In this installment of the "Why We Fight" propaganda series, we learn about the events on the Russian front of World War II. We learn about Russia's heroic resistance to invasion in the past and how those qualities were called upon in the current war. We also learn about Russian tenacity and their determination to win against the seemingly invincible forces of Nazi Germany in the bloodiest fighting of the war.
Running Time: 83 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: Approved
In 1939, Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with Russia, giving himself time to mount an offensive against the European countries to his West. With all but Britain defeated and subjugated to German rule, Hitler turned his sights once again to Russia. Russia would be extremely valuable to the Fuehrer, in terms of size, raw materials and manpower. His world view of the German master race left every other country on the planet subject to his vision of supplying slave labor for the Nazi cause.
The invasion of Russia began on June 22, 1941 with the same strategy that proved so successful throughout Europe - pincer attack the enemy on opposing fronts, then circle the enemy to elicit surrender. The Russians however came up with an effective counter strategy. Rather than committing to a single line of defense, they initiated a series of defensive lines positioned one behind the other, so that if one of their positions was breached, it could join up with the one behind it to increase it's strength. Additionally, knowing the ferocity of the German army, Russia's leaders weren't as concerned about saving their cities as much as defeating the enemy. With that in mind, the Russians themselves destroyed much of their own infrastructure - fields, farms and factories - rather than have them fall into Nazi hands.
With the invasion of Russia, the legend of Nazi invincibility was finally shattered. The city of Leningrad emerged from a seventeen month German siege still free, while Stalingrad, a modern Russian city named after it's present day leader, Josef Stalin, also survived the Nazi onslaught. The humiliating Nazi defeat resulted in twenty three German divisions captured, a total of three hundred thirty thousand men.
Yet the Russian victory came at a high cost. To see the citizens of Leningrad and Stalingrad grieve over their cities' destruction and the deaths of loved ones is excruciating. It is totally unimaginable, watching from the comfort of one's living room, to understand what it must have been like to not only survive the sub-freezing temperatures of the Russian winter, but to carry on a front line offensive at the same time. One can only imagine what America's new soldiers might have been thinking at the time as they watched these horrors unfold, while preparing to invade Europe in the name of freedom and liberty. (imdb.com)
What an interesting documentary from the 40s. I learned so much. Thanks A2Zcds.com!
CAST & CREW:
Julius J. Epstein
Philip G. Epstein
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