Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Sydney C., Dec 23, 2015.
This video shows the staggering statistics of all those who lost their lives in WWII. Unbelievable :
Makes you think.
It kind of makes a mockery of the historian/author Stephen Ambrose's premise that democratic, free societies (i.e. America, Britain, Canada, etc.) turned out better, wiser, stronger more capable military forces than those raised by totalitarianism. His "Citizen Soldiers" and "D-Day" and "Band of Brothers" books of the 1990s were wonderfully entertaining page-turners, but bunk.
Joe Stalin's society was as horrific as one can imagine, yet it's Red Army was responsible 75% of Nazi Germany's war dead.
Germans fled towards Anglo-American armies in the spring of 1945, white flags waving, arms raised, weapons dropped, out of dread fear of the terrible vengeance being meted out by Stalin's hordes.
That "75% of Germany's war dead" has been held up by both the Soviet Union and present day Russia as proof positive that Stalin's Red Army was the reason the Nazis were crushed, however, there are a couple of flaws in that reasoning. First is timing. Many military historians have argued with good proof after seeing figures finally coming out of the Russian historical archives that without the initial flood of Lend-Lease equipment that the Soviet Union could never have recovered enough in the beginning to come back. Hitler would have had all that he had planned on and kept it. The second is that if Hitler had not attacked Russia, or that the Lend-Lease equipment never came, the Western Allies would have been responsible for that 75% figure as that is what it took to crush the Nazi war machine. We also had the atomic bomb and most certainly would have used it again.
You're absolutely right about the value of US (and UK) aid to the Soviets during World War Two keeping them from losing. Without Lend-Lease, the Red Army may well not have won, and certainly would not have been the superb military force it became in 1944-1945. The supplies of US-made planes, tanks and small arms are well know, but perhaps the most important exports to the Soviets from the US were trucks, jeeps and food. Yes, food. American k-rations, designed to last forever, filled the stomachs of the Soviet soldiers while they advanced westwards. This, while much of the Soviet Union was near starvation (the loss of the Soviet "food basket", the Ukraine, was particularly problematic.)
But even if those 75% of of Nazi war dead had come at the hands of UK-US soldiers rather than Russians, as you suggest, this would have meant one hell of a lot more dead Yanks and Limeys. The Russians got our steel, bullets, guns, etc. They gave back their blood.
A good read is "The Unknown War". Read it close to 40 years ago now and it opened my eyes to how much of the burden the Russian people carried. There is also a TV series by the same named available on Hulu.
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