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Posted: January 24th, 2024

The Impact of the Second World War on the Soviet Countries

The Impact of the Second World War on the Soviet Countries

The Second World War was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945 and involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. It was the deadliest war in human history, with an estimated 70 million deaths, most of them civilians. The war had a profound impact on the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the world, especially on the Soviet Union and its allies.

The Soviet Union played a crucial role in the war, as it was one of the main targets of Nazi Germany’s aggression and expansionism. The war began for the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, when Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, a surprise attack that aimed to conquer the vast territories of the USSR and exploit its resources. The invasion caught the Soviet leadership unprepared and resulted in huge losses of territory, population and military equipment. The German army advanced rapidly and reached the outskirts of Moscow by December 1941.

However, the Soviet Union managed to resist and repel the German offensive, thanks to its enormous human and material resources, its harsh climate and terrain, its patriotic mobilization and its Western allies’ support. The Soviet Union also launched counterattacks that inflicted heavy casualties on the German army and pushed it back from Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad. These battles were among the largest and bloodiest in history and marked a turning point in the war.

The Soviet Union continued to liberate its occupied territories and pursue the German army across Eastern Europe until it reached Berlin in April 1945. The war in Europe ended on 8 May 1945, when Germany surrendered unconditionally. The Soviet Union also entered the war against Japan in August 1945, after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. The Soviet army invaded Manchuria and Korea and forced Japan to surrender on 2 September 1945.

The war had a devastating impact on the Soviet Union and its people. It is estimated that around 20 million Soviet citizens died as a result of the war, more than any other country. Most of them were civilians who perished from starvation, disease, bombing, massacres and deportation. The war also caused massive destruction of infrastructure, industry, agriculture and housing. The Soviet economy suffered a severe setback and required a long period of reconstruction.

The war also had significant political and social consequences for the Soviet Union. It strengthened Stalin’s dictatorship and increased his cult of personality. It also enhanced the prestige and influence of the Soviet Union in world affairs, as it emerged as one of the victorious powers and a leader of the socialist bloc. The war also fostered a sense of national unity and pride among the Soviet people, who endured immense hardships and sacrifices for their country’s survival.

The Second World War was a watershed event in modern history that shaped the world order for decades to come. It also left a lasting legacy on the Soviet Union and its allies, who experienced both tragedy and triumph during the war.

References:

– Davis Center Analysis (2020). The Soviet Role in World War II: Realities and Myths. Retrieved from https://daviscenter.fas.harvard.edu/insights/soviet-role-world-war-ii-realities-and-myths
– Wikipedia (2021). Soviet Union in World War II. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Union_in_World_War_II
– GCSE History by Clever Lili (n.d.). The Impact of the Second World War on the USSR. Retrieved from https://www.gcsehistory.com/faq/ww2impactussr.html

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