Monday, June 22, 2009


On June 22, 1941, 68 years ago today, Adolf Hitler and his mob of sociopaths demonstrated why you should never believe your own PR and began the Nazi invasion of the USSR. Hitler believed after taking 2 countries without firing a shot and several more using innovative blitzkrieg tactics, his armies were invincible and he had "only to kick in the door" and the Soviet Union would crumble. He forgot that the thing that has protected Russia for millenia is how vast the country is and how harsh it is to invaders once the first snows fall.

By the time his little gambit was done, tens of millions of people would be dead, Germany would be partitioned for an entire generation, and Eastern Europe would take a body blow of oppression that still lingers.

I've been in Russia, and every little village has some sort of memorial to the civilian and military cost of the war. Germany is littered with mournful reminders of not only the German dead, but the innocent victims of German nationalism run amuck. France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, and all of the other countries in Europe have similar scars on their history and collective psyches.

For those of you who listen to podcasts, Dan Carlin over at Hardcore History is doing a multi-episode discussion of fighting at the Russian Front. Go, listen. He puts things into a very human perspective.

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