The Soviet Red Army Won World War II
When people say the Greatest Generation, they usually refer to the parents of the baby-boomers who fought in Europe during World War II. What we rarely hear is the story of their Eastern counterparts in the Soviet Union. Apart from anti-communism, American jingoism prevents us from acknowledging the undeniable fact that the Red Army almost single-handedly defeated Nazism. It is not a stretch of the imagination to say that socialism and the millions of Soviet working class and peasantry saved the world from annihilation. Even with the American Lend-lease program, the amount of aid only contributed 4% to the Soviet war effort. A little known fact is that there were more British and Canadian soldiers fighting on D-Day than Americans.
The distance between Stalingrad and Berlin was 1,382 km, while the distance from Omaha Beach (where the Americans had landed) and Berlin was 662 km. The US did not liberate “most of Europe.” The Western Allies liberated France, the Netherlands, Belgium, parts of Germany and parts of Austria. The USSR liberated Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, East Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and entered Yugoslavia, all the while fighting 80% of the entire German Army. The fight from Moscow to Berlin is roughly the same as America being invaded from the East Coast, and the enemy getting as far as the Mississippi River, afterwards being driven back to the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, American chauvinists go on to equate Hitler with Stalin and claim that the Soviets did not “really” liberate Eastern Europe, since in their view it was merely a “transfer of power.” Ignoring this statement, one could easily point to the hypocrisy here, considering the North African and Middle Eastern nations were not “liberated” as well since they were once again forced to carry the yoke of the French and British imperialists.
Total US casualties in the war amounted to 418,500. Total Soviet casualties amounted to 23,100,000. Seeing the disparity between the two, it becomes obvious that the Soviet people and the Red Army gave much more in terms of human sacrifice to defeat Nazism. It is a fact that three quarters of Nazi troops were on the Eastern Front at the time of D-Day. During Operation Bagration in the summer of 1944, the Red Army had 1,700,000 troops (the size of the entire US Army) fighting 800,000 Germans. The campaign was a success and resulted in the destruction of an entire German army group, all of whom were front line soldiers furnished with the newest weapons. The Americans on the other hand, fought category B reservists on the west with two exceptions. Arnhem (a British action), and the Bulge, which the Americans passed over to their more experienced British counterparts when defeat stared them in the face. In Italy, the Americans (who were a small force present under the command of British General Alexander) did fight, but against a well-dug-in small German force. The Red Army inflicted four times as many losses on the Germans than they had sustained. The Germans lost about a quarter of their Eastern Front manpower. The total military deaths on the Eastern Front, both German and Soviet, amounted to 8,600,000 with the Germans suffering 5,000,000. The Red Army had already achieved such decisive victories at Stalingrad and Kursk that the war had already been won by the time the Allies landed in Normandy.
Lies Concerning the Red Army
Media talking heads and programs on the History Channel seem to imply that the only reason the Soviets defeated the Germans was thanks to the cold winter and that the Germans would have won if they carried winter gear. The fact is blatantly clear the Germans and the Western Allies fully expected Hitler to defeat the Soviet Union in a war. Hitler invaded in the summer, and what bourgeois historians do not recognize is that there was a stalemate from July-February of 1941-1942. The excuses of ”winter” do not even apply as we can see by pure logic. Winter did not last continuously from 1942-1945. Russians are quite as susceptible to cold as are Germans – not to mention Ukrainians and other southern peoples of the Soviet Union. It’s not like they were frost-resistant supermen. The whole “they won by the Russian winter and sheer numbers” spiel is a product of Hollywood and propaganda. The Battle of Smolensk, which lasted from July through September 1941, delayed the German offensive towards Moscow for two months.
Another lie propogated by Hollywood is the notion that the Red Army was victorious by numbers alone. The Wehrmacht outnumbered the Red Army throughout 1941, and by December/late November when the Red Army had the advantage the Germans were defeated outside Moscow. One cannot attribute the sheer amount of German military deaths, which greatly outnumbered those of the Red Army, to simple human wave tactics. The Germans were often defeated by a numerically inferior force (Leningrad 1941, Moscow 1941 and 42). The Soviet and German armies were roughly the same in size in 41 and 42.
The idea that the USSR won only because of numbers is simply not true – read any modern history book (Hastings, Davies, Overy, Erickson) and there is a consensus that it had much more to do with the gradual shift to giving the Soviet high command freedom to develop their own strategies without Stalin or military commissars looking over their shoulders; the development of mass tank armies proved highly significant. Lend-lease helped, but the fact that most of Soviet industry was evacuated behind the Urals was much more important.
As mentioned earlier, Lend-lease amounted to no more than 4% of the Soviet War effort and about 98% of what fought Germany was Soviet equipment. Lend-lease had more to do with the fact that the Allies didn’t have much use for their equipment since they didn’t open up a second front until the last year of the war. It was similar to a form of payment. Much of it wasn’t used since the Soviets considered it quite poor. For example, the trucks and tanks couldn’t hack the harsh conditions in the east (parts froze up, as happened to the German equipment). Allied tank tracks were too thin and were built for roads, not rough terrain. At one point the Soviets actually declined US equipment and asked instead for food supplies for soldiers. The Americans promptly paid, conscious of the fact they weren’t doing any real fighting.
The vast majority of Red Army soldiers were composed of the masses of Soviet people who were fighting for a better world for all the world’s peoples. The Nazi war effort, contrary to Pat Buchanan’s lies, was a concentrated effort to conquer the world and to completely exterminate or enslave all the non-white and “inferior” peoples it could get a hold of. To deny the USSR’s decisive role in changing the course of World War II is to deny the indescribable suffering and heroism of millions upon millions of people. Slava! Slava! Glory to the Soviet peoples for saving the world from fascism!