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View Poll Results: What was the role of USSR in WW2

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Thread: The role of the USSR in World War II

  1. #1
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    Question The role of the USSR in World War II

    I recently learned the fact that many people do not understand what was the real role of the Soviet Union during World War II. For me, as, I hope, for you it is no secret that the role Soviet Union was not just big, it was a huge. Main allies, the U.S. and Britain, were amazed by abilities of the Soviet army. However, in this regard, I would like to draw a parallel with the present. In particular, the fact that people of the Western world, probably forgot that once Roosevelt and Churchill, and numerous media trumpeted to the world that the only Soviet helped to rid the world from the fascist yoke. I can not believe that now, in the age of technology, many people, even those who have access to the Internet, do not know what actually happend in time of the most terrible war of humanity. Soviet soldiers heroically turned the tide of the war, went on the offensive and hoisted the flag on the roof of the Reichstag. Heroism and sacrifice - things you must know and respect. In addition to my words i would like to quote William Rosenberg, professor of University Of Michigan: "Americans have never understood – and don’t understand now – the role of the Soviet Union in WWII. First of all for Americans the world begins with Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). But by that time Germans have already reached Moscow. And the second notable event in the War (July 6, 1944) Battle of Normandy. And almost no one remembers that by that time the USSR have already freed its own territory and rushed thru East Europe. Americans just don’t understand the importance of that."

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II


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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    Quote Originally Posted by Chunky View Post
    I agree with your opinion. However, for three years , from 1941 to 1944, when the Anglo-American troops with great difficulty advancing through North Africa to Italy , the Soviet Union was the only force opposing the Third Reich ( more than half of all troops were concentrated in the battles with the Russian) . Battle of Stalingrad in full measure showed the scale of the fight on the territory of the Union . In the battle of El Alemán in 1942, when Churchill insisted on the " beginning of the end ", the British suffered losses of fifty thousand . For comparison, in the Battle of Stalingrad fell entire sixth army Paulus.

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    ivica78, you seem to be taking a very simplistic black-or-white approach. I think most well-educated people - and certainly those with a historical interest in the era - are aware of role played by the USSR. They know why that role was downplayed by the West after the War. We all know History also tends to be told with eye centered on the nation doing the telling: the US will emphasize its role, just as the former USSR will emphasize their Great Patriotic War.

    Did the Soviets shed and spill the most blood during the war? Anyone with access to the Internet can answer that. Do they bother to look, or even feel curiosity? Certainly not if they already know the answer from a childhood full of Cold War-era war films, and a national history that glorifies that nation's sacrifice and downplays that of others.

    Could the Soviets have won without the West? Could the West have won without the Soviets? Where the Germans defeated the moment Britain and France declared war? When they invaded the USSR? The moment the US entered the war? Did Germany lack the population base to control what it conquered, making its eventual collapse inevitable? Would Germany have won if it did X, Y, or Z?

    The war was won together by the Allies, East and West, including the Occupied. Leave it at that, or else go take a course on Chaos Theory. Trying to name one nation or block of nations as the "responsible" party is foolish and ignores the interplay of an incredible number of variables and inter-related events that resulted in the actual outcome. JMHO.
    "...we have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo (Walt Kelly)

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    Quote Originally Posted by ivica78 View Post
    I recently learned the fact that many people do not understand what was the real role of the Soviet Union during World War II. For me, as, I hope, for you it is no secret that the role Soviet Union was not just big, it was a huge. Main allies, the U.S. and Britain, were amazed by abilities of the Soviet army.

    However, in this regard, I would like to draw a parallel with the present. In particular, the fact that people of the Western world, probably forgot that once Roosevelt and Churchill, and numerous media trumpeted to the world that the only Soviet helped to rid the world from the fascist yoke. I can not believe that now, in the age of technology, many people, even those who have access to the Internet, do not know what actually happend in time of the most terrible war of humanity. Soviet soldiers heroically turned the tide of the war, went on the offensive and hoisted the flag on the roof of the Reichstag. Heroism and sacrifice - things you must know and respect. In addition to my words i would like to quote William Rosenberg, professor of University Of Michigan: "Americans have never understood – and don’t understand now – the role of the Soviet Union in WWII.

    First of all for Americans the world begins with Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). But by that time Germans have already reached Moscow. And the second notable event in the War (July 6, 1944) Battle of Normandy. And almost no one remembers that by that time the USSR have already freed its own territory and rushed thru East Europe. Americans just don’t understand the importance of that."
    The US quite often neglect thoughts that any nation helped - not just the Soviet Union

    Germans were still in Soviet territory on June 22nd 1944 when Bagration was launched, even after Bagration the whole of the Soviet Union was still not free from Axis forces.

    Western leaders admitted that the Soviets made a huge contribution to final victory, something Stalin did only when it suited and not after 1945 when it was played up as a great Soviet victory despite the West wanting to weaken the USSR (thoughts held by westerners on why the Soviets signed a peace treaty with the Germans and attacked poland as well in 1939 - let the Germans and the West fight it out so they could pick up the pieces)

    Quote Originally Posted by ivica78 View Post
    I agree with your opinion. However, for three years , from 1941 to 1944, when the Anglo-American troops with great difficulty advancing through North Africa to Italy , the Soviet Union was the only force opposing the Third Reich ( more than half of all troops were concentrated in the battles with the Russian) . Battle of Stalingrad in full measure showed the scale of the fight on the territory of the Union . In the battle of El Alemán in 1942, when Churchill insisted on the " beginning of the end ", the British suffered losses of fifty thousand . For comparison, in the Battle of Stalingrad fell entire sixth army Paulus.

    Oh thats news to the British who were fighting the Axis (not just the Germans by the way) from Sept 1939 to May 1945 while the Soviet Union assisted the Germans in carving up Poland in 1939 - were the aggressor in Finland and the Baltic states as well then only joined in fighting the Axis after Germany led the way with Rumania, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia and numerous peoples from other nations (conscripts and volunteers) in attacking Soviet troops in 1941.

    Many also don't know that the peace treaty made between Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 enabled Hitler to launch the actual fighting part of his attempt to conquer Europe (With Poland and the Baltic states placed under various spheres of influence and occupation).

    El Alemein not sure what you saying there - you seem to be comparing British Commonwealth and sponsored forces casualties which was a victory (I assume you mean the 2nd battle as well) with the Axis losses in Stalingrad which was a loss for the Axis?

    You could say that 6th June 1944 overshadows the shattering of Axis forces on the eastern front a couple of days later on June 22nd 1944 when Bagration was launched.

    Many in the former Soviet Union completely neglect any thought for the other allies fighting the Axis - (From Dec 1941 the Western Nations were also fighting Japan and on very extended sea lanes while the Soviet Union was fighting just the European Axis forces on contracting internal land lines).

    Lend lease is also deemed to have been of no importance at all in the speed of the Soviet recovery and advance.

    Its not just people in the west (and many internet sources are wrong or have agendas) that do not understand or appreciate other nations and their contributions.
    Last edited by leccy; 12-20-2013 at 06:04 AM.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    Interesting post this, There was a possibility at one time that the Russians and the Germans were going to be allies,

    Always wondered, did the Russians fight the Germans as our Allies, or did they just fight the Germans, just thinking, weren't the Polish on our side in WW2, as this would mean if the Russians were our Allies, the Polish also fought against Germany with us, the how the hell did this happen


    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...58187178,d.ZG4

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    The US quite often neglect thoughts that any nation helped - not just the Soviet Union

    Germans were still in Soviet territory on June 22nd 1944 when Bagration was launched, even after Bagration the whole of the Soviet Union was still not free from Axis forces.

    Western leaders admitted that the Soviets made a huge contribution to final victory, something Stalin did only when it suited and not after 1945 when it was played up as a great Soviet victory despite the West wanting to weaken the USSR (thoughts held by westerners on why the Soviets signed a peace treaty with the Germans and attacked poland as well in 1939 - let the Germans and the West fight it out so they could pick up the pieces)




    Oh thats news to the British who were fighting the Axis (not just the Germans by the way) from Sept 1939 to May 1945 while the Soviet Union assisted the Germans in carving up Poland in 1939 - were the aggressor in Finland and the Baltic states as well then only joined in fighting the Axis after Germany led the way with Rumania, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia and numerous peoples from other nations (conscripts and volunteers) in attacking Soviet troops in 1941.

    Many also don't know that the peace treaty made between Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 enabled Hitler to launch the actual fighting part of his attempt to conquer Europe (With Poland and the Baltic states placed under various spheres of influence and occupation).

    El Alemein not sure what you saying there - you seem to be comparing British Commonwealth and sponsored forces casualties which was a victory (I assume you mean the 2nd battle as well) with the Axis losses in Stalingrad which was a loss for the Axis?

    You could say that 6th June 1944 overshadows the shattering of Axis forces on the eastern front a couple of days later on June 22nd 1944 when Bagration was launched.

    Many in the former Soviet Union completely neglect any thought for the other allies fighting the Axis - (From Dec 1941 the Western Nations were also fighting Japan and on very extended sea lanes while the Soviet Union was fighting just the European Axis forces on contracting internal land lines).

    Lend lease is also deemed to have been of no importance at all in the speed of the Soviet recovery and advance.

    Its not just people in the west (and many internet sources are wrong or have agendas) that do not understand or appreciate other nations and their contributions.
    Very nice and accurate summation of the various conflicting aspects of the Soviet contribution to its pro-Nazi forerunner of and later anti-Nazi engagement in WWII, as well as Britain and its Commonwealth forces standing alone against Germany for the first couple of years of the war while the Soviets and Americans who later were critical to Hitler's defeat stood, at best, on the sidelines.
    ..
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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    I'm not to much sure that, like Britain, Russia without help from USA would had the same influence on WW II.
    For example, without the (about) 4800 P-39 Aircobra or without the 50000 Jeep Willys the army of Soviet Union will had less weapon systems, with heavy influences in the battles.
    Pauci sed semper immites!

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    I don't believe the Russian's would have beaten the German army, without the help of the Merchant Navy, and the cost in doing so was high.




    http://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii-convoy-pq-17.htm
    Last edited by Chunky; 01-02-2014 at 04:16 PM.

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    [QUOTE=Chunky;190976]Interesting post this, There was a possibility at one time that the Russians and the Germans were going to be allies,

    Always wondered, did the Russians fight the Germans as our Allies, or did they just fight the Germans, just thinking, weren't the Polish on our side in WW2, as this would mean if the Russians were our Allies, the Polish also fought against Germany with us, the how the hell did this happen

    Through research, I found my own answer to "how the hell did this happen:

    In spite of all the denials by Moscow there is no doubt whatsoever today about the origins of the massacre, which was ordered by Stalin in 1940 in order to deprive Poland of its military and civilian elite. At the time, the discovery of Katyn only confirmed the suspicions of the Polish government in exile in London, which had been unable to obtain from the Kremlin the slightest information about the 15.000 Officers who had been taken prisoner and had vanished in the USSR since 1939

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Chunky; 01-04-2014 at 07:04 AM.

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    The politics of Stalins Soviet Union and Hitlers Nazi Germany were very changeable - in fact many countries changed alliegencies during WW2

    Not comprehensive or in any particular order

    Britain and France were going to help Finland in 1939 against the Soviet Union

    Soviet Union and Germany pact to carve up Poland and set spheres of influence (baltic States to be part of Soviet Union)

    Germany along with Romania, Hungary, Slovak and volunteers or conscripts from other nations attack Soviet Union

    Parts of Romania ceeded to Bulgaria, Hungary and the Soviet Union (deals brokered by Germany and Italy with Soviet Union)

    Czechoslovakia part annexed, Slovak state set up allied to the Axis, rest of Czech Rebublic annexed (Poland also took part in this action)

    Finland fought Soviets and later Germans (under pressure from Soviets)

    Romania, Bulgaria, Italy all changed sides not just surrendered

    Large numbers of former POW's along with volunteers from occupied nations (and some from outside the Axis, not forgetting those deemed to be german in occupied areas who suddenly found themselves eligible for conscription) fought for the Axis (some later changing sides to try and atone for 'sins').

    Former Yugoslavia local forces - all sides fought all sides, often changing aliegence for short periods as they had more axes to grind amongst themselves than the Axis.

    British Commonwealth, Free French and US forces fought Vichy French Forces on several occasions.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    British Commonwealth, Free French and US forces fought Vichy French Forces on several occasions.
    True, and they were some of the most bitter engagements in the war because of the complex distinction between obedience to orders and sympathy for the Allies as far as some of the Vichy French were concerned, and especially in the two main naval engagements which engendered a lot of bitterness in some French quarters against the British.

    However, the Vichy government wasn't the French government which went into the war, and was faced with a different set of problems and necessities in defeat. Which was a problem for other European, and Asian, governments as the tide of war changed local circumstances.

    The only nations which were constant for the whole war on the Allied side were Britain and most of its Commonwealth (primarily dominion) forces, while the Germans and Japanese were the only ones constant on the Axis side.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    The only nations which were constant for the whole war on the Allied side were Britain and most of its Commonwealth (primarily dominion) forces, while the Germans and Japanese were the only ones constant on the Axis side.
    The temptation to quibble! How are you defining nations? Defining the war? Defining sides? Well, one could say Poland was on the side of the Allies for the whole war (resistance forces, home army, expatriated armies - or like Stalin suggested, did Poland cease to exist?). Or you could say they helped the Germans carve up Czechoslovakia (but that was technically before the war)...does that make them temporarily Axis? The USA was clearly on the side of the Allies even before it "entered" the war...remember the Rueben James? You could say China was with the Allies for the whole war -- except initially the Germans were helping them with their war against Japan. And then there was the Soviet-backed Chinese Communists fighting the Chinese KMT backed by the Western Allies...maybe they both could be counted as Allies? The warlords kind of muddy the pot, but what really counts as a government? What about Greece -- originally with what some call a fascist government, attacked by the Italians and Germans...and defended by the UK. Manchukuo was a Japanese Ally the whole period of its existence (1931-45). Or are countries like Greece, Holland, Norway, Belgium and the rest considered to have started out as neutral, and therefore not as Allies for the whole war. But then, some Belgian units fired on British and French forces in the opening hours of the German invasion. How do you treat that? For that matter, didn't forces in the Belgian Congo continue fighting Germans even after Belgium's fall? Where does Thailand fit? Ethiopia? Or what about....

    Sorry. Partly I'm having fun (or being a pain), partly I'm reacting to absolute language, and partly pointing out the whole situation was a mess that defies simple statements, and that you could argue almost anything.
    Last edited by Ardee; 01-07-2014 at 09:16 PM. Reason: typo
    "...we have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo (Walt Kelly)

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    Lol Ardee thats why my post was not comprehensive, trying to sort out the tangle of which nation actually did what is difficult.

    Generally it seems they are labelled as Axis or Allies purely on the amount of time they spent supporting the major partner. Discretions prior to and at the start are overlooked as long as the contribution was greater later.

    You also got those that never took an active part but had definite leanings towards one or the other of the major nations.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: The role of the USSR in World War II

    You know I keep hearing the people in the US dont understand how much the USSR did and how they fought such large battles on the Eastern front. There are some things to remember many of which have already been mentioned like the USSR attacking Poland when Hitler did and attacking Finland. And as was stated France and Britian were making plans to help Finland. It seems the USSR only became on the side of the Allies after Hitler tore into them and they even made some Polish troops fight for them but look at what they did to Poland after the war. Sure I know how much the USSR did but so did other countries. Many forget England was fighting the Germans since 1939 and for a while they were fighting Germany on their own. Hitler thought they would settle for a peace with him after France fell but they did not as Churchill knew how evil Hitler was. And I here so many talk about the huge casualties the USSR suffered which is true but they sure dont regard life like the US and Britian do. Many times I hear the Soviet troops were ordered to go right thru minefields as they knew they had alot of troops and did not seem to regaurd their lifes as much as other nations. Heck the US public was sick to have almost 6000 of their boys die at Iwo Jima and the US knew they had to keep casualties as low as possible and thats how they fought many battles trying to keep Amercan boys alive. It just seems to me the Soviet generals did not care how many died as look at Zukov at Berlin. He threw many troops right at the Germans trying to be sure he got to Berlin before the other Soviet general. It seems the Soviets could have fought trying to take less casualties but it looks like they did not care ?? And last so many say of the 6 million Red army troops on the eastern front and how many of their battles had a million men or more just on the Soviet side which is true. Now the US had just over 3 million army troops in Europe and about 500,000 in the Mediteranen and 1.5 miillion army troops in the Pacific. Now the total US troops oversea's was about 7.6 million as the army had just over 5 million troops oversea's and the Navy and Marines had about 2.6 million which almost all of them were in the Pacific. The Red army did have alot more troops fighting Germany then anyone but you have to remember the US had their troops all over the Pacific and Europe not just all on one front. Of the 3 million in western Europe about 2.3 million were ground troops and about 1.6 million of them were the front line combat troops and the other 700'000 were service troops which some of them also saw some combat. Just over 400'000 were army air force troops and the other 300'000 were replacements , overhead , patients and staff. The British did all they could but they were just running out of man power. I know Kursk was a large battle on the eastern front and I believe both sides had 2.3 million troops comitted ? 900,000 German and 1.4 million Soviet troops. As far as I know the Battle of the Bulge was the largest on the western front and it had over 1 million comitted to the fight before it was over as the US had about 610,000 troops in the battle and Germany commited about 500,000 before it was over. OK I blabbed enough. Really all the allies fought hard and used what they had and as was stated the ALLIES won the war not one or the other but all of them. Ron
    Last edited by 383man; 01-24-2014 at 01:53 AM.

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