Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Operation Barbarossa—75 years on

On Jun 22 1941, the Germans unleashed their by-now well practiced Blitzkrieg on the Soviet Union.  The result would leave nearly 27 million dead from USSR alone.  The destruction was mind-boggling.  If USA had suffered such an invasion, everything from the Atlantic to the Mississippi would have been destroyed.  And yet, because the Soviet Union is so large, they were able to fall back and mount a spectacular defense / counterattack that destroyed the greatest German Armies and eventually drove them back to Berlin.

Yes, we who were born after 1945 in USA have never been told this story.  This is a damn shame because without understanding Barbarossa, not much that happened in the next 50 years made much sense.

Interestingly battle for Russia was reported magnificently in a documentary by one of USA's best film-makers—Frank Capra.  The footage he uses was often shot under dangerous and dificult conditions.  It has been lovingly restored by the US National Archives and is on YouTube.  Or right here.  Watch this and see if it doesn't add a great deal to your worldview.

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