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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:49 AM

I am watching Oliver Stone's "Untold History" and, wow, I have to say ...

(I sincerely hope this is not a TOS violation, I'm not advocating a political system, just making a historical observation)

...I was totally unaware of this but the Russians during the 1930s 40s and 50s were possibly the most hard-core bad-asses that ever walked the face of the earth. If there ever was a group of people who were hell-bent on ensuring the survival of their nation, by any means necessary, it was them. AND for better and/or for worse, if there is one single person in the 20th century who impacted the shape of the world in the most successful, profound and long-lasting way, it is Joseph Stalin.

It is no wonder the US was scared shitless of them.



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Reply I am watching Oliver Stone's "Untold History" and, wow, I have to say ... (Original post)
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 OP
BainsBane Jan 2013 #1
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #2
larkrake Jan 2013 #55
Blue_In_AK Jan 2013 #3
Protalker Jan 2013 #4
Mimosa Jan 2013 #31
ellenfl Jan 2013 #33
uponit7771 Jan 2013 #52
Bonobo Jan 2013 #76
allrevvedup Jan 2013 #5
Waiting For Everyman Jan 2013 #43
Catherina Jan 2013 #45
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2013 #47
Catherina Jan 2013 #48
JaneyVee Jan 2013 #53
Catherina Jan 2013 #62
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2013 #59
Catherina Jan 2013 #63
allrevvedup Jan 2013 #69
AntiFascist Jan 2013 #74
Drunken Irishman Jan 2013 #67
allrevvedup Jan 2013 #68
Drunken Irishman Jan 2013 #71
Smarmie Doofus Jan 2013 #81
Confusious Jan 2013 #6
allrevvedup Jan 2013 #7
allrevvedup Jan 2013 #19
Confusious Jan 2013 #21
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #28
TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #36
larkrake Jan 2013 #54
Confusious Jan 2013 #58
DisgustipatedinCA Jan 2013 #64
Confusious Jan 2013 #79
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #84
Confusious Jan 2013 #87
DanTex Jan 2013 #29
Confusious Jan 2013 #37
Neoma Jan 2013 #40
Confusious Jan 2013 #41
DanTex Jan 2013 #83
Confusious Jan 2013 #85
DanTex Jan 2013 #86
Confusious Jan 2013 #88
DanTex Jan 2013 #89
Confusious Jan 2013 #91
Botany Jan 2013 #8
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #9
Recursion Jan 2013 #15
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #17
Confusious Jan 2013 #22
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #30
Confusious Jan 2013 #38
newthinking Jan 2013 #72
Confusious Jan 2013 #77
malaise Jan 2013 #11
Recursion Jan 2013 #14
malaise Jan 2013 #20
Botany Jan 2013 #27
1-Old-Man Jan 2013 #10
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #16
Confusious Jan 2013 #26
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #56
newthinking Jan 2013 #73
Confusious Jan 2013 #80
DisgustipatedinCA Jan 2013 #65
lunatica Jan 2013 #12
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #13
lunatica Jan 2013 #18
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #25
WCGreen Jan 2013 #23
newthinking Jan 2013 #75
Botany Jan 2013 #24
Mimosa Jan 2013 #32
infidel dog Jan 2013 #34
Catherina Jan 2013 #35
crazyjoe Jan 2013 #39
LineLineReply +
Confusious Jan 2013 #42
Archae Jan 2013 #46
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #66
Puha Ekapi Jan 2013 #51
otohara Jan 2013 #60
Upton Jan 2013 #44
Catherina Jan 2013 #49
lanlady Jan 2013 #50
ReRe Jan 2013 #57
DerekG Jan 2013 #61
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #70
Smarmie Doofus Jan 2013 #82
Straw Man Jan 2013 #78
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #90
steve2470 Jan 2013 #92

Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:01 AM

1. I haven't seen the show

but I wouldn't take it on face value. Oliver Stone has always been very loose with the historical record. I suggest you do some additional reading before deciding to believe what you see from him.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:05 AM

2. Yes. What I have posted is just my initial impression from the first two episodes.

I'm curious about his take on the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombs.

In any case, yes it is just one source and should be contrasted against others.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:51 PM

55. Platoon was real and factual

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:11 AM

3. A lot of people are Oliver Stone naysayers,

but I personally have been enjoying this series immensely. And I agree with your assessment of the Soviet/Russian people. They've taken many, many hard hits in the course of their history but they're definitely survivors. Their WW II efforts were phenomenal.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:25 AM

4. A Balanced Response

I think Oliver Stone has given a more Universal look and history without so much jingoism


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Response to Protalker (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:04 AM

31. ^ Agree with you ^

I've been enjoying the series, too.

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Response to Protalker (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:35 PM

33. agreed. eom

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Response to Protalker (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:22 PM

52. +1!

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Response to Protalker (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:47 AM

76. +1.

Whatever you see or read will be colored by a POV that serves some agenda, more or less.

But ask yourself what seems right when confronted by the same facts but different interpretations.

Facts are stubborn but interpretations are where the spin happens.

For example, did it ever make sense to you that the country that had the monopoly on the atomic bomb for a couple of years and the only one to drop it (twice) was ALSO claiming in 1945-1947 that it was the USSR that was the great menace?

After losing 27 million in a war with Germany, doesn't it make sense that they would be VERY angered and threatened by the US re-arming Germany?

Did you ever read THAT perspective in your history books?

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:39 AM

5. Parts 1, 2, & 3 on Youtube

 

Part 1: World War II



.......................
Part 2: Roosevelt, Truman & Wallace



.......................
Part 3: The Bomb

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:07 PM

43. Thanks for the links. n/t

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:28 PM

45. Parts 4 - 8










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Response to Catherina (Reply #45)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:51 PM

47. Darlin' ,I just knew you would be able to post the rest of the links I have been looking for!!!

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #47)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:04 PM

48. I HAD to find them!

The whole series is so interesting, fascinating but VP Henry Wallace is my new hero, and my reminder that the more things change, the more it's the same ole, same ole.

I'm on part 5 right now. Happy New Year darlin'!


- Fascism is a worldwide disease. Its greatest threat to the United States will come after the war, either via Latin America or within the United States itself.
Henry A. Wallace

- What we must understand is that the industries, processes, and inventions created by modern science can be used either to subjugate or liberate. The choice is up to us.
Henry A. Wallace

Those who write the peace must think of the whole world. There can be no privileged peoples. We ourselves in the United States are no more a master race than the Nazis.
Henry Wallace

- Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion.

Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.

They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.
Henry A. Wallace


The really dangerous American fascist... is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power... They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective, toward which all their deceit is directed, is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

~quoted in the New York Times, April 9, 1944
― Henry A. Wallace

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Response to Catherina (Reply #48)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:24 PM

53. Thanks for the links everyone, on to episode 3. It'll be a long night. Very interesting.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #53)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:10 PM

62. It was a long night and I'm still not done lol n/t

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Response to Catherina (Reply #48)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:57 PM

59. That last quote is so prophetically accurate.

*shiver*

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #59)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:11 PM

63. Chilling isn't it?

One of the reasons it's taking me so long to get through these is because I'm trying to read everything by Wallace that I can find.

*shiver*

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Response to Catherina (Reply #63)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:34 AM

69. Yes, very prophetic.

 

But then, we've had a lot of prophets, good ones, and we still slept through the last 65 years. Hope we're waking up at last. I'm cautiously optimistic and Stone's series is a good sign. Thanks for the links!

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Response to Catherina (Reply #48)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:44 AM

74. Amazing quotes from Wallace...


no wonder he had to be taken down by the war-mongering PTB.

One of the most salient points taken from the Olver Stone series is that the nuclear race was not nearly as close as we were led to believe, and that American warheads far outnumbered those in the Soviet Union. The Cold War was driven by right-wing war mongers from the very beginning. JFK paid the ulitmate price for daring to move against them.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #45)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:53 AM

67. Oh yay! Now we get to see him shit on Clinton...

So, in Stone's world, the only decent human beings were FDR, Stalin, Henry Wallace, Kennedy, Khrushchev and Gorbachev. Everyone else, from Truman to Obama, sucked baaaad.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #67)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:28 AM

68. Are you sure he does?

 

Just checked the ShowtTime Episode Guide and he seems to skip from Reagan (episode 8) to Bush (9) to "Bush and Obama in the Age of Terror" (10):

http://www.sho.com/sho/oliver-stones-untold-history-of-the-united-states/season/1/episode/10#/index

Haven't watched any but the first 3 yet myself...

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #68)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:56 AM

71. The ending of the last video posted suggests it, yeah...

Chapter 9: Bush & Clinton American Triumphalism -- New World Order.

Oooh, the scary New World Order!

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Response to Catherina (Reply #45)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:18 AM

81. Multiple thank yous. n/t

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:54 AM

6. It's bullshit.

I'd post the relevant facts, but it seems most would like to live in their "oliver stone" fantasy then reality.

I've already found that out.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101790134

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101790133

There's also a difference between being badass, and having a gun pointed at you forcing you to do something. Stalin ordered any man who retreated to be shot. Things probably wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't killed off every experienced officer in the army in his purges.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:29 AM

7. Parts 1 and 2 at least are pretty standard fare.

 

The '44 convention gets more attention than usual, as does Wallace, and Truman comes in for some frank criticism, but none of this is unknown. Basically the US enters, fights and wins WWII. FDR's death has been attributed to poisoning in some accounts, but here it's simply a heart attack with few details, so I wouldn't call this a revisionist or conspiracy tale by any stretch.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:59 AM

19. Part 3 is excellent. In fact they all are.

 

Pt. 3 is on US and British bombing raids of civilian targets and on the German, Japanese and later Korean cities including Hiroshima and Nagasaki that were destroyed. More on Truman, Wallace, Potsdam and of course Stalin. Fantastic refresher in WWII history.

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #19)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:01 AM

21. Like I said, they're bullshit

I know most all of the things he talks about, and also the things he doesn't. He gives an incomplete and one sided view of things.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #21)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:09 AM

28. I'll keep that perspective in mind, but I still want to finish watching the series.

At any rate, it is interesting to contrast his view against that of others.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #21)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:10 PM

36. So did our history books when I was coming up, even at the college level.

I suspect this still holds true on a significant level.

I think it takes many sources from all over the board to discern something of the reality of history and you can be sure substantial truths are probably missing and that gets more pronounced the further back you go due to a lot of truth being in the saying "history is written by the victors" and just the passage of the years creates a fog.

One must sift and there will be a level of interpretation, nearly always.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #21)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:50 PM

54. balanced? We get the rose colored glasses edition in school

I lived in Germany(Army brat) after WW2 and saw alot of maimed innocents and brutal facts our school books called lies. Most americans were raised on one sided history friend.

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Response to larkrake (Reply #54)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:34 PM

58. What brutal facts?

Did we kill civilians? Yes. Did we do it on purpose? In some circumstances yes. If they were helping the German war industry. Did some people get caught up in that who didn't? Yes.

That's an unrealitistic standard for the time though. If we tried to avoid every casualty of civilians, then we never would have left home.

It's also kind of hard to tell by looking at a person wether they were one of the people in one of those factories, or someone just standing by.

Again, I would like to know what other brutal facts you have.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #58)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:14 PM

64. We certainly killed civilians by design in Dresden, and the British did the same in Berlin

And we killed lots of Japanese civilians by design too. So where's the bullshit you keep referring to?

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #64)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:11 AM

79. I was hoping you would have something new to say

Not the old rehashed crap.

Berlin, don't care about. Legit target for bombing. Unless of course, you're trying to blame the United States for the actions of Russia, which would be dishonest.
Japan, all sites were legit targets, including those in the atomic bombings. They were also warned, and decided to ignore those warnings.

Dresden, I might have agreed with you, but after some study, not anymore.

Civilians have suffered during war from the beginning of time. When the barbarians sacked Rome they slaughtered men women and children. When the French stormed Spanish towns during the peninsular war the citizens inside were killed and the towns raped and pillaged.

The powers during the 19th century and the early 20th laid down ever more stringent rules about conduct during war trying to prevent these excesses but until the Geneva Convention came along there were no hard and fast "rules of war". In 1945 the Geneva Convention did not prohibit the general bombing of a town to destroy its industrial capacity.

We have to look at Dresden in the light of the morality of the time.

Some people in Dresden and elsewhere claim that the Bombing of Dresden by the RAF AND the USAAF is a war crime. In my opinion it was not. I am not in any way denying the fact that what happened in Dresden was horrific and appalling. I do deny that the men who undertook the mission have any crime to answer for.

The bombing of Dresden has been used since 1945 as a tool to beat the RAF about its conduct of "terror bombing" during WW2. The bombing of an industrialized town from the air in an attempt to destroy its industry or cause such loss of morale amongst its inhabitants that they ceased to work was NOT a crime by the Rules of War in 1945. The bombing of Coventry, London and other British Cities in 1940 and 1941 was also NOT a War Crime.

(No NAZI was convicted FOR those actions. They were convicted for OTHER actions, such as starting the war, and following orders to start the war.)

Within Europe we did not have the "industrial areas" afforded to towns in the New World. The factories were in and around the areas where the workforce lived. One side of the street would be the factory wall; the other side of the street would be the workers houses. Unfortunately this lead to what, nowadays, is called "collateral damage"

Dresden burned so heavily for several reasons.
It was a medieval city with many wooden buildings.
There had been a dry winter in the region which meant many buildings were tinderboxes.
The population were not used to air raids and did not therefore have the knowledge that you need to put incendiaries out quickly
The raid had little opposition because its Anti aircraft defence had been taken away by the Germans for use on the Eastern front. Therefore the bombers were able to put their loads in a concentrated space with little or no opposition.


Dresden was not "chosen for destruction". This was a raid on an industrial centre which went exactly right with horrifying consequences due to many circumstances some of which I have listed above.

Why did so many people die?

The 35000 people that died (absolute top number using all available, reliable sources) did so because of the reasons above and the fact that Dresden's Air Raid Precautions were appallingly bad. There were few, if any, properly constructed public shelters despite money having been allocated for them which was spent by the local burghers on Air Raid shelters for their homes in the suburbs.

People therefore sheltered in basements of houses which, due to the firestorm above filled with noxious fumes and killed the occupants before the houses collapsed onto them and burned their corpses.

Many people have claimed in the last 62 years that Dresden was a quiet peaceable town going about its business and waiting for the war to end. Read the paragraphs below which are taken from research by myself and many others for the truth about "quiet, peaceable, nothing to do with the war" Dresden.

In early 1945 the war was far from over. The Allies were still camped outside the borders of Germany, V2 rockets were still falling. The Allies had just fought the battle of the Bulge where the supposedly defeated Germans suddenly punched a huge hole in the Allied lines, German Rocket and Jet aircraft were coming off the production lines and proceeding to rip the hell out of the allied air fleets.

It was an operation undertaken due to many reasons.

1. A request from the Russians at the Yalta conference in February
1945. General Antonov "We want the Dresden railway junction bombed"
Meeting between the Chiefs of staff as reported by an interpreter. Records kept at the Public Records office in Kew

2. It was a German base of operations against Marshall Koniev`s left flank as he advanced into Germany. (See above)
Captured German High Command documents from Berlin in 1945 state that "Dresden is to be fortified as a military strongpoint, to be held at all costs." These statements are also backed up by decrypts from Ultra at Bletchley Park.

3. Munitions storage in the old Dresden Arsenal.

4. Troop reinforcement and transport centre shifting an average 28
troop trains through the marshalling yards every day. Intelligence from Russian and other sources stored in the Public Records office in Kew

5. Communications centre. Most of the telephone lines connecting
High Command to the Eastern front went through Dresden.

6. Quote from The Dresden Chamber of Commerce 1944. "The work rhythm of Dresden is determined by the needs of our army."

There were 127 factories in the Dresden Municipal area. The most famous of these was Zeiss the celebrated camera and optics maker. In 1945 it was turning out Bomb aiming apparatus and Time fuses. (If you think the Dresden China Works making those lovely shepherdesses are more famous, they are actually made in Meisen 12Km down the River and always have been.)

A factory that previously made Typewriters and sewing machines was making Guns and ammunition

The Waffle and Marzipan machine manufacturer was producing torpedoes for the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe.

The arts and crafts workshops in the old town were using their woodworking skills to make the tail assemblies for V-1s.

Other factories were turning out such non warlike goods as Searchlights, Aircraft components, Field Telephones and 2 way radios.


Yet another quote, "Anyone who knows Dresden only as a cultural city would be very surprised to be made aware of the extensive and versatile activity that make Dresden ONE OF THE FOREMOST INDUSTRIAL LOCATIONS OF THE REICH. (My Capitals)

Sir Arthur Harris? A Post war exponent of the bombing campaign?

Nope both wrong.

It comes from the Dresden City Council Yearbook of 1942.

The men who carried out these acts did so in the desire to make a world in which their descendants and countrymen, of whom I am one, could live in freedom from persecution and with a freedom to ask questions and form their own opinions. To those of you who feel it necessary to label them war criminals may I ask if you think that you could have asked a similar question under Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan?


Dresden was not "singled out" for destruction, it got the same treatment that every other city in Germany got. The reasons for it's destruction was a convergence of factors, mostly due to weather and ill preparedness. And no, we weren't getting regular updates from the NAZI high command on the state of the weather in Germany, or their preparations for bombings. There was a war on at the time.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #21)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:49 AM

84. Why don't you point out some specific points you find to be 'bullshit'?

Any and all histories of anything are going to be incomplete and all will have a point of view. To say a history is 'bullshit' because it is incomplete is to call all history bullshit. Example, in school I was taught zero gay history. None. Was it all therefore inaccurate, one sided bullshit? Or did it simply have a point of view and a selected area of focus? The history of America will not tell the history of your town. Thus it is incomplete and apparently therefore bullshit....

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #84)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:35 AM

87. I already did, but you seem to want to get your outrage on

Last edited Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:54 PM - Edit history (3)

So you didn't even look.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1017&pid=90202

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1017&pid=90144

It's right up there.

Was it all therefore inaccurate, one sided bullshit?


History doesn't record every detail of everything. What was Alexander's the greats favorite food? I'd like to know. Unfortunately we'll never know. Doesn't mean it one sided, just means we don't know.

There are things we do know, and those thing Stone likes to leave out, and include "opinion" (like Wallace) with no proof things would have been different one way or the other, or even worse. That's what makes it bullshit.

The history of America will not tell the history of your town


No it won't. You look up your town's history in your town. The United States, as a country, takes actions independent of a town, or a state. You look at the actions the GOVERNMENT takes. Now if the GOVERNMENT has some interaction with your town as an independent entity, then it becomes part of US history, like the United States government putting riots down in New York during the civil war.

If you can't see that, it's willful ignorance.

Thus it is incomplete and apparently therefore bullshit....


Or you're being disingenuous. (Means not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does)

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Response to Confusious (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:09 AM

29. What is bullshit, exactly?

It is true that Russia deserves much more credit than the US or Britain for defeating the Nazis. They took and inflicted far more casualties. In the US, you hear a lot about D-Day and Normandy and all that, but in reality the Eastern Front is where the heavier fighting was taking place. By the time a full Western Front was opened, the German Army had already been hugely weakened by Russia.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #29)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:53 PM

37. And we fought the NAZIs in Africa

and in Italy, tying down men that could be used on the eastern front.

We, and the british, also bombed german industry night and day, denying them material for the war.

The russians did the lions share in Europe, in deaths, but we played a part.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #37)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:59 PM

40. I think something happened over by Japan too.

Can't be too sure though.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #40)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:01 PM

41. Nah, the russians forced the surrender of Japan

All by their lonesome. Everyone around here says it.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #37)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:36 AM

83. The war in North Africa was essentially a sideshow.

The real war was the Eastern Front. Russia wanted us to open up a real second front of fighting, but we didn't, not until the war was basically already over. Instead we invaded Africa and then up through Italy.

This doesn't make Stalin a good person, or detract from the bravery of our troops, but it is simply historically accurate that Russia deserves far more credit for defeating Germany than the US.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #83)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:19 AM

85. They do

But Italy wasn't when the war was almost over, it was 43.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #85)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:29 AM

86. But the Italian campaign was pretty small in the scheme of things.

The real Western Front didn't start until D-Day, and by then the outcome of the war wasn't really in doubt.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #86)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:42 AM

88. As a part, yes, as a whole, no.

Germany had ~175 divisions on the eastern front, ~50 on the western front, and ~25 divisions on the Italian front.

(the number fluctuate somewhat, that is the reason for "~." They had other divisions also, but nobody ever faced them, so I won't include them. Norway for example. They also seemed to pull divisions from the east to the west, so by the end of the war, there were ~75 on the western front and ~135 on the eastern.)

http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=7288

30% of their total strength on the Italian and Western front.

Not to mention the bombing campaign, which Albert Speer said reduced Germanys output by 30%. (probably more, because they had to rebuild all the time, which took resources)

What could Germany have down with 30% more tiger and panther tanks, airplanes, subs, guns, ammo?

Ps. What a lot of people also forget is we provided Russia with material and food for the war. Most of the russian food came from the Ukraine, which was under occupation for all those years.

Wars aren't won by men alone.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #88)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:27 PM

89. But before D-day, there was (almost) no fighting on the Western Front.

So I'm assuming that the divisions on the Western Front during, say, 1943, were just the occupying force.

Yes, you are right that we contributed in other ways, including bombing and providing Russia with supplies.

On edit: anyway, to get back to where we started, I think it is accurate to point out that Russia did most of the fighting, killing, and dying in WW2. In the minds of many Americans, the US walked in to save Europe from the Nazis, and that D-Day was a pivotal turning point. Whereas in reality, Hitler was defeated by Stalin (with some help from the US and other allies), and the heaviest fighting and decisive battles were on the Eastern Front. So, on this point, I don't think we can say that Oliver Stone's take is BS.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #89)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:47 PM

91. I think we CAN say that it's bullshit

because the fight between Russia and Germany is not the main point.

The main point he glosses over is that Stalin was a genocidal maniac (Besides the fact, if Stalin hadn't purged the entire army, Hitler would have never gotten as far as he did. Stone glosses over that also. The reasons the Russians had to suffer so much WAS BECAUSE of Stalin and his bullshit), and the soviet union marched into countries it had no business being in, just like Hitler did.

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

They also start a war with Finland to take territory from them, and the Fins did a pretty good job of kicking their asses, but they ultimately lost. (Did you know about the war between Finland and the Soviet Union? Did Stone tell you that?) They kept those countries AND the Balkans and eastern Europe in bondage for 50 years.

He glosses over those points, and THAT is why his bullshit is bullshit.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:19 AM

8. R you kidding me?

Stalin starved to death between 5 and 8 million of his own people in 1931 to 1934
he was a brutal evil man who had his own family members killed.



BTW if Stalin was so good were is the USSR now?

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Response to Botany (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:29 AM

9. I am not saying he wasn't a brutal dictator.

My statement was that his actions had a profound and long-lasting impact and that he was (unlike Hitler in the end) successful and carrying out his agenda. Big difference.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:53 AM

15. When you find yourself saying "I'm not saying Stalin wasn't the most evil person ever, BUT..."

That's a sign you should rethink your sentence.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:58 AM

17. "the most evil person ever".

That is a hard thing to judge. The most evil person ever might be some douchbag working part-time in a gas station that we have never heard of.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #17)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:03 AM

22. Body count usually is a good judge

1. Mao
2. Stalin
3. Hitler

though you could flip 2 and 3, I wouldn't care.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:13 AM

30. The big question is, can one directly pin the famines on #1 and #2 of these three.

I have no answer to this question but it is a valid one.

Hitler murdered all his victims directly, through war and execution. Under Mao and Stalin many people starved. To what degree this was the result of their policies is harder to figure out. It requires more understanding of the situation in their countries than I have, so I cannot comment on this.

In principle though it would seem, if one is honest and fair, one then also has to pin every other death through neglect on the people who are in charge. For instance Americans who die from lack of healthcare, and so on.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #30)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:46 PM

38. Yes you can pin it on them

To what degree this was the result of their policies is harder to figure out.


No, it's not.

There was no starvation on such a large scale before they tried their collectivist shit. There was no famine on such a large scale after their collectivist shit.

Cause->effect.

Historians lay the blame right were it belongs. On the shoulders of those two people.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #38)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:28 AM

72. No-one is saying Stalin was a good guy. Just recognizing historical facts

I don't see how it is necessary to belittle what WW2 did to 27 Million Russians and their contribution to the war.

I think the difference between your view and some others here is that they can seperate the two (the Russian people from their leader). Besides, it is the truth. Just as it is true Stalin was a brutal man and killed many of his people, so too is it simply the TRUTH that basically the Russians wound down much of the war and contributed to a lot of the heavy, and more lethal, work. But the Russian sweep on the Northern front is pretty much what put the nail in the coffin of the rise of Germany. Even our own leadership understood this which is why negotiations were difficult between the allies.

There is nothing dishonorable to our own by telling the story truthfully.

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Response to newthinking (Reply #72)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:01 AM

77. I didn't say anything you just stated

So try again.

The discussion in this particular thread was "was Stalin a bad guy or not," anything else is an assumption made by you.

The problem with the entire series is that Stone downplays all the bad of everyone else, and plays up all the bad of America, instead of giving a more balanced view, which would be a thing called "the truth."

Just a lopsided continuation of shit.

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Response to Botany (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:41 AM

11. So who starved all those people during the drought years in the US?

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Response to malaise (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:52 AM

14. OMG. Seriously?

And there we have it. The Dust Bowl (500,000 migrants, immediate government relocation and food security aid, some hundreds of malnutrition deaths) has just been compared to Stalin's deliberate genocidal starvation of 5 million Ukrainians in the Holodomor.

Here's a hint: FDR sent people help to move; Stalin sent people with guns to keep them on the farms he had just taken all of the crops from.

This is why we can't have nice things.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:59 AM

20. FDR had to send them help because they were starving

Identify the hustlers who created the conditions for their starvation - were they not the same greedy RW scumbags who resisted FDR?

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Response to malaise (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:08 AM

27. lack of understanding about the prairie environment was 75% of the reason ....

.... for the dust bowl. "Rain will follow the plow."

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:37 AM

10. Stalin was the world's greatest mass murderer

The people of the Soviet Union didn't see him in exactly the same light you seem to. The man was a psychopathic killer, he made Hitler look like a Sunday School Teacher.

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Response to 1-Old-Man (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:56 AM

16. I have to disagree that Stalin was worse than Hitler.

For all of his brutality, his actions were directed primarily at securing the power of the Soviet state and the government. He was a mass-murderer against political enemies and potential ones. He was not a racist mass-murderer who seeked to exterminate whole populations based solely on who they were. I think Hitler is in entirely a different category than Stalin.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:06 AM

26. potential ones

Every officer in the army down to the lieutenants.

Hitler was also trying to secure the power of the german state.

He was a paranoid psychotic genocidal madman. Hitler was his equal. Mao outdid them both.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:55 PM

56. Re-watch Stone's own picture. He downplayed it and left out most of the details but even he tells

 

most of the horrors committed by Stalin. Stalin killed at least twice as many people as Hitler for the same reason, he just didn't emphasize the Jews as much as Hitler did and he ended up on the winning side.

Also, don't forget that Stalin tried to appease Hitler with his sacrifice of Poland in his own non-aggression pact.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #56)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:41 AM

73. Some of us can seperate the sacrifice and contribution of the Russian people

from Stalin.

I fail to see how we have to paint everything through a single brush and that we can't appreciate truth because is in not all black and white. Stalin was evil, therefore we can't admit the very serious and critical contribution of millions of people on the ground and the death of more than 20 million people in that war?

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Response to newthinking (Reply #73)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 06:10 AM

80. Really? Can you?

Nobody else is saying that the Russian People and Stalin were the one and same. Only you, and attributing it to other people.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:22 PM

65. I'd agree with you insofar as saying Stalin had a huge influence on the 20th century

But he was really incompetent too. He killed most of his best military commanders and replaced them with suck-up yes-men (until it was time for them to be killed too). Among all the other bad stuff Stalin did, he really squandered a lot of the brain trust of the Soviet Union by killing them or driving them out of the country. Stalin had the biggest chess board in the world, but he sacrificed his queen and knights and bishops from the start, leaving him will millions of pawns to play with.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:41 AM

12. Haven't seen Oliver Stone's version but did see a Russian documentary on Stalin

years ago. It was excellent and very informative. Stalin was brutal. Even the people who he had around him were forced to work for him through threats and actions against their families. He forced his cabinet members and ministers to give up family members to the Gulags or he would have them killed. Then they would do anything he demanded.

He was worse to the citizens. It's suspected he killed his daughter and he disowned his son when he became a POW of the Nazis in WWII.

I read someplace that Stalin was one of Saddam Hussein's heroes.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:52 AM

13. The brutality of Stalin's is perhaps underrepresented in the Stone documentary.

He focuses more on World War II, in context of which it can be said that he was effective.

At any rate, the impact of the man on the world was huge. Looking at it through a moral perspective is another matter.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:58 AM

18. Stalin's life is definitely a lesson on how to be a dictator

And yes, I agree with you that he WAS very influential on how the 20th Century played out.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:05 AM

25. I'm not trying to excuse the mass murders he commited against his political enemies.

I do however think that it is worth looking into how the Russian society functioned at the time. It is very possible that it was simply a given thing that the most ruthless person was going to emerge at the top.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:04 AM

23. The main point I got from the WWII episodes

is that the Russians were left alone to fight off the Germans and that was what soured the Russians against us after WWII.

They really didn't need to drop the A-bomb, according to Stone, because the Japanese were all but beaten. Stone presents that one of the main reasons Truman OKed the bombs for Japan was to show the Russians what we had.

I liked the Wallace parts and the intrigue at the 1944 convention.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #23)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:47 AM

75. Exactly, maybe people should actually watch it.

The documentary is focused, as the name states, on the untold part. There are significant ommissions in the stories we have been told.

Everyone knew that Stalin was a bad guy. But not everyone knows what Hitler did to the Russian people nor do most Americans know the contribution of the Russian PEOPLE to the war.

Knowing that history is critical to understanding the next 50 years of history.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:04 AM

24. real history vs Oliver Stone History

Early on WW II many soviet citizens welcomed the Nazis because of Stalin.
It was only after the Nazis and their Einsatzgruppens were even more evil
than Stalin that many in the USSR started to fight back.

Stalin was getting his ass kicked until Gen. Zhukov and others came to his rescue.
Zhukov helped to win the battle of Stalingrad and the battle of Berlin .... Stalin's
paranoia made him have a film made showing that he helped to liberate Berlin
so as to diminish Zhukov's victories.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:06 AM

32. ^ Agree with you ^

Good topic, Redgreenandblue.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #13)


Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:39 PM

35. A terrific series. And history as most of the world knows it

instead of that regurgitated propaganda we get in US schools.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:55 PM

39. Oliver Stone is a conspiracy nut, tin foil hat wearing, moron. period.

 

I would go so far as to say he's worse than Jesse Ventura.

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Response to crazyjoe (Reply #39)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:07 PM

42. +

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Response to crazyjoe (Reply #39)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:42 PM

46. Stone is a far-left propaganda shit spreader.

LEGITIMATE historians are pointing out the inaccuracies and revisionism in Stone(d)'s "documentaries," Stone even left out the fact that a lot of Stalin's military was equipped by the US.
The Russians especially liked the P-39 Airacobra, it was a great Panzer-busting aircraft.

The US and Britain let Russia take Berlin, since they knew it would be a total bloodbath.
And it was.
Including atrocities galore against German civilians by Russian troops.
Stone never mentions this.

Stone is a far-left apologist, he butchered beyond recognition the facts behind his movie "JFK" and "Nixon," and to top all of this off, Stone is a vicious anti-Semite.

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Response to Archae (Reply #46)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:24 AM

66. Umm, yes, Stone does go into the atrocities in Berlin.

He very specifically discusses the rapes of German women.

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Response to crazyjoe (Reply #39)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:20 PM

51. Stone's son...

...is paired up with Ventura on that Black Helicopter teevee show as well.

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Response to Puha Ekapi (Reply #51)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:02 PM

60. Apple/Tree

I recorded the series then decided not to watch it because I don't trust stone - thanks for this

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:11 PM

44. I think it's great..

Last edited Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:32 PM - Edit history (1)

first episode I watched had a lot about Truman, Wallace and the 1944 Democratic convention. Never knew Wallace came that close to the presidency...and how history may have changed had he not been denied the VP slot.

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Response to Upton (Reply #44)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:06 PM

49. Same here

What a cruel blow the shenanigans of the corporate Dems were to democracy and world peace. Imagine, instead of a manufactured arms race, all those resources could have been going to the people. Imagine.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:10 PM

50. Good grief. Stalin murdered millions of his own countrymen...

the Great Purges, the Ukrainian famine (10+ million peasants dead), and on and on. He was a vicious tyrant, not some unsung progressive hero. Please read your history!

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:03 PM

57. The Untold History of the US

...marking because I'm going to come back and watch all the clips on this thread. Thank you redgreenandblue for starting the discussion.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:38 PM

61. Folks, try to keep these two facts in mind

1. Stalin was an inept psychopath who compounded his country's suffering by eliminating most of the competent officers in the 30s.


This, however, does not diminish...


2. The Russian people utterly demolished the Third Reich. No country suffered more in WWII, and now that the Cold War is behind us, it's high time we acknowledge their courage and tenacity.

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Response to DerekG (Reply #61)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:03 AM

70. Bingo. The Soviet (as they were known back then) military lost between 8,800,000 to....

...10,700,000 combatants, in addition to 12,700,000 to 14,600,000 civilian deaths out of a total population of less than 170,000,000 prior to the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Those are very conservative numbers, with some historians believing that the Soviet Union may have lost upwards of 30-35,000,000 people during WWII. Additionally, that part of the soviet Union occupied by the Germans was almost totally devastated. Meanwhile, Stalin's government continued to send people into the Gulag prison system at a clip of about 1,000,000 people per year.

The US lost a little less than 417,000 total military deaths during WWII along with about 1700 civilians. That was out of a total US population of about 131,000,000. Additionally, Americans never had to face the nightmare of invasion, bombing, or foreign occupation.

So, it's not very difficult to see who did the major bulk of the ground fighting against Germany during WWII. I have the utmost respect for the Russian people...they've endured a lot throughout their history.

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Response to DerekG (Reply #61)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:22 AM

82. Then it sounds like their gov't was courageous and tenacious also.

Can we/should we acknowledge that as well?

>>>>2. The Russian people utterly demolished the Third Reich. No country suffered more in WWII, and now that the Cold War is behind us, it's high time we acknowledge their courage and tenacity.>>>>

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:07 AM

78. Max Hastings' book ...

... Inferno suggests that no democratic nation could have achieved what Russia did in its fight against Nazi Germany because the soldiers of Western democracies just weren't as inured to suffering, brutality, and fear. The Americans, Brits, et al could fight bravely and well, but they wouldn't continue to fight beyond all hope and reason as the Russians would. The Russian soldier had his back to the wall in both directions: if the Nazis didn't kill him, his own officers would.

For all of Churchill's tough talk, London would never have withstood a siege like those of Stalingrad and Leningrad. It would have caved in a fortnight.

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Response to Straw Man (Reply #78)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:38 PM

90. I was thinking something similar today...

I was thinking about communism, and about what I learned from Oliver Stone's docus, and I came to think that communism, more precisely totalitarian Soviet communism (not the Marxian kind which never existed) with its hierarchy and its centrally controlled economy somehow seems like a system well suited to fight a total war that threatens the very existence of a nation. It doesn't amount for much in peace times, for it heavily oppresses its citizens and generally doesn't deliver high levels of comfort, but shit did it work well against nazi Germany. For one, Stalin could easily do such things as order the relocation of the populations of entire cities for strategic purposes, or by force draft citizens into working in factories to produce weapons.

There is something in the Sun Tsu book on warfare about always allowing leaving an escape route open for the enemy. A person with his back against the wall will fight like the proverbial "cornered beast". Communism was good at making people do that, precisely because it was an inhumane system.

But then again, a democracy can switch to "martial law", which basically amounts to the same thing. That goes to show that democracy is a fragile thing, which is all the more in jeopardy in times of crisis.

Thinking about such things does make me think that one should never take the comfort levels one is currently experiencing for granted. The Russians lived through a hell during the war that no person born in the US these days could ever imagine.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:37 PM

92. kick for more feedback

Stone was really hard on Truman. Did Truman really deserve it ? I don't know, I'm not an expert on Truman.

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