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Customer Review

118 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding documentary-- the best I've seen, November 11, 1999
This review is from: Russia's War - Blood Upon the Snow [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is an astounding 5-volume set of video that made me wonder why this history is not more well known in the U.S. as it appears the soviets lost up to 40 people for every single American loss in WWII. Volume 3 has an hour-long documentary on the total German obliteration of Stalingrad and the wintry turn of events that led to the destruction of the entire German army that found itself eventually surrounded within Stalingrad. This segment left me wondering why a single battle that appears to have had more casualties than the total casualty loss among the U.S. and British during the entire war gets so little attention in American schools. Also extraordinarily notable are the sections on the siege and starvation of millions in Leningrad, the arrest, trial and execution of many (most?) soviet military officers before the war by Stalin, the mass exterminations at Babi Yar, the virtual civil war between the nationalist, anti-Stalinist partisans and soviet partisans in the Ukraine (all the while both groups were fighting Germans), and the interviews with soviet soldiers whose job it was to shoot fleeing soviet soldiers at the front.
This film is an outstanding choice for anyone interested in history.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 37 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 1, 2011 11:52:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2011 12:02:53 PM PST
I was born during WWII and spent my childhood trying to understand the war. Read many books on the subject e.g. Eisenhower, Albert Speer, Henrich Boll. but I was well past middle age before I realized that 80% of the fighting was conducted by the Soviets. My first exposure to this phenomenon came from reading Howard K. Smith's
Last Train from Berlin" - a book that made an impression in many ways. I think Russia lost 12 million soldiers in the war. I am still trying to comprehend that. How could that not profoundly affect their souls?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2011 3:22:45 AM PST
Ramon RaTa says:
My friend:
This was the greatest and bloodiest war of History: The struggle between Nazi
Germany and the Soviet Union.
Two dictators were fighting to dominate Europe and maybe the world... two man
who had the most military and political powers on Earth since Roman
Emperors... Two man who had a similar backgrounds, two man condemned to become friends but their ambitions lent them and their countries to war.
An impressive documentary about this age.
Finally, the most merciless won: The mass murder Stalin who dominated
half Europe with iron hand.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 9:09:30 PM PST
Jay Diamond says:
The American blackout on the valor and suffering of the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front in WW2 was deliberate !

Do you think that crazy American rightwingers were going to admit that the Russians, fighting all alone for 3 years! were the true heros of WW2 !?

Never !

So Americans were deprived of the truth, as is always the case where American rightwingers are involved.

The Soviets lost about THIRTY MILLION PEOPLE, compared to our 150,000 in the European theatre.

And that was out of a population of 150,000,000, the same as the USA at that time.

About Half the Soviet deaths were CIVILIANS !

But the American rightwing could not afford to tell that to the American citizens, because if they did, then there would have been no cold war, as Americans would have well understood the strategic necessity of friendly governments on their Western border. They did not want to relive what they had just gone through. And I don't blame them. Nor would most Americans have blamed them, had their government and media not censored this information from the American people.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 11:11:28 PM PST
Ramon RaTa says:
Dear friend.
The US Government was too smart. And Churchill thought that in such rough struggle between two dictators, the better option was leaving to weaken both dictators. And Stalin wasn't better human being than Hitler. They were a mass murder.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2012 6:39:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 22, 2012 6:41:06 PM PST
To Jay Diamond: A few corrections: (1) The best count of the losses on the Soviet side is about 24 million, not 30 million. (2) The population of the USSR before the war was about 169 million. (3) The civilian losses by the USSR were about 50% higher than their military losses.

Clearly the Russian losses were staggering - though not quite as high as you claim. But what you're ignoring is that "all news is local" - one old saw from the colonial British press went "1000 Wogs [Indians or other colonials], 10 Frogs [Frenchmen], or 1 Briton." A similar comment could be made about the media from any nation in the world. The point is that the closer the news is to its target audience, the more "important" it's perceived to be. That doesn't make it right, but it does make it a very typical human reaction - it's hardly necessary to blame the "American right wing" (as if the left wingers in Hollywood would care much about that).

Agreed though that the Soviet contributions to defeating Hitler are too often ignored in the West.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2012 11:28:48 PM PST
Ramon RaTa says:
Was it worth helping Stalin????
The result was fifty years of Communist tyranny in Eastern Europe...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 3:22:45 PM PDT
P. Vadim says:
It's a shame that after 20 years passed since Cold War ended you still repeat that old dirty propaganda cliches...
Just try to think at least about one simple thing.
Imagine 1945. You have to know people losses ratio of Soviet Union relative to Western allies; you have to know what most of Soviet European part territory was like after all that battles - scorched earth, and how many enemy bombs were dropped on continental US cities; you have to know at last who just got A-bomb in hands...
And you still think that it was Stalin who dreamed about new war and whole world conquer?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2012 8:41:14 PM PDT
I finally ordered the Russian made movie "The Days here are quiet" about a contingent of very young women and their sergeant fighting the German luftwaffe with antiaircraft guns. I was amazed by their courage and resourcefulness.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 2:14:06 AM PDT
Trinadtsatyi says:
My friend, it was Hitler who started the war (and it was the West who allowed him to come to the power and did not stop him while he was weak).

The Soviet people fought not for "dominance" but for the survival and freedom. Right, the Soviet victory (perhaps, the most important in the history of the humankind) was used by Stalin to dominate in Eastern Europe but this is a different story.

With all my disgust to Stalin (who murdered several my relatives and who is responsible for death of almost 10 million - but not 65 million - Soviet people) it is at least a lie to claim that he was more mersiless than Hitler - nothing comparable to the German's treatment of Sovient PoWs or plans of extermination of Slavs and Jews ever existed in the USSR.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 2:21:05 AM PDT
Trinadtsatyi says:
One more correction:

The total losses of the USSR were approximately 26.6 million of which aproximately 15.5 - 16 million - civilians. The number incudes direct murders by Germans and their allies (approximately half of this figure) and people who died becasue of the resons connected with war (like almost 1 million Leningradians who died of famine during the 900-day German blocade).

The number of Soviet military losses includes approximately 3,5 million Soviet PoWs who were murdered by Germans in concentration camps.
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