By Karthik Venkatesh
Let me put an end to this.
Here is an infographic about the perception of who defeated Nazi Germany. This opinion poll was taken in France.
Sondage en France: “Quelle est, selon vous, la nation qui a le plus contribué à la défaite de l’Allemagne en 1945 ?”
Survey in France: “Which, according to you, is the nation that contributed most to the defeat of Germany in 1945?”
Years and years of propaganda in the West has made people completely forget the sheer brutality of war on the Eastern Front and the sacrifice of the Soviet Union.
World War II military deaths in Europe by front/year (millions)
The Red Army broke the back of the Wehrmacht and SS. Around 80% of the German war losses were in the Eastern Front.
In fact, the D-Day and the subsequent liberation of France was done with a lot of struggle and the German army faced by the Allied Invasion Force in 1944/45 was a shadow of itself in 1941. The best of the troops and officers were killed in the Eastern Front.
The Soviets decimated the German army. The Americans, the British, the French, and the Canadians did contribute a lot, nobody is downplaying that, but to say that Americans put the most effort in defeating the Nazis is just purely wrong and insults the millions of heroic lives that were lost.
Americans contributed with material, yes. But a lot of people think that the lend-lease programme was the only thing that saved the Soviet Union. Remember that these were not hand-outs from the Americans.
The Soviet war records state that the lend lease programme helped the Red Army significantly but that’s not to say that it is the only thing that saved them. Also, it is hard to verify the impact of the lend-lease programme.
The US sold $31.4 billion worth of food, oil, and materiel to the Great Britain. It sold $11 billion worth of goods to the Soviet Union.
I am in no way downplaying the US contribution to the war effort. But the Soviet Union’s effort is way too big and that is severely downplayed in the western countries.