Hot answers tagged

87

I'm not sure there is any direct evidence that it was strategically a bad idea. Strategically it made sense to attack the Soviet Union while they were weak and unprepared for war. Hitler knew that as he made progress on the Western front that Stalin grew more and more nervous every day about the growing power of Nazi Germany. What must be remembered is that ...


83

I can think of a list of things which either excelled at the time or were feats not matched in the whole war. The T-34 and IS tank lines. Not just the tanks themselves, but also focusing on two hulls. The Yak-1 series fighter aircraft. The Il-2 ground attack aircraft. The PPSh-41 and PPS submachine guns. Tremendous use of artillery. The production ...


77

We have to delve into two spheres to address this question, the political and the military. Militarily, the Japanese fought a series of border skirmishes with the Soviet Union at Khalkhin Gol (located along the Manchurian - Mongolian border, Mongolia then being a "People's Republic" and puppet of the Soviet Union) through early summer to early autumn 1939, ...


51

By this time, Germany controlled the entire European peninsula, and it was very hard to see the Allied forces coming back from that. Hitler told one of his generals in June 1940 that the victories in western Europe "finally freed his hands for his important real task: the showdown with Bolshevism" [from here]. Reasons to attack the Soviet Union include:...


47

Khrushchev wanted to... test his political power to please the Ukrainian population to shift the rebuilding cost to the Ukrainian republic. Khrushchev wanted to test his political power If anyone would wanted to challenge Khrushchev, just rising to power, his controversial idea and hollow arguments would be a perfect occasion. The stake was very little ...


46

Because the Japanese Government surrendered on 15 August. Naturally, the Japanese military was ordered to lay down their arms. For Manchuria this meant the much-reduced Kwantung Army, which accordingly surrendered as a unit to the advancing Soviets. There is a surprising amount of confusion over when exactly the surrender took place. A quick search found ...


38

The Soviet Union had three seats in the UN. In addition to the Soviet Union itself, two of the Soviet republics had seats: Ukraine and Belarus. This obviously didn't make much sense given that neither of them was an independent state at the time. So it can only be viewed as a way for the Soviet Union to increase its weight in the UN. This was one of the ...


37

The overall answer is that the Soviets were not rich in railways and destroyed much of it as they retreated. The Germans anticipated this, and had railway commandos rebuild much of the Soviet trunk lines and some feeders to standard gauge. They also maintained several of the wide gauge lines if captured intact and with enough rolling stock. Some efforts, ...


36

The answers to 1, 2 are very simple. The Soviet Union presented itself as a "communist paradise." That is, a country where life was better than in capitalist countries. This was the main justification for communist power and social order. People traveling abroad could immediately see that this was not the case. When this had become evident to a sufficient ...


31

Germany always wanted to attack and defeat Soviet Russia. There is an ideological battle between fascism and communism. Germany really thought that Russia was the enemy of the world. Some Germans believed, such was the evil of communism, that when they started the eastern front, the English would come over to their side to fight communism rather than ...


31

First of all, aircraft carriers are expensive. Russia (compared to USA) was never resource-rich enough to be able to afford the expense; neither was USSR. Second of all, Russia (or rather USSR) had no motivation. USA's main geopolitical goal is to safeguard seabourne trade routes; and to prevent strong competitors from arising and commanding great sets of ...


28

1932 There are two chief interpretations of the 1932 Soviet famine, or especially the more infamous Ukrainian component, the Holodomor. That the famine was at least partially caused or exacerbated by Soviet policies is well established. The main difference between the schools of thought is the degree to which Soviet authorities perpetuated or even ...


26

It is depending on your definition of a Russian. Gagarin was born in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, so he was the first Russian in space. Sergei Krikaljow (also a Russian) started as a citizen of the Soviet Union, when the Soviet Union was dissolved on December 26, 1991 he was in space. So he was the first citizen of the Russian ...


23

Caveat Wars (especially in 20th century!) are won by nations/armies, not weapons. A weapon can be excellent (e.g., Me-262) but it will make no difference because it was introduced too late and/or was used incorrectly tactically. Another example is Tiger - seemingly an excellent tank, but very complex and expensive, so fewer than 2,000 of them were built (...


22

I thought for sure he had actually killed someone himself, and early on around the Tflis bank robbery period there were times he almost did. But Simon Sebag Montefiore recently wrote a biography on Stalin's earlier years (Young Stalin, 2007, Vintage Books), and he states a few times that Stalin himself never pulled a trigger during his whole life (that ...


21

Churchill was not Prime Minister when the MRP was announced or when it went into effect. He wasn't even in the government at all. He was in Parliament, but mostly an exile due to his bellicose views. It was the war that forced the Conservative government to take him in, and he didn't become Prime Minister until after France was invaded, well after the carve-...


21

Russian wiki has decently good article on terrorist attacks in Russia, including ones which took place in USSR. 1927 The bomb in Leningrad Communist University; 1 killed, 26 wounded; done by white emigrants terroristic organization Russian Common-Military Union 1934 Kirov's murder 1942 Stalin assasination attempt (actually killer shoot at Mikoyan's car by ...


20

In the "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," historian William Shirer contended that the Soviet Union was close to collapse at the end of 1942, because it was on the verge of losing either the Caucasus oil, or at least access to it, via the Caspian Sea and Volga. Only the failure of the German offensives at Stalingrad and the Caucasus prevented this result. ...


20

The USSR growth rate during the 50's was not exceptionally high. The claims of more than 10% growth, although certainly theoretically possible, were simply not true, but Soviet propaganda. Real growth rates during the 50's and 60's were rather 4-7% depending on time period and who is doing the estimation. This can be compared to average OECD and average ...


19

The original source for the stories you heard is apparently the book "Scorpion Down" by Ed Offley. The book's statements are questionable to say the least and this book review makes a good point. I checked what the Russian sources say about K-129. This 2008 interview with Viktor A. Dygalo, the commander of the division that K-129 belonged to, covers this ...


19

As others have pointed out, it will never be possible to answer this question conclusively based on documents, because the Soviet officials have always been eager to downplay (for the propaganda reasons) the importance of the Allied contribution to the war in general and Lend-Lease in particular, so all the official Soviet sources are suspect (as, by the ...


19

It was more of a nuisance, than a reason for defeat. The part of a track that is hard to build is the bed. To narrow a track, all you have to do is pull out the spikes, move the rail and drive the spikes back in again. The bigger problem for the Germans was that the rail system in Russia is a hub-and-spokes design where all roads lead to Rome, meaning ...


18

According to a 1999 article by Mark A. Bradley in Proceedings, the U.S. Naval Institute's professional journal ("Why They Called the Scorpion "Scrapiron," July 1998), on May 20, 1968, the Scorpion was ordered to intercept a Soviet flotilla near the Azores that included one Echo-II-class nuclear-propelled submarine, a submarine rescue vessel, two ...


18

Unlike Soviet ground forces the fleet was well prepared at the beginning of German invasion and did not panic or wait for orders. For example as early as August 1941 Baltic fleet air force bombed Berlin from the island Ezel. In 1941 Baltic fleet placed 12047 mines. In 1943 the Finns together with the Germans successfully placed a net across the Gulf of ...


18

There was a Autonome Sozialistische Sowjetrepublik der Wolgadeutschen (Russian Автономная Советская Социалистическая Республика Немцев Поволжья, English Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) From Wikipedia: The republic was created following the Russian Revolution, by October 29 (some claim 19th) Decree of the Soviet government, Volga ...


18

To give an idea of the scope of Lend-Lease, I found this contemporary account of the complete British Lend-Lease supply to the Soviet Union during WWII by the British Prime Minster. It is truly breathtaking in scope. Tanks, guns, trucks, weapons, ships, ammo, radar, radios, telephones, cables, tires, camouflage, mines, aircraft, oil, copper, iron, aluminum, ...


18

Some films were officially licensed and were quite popular, such as Sun Valley Serenade, Some Like It Hot, The Sandpit Generals etc. You might take a look at the chart here. Where there's only year, that's a Soviet film; foreign and joint-production films are marked with countries. As you can see, there are a few entries marked with США (USA). If you look ...


17

The two big Nazi goals were the extermination of Jews and the conquest of land in the East, to be settled by Aryans, with the native populations drastically reduced in number and existing as uneducated servants. Hitler had to invade the Soviet Union. Also, I don't think anybody thought the peace between Germany and the Soviet Union was going to last: the ...


17

The secret protocol was known to the US government as early as 24 August 1939. It was passed to US diplomat Charles Bohlen by Hans von Herwath, a German diplomat. The US ambassador in Moscow Laurence Steinhardt passed that information to US secretary of state Cordell Hull on the same day. Hull immediately informed British minister of foreign affairs Edward ...


17

TL; DR: Landing on the moon was covered in the Soviet press, and was well known in the Soviet Union. It received much less attention than Soviet space missions, though. Just to add something factual to previous answers. NASA on U.S.S.R. reaction NASA's Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1969 (15 MB PDF file) contains some useful information on press coverage ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible