FlyingPhotog wrote in post #13358390
There weren't any Russians in Italy, North Africa or anywhere in the Pacific. As the son of a 5th Army veteran, I find your comment incredibly offensive and amazingly ignorant.
No, they weren't in Italy, North Africa or the Pacific.
There were however several million of them tying up three quarters of the German army on the eastern front. Somewhere between 70-80% of German losses in WW2 were down to the Russians, and around 80% of Allied losses were Russian.
Now, I am no supporter of Stalin and his politics, but to ignore the role the Russians played in beating the Germans is simply burying ones head in the sand. My comment was based purely on the fact that had the Russians not been tying up most of the German army in the east, when we invaded mainland Europe, many of those troops would have been on the Western front and the American and British troops (along with the others who fought alongside them) would have suffered even heavier casualties than they did. Most of the objectives that were intended to be reached on the first day (Caen, Bayeau etc) were not achieved until some time later. Had German forces been double or triple the numbers they actually were, as would have been likely without the Russians tying up so many, it is unlikely that Overlord would have succeeded and the German defences would have held.
The 5th Army would also have met with more resistance at Salerno the previous year, for example, and maybe the Germans would have had enough forces to stand and fight longer than they did.
I mean no offence to you and your fellow Americans, your contribution was very much needed, and welcomed, as was that of everybody who fought on the Allies side. I merely meant that without the (numerically) biggest army in the war (Russia) fighting the Germans on the Eastern front, those on the Western front would have had to face the entire German army, rather than about a quarter of it.
I apologise if giving the Russians some credit for causing the vast majority of the German casualties during the war caused you offense, none was meant. However, to call me "amazingly ignorant" because I believe that it wasn't America, or Britain, that did the most damage to Hitler's aims in WW2, but Russia, I do find offensive. You only have to consider the numbers.
Taking the whole war into account, America lost around 400,000 military personnel, the UK lost around 325,000. Those are high figures and I for one am grateful to all those who gave their lives in the fight to defeat Hitler. However, those numbers (horrific though they are, when you consider the personal losses to families etc) are dwarfed by the approximately 8.5 - 10.5 million Russian military personnel, who gave their lives for the cause. In the process they caused the vast majority of the roughly 4.5 million German military losses during the war.
If you truly believe that the Russians played no part in Hitler's defeat, because they weren't there in Italy, Africa or the Pacific, then I am sorry but it is you that is being amazingly ignorant