Hot answers tagged

123

I have not lived in Berlin or Moscow, but I have lived in Toronto and (very close to) Val d'Or. The winter temperatures for these two locations closely match Berlin and Moscow: December January February (Avg daily high/avg Daily low) (Celsius) Toronto 2/ -3 -1/ -7 0/ -6 Val d'Or -8/-19 -11/-23 -8/-22 I can absolutely assure ...


97

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 miracle ...


70

Average temperatures are irrelevant, unless you plan to repeat the battle every year. What matters is the temperature at the time. To quote Wikipedia: The European Winter of 1941-1942 was the coldest of the twentieth century. On 30 November, von Bock reported to Berlin that the temperature was – 45 °C (–49 °F). General Erhard Raus, commander of the 6th ...


56

The whole point of the reign of Peter the Great was to "modernize" (westernize) Russia. Per the wikipedia article, "Peter implemented sweeping reforms aimed at modernizing Russia.[10] Heavily influenced by his advisors from Western Europe, Peter reorganized the Russian army along modern lines and dreamed of making Russia a maritime power. He faced much ...


52

The Germans were concerned that carrier pigeons would be used to communicate with Soviet forces. Carrier pigeons were used extensively during both World Wars. From the Rostov-on-Don tourism website: Черевичкин Виктор Иванович (1925–1941) – ростовский пионер-герой. Когда немцы в 1941 году взяли Ростов-на-Дону, они приказали городским владельцам ...


50

Siberia was colonized earlier than the 18/19th centuries. There actually were a few challenges by great powers to Russia's colonial empire as it expanded and later: from China to some extent early on, if one is willing to count the latter as a great power in the 16-18th centuries, and later from Great Britain and Japan in the 19th century. Russia conquered ...


49

Although the whole anti-"rootless cosmopolitan" campaign is now widely accepted as being antisemitic in nature, at the time it was framed as being directed against people who "lack patriotism and mindlessly worship the Western culture" - who, incidentally, were Jewish (at least, an overwhelming majority of them were). Thus, the picture depicts a literary ...


49

This question gets really complicated really fast. After the breakup, each of the former Soviet republics established its own set of laws, and then these laws were rewritten multiple times. The region also includes half a dozen unrecognized states (Transnistria, Artsakh, Abkhazia, Ossetia, DPR, and LPR) each of them having its own very original definition of ...


42

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 ...


42

I'd say that historically, the ideology in Russia meant it preferred to compare itself to Byzantium, probably similarly to the way you can hear the US is compared to Rome. This was, and still probably is, based on these facts: Russia has (and had even more) cultural ties to Greece and Byzantium: Christianity came to Russia from Greece, with majority of ...


41

A Russian revolution caused by the Bolsheviks was most definitely the goal of the Germans when they allowed Lenin to pass through their lands. Germany wished to undermine, or end, the Russian war effort and sending Lenin back was done for that purpose. If true, who came up with the idea and was there any consideration that a communist Russia could ...


40

It's a Cветец (Svetetz), a device for holding a primitive torch called a Лучина (Luchina - splinter) or Rushlight, really just a splinter of wood or a piece of plant fiber dipped in grease. The Svetetz would need to be placed in a pool of water to prevent dropped ashes from starting a fire, so that could explain the raised yoke-like sides of the wooden ...


39

Lithuania fell under Soviet occupation in 1940, but the Soviets were promptly evicted by Operation Barbarossa. So in practice, the Lithuanian SSR was established only in late 1944, after the Baltic Offensive. It would have been stranger for Moscow to entrust East Prussia to this fledgling government, who would've had their hands full setting up shop in ...


39

This is based on an Estonian radio show, 'Müstiline Venemaa' ('Mystical Russia') by historian David Vseviov, chapters 'The Financing of Bolshevik Activities', which described the pre-1917 financing, and 'Banking. Money Reform' and 'Speculations around Money', which described activities after Bolsheviks formed the government. Summary Answer This is to ...


38

In 1991 Central Committee of the CPSU Archive released several documents related to Gagarin's flight. Amongst them was Gagarin's own after-action report to the government commission. Sadly, Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History, which inherited the CC CPSU archives, doesn't have a digitised version online, but it was published in the "Communist" ...


36

I think this is a color error (in reproduction, printing, fading, etc.) It is a 19th Century Venezuelan flag with the cluster of stars visible on the blue bar.


35

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 ...


35

This answer is based on the assumption that the OP is referring to the HBO miniseries Catherine the Great and, more specifically, the following segment of the script: [Catherine:] But in these more enlightened times, I believe we need laws that everyone respects and obeys. The rich and the powerful, as well as the poor and dispossessed. And so ...


33

I've seen this story a number of times since Another Earth was released in 2011, usually something along lines like this article. The problem is that I've never seen anything about it in any of the official histories or biographies of Gagarin. Also, the stories all seem to think Gagarin's mission was to last 25 (or 28 depending on the story) days. In fact, ...


33

Other answers have dealt with the main things but I think you are missing one important point. Even assuming that Berlin and Moscow are equally cold there is a huge difference between holding your own territory (defensive operations within Germany) and maintaining long supply lines through hostile territory in bad weather. If the German army had a constant ...


32

What intelligence did the Russians have that the Japanese had either torpedo boats or mines in the North Sea, and what was the source of that intelligence? I don't have the book referenced in the article, but the report from the International Commissions Of Inquiry is online. It mentions several "reports" (really rumors) in more detail. It ...


31

The Wikipedia article on the Alaska Purchase discusses the population of Alaska before the purchase: Seward told the nation that the Russians estimated that Alaska contained about 2,500 Russians and those of mixed race (that is, a Russian father and native mother), and 8,000 indigenous people, in all about 10,000 people under the direct government ...


31

The V1 and V2 were short range missiles. The V-2 had an operational range of 200 miles while the V-1 had an operational range of 160 miles. These missiles weren't available until mid-1944, at which point the Soviets had pushed the Nazis back hundreds of miles. This means that the only things that could be hit were areas that had been recently overrun by ...


30

It's precisely because Akhmat Khan retreated. The Mongolian yoke over Russia was underpinned by their ability to compel obedience (i.e. tribute) through the force of arms. Akhmat Khan's retreat destroyed the credibility of this threat. Regardless of the actual circumstances, the fact that the Russians defied him and successfully withstood his retaliation, ...


30

Part of the Third Reich's military problem was its devastating quick early victories. Germany invaded France rapidly alongside a ~900 km front line, adopting the WWI strategy to enter via Belgium through the Ardennes surpassing the Marginot defense line and catching France by surprise as those considered passing the mountain range with tanks impossible. This ...


28

When Peter 'upgraded' the Russian title of 'tsar' (царь) to 'emperor' (император), this meant that the corresponding titles would have to be given a similar jump upwards. The specific issue arose because the Westernized 'emperor', though sharing its root with the Slavonized 'tsar' in the Latin 'caesar', was a more important title than that of tsar, the two ...


28

There always is a trade-off when occupying someone else's territory: the resources you can extract plus any strategic value versus the resources you need to invest to maintain control. The wooded areas north of the steppe belt were relatively hard to control for the Mongols - e.g. even the 1207 campaign against the "Forest Peoples" had somewhat ...


27

The usual answer is that Russia abolished slavery in 1723. Technically speaking, there were no more slaves in Russia after this point. In reality, it meant they were merged into the class of serfs, whose lives were barely distinguishable from the formally enslaved anyway. State measures to increase the numbers of people liable to direct taxation in the ...


25

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 (...


25

This question has been debated for a very long time, and I've never seen a conclusive answer one way or the other. I don't believe there is a single reason Japan surrendered. Rather there was a long series of defeats leading to a war they could not win. Two major blows hammered the point home and a year of even greater insanity (the invasion of Japan) was ...


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