WWII – not the History Channel version

For a long time, watching the History Channel representing WWII as being all about the war in the Pacific and the Normandy invasion, I had the impression that all American historians are either idiots or liars, who for some reason ignore the largest part of the war. And yet, there were individual battles on the Soviet front, larger, in terms of troops and equipment involved, than the entire war in the Pacific and Normandy invasion combined.

Happy to see I was wrong – one of my favorite history podcasters, Dan Carlin, has a 4-part podcast, that I can’t recommend highly enough. If you’re into military history, listen: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. And in the show notes Dan has references to dozens of history books that present the true scale of that war. So, they do exist.

It seems that while the view on the scale of operations, and on who bore the main burden of that war, during and immediately after the war was fairly unbiased, during the Cold War there was a definite tendency to downplay the role of the Soviet Union in achieving the victory.

Not surprisingly, on the Soviet side there was a similar tendency to downplay the role of England,  and the U.S., both in active fighting and in support of Soviet war effort with equipment and supplies.

Why do the same stereotypes continue on TV, almost two decades after the end of Cold War? You tell me.

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Published in: on February 19, 2010 at 4:00 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I said practically same thing here, in my comment.

    Apologies for getting too emotional in that thread…sometimes my patience runs thin.

  2. See also.

    • Yeah, I know. Ingrained stereotypes die hard, and one has to be willing to learn new things, even if it means getting their world view shattered. Those of us who grew up listening to Communist propaganda in every aspect of our lives, and despite that saw the truth and became anti-communist of any flavor – conservative, republican, libertarian, have gone through that world-shattering at least once, and know that it doesn’t kill, whereas staying stupid sometimes does.

      • I guess I should learn new things, too, like making a shift in my understanding of WWII losses as inflicted on the Chinese instead on Soviets.

      • Yes, in the great battle of Sta-Lin-Grad under command of comrades Chui-Kov and Zhu-Kov


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