So did the Red Army really singlehandedly defeat the Third Reich?

This bugs me. It’s Geoffrey Wheatcroft writing in The National Interest:

The idea that the United States was the savior of Europe in World Wars I and II is popular in some circles on both sides of the Atlantic, but is demonstrably false. Between the formal entry of the United States into the Great War in April 1917 and the last German offensive in March 1918, hundreds of thousands of Entente soldiers were killed, mainly British in the summer and autumn of 1917 after the frightful slaughter of the French army in the spring; and in that period of nearly a year, fewer than two hundred Americans died. In the course of that war, the Frenchmen killed defending their country were twice as numerous as all the Americans who have died in every foreign war taken together from 1776 until today. As a matter of historical fact, the Third Reich was defeated by the Red Army and not by the Western democracies. Even though over one hundred thirty-five thousand American GIs died – a startling figure today – between D day and V-E day, more than half a million Russians were killed.

If Wheatcroft had expressed his point less categorically – if he’d written that the Third Reich was defeated primarily by the Red Army – I wouldn’t have blinked. I’ve read this before; I thought it was the conventional wisdom. But seeing it described as “a matter of historical fact” made me pause. How do we measure the “historical fact” of the Allies’ relative contributions to the victory over Nazism? [1]

According to Wheatcroft, it’s measured by counting the number of casualties each country suffered. The Soviets lost more soldiers than the Americans; therefore the Soviets deserve the larger share of the victory.

Strange, I would’ve thought the measure of military success was the number of enemy soldiers you killed.

It’s true that the Soviet Union sacrificed more to defeat Hitler than any other country. But much of that sacrifice was wasted. Millions of Soviets died through the incompetence and brutality of their own political masters. It was Stalin’s blindness to Hitler’s pre-invasion manoeuvres that allowed the Germans to occupy Russia’s industrial heartland at a stroke. Only then, with reluctance, did Stalin shift his attention from killing his own citizens to killing Germans. His tactics, if they can be dignified with that name, involved throwing masses of underequipped men virtually under the treads of invading panzers. To retreat was a crime against the motherland: in 1941 and ’42, according to the historian Dmitri Volkogonov, 157,593 men were executed for “cowardice”. [2]

(How many Americans were executed for desertion in World War II? One: Eddie Slovik. Were the Americans that much braver than their Soviet allies? Of course not – thousands in fact deserted – but the US Army was more prudent in its valuation of a soldier’s life.)

This doesn’t diminish the Soviets’ contribution to the war effort, which was vast and decisive. In fact it’s even more marvelous what they accomplished, given the handicaps imposed by their leaders. Without the Soviet contribution, the western democracies probably couldn’t have defeated Hitler’s armies on their own. But could the Soviets, fighting on their own, have defeated Hitler – say, if the democracies had capitulated after the fall of France?

***

Perhaps a better way to compare the effectiveness of the western and eastern armies is not to compare Allied deaths but to compare German deaths. Estimates vary widely, but since I’m looking for a ratio rather than a total, one source will do as well as another. For military deaths only:

Killed by Soviet Union Killed by other Allies [3]
2,742,909 534,683

This limited comparison (which excludes casualties among Italian and other Axis forces, as well as Germans killed in the Balkans, Scandinavia, and Germany itself [4]) suggests that the Red Army was roughly 5.5 times as lethal as the other Allied forces combined. This is a somewhat more convincing argument for Wheatcroft’s claim that “the Third Reich was defeated by the Red Army and not by the Western democracies”.

However. At the end of the war, the Allied democracies held over twice as many German prisoners of war as the Soviets – 7.7 millions versus 3.1 million, according to this chart.  This makes sense, because the war in the east was far more brutal. Soviet soldiers were likelier to execute prisoners, and German soldiers were likelier to fight to the bitter end, knowing their chance of surviving Soviet captivity was slim. At the close of the war, as defeat became inevitable, German strategy was based partly on the recognition that their countrymen would be better off surrendering to the Americans or Brits.

Still, conceding that a POW has been removed from combat just as effectively as a KIA, let’s reevaluate those figures:

Killed or captured by Soviet Union Killed or captured by other Allies
5,870,289 8,201,683

By this calculation, the Allied democracies were almost one and a half times as effective at neutralizing German soldiers as their Red Army counterparts.

But those POW figures are distorted by the fact that at the end of the war, most German military units surrendered to whichever occupying power they happened to find themselves facing. Maybe a still better way to compare Soviet and Anglo-American military effectiveness would be to add up casualties and POWs taken in action.

This page offers some insight. I’ve combined the data from Tables 5 and 6:

Killed in action Missing KIA + missing
Eastern front: 1,105,987 1,018,365 2,124,352
West + southwest: 157,523 603,695 761,488

(These data omit the final months of the war, and also exclude Navy and Air Force deaths.) Note that on Germany’s eastern front the number of confirmed deaths slightly exceeds the number of missing, while in the west and southwest (i.e. western Europe, Italy, and Africa) the number of missing is almost four times the number of confirmed deaths. I interpret this to mean that the bulk of the missing in the west and southwest were taken prisoner. [5]

If that’s true, then about 26% of German ground troops were removed from action, one way or another, by the democratic Allies. Throw in naval and air casualties, most of which were sustained in western Europe and the Mediterranean, and you’ve got the western democracies responsible for perhaps 30% of German manpower losses through the end of January, 1945 – which doesn’t include the final push into Germany.

***

Of course, this is only one way to compare the wartime contributions of the Soviet Union and western Europe, and I recognize that it’s incomplete. Another way of looking at it would be to say, “Regardless of how many German soldiers the Soviets killed or captured, they tied up the bulk of the Third Reich’s military capacity.” It’s no great achievement to take a German bullet, but that’s one less bullet the Germans have to fire elsewhere. The Red Army held off the Germans at the critical point in the war, allowing the Americans and Brits to get organized and open up a second front.

To admit that the Nazis were defeated by the efforts of all the Allies doesn’t take anything away from the sacrifices of the Soviet Union in its Great Patriotic War. Millions of Russians died so that millions of Americans didn’t have to. But the suggestion that the United States was somehow an idle bystander in the conflict is nonsensical and offensive. [6]

Am I being too hard on Geoffrey Wheatcroft? He’s only trying to debunk the myth that American GIs dealt Nazism its greatest blow on the cliffs of Omaha Beach. The specific comment that he’s responding to comes from Pascal Bruckner in his book The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism. Bruckner writes (as quoted by Wheatcroft) that

without American help in 1917, and especially in 1944, [Europe] would have been purely and simply wiped off the map […]

Obviously Bruckner is being hyperbolical here – even a Nazi-dominated Europe would still have been Europe, “purely and simply” in the geographical sense. But Bruckner doesn’t attribute the entire victory to the Americans, he only says their help staved off certain defeat. I think this is a less disputable position than the one Wheatcroft is advancing as “a matter of historical fact”.

What’s more, a peek at the original text (courtesy of Google Books) reveals that Wheatcroft is leaving a crucial clause out of Bruckner’s argument. Here’s the sentence in full (emphasis is mine):

Europe suffers, with respect to its American cousin, from the debtor’s complex. It is clearly understood, at least in Western Europe, that without American help in 1917, and especially in 1944, it would have been purely and simply wiped off the map or permanently colonized by Soviet troops.

Bruckner’s untruncated point is that a western Europe left to shift for itself in the 1940s would have been screwed either way – if not screwed by Hitler, then screwed by Stalin, like Poland and Czechoslovakia and all the other countries “liberated” by the Red Army. The presence of three and a half million American servicemen and women (and billions of dollars of aid) helped assure the survival of European freedom, in its western half at least.

It bugs me that this truth bugs Geoffrey Wheatcroft so much.

M.

1. I’m not going to analyze Wheatcroft’s comments about World War I, because I know less about that conflict, but I suspect he’s on firmer ground there.

2 This and other details of Stalin’s ghastly war leadership can be found in Martin Amis’ Koba The Dread (pp. 195-212). See also Part I, Chapter 6 of Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago.

3. “Killed by other Allies” includes all German deaths in France, the Low Countries, Italy, and Africa, plus those killed in the Battle of the Atlantic. “Killed by Soviets” includes figures from the eastern front only. I’ve excluded deaths in the Balkans and Scandinavia as they don’t fall neatly into either column, and anyway the numbers aren’t big enough to significantly skew the totals.

4. This is a big caveat. According to the same chart, 1,230,045 German soldiers died in the defense of their homeland in 1945. Assuming they died in the same ratio as those killed in the wider war – about 5.5 killed by Soviets for every 1 killed by the other Allies – then the totals look something like this:

Killed by Soviet Union Killed by other Allies
3,772,297 735,340
Killed or captured by Soviet Union Killed or captured by other Allies
6,899,677 8,402,340

5. It’s possible I’m misinterpreting these figures. If you can think of another explanation for the far higher rate of “missing” troops in the western and southwestern theatres, please let me know.

6. I’ve left out of this discussion the armaments, food, and other assistance supplied to the Allies by the United States under the lend-lease program. I can’t find a webpage that discusses in any but the vaguest terms what percentage of Soviet, British, and other Allied war materiel was provided by the USA. This page – the third chapter of a pamphlet called How Shall Lend-Lease Accounts Be Settled? published by the US Army in 1945 – provides an overview of lend-lease, then adds:

This does not mean that our major allies – except for the revived French army which was almost completely equipped under lend-lease – were mainly dependent on American supplies. It has been estimated that lend-lease provided only 10 percent of British war equipment, and certainly a lesser proportion of Soviet materiel.

But in 1945, for domestic political reasons, the US government had reason to downplay how much the Soviet Union’s military capabilities had been augmented by its support. According to this page, the United States provided $11 billion worth of supplies to the Soviet war effort, in the form of locomotives, tanks, aircraft, trucks, and artillery, amounting to “almost 10% of all Russian war materiel.”

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163 Responses to “So did the Red Army really singlehandedly defeat the Third Reich?”


  1. 1 martin copelin November 8, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    The Soviet Union did not single handedly defeat the Wehrmacht.
    Without the American lend lease trucks they would have relied on horses and advanced much slower. Also the air campaign waged by England and the USA was devastating all the major cities in Germany, requiring around one million troops manning anti-aircraft batteries. At a critical time in the eastern front fighting, large numbers of Luftwaffe fighters were withdrawn to Germany to counter the allied bombers, resulting in Soviet air supremacy from 1943 onwards. Anyway, realistically the allied powers England and France should have declared war on the USSR in 1939 for their aggression against Finland then Poland. The course of the war would than have been quite different, although realistically middle sized Germany could not defeat the much larger USSR in the long term. Germany would have eventually surrendered to the western allies to prevent total occupation by the USSR and more than likely the borders would have been around the original Polish German border, most of the Czechlands in German then Allied hands. The Russian forces would have faced heavier casualties and been more worn out than actually happened.

  2. 2 Adam March 20, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Thank you for pointing this out as I was just earlier today arguing the same point with a person who put up a debate to this fact as he has a “bachelor in history” and also that of the western allies in terms of direct combat credit for timeline and direct involvement Canada is 3rd place in this respect next to USA no1 and Great Britain as we are often spewed at with nonsense like our role was non-existent or not relevant.

  3. 3 Chris May 8, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    You idiots. There’s no way the Red Army could penetrate Germany by themselves. Your blog is completely pointless as you ignore critical elements. Maybe in 10 years you’ll gather pieces here and there and you’ll be wiser. I suggest you start with technology…atomic bomb.

  4. 4 Max March 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    The massive allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944 was not necessary for the military defeat of Germany. The German Army had already been destroyed on the eastern front, and the German war industry was being devastated by the combined bombing offensive. Facts and numbers say that it was the Soviet Union that played the decisive role in the destruction of Nazism. One shall remind that there were 607 Nazi divisions destroyed on the Soviet-German front, which was three-quarters of the whole fascist army. It is commonly said that 9 out of 10 German soldiers died on the Eastern front.Who inside Germany was resisting the rise of Hitler and why were they not supported by Britain and France? Why did the Western Allies allow Hitler to take over Austria and Czechoslovakia? Why did Britain and France refuse to enter an anti fascist alliance with the Soviet Union? Why did Britain and France do nothing while Hitler conquered Denmark and Norway even though they had finally already declared war against Germany in 1939. http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28059 http://xside.org/JfzRDna8TGc&fs/Causes-of-World-War-2

  5. 5 Vedrick May 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    @Chris

    You introduce the atomic bomb as your fundamental point of argument. You, good sir, are a huge dumbass. By the time the atomic bomb was ready for use, Nazi Germany had already collapsed. No way the Red Army could penetrate Germany by themselves?! The Soviet Union killed 78% of German forces. (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120413064320AAgV6vN)

    And the thing is, I have heard way higher estimates; 78% is considered the “politically correct” information, although both Nazi and Soviet records claim much higher. But, as with Western Media, both of those are considered “unreliable” by US scholars.

    I do not mean to rage, but the level of blatant stupidity being proposed here (by some of the comments, not the article itself) is really quite breathtaking. I am guessing most of the people here think they know a lot about politics and history, no? Here’s a test:

    Q. Is it illegal to be a member of the American Communist Party?
    A. Yes; The Communist Control Act of 1954 (Never repealed)

    Q. When speaking about global politics, a liberal economy is left wing or right wing?
    A. Liberal economics refer to right wing, open trade economics. What is the definition of the word Liberal? FREEDOM. FREE TRADE.

    And Conservative economics? That is left wing. In fact, being a political Liberal simply means that you support non-violent change, like how a conservative does not want political change. A radical being someone who supports violent, rapid change, and a reactionary being someone who wanted to go BACK (aka, a conservative that wants to rewind, rather than pause).

    If you disagree with any of the points made here, you can send your complaints to the people at AP Central. You know, the college professors who define this shit? My point in telling you all of this is simple: stop talking like you are an informed intellectual and that everyone else is a dumbass when you have it quite backwards. Thank you.

  6. 6 Hakan May 28, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Without the western front and allied bombings which devastated the German war industry ,it would have come to a stalemate between Wehrmacht and USSR in 1946-47. The USSR would have lost additional 3 million soldiers and arrived East Prussia..Thats it …

  7. 7 Pete June 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    A very interesting article and well written. My only point of concern is that the fact that the lend lease assistance provided by the USA is presented as an act of kindness by the US when in fact, the USA profited massively for many years from the provision of supplies and munitions during the second world war – I cannot imagine any reason why a government would contemplate providing wespons for free… With regard to the ‘debtor’s guilt’ of the nations that received lend lease assistance, the UK, being the only nation that has paid in full for the assistance has no debt and hence no recourse to such guilt. Also, when considering war dead, by dint of geography, the only Americans seriously endangered by enemy action were serving military personnel. Hence, the USA may have assisted in the defeat of the Axis but the USA lost a tiny proportion of her population (less than Australia lost) and clearly profited from her involvement in a way that no other protagonistic Allied nation did. In fact, NO other protagonist nation ended the second world war having profited from it’s involvement, just the USA. Nobody of any intelligence doubts that the USA helped to bring the war to an earlier end (despite the best efforts of Gen. Mark Clark in Rome), however, the promotion by Hollywood of the “American Version” of WWII has an uncanny ability to irritate the living shit out of anybody with a grasp of history; particularly when ninety nine percent of Americans who comment on the Internet actually believe the tripe they see in the movies. It is as disingenuous to suggest that America won the war for Europe single handedly as it is to suggest that the Soviet Union did the same. One thing is for sure, no nation suffered and lost as many as the USSR and none lost as little and profited as much as the USA. I’ll keep my “debtor’s guilt” if I find an educated American willing to accept his “profiteer’s guilt”.

  8. 8 David July 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Having lived in Russia and spent part of my life there, I have seen firsthand the effects of WWII on them even to this day. In European Russia one would be very hard pressed to find a single family that didn’t have a fatality in that war. It really is offending how Americans seem to so often neglect the exponentially larger role the Soviet Union played in destroying Nazism and put so much emphasis on their own role. All the glory in movies and media and even just popular belief among the uneducated is that the world was doomed until America rolled in and kicked ass and single-handedly saved the world. Wrong! Even compared to the immensely small amount the western front did the Americans sucked. In North Africa the British didn’t even want the americans to fight because they just got in the way. Statistically Soviets killed over 80% of Germans, not only because the fighting there was actually heavy and frankly savage, but also because the Germans sent much more to the Eastern front. Germany sent several times more troops to the Eastern front because really the Western front was just a minor nuisance.

  9. 9 Alex September 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    USSR lost almost 10 million soldiers on the eastern front, 4 million of which were killed as POWs in German captivity. Germany lost on the eastern front almost 4 million soldiers and Russians held about 3 million Fascist POWs of which about 350 000 died in camps or during transportation. Over 1 million Germans willingly stayed to help rebuild. 1 million were transferred by US to USSR for slave labor.

  10. 10 igorfazlyev March 22, 2013 at 2:37 am

    imho the truth is that neither the western allies nor the Soviet union would have been able to defeat Germany so decisively on their own. If either the western allies or the SU would have had to fight Germany on their own the war would have most likely been longer and ended in some kind of a negotiated peace. If the SU would have had to fight Germany on its own, Germany would have been able to maintain high levels of military production for longer because the USSR didn’t have good long range aircraft to harass Germany’s military industry. Probably, having been driven back into Poland, today’s Czech republic and Romania by mid 1945 the Germans might have by that time built an atomic bomb and threatened the USSR into a peace settlement, plus that time some elements inside Germany might have been more successful at toppling Hitler from within and that would probably have changed things.

    On the other hand, if Hitler had not committed imperial suicide by going to war against the USSR and instead concentrated on deploying a full fledged naval blockade against Britain by building more advanced U-boats and in greater numbers, for example, after a couple of years of privations Churchill would have been voted out of office and his replacement would have sued for peace with Germany (which, if Speer is to be believed was always Hitler’s preferred option for England) the US would then have had no base of operations in Europe and would have been in no position to threaten the Nazi European Union in any meaningful way.

    Again in this latter scenario with England out of the equation, if Hitler had still chosen to go to war against the USSR, it would once again have been the best option for the USSR and the US to join forces against Germany. It would have been a very different war, a much longer one and possibly one ending in some kind of a negotiated peace but once again the US and the USSR would have found themselves fighting on the same side against the EU. It would probably have ended with Hitler getting deposed in a coup and the EU suing for peace and reforming.

  11. 11 Nick April 15, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Great article. The Soviet Union was also the only major power on either side of the conflict concerned with fighting a one front war. Britain had her empire to keep after around the world and the United States bore the brunt of the campaign against Japan. The Japanese military had no intention of attacking Russia due to her resources being tied up in the Pacific. Victory at the battle of Moscow can be attributed to Siberian units sent west; units that would not have been sent if Russia had two fronts to take care of.
    It is clear that the Soviet Union suffered greatly in the defeat of Nazism. Russias role in victory was large, but by no way was she the soul benefactor.

  12. 12 AFIK April 19, 2013 at 6:46 am

    I think lots of factors should be considered. As to say USSR defeated the Germans alone is a bit exaggeration. However having saying that I also blame the Americans for not playing an active role stopping the Germans in their tracks in 1938/1939. Where were they when Hitler was bullying the smaller nations? The fact is USSR was willing to take part in any plans to stop the Hitler, but the Americans and its allies ignored it all. The Western allies should have devised bold plans to stop Hitler all they do was to pacify him. USSR’s unfortunate issue was that their leader was ruthless and more like Hitler himself. It is very possible that USSR could have defeated the Germans alone had they have a leader who was not shrwed and ruthless as Stalin. Stalin himself retreated to his home when the Gemrans were destroying the Red army. USSR was capable of destroying the Germans alone but their leadership failed them. The number of the dead can not be taken as a proof as to who defeated the NAZIS. Tactics applied were different. Western Allies were more concerned of causing more civilian losses. The NAZIs didn’t care even to kill their own. Stalin also went after his own men. Russia played a very big part, I can say 65% of the effort was from Russia to defeat the NAZIs. Had the Western allies decided to be nuetral and not participate in the war, Russia could have still won. The western allies themselves could still have defeated Hitler by themselves. People do not see much of the effort the Russian took to defeat the NAZIs because of the sheer number of Russian losses. They were victorious but the losses are staggering and even today people do really understand them.

  13. 13 Brian DeFrancesco April 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Some pertinent points:
    1. Stalin, himself, admitted privately (not for public consumption) after the war that the Soviets could not have defeated Hitler on their own. Their logistical ability to attack (fuel, food, trucks, planes) very much leaned on American aid.
    2. The Soviets basically had their asses handed to them through the first half of the Eastern campaign by a country and military one third their size. Just imagine what the Wermacht would have done had it not had to worry about its western flank.
    3. Stalin signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler and watched from the sidelines as Hitler terrorized the West for two years.
    4. Those wonderfully munificent Soviets would have rolled to the Atlantic if not for the Americans, in an occupation much more like Nazism than different. The Soviets did not save Europe. They sought to enslave it.

  14. 14 Pete June 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    @AFIK. In answer to your question, “where was the USA in 1938-1939 when Germany was bullying smaller countries?” The USA was woefully underequipped in 1939 to take part in any overseas war. As the USA had very few military threats against it in 1939 due to it’s safe geographical location and it’s industries were geared toward peacetime production, the US military was small and much of their weaponry was obselescent or second rate. In 1939 the US Army was about on a par with the army of Romania with regards manpower. Polish citizens were asking ‘where are Britain and France?’ in September 1939 as the Wehrmacht were rolling into their front gardens, after all, the British and French had signed a pact to come to Poland’s aid in the event of attack but even the British and the French, with their convenient geographical location to intervene, didn’t have the men and weapons required to occupy Poland and oust the Germans. Let’s face it, France didn’t have what it took to prevent being invaded and occupied itself and were it not for the English Channel, I have absolutely no doubts that Britain would have also fallen under the jackboot and been quickly overwhelmed by Wehrmacht Blitzkreig tactics.

  15. 15 Johnny Herbert August 31, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    DEATHS ON THE TWO EUROPEAN FRONTS

    EASTERN FRONT:

    Stalingrad: 1.8 million
    Siege of Leningrad: 1.5 million
    Moscow 1941-42: 700,000
    Smolensk 1941: 500,000
    Kiev 1941: 400,000
    Vorenesh 1942: 370,000
    Belarus 1941: 370,000
    2nd Rzhev-Sychevka: 270,000
    Caucasus 1942: 260,000
    Kursk: 230,000
    Lower Dnieper: 170,000
    Kongsberg: 170,000
    Rostov: 150,000
    Budapest: 130,000
    and many others with less killed

    TOTAL 7,120,000

    WESTERN FRONT

    Battle of France 180,000
    Normandy: 132,000
    El Alamein: 70,000
    Battle of the Bulge: 38,000

    TOTAL 410,000

    CONCLUSION – If only these figures are taken some 6% of the deaths in WWII happened on the Western front. But clearly not so as the accepted figure is 22%?

    Either way Russia won WWII, and carried the lions share nobody else.

  16. 16 willieandthepoorboys October 1, 2013 at 5:40 am

    Actually studies by Erikson and Zaloga have shown that Germans lost 35% of their armor against western allies. Very good measure of that loss rate of ground war during the WW2. But this is not the whole picture. German Luftwaffe defeat came mostly in western front and above the Reich. German fleet was destroyed almost entirely by western ally.

    Perhaps the most common false state is that German was losing the war in east after Stalingrad. Hardly true at all. Since 1990’s (until Putin closed the doors of Soviet data) there were new studies which revealed how many big battles Soviet forces lost during the winter 1942-43. Some of the worst were in north from Stalingrad, in Rhzev-Vjazma were Zhukov was beaten by General Model. Actually main aim for Soviet was not Stalingrad but to destroy whole German southern army group. They failed and got horrific losses. The winter offensive was of course oven when Germans mauled Red Army in Kharkov.

    The result of winter campaign 1942-43 was actually bloody draw because nor Germany neither Red Army hadn’t reached their goal on war. Red Army was after such a beaten in so bad condition that Stalin – first time during the war – was ready to wait for new offensive almost half a year. He has squandered all what industry and western allies had delivered him.

    There is a myth very common among military historians that “Red Army was becoming better and better all the time”. Actually this is only partly true but mostly false. Lend-lease was making Red Army more mobilized as Zhukov later admitted. Without that aid Zhukov mentioned: “we couldn’t have created our strategic reserves and continue the war”.

    The shape of Red Army remained were rag indeed until the end of war. There offensive against Finland in summer 1944 in good example. It started well but when Finns have causing them first casualties reserves of Red Army were bad or even very bad with soldiers of very old, very young, minorities and far from high class at all. Finally Finns mauled them in five last battles. Stalin’s aim to conquer Finland was failure just like operations during 1942-43 against Germans (excluding Stalingrad of course).

    People in west are too scary or too unaware that most of stories of Red Army and Soviet evolution are just legends and myths by Stalinist government. It’s very obvious that without western aid and new fronts Stalin would have never reached Berlin. More likely Red Army would have been strangled by German forces because they were always superior than those of Soviet Union.

  17. 17 Ukio January 7, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Putting it bluntly, the Soviet Union England alliance would have lost the war without the US. Before the US landings in North Africa, the Nazis owned the air over the USSR. In the battle of Stalingrad, the USSR was unable to mount any effective offensives during the early part of the battle due to the Stukas bombers support that blunted any advance. By the end of the battle, Hitler had transferred much of the Luftwaffe support to North Africa to help fend off the US airpower in that theatre. That and bad weather, meant the Soviets could now mount their counterattacks on about equal terms with the Nazis without having their columns destroyed from the air which led to the disastrous encirclement and capture of the Nazi army at Stalingrad. The western allies continued to “grind down” with the Luftwaffe with their strategic bomb raids.

    In short I believe that it was US Airpower that provided the tipping point in WWII. I do not believe USSR/ England could have defeated the Nazis without it.

  18. 18 Serge Krieger March 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    willieandthepoorboys, the crap you have been writing sucks. American army was struggling against under equipped Germans during their Bulge counterattack. It took your boys few years to defeat similarly under equipped Japanese when Soviet army destroyed the best Japanese forces in Manchuria in few days.
    Soviet Union without shade of doubt is the one that defeated Germany. It would have done so without US lend lease . it could have taken a year more but it would have happened. Now, Saying that USSR could not have broken through Germans defenses without Western Front is another BS. Have anyone read of the river Dnieper crossing against not those small number US and Brits had to deal with on D day but against the whole might of Wehrmacht. My grandfather was in the first wave that crossed Dieper and one of the first very few who made a first step on that side. His buddy got star of the hero of the USSR and my grandfather got Order of Soldierès Honor first Degree for that. My grandpa was veteran of 62 nd army under General Chuikov. The one that fought in Stalingrad and my grandfather fought on Mamaev Kurgan.
    It was orders of magnitude by comparison what US army faced and still Soviets prevailed. What about operation Bagration , probably the largest operation of the war on the territory 500X300 kms. Thsi8 was the battle that finally broke any ability by Germans to resists. Their whole left strength was finished in that operation. However, I already watched enough American movies where Americans are depicted as heroes while being pussies of the first order.
    USSR would win with or without Western Allies. Western Allies would never win without USSR.

  19. 19 Knapweed March 7, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    The U.S. Certainly didn’t stand idly by, as you point out. They made huge profits out of both sides, whilst British civilians were being slaughtered by the tens of thousands through German air raids.

    Good old GM ran the Opel factory for the Nazis, Coka-Cola sold soft drinks to the Nazis under the name “Fanta” and that venerable icon IBM provided all the equipment for the Nazis to run their concentration camps efficiently.

    General Patton, with his chrome helmet and pearl-handled colts (Oooo.. Ducky) was slapping shell-shocked soldiers around, trying to prove he was a man but showed himself up for the cowardly, camp moron that he was.

    Meanwhile, Hollywood was making a bundle out of war movies, portraying John Wayne (who never actually fought in any war) as the mighty hero, destroying the Wehrmacht single-handedly.

    Yep, you certainly weren’t idle, you kept us constantly entertained, just like you do now with your attempt to sell or force your total lack of freedoms to the rest of the world. You can keep both of them, nobody’s interested.

  20. 20 Don Frost March 15, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Don’t forget the importance of American and British bombing that effectively reduced Germany’s ability to create weapons as well as forcing Germany to keep many divisions in the West that could have fought the Russians.

  21. 21 Vlmr May 5, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Lots of interesting thoughts, and lots of rubbish here. Including the article and the comments especially. So not to get into an idiotic internet brawl with morons. Just one thing that is not mentioned here, and in fact is up played in many a western historians account. But thankfully some of the newer accounts slowly start to admit the following. The battle over the skies of the Reich did indeed consume much of the Luftwaffe, both in experienced pilots and quantities of aircraft and tied huge amounts of AA defense with it. And in that manner the west contributed in a worthy measure to the Luftwaffe demise on the eastern front. But the constant drivel about the bombing offensive and its blows to the Reichs arms output is plain wrong and supported by people who know little or not enough about the topic, or are simple idiots. Arms output of Germany as a fact reached its peek in mid 44. and lasted throughout the year. By the time the bombing offensive was ongoing for years and at its high tide intensity. The industrial output of the Reich was broken only months before their death throes. Of more significance was gasoline and oil shortage. That one thing hampered the Reich more than all the bombs dropped by the allies in the entire war. Oh and as for breaking German moral and that of the Wehrmacht with bombing, let me just ad a little chuckle.

  22. 22 cheny June 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Why did it take so long for western allies to liberate France? Follow events you learn Allied forces had to ignore calls from USSR to quickly open an offensive around France to reduce pressure on Eastern front. The reason lies with western allies knowing the Germans were still strong so they chose to wait until both German and the USSR were weakened. So clearly it shows the USSR would have won the war without Western aid considering it’s a mere 10% aid they got from Americans.

  23. 23 davidjgill June 9, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    MIke Charles essay offers a balanced and accurate analysis of the facts on the subject of how to apportion credit for the Allied victory in Europe in WWII. I’d say his review is as balanced and accurate as a short article could possibly be on such a complex, nuanced and contradictory question.
    Initially I thought Mr Charles was making the task a bit too easy for himself by quoting exaggerated, overstated revisionist remarks of historians and journalists, then I went thru (skimmed) the resulting comments and to my amazement every comment was another biased overstatement or willfully revisionist, even propagandistic, remark.

    Insight comes from an objective review of the facts, an unwillingness to draw conclusions from a portion of the facts, and skepticism of the often heartfelt testimony of observers of events.

    In response to some other comments:

    – The Soviet Union and other nations of Eastern Europe sacrificed more and suffered more than the Western Allies, in part because the willful brutality that The Nazi’s pursued in the East due to their racist hatred of the inhabitants of those countries, but also due to Stalin’s incompetence and his craven will to conquer Eastenr Europe, as well as to again persecute Poland and other neighboring countries.

    – The US did not pursue the defense of Europe and the Pacific for “profit.” The US economy profited thru payment by the Federal Govt for the production of war material. The subsequent US prosperity was the result of simple Keynesian economics. The other Allied countries reimbursed the US Govt for a portion of the cost of this assistance. By virtue of geography, not American self interest, the US suffered little on the homefront.

    – Cold War politics limited the scope of the historical story told by each side to it’s won contribution. In the US, and I suppose Western Europe, histories didn’t deny the Soviet contribution so much as just ignore it. Part of the reason for this is the lack of access to historical records closed by Communist authorities in Russia and Eastern Europe. Since 1989 we have seen an avalanche of new history covering the war in the East that has begun to redress the previously one sided history of WWII.

    – I have to recall the famous BBC television history off WWII “The World at War” that was so brutally honest and told the horrific facts of the Eastern front without slight the Soviet achievement.

  24. 24 Pete June 10, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    davidjgill, whilst I agree with the vast majority of what you’ve typed, the profit made by the USA, whilst not being perhaps the sole reason that the US entered the war, was certainly much more of a reason for their entry than any feelings of cameraderie or loyalty to their European cousins or any particular desire to get rid of national socialism. In fact, up until Hitler declared war on the USA, many, including highly succesful US industrialists and influential public figures were advocating a closer alliance with the the German Nazis.

    It’s unlikely that the USA would have even entered the war had the Japanese not bombed Pearl Harbor and Hitler foolishly declared war on the USA, it was far easier to just sell arms to both sides.

  25. 25 David J Gill June 11, 2014 at 2:33 am

    You are referring to continuing operations of US companies like Ford in Nazi Germany until the declaration of war. Of course US companies were not the only ones. Sweden tried to do business (iron ore) with Hitler while declaring themselves neutral…was that business a big reason why Sweden was neutral?

    If Japan hadn’t attacked the US followed by Hitler the lend lease program would have been much larger with more material going to the Allies in Europe. The US would have likely entered teh war even later than it did…more like during WW I.

    I thinks some US corporations continued operations in Germany covertly, contrary to US policy. Some were investigated and fined for this after the war. US corporate business in Germany would have been a reason to NOT enter the war. At some point before the US went to Europe public opinion changed and American admirers of Hitler were totally discredited.

    The money US gov contractors made in the war did so supplying the Allies and were paid by the US government.

    I don’t think the President went to war in Europe to make money. The US did see Hitler as a threat to the world beyond Europe if he wasn’t defeated. I think American’s did believe we needed to help our friends in Europe. I understand your view…that no matter the circumstance nations will calculate their potential self interest, but your view is too cynical.

  26. 26 Bob the history buff June 13, 2014 at 10:37 am

    The majority of fighting happened on the eastern front and the German high command did view the Red Army as a larger threat than the Western Allies, but the statement that Russia won the war single-handed is nonsense. Massive lend lease from the United States was key to helping Russia – something they would deny today. But more importantly it was the impending threat of western invasion that tied up about 30% of the German forces away from the East (as you mentioned in your blog). The allied landing in Sicily never gets much credit but that sucked a significant amount of the German eastern troops from the Battle of Kursk and greatly helped pull troops from German front lines. German generals were begging Hitler to stop the offensive in Russia (taking empty land in places people can’t name on a map) and focus on the impending western invasion. When they questioned the German generals after the war they said the Two Front war was devastating as it split resources. But both were equally problematic. If they focused on one they would lose ground in another. In the end they chose to throw their reserves at the West. So no, Russia did not win by itself.

  27. 27 Pop June 27, 2014 at 12:58 am

    1.Red Army destroyed lagrgest, best equiped, and best trained German units. Number of POW`s mean nothing. On the end of the war German soliders rushed to the West to surrender to the Allies.
    2. Strategic bombing didn`t destroyed German industry. German industry was on its peak in 1944. German industry was doomed when it was in range of the tactical bombers.
    3. Soviets deafeted Wermach under Moscow before USA entered the war. Kaitel said on Nuremberg that he knew that war is lost after defeat under Moscow.
    4. Of sourse USA helped USSR with trucks, airplanes, and what is most important with food. USSR had trucks, but not so good as USA, and USSR produced airplanes but not enough. But USSR lacked food for the Red Army and American hel was precious.
    5. Stallin signed pact with Hitler for two reasons:
    a) western allies didn`t want to make alliance with Stallin. Stallin offered military asistance to Czechoslovakia and he offered to the West to refuse Hitler demands jointly, but West refused and sold Czechs to the Hitler. Don`t forget that Poland joined Hitler in partition of Czechoslovakia by taking the town of Tjesin in Silesia.
    b) Red Army wasn`t ready for the war. Red Army was in process of redefining it`s doctrine and restructuring it`s formation. Process should have been ended by 1942.
    6. Stallin didn`t belive that Hitler would attack USSR because he knew that Wermacht isn`t fully ready for that kind of action.
    7. Even if he had belived Red Army would be deafeted, because it was incapable, mostly technologicaly to stop german armour. Maybe it could save it`s airforce from heavy losses it suffered.
    8. CONCLUSION: The Third Reich was deafeted by combined Allie effort in which Red army has most of the credit because Red Army destroyed most valuable parts of the Wermach and Waffen SS.
    But don`t forget importance of event such like 27. MArch coup etat in Yugoslavia and Operation Marita. War in Balkans in April 1941 prolonged preparations for op. Barbarosa.

  28. 28 Pete July 3, 2014 at 7:41 am

    David, you can accuse me of being too cynical and I can accuse you of being naive and idealistic. in our opinions, we are right and the other is wrong. However, given the large number of Americans who were calling for non-intervention (including such notables as Charles Lindburgh), had the Japanese not bombed Pearl Harbor, why would the Americans have got involved militarily? They didn’t even declare war on Hitler, waiting for him to do it first. After all, the Americans watched Nazi Germany murdering their European neighbours for two full years and they did nothing in that two years save from selling weapons to both sides and making a profit.

    You can call me a cynic all you like, the historical evidence suggests that I have grounds to be cynical.

  29. 29 Oskari October 9, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I think that it’s not possible to compare those figures between Soviets and Allies. Western Allies faced weakened wehrmacht between 1944-45. Soviet army had already beaten the germans and they were in retreat everywhere along the eastern front. In fact most of the soviet territory had on D-day been “liberated”. It was more that the germans did everything they could to surrender to westeners because they knew what they did in russia while they were on top. My and many others estimate is that without D-day the war in Europe could have gone on for another year or so but the outcome would still have been the same. American material help was far more important than their military contribution. I don’t know if the red army could have turned it around without the american trucks, locomotives and other supplies which gave russians the chance to focus their industry on guns, tanks and ammunition.

  30. 30 Matias October 12, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Soviet Union tried hard to conquer Finland in winter 1939-40 and summer 1944 without crucial breakthrough. For instance Finnish military intelligence found hundreds of evidences showing the morale decline, service-, food- and supplie troops problems among Red Army forces during 1944. Amazing things because we have been taught by post war historians how “Red Army became better and better”. This is only partly true. The only real progress was their mobility, thanks to lend-lease trucks etc. But their soldiers during summer 1944 campaing in Finland were actually amazingly poorly trained, with either too young (born 1925-1927), too old (great many 43-55 y old), growing percentage of ethnic minorities (unreliable, wanted to get wounded by “voting” etc.) plus having more and more convalescents (with poor military value). Stalin’s cannonfodder did not look so great at all though he had surely modern mobiled military forces.

    Actually we should rethink the value of western allies, especially America once again. It really started to play significant role during the summer 1943 when Hitler had to stop Operation Citadelle (Kursk) because Allies landing to Italy (or even Balkans as Hitler feared). 20-25% of heavy armor units were pulled out from east. In fall of 1943 some 65% of Luftwaffe dayfighters were operationg against US 8th Air Force. In eastern front Luftwaffe had no longer air dominance (they lost it during aftermath of Kursk). Let’s not forget that Luftwaffe was mostly destroyed, not by Soviet air forces but USAF and RAF. And when the aircover had gone you can’t win down on the battleground.

  31. 31 Matias October 12, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Stalin himself created this particular myth when he said in 1941: “Our reserves in manpower are inexhaustible”. The population data suggests otherwise. A simple calculation based of population of both Stalin’s Soviet and Hitler’s Greater Germany shows that the Soviet manpower base could not sustain the casualty exchange rate deduced fro even the most favorable Soviet figures. Eventually, had the war continued, Stalin would have discovered that his manpower was not inexhaustible at all. The population rate between Greater Germany and Soviet Union was just about 1:2. So what happened in the battleground until fall 1943?

    Soviet military losses 22th June 1941 – Sept 1943: 7 463 379 soldiers either death or missing.

    German military losses in east 22th 1941- Sept 1943:

    Killed in action: 559 260
    Missing in action: 356 939
    Died in wounds + non combat deaths: 293 201
    ——————————————————————
    Total deaths or missing: 1 209 400

    Loss rate 1: 6,17 favoring Germans. But men pool of Stalin was only twice bigger than that of Hitler. Now this is the reason why Stalin’s army was so full of older men, young boys, females and quite flaky ethnic minorities. Ukrainians, Muslims and Baltics were no doubt more eager to surrender or getting self-inflicted wounds than Russians.

    And even during period of Oct 1943- Dec1944 when following very questionable Soviet loss figures were are still getting butchers bill giving loss rate of about 1:3 favoring Germans in eastern front.

    We should never forget that about 35% of German armour losses came from southern and western theatries of WW2. During 1944-45 about half.

  32. 32 Howard Vorder Bruegge October 13, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Some excellent points have been made amongst the idiocy of those out of touch. I am moved to contribute some facts that I have not seen mentioned, though mostly in support of the significant role of America and that whether the Soviets Union might or might not have been able to defeat Germany alone. Not all the variables can be covered in a brief comment, such as the possibility of different action by the Japanese, for example, and Stalin’s use of those eastern divisions in front of Moscow.

    One of the most important contributions of the USA to Russia’s war effort was that fully 51% of aviation fuel they had came from us, which accounts for some of the spectacular explosions caused by U-Boat attacks in the North Atlantic. While on the subject of aviation, the Russians said they liked the P-39s we sent them, though they were not popular anywhere else. Also, the bombing campaigns against Germany and even, to some extent, combat in N. Africa, drew some air strength of the Luftwaffe away from the Eastern front. The tactical air power of the Germans was a significant combat multiplier against the Soviets. The German failure to develop long range bombers (the main Luftwaffe General in support of it died in an accident)
    and subsequent Russian development (eventually) of excellent combat aircraft was very important in shifting the situation on the eastern front.
    Even with the tactical force the Germans had, they totally failed to interdict the Russian shift of huge industrial facilities to the east. Had the factories been captured or destroyed, things would probably have been very different, and while those factories were in the midst of being displaced, Allied aid was more important than ever.

    Stalin had some tremendous intelligence support that he either ignored or could not take advantage of, at least in the first years of the war. Because of anti-Nazi Germans in some important positions, Stalin was getting German operations orders at the same time they were sent to German units. There were at least two occasions that German units penetrated Russian lines and captured high level headquarters by surprise, blew open their field safes, and found their own operations orders. This meant that the Ruskies knew exactly what the Germans were going to do and still could not stop them, at least until Kursk. It also gives some insight into Hitler’s paranoia.

    While Hitler kept divisions to garrison occupied countries, some extra divisions were placed to defend against possible invasion by the western allies. These could have been used on the Russian front if the USA, England, Canada, etc. did not pose a threat. Hitler kept a quarter million troops in Norway! If you want to consider variables, consider that most of these could have been shifted to the east.

    The Finns, as it turned out, proved to be as discrete as they were tough and brave. Hitler presumed too much of their willingness to defend themselves to translate into offensive action against Leningrad, which they declined. But the Finns might have rolled the dice and fully cooperated with German designs on Leningrad. I think it has not been studied extensively, but had Germany (that is, Hitler) had not backed off from the offensive against Leningrad, deciding instead to starve it out, the north flank of Moscow would have been opened up with Finnish help as well as possible attacks on the rail line down from Archangel/Murmansk where about half of the allies’ aid was coming in. The rest mostly came in through Iran, further from Moscow.

    The Russians made a lot of mistakes, but the many, many well-known errors or possible variants of German possibilities have been discussed ad nauseum. The point is that if changes where appropriate were possible and could have led to different outcomes, then US and other allied factors cannot be dismissed as insignificant. If the Russians might have lost to the Germans, even with Allied assistance, how can that assistance be dismissed as less than important? The Russians killed more German troops because the major land effort was in the east. The Russians lost even more due to their own faults. Frankly, though FDR thought he could manage “Uncle Joe” at least Churchill had him pegged from early on, and since the Brits had more experience, their staff and political leaders set the tone in early years, which very much recognized advantages to the west to keep the Soviets in the war but taking the fact that the war was wearing on the Russians and in the long run (a picture the US seems to miss all the time) damage to the Soviets was better than damage to us as long as the Nazis did not prevail in the end.

    By the way, when Stalin was ranting about a second front he went so far as to insult Churchill, who had enough fortitude, and savvy, not to point out that when England was standing alone against Germany and the blitz, Russia had a non-aggression pact with Germany, and obviously Stalin had the same idea of letting Germany weaken herself against the west so that he could attack later and defeat a weary Germany. Besides, the Brits had a lot of reasons for going slow against the Reich. They had lost an entire generation of men in WWI. Montgomery said, “Whoever has not fought the German does not know war.” Of course, he never faced a Kamikaze attack.

    Yes, the Russians did a lot of heavy hitting, but they didn’t win by themselves. Not at all. And if you are looking at the big picture, the A-bomb cannot be overlooked.

  33. 33 Howard Vorder Bruegge October 14, 2014 at 1:25 am

    The allied bomber offensive drew German fighter planes west. It certainly affected German potential. It is known that while production increased through 1944, it was because of reorganization improvements by Speer. The increased output should have been even larger without the bombing. Germany never even mobilized their women to work in factories, using slave labor instead.
    Hollywood had nothing to do with the war except for some films to tell GIs “Why we fight.” Yes, there are folks who think what they see in movies is history, just like those who believe the lives of soap opera characters are real (or that Communism can work anywhere larger than a convent), but that does not mean others can’t study history.
    I am not an extreme fan of FDR but he did a lot to prepare for WWII before our formal entry. He put very high production goals for US aircraft in effect early. As a result, total US aircraft production for the war period was about 300,000 and included continuous improvement in performance.
    German industry produced too many types of over-engineered pieces of equipment, some of which were excellent, such as their E boats, but the complexity of their construction limited production. They managed to make synthetic fuel, but they could not get enough of the heat resisting alloys to finish the engines for their jet planes, many of which were found after the war sitting without engines. So the blockade, in great part due to the Royal Navy (and US Navy) worked against Germany as it did in WWI. This was of great help to Russia, at least indirectly.
    The war was huge and complicated and what is happening here is typical of the history of human relationships. Somebody could facilitate a big problem-solving seminar of learned folks and come up with something pretty solid, but they would screen for nut-jobs and people who could not read. Biggest liability is emotions. Read Jonathan Haidt or see the TED video. Check out Daniel Goleman et al on emotional intelligence.

  34. 34 brendan deasy October 22, 2014 at 7:43 am

    If the Russians needed “the shot in the arm” from the USA to finish the job, how come they were able to take on the japs a few weeks after V-day. The Allies were fearful that Stalin could keep on going.

  35. 35 Ernst October 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Marshall Zhukov admitted later in 1960s that without western aid Red Army “would never have managed to built strategic reserve forces” and continue the war. Official Soviet loss figures until 31st of December were 26 579 242 killed, missing or wounded soldiers, while official German losses in eastern front were 5 790 522, giving loss figure 1:4.59 favoring Germans.

    You should never forget that population rate between Greater Germany and Soviet Union was 1:2, not 1:3 as some are suggesting. Soviet population in 1939 was 168-170 million (western estimates) while Greater Germany got 84-86 million (including Sudetenland, ethnic Germans in Poland, Swabians, etc). There were about 10 million ethnic Germans living outside the Reich and hundreds of thousands of them were later soldiers of German forces.

  36. 36 Ernst October 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Finnish military intelligence, just like Germans, noticed several proofs how the level of Red Army cannon fodder actually became more poor the longer the war continued. It was a great paradox how the Red Army while conquering more land actually became more vulnerable. The Red Army lost their last five battles against Finnish forces during their summer campaign 1944. Mostly because of the low level of reserve forces after their elite troops were lost in the first stage of the successful offensive.

  37. 37 Mats October 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Here are official Soviet loss figures during the war (death,missing,wouded):

    1941: 4 473 820 (22nd June-31st Dec)
    1942: 7 369 278
    1943: 7 857 503
    1944: 6 878 641
    1945: 3 013 507 (Jan- May 1945)

    German losses in eastern front (Wehrmacht, Waffen SS, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, HQ, Rear units…including volunteers… “freiwilligen Verbände”)

    1941: 839 317 (22nd June-31st Dec)
    1942: 1 167 902
    1943: 1 598 658
    1944: 2 260 535

    Loss rate Greater Germany vs. Soviet Union in eastern front:

    1941: 1:5,33
    1942: 1:6,31
    1943: 1:4,92
    1944: 1:3,04

    Sources: Casualties of Soviet Forces 1941-1945 According to Field Reports
    Wehrmacht Monthly Casualty Reports including Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine in eastern front.

    Red Army tank losses (including assault guns):

    1941: 20 500 (including 2 300 T-34 and 900 KV)
    1942: 15 100 (including 6 600 T-34 and 1 200 KV)
    1943: 23 500 (14 700 T-34s, 1 300 heavy tanks and only 6 400 light tanks).
    1944: 23 700 (only 2 200 light tanks)
    1945: 13 700 (less than 10% light tanks)
    ————-
    total 96 500

    German losses 49 900 tanks, assault guns, tank destroyers.
    – 32 800 lost in eastern front
    – 16 900 in southern and western theaters of WW2.

    Most of German losses being operational, especially during the latter part of the war. 35% lost against western allies, 65% in eastern front. The combat loss rate Germany vs Soviet Union:

    19

    Sources: S. J. Zaloga, L.S. Ness, Red Army Handbook 1939-1945, Sutton Publishing, Stroud, UK, 1998 Also, T. Bean, W. Fowler, Russian Tanks of WWII-Stalin’s Armoured Might, Ian Allan Publishing, London, 2002, appendix, p. 169.

    (23) P. Chamberlain, H Doyle, T Jentz, Encyclopedia of German Tanks of WWII, Arms and Armour Press, London, 1978, appendix VII, pp. 261-262.

    G.F. Krivosheev , et al, Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century, Edited by Colonel General G.F. Krivosheev, Greenhill Books, London, 1997 Also German tank losses from S. J. Zaloga, L.S. Ness, Red Army Handbook 1939-1945, Sutton Publishing, Stroud, UK, 1998, p. 181, table 6.3.

  38. 38 Mathias November 3, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Time to forget those lower Soviet loss figures given by Krivosheev in Wikipedia (8.67 million). New figures: 14 241 000 dead soldiers and officers of all military forces.

    “We established the number of irreplaceable losses of our Armed Forces at the time of the Great Patriotic War of about 13,850,000. A more recent compilation made in March 2008 of the individuals listed in the card files puts total dead and missing at 14,241,000 (13,271,269 enlisted men and 970,000 officers). This database is incomplete and does not include all men killed in the war; currently graves registration teams in Russia are identifying war dead that are not currently included in the database.”

    Sergey Aleksandrovich Il’enkov – Graduated from the Kalinnin Suvorov Military Academy, the Higher Military Academy, the Moscow State Historical-Archival Institute. Assistant chief for scientific work of the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Co-author of many scientific works on the history of the Great Patriotic War.
    Voyenno-Istoricheskiy Arkhiv
    No. 7(22), 2001, pp. 73-80

  39. 39 Nicolas Protonotarios December 8, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Why so much debate over an issue that simply needs clarity of facts and figures and some common sense?
    – The Soviet forces fought the bulk of the German land forces and a large part of the air forces and eventually defeated them through a combination of factors but with significant western material aid both military and non military. This aid becomes far more significant when the dates of delivery are taken into account. For instance, if the total number (and quality) of western tanks delivered seems insignificant when compared to the total Soviet production of the war, it is not so insignificant during the crucial years 1942-43, when Soviet production was still struggling. Also, transport. W/o air and land transport provided by the west it is easy to understand that none of the great offensives of late 1943-45 could have taken place as they did. As for food, medical supplies and fuel, little more needs said other than to remind one that the German army in WW1 collapsed largely due to lack of non-military supplies. Overall, the USSR had the luxury of focusing on ‘teeth’ thanks to the western allies supplying the ‘gums’.
    – The Allies fought the bulk of the German air and naval forces and a large part of their land forces and eventually defeated them also through a combination of factors but w/o Soviet assistance. However, unlike the Soviets they did so on two or more fronts with very significant forces and resources allocated to the Pacific, African and Indian fronts.
    – Western strategic bombing against both Japan and Germany was central to the defeat of both. That German resilience and brilliant organisation allowed them to increase production until mid 1944, despite the bombing, does not mean that total production did not suffer. A good indication is the number of promising projects that had to be abandoned due to research facilities and prototypes destroyed. The lack of an unfettered R&D process meant that older types were kept in production longer than optimum due to the inability of establishing new production lines. Also, if the RAF offensive was led by someone other than the psychopath that was A. Harris, the German fuel facilities would have been destroyed a year earlier rendering most German mechanized resources unusable from early 1944.
    – As for the leaders: both Soviets and Germans suffered from psychotic, egotistic despots thinking they knew better than their professionals. Stalin proved better than Adolf in that he realized rather quickly that his meddling would bring about his own downfall and he allowed his excellent marshals to do what was best from 1943 onwards. A measure of how good a military leader is should always be sought during times of hardship, not when most of the odds are in favour. Soviet leaders that were promoted empirically were tried and tested in both, with odds in favour and against. Western military leaders, after 1944, were rarely tested at all (the famous Ardennes counter-offensive was doomed from its inception). As for the rash Patton, and other western generals like Monty the slow-poke, one wonders how they would have performed w/o their constant air superiority, their incredible logistic support and the constant lack of reserves that the Germans had to face. Not that great if you ask me.

    So, overall, who beat the Axis? I would state that, the Atom bomb excluded, the joint effort beat the Axis and no one in particular. I firmly do not believe that the Soviet Union could have defeated Nazi Germany on its own (had it been a one-on-one conflict) and would have probably been politically defeated through attrition by superior overall performance of the German war effort, almost like they were in WW1. This I believe would have been due to the Russians’ unequalled wastage of manpower and resources which in mechanized wars is multiplied. On the other hand, I also believe the Western democracies could never have invaded the continent successfully w/o the German forces tied up in the Eastern front. Neither would their famed strategic bombing been possible had the Luftwaffe been allowed to defend at full strength. Just imagine how many Schweinfurts the 8th would have suffered with the Germans having two or three extra Jagdkorps to meet them… What probably would have transpired is a strategic tit-for-tat, with technology playing an ever increasing role, culminating in the A-bomb, but with the Allies’ German scientists being better than the Nazis’ German scientists …
    So, gentlemen, no need to call each other names. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and ultimately, what-if analysis is just that: “what-if”. No one is totally wrong or totally right. Now a more juicy question: “how would the world have developed had the Germans prevailed, w/o the creation of Israel and w/o a Cold War?” Deadly what-if subject…

  40. 40 Martin Copelin December 11, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Vrogue the Soviet Union invaded Finland on 30th November 1939 and the ceasefire was 105 days later on the 15th March 1940. Unlike the 1944 Soviet offensive against Finland this country was very poorly armed in the earlier conflict.

  41. 41 hrc December 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    HAHA American FAGS trying to convince the world ,that without their “exceptional” contribution Hitler could have not been defeated. what a bunch of losers..LMAO.. Contrary to Hollywood propaganda ,Americans military entry in the war will have done NO DIFFERENCE in the outcome of the war of hitler army losing. As other said their only real important contribution was food.. But to say that without american help Soviets could have not done it.. is idiocy at best.. Russia is not a new nation imbeciles.. it was an Empire way before US was a country..with military bases in crimea.. Russia already have defeated alone without any foreign help.. world most powerful armies.. Ottoman Empire and Napoleon.. and all of them crushed.. Napoleon even managed to conquer Moscow and that did nothing.. Russians are very united society specially in times of war..and they fight to the last soldier. Had Nazis managed to break into moscow and stalingrad it will have been more harder but they eventually will have lost.. Since Russia is too big to conquer. They moved all their military industry to Siberia..and from there long lines of reinforcement were arriving.. year and after year. Russians never have lost a war on land war against any world power.. never.. Even Japanese who defeated Russian navy. had to withdraw from Vladivostok when they invaded because waves after waves of Russian military continue to continue the fight.
    This is the major problem of any enemies who invade Russians territory. their stamina collapse and cannot sustain a long war as the Russians historically are ready. You will never defeat Russian army in Russian land. IF NATO ever comes to step on any of its territory it will be kicked in the ass. as they already were in North Korea by China.. All this bullshit discussion about how “american saved” Russia from hitler had to do with the holywood propaganda of years ,that somehow they are so powerful that never lose.. but reality is totally the opposite. .What ended the war was the collapse of Germany on the eastern front.. Russian were close to enter germany when americans invade europe.. lol Moral of the story.. Is Easy as hell to fight in wars ,when already the enemy give up the fighting and is planning to surrender. It was for that reason that Stalin told.. that americans were going to fight Germany to the last blood of soviet forces. lol You don’t won any war americans..Russians did it.. If Russians did surrender and stop fighting..as france did ..history will have been very different and all Europe and Asia completely conquered by nazis. And Nazis will have been 10 years later invading America with a 10 times more powerful army.

  42. 42 Michael A. Charles December 12, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I’m leaving hrc’s contribution up because he makes a couple of fair points. But as a reminder, this comments section is moderated, by me, at my whim. Comments I consider disrespectful, or potty-mouthed, or little more than nationalistic chest-thumping, I will delete.

    Good grammar is appreciated, too.

    M.

  43. 43 David J Gill December 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    @hrc
    You undermine your argument by overstating facts, ignoring contrary information and indulging in too many insulting rants. Americans don’t go around claiming we defeated Hitler singlehandedly. That is something that you have made up. Although there are Americans who overstate the truth with the same kind of aggression you put out for Russia. Western and American histories of WWII did only superficially include the action on the eastern front for many decades. As we have seen since 1989, much of the historical record was not available to scholars in the West until after 1989. Much of that history has now come out showing more clearly how large the conflict was on the eastern front. I think there is an increasing view that Hitler might not have been defeated without Russia. (Remember the USA fought the war in the Pacific on its own, though with important efforts from smaller Anglo countries.)

    But you sugar coat Russian military history. The Russian Imperial navy was humiliated and totally destroyed by Japan at the Battle of Tokushima. The Czar’s Black Sea Fleet was bottled up by Turkish forces before and during WWI. In 1939 Stalin stupidly coveted Finland and thought the Soviet army would subjugate that country quickly. Instead the Red army was mired in chaos in that invasion and again humiliated, this time by tiny Finland. Finland inflicted more than 300,000 casualties on the Soviet forces.

    And now you want to claim that the USA and Britain did nothing to defeat Hitler which, of course, is bull. The USA did something that Russia could not do….that is, project very large forces overseas to Europe and throughout the Pacific. Consider that both Napoleon and Hitler were unable to cross the narrow English Channel to invade Britain.

  44. 44 unity100 January 8, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Its not only casualty numbers. You have to look at the german side and their attitude towards the combatants to understand who beat them. germans threw EVERYTHING they had in eastern front until 1944, and yet got hammered to oblivion day by day. eastern front was basically seen as a graveyard – you got sent there, you die. a german pilot explains: “you would shoot down one of them (soviet aircraft) somewhere, and the next day there would be 10 of them in the same place”…. solely the battle of kursk, the biggest tank battle ever to take place in the history of the world, should tell you where ww2 was truly fought.

    circa 1944, western front assignment was seen by germans as a ‘holiday assignment’. privileged people, relatives of nazi party were sent there. while the peons were being slaughtered in eastern front.

    EVEN after the normandy landings, germans STILL allocated weight of their fighting force to east. getting overrun by soviets were psychologically unacceptable for nazi party. After it became evident that germany was beaten, this time they kept assigning bulk of their forces to eastern front, and had their divisions in the west start surrendering (after hitler was more or less out of the picture of course) in order to prevent soviets from overrunning entire germany – they preferred to evade soviet occupation.

    the fate of world war 2 probably really changed when stalin properly believed the report famous german spy in tokyo delivered, telling that the japanese were not intending an attack on ussr anytime soon. this allowed zukov’s armies to be directed to german front, and changed the tide there decisively. previously that famous spy also reported the 1941 attack germans made against ussr – but stalin dismissed and ridiculed him. he didnt do that mistake a 2nd time.

    in truth, japan was not a foe that could upset the balance of ww2. even when they were attacking ussr at the early stages of war, they were mainly infantry, lacking armor and proper air support. not to mention that japanese staff correctly calculated that the resources and equipment (including aircraft carriers) they had would not be able to maintain a proper war with usa, hence the decision to raid pearl harbor and try to destroy us navy in one stroke with the hopes of forcing a peace treaty. their aircraft carriers were mostly conversions of old ships, and their production capability was nowhere near usa – even by the time of pearl harbor, with the initiatives u.s. took for production, us would end up outnumbering japanese aircraft carriers 1 to 10, and not only in numbers but also tonnage. not counting smaller aircraft carriers.

    combine this with the fact that especially churchill (hence the brits) hoped that germany would destroy soviet union – being the privileged elitist aristocrat psychopath churchill was (he thought the ‘opulent’ (rich) should govern the ‘masses’ – the people), he did everything in his power to delay any meaningful front in the west – hence the shitty, pointless italy landings, and the totally absurd and unnecessary bloodshed that happened in italy.

    only after it was evident that soviets were running over germans and would end up taking over europe that the lunatics hastily started preparing for an invasion.

    even at the end of ww2, churchill was urging an immediate attack on ussr, relentlessly – only to shut the hell up after learning that even at the end of the war at that point, soviets outnumbered ALL the allies combined 1 to 3.

    but thankfully for churchill, the military-industry complex had had successfully taken over usa by staging a political coup against FDR’s candidate, Wallace, and planted their puppet, truman. Who were to proceed with pushing churchill’s agenda in the coming decade.

  45. 45 Bzmn January 28, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    What no one seems to mention here is that the U.S., unlike the Soviets, was fighting another war with Japan, on a massive scale. Huge resources in men and materiel were devoted to this effort. It was, after all, the attack on Pearl Harbor that galvanized the U.S. into the war. Hitler foolishly and needlessly declared war on the U.S., much to Churchill’s delight. The reason so many German soldiers fell in the war against the Soviets was that after the fall of France there was essentially no ground action in Western Europe till the invasion of Sicily, which involved much smaller numbers of troops than the millions of both sides engaged in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. More German soldiers died in the east because that is where the bulk of the German army had been sent, pure and simple.

  46. 46 unity100 January 28, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    The war the US was fighting with japan was of minor importance due to its nature and scale. Even before the war japanese staff concluded there would be no way they could win a war with usa if war lasted any duration. Leave aside years. Hence the pearl harbor raid plan – in order to force usa to a peace settlement – as i mentioned.

    US manufacturing capacity was multiples of the axis forces combined themselves, even before the war. So even before the war, as japanese staff knew, it would be a matter of a year or so before the US outnumbered and overpowered japan in every way in terms of equipment – planes to tanks to ships to submarines. Then it would only be a rather excruciating procedure of weeding off japanese from the islands to japan without any kind of threat to the US mainland, production, or supply lines. Which exactly happened as such. Not to mention usa was also able to manufacture and supply equipment to uk, french, and even to the ussr itself. This should tell how easy usa had it at that point.

    There was nothing in the pacific front to compare with what was happening over the course of a month in the eastern front. Even the kursk battle is itself enough – 10000 tanks head on against each other with nothing intervening – the biggest tank battle ever to take place.

  47. 47 Andrew Sprague January 28, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    There are so many factors involved here. But It is laughable to say that the Soviets could have won by themselves. Hitler actually lost the war for the Germans in Russia. I don’t know how many of you have actually studied Operation Barbarossa. But essentially the Nazis send three massive armies in comprised of 200 divisions. Ukraine, Moscow and Leningrad were the main objectives. With a policy of killing pretty much everyone. That is a major difference between the East and Western fronts. Hitler actually considered the West “Anglo-Saxon” brothers and that is the main reason the Nazis didn’t straight liquidate whole entire towns excepting the Jews. German generals after a screeching halt just before Moscow advised to take Moscow with all their forces to deal a death blow to the USSR. Hitler disagreed and attacked Leningrad instead. Then fired the Generals and made himself the Supreme General.

    There is also a key element here no one is talking about. Russia had a lot of its forces on its Eastern border because it feared attack from Japan. Without America entering the war Japan would have invaded. Japanese troops were considered the finest ground soldiers in the world. One of the key elements to making the Axis alliance was the fear Hitler had of Russia and the benefit of a powerful Asian ally. Without the US, Russia would have been split by the Japanese and the Nazis. Personally in my opinion if the Japanese and Nazis had switched places, the Allies would have lost the war.

  48. 48 Deasy, Brendan January 29, 2015 at 3:29 am

    Didn’€™t the Russians have a lot of troops in Manchuria also, as the japs were a threat to them. So didn’t the Russians have two fronts to defend at one time, negating the point made re the USA and their Pacific campaign.

  49. 49 unity100 January 29, 2015 at 10:32 am

    That was during the time when they were defending, and germans were pushing moscow. When it was reported by the famous soviet spy in tokyo that japanese would go after usa instead, zhukov and his forces were diverted west….. that aside, even if it did not happen the equation would not change – germans did not need many troops for occupied france, and naturally they didn’t have many there. For the balkans a smaller force was enough, and then it was partisan action. Afrikakorps itself wasn’t a huge force – and actually considering how small and under-equipped it was, what they did there truly is a product of rommel’s genius.

    However, to understand the meaning of the eastern front, one has to read german soldiers’ memoirs, letters and the like. The vastness of the front, immortal-looking enemy (neverending), inevitability of death….

  50. 50 Chris Maxwell January 29, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    The Germans lost the war the day they crossed the Dnieper River into Russia! They in no way had enough manpower or material to win. Yes they had some spectacular successes in the beginning but as the battle became one of attrition it was just a matter of time. If the Allies had never invaded Europe the Russians would have over run the entire continent. The Allied effort did shorten the war. If not for Russia however the Allies would have had to face the entire might of the Nazi war machine which would have ended badly for them. Look at what happened at Dieppe, no Russia and Normandy would have been a similar disaster. Think about an Allied bombing campaign facing a full strength Luftwaffe fully equipped with jets. Russia soaked up the cream of the German military. When the Allies landed on the beaches in France the Germans were in full retreat in Russia. The Russians faced the full force of the German Army with their best generals leading the attack for a full year alone and fought the Germans to a standstill. So yes the Russians would have eventually won.

  51. 51 lester quick January 30, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    I’m a American vet and I’ve always said if it weren’t for the Russians chewing up the elite SS, Paratroop, and Panzer divisions it would have been a different story.

  52. 52 unity100 January 30, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Yeah. Despite Soviets having hammered down ~80% of german army in the east, those in the west still had huge problems. Ranging from disasters like operation market garden to 1 german tank vaporizing dozens of allied tanks on average. 1 tank crew even blasted ~40 shermans while allies were moving inland from normandy – that is with the immense air cover allies had in the west.

  53. 53 Clint January 31, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Yes, the Soviet Union took down more of the nazi military than the U.S….but it only was able to do so with raw material infusions and equipment lend-lease deals with Britain and America. The Russian victory at Stalingrad and the whole counter attack would never have happened without help from the west. The Russians were down to just a few hundred medium and heavy tanks (having lost over 20,000 tanks during the German attack) when the Germans were within 40 miles of Moscow. America actually gave the Russian army a year’s worth of food; British tanks were given to the Russians to help save the red army from further devastation.

    All this information has become available since glasnost and the collapse of Soviet communism. Right after the end of the war, it was prudent we keep peace with Russia so it was not heavily advertised that Britain and America saved Russia’s neck.

  54. 54 unity100 January 31, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    “….Yes, the Soviet Union took down more of the nazi military than the U.S…. but it only was able to do so with raw material infusions and equipment lend-lease deals with Britain and America…”

    Not correct. Indeed the materials coming from the usa helped while soviets moved their ENTIRE industry east of the urals, but when it was done, there was no need to use any external help. Even soviet aces using p39s were pressured to move to yak-3s.

    Entire soviet industry was MOVED east of the urals. Imagine. Then they started pushing back germans with that power. When soviets started moving west, taking over old industrial areas, their output doubled. Over 30,000 yak series fighter aircraft, over 35,000 il2s, 11,400 pe-2s, and many more. Where is the american aid in this?

  55. 55 IDNeon February 4, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Lend-Lease; it’s always the same trash from the Americans. “Without lend-lease the USSR couldn’t have fought”.

    You mean the USSR’s 160,000+ tanks couldn’t have marched on Berlin without the 7,000 tanks given by the US?

    The US Lend-lease made up perhaps 5% of the total USSR war production.

    Even worse figures than the actual performance figures.

  56. 56 Frank February 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Let’s talk about the Japanese and Manchuria. Did the Red Army do anything there?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/daily/nov98/nazicars30.htm

  57. 57 unity100 February 20, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Did they…. The course of history may have been changed in 1939 in the war in between ussr and japan.

    http://thediplomat.com/2012/08/the-forgotten-soviet-japanese-war-of-1939/

  58. 58 stick March 14, 2015 at 9:18 am

    The Germans absolutely would have crushed Russia had it not been for the allies and most of all mother nature. Had the Germans only had to deal with them they would have fallen in no time. The allies were bombing the hell out of germany’s war production for one. Stalin’s scorched earth policy combined with mother nature is what caused many German soldiers’ demise. The Germans were rolling Russia up like a napkin till the winter saved them at the last minute.

  59. 59 stick March 14, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Another fact about the war, Stalin purged all the good Russian generals before the war. And this led to many a poor Russian soldier being killed by friendly fire. What helped the Russians as well as the weather was supplies and fuel for their tanks and other motorized divisions. The Russians came close to being part of the third Reich, really close.

  60. 60 unity100 March 14, 2015 at 9:41 am

    “The Germans absolutely would have crushed Russia had it not been for the allies and most of all mother nature. Had the Germans only had to deal with them they would have fallen in no time. The allies were bombing the hell out of germany’s war production for one.”

    Wrong.

    The effectiveness of bombing was questioned even at the day, and after the war it was discovered that germans moved their production underground a long time ago and were continuing their industry unscathed.

    If their industry was under any threat, not only would they have been unable to manufacture 50,000 tanks, but also they would have taken full command of the war economy. But instead, the german government was issuing tenders to PRIVATE manufacturers which competed for projects and then manufactured them when they won – as if it was peacetime.

    “Another fact about the war, Stalin purged all the good Russian generals before the war. And this led to many a poor Russian soldier being killed by friendly fire.”

    This is the stupidest thing i heard so far. ‘Friendly fire’ cannot kill any decent portion of 80% of total casualties in a world war.

    …………..

    Your knowledge of ww2 events is 50 years outdated, and seems to rely on bbc documentaries and anglo-american historical blabberscramming. You should use newly available resources on the internet and update yourself.

  61. 61 Deasy, Brendan March 16, 2015 at 5:06 am

    So the Germans were fighting in one climate and the Russians in another, that reference makes me laugh. The Russians were like Rocky, ya know that Hollywood character that possibly 80% of the viewers believe is real. The first few rounds he gets knocked about, then he gets annoyed and retaliates by knocking 7 bells outa the opponent. The Germans had a great “€œfirst half”€ as Russia was ill prepared for war. That is why Stalin tried to set up an alliance with the west. However they declined and so Stalin signed a non aggression pact with Hitler to stall him while preparing for war. The Allies did help and it’s hard to know, if the help did not arrive when it did, would Hitler have succeeded or maybe the Russians would have won eventually. Oh, also I never heard a German being threatened with being sent to the Western front, only the Eastern one. Explain that; I suppose the Eastern front was a war where no prisoners were taken which gave the Russians lots of motivation.

  62. 62 Deasy, Brendan March 16, 2015 at 5:12 am

    28 million Russians were killed in the war. It would take a lot of convoys to replace them. I think the French, Poles, and a lot of other countries came very close to becoming part of the 3rd Reich. I am no supporter of the Stalin era or after, but ask yourself a different question. If the Russians did not enter the war would GB have fallen? The US also helped them out a lot with ammo etc. D day was 1944 June 6th. The war started in 1939 Sept.

  63. 63 Deasy, Brendan March 16, 2015 at 5:17 am

    Talk about private industry re the war. Vickers had designed a fuse in the bombs which fell on GB. They collected after the war one shilling and 3 old pennies for every bomb dropped on GB. (Patent rights). My source is “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William L. Shirer. He also has another good book, “The Krupps Family”, all about Hitler’s arms build up.

  64. 64 N NICHOLSONJ March 26, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I think that the basic truth is the Germany defeated itself by fighting a war on 2 fronts!
    Germany vastly underestimated the remaining strength of the Red Army after initial successes….and American entry into the European Theatre late on saw Germany rerouting vast resources to the Western Front to shore up defences in her rear…while her main battle front was in the East.
    Germanys resources were split between East and West thus she had no overwhelming power on either side to win the War.
    My personal opinion is that Germany was severely drained by the War in the East and when the USA and BRITAIN/CANADA and other ALLIES entered from the WEST the game was up.
    Plus German economic output could not match that of the USA/USSR so she became vastly under resourced in the course of the last year of WW2 resulting in her defeat.
    Western Allied airpower was a decisive factor…but so was that of massive SOVIET ARMIES amassing on her Eastern Borders…..thus the War was lost for Germany who just couldn’t match the resources of her foes.
    Summing up then…a combined effort from EAST/WEST (thus the ALLIES splitting Berlin) saw Germany’s defeat in WW2…but had she concentrated on one front alone (RUSSIA) then history may have had a different outcome.

  65. 65 N NICHOLSONJ March 26, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Germany’s other defeating factor was the downgrading of the Luftwaffe…..so much so that ALLIED AIRPOWER in the WEST was basically numerically unchallenged…and even the EAST (where earlier advances were gained by the LUFTWAFFE) saw GERMAN forces degraded by a resurgent SOVIET AIRFORCE….
    NOTE: that’s why to this day the WEST and RUSSIA have paid so much attention to AIR SUPERIORITY…

  66. 66 N NICHOLSONJ March 26, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    So as a BRIT growing up in the 70s/80s watching HOLLYWOOD WAR FILMS where AMERICA singlehandedly won the War in EUROPE…..I can now say after reading historical books that I would say its a 60/40 split in favour of our communist friends the RUSKIES!
    PS: theres still a school of thought in the UK that it was the BRITS who helped AMERICA win 2 WORLD WARS!!….I do have to laugh down the pub when I hear this!

  67. 67 unity100 March 26, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    “Germany vastly underestimated the remaining strength of the Red Army after initial successes…and American entry into the European Theatre late on saw Germany rerouting vast resources to the Western Front to shore up defences in her rear.”

    By the time of normandy landings, ussr was already racing towards berlin. That’s one of the reasons why normandy landings happened. So it was not a war on two fronts at all. It was one front, they lost there, and normandy was just a means to save europe from ‘reds’.

  68. 68 Deasy, Brendan March 27, 2015 at 6:50 am

    We will never know if Russia on its own would have defeated the 3rd reich. However as the Nazis wanted to wipe out all life in the USSR the Russian army would fight to the last man.

  69. 69 Will April 7, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Consider two main points on this subject. 1. Stalin would do anything to save his beloved Stalingrad, in which he used conscripts as meat shields. 2. The German Wehrmacht were better equipped with radios on the Panzer 3s and Tiger I compared to the KV-1 who couldn’t pen the Tiger 1 with the ZIS 5 and the T-34 with the 76mm. The Battle of Stalingrad gave just enough time for the 85mm gun to be put into use. Hitler was overconfident and thought that his “Aryan” race could survive the harshest of winters, but you can beat the Russians any day of the week but you best beat them before winter or you’re gonna be in tough crap. The uniforms of the panzer divisions weren’t meant to fight in the winter they faced, nor were the Soviets producing enough clothes and weapons for the Red Army. The fact that many soviets died compared to the West is very likely. The communist state of Russia is like fascism in many ways. It takes more than 1 man to support the country, it would take the hard work of many like the fascists. Historians want you to believe that the Eastern front was all about the Caucasus and its resources, that’s only partly true. Stalin was so focused on eliminating Fascism that the war was his opportunity to carry his agenda and after the Winter War, his reputation needed a bit of work. So basically in short, if hitler hadn’t made a B-line for Stalingrad instead of heading towards Moscow then the world could be ALOT different

  70. 70 unity100 April 7, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    “You can beat the Russians any day of the week but you best beat them before winter or your gonna be in tough crap.”

    Wow. You tied up fate of ENTIRE western front to german army’s uniforms and ‘winter’. That’s just idiocy.

    And ‘meat shields’. So, the country which developed the counter tactic against blitzkrieg in the form of deep minefields, massive artillery fire followed by total (and previously unprecedented) combined arms assault won just through ‘meat shields’ and ‘german army uniforms’.

    The 170,000 tanks which the ussr manufactured and put to use on the eastern front also vanished.

    With your logic, the war in the pacific would be won by who had the better hawaii shirts to cope with the heat.

  71. 71 Deasy, Brendan April 8, 2015 at 1:59 am

    So Hitler made more mistakes than the Russians and the Russians are tougher in the winter than the Germans. When people criticise Stalin for his horrible use of soldiers, let’s cast our minds back to 1918 and remember what the “lions led by donkeys”€ had to contend with. The USSR was a country that had more in common with Asia than Europe.

  72. 72 Howard April 15, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/failures.htm
    This link is to a scholarly work on the problems and failures of writing accurately about the German-Russian conflict.

  73. 73 Howard April 15, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    The following was from a discussion of the Vaslov Army: “…there were then on the entire Russian Front 427,000 ex-Soviet soldiers serving in the eastern formations, who would have to be replaced by German soldiers in case they were disbanded. This figure did not include over 100,000 “Hiwi” who were not recognized as soldiers, nor Latvian, Estonian and Ukrainian formations.”
    I do not think this counts the 250,000 Cossacks that actively fought the Russians.
    Despite vehement objections of Hitler himself, leaflets were dropped over Soviet lines and front line commanders were reporting thousands of deserters coming over to the Germans and asking specifically to join Vaslov. Had this program been done with the full blessings and support of the high command, what more might have happened. As it was, most actions were in secret because they had been prohibited by Hitler, and in the German army to do something forbidden by Hitler must have looked like a sure-fire success to take such a risk.
    Hitler ordered most of these troops sent out of the east, but that at the same time removed them from the theater where they were motivated to fight. They did not want to help Germany, they wanted to oust Stalin and Communism.

  74. 74 Ron Tirados June 3, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    My opinion, the European war was won by combined effort of the allies, but discounting the effectiveness of the US, not sure about that. First off, the USA was in two WWII theaters, the Pacific and Europe. My opinion, the US was heavily concentrated in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor attack, and knowing in those years how most Americans felt about the Japanese as sub-humans. Just an example, Japanese concentration camps on US soil, even US-born of Japanese heritage were put in camps. I believe there were no German camps on US soil then. However, the amount of tons of bombs dropped by the US Flying Fortresses B-17 on German industrial sites and cities not only crippled their war machines but also psychologically. The Germans were close to perfecting the B1 rocket and the first jet fighter. These would have been the end for the eastern front if the Nazis had perfected them, not to mention the Pacific war because Germany and Japan collaborated on jet fighter technology.

  75. 75 Vladimir June 24, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Your first statement in the 5th paragraph infuriates me of how absent-minded you are of the Russian people’s sacrifice to remain existant under terrible odds. You said “but much of that sacrifice (the Russians) was wasted”. You and all other “western world” people need to comprehend that those poor souls during that war were giving their lives out of free will just for the chance that the tide could turn. Much like say a wall of tin cans were to stand in front of an advancing tank brigade. Of course the wall will collapse but the wall was set up only for the hope that maybe the tanks would advance a bit slower. The soviet men at the beginning of the war were ill-equipped and acted much like the wall of tin cans. Furthermore, I’d just like to add that Stalin was actually preparing for an attack by the Nazis ever since 1934. The only reason that those troops hadn’t done anything was Hitler’s pincer movements which took out millions of unsuspecting soviets. In reality, if the soviets had known an attack was coming on June the 22nd 1941, then not one inch of Soviet land would have been given to the Germans. Overall, I genuinely believe that if the UK and USA were not involved, USSR would defeat the Nazis as well as the Japanese.

  76. 76 Deasy, Brendan June 25, 2015 at 8:46 am

    The western powers also refused to join in an alliance with Stalin against Hitler. The western powers also ignored Hitler’s contribution for Franco in the Spanish civil war. There is an opinion abroad that if the west stood up to Hitler the war may never have started. It can be stated that a lot of Western suffering was wasted as in children being killed in the Blitz. This shows a lot of bloody-mindedness to me to say such things. A casualty of war is a waste but first it’€™s a tragedy.

  77. 77 unity100 June 29, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Doing arms, materials and tech trade BEFORE the war is one thing, doing it WHILE germany was fighting USA, UK themselves was another.

    American corporations did the latter.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/profits-ber-alles-american-corporations-and-hitler/4607

    As german army was killing americans in northern africa and europe, the technology, raw materials and financing coming from US companies enabled them to keep killing.

    Never before in the history of mankind has such a treason ever been seen.

  78. 78 Choccos July 12, 2015 at 6:05 am

    I know this is well after most other people commented but… man so many ignorant people saying “German industry peaked in 1944”. Yes it did but have you looked into why? until that point their economy wasn’t geared towards Total War. It was still very similar to a peaceful economy and was producing what in war time was quite useless.
    The bombing campaign pinned down over 1million German soldiers and over 10,000 anti aircraft guns (thousands were 88’s (which could destroy any armour the allies could field)).
    It is doubtful that the Soviets could have won the war alone but neither could the Germans. If it was just between them, it would have most likely ended up with a negotiated peace rather than one side being completely crushed.

  79. 79 Deasy, Brendan July 14, 2015 at 2:20 am

    A negotiated peace , possibly. However the Germans wanted “€œliving space” so it was a war of attrition. If the 2 leaders were anyway near normal perhaps a settlement may have been reached. Hitler expected his people to fight till their last breath. That may have suited Stalin who could then have taken all of Germany. Let’s not forget that the USSR was churning out more guns etc than the Germans after they relocated their industry to Siberia. I have heard of poetic license how about Hollywood license. Has Hollywood made a movie about Stalingrad or leningrad or Kursk.

  80. 80 Ryan Marchi July 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    The British took more prisoners in Africa than were taken at Stalingrad. They were fighting from 39-42 before the Americans got involved and they were fighting the Japs before the Americans and Russians got involved. The battle of Britain, battle for Africa and the Atlantic were won by the time the Americans got there. WW1 was won by the British and the French, WW2 was won by all allies, but if it wasn’t for the British fighting alone for 3 years keeping Hitler/Germany busy the war would have had a different outcome as all their efforts would have been against Russia and America wouldn’t have had anywhere to build their forces or the British to train them as they did. Russians lost more people than anyone else because most were killed by their own leaders or because of very poor tactics. They had to outnumber the Germans 10-1 to win any battles.

  81. 81 unity100 July 20, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    “The bombing campaign pinned down over 1million German soldiers and over 10,000 anti aircraft guns (thousands were 88’s (which could destroy any armour the allies could field)).”

    Incorrect. Germans moved their production to underground factories, which went unmolested by bombing. Even during ww2, the usefulness of strategic bombing was being questioned by even USA, who did precision bombing on industrial targets, leave aside the efficiency and usefulness of the british – who were just carpet bombing civilians in german cities, without doing anything to harm german production – since it was being done in underground factories with slave labor and had little connection to anyone living in cities.

  82. 82 Zephyr July 25, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Dear Mr. Charles.

    Forgive this long rant, I assure you it is going somewhere!

    I absolutely loved your videos in middle school and was always astonished that Sea Water Bliss was not a major band, your failed job interview video inspired me to do my own faux failed job interview animation which got me an ‘A’ in animation class!

    Now, here I am, about to move to Germany and in the 3rd page of google results comes ‘Did the Red Army Defeat the Third Reich’, I clicked on it and was astonished to find the author was none other than the enigmatic Mr Charles.

    You are everywhere!

    In any case, your work was seriously an inspiration to me as a kid and even now that I am a so called adult you still have a special place in my heart.

    – Zephyr

  83. 83 Ebubechi Oti August 21, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Those of you of the opinion that USSR could have handled Germany by itself without the help of allied forces seriously underestimate the technological superpower which was the Nazi army. A hypothetical WW2 without any allied involvement would have been very very very very bad for USSR. Germany’s military without the added nuisance of the western front would have been able to focus all their technological might on Russia. Hitler’s V2 rockets might have been ready before 1943. Also the Germans were also working on their own Atomic bomb. Given Russia’s Leader I wonder how they would have handled these threats. Russia greatly outnumbered Germany and if they were to win this hypothetical war it would surely be as a result of greater numbers. Either way the USSR sacrifice for WW2 was massive and shouldn’t be belittled in any way.

  84. 84 Logical Poster September 2, 2015 at 8:39 am

    @Ebubechi Oti you are correct to a point the German war machine could have wrecked the Russians based on quite a few things if the allies had not stepped into the war.

    1. Russia could not and would not have been able to fight a two front war against both the full force of japan and Nazi Germany. Yes japan had a weaker army but look at what the weaker army did to the US just defending their homeland. It took the US until after Germany surrendered to finally get japan to surrender. Not only that, the weaker less technologically advanced army on the Eastern front in Europe still put up a great fight.

    Just because the Japanese didn’t have armor doesn’t mean that they didn’t have Anti-Tank, Airplanes, Artillery, etc. The Japanese were still a force that couldn’t be ignored.

    2. Since this is a game of IF… IF united states had not been pulling their trade from japan. IF japan would not have focused just on the dutch indies and the Philippines and just kept fighting against Russia, which was why Hitler wanted them as allies in the first place, they could have taken out Russia and Russia could have been fighting a two front war.

    3. There are reports that Germany didn’t really want to attack Britain, in fact according to most reports Hitler thought that the British were close enough to pure Aryan that he didn’t want to waste their blood in a battle. However Churchill being as stalwart and not surrendering Germany really pushed them.

    By doing this they lost tons of resources in the battle of Britain (mainly Luftwaffe) therefore taking more resources that they “could” have used in the eastern front.

    4. Against most reports the Germans were not as far as most allies thought in creating an atomic bomb. They didn’t have the resources, nor the time, nor the large factories that could have been used to create the uranium or plutonium to create the bomb. So to answer you NO they were not even close to creating an A-bomb.

    IF the allies had not been bombing them perhaps they could have researched it but the answers are likely that they would not have needed it. And if they did Russia would have been decimated.

  85. 85 Brian September 16, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I would like to interject something here. As a veteran and as a student, winning wars is more about completing objectives than casualties. IE in several major battles in the American civil war in which the Union forces won, the Union sustained more casualties than the south, but obtained the objective. And the Soviets did the same. Now we need to put in this. Could the Soviet Union been able to fight off the Nazis without the food, trucks, tanks and raw materials that the Americans sent them? And how much of the Nazi air force was used in 1942 -1945 to fight off the American bombing raids?

  86. 86 Deasy, Brendan September 23, 2015 at 2:47 am

    It was a team effort that won the war. Yes there was external help for the Soviets . What was the % towards their total war effort. I have heard it said that “€œit’s troops on the ground that win wars”. How many Allied troops were at the Eastern front. I have seen the question “€œwould the Soviets have won without Allied support”€. Turn the question around and ask, would the Allies have defeated Hitler without the aid of Stalin. The Americans had ground troops in Vietnam, need I say more.

  87. 87 Frank Andersson September 27, 2015 at 1:05 am

    It really surprises me how poorly the immense weaknesses of WW2 Soviet Red Army during the latter part of the war is known among western Europeans and Americans. For instance the fact that Stalin was forced to use more and more sick, wounded (disabled by western standards), unreliable minorities, very old soldiers (also for front line combat forces), young boys (in 1944 those born in 1927). Also the myth of Soviet Guard divisions as “elite” force and the reality of those units is unknown in west. How can you talk about elite forces if your reserves and reinforcements are men at the age of 35-50?

    Red Army in 1943-45 was like two-way street: becoming better with (American) mobility. But becoming worse with so many low level reserves. Also their divisions were remarkable small compared to western units: average as low as 5 000 – 6 500 soldiers. American division was actually stronger than average Red Army corps, American Corps was stronger than Russian Army, American Army was stronger than Red Army Group (“Front”, as they called it).

    I guess westerners know at least the low level of Soviet Air Forces. For instance their poor ability to execute real joint operations with other military branches. They never could secure battleground and prevent the enemy bringing up reserves like RAF and USAF were doing. People in the west (and in Russia especially) are still believing Great Patriotic myths and legends of “devastating IL-2 forces decimating German panzer divisions”. Well, that never really happened. Instead IL-2’s were shut down hundreds of times more than they could wipe out panzers.

    Glad that more and more people have now begun to realize that T-34, not Sherman, was the real coffin of WW2 tank crews, though there are still millions of ignorants claiming T-34 as “best WW2 tank”. Red Army was not even near as good as myths and legends are claiming – even today. Or especially now during era of Vladimir Putin.

  88. 88 Frank Andersson September 27, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Quoting Zhukov:

    “Speaking about our readiness for war from the point of view of the economy and economics, one cannot be silent about such a factor as the subsequent help from the Allies. First of all, certainly, from the American side, because in that respect the English helped us minimally. In an analysis of all facets of the war, one must not leave this out of one’s reckoning. We would have been in a serious condition without American gunpowder, and could not have turned out the quantity of ammunition which we needed. Without American ‘Studebekkers’ [sic], we could have dragged our artillery nowhere. Yes, in general, to a considerable degree they provided our front transport. The output of special steel, necessary for the most diverse necessities of war, were also connected to a series of American deliveries.”

    Zhukov:

    “It is now said that the Allies never helped us . . . However, one cannot deny that the Americans gave us so much material, without which WE COULD NOT HAVE FORMED OUR RESERVES and COULD NOT HAVE CONTINUED THE WAR. . . . we had no explosives and powder. There was none to equip rifle bullets. The Americans actually came to our assistance with powder and explosives. And how much sheet steel did they give us. We really could not have quickly put right our production of tanks if the Americans had not helped with steel. And today it seems as though we had all this ourselves in abundance.”

    Official Soviet “Great Patriotic War” history has always tried to downplay how vital lend lease was for their warfare. It easily fools people with numbers of their own artillery and tank production. However – as experts of warfare knew – numbers of trucks, trains, radios, locomotives, machine tools for steel industry are actually even more important. Especially if you wanna march to Berlin.

    Actually the biggest problem for most people is still to realize how Stalinist system was based on the ability to tell stories. How to change black to white, white to black. Stalin was indeed a great story teller. But he was a poor military leader. As General Volkogonov observed, in warfare there is a “fundamental principle of the military art, namely, that the OBJECTIVE SHOULD BE GAINED AT MINIMAL COST IN HUMAL LIFE”.

    Well, by that rather basic standard, Stalin was, as the general points out, “ignorant”. He never really cared about it. But now it looks like the terrible price was the first step of decline of his and Lenin’s Empire. War had its long shadow: until 1991 and even much longer.

  89. 89 Deasy, Brendan September 28, 2015 at 2:49 am

    How to achieve your objective at minimal cost. A very important issue in times of war and peace. A strong body of opinion / facts supports the theory that if Europe stood up to General Franco that world war 2 may have been averted. Now Ford gave trucks to the General and the USA oil companies gave fuel to the General again, Yes the good old USA are generous at helping out in times of war. It’s a pity their ambassadors or diplomats (government) do not try to choose their friends more carefully. But the real enemy of the USA then was a socialist government in power who could improve the lot of the common people at the expense of the elite. So some of us may not see this article related to world war 2, however then again if the war could have been averted? So much the better.

  90. 90 patrick September 28, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    (Quote)This limited comparison (which excludes casualties among Italian and other Axis forces, as well as Germans killed in the Balkans, Scandinavia, and Germany itself) suggests that the Red Army was roughly 5.5 times as lethal as the other Allied forces combined (end quote)

    Never could get past this passage. Do the eastern front casualties include lost to the cold? Nevermind we (america) had a second conflict in the pacific.

    I think monty and the sheer number of Russians could have won the war. America just made it happen far more decisively (by years).

  91. 91 patrick September 28, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Our industrial contributions appear seemingly ignored in this article. And there is NO competition in that conversation.

  92. 92 Vorteksio3 October 5, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    @Unity100

    Germany would have crushed Russia without the US help, you pathetic kremlin troll.

    Actually studies by Erikson and Zaloga have shown that Germans lost 35% of their armor against western allies. Very good measure of that loss rate of ground war during the WW2. But this is not the whole picture. German Luftwaffe defeat came mostly in western front and above the Reich. German fleet was destroyed almost entirely by western allies.

    Perhaps the most common falsehood is that German was losing the war in the east after Stalingrad. Hardly true at all. Since 1990’s (until Putin closed the doors of Soviet data) there were new studies which revealed how many big battles Soviet forces lost during the winter 1942-43. Some of the worst were in north from Stalingrad, in Rhzev-Vjazma where Zhukov was beaten by General Model. Actually the main aim for Soviets was not Stalingrad but to destroy the whole German southern army group. They failed and got horrific losses. The winter offensive was of course over when Germans mauled Red Army in Kharkov.

    The result of winter campaign 1942-43 was actually a bloody draw because neither Germany nor Red Army had reached their goal on war. Red Army was in so bad condition that Stalin – first time during the war – was ready to wait for new offensive almost half a year. He had squandered all that industry and western allies had delivered him.

    There is a myth very common among military historians that “Red Army was becoming better and better all the time”. Actually this is only partly true but mostly false. Lend-lease was making Red Army more mobilized as Zhukov later admitted. Without that aid Zhukov mentioned: “we couldn’t have created our strategic reserves and continue the war”.

    The shape of the Red Army remained ragged indeed until the end of war. Their offensive against Finland in summer 1944 is a good example. It started well but when Finns caused them first casualties reserves of Red Army were bad or even very bad with soldiers of very old, very young, minorities and far from high class at all. Finally Finns mauled them in five last battles. Stalin’s aim to conquer Finland was a failure just like operations during 1942-43 against Germans (excluding Stalingrad of course).

    People in west are too scared or too unaware that most stories of Red Army and Soviet evolution are just legends and myths by Stalinist government. It’s very obvious that without western aid and new fronts Stalin would have never reached Berlin. More likely Red Army would have been strangled by German forces because they were always superior than those of Soviet Union.

    The Germans losses in Normandy were greater than that of Soviet operation ‘bagration’. The western front took 40% of Wehrmacht numbers. Allies also single-handedly annihilated German air and naval forces.

  93. 93 Deasy, Brendan October 6, 2015 at 3:04 am

    So when the USA dropped off the guns, tanks etc. did they leave the manpower to operate them. You use the myth word a lot. There was a strong saying in the war. you may be sent to the eastern front if you were a bad soldier/officer. Now I never heard of a threat of being sent to the western front. Another fact is that it‒s a long way from Moscow to Berlin. Of course the Russians lost some battles. That’€™s the way wars go. However at the end it’s if you achieve your aim/objective is the difference between the victor and the vanquished. The US also helped the South Vietnam dictator for a while. They supplied lots of equipment and troops, however they still relied a lot on the South Vietnamese army. Did they win that €œwar?€ Your use of the expression Kremlin troll is amusing were it not for the fact it indicates a lot of angst. Have you suffered personally from the war. If not well you’re another capitalist lackey. How does it feel to be on the receiving end of some silly remark. A lot of Cossacks fought with Hitler. If the Germans had it so good technically how come they couldn’€™t handle the Russian winter, trucks kaput, guns not firing etc. The Russians also had to keep an eye on their backs as the Japanese were there. In the Russian side of the war it was a war of attrition. When faced with being wiped off the face of the earth you get the willpower to overcome the most frightening odds. I am not sure if Hitler had intended the same fate for the western population.

    Have you got the invoices for all this western aid. It’€™s well known that the Russians did receive a lot of aid and it was never denied. Probably very gratefully received too. I would imagine after D Day that the Russians were on their own. There was still a lot of war to fight then.

  94. 94 nick October 30, 2015 at 3:58 am

    First of all, popular culture and a lot of historians, as do many people here, give too much credit to the soviets. History is written by the victors after all and I’d find it hard to believe that during the war in the east there were any reporters who would challenge stalins post war narrative. (Come on, think about it.)

    The soviet union, by and large at the time, was a nation of illiterate peasants, essientally the starving masses, who had suffered terribly under Stalin prior to the war. The Soviet soldier was no exception. Even up to the very last month’s of the war the exchange rate was 1 german to 2 soviets (in 42 it was 1:4, 41- 1:7)

    If you read many personal accounts of German soldiers in the east during the last months of the war they said most of the Soviet soldiers they killed were very asiatic or mongol looking( I’m referencing the book Twilight of the Gods, among others) hence the common narrative that Stalin had an endless supply of men is false. In 1945, the soviets were in fact nearing their last reserves of men. This is also visible by many women who were conscripted into the army, over 200,000. So this commonly accepted view needs to stop. Most people unknowingly accept stalins narrative of the war in the east as he obviously plays down how incompetent and generally unintelligent (sorry but its true, i dont speak from a biggoted point of view, rather from acknowledging just how much soviet society had crumbled between 1921 and 19 41 under communist dictatorship) the Soviet army and society was from top to bottom.

    Soviet success is more the result of hitlers error rather than stalins and Zhukovs genius. This is true in the fact that in one case, hitler called off operation citadel as manstein achieved a general breakthrough because of the landings in sicily. Hitler was terrified the brits and Americans would use sicily as a staging point to seize the roumanian oil fields (the largest oil fields in the reich) which were vital to the German war effort.

    I can not remember the author of the book but it is titled “Stalin vs hitler” and it sheds quite a bit of light on what the soviet leadership would rather not talk about.

    Do people really accept the narrative that somehow the soviets made a miraculous turn around while they were at deaths door (stalingrad) and german fighting and strategic skill somehow stagnated? German skill on the strategic and tactical level was also improving as the war dragged on. Stalin wasn’t about to tell the world that the German military, an entities defeat in which he decided to take the credit for, was superior to his utopian soviet ideas and glorious red army, when in fact that was very much the case. Once agian, use your common sense ( soviets lost 600,000 men fighting from the eastern border of Poland to the western border in 44/45 alone, this was when they were supposed to be in their “prime”).

    In conclusion, if the western allies had not tied up roughly 30 percent of the German military and provided the soviets with lend – lease (almost half of the Soviet tanks present at kursk were shermans brought in to replace lost t34s surprisingly, quite a testament to soviet tactical ineptitude), the soviets would have eventually been crushed by German military prowess. And that goes both ways when considering the western allies as well. The soviets main contribution was to be the lead sponge while Britain’s and americas role was to be a punch to the back of the head. I don’t believe for a minute that any one nation, could have defeated hitlers germany single handedly.

  95. 95 Deasy, Brendan October 30, 2015 at 6:36 am

    I like your use of “come on think about it”.€ May I ask you, What is the distance from Moscow to berlin and the distance from Normandy to Berlin. Where did the men come from to man the lend-lease tanks. Stalingrad is a long way from the Baltic where land-lease material arrived. I also ask you did you see the Hollywood movies where old men and teenagers were fighting for Hitler. It appears the Germans were also running out of soldiers of a certain age. Yes the Germans gave the Allies a run for their money. But they had a lot of Romanians, Croats, Cossacks etc. with them. Stalin was a lunatic and evil. So are the Germans better than us decadent types as in Americans, Brits etc. Perhaps we should emulate their social system which seems to care for the general population a lot better than the conservative British American way. The reason we pay taxes is to have a civilised society. No tax and it’s everyman for himself. I agree all countries were needed to defeat the Fascists and now all countries need to unite to defeat poverty in the world or we may have a future which may bite us in the ass. So it’s an academic point who won the war. The next war on poverty may stop a plague similar to the black plague which wiped out a third of the pop. in Europe. If we lost that amount again could civilization continue as we know it.

  96. 96 Bolshevik November 3, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    The Germans were heavily outnumbered by the Russians on the eastern front and as a result could deploy a smaller number of troops against the Western Allies. By the time D-Day happened it was clear Germany would almost certainly be unable to win the war. At best, they could hope for a negotiated peace. It is a huge mistake to say that the Russians were going to be finished off. During April, 1944, this is what the eastern front looked like:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=ww2+eastern+front+1944&espv=2&biw=1920&bih=979&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIsaGo_rTAyAIVCOdjCh3higkb#imgrc=99Uckps7v6rO1M%3A

    As you can see, the vast majority of the land Germany had conquered in 1941 had been lost. The Soviets were on the offensive and the Germans were struggling to hold on to Belarus and the Baltic States. This map shows the eastern front in April, 1944. D-Day happened in June of that year. Another mistake you make is when you say that the Germans did not expect an assault on France. They were expecting it, it’s just that the Germans did not know which part of France and Germany lacked the manpower to defend the entire French coast due to the enormous number of troops they had to keep in the east. The Wehrmacht had 58 divisions in the west, of which only 11 were deployed against the D-Day landings. At the same time, however, the Germans deployed 228 divisions in the east (against the Russians). Thus, the Germans had almost four times as many troops facing the Soviets (as they did in France). And they had less than one-20th of that number in Normandy. That alone is an indication of where their priorities lay. Without the Russians holding all those German troops in the east, there simply would have been no D-Day.

  97. 97 willieandthepoorboys November 4, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Everyone should read brilliant study of Phillips Payson O’Brien: “How The War Was Won”. He totally debunks the common claim of WW2 as mostly land battles in Eastern front. Actually O’Brien underlined how USA, British Commonwealth, Germany and Japan never gave high priority to land battles and needs for armies.

    It might indeed surprise many how much even Germany invested to air-sea warfare and much less to land battles. Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine got some 70% of all resources for new aircraft, V-weapons, submarines and vessels. AFV got just 4-8%. If taking resources for development, studies and innovation, the slice for air-sea warfare was even bigger.

    USA, UK and Japan gave even less priority for needs of armies (15-25%). It’s well studied that 75% of Luftwaffe loses came in west and south. Kriegsmarine 95%. Zaloga, Erikson and German military historians have estimated German armour losses at 35% in west/south and 65% in east.

    O’Brien gives huge masses of data of primary sources debunking land battle priority. In reality armies got relatively little compared to air-sea warfare and most of land battles were not decisive compared to battle who will dominate sea and especially air.

    Sorry fans of Eastern Front but you have totally lost big picture of what O’Brien called “super battlefield”. Perhaps Midway was one of those few decisive clashes. Most losses in Eastern front were just bulk infantry soldiers and tanks and artillery lost there were easily replaced. Losing trained pilots and aircraft carriers were much worse defeats as Midway and Big Week clearly proved larger.

  98. 98 willieandthepoorboys November 4, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Whole debate clearly underlines how brilliant a storyteller Stalin was. He not only built castles on air, he seduced millions of poor souls to live there.

    The fact that western allies actually destroyed at least 65% of German ability to wage a war (resources, 75% of aircraft, mobility, infrastructure, submarines,vessels, 35% of armour too…) is poorly understood by mainstream historians.

    The problem here is clear: we hesitate to say than even losses of hundreds of thousands of infantry soldiers trapped and destroyed are not actually decisive defeats because after all they are just what they were: bulk infantry garrison style soldiers with low priority in modern superbattlefield warfare. What really mattered in WW2 was air-sea power to dominate strategic warfare. Honestly – Soviet military power in WW2 was impressive only slaughtering its own poor bulk division soldiers in terrible and sad way. It was all what Stalin could create.

  99. 99 Deasy, Brendan November 5, 2015 at 2:58 am

    So we do not need soldiers on the ground, wot a joke. How come the Vietnamese beat the USA. There were more bombs dropped on North Vietnam that Germany. Yet the USA didn’€™t send in ground troops. Stalin was a tyrant, the British did not re-elect Churchill after their victory. That says something about the state of affairs in England before the war. I do not think that many in the west bothered listening to Stalin after the war. So how you can state that he was a great storyteller is beyond me. A lot of the argument defending the Russian war effort stems from the west. The war in the east was a war of attrition so no wonder the Soviets fought to the death. (And yes I agree sometimes they had no choice) However lets not forget Gen. Patton accused a soldier in a hospital of being a coward. Not to mention that desertion was a capital offence in every army, yet we are drawn a pen picture of thousands of Red Generals standing behind the rank and file pointing guns at them forcing them into battle. I never heard of a German soldier being threatened with the Western Front.

  100. 100 Jerry S November 28, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    To say that the USSR won WWII is something I disagree with. That they had more people killed than any other nation is without doubt. That they engaged the lion’s share of the Wehrmacht is true. However they saw less of the Luftwaffe than the Western Allies and practically nothing of the Kreigsmarine.

    Some things that the USSR had little, if not nothing at all to do with . . .
    Battle of the Atlantic which also affected the USSR since Lend/Lease convoys had to traverse this theatre.

    Strategic bombing campaign against Germany. I know that near the end of the war the Soviets deployed those women piloted, sewing machine bombers against Germany but really, the lion’s share of this campaign was won by the Western Allies.

    The war in Africa. If the Western Allies are defeated here, this region now serves as a staging area for a right hand pincer movement , complimenting Wehrmacht Army Group A’s left hand drive into the Caucasus which could have led to Germany capturing the oil-rich regions of the Middle East, thus alleviating their chronic petroleum shortages for fueling their war machine.
    The war against Japan. Almost single-handedly won by the US. In an earlier post, Serge Kreiger cites the defeat of the Japanese in Manchuria by USSR as evidence that the Japanese weren’t that great of an armed force but I totally disagree with him here. Saying the Japanese were under-equipped? There army was as well-equipped as any at that time and their navy was about as good as any afloat. The USSR victory there was very impressive but the Russians left that front for the imperiled Moscow front and had little to do with the Japanese until after this.

    The D-Day invasion led to gigantic German losses by the end of August ’44. The battle of Normandy was just as significant in defeating the Germans as either Operation Bagration or the German Operation Citadel defeat.

    The Soviet Union’s military losses in World War II were horrific. Yet I hear all sorts of platitudes to Zhukov and other Russian generals. What if they had been led by Canadian officers? A Canadian Broadcast Company documentary (The Horror and the Valour) which tried to vilify our military leadership during the war cited a Russian general who stated the only way to defeat the Nazis in an attack you needed a six to one manpower advantage. Well, we met the Germans one to one in Italy and defeated them. Furthermore, if Western Allies employed the same tactics as the Russians (like marching your penal battalions through a German minefield at the point of a machine gun or bayonet in order to detonate mines) our media would have been, rightfully, scathing of this. When the Russian do it you hear nothing from this same media.

  101. 101 Deasy, Brendan November 30, 2015 at 2:44 am

    it appears the Russians were not in some theatres of war. Now when did the war start ? Was it September 1939. When was D-day. I iknow you win a war by making the other guy die for his country, Certainly too many Russians were killed yet they still killed a lot more Germans than the Allies, not to mention they had the Romanians and other nationalities fighting with Hitler. Does it really matter who defeated Hitler. We are better as a united people rather than a divided one. How many working class people died and how many “Toffs”, Did the fact that the people of no property always die for the people with property influence the property owners and give a little more to the millions who defended their property. When the next war starts ( crikey how many conflicts are goin on at the moment) we shall ask the landlords and factory owners to lead the charge as they have more to lose. Now there is a point worthy of debate

  102. 102 Sman Cometh December 3, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Hitler’s greed was what lost the war for the Third Reich..not to mention the morons he surrounded himself with. It wasn’t enough to have almost all of Europe in his grasp but he also wanted huge swaths of Lebensraum in the east for farmland to feed the master race which he claimed would grow to over 300,000,000 strong by the year 2000. What a maniac thinking blood was most important instead of character.

  103. 103 tramonte66 December 29, 2015 at 6:54 am

    German army got 30% of all munitions. Luftwaffe, anti aircraft artillery (80% against western allied strategic warfare),V-2 weapons etc got almost 60% and Kriegsmarine 10-12%. More production for U-boats than for AFV. Actually U-boats were biggest and only real strategic weapon for Germany to shake Allied forces. It’s llukenu that only 15-20% of German war production was targeting Eastern Front land warfare. German aircraft losses including those never built in factories or reaching battlezone was 90% caused by UK and US airpower. Soviet U had minor role.

  104. 104 Frankie January 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

    If Stalin sacrificed over 14 million of his own soldiers to death it doesn’t mean the Soviet Union played “major role” at all. Instead it tells only how primitive and old fashioned Eastern Front land warfare was compared to that in Atlantic and over the Reich (air war). There are lots of evidence suggesting that without western allied air power Germans would have been able to produce at least 150 000 aircraft because they were not lacking aluminium or workers. Actually Germany had 1.7-2.3 million workers for aircraft production, more than America had in 1944. Still USA managed to produce some 300 000 and Germans just about 110 000.

    The fact that Germans invested only about 30% for land warfare, or less than 20% for Eastern Front land warfare is poorly understood by even main stream historians. Luftwaffe, V-weapons, and AA-artillery focusing western allied strategic air war got some 58% and Kriegsmarine, especially U-boats got 12% of whole war production.

    Statistics are showing that less than 7% of war production was AFV for Army and with half-trucks and other vehicles that part of production for German army was just a little bit over 10%. 47% of weapons production went on Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe (including AA-artillery). Even with ammunition production some 38% was not send for army needs.

    Then there are developing, innovation costs concentrated mostly for air and sea warfare. Weapons for army were cheap with low developing costs. Germany had huge concrete shelter construction sector seldom mentioned by historians. It was e.g in 1943 150% more expensive than producing all kind of armour. 80% of that construction was targeting western allied air and sea warfare (U-boat pens, U-boats production, aircraft and fuel production, V-weapons, cities, towns, traffic centres. etc).

    People have been so easily fooled to believe that losses in Eastern Front which were mostly infantry or garrison ground force soldiers with quite low battle value (with some few exceptions they were not very highly trained or any kind of experts) have been “decisive”. In fact the most dangerous German soldiers for Allied were those 100-200 crews of U-boats with some excellent captains and chiefs sinking millions of tons of war material. During the early months of 1942 those U-boats (likely less than 12) sunk so much bauxite targeting American aircraft industry that 12 000 US aircraft were never produced. During the same period 23% of Army merchant ships or vessels of Puerto Rico was destroyed by U-boats.

    Neither German army nor Luftwaffe could ever shake allies. In short moment a relatively tiny group of U-boats, Germany’s only real weapon for strategic warfare in super battlefield, was really shaking US and UK.

  105. 105 Frankie January 2, 2016 at 11:04 am

    If you are comparing the battle value of German forces in Operation Citadel (Kursk) in July 1944 you can calculate production value of that force: armour, artillery, aircraft, vehicles, half-trucks plus smaller weapons. Army weapons had value of some 200 million dollars and Luftwaffe aircraft some 140 million. Total some some 340 million. In Bagration Germans had military force or likely military farce with value of about 100 million but of course lots of horses. It’s an ideal example of primitive Eastern Front land warfare.

    Then there is another example: American Navy and Navy Air Force in Marianas, June 1944. Even excluding smaller vessels and not including huge thousands of miles long chain of merchant and other transport vessels, the value of that military power was easily over 3 billion dollars.

    I think these two examples, the first, Kursk, amazingly over hyped by mainstream historians (like David Glantz) and the latter hardly never mentioned on our European history books at all. However as historians should know: Citadel halted by Hitler (because allied landing in Italy) was not decisive at all. German losses were moderate: just about 0.6% of their war production in 1943 (or 3.5% if taking all losses in whole Eastern Front during July-August). Kursk didn’t itself change anything. Hitler pulled more troops to south and west and lots of Luftwaffe fighters were pulled from Eastern Front to fight against RAF and USAAF That would have happened even without Kursk. Bagration is an example how low battle value does army have without air cover at all. There is nothing to be surprised at all. Tanks, artillery and horses means nothing.

    On the other hand battle of Marianas was likely the most decisive single military operation during the war. In result Japanese links between production centres and raw materials were cut and there was no way they could cope with those losses. There were very few battles in WW2 been crucial by any means. Marianas was one of those. Even German defeat in Atlantic in May 1943 was “natural” result of US and UK navy-air technology superiority over U-boats of Dönitz.

    Land warfare in WW2 was indeed quite cheap, mostly meaningless and surprisingly primitive. Losses were easily and fast replaced by war production while sunk aircraft carriers or millions of tons of war production were not small problems at all. Low technology means great human losses while higher technology while being expensive can save lots of lives of your own soldiers. Americans lost 5 000 men killed in Marianas in a battle which was really decisive. 14 million deceased Soviet and over 3 million German soldiers in Eastern Front is sad example of stupid, primitive man costly WW2 land warfare with thousands of meaningless battles led by two dictators with no idea of modern warfare at all. They were really men of the past.

  106. 106 tramonte January 3, 2016 at 7:30 am

    After all – land battles and land warfare was not decisive factor in WW2. Excluding perhaps Soviet Union, no big powers used more than 30% for land warfare. Western allied and Japan used hardly even 20%. What really mattered was air and sea superiority. Besides land warfare was rather primitive compared to war at sea and in air.

  107. 107 Deasy, Brendan January 4, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Why is the US so reluctant to send in ground troops in any conflict in today’€™s world? And it’€™s the only way to win a war. The Russians killed more Germans than the Allies, they also had to fight Romanians, Croats, and Cossacks, Hungarians too now that I think of it.

  108. 108 Deasy, Brendan January 4, 2016 at 9:26 am

    so how come 70 years on with all the scientific advances the air superiority in Vietnam, Iran Syria or whatever is not knocking 7 bells out of the enemy. And a refusal to send in “€œcheap troops”€ on the ground.

  109. 109 Matias January 7, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Germany used only 30% of their war production for their army, 58% for air war and 12% for Kriegsmarine (navy). Production statistics are suggesting that army weapons got just about 5% of all production, armour some 6.5-7%, half-trucks about 1.5% and vehicles some 2.5%. In 1943 Germany invested 4.5 billion RM for concrete shelter production – as much as army got for all vehicles, tanks, guns and other weapons. With the money Germany invested to their V-2 project they would have produced some 30 000 StuG assault guns/Pzkw IV tanks. One more irony. German forces defended Courtland until very end for that Dönitz had place to test and train his new XXI U-boats. Heer was actually just a prostitute in German military hierarchy.

  110. 110 Frankie January 10, 2016 at 8:57 am

    To open your mind to see huge difference between rather primitive Soviet Red Army and American Navy/Navy Air Force high technology and strategic military power is really a learning curve. But it’s useful and necessary if you wanted to go out of that Great Patriotic War Stalinist Propaganda Jail. Better technology really mattered. Just take a look at Soviet casualty figures. These figures are proof of good fighting but warfare run by very stupid and unskilled military force and high commander.

  111. 111 tramonte66 January 11, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    People are too easily believing that all produced war material found its way to combat units and battle zone. However combat losses of aicraft were mostly just 20-45% of all produced. Great deal were lost after production in deployment process. Lots were lost in training, testing. Especially in the Pacific aircraft deployment was hard and dangerous. Besides it won’t surprise me at all if even 90-94% of American aviation fuel was used outside battle zone. Does anyone have figures how that aviation fuel was used (combat mission versus non-operational/training) during 1942-45 inside USAAF and USNAF?

  112. 112 Mats January 16, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    On the eve of World War II the Soviet and German industrial sectors were of comparable size in terms of workforce, Of course in overall employment terms the Soviet Union was much larger. Germany’s employed population was just less than half the size of the USSR’s. Almost all the difference, however, is accounted for by the agricultural sector.In fact, the nonagricultural workforces of the two countries were very similar in size: 29.2 million in Germany, 32.5 million in the USSR. Numbers employed in each country in industry, construction, and transport were quite similar (18.6 million in Germany, 20 million in the USSR). However, the Soviet Union had substantially larger numbers engaged in transport, which no doubt reflected the country’s greater territorial extent; and substantially fewer engaged in artisan production. The latter imbalanceis explained in part by the suppression of small rural industries in the course of collectivising agriculture ten years previously.

    The levels of development of the two countries’ industrial sectors (and therefore the volumes of output) were probably very different,although the computation is complicated and must use a chain of binary comparisons in which the Soviet relativity is the weakest link. According to Stephen Broadberry, output per worker in German manufacturing in 1937 was at virtually the same level as in the UK, while US manufacturing output per worker was just over twice the British level. At the beginning of the 1950s Walter Galenson carried out a binary comparison of Soviet/US gross industrial output per worker in 1936-9 and arrived at a figure of 40 per cent; combined with Broadberry’s figures, this would suggest a prewar Soviet/German productivity ratio of roughly 80 per cent or a little less. 5 A similar ratio is implied for total output of industry since the workforces in the two countries were of similar size. But a more recent study by Remco Kouwenhoven (which involves backward extrapolation from a binary Soviet /US comparison of gross industrial output per hour worked for1987) is much more pessimistic, giving 21 % in 1937 falling to 10 % in 1940.The Soviet/US ratio fell towards World War II because US productivity gains coincided (as we shall see) with a Soviet productivity setback. But the Soviet/German ratio probably did not deteriorate so sharply. Still, Kouwenhoven’s figures combined with Broadberry’s point to a prewar Soviet/German productivity ratio of at most 40 %. When synthetic comparisons are difficult, it is commonplace to turn to indirect, usually physical indicators. A few are collected that Soviet prewar industrial production was much more than 40% of Germany’s; but they also indicate (as one would expect) that the Soviet advantage was greater in basic materials, fuels, and energy, than in more highly fabricated products. However, such comparisons are almost always biassed by missing products in ways which are not always immediately apparent. The source cited in the table draws ourattention to one which would be counted to the Soviet advantage — the fact that the Soviet Union produced oil, where Germany did not. On the other hand, the table entirely ignores fabricated products other than industrial machinery, especially those important for transport, communications, information, and consumption, in which Germany certainly had the advantage. Thus no firm conclusions may be drawn from the table. Certainly it does not justify any greater optimism about the production potential of Soviet industry than the measures suggested by Kouwenhoven.

    It is worth adding that the impact of the first years of conflict would swing the overall balance further in Germany’s favour. Territorial expansion would add the industrial assets of much of continental Europe to Germany’s side. Enemy occupation would subtract significantly from Soviet production capacities. The occupation of industrialised Europe (but probably not of the agrarian territories of eastern Europe and the western USSR) would be a real gain for Germany, outweighing the costs of aggression. 7 On the other hand,Allied bombing later in the war would force German production below its maximum potential.

  113. 113 Mats January 16, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Before start to admire Soviet aircraft production during the war (140 000) let’s not forget one vital thing: America exported 150% more aluminium to Soviet Union that Soviet Union itself managed to produce. Without that imported aluminium they would not have been able to produce so many aircraft, actually hardly more than 60 000 – 65 000. Besides there were many other things Western Allied sent to USSR for helping their aircraft production.

    In WW2 aircraft were likely 10 times more vital weapon for warfare than armour. And Soviet armour – well, their quality was not very good at all. T-34 really deserved the “honour” being most destroyed WW2 tank.

  114. 114 Ernesto January 17, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Soviet Union used 65-67% of munition production for land warfare (1944) while other powers just about 15-30%. The result is clear. They took heaviest military losses with 14 241 000 military deaths and missing souls. On the other hand USA had combat lost of some 295 000 death and missing plus some 110 000 non-combat deaths. More technology, less human losses.

  115. 115 Jim January 19, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Several other factors to keep in mind:
    – If Russia hadn’t gotten millions of tons of equipment (trucks, planes, tanks, fuel, food, trains, and even factories) from the West it’s possible they might not have held against the German advance. Even assuming they did, the Germans would likely have gotten somewhat farther, the Russians lost more in stopping, and any Russia counterattack would be delayed.
    – As the US/UK started widescale bombing of Western Europe (France then Germany, etc), Germany shifted more and more planes to the West. Had US/UK not forced the Germans to do this, the Russians would have faced far more German planes in the East.
    – US/UK bombing impacted German production of war materials (tanks, planes, ammunition, oil, etc.) Had they not done so, the Russians would have faced a better supplied Wermacht.
    – Late in the war, US/UK conducted quite a few strategic bombing raids on targets in Eastern Germany, Poland, etc. specifically to help the Russians advance. This further reduced German ability to resupply troops in the East. Again, without this, the Russians have more problems.

    So, taken together, the Russians may have shed the most blood to defeat Germany, but they certainly didn’t do it alone and infantrymen on the field doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story. If the Russians had faced Germany with the US/UK, they would have lost.

  116. 116 Deasy, Brendan January 20, 2016 at 2:20 am

    so the West helped the Russians. no argument there, and also if no Russian involvement in war the Germans would have used those troops and equipment against the West. I guess the 2 sides needed each other against an evil foe.Lets hope they can defeat global warming too

  117. 117 Dennis Bailey January 24, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    The Soviets did benefit from some military intelligence from the British. For example, the “Ultra” information taken from the British descriptions of German “enigma” coded radio traffic. A prime example might be the largest tank battle in history at Kursk. The Red Army knew when and where the Germans would concentrate and thus the Soviets concentrated their forces there and the tank battle ensued.

  118. 118 hardscan February 12, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Here, all talk about the Lend-Lease. Probably some of the questions and answers will millet some moments and myths on this subject.
    Q: What was the percentage of supplies by Lend-Lease from the US to USSR?
    A: about 4% of that produced in the USSR according to the groups of goods. Granted, not supply of these goods could prolong the war for 1-2 months, and the loss of the Soviet Union could make a few tens of thousands of people. It would not have changed the war in the strategic plan.
    Q: How many of Lend-Lease was to the UK?
    A: 10 times greater than in the USSR.
    Q: How many US money earned on shipments of Lend-Lease?
    A: The UK and the USSR paid in gold. Deliveries under the Lend-Lease Act were not gratuitous, so you can thank the US for having agreed to sell these goods in the USSR, but it must be clearly understood, it has been JUST TRADING in its purest form.

  119. 119 hardscan February 12, 2016 at 2:05 am

    The loss of German aircrafts on the Eastern Front – 52 000 of 85 000 loss of the entire Second World War. What are you talking about? How many German planes was shot down by allies?

    Strategic bombing of the Allies?
    Dresden? estimates between 50 000 to 500 000 civilian casualties? This was a strategic bombing?

    The Soviet Union could defeat Germany alone. It has repeatedly been in the history. After the Second World War, it is even more obvious.

  120. 120 hardscan February 12, 2016 at 2:16 am

    When you compare industrial production in pre-war Germany and the Soviet Union, it is not entirely correct.
    1. Do not forget that for Germany in 1941 worked almost the entire industry of occupied Europe: Czechoslovakia, France, Austria, Poland, …
    2. After the war beginning – in the summer of 1941, the USSR lost up to half of its industrial potential in the occupied territories and was able to partially restore it only after 1-2-3 years at the factories of Ural, Volga region, Siberia.

  121. 121 hardscan February 12, 2016 at 2:25 am

    The land war was primitive compared with sea or air?
    You mean the bombing of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
    Yes, these operations can be considered as the US and the UK to shame.
    Bomb peaceful city with hundreds of thousands of victims – it’s not primitive?

  122. 122 Markus February 12, 2016 at 4:57 am

    German Lufwaffe records are suggesting that they lost total 11 000 aircraft in Eastern Front until late December 1944. And including those of non-combat missions.Until that period Germany had already produced almost 100 000 aircraft. Only 1 of 9 aircraft Germany produced were lost in Eastern Front.

  123. 123 Jerry S February 15, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    hardscan: The Japanese surrendered days after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. It cost a lot of civilian lives but probably saved a lot more civilian lives and a hell of a lot more American lives.

    Atomic bomb was one of the most advanced weapons at that time . . . not primitive.

  124. 124 Jim February 15, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    To Hardscan’s comments:
    “The land war was primitive compared with sea or air?
    You mean the bombing of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
    Yes, these operations can be considered as the US and the UK to shame.
    Bomb peaceful city with hundreds of thousands of victims – it’s not primitive?”

    Dresden may have been excessively done, but it was a confluence of events that made it as bad as it was — it was the perfect firestorm. Even then, the city had some strategic value — some industry and it was a major rail head for supplying German troops on the Eastern Front. It was a target that Stalin specifically asked the allies to hit and hitting it definitely helped the Russians.

    Neither Hiroshima nor Nagasaki was a “peaceful city” — both had wartime industry and Hiroshima was a divisional headquarters. I feel no shame whatsoever that we destroyed them. They should place any blame for their destruction at the feet of their emperor and ruling council, who continued the war long after any sane assessment would conclude they were utterly defeated. Bombing those cities (and, thus, hastening the end of the war) saved hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Japanese lives (military and civilian) that the ruling council was all too ready to throw away in a useless and hopeless battle.

  125. 125 David February 24, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    At the end of the day, history has been written… The Axis was defeated and understandably the Soviets took Berlin because they did the bulk of the fighting and dying on the eastern front- but that should not minimalize the sacrifice of the effort of the allies on the western front. It was still bloody, as was the war in the pacific (true, not as bloody as the eastern front) where many American and allies, Japanese military and civilians died. There are many interesting points that are pointed out here, like the diverting of German military and aerial might from east to west to counter threats, or the fact that the Russians fought many great odds. There is a lot I have to learn and take great pleasure in trying to understand it. For example, I saw on a ww2 documentary that when Hitler invaded the Ukraine, many Ukrainians rejoiced and celebrated the Nazi invasion because they welcomed them as liberators- not very fashionable for Russians I imagine. I mean they must have really disliked the Russians to cheer on an invading, Nazi-occupying force (I know, Stalin starved and killed millions of them). Back on point, I have to agree that the evidence clearly (in death toll) states that the eastern front was deadlier, and I know that nobodies arguing against that. Now weather they could have done it without the help of Great Britain, USA and Canada- I doubt it, and regardless of the should of, could of, would of- bottom line we fought are way into Germany too. I think we should both put the politics of a past era behind and respect each others efforts and try to keep in mind that the politics of today between Russia and America are not the best with Syria and the Ukraine, and I for one don’t want my grandchildren one day arguing about who contributed more in world war 3. We only look at the negative instead of celebrating the victories that we achieved together. Remember when American and Russian forces met and shook hands in Germany in the “East meets West.” I leave it to you guys to go back and forth and argue all day, I for one am proud of our WW2 veterans from Pearl harbor and Okinawa to north Africa and German, and I also take my hat off to Russians that fought their asses off with a “to the death” mentality. We all won in a way.

  126. 126 Manjot Bains April 11, 2016 at 12:22 am

    I don’t think the Soviets single handedly beat Germany; here’s why. Without the Lend-Lease Act given through America the Soviet Union would not be able to mass produce motorized/ mechanized units to fight the invading Germans at say Kursk or anywhere. The Germans could manhandle the Russians up until 1943, even when Russia had more soldiers and machines. Without American support the Soviet Union would surely have lost the war or had to fight another decade to defeat the Germans. The Red Army reached their max military manpower by 1943 and that’s when they had U.S support with tanks and mass produced weapons. They had already lost millions of troops and civilians. Without U.s support its hard to imagine they could ever have beat the Germans. The Soviet Union was such an underindustrialized nation with poverty and poor leadership. Their endless manpower, although they reached their limit in 1943, foreign industrial support from the U.S, and the fact Germany was fighting in the Western Front as well, proved to be its defeat. The end of the third Reich was the combination of US and Soviet military cooperation, and Britain keeping Germany preoccupied in the West, despite Britain being basically weak/surviving throughout most of the war.

  127. 127 Carson July 1, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Well, Germany was forced to concentrate its panzer divisions as well as most of it planes to the western front. Russia didn’t even have a submachine gun until around the start of the war, much less an abundance of vehicles. If hitler had concentrated more panzer divisions on the eastern front, the USSR would have had few ways to counter, at the least, there would be a stalemate.

  128. 128 Mikhail C July 5, 2016 at 7:00 am

    to Manjot Bains:I have no doubt that the Soviet Union defeated Germany (in fact) and I have no doubt that the Soviet Union would be defeated Germany in any case. It was a matter of time. Of course not decades, but perhaps a few months. If you are engaged in another position, then your genre – it is not history, but fantastic.

    Let me give you a few numbers for you to understand what you say,
    1. Lend-Lease supplies to the USSR (from all countries: US, UK, Canada, …) accounted for no more than 4% of what was produced in the USSR.
    2. Delivery of the US of goods, materials and technology in the UK were 3 times more than in the USSR, and why the UK does not won the war?
    3. Of the 100% of goods sent to the USSR came only 60%.
    4. On the Eastern Front, Germany lost:
    – Up to 80% of its soldiers
    – Up to 65% of its planes
    5. The US for the war lost soldiers as much as the people of the USSR lost 22 days of war.
    6. USSR lost about 600,000 soldiers in the liberation of Poland and the US for the war lost about 400 000 soldiers.
    7. There were countries that have supplied goods to the USSR free of pay. For example, Mongolia has delivered:
    – 1 200 000 tonnes of meat and canned food (it’s more than the supply of US products (sugar excepted))
    – 500,000 horses
    – Tons of fur, wool, leather
    8. On the third day of war the great evacuation of enterprises was started from the European territory of the USSR to the Volga, in the Urals, in Siberia. During the war, it was evacuated about 2500 industrial enterprises. (This is the subject of “underindustrialized nation” )
    9. The US, Britain, France, 3 years drank coffee, smoked a cigar and watched the Germany burns people in Europe, strangling them in gas chambers, shot, bombed, burned in their homes. It was only after the Soviet Union broke the ridge of the German war machine allies decided a little “to war.”

    On the question of the poverty of the USSR. In the 30s the Soviet Union bought from the US entire factories (thousands of factories). Or do you say again that the US did it for free?

    On the issue of the weak leadership of the USSR. Maybe you will call me at least one country (at least one leader), which has challenged and defeated Germany? Oops … No such countries in Europe, and it has not appeared in the world.

    To a question about the US role. Certainly the US played a role in the war, but not in Europe. Great role of the US in the Pacific. Great US role in supporting the UK. That’s probably all the greatness of the United States.

    Can you read these facts somewhere in your literature, scientific works, books, movies? No? Very sorry.

    Summary:
    – The Soviet Union to defeat Germany in any case,
    – The role of the Allies in the war against Germany is greatly exaggerated
    – I do not recommend you try to rewrite history, it is dangerous for the future generations
    – Russian 1000 years guarding its borders and does it quite successfully

    Keep this in mind and do not lie to your children.

  129. 129 Mikhail C July 5, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Dresden – a confluence of events?
    – Maybe Colin Powell, waving tube with detergent in the UN – “a confluence of events”?
    – Stalin asked about the bombing of the Allies? Let me answer you with a question – and Stalin did not ask the Allies to open a Western front for 3 years?
    – I would describe it other two concepts: “genocide” and “double standards”.

    military industry? “not the peaceful city”?
    – You say a nonsense. 99% of dead had never even seen of an arms. Not only the workers from the factories dead, but also women, the elderly, children.
    – OK. That is, you do not mind, if it is North Korea or Syria make a nuke strike by city: Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, New York, …?
    And yes, then you ask the Obama or Bush – “why did it happen?”
    – And again, these bombings I describe three concepts: “genocide,” “American cowardice”, “double standards”.

  130. 130 Jim Henderson July 5, 2016 at 8:10 am

    While I’m not sure I follow your babbling, I’ll do my best.

    Dresden was targeted for multiple reasons, including because of a request from Stalin, who knew it was a major troop and material hub for stuff heading to the Eastern Front. The bombing was severe and had an additive effect due to weather conditions. The loss of life was also higher because there were a lot of refugees in the city fleeing the Russian onslaught.

    Yes, Stalin had been requesting a 2nd front from the US/UK for several years and the allies had been working on that for several years. This, alone should be proof that Stalin himself knew that Russia needed help against the Germans.

    Not at all sure what you’re trying to get at with discussions of “genocide” and “double standards”, nor what they might have to do with Dresden. The W Allies certainly weren’t attempting genocide or they’d have slaughtered far more Germans. Again, “double standards” makes no sense — the W Allies bombed many German targets and arguably bombed Japanese targets worse.

    I never suggested that many innocents did not die in Dresden — many did. But the fact remains that the city DID have military industry and WAS a major rail hub for resupplying German troops fighting the Russians (again, that’s why Stalin asked that it be hit).

    Let’s not even get started on the rape and murder of innocents when the Russians pushed into Germany — the facts are too well documented to deny, though you and Pravda may try.

    Again, no idea what you’re babbling about regarding nukes, Obama, etc.

    I’ve already shown the nonsense of any statements of W Allied “Genocide” or “Double Standards.” As to “American Cowardice,” that is simply asinine. American Bomber crews suffered the highest casualty rate of any forces in WWII, with the sole exception of German U-Boat crews. W Allied losses at D-Day, and thereafter, were severe. US Marine losses in the Pacific were horrific. The US could have stayed completely out of the European War had it wanted to and avoided lots of bloodshed, but they went, they fought, and they died to help their allies (including ungrateful Russians).

  131. 131 Mikhail C August 26, 2016 at 11:25 am

    to Jim Henderson:
    Can you submit an official document, where there is mention of the fact that Stalin had demanded attacks on Dresden? No? I do not have such documents.
    Based on the fact that Stalin did not demand of bombing Dresden and based on the fact that there were a lot of refugees, the whole burden of this war crime lies entirely on the Allies.

    The Allies were working on opening a second front? Do you seriously think so?
    3 years drinking coffee with croissants, smoked cigars, …. At this time, tens of millions of Slavs, Jews and other nations were killed in Europe

    I believe that Hitler had a promise from Churchill not conduct active operations on the Western front, at least as it has been for 3 years from 1941 to 1944, until the Red Army finally broke the back of the war machine of the Wehrmacht.

    The double standards lie in the fact that you’re talking about military aid in the war, but in reality the Allies bombed the peaceful cities. So it was with Dresden, as was the case with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Therefore, I call it genocide – it was the bombing of clearly peaceful objects.

    Once you continue to use your error of judgment that Stalin demanded to bomb Dresden, then I will again say that Stalin did not demand to bomb Dresden and the city was not discussed with him in Yalta as the target.

    Let’s talk about the crimes of the Red Army. Especially because once again I ask you to provide proof of these facts, and once again you will not be able to provide me with such evidence.
    I do not deny that there were isolated cases of rape, but the fact that it was not a mass phenomenon, you can not prove it with any documents. To do this, there are 2 reasons:
    1. These cases really was very little and the perpetrators punished
    2. The basic documents in such cases, both Soviet and German are in the archives of the Ministry of Defence of Russia, but Western historians are in no hurry to use these files, but prefer to use the inventions of western propaganda and science fiction writers.

    Yes, the US losses in the war were great – 400 000 soldiers in 4 years. Exactly so many people of the USSR lost every 3 weeks of the war (every 3 weeks during 4 years!!!). What kind of courage you I’ll be there to say?
    While agree, why courage during the bombing of peaceful cities?

    I say thanks to the American soldiers and citizens, but not the decision-makers of war crimes.

  132. 132 Jim August 28, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    I know of no official document that specifically mentions Stalin asking that Dresden be bombed. However, it is documented that he pressed the Western Allies to reduce German capacity to support their forces facing the Russians and Dresden fits that bill perfectly. Additionally, several observers stated that Stalin mentioned it.

    The Allies started working on a 2nd front back in 1942 (Africa) and 1943 (Sicily, Italy, etc). They weren’t ready to launch a full-scale cross-channel invasion until 1944, but they DID tie up 100s of thousands of German and Italian troops, 1000s of tanks and planes, etc.

    You may believe whatever rubbish, but the was no promise from Churchill to Hitler not to conduct operations. I’d love to see proof of THAT.

    None of the cities you mention were truly ‘peaceful’ — all held valid military targets (army divisions, munitions factories, and/or rail hubs).

    Your claims of Soviet losses are way off, though I don’t deny the Soviets suffered heavily. That’s simply going to be the case when the war is fought on your ground. Just because a lot of Soviets died, that doesn’t mean they were any more brave than the other allies. In fact, it make as much (or more) sense to claim that the Americans were braver because they fought and died even though their homes weren’t threatened.

  133. 133 Eugene Andreyevich Wilson August 31, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Interesting to read. Yet I feel you are misinterpreting the numbers and facts. For one, you should look at German losses in 1939-1944 (since by 1945 they would have lost no matter what they did). Also, lend lease only being 10% of total Soviet production was critical.

  134. 134 Mikhail C September 4, 2016 at 9:42 am

    “I know of no official document that specifically mentions Stalin asking that Dresden be bombed. However, it is documented that he pressed the Western Allies to reduce German capacity to support their forces facing the Russians and Dresden fits that bill perfectly. Additionally, several observers stated that Stalin mentioned it. ”

    You contradict yourself. You have to decide – is there such document or not. I have not seen such documents. (Probably because they do not exist)
    your argument is not accepted

    1942 Africa. 1943 Sicily, Italy.
    Yes, that’s right, in Africa, there was the 130,000 soldiers German Army. And what was the Wehrmacht Army on the Eastern Front during the war? There were about 100 times more troops! (Up to 10 millions)
    And why do you tell me about Italy? Since landing in Sicily and to the point, the Allies reached Rome passed a whole year. Then most of the troops was transferred to the Normandy landings. What was the length of the front line in Italy? 200-300 km? Can you tell the length of the Eastern Front in 1943? 6200 km ! – that is 30 times greater.
    After the given facts, are you ready to discuss next?
    your argument is not accepted

    “They were not ready to launch a full-scale cross-channel invasion until 1944 …”
    Allies “were not ready” or Allies “have a secret agreement with Germany that they will not open a second front for 3 years”? What was the role of the visit of Rudolf Hess (3rd person in Nazi Grenmaii) in the GB in May 1941 – on the eve of the invasion of the Soviet Union? There is no direct evidence on this point, there is not only indirect. Rudolf Hess (perhaps the only witness) was killed in prison in 1987.
    “Not ready”, “do not like”, “had an agreement” – three different things, but in any case at this time in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union tens of millions of people were killed in the gas chambers, killed by the bombing, were shot, starved to death, and diseases … Tens of millions of innocent lives …
    your argument is not accepted

    “None of the cities you mention were truly ‘peaceful’ – all held valid military targets (army divisions, munitions factories, and / or rail hubs).”
    And how does it happen that 95% of those killed were civilians with the bombing of Dresden?
    your argument is not accepted

    “Your claims of Soviet losses are way off, though I do not deny the Soviets suffered heavily. That’s simply going to be the case when the war is fought on your ground.”
    That is, in your opinion, the attack on the Soviet Union was an accident? You are wrong. What do you know about the Nazi racial theory? Hitler had long been preparing the destruction of Slavs and Jews, it was part of his ideology of the Nazi Party. Hitler repeatedly said that the Germans must seize and destroy the Eastern Europe or Germanized local population. In 1938 in the result of the Munich deal, Poland and Germany occupied Czechoslovakia. Next was Poland, then the whole of Europe. In Europe, tens of death camps were established where methodically and purposefully over 5 years destroyed the Slavs, Jews, Gypsies and other peoples of Europe.
    yoyr argument is not accepted

  135. 135 Gord November 6, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    The USA may have entered WW2 late though when they got in gear converting the Ford plant and turning out 25 B-24 Liberators a day is a feat in itself that was one every 55 min.

  136. 136 Tshnk November 14, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    More than 85% of German forces were destroyed by the Soviets, Americans came at the last moment to plant there flag in the ground. Get real.

  137. 137 Jim November 14, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    The Russians may have killed about 85% of German forces that died on the ground. However:
    – The W. Allies (Americans and British) helped keep the Russians from collapsing early in the war (tanks to defend Moscow, etc) and provided material that helped the Russians be able to go on the offensive
    – The W. Allies destroyed 3 times the number of German aircraft as the Russians (27K to 8.6K). The Russians would have had a tough time if they had to face 3-4 times as may German aircraft.
    – W. Allied bombing of Germany led to over 1M German men being tied up in home defense anti-aircraft batteries and damage control parties.
    – The W. Allies destroyed much of Germany’s tank, aircraft, and fuel production as well as a good portion of its transportation infrastructure. Again, had they not done so, the Russians would have faced far more German tanks, planes, and troops.

    If you want to talk about someone coming ‘late to the fight,’ let’s talk about the Russians entering the war 1 WEEK before the Japanese surrender. They slammed into a beleaguered enemy the W. Allies had been fighting for almost 4 years, seized a bunch of land, and either kept it or helped turn it into other communist paradises (such as North Korea).

  138. 138 brendan November 15, 2016 at 5:18 am

    its a possibility that the US dropped the atomic bombs as they were aware of what the USSR were capable of, i.e. subduing japan. Can we not agree it was a combined effort that defeated the Nazis, although even Hollywood never threatened to send a german soldier to the Western front, it was always the Eastern front

  139. 139 Mikhail C December 4, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    to Jim: “The W. Allies (Americans and British) helped keep the Russians from collapsing early in the war and provided material that helped the Russians be able to go on the offensive”
    All deliveries under Lend-Lease is estimated at 4% of the domestic production of the USSR. Do you think this figure had something crucial to the course of the war? The answer is – no.

    “(Tanks to defend Moscow, etc)” – is a myth. Total supplies was about 460 tanks, not all of them before the end of 1941 had to go to the army, not all of them were under Moscow. Really near Moscow were about 150 foreign tanks. And now the questions:
    – How long it takes the crew to master a foreign tank? A few months.
    – How long was the Soviet crews? It was given 15 days to develop the tank. Instructions were in English.
    – Are the tanks was adopted of the Russian winter? Tankers said, foreign tanks are not very fond of
    Summary: foreign tanks near Moscow had no decisive, significant or crucial influence on the way of war.

    “If you want to talk about someone coming ‘late to the fight,’ let’s talk about the Russians entering the war 1 WEEK before the Japanese surrender. They slammed into a beleaguered enemy the W. Allies had been fighting for almost 4 years, seized a bunch of land, and either kept it or helped turn it into other communist paradises (such as North Korea). ”
    _ Have you ever heard of the battles on the Khalkhin Goal (Spring-Fall 1939)? So, in these battles, Japan suffered a loss (60 000 soldiers), the United States struck Japan in total in the battles even less:
    – Of Iwo Jima (up to 19000 Japan loss)
    – Of Midway (about 3000)
    – In the Coral Sea (1000)
    – Of Leyte Gulf (about 12,500)
    The only significant event in Pacific theater of operations were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But I classify as genocide comparable to that wrought the Nazis in the death camps.

    “W. Allied bombing of Germany led to over 1M German men being tied up in home defense anti-aircraft batteries and damage control parties.
    – The W. Allies destroyed much of Germany’s tank, aircraft, and fuel production as well as a good portion of its transportation infrastructure. Again, had they not done so, the Russians would have faced far more German tanks, planes, and troops. ”
    _ In what year was it?

  140. 140 Jim December 4, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    To Mikhail C: “All deliveries under Lend-Lease is estimated at 4% of the domestic production of the USSR. Do you think this figure had something crucial to the course of the war? The answer is – no.”

    Not sure where you got the 4% number, but even if that’s true of some measure of overall production, it’s a FAR different story in many categories.

    Rail: Russian ability to produce rail equipment was nearly zero during the war, with Lend Lease accounting for over 92% of all rail equipment produced after 1941 and the Russians were very reliant on rail.
    Trucks: The US sent several hundred thousand — 1/3 of total Russian strength
    Aircraft: The Russians received about 19K aircraft — 30% of Russian production
    American shipments of telephone cable, aluminum, canned rations, and clothing were also critical.

    So, could 10, 20, or 90% in some categories be pretty critical, especially at key times? Yes, only a fool would think otherwise.

    In fact, Nikita Khrushchev, having served as a military commissar and intermediary between Stalin and his generals during the war, addressed directly the significance of Lend-lease aid in his memoirs:
    “I would like to express my candid opinion about Stalin’s views on whether the Red Army and the Soviet Union could have coped with Nazi Germany and survived the war without aid from the United States and Britain. First, I would like to tell about some remarks Stalin made and repeated several times when we were “discussing freely” among ourselves. He stated bluntly that if the United States had not helped us, we would not have won the war. If we had had to fight Nazi Germany one on one, we could not have stood up against Germany’s pressure, and we would have lost the war.”

    But hey, what would he and Stalin know compared to you?
    ——
    “Summary: foreign tanks near Moscow had no decisive, significant or crucial influence on the way of war.”
    They many not have been super numerous or optimal, but they were there at a critical point. If you’re barely hanging on, you’ll appreciate any help you receive.

    There were also about 100 Lend Lease aircraft in the fight in/around Moscow.
    —————————

    “_ Have you ever heard of the battles on the Khalkhin Goal (Spring-Fall 1939)? So, in these battles, Japan suffered a loss (60 000 soldiers), the United States struck Japan in total in the battles even less:
    – Of Iwo Jima (up to 19000 Japan loss)
    – Of Midway (about 3000)
    – In the Coral Sea (1000)
    – Of Leyte Gulf (about 12,500)
    The only significant event in Pacific theater of operations were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But I classify as genocide comparable to that wrought the Nazis in the death camps.”

    Yes, though it’s debatable whether to Khalkhin Goal part of WWII — it was a Soviet-Japanese border conflict or war. The Japanese losses were substantial, though a pittance to their losses in China.

    Some of your stats are, again, dubious or highly selective. But you also neglected to mention the bigger ones — Saipan 70K, Phillipines 400K, etc. As well as 100s of thousands in many smaller battles, in naval engagements, and in merchant shipping.

    In any case, focusing on pure men on the ground is very myopic as a measure. The US destroyed virtually the entire Japanese navy and merchant marine, most of their air force, most of their heavy industry, and cut them off from the raw materials they had started the war for in the first place.

    It also left 100s of thousands of Japanese troops stranded on the mainland or on other islands, with no resupply or relief. Hence why the Japanese the Russians faced were already beleagured.

    Calling the atomic bombings demonstrates either your folly or your irrecoverable bias. They were military targets hit as part of a much larger bombing campaign and they likely saved 100s of thousands of Japanese lives (and some US and some Russian).
    Comparing them to the holocaust is pure idiocy.
    ——————

    “In what year did W. Allied bombing affect the Germans?”

    It started small in 42, became substantial in early 43, and continued to grow in 44 and 45. Yes, the Russians were already rolling West in 43, but it would have been much slower, and much bloodier, for them if the W. Allies hadn’t inflicted all that damage. The W. Allied bombing campaign probably saved the Russians several hundred thousand casualties at the very least.

    ——————
    So, the bottom line is still — would the Russians have defeated the Germans without the W. Allies? The answer is maybe, but probably not if the Germans didn’t have to worry about the W. Allies bombing and/or invading them.

  141. 141 Mikhail C December 5, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    to Jim: “Not sure where you got the 4% number, but even if that’s true of some measure of overall production, it’s a FAR different story in many categories.”
    _ 1. This is a quote from the book of Marshal Zhukov, also confirmed from other Soviet sources. If you are interested I can provide references.
    2. I’ll give you 1 more figure – UK received assistance in Lend-Lease 3 times more than the Soviet Union, but I had never heard of the great victories of the British Army in WW2. Maybe it was not assistance?

    “Rail: Russian ability to produce rail equipment was nearly zero during the war, with Lend Lease accounting for over 92% of all rail equipment produced after 1941 and the Russians were very reliant on rail.”
    _ 1. Questionable figures. You can provide a references to a document?
    2. Why do you compare the delivery of Lend-Lease with the production? Let’s compare with pre-war figures. For example, in the beginning of the war the Soviet Union had 25,000 locomotives, 2,000 locomotives came in on Lend-Lease, it was only 8%.

    “Trucks: The US sent several hundred thousand – 1/3 of total Russian strength”
    _ There are several nuances that you have not sounded.
    1. Basic supply of trucks started in 1943, when the Soviet Union had already won the battle of Moscow, battle of Stalingrad.
    2. The USSR was producing a lot of technology in combat. For example, after Stalingrad, the Soviet Union received 80,000 units of captured German vehicles. This is 15% of all deliveries under Lend-Lease.

    “Aircraft: The Russians received about 19K aircraft – 30% of Russian production
    American shipments of telephone cable, aluminum, canned rations, and clothing were also critical. ”
    _ The figures are not true. The real figure – about 16-17%. All production aircraft in the USSR during the war (22.06.41-01.09.45) is estimated at 112.100 units. Your numbers are not even true for certain classes of aircraft, namely for fighters and bombers. But apart from these classes in battles tale part more and transport aircraft, spy-planes, ground attack fighters. For example, the Soviet Union during the war produced 37,000 fighters. No one fighter were supplied by Lend-Lease. Check your sources.
    So, how do you think the figure of 17% can be called important, crucial ore key to influence the course of the war on the Eastern Front? The answer is – no.
    You did not mention, but there were still supply:
    – Tanks. Lend-lease tanks accounted for approximately 13% of its own production in the USSR.
    – Small arms. Lend-lease small arms and ammunition is about 0.5%. And it is these weapons were solved 90% battles: Moscow, Stalingrad, Sevastopol, Brest, Kerch, Berlin, Budapest, Königsberg, …

    “So, could 10, 20, or 90% in some categories be pretty critical, especially at key times? Yes, only a fool would think otherwise.”
    _ I think otherwise for 2 reasons:
    1. I have proven to you that your figures are (some) wrong.
    2. even if your figure suddenly reached the level of 15-20%, then again, only a fool will consider it a critical contribution to the military action.

    “In fact, Nikita Khrushchev, having served as a military commissar and intermediary between Stalin and his generals during the war, addressed directly the significance of Lend-lease aid in his memoirs:
    “I would like to express my candid opinion about Stalin’s views … lost the war.”
    But hey, what would he and Stalin know compared to you? ”
    _ 1. It was the memories of Khrushchev, but not Stalin. Khrushchev simply put these words into the mouth of Stalin, but not the fact that Stalin had said these words. I go formal, hard, but it’s a fact!
    2. Khrushchev was in some sense, “liberal”, and he tried his best to reduce the role of Stalin in the war, as in this case.
    3. You can manually calculate the % of Lend-Lease with respect to the GDP of the USSR during the war years, taking data from open sources. You get the number – 6%.
    Summary: The figure is 4-6% real and can be checked completely different ways. The rest of the hypotheses about the impact of this figure on something meaningless due to the fact that (in any case), these figures are very small.

  142. 142 Mikhail C December 6, 2016 at 7:13 am

    To Jim:
    ——
    “Summary: foreign tanks near Moscow had no decisive, significant or crucial influence on the way of war.”
    They many not have been super numerous or optimal, but they were there at a critical point. If you’re barely hanging on, you’ll appreciate any help you receive. ”
    _ Thank you for tanks, but in the military sense, these tanks did not play any role, and had no effect on the course of military operations.

    “There were also about 100 Lend Lease aircraft in the fight in / around Moscow.”
    _ The situation is exactly the same as with tanks – these planes could not be effective, since they did not have time to master. And let’s look at percentages. This is just 1% of all aircraft that participated in the Battle of Moscow. The maximum percentage of foreign aircraft was in 1943 – 11% of the total number of planes “in the ranks.”
    ——
    “Yes, though it’s debatable whether to Khalkhin Goal part of WWII – it was a Soviet-Japanese border conflict or war The Japanese losses were substantial, though a pittance to their losses in China..”
    _ An armistice between the USSR and Japan was signed on 15 September 1939 when in Europe for 2 weeks there was a war. Again, I am only talking about the facts. Neutrality Pact with Japan was signed in spring 1941.

    “Some of your stats are, again, dubious or highly selective But you also neglected to mention the bigger ones -. Saipan 70K, Phillipines 400K, etc. As well as 100s of thousands in many smaller battles, in naval engagements, and in merchant shipping. ”
    _ Here I agree with you, my poor sampling events (in this sense), but I will make a counter offer – select top 10 battle, which was attended by the Allies, I will choose the top 10 battle, which was the Soviet Union, and we compare them.

    “In any case, focusing on pure men on the ground is very myopic as a measure. The US destroyed virtually the entire Japanese navy and merchant marine, most of their air force, most of their heavy industry, and cut them off from the raw materials they had started the war for in the first place. ”
    “Calling the atomic bombings demonstrates either your folly or your irrecoverable bias. They were military targets hit as part of a much larger bombing campaign and they likely saved 100s of thousands of Japanese lives (and some US and some Russian).
    Comparing them to the holocaust is pure idiocy. ”
    _ Here I’ll tell you so – I do not in any way question the dominant US role in resolving the war in the Pacific theater of operations. I’ll just mention a few points:
    1. that the Soviet Union fought there much earlier (in 1939)
    2. The United States did not fight fair, if we consider the atomic strikes on Hiroshima-Nagasaki as genocide.
    3. my idea and the topic of the article, we are discussing – whether the USSR could defeat the Third Reich without the help of the Allies? The answer is – USSR could. And Japan had little importance here.
    _ Hiroshima-Nagasaki. What they were military targets, if a result of the attack killed 99% of people who never in his life did not see any guns or cartridge? This is called double standards.
    The reasons for which these attacks were made:
    1. The United States would like to put the Japanese on his knees, as The Japanese did not plan to give up.
    2. demonstrate the Soviet Union force of the new American weapons
    The result – the genocide of 250,000 innocent lives. Well, and a couple of military plants affected by the strike.
    ——
    “It started small in 42, became substantial in early 43, and continued to grow in 44 and 45. Yes, the Russians were already rolling West in 43, but it would have been much slower, and much bloodier, for them if the W . Allies had not inflicted all that damage. the W. Allied bombing campaign probably saved the Russians several hundred thousand casualties at the very least. ”
    _ The real evaluation is not possible to do.
    ——
    “So, the bottom line is still – would the Russians have defeated the Germans without the W. Allies The answer is maybe, but probably not if the Germans did not have to worry about the W. Allies bombing and / or invading them? . ”
    _ My answer – the USSR would have won anyway. Perhaps it would have been longer, perhaps it would require more sacrifices, but the answer is unambiguous.

  143. 143 Jim December 6, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Mikhail C: You state, “2. The United States did not fight fair, if we consider the atomic strikes on Hiroshima-Nagasaki as genocide.”

    Well, the atom bombs were NOT genocide. Genocide is defined as, “the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.” Obviously that was NOT the US intent in WWII in general, nor with the atomic bombs. If THAT was the intent (which it was NOT), then the US would have started with Tokyo and then gone on dropping them as fast as they could, ignoring Japanese attempts to surrender. Instead, after months of fruitless attempts to get the Japanese to surrender, the US dropped 5 million leaflets on every potential atom bomb target, warning civilians that those cities were targets and they should leave. Then, the US dropped ONE bomb on Hiroshima — a major embarkation port, industrial center, and HQ for the 2nd General Army. It did a huge amount of damage and was noted by Japanese Imperial HQ, but they STILL did not surrender. So, in hopes of avoiding a horribly bloody invasion (for all sides), the US dropped more leaflets and then one more bomb on Nagasaki — a huge seaport with wide-ranging industrial activities producing ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other war materials.

    As far as “fighting fair,” the US fought long and hard to get the Japanese to surrender. Any sane country would have surrendered long before but they did not and were determined to make any invasion horribly bloody for everyone. So, when the US developed a new weapon (the A-bomb), they used them in a reasonable manner to force the Japanese to surrender (all alternatives being far more costly in Japanese, US, and other lives). This was after the Japanese had seized large portions of Asia and the Pacific isles, attacked the US and its allies without warning or a declaration of war, and had brutally treated prisoners and civilians on numerous occasions. The actions of US troops toward prisoners and civilians may not be beyond reproach but it was on average MUCH, MUCH better than the Japanese and better than the Germans or Russians.

  144. 144 John Delgado December 15, 2016 at 12:58 am

    It seems to me that if you add those kias & pows you get about the same amount of kills between both the allies which are today nato for the most part & the soviet union. While the Germans killed so many more Russians than Russians killed them. The ratio of kills/deaths by the Americans is fantastic. In other words the Russian military compared to the western allies sucks. & Why am I saying this? Bc I think one day we’ll (Nato, western allies) will have to fight those scumbags & I hope we completely obliterate them. & I have faith in GOD WE WILL, BC BY GOD WE STAND. ISREAL BY OUR SIDE NOT THE FUCKING COMMUNISTS. continuing on the past matter though. Just imagine the USA was fighting the japanese while all this. Stopping forces IMVADING INDIA! OUR FORCES (AIR FORCE) made it that fucking far. Its crazy, if we would’ve focused just on the Germans, JESUS, we would’ve wrecked them. Jeez, I’m not historian but I estimate the job would’ve been done in matter of one year or two. If we would’ve combined the amount of soldiers on both fronts to fight just against the germans uhhhhh! 8,000,000 missing or pows wouldve been fucking 16,000,000. Doubled or tripled the Kias by russians.

  145. 145 John Delgado December 15, 2016 at 1:10 am

    @martin copelin I completely disagree with you buddy, most historians agree that if japan would’ve faced russia & the U.S wouldnt have entered at all, or at least not till later Russia would’ve been completely crushed by the Germans to follow later America & the rest of Africa & Asia. I’m surprised to not anybody im these comments to account for the new german technologies that were coming. See I just simply believe that the war ended perfectly at a nick of time & thank GOD. technologies like the sturmgewehr 44 & the turbo jet had just been invented ( 😄 which by the way to shoot down the first jet back then war nearly impossible despite at first it didn’t carry any offensive weapons, I doubt the germans wouldn’t have taken any longer to put some kind of weapon on it XD). Even if the germans would’ve been caught by the winter & Hitler wouldve still Made stupid decisions & lets say the Japanese dont bomb pearl harbor but just keep on going on there campaigns to India & sweeping thru Asia. The germans would’ve been so fresh, taking time in war would’ve been there ultimate weapon to just get more technologies. Germans would’ve conquered the world. Its as simple as that. As simple as that.

  146. 146 webej February 2, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    An incredibly long thread of comments, but there are still two things barely mentioned:
    [1] In the comparisons of German and Soviet deaths, material, population, etc. it is not taken into account that Hitler’s forces included about 2 million Europeans from 15 different countries which added 59 divisions, 23 brigades, a number of separate regiments, battalions and legions to the German forces. In Stalingrad alone the Germans lost 400,000 soldiers, the Romanians 200,000, the Italians 130,000, and the Hungarians 120,000 for a total loss of 850,000 soldiers. The same applies to the Soviet side: Even though all parts of the Soviet Union contributed to Stalin’s forces, the hodge podge of different republics with their ethnicities, languages, attitudes, and varying degrees of development were not a more or less even resource as was Greater Germany to a much greater extent. I’m not drawing any conclusions, just putting out more facts to complicate comparisons.
    [2] There is hardly any mention of the fact that WW2 was actually the first oil war in many ways. Hitler needed Romania for oil, and Russia for resources. The campaign in the Middle East stretched resources for no other reason than access to oil. Japan started the war because it was cut off from oil, heading first to Manchuria and Indonesia (oil) and realizing that it needed to cut the American Navy out of the picture. Germany relied on synthetic rubber and oil.
    [3] Many of the comments above seem hardly to realize that in war, as in production, it is the bottle necks, no matter how insignificant, that determine outcomes. The Allied aid was important in the first phase for Russia, as was the aluminum. But the outcomes of many situations pivoted on countless small bottle necks: a whole tank can be grounded by lack of a spare part as well as fuel. Nothing compensates such “incidents” and it is completely impossible to speculate on the course of events by changing a few variables.

    For the record, I think the narrative in the West has increasingly emphasized WW2 as a Western/US victory at the diminishment of the Red Army’s contribution. Next to the (unique and unprecedented) genocide of 6 million Jews, we often lose sight of things like the 7 million Bengalis that lost their lives, or the 35 million Chinese casualties [China celebrated V-Day for the first time in September 2015 because it took 70 years to rebuild!]. These are all parts of the whole story.

  147. 147 Rob February 3, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    I understand your feelings but he’s right. In fact from my studies Russia could have defeated the Germans without any help from the allies at all. However from my reading that the Red Army was getting better and better is a fact but it would have taken them to 47′ or 48′ and by then the Nazi’s would have had the A bomb and the vehicle to deliver it. If you Google a list of Red Army fatalities by calender quarter you can see there is some cases where the Red Army had as many casualties in one quarter as we had in our 3 yrs…(yes I know casualties aren’t deaths but you can still see how many Red Army deaths happened).
    I know what your saying about enemy soldiers killed but that’s Apple’s and Oranges. It was the way, at least at the beginning, the Red Army fought…the Germans fought a different way. If your going to base it on enemy deaths then look at German deaths compared to ours…Germans didn’t mind losing more soldiers when fighting us.
    What never happens is the recognition that we, the Brits, Canadians etc etc have ,for want of better word, a more humanitarian way of fighting. We cared about our young men. That’s the problem with democracies. We were leery of standing armies and our mothers wouldn’t have stood for casualties such as the Germans had. The Pacific even regarding the deaths of sailors was small potatos compared to Europe but try telling that to a Vet that fought at Pelielu. In the end I don’t think it matter “who suffered more” does it.
    Ok I’m rambling, sorry

  148. 148 Jim February 4, 2017 at 5:14 am

    On Rob’s point of “What never happens is the recognition that we, the Brits, Canadians etc etc have ,for want of better word, a more humanitarian way of fighting. We cared about our young men. That’s the problem with democracies. We were leery of standing armies and our mothers wouldn’t have stood for casualties such as the Germans had.”

    A couple things:
    1) The Germans were a dangerous dictatorship (as was Stalin’s Russia). In such countries, you don’t generally see protesting parents until things are falling apart.

    2) For Russia and, once they got fully engaged in Russia, the war was an existential threat. Russia (and later Germany) had to fight with everything they had because the enemy was in THEIR country and was going to destroy them if they didn’t stop it. If the Germans had somehow invaded England and were killing, raping, and burning like the Germans (and Russians) on the Eastern Front, you’d see Brits fighting lots of desperate battles with horrific losses. Ditto if someone was invading the US and it was clearly “win or die.”

  149. 149 Ezra Poundoflesh February 14, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    The reason for the Word Wars was because the UK… And the Bankers headquartered thete that made it such that Britannica ruled the waves and could sail to China and force them to by Opium from David Sassoon .. Were afraid of Germany and Russia teaming up to challenge Great Britain. So the financial powers that be infiltrated both countries…. Trotsky entered Russia with an American Passport and $20 million (via Jacob Schiff) after traveling all the way across Europe unmolested while WWI was raging with a train load of agents provacteurs right behind him. Schiff had already helped the Japanese defeat Russia in 1905 and indoctrinated captured Russian sailors who were instrumental in the success of the Russian Revolution. In short, Operation Barbarossa was designed to be a giant mess killing lots of Germans and Russians, finishing up the extermination of the peasants started by Lszar Kaganovich and Genrikh Yagoda. France knew better and surrendered quickly. China was the country that suffered the most from Japan savage attacks that included biological and chemical warfare, only 54 Chinese POWs were returned after close to ten years of war. However, Mao beat Chaing Kai, which neant that the US really, really needed a loyal Allie in the Pscific, so little was said about their war crimes and Ronald Reagan even apologized for letting Japanese Americans sit out the war im the safest place on Earth while Japan raped abd pillaged China even though it was well known that there were a large number of Japanese spies and saboteurs in both the US and Mexico who were planning a biological attack San Diego…..which, if it happened, would have caused widespread lynching of Japanese Americans and civil unrest that would seriously undermine the war effort. It wasn’t until a couple months ago on Dec 7, 2016 that the Japanese PM went to Pearl Harbor and acknowledged their war crimes, which may mean a shift in Alliance in the Pacific… Trumo and Putin against China?

  150. 150 Mikhail C February 16, 2017 at 3:25 am

    to Jim: “Well, the atom bombs were NOT genocide. Genocide is defined as,” the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. “Obviously that was NOT the US intent in WWII in general, nor with the atomic bombs. If THAT was the intent (which it was NOT), then the US would have started with Tokyo and then gone on dropping them as fast as they could, ignoring Japanese attempts to surrender. ”
    nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bombing of Tokyo:
    – they were not intentional? they were intentional, planned, prepared in advance.
    – they were not systematic? They were systematic (you could say not systematic, if the US made for example only 1 strike to Tokyo, but there were strikes to other cities). And here I note that all of these three cities were not naval/military bases and 90% of the population were purely civil.)
    – Was not the destruction? of course it was destruction
    – Yes, 99% of deaths from these attacks were the Japanese, they all have the same religion and culture. This item is also performed.
    So you can see that it was a genocide. Especially, you know, that all of these strikes were not caused by military necessity.
    In fact, it does not matter what city was the first, the fact remains:
    ~ 100,000 civilians dead in Tokyo
    ~ 250,000 civilians dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    “Instead, after months of fruitless attempts to get the Japanese to surrender, the US dropped 5 million leaflets on every potential atom bomb target, warning civilians that those cities were targets and they should leave Then, the US dropped ONE bomb on Hiroshima. – a major embarkation port, industrial center, and HQ for the 2nd General Army. ”
    Unfortunately, your argument is not consistent. The Soviet Union in 1939, successfully fought against Japan, and the Soviet Union did not bomb peaceful cities and did not use nuclear weapons. Result you know – Russian-Japanese Neutrality Pact was signed in 1939.
    This fact suggests that Japan could win without the use of air strikes on peaceful cities.
    Surely you can understand Japanese, who prefer to give up than to receive the entire country infested with radioactive cure. But to understand the United States in this case I did not get. It was a genocide.

  151. 151 Jim February 16, 2017 at 5:25 am

    to Mikhail: Your arguments are flawed. Genocide is an attempt to exterminate all members of a group overall or in a given area that you desire. Even if the intent was to kill all Japanese in a sizeable portion of a city, it’s not genocide if you tell those Japanese how they can avoid injury, leave most of the Japanese in surrounding areas unharmed, and then (when they do finally surrender) you give them millions of tons of food and help them rebuild their industry.

    The fact also remains that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets, though the Japanese had placed them in major urban areas.

    Your argument about the Soviets in 1939 is utterly invalid. The Soviets were defending remote areas of their empire, far from most of their power bases and far from Japanese cities. They also had no bombers in the area and had no nuclear weapons. The Russians and Japanese agreed to neutrality because they were both far more worried about fighting others. If the Soviets weren’t worried about the Poles and Germans and thought they could easily defeat the Japanese, they would have continued attacking to seize land (as they did in 1945). The Russo-Japanese situation in 1939 (a large border skirmish) bears no resemblance to the Russo-US situation in 1945 (the US trying to get a dangerous enemy to surrender). The Russians didn’t ‘win’ in 1939 and the Japanese could not have been defeated without either bombing or far more destructive invasion in 1945.

  152. 152 Mikhail C February 16, 2017 at 6:14 am

    to Jim: _Still, it seems that I am right and the US wanted to destroy the whole of Japan, at least it looks so – http://www.ditext.com/japan/napalm.html (this is fact)
    And as I understand it, the United States could come far more if the Japanese did not give up. And you yourself wrote that they were not going to give up till the use of nuclear bombs. The time will come and Japanese discharged bill to Americans for nuclear strikes on peaceful cities.
    About food aid and recovery of industry is a traditional course of Western politicians – to make a puppet of the defeated enemy. Once you have killed the wolf-mother, it’s time to tame the wolf-cubs. It works.

    “The fact also remains that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets, though the Japanese had placed them in major urban areas.”
    _If they were military targets, then why 90% of the victims were people who had never seen a weapon or a shell?
    Tell me, but for these purposes – http://www.ditext.com/japan/napalm.html – all this were as military targets?

    If you are a Christian, you understand that God “will reward” the United States with their medals for the destruction of civilians.
    If you are a Buddhist, you know perfectly well that is the law of karma and the United States being paid for their sins, sooner or later.
    If you are an atheist, you should realize that the killing of innocent people – this is a war crime.

    “Your argument about the Soviets in 1939 is utterly invalid.”
    _ You can endlessly discuss and express your science fiction theory, but I’m talking to you about the facts. As far as I know, the Japanese had never attacked the US civilian objects, but the US has destroyed millions of Japanese.

    “The Russo-Japanese situation in 1939 (a large border skirmish) bears no resemblance to the Russo-US situation in 1945 (the US trying to get a dangerous enemy to surrender). The Russians did not ‘win’ in 1939 and the Japanese could not have been defeated without either bombing or far more destructive invasion in 1945. ”
    _ Let us without slogans and hypotheses, let’s talk about the facts.
    The Soviet Union was forced to surrender to Germany, the USSR signed a neutrality pact with Japan. All this was done without the destruction of the civilian population.
    USA 3 years were at war with Japan, but have not been able to win – a fact. US used nuclear weapons and the Japanese surrender – a fact.
    If someone would throw atomic bombs on peaceful American town – US soldiers immediately surrender. Is not it? In boxing it is called – a “low blow”.

    “The Russians did not ‘win’ in 1939 and the Japanese could not have been defeated without either bombing or far more destructive invasion in 1945.”
    In 1939, the USSR defeated Japan in a military sense. Because USSR solved his problem and had losses of up to 6 times less than Japan.
    If you so argue, it is clear that the United States did not win the Vietnam or Korean or Afghan or Yugoslav or the Iraqi war.

    Summary: Your arguments are logical, but unfortunately they are at variance with the facts of history. That is your argument would not be bad in handy for writing science fiction novels. sorry

  153. 153 Jim February 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    to Mikhail:
    No, the US didn’t want to destroy the whole of Japan — they wanted the Japanese Empire to surrender so the war could end. The US did destroy a lot of targets in Japan, including some cities, in the quest to get the Japanese to surrender. However, if the US had actually wanted to totally destroy Japan, they could have done much more damage by more aggressive firebombing or more cities, bombing more dams, hospitals, the Imperial Palace, etc, but they didn’t.

    Whether or not you believe that “food aid and recovery of industry is a traditional course of Western politicians” is irrelevant, but it definitely proves that the US wasn’t trying to commit genocide, just win a bloody war.

    Despite the number of civilians present, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets. The Japanese had placed them in city centers and the US used a very big bomb to hit them. This did cause many civilian casualties, but it was in a quest to end a war that would otherwise claim far MORE Japanese civilian casualties.

    “As far as I know, the Japanese had never attacked the US civilian objects, but the US has destroyed millions of Japanese.”
    A small number of US civilians were killed in Japanese attacks, but the key point is that the Japanese started a war, fought it viciously, and then refused to surrender until long after a saner government. would have.

    “The Soviet Union was forced to surrender to Germany, the USSR signed a neutrality pact with Japan. All this was done without the destruction of the civilian population.”
    They reached agreement because they both had other wars to worry about. That wasn’t the case with the US and Japan in 1945.

    “USA 3 years were at war with Japan, but have not been able to win – a fact. US used nuclear weapons and the Japanese surrender – a fact.
    If someone would throw atomic bombs on peaceful American town – US soldiers immediately surrender. Is not it? In boxing it is called – a “low blow”.”

    US was at war with Japan for 3+ years, had destroyed their fleet, destroyed their AF, and driven them from most islands they’d taken. The Japanese refused to surrender though any sane observer would conclude that they had lost. The US was pursuing multiple measures to get them to surrender, with the atomic bombs being one of the last. Call it what you will in boxing, but in war, if you develop a new weapon, you generally use it. Atomic bombs functioned differently from other bombs, but they were essentially just a continuation of ongoing bombing campaigns. … and, again, using the atomic bombs SAVED lots of lives.

    I, too, am sorry that you are out of touch with reality.

  154. 154 Michael A. Charles February 17, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    I’m humbled by the many erudite comments that have accumulated on this seven year old post, but the thread has reached such a ridiculous length that I can no longer open the page on my iPhone without the browser crashing. Therefore I’m closing comments on this page.

    I apologize to Mikhail C. for denying him the chance to reply to Jim on the morality of targeting civilians.

    I’m going to go back through the thread and prune out the most redundant, illiterate, incoherent, and offensive comments, while trying to preserve the overall distribution of opinions – pro-Soviet, pro-American, and otherwise. My thanks to all commenters, including those whose contributions I’ve elected to delete.

    The author,
    Michael A. Charles


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