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Who Saved Europe from Fascism

17.02.2011 16:22

Alexander Novik

One of the directions of the falsification of history of the Second World War remains the depreciation of the Soviet Union?s contribution to the liberation of Europe from fascism, and at the same time, the exaggeration of the U.S. and UK role in achieving the victory over Nazi Germany.

Throughout the postwar period the events of World War II are the subject of sharp ideological confrontation. Today the results and consequences of this war are not to liking of certain forces of the West. In particular, these forces do not recognize that it was the Soviet Union that became the main force that blocked the fascism?s way to world domination, led its political system to collapse, and defeated its military machine.

But the truth of history is that the brunt of the war against fascism, deliverance of Europe from it devolved upon the Soviet Union. This conclusion is based on an objective and comprehensive analysis of events and facts of the Second World War.

It is known that the main front of any war is the one on which the warring parties pursue the most decisive goals and concentrate the bulk of the troops (the most efficient at that) to achieve them. During World War II such was the Soviet-German front, which by its length (about 4 thousand kilometers in 1941 and more than 6 thousand kilometers in 1942) exceeded four times the total length of the North African, Italian and Western fronts.

Of 1418 days of the Soviet-German front existence, intense fighting was conducted during1320 days, on the Italian front of 663 days ? 492, on the western one of 338 days - 293, on the North one of 973 days - 309. Facts convincingly confirm that until the summer of 1944 on the Soviet-German front there were Hitler's and their allies? troops at the average 15-20 times more than on other fronts, where U.S. and England forces operated (in North Africa, Italy). On the Soviet-German front in whole during 1941-1945 main forces of fascist Germany were concentrated. In summer 1941, 153 divisions of 217 operated here, i.e. 70.3% of all German divisions. On other fronts, at that time there were only two divisions ? 0.9%.

During the war, the German High Command, using the fact that the allies of the USSR for a long time had not conducted intense combat operations, sent divisions upon divisions to the east. Approximately 270 German divisions were transferred, as well as dozens of formations and units of Germany's satellites. In particular, in November 1942, there were more than 70 Italian, Romanian, Hungarian and Finnish divisions here, as well as separate units of ?volunteers? from Spain, Belgium and other countries.

After opening a second front on 1 January 1945, on the Soviet-German front there were fierce battles of 179 divisions of 314, i.e. 57% of the total number of divisions. On other fronts 119 divisions fought, or 38%. Thus, on the Soviet-German front before the beginning of 1944, 153 to 201 German divisions fought, and against the Allies - 2 to 19.5. And though the opening of a second front shifted the balance of power, the Soviet-German battle-front remained the main one and drew away the overwhelming majority of armed forces of Nazi Germany and its allies.

The history of wars and military art knows many examples when a front, campaign or battle was of significant, even crucial importance to the outcome of the war. So on the Soviet-German front operations and battles were deployed, which had a major impact on the liberation of the enslaved countries of Europe, on the outcome of the war against fascism in whole. First of all, these are operations such as: the Iasi-Kishinev, Lvov-Sandomierz, Budapest, Belgrade, Vistula-Oder, East Prussia, Vienna, Berlin, and Prague operations.

About 7 million Soviet soldiers for over a year waged bitter battles with the enemy in the territory of 11 countries of Europe, covering over 1 million sq. km. In full or in part the territories of Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria and Germany with a population of 113 million people were liberated. Major European capitals were liberated - Bucharest, Belgrade, Budapest, Warsaw, Vienna, Prague, Sofia, and Berlin. About 4 million warrior-liberators of Europe were awarded medals for the Capture of Budapest, for the Capture of Königsberg, for the Capture of Vienna, for the capture of Berlin, for the Liberation of Belgrade, for the Liberation of Warsaw, for the Liberation of Prague. The medal for the Capture related to the cities of the Third Reich or Germany's allies, that for the Liberation - in respect to the occupied countries, whose residents actively fought the invaders.

The victory over fascism was dearly bought. More than 1 million Soviet soldiers gave their lives in the struggle for liberation of the peoples enslaved by fascism (Poland - 600 thousand, Romania - 69 thousand, Czechoslovakia - 140 thousand, Hungary - more than 140 thousand, Germany - 102 thousand, Austria - about 26 thousand, Yugoslavia - 8 thousand)

A decisive contribution to the victory over fascism is defined by the fact that over 73% of the total losses incurred by Wehrmacht in the battles just on the Soviet-German front. Here the German losses only in manpower were 4 times greater than the losses on other fronts of the Second World War. In battles with the Red Army, the Nazis lost the bulk of military equipment - up to 75% of the total losses of tanks and assault guns, more than 75% of all aircraft losses, 74% of the total losses of pieces of artillery.

Throughout the war, the armed forces of the Soviet Union killed, captured or destroyed 506.5 German divisions and 100 divisions of Germany's satellites. Whereas allies in the West and Africa destroyed at most 176 divisions. Germany lost in the war with the Soviet Union 10 million people, while its total losses in World War II amounted to 13.6 million people.

Thus, the major forces of the fascist Germany and its allies were destroyed by the Red Army on the Eastern Front. And this fact can not be called in question - too many documents on this issue have been preserved. The Soviet Union by defeating Germany?s and its allies? major forces had saved the people of the occupied Europe from the advent of barbarism, and some European nations from total destruction.

Indisputably of the Soviet Union?s decisive contribution to the victory over fascism in World War II was recognized by the most outstanding political and military leaders of the West of that time ? the U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the French President, Charles de Gaulle and many others.

"The United States is well aware of the fact,? Roosevelt wrote to the leader of the Soviet government, ?that the Soviet Union bears the brunt of the fight." Former U.S. president also noted that "it's hard to get away from the obvious fact that the Russian army destroys more enemy soldiers and weapons than all other 25 member states of the United Nations put together."

At the end of the war W. Churchill admitted that it was the Red Army that had decided "... the fate of German militarism." Charles de Gaulle noted: "The French know what Russia has done and know that it was Russia that has played a major role in their liberation." After the Berlin operation Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe General Dwight D. Eisenhower said: "The palm in forcing the Nazis to surrender belongs to Russian." The New York Herald Tribune wrote in June 1945: "The Red Army has actually proved to be the army-liberator of Europe... without this army, its endless victims, the liberation from the cruel Nazi yoke would have been simply impossible." And one can proceed further these recognitions?

That is the truth of history and response to the question: "Who saved Europe from fascism".

The historical liberating mission of the Soviet armed forces has caused the peoples? deep appreciation and gratitude to the Soviet soldiers that were imprinted on official documents, depicted in works of visual art, books and songs. In commemoration of thousands of Soviet soldiers who died fighting for the liberation of Europe from fascism, in European countries hundreds of monuments were erected. The monument to a soldier-liberator in Berlin's Treptow Park is justly considered a central memorial; on a hill there is a bronze statue of a Soviet soldier holding a German girl salvaged from the ruins of the defeated Berlin and a sword cutting the Nazi swastika.

In front of the Soldier-Liberator there is a Memorial field with common graves, where about 7,000 Soviet soldiers lie, who died during the capture of Berlin, there are two red flags made of granite and an inscription in two languages: "Eternal Glory to the soldiers of the Soviet Army who have given their lives in the fight for the liberation of the humankind."

It is difficult to overestimate the value of honest and truthful assessment of the outcome and lessons of the past war in modern conditions, since the crucial role of the Soviet people in ridding Europe of fascism is not only the past. It is now organically connected with the struggle of Russia for European security, which is of vital importance for humanity.