According to the widely propagated American narrative, World War II was won by the brave and heroic sacrifice of US soldiers who selflessly signed up or were drafted to fight against fascism in Europe.
Americans got involved in this war for altruistic reasons and, had it not been for their entrance into the war, Europe would have been ruled in perpetuity by the murderous Nazi regime.
Had the U.S. (with a little bit of help from its European allies) not come to the rescue, the narrative goes, the Third Reich would have succeeded in ruling Europe from Britain in the west to Russia in the east.
This is a fabrication of history. Fascism fell not at the hands of the Americans, but as a consequence of the immense man-power and determination of the Russians and the Red Army of the Soviet Union. An astounding 90% of all Nazis who met their end in WWII were killed by the Soviets.
The much-hyped “D-day” in which the Americans and the British opened up a second-front against Hitler in the west in June, 1944 was of overall little significance to the outcome of the war, as the German army by that time was retreating to Berlin with the Soviets hot on their trail.
In Russia the vicious invasion of the Nazis and their defeat by the brave men and women who took up arms is known as the Great Patriotic War, and May 9th will mark the 78th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.
The numbers of Russians and other citizens of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) who lost their lives during the Great Patriotic War are mind-blowing, as are the amount of Nazis who died trying to eliminate the Soviet Union and its people from existence.
For every American killed fighting the Nazis, 80 soldiers of the Red Army died doing the same. 27 million Soviets paid the ultimate price to stop the ruthless German war machine, around 18 million of them civilians.
That’s 27 million of a total population at the time of 193 million. 60% of all households lost a family member fighting in the war.
By contrast, less than 500,000 Americans lost their lives throughout the entire World War with Germany and Japan.
The amount of lives, or the ‘butcher’s bill’ as historian Max Hastings calls it, paid by the Red Army would amount to a mind-boggling 95% of all military casualties between the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States in the fight against Hitler’s fascist army.
The Nazis, with their insatiable appetite for destruction, burned more than 200 cities and 9,000 villages in the USSR to the ground. It would not be an exaggeration to state that what the Soviet Union and its people experienced during WWII was like nothing the world had ever seen before or since.
It was not only the Soviets who would suffer a large amount of casualties in the war on the Eastern Front, however.
The German Army would meet its match in the Red Army, which was responsible for 90% of all German casualties during WWII. Of the 13.5 million Germans who were killed, wounded or taken as prisoners of war during the vicious war the German Führer Adolf Hitler waged, 10 million of those were at the hands of the Soviet Union.
According to Oliver Stone in his documentary series, The Untold History of the United States, “the Soviets were regularly battling more than 200 German divisions. In contrast the Americans and the British, fighting in the Mediterranean, rarely confronted more than 10 German divisions.”
The Nazis lost more 6 million soldiers fighting the Red Army, opposed to the 1 million it lost fighting the Americans and the British (along with French partisans) on the Western Front.