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At the time of the Battle of the Denmark Strait - 1941-05-24 - Soviets were still officially friendly with Germany. I wonder what the reaction to the battle was, e.g.,

  1. Did they send an official letter of congratulations to the German government?
  2. Did they cover the event in the newspapers (and what was the tilt of the coverage)?

Similarly, what was the reaction to the Last battle of the battleship Bismarck on 1941-05-27? Did they express condolences?

  • This is a very interesting question. Quick search shows that principal Soviet newspapers are available online IN PRINCIPLE. But apparently for a fee, and my university library does not subscribe any. – Alex Apr 6 '15 at 23:16
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I found May 1941 issues of the Izvestiya newspaper at libinfo.org, and the coverage of WWII at that time seems quite neutral. Regarding the questions,

  1. No official reaction of the Soviet authorities is mentioned at all, so I assume that if any sort of congratulations, condolescences or whatsoever were made, they were made nonpublicly.
  2. Yes, they did, and there was no apparent tilt.

The same applies to the sinking of Bismarck.

I attach scans (sorry for their bad quality) of the articles with my brief commentaries so that anyone who reads Russian could see it for himself.

  • A large battle in the Atlantic Ocean and the fact HMS Hood had been sunken after magazine explosion, was first mentioned on Monday, May 26, and some reference information about both battleships was given:

The Battle of the Denmark Strait was first mentioned on Monday, May 26

  • On May 27 the newspaper covered the search for the German battleship:

On May 27 the newspaper covered the search for the German battleship

  • Next day the last battle of the battleship was described using reports of both sides:

Next day the last battle of the battleship was described using reports of both sides

A separate article in the same issue retold W. Churchill's speech in the House of Commons (see HC Deb 27 May 1941 vol 371 cc1714-8)

  • On Thursday the newspaper expounded the battle chronology since May 23 evening according to Reuters:

On Thursday the newspaper expounded the battle chronology since May 23 evening according to Reuters

  • 1
    Welcome to History! Very well done for your first answer! – CGCampbell Apr 7 '15 at 13:46
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    Indeed, very well done. But for us, who don't know Cyrillic, these articles mean almost nothing. Could you please provide a source, where we have this in English? – Rohit Apr 8 '15 at 14:56
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    @Rohit they are mostly "German information agency says" - "Reuters says". – Anixx Apr 8 '15 at 16:28

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