where this is actually taught then you (have to) learn that the USSR ended the war in Europe. (We didn't cover it in my classes because it would have been too embarrassing -- the country was in Cold War fever.) If you, as most Americans do, learn about this via old movies that come on tv, which emphasize D-Day and the Holocaust, you come to think that the US heroically stepped in in Europe to save England and France, and incidentally the Jews. (On Hogan's Heroes, you learned that the "Russians" were also helping.) The British cannot stand this perception the Americans have. I think we have it due to propaganda at the time, to get people onto the bandwagon. Afterwards, as I say, the USSR became the enemy so one didn't want to give them too much cred. Popular perception of it all appears to be more accurate outside US. (Surprise.)
Clarissa:You are basically correct that the USSR won World War II in the European Theater, albeit only once Hitler attacked them. Prior to that the Pact of Steel allied the two nations. Stalin did not care about Hitler's anti-Semitism until Operation Barbarossa threatened Russia. However, by invading France on D-Day plus, the Western allies saved Western Europe from Soviet-style communism. And that was no small deal. Also, the United States defeated the Empire of Japan, and World War II in the Pacific Theater, and that was no small deal, even if it was finally completed via weapons of mass destruction.And Britain was not overrun by Hitler. And that was a big deal for British Jews.By the way, if you think that Winston Churchill sucked up to Stalin you should look at Roosevelt. I have all the Churchill-Roosevelt correspondence and I can assure you that Roosevelt by comparison with Churchill was a Stalin-toady. And a half-wit!Charles Rowley
Right after the war ended, Stalin unleashed an anti-semitic campaign in the USSR. He was planning to deport all Soviet Jews to Siberia. So it's definitely true that he could care less about anti-semitism.You are also absolutely right about Roosevelt kissing Stalin's ass. I'm even ashamed to repeat things Churchill and Roosevelt said about him and to him.
I asked a colleague in history about this. He said that Eisenhower took Stalin's advice concerning where to invade the European continent. He said that Churchill was advocating, instead, making the same mistakes that were made in the Great War (World War I.)
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