Welcome to the Strelets Forum.
Please feel free to discuss any aspect of 1/72 scale plastic figures, not simply Strelets.
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Anyone want to talk about toy soldiers ? how about a nice set of desert raiders, LRDG/SAS for starters....
I think we're just using this ONE thread to let off a bit of steam in these difficult times and Strelets are indulging us, bless them. Plenty of other threads with talk of figures, eras, SAS/LRDG etc...
It is worth noting that 9 May was a deliberate choice by the Soviet regime because it did not, on principle, want the same day as the West, as it did not accept the validity of the armistice, insisting on having its own one the next day.
I'm not trying to argue the rights and wrongs of this, particularly given decisive events on the eastern Front, but just pointing out that VE shows us that, from day one, there was going to be a problem!
Few regimes had clean hands, but Stalin's Russia was probably second only to Hitler in dirtiness. I remember the reaction of a friend and contemporary of mine who was Ukrainian and who, in adult life, had been allowed to learn for the first time about Stalin's genocide. She was in bits, poor thing. Everything she'd been taught at school had been a cynical lie.
In the West, in 1941, we were forced to re-invent a murderous despot as "Uncle Joe", because we found ourselves on the same side in the fight against an even greater evil.
The Russian people made an enormous sacrifices in WW2, so enormous that it is hard to comprehend, and they deserved their victory. If they had had a better leader, that sacrifice might not have needed to be so great, but it would have been great nonetheless. That commands immense respect. A people seldom deserves its leaders.
The Russian Federation is not the only place to have 9th May as 75th anniversary. The Channel Islands also celebrate their liberation as they were left until the 9th may for British forces to arrive and remove the German garrisons.
The armistice for Europe was signed on, 8 May 1945 at 11:16 p.m. Berlin time. However, it was at this time 01:16, on May 9, 1945. There is a will of Stalin, but there is also a will not to repeat history. The Germans could no longer say that political civilians betrayed the army, as had been done with the armistice of 11 November 1918. That is why Stalin did not recognize the armistice signed at Reims on 7 May 1945.
Moreover, we've got friends, that remember the moment of the end of the war as it was announced/celebrated in USSR at night on 9th of May. It was accompanied by improvised fireworks from all handguns, signal rockets, etc.
That's an interesting phenomenon, when with each subsequent year after the war and fewer actual witnesses the number of "suffering" because of Soviet occupation is ever increasing.
This, however, doesn't address the fact, how it happened, that at the end of the war apart from 2.388.443 German and 156.681 Austrian German POWs in Soviet captivity there were also:
69.977 Czechs & Slovaks
that were taken prisoners with arms in their hands.
These were NOT people forcefully mobilized for works - they were treated not as POWs.
Question remains, who actually killed 26,6 mil. of Soviet citizens, out of which only 9.168.400 were actual servicemen while the rest were civilians and not only Jews or Gypsies? At the moment a silent consensus is that the blame is entirely on the Germans, whereas in reality many, very many others were taking part in atrocities. People must have forgotten old saying, that for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
To put things in proper prospective, there were also POWs in Soviet captivity from Europe outside Soviet zone of occupation, namely: