reply to post by mbkennel
In 1941 when the Axis invaded the USSR many soviet citizens actively sided with the invaders - all through Byelorus, Ukraine, the Baltic states and
even "ethnic Russians" - hundreds of thousands of them ended up serving as "auxiliaries" or "hiwis" in het axis armed forces - I recall readong
once somewher ethat about 1000 "east Eurpeans were surendering to the anglo-allies in France every week at one point after D-Day!
However most of the "salvic untermensch" soon learned that hte Axis was not the liberatos they had hoped for, and Stalin shrewdly revived/called on
concepts such as "Mother Russia" to bolster morale and resistance - concepts that the communists had tried to suppress previously.
Service in the RKKA was not always willing - hundreds of thousands served in penal battalions, there WERE times when machineguns were set up behind
troops with orders to shoot anyone who retreated. And not in a handful of isolated situations - they weer quite common especially in the dark days of
1941 ad 1942.
And as the soviets advanced back over previously lost territory they ruthlessly press-ganged inhabitants into eth armed forces - a few weeks training
(where possible - it wasn't always!) and these newly liberated citizens would be fighting the previous occupier.
the USSR fought a total war the likes of which we "pampered" westerners will hopefully never experience - maybe 20-25 million peole weer killed - 1
person in 7 ofhet pre-war Soviet population. If you lived in Leningrad or Stalingrad in 1941 you had about a 50% chance of not being alive in 1943 -
the Piskarevskoye Cemetery at St Petersburg reputedly holds 500,000 unnamed casualties of the Leningrad seige!
After 1941 the USSR faced about 70% of the Axis armed forces for the rest of the war. Lend elase helped - the west provided about 10% os the VVS's
combat aircraft, IIRC about 14,000 total, and a simlar number of tanks, also millions of rations and boots, 500,000 trucks and millions of kilos of
raw materials and even a complete aluminium smelter! But almost none of these were available when the Axis was stopped in 1941 (a few Brtiish tanks
and Hurricans had made Murmansk by the end of that year).
And in the end all teeh western leand-lease was stil manned by Soviets.
without the West eth Soviets would have lost a lot more people - but they would not have lost the war - they might have tanken 2-3 more eyars to win
it. without the Soviets "the west" would not have won the war in Europe - at least not without nuking Berlin!
I don't care for communism, and Stalin was a ruthless tyrant at least as murderous as Hitler - but anyone who denigrates the sacrifice and effort of
the USSR in WW2 is a moron.