The 1941 Project

 

The true history of WW2 begins in 1941, when the Nazis attacked the blameless and unsuspecting nation of the USSR – the English translation is FBNS, or “Flawed but Noble Socialists.”

No matter how much you squint, you will not find the United States on that pie chart.

It’s a remarkable tweet, no? The first thing that leaps out is the equation of “death” with “contribution to victory,” as if suffering the most casualties is how you beat an enemy. A Patton quote comes to mind.

Then there’s the Chinese flag.

Then there’s the implication that Germany was somehow 19% responsible for defeating fascism because they lost a lot of people as well.

She also retweeted the totally awesome Russian embassy commemorating the victory. Huh: I thought Russia was BAD? Silly Moose. Post-Communist Russia is bad. Soviet Russia was good, because they were so seriously opposed to fascism. Okay . . . so what about the occupation of the nations and peoples after the war?

(rapid blinking)

Russia saved the world from fascism.

Look, I have an admiration for the Russian people’s ability to endure centuries of blows to the head by stupid, mulish leaders, and still have the stones to fight back against invaders, but the USSR was led by an utter sociopath who would have fed 25 million more into the meat grinder if he meant he could live in heated rooms with soft cushions and smooth sheets and roast duckling whenever he wanted, so maybe we ought not to valorize the death count? Anyway. What about the enslavement of half of Europe after the war?

(rapid blinking)

You have to understand how Russia was scarred by the loss of so many, and alarmed by the aggressive posture of the West.

Yes, our aggressive, reckless, provocative policy of building democratic institutions that were not predicated on Marxist-Leninist theories of collectivism that somehow always turned out to be oligarchical, atheistic, and repressive. What of Czechoslovakia in ’68, Poland in the early ’80s?

(rapid blinking)

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  1. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    And of course there’s that pesky Ribbentrop-Molotov Treaty in 1939 that got the whole thing kicked off in Europe. Without that, Germany wouldn’t attack Poland. (And the Soviet Union wouldn’t have invaded with Nazi approval six countries prior to Operation Barbarosa. And been kicked out of the League of Nations. )

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Go, man, go!

    • #2
  3. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    James Lileks: What about the enslavement of half of Europe after the war?

    That wasn’t enslavement.  It just exposed them to the glories of Marxism-Leninism.

    • #3
  4. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Are you sure these tweets didn’t come from The Onion?

    • #4
  5. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    James Lileks: No matter how much you squint, you will not find the United States on that pie chart

    And US deaths substantially exceed some of those countries’:

    https://www.nationalww2museum.org/students-teachers/student-resources/research-starters/research-starters-worldwide-deaths-world-war

    • #5
  6. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    James Lileks: Then there’s the Chinese flag. 

    The communists basically sat out the war hoarding the weapons that Stalin directly provided or Stalin’s agents duped Roosevelt into sending them:

    https://thediplomat.com/2014/09/the-ccp-didnt-fight-imperial-japan-the-kmt-did/

    • #6
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    WOW

    • #7
  8. American Abroad Thatcher
    American Abroad
    @AmericanAbroad

    American Lend Lease aid was critical to Russia’s survival since the command economy was so unproductive.  American pressure on Japan, among other factors, prevented Japan from opening a second front against the Soviets after the Nazi invasion which almost surely would have knocked Russia out of the war.

    Tweets like this remind me of the adage “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

    • #8
  9. American Abroad Thatcher
    American Abroad
    @AmericanAbroad

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    James Lileks: Then there’s the Chinese flag.

    The communists basically sat out the war hoarding the weapons that Stalin directly provided or Stalin’s agents duped Roosevelt into sending them:

    https://thediplomat.com/2014/09/the-ccp-didnt-fight-imperial-japan-the-kmt-did/

    A Mao quote:  “Our fixed policy should be 70 per cent expansion, 20 per cent dealing with the GMD and 10 per cent resisting the Japanese.”  Not that Chiang Kai-shek did much either, but Mao’s was a propaganda victory, not a military victory against Japan.

    • #9
  10. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    I don’t really keep up with all of the sages of Twitter, but who the bleep is Margaret Kimberly?  (Besides someone who is utterly historically illiterate.)

    • #10
  11. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    American Abroad (View Comment):

    American Lend Lease aid was critical to Russia’s survival since the command economy was so unproductive. American pressure on Japan, among other factors, prevented Japan from opening a second front against the Soviets after the Nazi invasion which almost surely would have knocked Russia out of the war.

    Tweets like this remind me of the adage “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

    You should read Sean McMeekin’s Stalin’s War that just came out. I reviewed it in What are you reading a week or two ago.

    The Soviets defeated the Japanese in 1939 and signed a nonaggression treaty with the Japanese. This resulted in a shake up in the Japanese government with the navy taking over from the army. That sent them on the southern strategy which is what Stalin wanted.

    Soviets were very good in fact at producing weapons. But Lend Lease was critical in 1941 and 1942 to Soviet survival and Stalin acknowledged it to American officials. The Soviets had vastly more men and materials than the Germans. They just used it profligately.

    • #11
  12. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    James, I’m respectfully going to disagree.   The premise of the tweet – that the USSR did most of the heavy lifting to defeat the Nazis – is true.   This is not to denigrate the contributions of the other Allies, it’s just the weight of numbers – and not the ridiculous argument based on casualties detailed in the tweet.   Once the Nazis invaded Russia, 2/3 of Nazi infantry divisions were committed to the Eastern Front.   3/4 Nazi armored divisions were committed to the Eastern Front.   Most of those Nazi formations  were destroyed there.

    https://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations/134-campaigns-a-operations/campaigns-a-operations/2085-number-of-german-divisions-by-front-in-world-war-ii

    My Dad served in Europe in WWII.    In the weeks immediately following VE Day he was part of a joint US/USSR MP unit. He was of Russian extraction and spoke Russian, Polish, Slovak, and German.  Those few weeks close contact taught him to despise the Soviets with an incandescent rage.   However, he was grateful for all the Nazis they had killed … that he and the rest of the Americans didn’t have to face.

    • #12
  13. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    James, I’m respectfully going to disagree. The premise of the tweet – that the USSR did most of the heavy lifting to defeat the Nazis – is true. This is not to denigrate the contributions of the other Allies, it’s just the weight of numbers – and not the ridiculous argument based on casualties detailed in the tweet. Once the Nazis invaded Russia, 2/3 of Nazi infantry divisions were committed to the Eastern Front. 3/4 Nazi armored divisions were committed to the Eastern Front. Most of those Nazi were destroyed there.

     

    Much like the Battle of Salamis or the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the Russia theater of WWII was a pivotal moment, even if not the winning moment.

    Unlike Salamis or the Armada, it was not won by an Act of God alone, but by the hubris of a megalomaniac thinking he could defeat a Russian winter where brilliant generals before him had failed.

    At least in Salamis and the British straits, the weather wasn’t quite so predictable.

    • #13
  14. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    WOW

    Yes. Ignorance Revision of history at an extreme AOC level. Send her to Putin.

    • #14
  15. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    James, I’m respectfully going to disagree. The premise of the tweet – that the USSR did most of the heavy lifting to defeat the Nazis – is true. This is not to denigrate the contributions of the other Allies, it’s just the weight of numbers – and not the ridiculous argument based on casualties detailed in the tweet. Once the Nazis invaded Russia, 2/3 of Nazi infantry divisions were committed to the Eastern Front. 3/4 Nazi armored divisions were committed to the Eastern Front. Most of those Nazi were destroyed there.

    https://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations/134-campaigns-a-operations/campaigns-a-operations/2085-number-of-german-divisions-by-front-in-world-war-ii

    My Dad served in Europe in WWII. In the weeks immediately following VE Day he was part of a joint US/USSR MP unit. He was of Russian extraction and spoke Russian, Polish, Slovak, and German. Those few weeks close contact taught him to despise the Soviets with an incandescent rage. However, he was grateful for all the Nazis they had killed … that he and the rest of the Americans didn’t have to.

    So … you’re in essence saying that Hitler did the most heavy lifting to defeat the Nazis by starting the war on his Eastern Front. It was not the doing of the USSR. They merely defended their own country against Hitler’s aggression, otherwise the Soviets would have done nothing to stop Hitler.

    • #15
  16. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    James, I’m respectfully going to disagree. The premise of the tweet – that the USSR did most of the heavy lifting to defeat the Nazis – is true. This is not to denigrate the contributions of the other Allies, it’s just the weight of numbers – and not the ridiculous argument based on casualties detailed in the tweet. Once the Nazis invaded Russia, 2/3 of Nazi infantry divisions were committed to the Eastern Front. 3/4 Nazi armored divisions were committed to the Eastern Front. Most of those Nazi were destroyed there.

    https://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations/134-campaigns-a-operations/campaigns-a-operations/2085-number-of-german-divisions-by-front-in-world-war-ii

    My Dad served in Europe in WWII. In the weeks immediately following VE Day he was part of a joint US/USSR MP unit. He was of Russian extraction and spoke Russian, Polish, Slovak, and German. Those few weeks close contact taught him to despise the Soviets with an incandescent rage. However, he was grateful for all the Nazis they had killed … that he and the rest of the Americans didn’t have to.

    So … you’re in essence saying that Hitler did the most heavy lifting to defeat the Nazis by starting the war on his Eastern Front. It was not the doing of the USSR. They merely defended their own country against Hitler’s aggression, otherwise the Soviets would have done nothing to stop Hitler.

    I definitely think this. Germany was doing a pretty good job at the war thing until Russia. I think it was ego related. Brilliant strategists made low by wanting to be the first to accomplish something no great strategist has accomplished before.

    • #16
  17. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    James, I’m respectfully going to disagree. The premise of the tweet – that the USSR did most of the heavy lifting to defeat the Nazis – is true. This is not to denigrate the contributions of the other Allies, it’s just the weight of numbers – and not the ridiculous argument based on casualties detailed in the tweet. Once the Nazis invaded Russia, 2/3 of Nazi infantry divisions were committed to the Eastern Front. 3/4 Nazi armored divisions were committed to the Eastern Front. Most of those Nazi were destroyed there.

     

    This is totally nuts. The USSR only was able to win because of the support of America and the UK. By the end of WWII it was running out of men. The United States of America won the war through its unbombable industrial might. We not only all but single handedly defeated the Empire of Japan, we also turned the tide in the Atlantic and forced Germany to be divided. 

    The New World coming to the aid and the liberation of the old. Stalin was a bad a monster as Hitler and deserve no accolades of any sort. The soldiers who fought and died for Russia bore the burden. Communism made it harder and anyone giving it any credit is supporting the most monstrous creed in history.

    • #17
  18. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    The key to victory in WW2 was the British standing alone against the Nazis from June 1940 to June 1941. If the British had signed an armistice with the Nazis, it is much less likely the Russians would have been able to resist the Germans. While it’s true that the Russians accounted for most of the Wehrmacht losses, it was the RAF and the USAAF that decimated the Luftwaffe, not the Soviet Air Force, which only became effective after the Western allies had destroyed Nazi air power. Would Lend-Lease have happened without the British? I doubt it. And presumably an armistice with the British would have restored trade, so the Nazis would have had access to British oil, which was their real Achilles Heel. I don’t see the Russians surviving the full might of the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe, fully supplied with oil.

    • #18
  19. KevinKrisher Coolidge
    KevinKrisher
    @KevinKrisher

    Hang On (View Comment):

    And of course there’s that pesky Ribbentrop-Molotov Treaty in 1939 that got the whole thing kicked off in Europe. Without that, Germany wouldn’t attack Poland. (And the Soviet Union wouldn’t have invaded with Nazi approval six countries prior to Operation Barbarosa. And been kicked out of the League of Nations. )

    It’s astonishing how people forget that the Soviet Union had a limited alliance with Germany for the first two years of WWII. This included a joint Soviet-German victory parade celebrating the two countries’ invasion of Poland, the Soviet sponsorship of a secret German naval base, and Stalin’s serious consideration of Hitler’s invitation to formally join the Axis.

    This did not come out of nowhere. Shortly after its establishment, the Soviet Union signed the Treaty of Rapallo with Germany, which was in part designed to circumvent the limitations that the Treaty of Versailles had imposed on German militarism. Many of the German troops who invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 had, in fact, been trained there during the 1920s and 1930s.

    • #19
  20. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    James, I’m respectfully going to disagree. The premise of the tweet – that the USSR did most of the heavy lifting to defeat the Nazis – is true. This is not to denigrate the contributions of the other Allies, it’s just the weight of numbers – and not the ridiculous argument based on casualties detailed in the tweet. Once the Nazis invaded Russia, 2/3 of Nazi infantry divisions were committed to the Eastern Front. 3/4 Nazi armored divisions were committed to the Eastern Front. Most of those Nazi were destroyed there.

     

    This is totally nuts. The USSR only was able to win because of the support of America and the UK. By the end of WWII it was running out of men. The United States of America won the war through its unbombable industrial might. We not only all but single handedly defeated the Empire of Japan, we also turned the tide in the Atlantic and forced Germany to be divided.

    The New World coming to the aid and the liberation of the old. Stalin was a bad a monster as Hitler and deserve no accolades of any sort. The soldiers who fought and died for Russia bore the burden. Communism made it harder and anyone giving it any credit is supporting the most monstrous creed in history.

    The Allies made a temporary pact with Beelzebub to fight Lucifer.   I’m certainly not disputing the fact that the Soviets would not have been able to withstand the Nazi onslaught without the material aid supplied by the Americans.   Nor am I in disagreement about the evils of Communism in general and Stalin in particular.    Just because they were evil does not make the Nazi divisions they destroyed any less dead.   Be happy that the wolves were eating each other.  Refusing to simply acknowledge the mathematical facts of the situation on the Eastern Front is the real historical revisionism.    

    • #20
  21. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    James Lileks: No matter how much you squint, you will not find the United States on that pie chart.

    I didn’t realize none of our soldiers and sailors died in World War 2.  I guess those people who believe The Big Lie of 12/7/41 are called “Pearlers” . . .

    • #21
  22. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    The key to victory in WW2 was the British standing alone against the Nazis from June 1940 to June 1941. If the British had signed an armistice with the Nazis, it is much less likely the Russians would have been able to resist the Germans. While it’s true that the Russians accounted for most of the Wehrmacht losses, it was the RAF and the USAAF that decimated the Luftwaffe, not the Soviet Air Force, which only became effective after the Western allies had destroyed Nazi air power. Would Lend-Lease have happened without the British? I doubt it. And presumably an armistice with the British would have restored trade, so the Nazis would have had access to British oil, which was their real Achilles Heel. I don’t see the Russians surviving the full might of the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe, fully supplied with oil.

    Or would a British-German armistice been like the Treaty of Amiens halting war temporarily only to be resumed? Who knows.

    The Soviet military was much, much more motorized than the German military. Part of this was access to petroleum and Lend-Lease, but also Soviet manufacturing capability. The designs were mainly American though.

    • #22
  23. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    James Lileks: You have to understand how Russia was scarred by the loss of so many...

    The scarring of WWII was so deep that it reached back in time to cause those innocent and peaceful Communists to murder and terrorize their own citizens. /sarcasm

    (We can save for later a discussion of their murderous policies towards the people of Poland etc.)

    • #23
  24. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    If Stalin wasn’t a corrupt incompetent sociopath the USSR would have lost a few less million Did she mention that?

    • #24
  25. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    If Stalin wasn’t a corrupt incompetent sociopath the USSR would have lost a few less million Did she mention that?

    Sociopathic American communists admire Stalin.

    • #25
  26. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    If Stalin wasn’t a corrupt incompetent sociopath the USSR would have lost a few less million Did she mention that?

    Sociopathic American communists admire Stalin.

    Admirers of Communism aren’t on the sociopathic spectrum form what I’ve heard. It’s a different kind of evil. I think that Stalin’s indifference to human life would put him on the sociopathic spectrum. However, maybe we all have sociopathic tendencies that are latent. Supposedly normal folks getting all murdery has happened alot history. 

    American communists probably wouldn’t show up with some antisocial disorder if they took a test. But many of them would get murdery if they had power. However, I have an amateurish knowledge of the psychopathic spectrum. 

    • #26
  27. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Unfortunately this tweet came to late to save thousands upon thousands of trees. Paper that was used to tell personal stories, as well as the history of strategies in a world wide conflict.

    It is a reminder that there is no shortage in this world of useful, and not so useful idiots.

    • #27
  28. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    If Stalin wasn’t a corrupt incompetent sociopath the USSR would have lost a few less million Did she mention that?

    Sociopathic American communists admire Stalin.

    Admirers of Communism aren’t on the sociopathic spectrum form what I’ve heard. It’s a different kind of evil. I think that Stalin’s indifference to human life would put him on the sociopathic spectrum. However, maybe we all have sociopathic tendencies that are latent. Supposedly normal folks getting all murdery has happened alot history.

    American communists probably wouldn’t show up with some antisocial disorder if they took a test. But many of them would get murdery if they had power. However, I have an amateurish knowledge of the psychopathic spectrum.

    I was being sarcastic–communists do, after all, deserve vilification. There are presumably many things which can lead people to embrace such a stupid and evil ideology.

    • #28
  29. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
    –George S. Patton

     

    • #29
  30. Dan Pierson Coolidge
    Dan Pierson
    @DanPierson

    In Denver we have a little memorial to all the Hungarians who were liberated by the Russians from their petite bourgeois cares such as life, home, family, culture etc.

    It’s in the most “liberal” part of town. I do wonder how long until the roving bands of ignorant nihilists tear it down or otherwise desecrate it.

    • #30