Every five years, D-Day celebrations unnerve me a bit. The heroism and gallantry are unquestioned, but the historical significance for the course of WWII and scale of sacrifice are always exaggerated. I feel like we overcelebreate this war, because we are somewhat uncomfortable with the morality of so many others we have fought – not just Vietnam of course, but the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, or Iraq 2. Indeed I bet Americans know more about Hitler than George III. For a good examination, try here. Consider also:
1. The staggering size of the Eastern Front is too often overlooked by Americans. Estimates vary, but somewhere around 20 million Soviet citizens died fighting (or otherwise being butchered by) the Nazis. That is about 14% of the Soviet population of the time. By contrast about 200 thousand Americans died in Europe, about .15% of the US population at the time. That means 100 times as many Soviets died fighting the Nazis as Americans. Something like 70 thousand Soviet villages were torched or otherwise eradicated as the Nazis conquered around 20% of the Soviet land mass. Consider that in a one month battle at Kiev in 1941, over 600,000 Soviet soldiers were killed or captured; had anything like this happened to American ground forces in North Africa or Western Europe, the domestic cry for a separate peace would have been irresistible. Conflict on a such as scale hadn’t been seen since the high days of the Golden Horde, and the US was a late and minor participant. It dwarfs even the one US experience of massive combat on US territory – the civil war.
2. The USSR had essentially stopped the Nazi drive by the fall of 1943. Stalingrad, the turning point, was over by February of 1943 (as was El Alamein, a British victory, in late 1942). The last major German offensive around Kursk in the summer of 1943 was halted. The enormous Soviet offensive of 1944 dwarfed anything the Western allies could put on the continent that same year. This event would have proceeded without the Allied invasion. To be sure, an unknown counterfactual is how the USSR would have fared if the Wehrmacht had not been forced to prepare for a western landing. Furthermore, allied bombing obviously took its toll. But nonetheless, the FDR administration was quite content to allow the Nazi and Soviet totalitarians to exhaust each other.
3. The anglophone leadership (Canada, Britain and the US) realized by 1943, that this war, as Stalin famously said, was unlike any other in that the victor’s political ideology would imposed as far as his tanks could get. Patton knew this, which is why he wanted to drive on Berlin in 1945 and agitated to provoke a postwar conflict with the USSR while it was still exhausted. Hence, the allies waited to land. Stalin wanted a second front as early as 1942, but the English-speaking powers were content to play off-shore balancer – allowing the USSR to exhaust itself (so its postwar power would be that much weaker) and the Nazis to exhaust themselves too (so that the eventual Allied landing and eastward push would be that much easier).
This was excellent strategy. It husbanded Allied resources and allowed to two potential opponents to weaken each other. Churchill, Ike, Bradley and others were under no illusions about the brutality of Soviet governance and were willing to allow the Nazis to bleed the Soviets white. It also kept American casualties low, insuring a continued US domestic consensus to stay in the war. But this intelligent realpolitik clashes badly with the moral imperative of fighting fascism and the overtly moral way we celebrate US involvement against the Nazis. Watch Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan, and contrast that with the strategic logic of waiting to land until mid-1944 so that the western land war war would be easier and Stalin wouldn’t be able to march to the Atlantic.
4. I didn’t really realize this much until I went to Russia to learn the language and travelled around. The legacy of the ‘Great Patriotic War’ is everywhere. Everyone lost someone, and frequently in brutal circumstances Americans can’t imagine. Every Russian guide you get will tell you how Americans don’t know much about war, because we were never invaded, occupied, and exterminated. The first time I heard that, I just didn’t know what to say. You can only listen in silent horror as the guides tell you about how the SS massacred everyone with more than a grammar school degree in some village you never heard of before, or how tens of thousands of those Kiev PoWs starved or froze to death because the Wehrmacht was unprepared for such numbers and the Nazi leadership just didn’t care. Just because Stalin was awful, that does not mitigate the enormity of Soviet suffering or their contribution. Remember that the next time you hear about how America saved Europe from itself, or watch some movie lionizing the average GI, or play a video game depicting the relatively minor Battle of the Bulge as a turning point. If Speilberg really wants to make a great WWII epic, how about one about the eastern front?
I am SOOOOO glad to see such a great post like this. I am from Russia, and it is make me sick when Americans try to prove to me that they won WWII. Thank you!!!!
When I was 7 years old, the Red Army troops enter my city of Graudenz presently located in Poland. I was amazed by the amount of tracks carrying American names.
That was the time when I first learned the English words such as: Studebaker, Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet, and Jeep.
Then I learned words such as UNRA, jam, orange, marmelade, spam and more.
Here are some facts that they did not tell you about it in Russia.
Lend-Lease was the name of the program under which the United
States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, France
and other Allied nations with vast amounts of war material between 1941 and 1945.
A total of $50.1 billion (equivalent to $759 billion at 2008 prices) worth of supplies were
shipped: $31.4 billion to Britain, $11.3 billion to the Soviet Union, $3.2 billion to France
and $1.6 billion to China.
The USSR was highly dependent on rail transportation, but the war practically shut
down rail equipment production: only about 92 locomotives were produced.
2,000 locomotives and 11,000 railcars were supplied under Lend-Lease. Likewise, the
Soviet air force received 18,700 aircraft, which amounted to about 14% of Soviet
aircraft production (19% for military aircraft).
Although most Red Army tank units were equipped with Soviet-built tanks, their
logistical support was provided by hundreds of thousands of U.S.-made trucks. Indeed by
1945 nearly two-thirds of the truck strength of the Red Army was U.S.-built. Trucks such as the Dodge 3/4 ton and Studebaker 2½ ton, were easily the best trucks available in their
class on either side on the Eastern Front. American shipments of telephone cable,
aluminum, canned rations, and clothing were also critical.
US deliveries to USSR
Delivery was via the Arctic Convoys, the Persian Corridor, and the Pacific Route. The
Pacific Route was used for about half of Lend-Lease aid: by convoy from the US west
coast to the Soviet Far East, via Vladivostok and the Trans-Siberian railway.
After America’s entry in the war, only Soviet (or Soviet-flagged) ships were used, and there was some interference by Japan with them.
The Alaska-Siberia Air Route, known as Alsib, was used for delivery of nearly
8,000 aircraft, air cargo and passengers from 7 October 1942
Yes, it was a great business – supply both sides, make huge money and join one side when there is really no doubt about who is winner.
Now, Igor. Let’s not be simplistic. I think the U.S. pretty joined the war against Hitler and the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. Of course, the Americans didn’t first make a pact with Hitler and take over half of Poland first.
You forgot to mention that if every country you named that negotiated Lend lease with the United States ONLYONE actually paid the bill in full … any ideas which one? The others told the US to F*** off and even said That was the price the US had to pay for freedom. So please tell me if you can which of the countries in your list paid every cent ( with interest) to the USA for all wR materials delivered to them ?
The British made its final agreed payment for lend lease in 2006. As for interest the reverse lend lease of technology to the US to be honest is immeasurable and is still providing “interest” to the US today.
Americans (like me) typically don’t deny Russian sacrifices during WWII. However, when DDay occurred, there were still over 150 German Army divisions inside Russia. Russia had to be supplied 15 MILLION pairs of boots for its ground forces…..all by the USA. Soviet Soldiers typically commented that their favorite wartime food was “American canned meant.” Even Stalin said privately that without American help, the Soviet Union could have easily fallen to the Nazis.
Without American help, Russia likely would have lost the war to Germany. That is just a simple, logistical fact.
The U.S. had the luxury of being able to choose whether they wanted to fight the nazis or not, and that of time to prepare their soldiers and tactics. The Russians had to build up their military with the nazis shoved up to their livers. The U.S. had an ideal platform to invade from in Great Britain. Had Britain fallen to the nazis, they would not have been able to hit the beaches like on d-day. And the 150 German Army divisions you refer to were shooting as they were running back to their reich. Oh, and if the U.S. hadn’t provided boots, somebody else would have. All great military bodies have foreign suppliers. Did you know that there are essential parts of the F-16 that can only be made in a plant in Sweden, for example? And let’s not talk about what she said, he said in private. If they were so private we wouldn’t be talking about “what they said” here.
The Russians couldnt “build up their Army” without American supplies of steel, ammunition, clothing and equipment. And the US had been supplying Russia with these supplies for quite some time before the US even entered the war.
And no, no other country would’ve provided Russia with those supplies, as the US was the ONLY country in the world capable of mass producing such supplies in that fasion. By “someone else would have”….who would that be? Britain? France? Finland? Who? Japan? Nada…..the US supplied all those nations except for Japan with military supplies. You’re an idiot if you think Russia would have survived without the US.
As for your arrogant comment about “he said she said”…..get real…..Stalin aides wrote about Stalin’s comments after his death. It’s not he said she said….its fact. Something you obviously do not have a grasp of.
I wouldn’t bet your farm on that hypothesis
Oh, and the US didnt firs attack the Nazis by invading Europe from England….what an idiotic “what if” statement. WHAT IF the US hadnt supplied Russia with arms, supplies, food to feed their army? Russia was not capable of feeding a 10 million man Army….and would’ve starved without US aide. Even TODAY in Russia….Vladimir Putin was found to have been feeding a large part of the Russian Active Army rations of horse/dog meat. Even in an armed conflict today, the US could simply wage a war of attrition against Russia and likely win in a year or two. US forces today are clearly better trained, better equipped, better fed and better skilled. Russia’s Army is 40% Muslim, and they’re naturally cowards in battle.
You need to know what history Russia lost many lives because they were stupid. American air power and industry saved Russia. I read a Russian account of a young girl fighting Germans while in the red army. When her unit first met American soldiers she cried her heart out and knew that she had won the war and it was over. Why..
You read Russian history as stated by your government. Americans fed the Russian army gave her the boots to walk on the steel to make weapons including the t34. American air power destroying the industry base which supply the Germany armies who were killing russians.if you do not have food and weapons you cannot win a war. Russia would have lost the war if America did not intervene along with Britain. If you say Russia had won the war. Stop fooling yourself. Germany would have still had the industry based to mass produce weapons and bring millions more from all over Europe and even africa.half the Russian populace was under Germany control. Then you must think about Japan. If Japan had attack Russia instead of the United States. Russia is or has made the mistake of taking on the United States just as Germany and Japan did.
Another well know facts. Just before the battle of Kursk 350 American tanks were delivered via Persia to the Russian army along with the teams of trainers, engineers
But to know the whole extent of US help to USSR one must dig in history and find conveniently forgotten facts like the one Der Spiegel released not too long ago:
Albert Kahn and the Decline of Detroit
Photo Gallery: 35 Photos
Yves Marchand, Romain Meffre / Steidl VerlagUntil the mid-20th century, Detroit was the most significant industrial town in the world, and Albert Kahn was its architect. The son of German immigrants built factories and sky scrapers like they were coming off a conveyor belt. And then, just as quickly as his city grew, its downtown began to decay. SPIEGEL ONLINE presents photos of the ruins.
The old white-haired man was awarded the medal for outstanding service during wartime and TIME magazine praised him enthusiastically: Albert Kahn’s contribution to the defeat of enemy powers is greater that that of most others, a journalist wrote in 1942. But the 73-year-old man had never seen the front line during the World War II. He fought, so to speak, from his desk in an office in Detroit.
Albert Kahn was an architect. His airports, naval bases and factories housed a large amount of American armaments. No one developed, planned and built more quickly, more efficiently or more economically that he did. He earned his war medal at the drawing board. Kahn, the son of an immigrant rabbi from Germany, was the architect of modernity — and of modern war.
It was no accident that his office was located in Detroit, a metropolis that had grown into one of the most important industrial towns in the world by the beginning of the 20th century. It was a center of modern capitalism and the world capital of automobile production. This is where Henry Ford established his Highland Park factory and created the production line delivering that most-desired of consumer goods, the Model T Ford. It was here the mass-production pioneer found many copycats. Detroit became the army’s biggest supplier during World War II; it became known as the “armory for democracy.” The city’s rise seemed unstoppable, and so did the rise of its chief builder, Albert Kahn.
The architect of modern Detroit began his career in 1907, when he was commissioned to design a new plant for luxury automobile producer Packard Motors. Instead of choosing traditional materials like wood and stone, Kahn opted for a concrete construction, which was not only fireproof but also allowed for large, light-filled practical space. Soon Henry Ford noticed these architectural qualities, and engaged Kahn for an innovative project.
Ford wanted to put everything under one roof, and Kahn pulled off something revolutionary in the village of Highland Park (now surrounded by, but separate from, Detroit): a four-story factory flooded with natural light which could accommodate up to 70,000 workers. Assembly-line production was a symbol of modern times, and Highland Park became the place where “the 20th century was born,” as historian Bob Casey put it. When the factory became too small, Kahn designed new premises for Ford just south of Detroit — the River Rouge Complex, which opened in 1927 and held 90,000 workers. It was the biggest industrial plant in the world at the time.
The Ford plants were the result of a perfect symbiosis: The auto manufacturer had found his perfect builder in Kahn. His talent for erecting factories faster than anyone else grew from a clever combination of engineering knowledge and tight business organization — not so different from car manufacture. Kahn carried the principles of mass production into the art of architecture. His Detroit office became a factory-planning factory. As soon as he signed a new job, the team swung into motion, not just drawing up building plans but simultaneously sourcing contractors and gathering estimates for materials. Kahn built factories like they were coming off an assembly line.
The Car Shapes the City
“When I started out,” Kahn said later, “architects only designed museums, cathedrals, monuments and stately houses. Factory buildings were jobs for the office helpers. Now I am still the office helper who designs factories, and honors have not affected that.”
Building factories did not damage Kahn’s reputation. Quite the contrary. The architect erected more than 1,000 buildings for Detroit automakers, including the General Motors building, the company’s headquarters and the largest office building in the world at the time when it was finished — the 30-story Fisher Building became the landmark of the city. Kahn and other star architects of the early 20th century, such as Whitney Warren, Charles Wetmore, Daniel Burnham and Elsie Sardine created a skyline using a range of different historic styles. They decorated their skyscrapers with marble columns, extravagant ornaments and gilded roofs.
Job seekers swarmed to Detroit. The economic boom had made the town one of the richest in the world, and its architecture reflected that wealth. Rows of elegant villas went up along the elm-lined avenues. Public transport — and above all the arrival of the automobile — shaped the modern town.
The Stalin Contract
Even the leader of the Soviet Union was impressed by Detroit’s development. The dictatorial power monger Josef Stalin saw in all this industrialization a way to release his agricultural nation from its backwardness — and hired the architect. Kahn erected more than 500 factories for the Soviet leader in just two and a half years.
He began with the Stalingrad “Felix Dzerzhinsky” tractor factory in 1929-30, a factory that would play a special role years later in the war against the invading German army. The battles around the industrial complex were up to that point the hardest for the Nazis, with the heaviest losses. The tractor factory became the site of the decisive Battle of Stalingrad, which became a turning point in World War II.
Detroit’s rise as an industrial metropolis continued after the war. Almost two million people were living in the city at the start of the 1950s. Thanks to the good wages to be earned in the automotive industry, the American dream of home ownership was within reach for many people. But “Motor City” had already passed its peak.
The first signs appeared, in fact, in the ’50s. The US government was concerned that important industrial centers would be targets for nuclear attacks. It encouraged businesses to move their production bases outside of the largest towns. Highways banded the new sites into small towns and suburbs. Staff in the old factories was reduced as life organized itself around these new business centers.
Exodus from Detroit
Racial unrest in 1967 contributed to a shift of the white population out of downtown Detroit. Many moved to the suburbs. The city’s population shrank in the ’70s and ’80s as jobs were lost to competition from Germany and Japan. Jobs on the edge of town could only be reached by people who owned a car. Modern achievement became an existential problem.
By then the good times were over for this once-fêted metropolis of modernity. Within half a century Detroit lost almost a million people, or half of its population. Many inner city buildings, including the United Artists Theater and the majestic train station, were abandoned. When the last tenants moved out of some apartment blocks, the heating was simply turned off and the electricity disconnected. Water leaked into the empty buildings, frost cracked the walls and columns, and the window panes shattered. The result is an almost gothic vision of decline.
Thirty-five per cent of the inner city has become uninhabitable. French photographers Yves Marchand and Roman Meffre have documented its ruins at the start of the 21st Century, and their book of photos (now published in Germany) shows the end of an era. Detroit’s architect, Albert Kahn, was not around to witness the damage — or even end of the war. The 73-year-old died in December 1942, a few months after his award for military service landed on his drawing board.
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Just want to point out this:
80% of Lend-Lease received by the Soviets was in 1944-45. It was utterly insignificant in 1942, when the situation was at its most dire for them.
I.e., when the tide of war had already shifted. LL didn’t save the USSR from the Nazis; but it allowed them to mount the massive offensives that took them to Berlin. Without LL, the Eastern Front could quite possibly have ended in stalemate.
Most of the food eaten by Russian soldiers from ’41 to the end of the war was American produced. The Russians relied heavily on American steel to produce the large amount of tanks produced from ’42 to ’45, and even most of those tanks were produced by the US/UK. The US even provided millions of pairs of simple combat boots for Russian soldiers, as the USSR didnt even have the capacity to produce that many in a short amount of time. ALL well before 1944. So I think the evidence, and most historians agree, that without US aide, the Soviet Union would have ultimately collapsed in late ’42 to ’43.
Also, British aviation mechanics/pilots had to sail to Russia via the Arctic and actually TRAIN Soviet pilots. And to add, the US and British combined to provide Russia with over 5,000 tanks beginning in 1941.
And lastly, the United States from 1942 to 1945 produced 22 million tons of supplies/equipment for the US military……in that same time frame, the US provided 18 million tons for the Soviet Union. Basically saving the Russians from total collapse.
Well said as so clearly ignored by this writer of biased selective opinionated pro Russian propaganda and revisionistic history in his piece
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Just came across Robert Kelly;s article on D-Day. As a historian who has extensively studied WW2 I agreed with most of what Robert wrote until his point #3. At that point his factual analysis completely derailed with highly skewed (and wrong) opinions on why the Allies waited until mid 1944 to invade continental Europe.
While there was certainly suspicion and mistrust about the Soviet Union’s ultimate objectives in postwar Europe, the “Anglophone” leadership (U.S, Great Britain, and Canada) waited to start the second front in Europe in large part because an earlier invasion timetable would have incurred a tremendous amount of risk and quite possibly a catastrophic failure. Kelly seems to forget that at the beginning of 1942, when the Soviets were desperately seeking to stem the Nazi onslaught in Russia, America’s military was still at pre-war peacetime strength. The US Navy had only 39 transport ships total throughout the entire world, and only two hospital ships. The entire US army at the beginning of 1942 was smaller than either the German or Soviet forces on just the Moscow front in Russia! (The eastern war between Germany and the Soviet Union was fought on three main fronts – northern (Finland and Leningrad region), central (Moscow), and southern (Stalingrad and the Crimea and Caucasus region).
And, to further complicate matters for the US and Britain, we were also fighting a second war in the Pacific against the Japanese – something the Soviet Union scrupulously avoided. The United States had few resources in Britain at anytime during 1942, few ships, few planes, few troops, nothing with which to begin an invasion against a veteran, battle-tested German military. The the United States managed only two small invasion landings in 1942. The first was against the Japanese at Guadalcanal, and the invasion fleet, with all of its carrier planes, supply ships, and naval gun support – sailed away from the island as soon as the Japanese fleet appeared because the American Navy wasn’t yet strong enough to take the enemy fleet on. The Marines on Guadalcanal were left to fend for themselves to a large degree, and the only saving grace was that the American Navy was making it equally difficult for the Japanese to reenforce or resupply their own troops. America eventually gained the upper hand, but it took time. The second invasion landing was against Morocco in November 1942, where American forces fought against Vichy French forces, who had little air or naval support and almost no German support. Even at that, the campaign was not a walk-over for the Allies. America was still learning how to fight a war with largely peacetime-trained soldiers.
1943 saw a build-up of green, largely untrained forces in Britain, but nothing on the scale which would have had a reasonable chance of mounting a successful invasion of France that year. American and British air forces suffered tremendous losses in raids over Europe in 1943, fighting against a Luftwaffe that was still strong and able to contest the skies with veteran, battle-tested pilots. The Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy were successful but costly, even though this was a strategically minor theater as far as the Germans were concerned.
I could go on for pages, but it’s clear that Kelly’s opinions about why the western Allies waited until mid-1944 to launch an invasion in France is glaringly flawed and ignores some rather obvious facts about the war and the state of the armed forces of the various combatants. Did leaders like Patton advocate letting Germany and the Soviet Union slug it out and exhaust themselves? Absolutely. But the fact remains that the western Allies didn’t have the resources or experience to do much differently than the course they decided on.
I always like “How dare Americans make movies about their experiences” posts. Yeah, how dare Americans make movies about their own experiences like everyone else does! After all, Russians and Brits always make movies about American perspectives! You do realize how weird it is to demand that Americans quit paying attention to their history and start making movies like the Russians don’t own a camera? Rarely are people so forward in just saying ” If Speilberg really wants to make a great WWII epic, how about one about the eastern front?”. See? Americans owe everyone else movie time. American viewpoints are awful: can you believe they have the temerity to make movies about themselves? It’s especially weird coming from Americans.
More wonderful stuff. First, the shocking news that the Soviets did a lot of fighting: something I didn’t know anyone on Earth didn’t know. I *have* listened to maybe a thousand people in my life explain it like it was a state secret, but I don’t know anyone with more than a high school education who didn’t have a good grasp of what the Soviets did. Come to think of it, I have never met anyone who didn’t know. Ever. Not once. In decades. Can you name me someone who doesn’t know this? I would like to meet them!
Next, the “evil Allies wait to exhaust the Soviets” argument, which is an excellent indicator of how well read the author is. No ideas about the arguments between the Americans and the British leadership, no idea about how well prepared they would be or when they could build enough Liberty ships to do what needed to be done, nothing. Just an evil plot, those dastardly bastards.
Sometimes presented as direct bad guys, other times its disguised with language like “clever Patton”, but basically always the same.
Essentially it’s a simple function of how many books you’ve read. Robert is a professor. There really isn’t an excuse for this kind of simplicity.
What lovely revisinistic history that’s highlighted here You seem to have forgotteen a few details in your rush to sanctify the Russian input in WW2 Perhaps in your eagerness to do so you casually forgot that RUSSIA and Germany started WW2 as ALLIES and in fact were so for over two years whilst USA sat the war out as a studious bin combatant and selling arms , fuel and technology to the Axis powers, in sure you also Forgot that Russia invaded Poland with the Mbazis , albeit tardily, Finland and the Baltic states? Prior to that time the Soviets had already massacred 30million of its OWN people in less than 20 years between the two wars , so spare me the hand wringing lamentation about Russian WW2 input, in sure you completely forgot the thousands ( not ten or a hundred but thousands) of Russians in German informs who were fighting for the Thurd Reich and naming the hubs over the beaches that the allies stormed , If you don’t mind I’d also point out that everywhere the Red Army went every atrocity of war occurred, just like the Nazis They were two faced if the same coin Spare me the rhetoric of how Russia used enforcement commissars and WW1 mass attack tactics to assault German lines , it was butchery and incompetence that caused the masses of casualties suffered by the Soviets who were not and are still not held to account historically or on a world court of their total complicity with the Germans in starting undeclared war in WW2 against civilians and neighbouring countries and where 60 million people lost their lives in the process, You also forgot to mention that the USA was an unwilling participant in WW2 until Japan declared war on the USA folliwed 4 days later by Germany and Italy . THE US had to be forced into war against its will kicking and screaming until they had no options left.
The Americans were smarter the russians were stupid. Russia and Germany were allies
The Americans had to fight a world war not the russians. The Pacific war was much more brutal that the eastern front
The Russian sacrifice human.lives
The Americans fought crossing the Tlantic and the pacific.the industrial base fought the war out producing Germany Japan and the rest of the world combine
Russia should be thankful for the aid given but also really thank American and British air power for destroying much needed supplies for the German army in the eastern front.
America did saved the world .
Britain and Russia could not. Without America aid and technology Russia would have lost a prolong brutal war. Sorry Russia. The most crucial thing that America had was the industrial base which she could out produced the world. You cannot win a war without it. The second thing is a navy
The American army was not the army at 1939 .
America had to fight an ocean war along with Britain. The battle of the Atlantic and then the Pacific war
It had to supply Russia. Sacrificing lives is not how you win a war. America was not a world power the one thing far superior to any soldier was the American soldier. The American soldier has fought in many wars. Russians who mock Americans on their history should know for one thing. Russia has existed for over a thousand years with their history. Americans conquered a continent in less than four hundred years. The American civil war was must more brutal than the eastern front in which men died on the battle field. The eastern was more brutal for its inhumanity.crimes committed against civilians. The American soldier when called has done better than any other soldier in history. The Russian soldier has lost wars two of the enemies they lost two Germany and Japan.
Total myopic US bollocks. Eg Vietnam war . Enough said ? .
You are so on target. My father and uncles fought WW II, all of them on ships in the Pacific Theater. Listening to them lead to my enlisting in the navy years later. Their stories also sparked a life time interest in the war, especially in Europe. Hitler talked a country into suicide. His biggest mistake was the invasion of The Soviet Union. “Uncle Joe”, Stalin, had an endless supply of bodies. The Soviets won the war with our war supplies and their blood. Thank God for the Atomic Bomb, we didn’t have to invade Japan!! How long would we have endured the causality levels in Japan needed to bring them to the peace table?