RUSSIAN PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin recently criticised the re-writing of history. Timely, for Victory Day, a masterpiece of fairy-tale history was set to take place two weeks later on May 9.
I suggest that Finland declares March 13 Victory Day. On that day in 1940, this sparsely peopled nation repelled and routed Stalin’s invading Red Army.
Finnish defence forces, mostly farmers and foresters, were outnumbered 3/1 in troops, 30/1 aircraft, 100/1 tanks. Yet, within 12 weeks the badly mauled Red Army retreated and Stalin capitulated.
Russians might consider March 12 for revelry. On that day in 1940 U.S President Roosevelt signed the Lend Lease Act. Inked 10 months before America’s entry into the war the Act guaranteed the USSR unlimited resources in support of Soviet territorial expansionism.
Given such assurances, Joe Stalin one year later, placed 4.5 million Red Army troops on Europe’s borders; the invasion and occupation of which was scheduled for July 1941.
Predictably, Germany took Napoleon’s advice: ‘he who hits first hits twice’. On June 22, 1941, Germany pre-emptively struck. Within 12 weeks the Red Army was routed and swept back to the gates of Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad.
An irony Russians prefer not to mention is that Soviet General Andrei Vlasov, eulogised for his defence of Moscow, later defected to the Reich taking his armies with him.
When Victory Day is celebrated whose victory is it? Recognition ought to go to U.S President Roosevelt and Britain’s wartime premier Winston Churchill. Such was the volume of aid sent to the near defeated USSR that Soviet dictator Joe Stalin and Marshal Georgy Zhukov gave credit where credit was due.
Chief of Soviet General Staff Marshal Georgy K. Zhukov, in his memoirs, says ‘U.S aid to the Soviet Union during World War II was crucial to the victory over Nazi Germany.’
As reported in the Los Angeles Times (Oct 20, 1987) Josef Stalin wrote to Roosevelt: “We would have been in a difficult position without American gunpowder, we could not have produced the quantities of ammunition we needed.
“Without U.S Studebakers we would have had nothing with which to pull our artillery. They largely provided our transport at the front, producing steels, necessary for the most diverse needs of war, also involved certain U.S supplies.”
Albert L. Weeks in his Russia’s Life-Saver: Lend-Lease Aid to the USSR: “The victory over Nazi Germany was achieved through the economic power of the United States who, for reasons that defy logic, made the ultimate sacrifice to keep in power a regime as brutal as their Nazi enemy.”