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  • Writer's pictureMichael Baker

The Soviet-German War

Updated: 4 days ago

The Eastern Front was the largest, most murderous, and most decisive battlefield of the Second World War. The Germans expended far more lives and deployed much greater resources in this theatre than anywhere else during the years 1941-45. And yet, in Western narratives of WW2, the titanic Soviet-German struggle has commonly been eclipsed by the much smaller Anglo-American war effort against Nazi Germany. To put this in some perspective, before the end of 1941 the Germans had lost far more men on the eastern front than all American losses for the entire WW2. Moreover, Soviet losses were even higher than the Germans' - roughly three times higher - something that Stalin's regime kept secret after the war. The ramification of this terrible bloodletting was that German defeat became inevitable - but Soviet victory was so costly that it amounted to a kind of defeat, with far-reaching consequences for Soviet citizens who had hoped for a relaxation of repression after the war.

You can find out more in Episode 8 of the new series of Unknown Warriors focusing on the Second World War.

If you think you know about WW2, it's time to think again.

An Understanding History Podcast

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