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"Who Won The War? Russians Take A Different View ..." Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2018 11:57 a.m. PST

…On D-Day

"Sitting in the shade on a bench in the center of Moscow, 77-year-old Galina Makarenko pauses for several seconds before delivering her blunt opinion on the Allied D-Day landings of June 6, 1944.

"It helped us a little. But only a little," says the sprightly physicist, who was evacuated from Moscow to Kazakhstan to escape the conflict that Westerners call World War Two and Russians refer to as the Great Patriotic War.

President Vladimir Putin joins the leaders of France, Britain, the United States and Germany to mark the 70th anniversary on Friday of the Normandy landings that opened the western front against Hitler's forces, catching them in a giant pincer movement as Stalin's Red Army pushed them back in the east…."
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Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member06 Jun 2018 12:21 p.m. PST

A mean spirited & incorrect response by Galina Makarenko.

Defeating Hitler was actually an Allied effort.

By simply surviving after the Dunkirk Miracle, the British ensured the Nazis needed to pour resources into facing off the British. Alamein, the first comprehensive victory over Hitler, was a great morale boost & the Italian & later Norman fronts meant a further division of German resources. And do we need to mention the Arctic supply routes delivering war materials?

Clearly, the Eastern Front was of vital importance & not very many Westerners deny it. I would suggest our sprightly physicist forget the Russian propaganda and consider the facts.

jefritrout06 Jun 2018 12:26 p.m. PST

One would also need to include the bombing of German factories into the mix. I think that the denial of war materials and production of supplies is the biggest overlooked factor in the war.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2018 12:52 p.m. PST

Lendlease isn't mentioned in Russia. MY dad was liberated in Romania by the Russian. They were driving Harley davidson MC,Jeeps, Studebaker trucks, M3 Half tracks, and T-34. Their army was mostly 40++ year old men and 14 years boys. We provide the trucks to allow them to maximis Tank production. Did Russia Send anything to the West but complaints? Getting large chunks of your population killed is nothing to be proud of.

dBerczerk06 Jun 2018 1:27 p.m. PST

The Allied bomber offensive against Germany tied down immense Nazi resources: men, fighter aircraft, anti-aircraft guns, ammunition, fuel, etc. that might otherwise have been used against the Red Army.

The threat of Allied landings on the Continent also tied down incredible German resources -- manpower, guns, ammunition, concrete, timber, mines, etc.; that could likewise have been used against the Russians on the Eastern Front.

gamershs Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2018 1:34 p.m. PST

Lets see:
At least 16 divisions were tied up protecting Norway from invasion. I have no idea how many units were tied up in France waiting for a possible/probable invasion. The fighting in Italy was tying up large number of troops (the battle of Kirsk ended early because forces had to be transferred to Italy to halt a breakthrough).

At one point the majority of the trucks in Russia were Studebakers. Everything from tanks to Uniforms were sent to Russia. Was reading where a front line unit in Russia was deciding how to eat there SPAM.

There is no doubt that Russia tied up the Lions share of German land forces but it WAS an allied effort that defeated the Axis forces.

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2018 4:46 p.m. PST

+1 Ochoin. "I would suggest our sprightly physicist forget the Russian propaganda and consider the facts" Damn, now THAT wins the internet for today. Well said. Too bad, many here in the States would apparently side with Russia. With whatever they say… soon, I guess we will be one big unhapppy communist Country. Lying to the World.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2018 6:43 p.m. PST

Perhaps the UK could have made peace after Dunkirk and the US and UK could have sold raw materials and finished goods to the Germans, on credit, or perhaps a lend lease arrangement.

Germans can eat Spam and drive 2 1/2 ton trucks, and Jeeps too.

Then the Soviets / Russians could see the real difference having the West as allies meant.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Captain Avatar06 Jun 2018 7:15 p.m. PST

I know many Russians who never heard of D-Day until they came to America.

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member06 Jun 2018 7:40 p.m. PST

Well, WWII did interfere with Russia's war against its own people. The earlier allied efforts, then D-Day and afterwards "helped" end the World War so Russia could get back to "caring" for her own people and her new subjects.

redbanner414507 Jun 2018 3:23 a.m. PST

All the above is very true but with 20 million Russian dead vs. somewhere around a quarter of a million American dead its not hard to see why some Russians feel like Makarenko.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2018 4:41 a.m. PST

Many in the West are unaware of the great sacrifices the Russian people made and the fact they broke the back of the German war machine.

But over time the pendulum seems to be swinging the other way and western contributions devalued. The air war and lend lease have already been mentioned. There is also the battle of the North Atlantic that consumed a great amount of resources from both sides.

And lets not forget the war in the Pacific. A great deal of production and manpower went into the largest theater by area and until the very end there was no Russian help offered the allies in that theater at all.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2018 4:55 a.m. PST

Once again the Russian Sacrifices was mainly due to poor leadership and Training. They also didn't care how many "little people" died to win.

Garand07 Jun 2018 9:20 a.m. PST

I know many Russians who never heard of D-Day until they came to America.

When I was at Penn State doing some research, I came across a Soviet era book in the English language from Progress Publishing, about the Great Patriotic War. Each chapter had a few paragraphs at the end detailing what the rest of the Allies were doing. It wasn't always complementary, and only a handful of paragraphs. It made for interesting reading & perspective, mainly on how the Soviet propaganda engine saw the contributions of the West in WWII…


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2018 10:21 a.m. PST



Begemot Inactive Member07 Jun 2018 2:08 p.m. PST

<quote>I know many Russians who never heard of D-Day until they came to America.</quote>

How many Americans have heard of Operation Bagration? Or Kursk? Or the siege of Leningrad? Or Dunkirk? Or El Alamein?

We all have a tendency to live in our own little bubbles.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2018 3:14 p.m. PST

And the Russians are still pretty good about not mentioning that they began the war on the other side.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2018 4:30 p.m. PST

+1 Robert Piepenbrink

And that they try to sign a separate peace in 1943.

SeattleGamer Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2018 5:11 p.m. PST

I have always believed it was a joint effort.

Consider this angle … What if the allies had let Hitler get away with Poland in 1939? What if Hitler never invaded the low countries or France, and the ONLY enemy Germany ever had to face after Poland was the Soviet Union.

Could the Soviet Union, facing German all on her own, defeat the Nazis? No strategic bombing campaign that tied down huge chunks of their air force, and destroying their production?

I don't think the Soviets could have won that war all on their own.

And reversing that, what if Hitler had never invaded the east, and the allies were all on their own, facing Germany? Could we have defeated the Nazis? No Russian front to drain away 80-90% or better of their land forces?

I think it took ALL of the allies to defeat Nazi Germany.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2018 5:45 p.m. PST

I totally agree with you, but the question is does the average Russian Citizen today appreciate what everyone else did in a joint effort.

Begemot Inactive Member07 Jun 2018 10:57 p.m. PST

Wackmole – There was a can of Spam on display in the Kiev museum to the Great Patriotic War in 2009. Apparently they appreciated that part of the Allied effort. I suspect the average Russian has a reasonable appreciation of the efforts of the western allies. They may be inclined to give the US and Brit efforts less weight than you would like. Almost every family lost someone during that war, unlike in Britain or America. My wife lost both her grandfathers in that war. Neither the US nor Britain home territories were invaded or suffered the same level of devastation. They have a sense, justifiable or not, that they carried a disproportionate share of the burden in defeating Germany. Does the average American or Brit citizen of today appreciate what was going on on the Eastern Front (do they even know there was an Eastern Front)? During that war, the average Brit and American did. Time has passed and the people in the west have largely forgotten. As I noted above, people have a tendency to focus on their own and celebrate their own. Americans in particular have this as a highly developed trait.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2018 2:09 a.m. PST

On both sides which were on the same side, it is right difficult for many to acknowledge the weight of the other's contribution.
Each time someone, usually leftist ( why so?) reminds publicly, here, around the 6th of June that the soviets had the biggest / huge contribution to the fall of the nazis… There is a storm against it because of the most war remix of the soviet empire and the fight towards Berlin. Funnily there was a poll in France done several times along the last decades, it show the vast majority of people in 1945 said the Rus.. soviets had the biggest share, in last decade the US took over.
In Russia I found out they do minimize the Normandy etc. ops, nearly ignore Cape Bon, and barely acknowledge Lend Lease. True history buffs being a bit different.
It was funny when I told some that there were more POW and losses in the Tunisia campaign for the Axis than at Stalingrad, and that maybe a few millions of their deads fell on the other side. The one million HIWIS was hard to accept. Totally put under the carpet.
I also have to fight the " glory" ( gory?) of the number of deads they compare to the US. Stating that there might be a good way to fight and a less efficient one, also bring in the same pb in France when they bring the 100000 of 1940 to sustain the Fr army did fight well " but it was the fault of the generals"…

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2018 5:03 a.m. PST

+1 Begemot

Once again do you think your wife's Grandfather's Sacrifice was caused by.
A) Superior German training/Leadership?
B) poorly Soviet Training/Leadership?
C) Average German Logical operations
D) Average Soviet Logical Operation (poor if you don't have Lendlease?
E) Superior German Armements?
F) Average Soviet Armaments but quantity beats quality?
G) Superior German Morale?
H) Superior Russian Morale?
I) Just being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Soldiers die because Politicians put the Needs of the country over the needs of the Soldiers. Some leaders are much less caring about their citizens then others.

No one country could have defeated the Axis alliance. Each member of the Allies may take pride in there part
in defeat the Axis.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2018 5:09 a.m. PST

First the Axis defeated itself.
I think, with more time and far more blood, US+UK could have defeated them still.

jdginaz09 Jun 2018 2:09 p.m. PST

One thing that many seem to miss is that not only were a lot of Units were kept in France in anticipation of the Allied landing but that a many of them were mobile divisions. As I understand it a large part of the reason for the initial success of Operation Bagration was the lack of German mobile divisions, just one Panzer and one motorized.

gregmita209 Jun 2018 10:03 p.m. PST

The following joke puts it best:

Stalin keeps on bugging Churchill – "We need a second front. We need a second front."

Churchill replies – "We did have a second front, but you were on the other side back then."

Begemot Inactive Member09 Jun 2018 10:55 p.m. PST


If you meant in the AG Center area for the start of Bagration, the list below shows that 20 PzD, 5 SS PzD, and 25 PzGrnD were in the AG Center area when Bagration started. However, a lot of German mobile assets in the east were in other ares, especially in AG North Ukraine (next door to AG Center), not so much in the West. This was the result of the Germans being misled about where the Soviets were going to make their push.

From this source (

From the works of Tessin I find the following locations for Panzer Divisions in June 1944.
On the Eastern Front:
1PD,4PD,5PD,7PD,8PD,16PD,17PD plus 9SSPD and 10SSPD all with AG NordUk

12PD with AG Nord

13PD,14PD,23PD,24PD and 3SSPD with AG SüdUk

20PD and 5SSPD with AG Mitte

So 9 of 17 were with AGNU or 52.9%


For the complete story the remaining Panzer Divisions were located as follows:

In the West
2PD,9PD,11PD,19PD,21PD and 1SSPD, 2SSPD and 12SSPD
In Italy
In Germany
In Denmark

The Panzer-Grenadier units were located as follows:

In the East:
20PGD with AGNU
11SSPGD with AG Nord
GD PGD and 10PGD with AGSU
25PGD with AGMitte
16PGD with AGSüd

In the West:
In Italy:
3PGD,15PGD,29PGD,90PGD and 16SSPGD
In Greece:
In Yugoslavia:

Mark 113 Jun 2018 2:29 p.m. PST

+1 Begemot

The Soviet "maskirovka" prior to Bagration left the Germans rather fully convinced that the next big Soviet offensive would be south of AG Center, targeting Romania rather than Byelorussia. If one looks at a map of the front lines in May, 1944, this would be the most obvious direction of attack. As with the western Allies' efforts to convince the Germans that the invasion would come across the Pas de Calais, the Germans seem to have been fairly prone to believing the most obvious approach would be the approach their enemies would take.

Once again the Russian Sacrifices was mainly due to poor leadership and Training. They also didn't care how many "little people" died to win.

While there is little reason to suggest that Stalin was much concerned with the plight of the commoners, I think this statement misses the mark.

The first cause of Russian sacrifices was being caught unprepared by a superior foe. That could indeed be chalked up to poor leadership, but I might point out that Poland, France and Britain fared no better. Britain survived their own learning curve because they had the Channel. Russia had no 25 mile wide moat to shelter behind.

Once you get past the starting point, I can't see that Russia had much choice. Casualties in the first 6 months of Barbarossa amounted to almost 100% of the Red Army pre-war standing force level. The ONLY thing that kept Russia in the war was the speed with which they mobilized new formations to throw in front of the Germans.

In the west, and particularly in the US, we had the luxury to sit back and work on expanding and training our forces. We can pat ourselves on the back and crow about how much we cared about the lives of our soldiers.

But consider if you were in a decision-making role in Russia. The Germans were killing an average of more than 50,000 civilians a week. Every week, of every month, of every year while they were on Russian soil. The more you leave them alone, the more civilians they massacre.

How much time are you going to spend training your next batch of soldiers before you send them out to fight? Even if you are Stalin, and you don't wouldn't give 1 kopek for the life of any individual on this earth, you still have the problem that population is power, and you are losing population so fast your head is spinning. You face the same quandary that the most fervent humanist would face in your place -- how many civilian lives are you willing to sacrifice while you take time training your soldiers?

There is a very hard edge to the Russian perspective on WW2. When a predator is tearing your guts out you don't have time to sharpen your blade. Nor are you likely to have much patience for the by-stander who offers you encouragement while stretching, warming up and circling around looking for a vulnerability in preparation for entering the fight.

Too bad, many here in the States would apparently side with Russia. With whatever they say… soon, I guess we will be one big unhapppy communist Country.

Cold war perspectives die hard.

I see greater risk now in the west than in any time in my lifespan. But it has nothing to do with communism. Communism is the bug-a-boo thrown about by those who would sell-out democratic principals to gain autocratic power. Siding with Russia would be siding with a populist autocrat. That is the threat to western democracies. Putin is cast in the model of Mussolini and Hitler, not Marx or Lenin.

(aka: Mk 1)

Lookingglassman Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2018 6:52 p.m. PST

If the fight in Europe remained between Russia and Germany with no American/British involvement I think the Russians would of eventually won, but it would have taken them longer and they would of suffered many. many more casualties.

ScoutJock01 Aug 2018 7:42 a.m. PST

I think the definition of victory has to be considered.

Russia could probably have restored their borders or possibly even occupied Poland and Czechoslovakia, but without help from the western allies, I doubt they could have invaded Germany, captured Berlin and killed Hitler.

And the Cold War would have moved east a couple of hundred klicks. Until the Germans developed nuclear weapons and incinerated Moscow.

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