30 2 mins 7 yrs

Around this time in the electoral debate, politicians usually cling to statistics, well, lets all accept that  the phrase which should be used is ‘comforting statistics’: the numbers which seem to bear out their point of view.

So, on an entirely different area of discussion, let us all review some settled statistics.

Soviet Russia, the ally of the Western powers after that nation had been invaded by Hitler’s armoured legions, lost around 12,000,000 military dead as a direct result of the Nazi invasion.

All the Allied deaths combined (America, British & Commonwealth, European) totalled 1,300,000.

There are fewer and fewer WW2 veterans left who can remember their struggles in World War Two, and even a fervent anti-Communist such as myself; after being exposed to its delights when a young  Engineering Officer in the Merchant Navy, can never forget the sacrifices of the Russian people, who never had much say in how they were ruled; before the tides of war changed, and the Red Army and Air Force commenced their march towards Berlin and victory.

So, on May 9th, when the new Russia marches in memory of those who fell, we should be sending the Heir to the Throne to stand in solidarity with those who stood with us some seventy years ago; because we should never forget that, despite her leaders being tyrannical despots themselves, their people fought, bled and died so that, some seven decades later, despite the Crimea, despite Russia’s belligerence today;  ATW followers can read these words in ‘comparative’ freedom!

Fair enough, the British Prime Minister, whoever manages to crawl out of the electoral carnage will be busy forming a Government; the Monarch must be in residence to invite that politician to form Her Government; but Charlie has got the time, and he should go to Moscow.


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30 thoughts on “We should be represented in Red Square.

  1. There’s friends and there are enemies and then there are allies.

    Even friends, as with the USA at the time of our Falklands conflict and our Suez crisis can prove to have minds of their own and show that they disapprove of our actions.

    Then there are enemies, such as Germany and Japan, who, while we might not remember anniversaries that are important to them, we do seem to forgive them by supporting their post conflict recovery by importing everything they had, or have to offer, and even joining with them in so-called ‘trade agreements’ which seem to have more to do with a centuries old political ambition to have control of Europe than simple ‘trade’.

    Now, which is the most important, – making a short lived anniversary fuss of an historic event, usually for some political purpose, or the long term support of their economic wellbeing.

    Sure send some Royal or political knob to do the one thing they do so well, i.e. placing a wreath on a memorial.

    Last, but not least, we have our Allies, mainly from the old Commonwealth. They stood by us in our time of desperate need, and those we do remember without fail on those anniversaries we unfailingly remember each year.

    I would add, in case I have given the wrong impression, – I love America and the folks who have made it what it is, – such a pity about their politicians and what they have become.

    Re the current spat with Russia, a spat largely inspired by the US. Long have they been enemies, and neither can bring themselves to make any compromise, seeming to delight in aggravating the relationship when it looks like becoming too cosy.

  2. Mike –the Russian looses in WW2 were the product of the bravery of its people in defense of their homeland. Add to that the criminal disregard of their leaders who were uncaring and calculating as to their sacrifice. The contribution to the defeat of the Nazis regime was immense, though it certainly wasn’t for us and for anyone’s idea of freedom, as those in Eastern Europe could attest.

  3. Patton did not respect the generalship of Zhukov. He thought that the Soviet commander ( and of course Stalin ) had a complete disregard for the deaths of Russian troops.

    The Russian soldier fought bravely for his homeland, often under atrocious conditions.

    Yes, I’d attend nearly any commemoration in Moscow, but like mahons I would not forget the evil and incompetence of Soviet military and civilian leaders.

  4. We might still be fighting.

    I have the greatest respect for Patton, one of the most interesting commanders of any era, but he is Exhibit A why we need civilian supremacy over the military.

  5. The Troll, on April 10th, 2015 at 1:52 PM Said:
    Patton should have been allowed to turn the 3rd Army and march on to Moscow.

    Patton demanded (and got) blood and death of the enemy THEN when he broke into Germany and saw things for himself, he found out who the real enemy was. Now, do I need to provide the quotations from his diaries or we all sufficiently aware of them? I believe that JFK had a similar Damascene conversion – we don’t need those quotes either, or do we?

    So sure, we ‘won’ and now boys are being told that they should be girls, our cities are unrcognisable and our people are jobless and drowning in debt. Where is the victory?

  6. He also believed that he was reincarnated and that he had fought in ancient Carthage.

    As great an commander was he was, he was as crazy as a box of frogs on some things, and he could not manage himself.

    You are allowed for focus on what was base and perhaps insane about him and say that this was the entire picture, which it was not.

  7. //Patton did not respect the generalship of Zhukov.//

    Envy has many manifestations.

    Zhukov was one of the best, if not THE best, military leader in WW2. He fought and won in such titanic encounters as the Battle of Moscow – where about 3 million men fought for Russia – and, of course, Stalingrad. He also wasn’t afraid to come to grips with the Germans when his forces were outnumbered.
    Above all, he was the first general to beat the Nazi armies in the field – in Nov/Dec. 1941, before the US had even declared war – and start the long roll back to Berlin.

    Unlike anything Patton achieved – as he didn’t achieve anything of note until 6 months before the war was over – Zhukov’s victories were decisive. Even if the Germans had won at El Alamein, in Sicily etc, to say nothing of the Battle of the Bulge, they were still going nowhere. After the Russian victories at Moscow and Stalingrad, the Germans were bound to lose the war.

  8. If we come to a minefield, our infantry attacks exactly as it were not there.

    Zhukov, to General Eisenhower, 1945. Quoted in “Russia: The People and the Power” – Page 207 – by Robert G. Kaiser – History – 1984

    All these generals were prima donnas, but I have a really hard time thinking that Zhukov had the slightest regard for the lives of his men – which was at the heart of the Patton criticism.

    The Red Army was terribly unprepared, and Zhukov has to own at least some of that, though Stalin and the Communist system bears the main blame. That lack of preparation cost millions of Russian lives.

    The US Army under Patton was very prepared, one of the reasons that they suffered fewer losses. Which is the general idea.

  9. Going to Red Square is probably a bridge too far this time round.

    Britain & America liberated Europe, and remained there to oversee it’s reconstruction and restoration to democracy.

    Soviet Russia did nothing in this respect, and although they lost millions of men it was largely on Russian soil, in a separate war with Germany.
    No allied troops liberated Russia or fought in their country.

    If the Russians want to really remember their fallen heroes, they could start by burning an effigy of Stalin.

  10. No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

    George S. Patton

    Zhukov never would have said this, or thought it.

  11. //Britain & America liberated Europe, and //

    Yes, the sight of those waves of British and American troops moving in to liberate the death camps at Auschwitz, Treblinka and Sobibor is still enough to move one to tears.

    //making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. Zhukov never would have said this, or thought it.//

    Perhaps, but, much more than Patton, he DID it.

    Patton was hesitant and cautious. When he bravely moved forward it was usually into vast stretches of territory that had just been evacuated by the Germans and always when he had superior numbers and total dominance of the sky.
    His reputation was won on the film sets of Hollywood rather than Europe, and was also helped by the fact that he died early – sort of the Buddy Holly effect.

  12. “We regarded General Patton extremely highly as the most aggressive Panzer General of the Allies, a man of incredible initiative and lightning-like action…. His operations impressed us enormously, probably because he came closest to our own concept of the classical military commander.” –

    German general Günther Blumentritt, a key planner of the invasions of France and Poland

    His reputation was won on the film sets of Hollywood

    This is not true at all. His reputation was great, from the days of the war.

    The film introduced him to another generation.

    There was much written about him before the movie was made.

  13. // His reputation was great, from the days of the war. //

    Hmmmm, don’t know about that.

    Have a look at this (all 4 pages)

    Patton: The German View

    As I said, Patton only played a role from a point about six months before the war ended, and by then German forces were completely depleted and the Luftwaffe practically no longer existed.

    Zhukov made a difference right from the start. The Germans were poised to take Moscow (this was before the US had joined the war) until Z turned up with his Siberians and drove them back. Later they had occupied 9/10 of Stalingrad when Z arrived and immediately prepared a counteroffensive that encircled a vast German army and beat them at their own game.

    It was Z and his forces who turned the war around, fought the decisive battles and ultimately won the war. And if you think “making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country” is vital, then, yes, Zhukov definitely wins by that score too.

    I’m not saying the US contribution was negligible. Without the enormous supplies of materials, planes, weapons, food etc. from the US, the SU would have soon collapsed. However, for the unfortunates in the concentration camps, the Russians had for years been their only hope and chance of salvation. And if it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for us today.

    Whatever about their behaviour in E Europe after the war, Naziism would probably have triumphed without them. Every western politician should be honoured to commemorate victory with them in Moscow in May.

  14. No, there’s a 100 percent chance that Hitler would have won if the Red Army had not fought as hard as it did.

    My strongest criticism of the Soviets is that

    a) they had a two year idyll of near alliance ( and mutual attack on Poland ) with Nazi Germany, which allowed the Reich to grow so very much stronger ( they were essentially for the Germans, before they were against them )

    b) the two predators Germany and the USSR invaded Poland and divided it between them ( Russia gets credit for liberating Poland in 1945 when it invaded it in league with Hitler in 1939? No. )

    Again, in my books, all credit to the Russian fighting man, but none to the country’s leadership which put the USSR in a weakened state as Hitler grew strong, and not so much to the Soviet officer corps.

    But yes, go to the commemoration.

  15. A very small reminiscence, – when I was doing my military training we were shown a film clip of Russian troops doing their parachute training. Unbelievably they were leaving their aircraft at very low levels, then we saw that they were actually jumping without parachutes – and were jumping into deep snowdrifts! The planes were still flying at some speed, enough to be extremely dangerous, and apparently a lot of troops were injured in the process.

    It was then we realised just how lucky we were to be so well equipped .. and in the British Army.

  16. Zhukov was one of the best, if not THE best, military leader in WW2.

    OK, whatever…..

    One of the least-known stories of World War II, Operation Mars was an epic military disaster. Designed to dislodge the German Army from its position west of Moscow, Mars cost the Soviets an estimated 335,000 dead, missing, and wounded men and over 1,600 tanks. But in Russian history books, it was a battle that never happened—a historical debacle sacrificed to Stalin’s postwar censorship.

  17. Allan—I’m reading something and it says “on-purpose technologies”…do you know what that means? Serious question…I haven’t a clue and can’t get anything from the context.

  18. If you have huge numbers of men as cannon fodder ( Giap in Vietnam, the Chinese military in Korea, Zhukov in WW2 ), you get to be a different type of general.

  19. //the two predators Germany and the USSR invaded Poland and divided it between them//

    You mean the Poland that had been one of the two predators – Nazi Germany and Poland – that had invaded Czechoslovakia and divided it between them?

  20. How does this justify the Soviet – Nazi alliance before Operation Barbarossa?

    Actually there was no Polish invasion of Czechoslovakia, but I know what you are saying.

  21. The German – Soviet ( real )invasion of Poland brought total war against civilian population there.

    The much smaller non invasion you describe brought no such thing to that slice of Czechosolvakia

  22. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve nothing against Poland.

    But in 1939 it could have drawn on an army of around 2.5 million troops. It could even have attacked Germany with that. But no – instead it enjoys a year-long idyll of near alliance (and mutual attack on Czechoslovakia) with Nazi Germany, which allowed the Reich to grow so very much stronger. Poland was essentially for the Germans, before it was against them.

    The Molotov pact is constantly wheeled out as if to prove Russian duplicity, while the Polish invasion of Cz., which so delighted Hitler at the time, is almost forgotten.

    Except by the Czechs of course.


    The Germans were delighted with this outcome, and were happy to give up the sacrifice of a small provincial rail centre to Poland in exchange for the ensuing propaganda benefits. It spread the blame of the partition of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, made Poland a participant in the process and confused political expectations. Poland was accused of being an accomplice of Nazi Germany – a charge that Warsaw was hard-put to deny.

  23. I tip your hat at the excellent revisionist history.

    Not in the same universe at all with the Nazi-Soviet pact and the soon- following invasion from the two devils, and the bombing of cities, and the mass executions, and all that but I guess when you look at it, Poland was as bad as Germany, if you suspend disbelief in all possible ways.

  24. /but I guess when you look at it, Poland was as bad as Germany, if you suspend disbelief in all possible ways./

    or that the Soviets were as bad as the Nazis, perhaps?

  25. The Soviet Communists were not as bad as the Nazis. They were one percent less bad.

    Pete, thanks for sharing that interesting link,

  26. Patton should have been allowed to turn the 3rd Army and march on to Moscow.

    If there had been neo-cons in 1945 he would have got his way. There are a few around now who would be up for it, now.

  27. Phantom –

    “The Forgotten Army” operated somewhat out of sight relative to other theatres, but what it did against the Japs, at the end of a very long supply line and in hellish conditions, was miraculous. Bill Slim was a military and logistical genius.

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