Children and World War Two
Citation: C N Trueman «Children and World War Two»
historylearningsite.co.uk. The History Learning Site, 6 Mar 2015. 10 Jul 2023.
Children were massively affected by World War Two. Nearly two million children were evacuated from their homes at the start of World War Two; children had to endure rationing, gas mask lessons, living with strangers etc. Children accounted for one in ten of the deaths during the Blitz of London from 1940 to 1941.
World War Two was the first war when Britain itself was the target of frequent attacks by the enemy. With the success of the Battle of Britain and the suspension of ‘Operation Sealion’, the only way Germany could get at mainland Britain was to bomb it. This occurred during the Blitz and seemed to reinforce the government’s decision to introduce evacuation (what the government of the time described as “the biggest exodus since Moses”) at the start of the war. On August 31st, 1939, the government issued the order “Evacuate Forthwith” and ‘Operation Pied Piper’ was started the very next day.
Children and World War Two
Children and World War Two
The impact of evacuation on children depended to an extent on which social strata you were in at the time. Parents who had access to money invariably made their own arrangements. Children at private schools based in the cities tended to move out to manor houses in the countryside where children at that school could be, in the main, kept together. But 1.9 million children gathered at rail stations in early September not knowing where they were going nor if they would be split from brothers and sisters who had gathered with them.
‘Operation Pied Piper’ was a huge undertaking. Six cities had been deemed vulnerable to German bombing – memories of Guernica were still fresh – and in London alone there were 1,589 assembly points for children to gather at before they were moved on. Those children who were evacuated were given a stamped postcard to send from their billet address to inform their parents where they were.
Children and World War Two
‘Operation Pied Piper’ planned to move 3.5 million children in three days. In the event, the 1.9 million who were evacuated was a remarkable achievement though some children stayed with their parents as evacuation was not compulsory.
With such numbers involved, it was to be expected that some children would have a smooth passage to their reception area while some would not. Anglesey expected 625 children to arrive and 2,468 did. Pwllheli, North Wales, was not allocated any evacuees – and 400 turned up. Children already experiencing a stressful situation were put in an even more difficult situation. Elsewhere, children who had been used to being in school in the same class were spilt up.
|“I have had few worse hours in my life than those I spent watching the school being taken off in drizzling rain and gathering gloom to those unknown villages, knowing I was powerless to do anything about it. ”Dorothy King, teacher|
What impact this had on the children involved was never overly studied at the time as the government simply wanted to herald evacuation as an overwhelming success. That some children continued their education in pubs, church halls or anywhere else there was the space to accommodate them was seen as the accepted face of a requirement that had been foist on the government.
The clash of cultures experienced by many children must have also been difficult. The children from the cities had been tarred by a reputation that was undeserved – but many of those in rural England expected children to be riddled with parasites and to engage in anti-social behaviour. Such was the perception at the time.
|“I noticed a woman looking at evacuees’ hair and opening their mouths, but one of the helpers said, “They might come from the East End, but they’re children, not animals.” R Baker, evacuee from Bethnal Green.|
However, many mothers brought their children home during the ‘Phoney War’ when it seemed clear that the danger of bombing had been exaggerated. By January 1940, about 60% of all evacuees had returned to their home. The return of these children was not in the government’s plan. Many schools remained shut in city centres and a social problem occurred that had no obvious cure – so-called ‘dead-end kids’ who were left unsupervised for most of the day as their fathers were away with the military and their mothers were at work in the factories. It is difficult to know whether this problem was overstated or not but while these children remained in city centres they were a potential casualty of German bombing. London was obviously targeted during the Blitz, but other cities were also badly bombed – Plymouth and Coventry being obvious examples. In London, ‘trekkers’ took their children out of the centre at night (during the Blitz) and went to the nearest open ground that might represent safety. The government did not recognise the existence of ‘trekkers’ as their understandable response to bombing did not fit in with the ‘stiff upper lip’ that the government portrayed in their propaganda films. Whereas the American film ‘Britain can take it’ represented Londoners as people with huge resolve, the reality was different.
However, by the end of 1941, city centres, especially London, became safer. Life for children regained a degree of monotony. Rationing ensured that everyone got their food. Life could never be normal in a wartime situation but the fear of gas attacks had all but gone and the attacks by the Luftwaffe was a memory. Though cinemas were meant to be shut, many opened.
The seeming normality of life on the Home Front was shattered in 1944 when the first of the V1’s landed. Once more, London was targeted and children were victims. The danger faced in London was greatly increased when the V2 attacks started and the casualty figures mirrored those of the Blitz.
The attacks by both V1’s and V2’s only ended as the Allies advanced up through Western Europe after the success of D-Day.
What damage did the war do to those children who survived it? This is difficult to know as physical damage was visible and could be dealt with but the psychological damage some must have suffered was difficult to measure – even if anybody tried to do this. In the immediate aftermath of VE Day and VJ Day, returning soldiers were given priority and an emphasis was placed on the return of ‘family’. Children and their welfare seemed to come lower down the list of priorities – the return of a father, according to some, would be enough to restore classic family virtues to society. Psychological assessments were far more basic in 1945 and in the immediate years after the war. ‘Pulling yourself together’ and the ubiquitous ‘stiff upper lip’ were frequent solutions to both adult and child problems. There is also little doubt that the government wanted to portray Britain as a country that had won the war and was harvesting the benefits of it. Fragile family bases did not fit in with this.
The above deals solely with children from Britain and not the rest of Europe. Children living under occupation must have lived in a manner few can comprehend unless an individual has been through similar situations. Children in Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France etc would all have experienced the terror produced by Blitzkrieg. Occupying troops could be brutal as the children at Oradur-sur-Glane and Lidice found out. Young German boys were used by the Nazi Party in the final days of the Battle of Berlin. What is thought to be the final picture of Hitler was taken when he pinned Iron Crosses onto the uniform of child soldiers in the garden of his bunker in Berlin. The bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed thousands of children. The crimes committed during the Holocaust involved countless thousands of children. The first experimental ‘gas chambers’ were used on German children who were mentally incapacitated. Josef Mengele specifically targeted children for his experiments at Auschwitz.
|“The forgotten victims of World War Two were the children.” Juliet Gardiner.|
Life in Shadows: Hidden Children and the Holocaust
When World War II ended in 1945, six million European Jews were dead, killed in the Holocaust. More than one million of the victims were children.
Driven by a racist ideology that viewed Jews as “parasitic vermin” worthy only of eradication, the Nazis implemented genocide on an unprecedented scale. All of Europe’s Jews were slated for destruction: the sick and the healthy, the rich and the poor, the religiously orthodox and converts to Christianity, the aged and the young, even infants.
Thousands of Jewish children survived this brutal carnage, however, many because they were hidden. With identities disguised, and often physically concealed from the outside world, these youngsters faced constant fear, dilemmas, and danger. Theirs was a life in shadows, where a careless remark, a denunciation, or the murmurings of inquisitive neighbors could lead to discovery and death.
The vast majority of Jews in German-occupied Europe never went into hiding, for many reasons. Hiding meant leaving behind relatives, risking immediate and severe punishment, and finding an individual or family willing to provide refuge. Many Jews, no doubt, held out the hope that the threat of death would pass or that they could survive until the Allied victory.
Sadly, the willingness or ability of the non-Jewish populations to rescue Jewish lives never matched the Nazis’ vehement desire to destroy them. Even in countries where hatred for the German occupiers ran deep, anti-Nazism did not necessarily generate aid for Jews. The Nazis portrayed the Jews as carriers of contagion, as criminals, or as “Bolshevik” agents anxious to subvert European society. The Nazis further discouraged rescue by threatening severe penalties for those caught helping Jews.
Life in hiding was always hazardous. Throughout German-occupied Europe, the Nazis made a concerted effort to locate Jews in hiding. German officials and their collaborators harshly penalized those who aided Jews and offered rewards to individuals willing to turn in Jews. Beginning in March 1943, the Gestapo (the German secret state police) granted some Jews in Germany reprieve from deportation in exchange for tracking down their co-religionists who had gone underground. By spring 1945, when the Nazi regime lay in ruins, these informers had turned in as many as 2,000 Jews. In other countries, neighbors betrayed others for money or out of support for the regime. In German-occupied Poland, blackmailers squeezed money or property from Jews by threatening to turn them in to the authorities.
Jews in hiding were discovered by chance during raids seeking conscripts for forced labor, resistance cells, black marketers, or by random searches of documents. A slip of the tongue, improperly prepared false documents, or gossip could lead to arrest and deportation.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC
WWII Historical Facts for Kids
Finding WWII facts for kids that are both educational and relevant can be challenging. Enrich your children’s knowledge of the events of World War II with lesser-known details. Why is it important? Because polls show that there is a shocking lack of knowledge about the Holocaust among the younger generations.
This article will help educators and parents deal with these fears and teach children about World War II.
1. World War II was a battle between two sides
The terms «allies» and «Axis powers» were used to refer to the two sides in the war. The most prominent allied powers were Britain, France, Russia, China and the United States. The main Axis powers were Germany, Italy and Japan.
While the Axis powers fell to failed dictatorships, it is important to remember that the peoples of their countries are not to blame. Today, Germany, Japan and Italy are among the closest allies of the United States.
World War II began when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. In response to this aggression, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany.
2. The Greatest Generation
World War II forced everyone to act. All men of fighting age were encouraged to join the battle, and recruitment and preparation for battle became rapid. Men fought on both sides of the ocean in record numbers, while women and children fought hard to support the war effort at home.
People who fought in World War II are often referred to as the «Greatest Generation». It took a lot of cooperation and effort from everyone in the US, UK and allied powers to come together for the common good.
3. World War II was our last war… Technically
The US has been involved in several armed conflicts since World War II. However, in order to legally wage war on the United States, Congress must formally declare war. It’s part of our constitution.
Congress last declared war in 1942 against Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. These were members of the Axis powers. Since then, there has been no official declaration of war.
4. What caused the war?
Before the Second World War, the leaders of the Axis made the wrong decisions. They caused harm not only to others, but also to their population.
The peoples of Germany and Italy suffered because of the Great Depression. This was when most of the world’s money was in the hands of a few people. As a result, many were poor and starving.
In the United States and many allied powers, people have turned to democracy as a solution. Democracy means that the citizens of a country can choose their leaders to represent their votes. As a result, citizens voted for officials to help them avoid the Great Depression and achieve prosperity.
Unfortunately, some bad people in the Axis have decided to take advantage of those who are suffering. They will promise them a better life, only to renege on their promises when they come to power. The most infamous figure was a man named Adolf Hitler in Germany.
He founded the Nazi Party, and when he came to power, he decided to seize more land by invading Poland.
5. The Nazis initiated the conflict
In a democratic society, elected officials are supposed to help those who voted for them. But unfortunately, the Nazi Party under Hitler chose to harm and kill some of their own people.
The types of Germans targeted by Hitler were those of Jewish origin, those with physical disabilities, and others who did not fit Hitler’s vision of the «ideal race», also known as the «Aryan race».
However, Hitler still needed to retain the support of the majority of the population in order to remain in power. So how did he do it?
He did this by making these target groups responsible for the problems in the country.
This is another reason why the allied forces had to intervene. Many Germans did not initially know that their elected politicians were doing this, but it had to be stopped. Hitler and his Nazi Party killed over 6 million Jews, known as the Holocaust. The Nazis also persecuted other groups, including:
- Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Roma gypsies
- People with disabilities
6. The Holocaust began
During the Holocaust, the Nazis rounded up Jews from their homes and sent them to concentration camps. As a result, many Jews were forced to go into hiding or flee to safer places, including the United States and Shanghai, China.
The Holocaust was a form of genocide, the killing of one group of people.
7. Women worked in the home front
Although the men at that time were usually workers in the American household, most of them went to war. This has resulted in women taking on many important roles in the workplace. Heard about Rosie rivet ? She became a World War II cultural icon for a long line of women working in factories making planes, ships and more.
Women made everything from tanks to ammunition and supplies.
The US used so much copper for ammunition that pennies of that era were made from the same metals as nickels.
Although women were not allowed to fight in the war, they helped in other valuable ways. A good example is the famous WASP, US Air Force Pilots, a program run by the military to recruit and train pilots to fly aircraft between factories to domestic airfields, along with other flying duties, to free up the male pilots needed to fight on the front lines.
8. Children helped in World War II
Fortunately, the US helped the entire population survive the war, and not just women!
Children were a huge help in the war effort. Children bought stamps with war bonds, fed with their mothers, collected scrap metal, and grew food in Victory Gardens at home and in schools. These efforts helped feed local communities and allowed more food to be sent to militants abroad.
Due to the huge demand for raw materials such as metal and rubber for the production of weapons, metal and rubber promotions were held throughout the country. Children and their families collected and delivered this raw material.
Children also played an important role in fundraising by buying and collecting stamps in exchange for war bonds that Uncle Sam used to fund the war effort. This approach helped the US win the war and pull the country out of the Great Depression!
FUN FACTS :
World War II cost the US government over $300 billion, which is about $4 trillion in today’s money. Americans have purchased over $180 billion in bonds. Thus, war bonds covered 60% of the cost of World War II.
Our Flying Fillies book includes actual photographs of this. Order a copy today,
9. What are the most famous battles of World War II?
The battles of World War II were divided into two theatres: The European theater referred to the battles taking place in Europe. and the Pacific theater for battles in the Pacific regions.
Battle of Britain
Initiated by Germany and taking place in the skies of Great Britain, the Battle of Britain was the first major military campaign ever fought solely by air power. This aircraft battle lasted from July 10 to October 31, 1940 years old. The German Air Force was called Luftwaffe and Britain was Royal Air Force (RAF) .
This air attack took place in the early days of World War II. On April 18, 1942, the United States launched an air raid on Tokyo, the capital of Japan, in retaliation for Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. A successful operation led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle boosted American morale and forced Japan to withdraw most of its military forces to defend its homeland.
Although the Doolittle Raid was a successful air strike against the Japanese, the dire consequences resulted in the Japanese taking revenge on the Chinese by killing 250,000 civilians and 70,000 soldiers in China for protecting American airmen.
Invasion of Normandy, 6 June 1944. Also known as D-Day, it was the largest naval invasion in history. Over 160,000 Allied soldiers landed along the 5,000 miles of the French coast of Normandy. Over 13,000 ships, including aircraft carriers, and 9,000 aircraft supported the soldiers, but the Allies suffered heavy losses with XNUMX soldiers killed or wounded.
Battle of the Bulge
This battle began on December 16, 1944 and lasted about 5 weeks. It was an offensive move from Germany through the Ardennes forest between Belgium and Luxembourg. Germany used up all its resources and lost, leaving a big hole for the Allies to break through to Germany.
10. How did World War II end?
Ultimately, the US, UK and Allied powers stopped Nazi Germany and the Axis powers.
Toward the end, Britain, the dominant world power for centuries, came close to losing the war. The US was busy fighting across two oceans. Everything looked gloomy.
With each victory in the Axis battles, Allied strategists prepared for a post-war world largely controlled by Germany. Fortunately, the Soviet Union began to move forward after the brutal defeat of the Germans at the beginning of the war. Then, with the help of superior American and British intelligence, Nazi Germany was defeated. Germany surrendered on 7 May 1945 years old.
For Japan, the war seemed endless until President Harry Truman made a difficult decision that was accepted by Allied leaders, including Joseph Stalin, Prime Minister of the Soviet Union, and Clement Attlee, Prime Minister of Great Britain (who replaced Winston Churchill). ), formally warning Japan to surrender or suffer «immediate and utter annihilation».
Japan did not heed this warning. Then orders were given for atomic bombing attacks with two of the most recently invented and most powerful weapons — atomic bombs, known as «Baby» and «Fat Man». These bombs were dropped on Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9.August 1945. Six days later, on August 15, Japan capitulated.
Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ
Let’s finish with some general questions about World War II.
How long did the war last?
World War II lasted six years, from September 1, 1939 to September 2, 1945.
Why did people listen to Hitler?
Hitler’s dissemination propaganda , or false information to convince people that the country’s problems were caused by the Jewish people. Many rejected this notion until Hitler rose to power and then used force to achieve what he wanted.
How many people died in World War II?
While Hitler killed 6 million innocent Jews, the total death toll in World War II was much higher. Worldwide, it is estimated that 60 million people died during World War II, mostly civilians. However, according to some estimates, their number reaches 75 million.
Did all countries fight in World War II?
Although this is called a «world war», not all countries participated in it. For example, in Europe, Spain and Switzerland remained neutral. Many other major countries remained neutral, especially in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Share these World War II facts for kids today
Now that you know how to teach your children about World War II, plan your next lesson! Understanding how these events happened (and why) will help children better understand the world we live in today.
How the history of the Great Patriotic War is distorted
For decades now the entire «civilized» world has been cynically distorting the historical truth concerning the USSR. Several generations have already grown up in the world who are absolutely sure that our Motherland is the main world evil. Why “not the whole truth” is worse than outright lies, military historian Yakov Streletsky told Primorskaya Gazeta.
The most outstanding event in the history of the USSR and world history is the Second World War. And that is why the history of the Victory of the Russian people in the Great Patriotic War is most susceptible to falsification. There are many methods of information struggle of the militant West against the true historical facts. Let’s consider the most common.
An attempt is being made to erase the phenomenon of the Second World War from the historical memory, to eradicate from the public consciousness.
Victory salute over the Moscow Kremlin. May 9, 1945
Photo — waralbum.ru
Its effectiveness is quite high, since, on the one hand, it is counting on the natural decline of the older generation that survived the war, on the other, on young people who know about this war only what they will tell her in the family or school.
In schools in Germany, for example, they do not form historical memory, because the teacher himself tries to get rid of it. Professor of Philosophy and Science at the University of Bielefeld (Germany) Marie Keyser said: “There is no collective memory of these events and dates. And the generation that has such a memory does not want to remember it. So this memory is not passed on to younger generations as something to be remembered, discussed and debated about. This is the memory of defeat — and people wanted to forget about such things. So there was a generation that did not create a collective memory. For subsequent generations, the memory was lost. It has not been passed on to new generations.
Privatdozent Ingrid Oswald from the Humboldt University (Berlin) explained the “lack” of historical memory among the Germans by the fact that the topic of the war in Germany was bypassed. “About the war in our country,” she notes, “very little was said. In general, they taught at school in such a way that in 1933 it was all over. I didn’t hear anything about the war at school.»
Her colleague, Dr. Torsten Simon from Cologne, specifies: «Even a graduate of a German gymnasium would be surprised if he was told that Paris was occupied by German troops.»
It is alleged that “two dictators” — Hitler and Stalin — are equally to blame for the war between Germany and the USSR; they say, “there was no Great Patriotic War”, “Nazis and communists fought”, pushed by both leaders. By the way, such an “information duck” is nothing more than an interpretation, or rather, a repetition of a myth generated by another doctor, Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany.
Soviet propaganda poster ridiculing the lies of Goebbels. Moscow, 1943.
Authors — Kukryniksy
Here are the agitation leaflets he composed with his henchmen: “Believe me, Ivan, I am not fighting with you, but with the commissars. Therefore, this is not a war between your Motherland and Germany, but a Nazi-Soviet, purely ideological one.
In our time, this myth is actively supported and replicated not only by the «scientific elite» of the West, but also by some representatives of our «elite». The main thing is not in the similarity of Stalinism and Nazism (and fascism), but in their qualitative difference. Nazism (and fascism) is the idea of the superiority of one nation over others. And Stalinism is a continuation of the idea of socialism, that is, class equality. It is no coincidence that such hatred of the Nazis (fascists) for communism took place. The masters of the Western world encouraged Nazism (fascism) as anti-communism, as a means of fighting communism.
Joseph Goebbels announces the attack on the USSR on the radio. June 22, 1941
Photo — waralbum.ru
A striking example of the introduction of such a myth is the Katyn case. Its essence is that in 1941 the Germans near Smolensk shot 12,000 captured Polish officers in the same way that they shot tens of thousands of captured Soviet officers throughout the war. But in 1943, in order to turn the Poles and other peoples of Europe against the USSR, the Goebbels department suddenly started talking about the fact that captured Polish officers in 1940 was shot by the Russians. Immediately after the liberation of the Smolensk region by the Red Army from the Nazi invaders in 1944, a commission was created that confirmed that the captured Poles were shot by the Nazis. The entire Western world agreed with this, despite the fact that, like Germany, it was interested in aggravating relations between Russians and Poles. I agreed, because the facts indicated by the commission were too convincing.
But in the 1980s, the ultra-liberal circles of the USSR, personally Doctor of Historical Sciences Alexander Yakovlev, voiced the fake fabricated by Goebbels to the whole world, and Russia — through the efforts of traitors — pleaded guilty to the execution of Polish officers.
Pilots from the 13th (Slovak) squadron of the 52nd Luftwaffe Fighter Squadron at the Anapa airfield (Krasnodar Territory). Far left is the most successful Slovak fighter pilot Jan Režňák, who claimed 32 air victories during his participation in hostilities.
Photo — waralbum.ru
The cynical attempts of some Western ideologists to put the USSR and Nazi Germany on the same level as supposedly equally criminal states deserve special attention. This thesis is especially popular in the former Baltic republics of the USSR. A public trial at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg unconditionally condemned the criminal aggression of Nazi Germany, its proven crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The general and fundamental significance of the Nuremberg Charter and the verdict of the International Military Tribunal found its expression in the resolution of the UN General Assembly of December 11, 1946, in which the UN reaffirmed the principles of international law recognized by the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and found expression in the verdict of the Tribunal.
The decisive role of the Soviet Union in the victory over fascist Germany is hushed up or even denied.
Personnel of an armored train guarding the approaches to Moscow.
Photo — waralbum.ru
At the same time, the entire Soviet military infrastructure is groundlessly scolded — from the rank and file of the Red Army to marshals, from domestic military science to real combat losses. It is argued, for example, that the Soviet soldiers were only looking for an opportunity to surrender, the command staff were complete mediocrity and ignoramuses, and the domestic military art was inferior to the German one. In refutation of such absurd fabrications, let us give the floor to the German military leaders themselves.
General Kurt von Tippelskirch, commander of the 30th Infantry Division in 1941 (surrendered to British troops on May 2, 1945): “The Russians held out with unexpected firmness and tenacity, even when they were bypassed and surrounded. By doing this, they bought time and pulled together all the new reserves for counterattacks from the depths of the country, which, moreover, were stronger than expected.
Franz Halder, who from September 1938 to the end of 1942 was the chief of the general staff of the German ground forces: “It is historically interesting to study how the Russian military leadership, which was wrecked with its principle of tough defense at 1941, developed to a flexible operational leadership and conducted a number of operations under the command of its marshals, which are highly commendable on a German scale, while the German command, under the influence of commander Hitler, abandoned operational art and ended it with a poorly thought-out tough defense, in the end ultimately leading to complete defeat.
Friedrich Paulus appears as a witness at the Nuremberg Trials.
Photo — waralbum.ru
Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus, when trying to accuse him at the Nuremberg trials of allegedly teaching at the Soviet military academy: “Soviet military strategy turned out to be so higher than ours that the Russians could hardly need me even for that to teach at the non-commissioned officers’ school. The best proof of this is the outcome of the battle on the Volga, as a result of which I was taken prisoner, and also the fact that all these gentlemen are sitting here in the dock.
The last «fashion trend» in the difficult task of distorting historical truth and belittling the greatness of the Victory can, perhaps, be considered a large-scale falsification of data on the human losses of the USSR during the Great Patriotic War. To do this, pseudo-historians shamelessly use the moralizing of Field Marshal Helmut von Moltke (considered one of the founders of the German Empire): «Tell the truth, only the truth, but … not the whole truth.»
Nazi prisoners are being led through the streets of Berlin.
Photo — waralbum.ru
Human losses in the war have become a most fertile topic for the West, because there is no single calculation method, many documents both in Russia and in the West are still in secret archives, and besides, no one bears any responsibility for inaccurate information about the dead . So the figures are completely different, it seems that sometimes they are taken simply “from the ceiling”. For example, foreign «historians» consider the loss of Germany and include only military personnel in them, and in relation to the USSR, they combine the number of dead civilians and fallen soldiers, issuing the amount as the loss of the Red Army.
At the same time, when calculating for the same Germany, the losses of the armies of Romania, Hungary, Italy and Finland seem to be accidentally «missed», although in 1941 they attacked the USSR together with Germany and fought on the Soviet-German front.
Unfortunately, this myth has been implanted into the mass consciousness of Europeans with the help of many years of skillful propaganda. Tearful Hollywood melodramas about ordinary American soldiers and history books, in which whole paragraphs are given to the Allied landing in Normandy, and a couple of mean lines to the Battle of Stalingrad, work to distort the image of the Second World War.
Destroyed German tanks Pz.Kpfw. IV (in the foreground) and Pz.Kpfw. III. Southwestern Front, 1942.
Photo — waralbum.ru
However, the myth about the «secondary role of the USSR in the victory over Nazism» can be easily refuted with facts and figures in hand. Here is just one fact: on the Eastern Front, Hitler lost 507 divisions, while on all the rest — 176 (that is, three and a half times less). In the east, the fascist German army lost three-quarters of its aviation, tanks, artillery, warships and transport ships. In fact, the outcome of the war in general terms was already determined by November 1943 years — six months before the Allied landing in Normandy. But even after the start of Operation Overlord, it was the Eastern Front that remained the main arena of hostilities in Europe. Thus, in 1944, 181 German divisions acted against the Red Army, and only 81 against the Anglo-American troops. usually another «propaganda trump card» is pulled out of the sleeve: «Soviet Russia could not have defeated Hitler without Anglo-American help under Lend-Lease. »
Soviet and American pilots against the background of the first American P-63 Kingcobra fighters accepted by the USSR under Lend-Lease. Fairbanks, Alaska.
Photo — waralbum.ru
Let’s pay tribute: military equipment, which the United States handed over to the USSR, became an important help for the warring Red Army. However, its importance should not be exaggerated either — our country accounted for only a fifth of all American Lend-Lease supplies, while two-thirds went to Great Britain and its colonies. At the same time, the needs of the USSR in weapons and military equipment were primarily provided by its own defense industry, which was created during industrialization and promptly withdrawn from the combat zone. Thus, the volume of production of the USSR during the war years was more than 20 times higher than foreign aid. As a result, only every ninth tank and every seventh aircraft used by the Red Army was made in the West.
In addition, American deliveries did not really begin until 1942, peaking between 1943 and 1945. On this occasion, former US President Herbert Hoover sarcastically remarked: «The Soviet country stopped the Germans before Lend-Lease reached it.»
The false thesis that we won the victory not by the high organization and heroism of the Soviet people at the front and in the rear, but by the fear of the NKVD barrage detachments and the excessive casualties of the Red Army fighters, does not correspond to reality.
A column of German prisoners on the march down Frankfurter Allee in Berlin, May 1945 civilian population (remember the countless farms and villages that were burned by the Nazis along with the population living in them). Bombing and shelling of hospitals and ambulances marked with a red cross was a common practice on the part of German pilots and tank crews. And the Soviet troops, on the contrary, fought only with the Wehrmacht and its armed allies. The humane attitude of the soldiers of the Red Army towards the liberated local population (exceptions to this rule were negligibly rare) and architectural monuments is a well-known fact.
According to the veterans — participants in the hostilities, in the Great Patriotic War, not a single barrage detachment was able to hold back a military unit that had run away from the front line, since it significantly outnumbered the detachment in terms of numbers and power, and therefore simply would have swept it away.
For military specialists, it is obvious that it would be simply impossible to win a long, exhausting war on the vastness of an entire continent without high organization and strategic management on the fronts and in the rear. The victory of the Red Army in the Great Patriotic War is a logical result of competent command and control of troops on the fronts and organized combat and logistics support in the conditions of evacuation and the subsequent liberation offensive.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin Roosevelt and Chairman of the USSR State Defense Committee Marshal Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference in February 1945.
Photo — waralbum.ru
The victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War is one of the most important historical events uniting Russians, which characterizes the spirit and character of the people. The memory of this Great Victory is littered with myths created by fascist propaganda and interpreted by the so-called «new historians». The war continues, and the main tool for the destruction of the country is the manipulation of our historical and national identity. Under the influence of massive propaganda, the people are weakened, the practice of introspection, doubts, and various complexes are strengthened in their minds. In fact, the so-called «pluralism» of ideologies, which was put forward by postmodernists, is being implemented. But in fact, Russia’s multinational identity is being eroded under the flag of equal rights for different points of view, including the results of World War II.
Victory Parade. Soviet soldiers with the defeated standards of the Nazi troops. These banners were thrown on a special platform at the foot of the Lenin Mausoleum to the gloomy beat of drums.
Photo by Mikhail Trakhman
The war against Nazi Germany and the victory over it is one of the most significant events in the world community, the background, history and influence of which must be remembered in order to maintain peace and order in the modern society. But, unfortunately, the fewer people who were direct witnesses of the brutal war remain, the harder it is to preserve the authenticity of history and pass it on to subsequent generations in an objective and authentic form, the easier it is to rewrite the history of the whole world anew. In this victory, it was the Soviet Union, the steadfastness and faith of its people that played the leading role, but due to the past and present political situation, the countries of Western Europe, the United States and many others seek to distort the history of the middle of the 20th century. For many states, the distortion of history, the juggling and falsification of facts are the means of information warfare, in which the object of influence is the consciousness of a person. Our sacred duty is to protect the historical legacy of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945 from distortions and political speculation.
“Not the whole truth” — it is more terrible than a lie. Pull out one fact, keep silent about the other. And it is possible to form the necessary public opinion. This is exactly how the “de-Stalinizers” operate.
Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, held from July 17 to August 2, 1945, in order to determine further steps for the post-war organization of Europe.
Photo — waralbum.ru
Stalin and everything connected with his activities did not become a distant and indifferent past for living people. Quite a few representatives of generations are still alive for whom the Stalin era was and remains their era, regardless of how they relate to it. And most importantly, Stalin is one of those great historical figures who forever remain significant phenomena of our time for all subsequent generations. After the XX Congress of the CPSU (1956) firmly established the idea of the Stalin period as a period of villainy, and of Stalin himself — as the most villainous villain of all the villains in the history of mankind. And now only the exposure of the ulcers of Stalinism and Stalin’s defects is accepted as truth.
The war against Nazi Germany was the greatest test for Stalinism and personally for Stalin himself. And it must be recognized as an indisputable fact that this test was passed: the greatest war in the history of mankind against the strongest and most terrible in the military and in all other aspects of the enemy ended in a triumphant victory for our country, and the main factor in victory was Stalinism criticized by the West and Stalin personally, as the leader and organizer of the country’s life during the war years and commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces.
More than a quarter of a century ago, Soviet citizens came to the polls to speak out about the fate of their country. A vote took place, which to this day is called a referendum on the preservation of the USSR. The overwhelming majority of those who voted — 76%, or 112 million people in absolute terms: voted in favor. Nevertheless, during the subsequent triumph of the pro-Western «democracy», as if showing us its true essence, the Union was destroyed anyway.
It is possible that «hushing up», «exaggeration» and other historical perversions are beneficial to someone: someone increases their rating in this way, someone gains political points, and someone seeks to whitewash their own history, but all this definitely not about Russia, whose population remembers its history.
Children pass by the poster «Save the Red Army!» (artist V. Koretsky) on the wall of a house in Leningrad.
Photo — waralbum.ru
Attempts to distort the historical truth about the USSR by Western and pro-Western historians, politicians and public figures are a clear sign that the USSR was undoubtedly a great power and to this day causes an unpleasant itch among figures hostile to Russia.