From a friend:
When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, it was one dictatorship ruled by a madman invading another dictatorship ruled by yet another madman.
But it has been said that though Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, he ended up fighting the Russian people. That made all the difference.
Aside from Moscow (which Hitler literally planned to level and turn into a lake if he had captured it), the city the Little Corporal most wanted to capture was Leningrad. This city (formally St. Petersburg) was considered a birthplace of Communism and Hitler’s plan was to cut off the food supply and allow the population to starve. This was the plan even if the city was captured by Nazi forces.
But, though the German armies at first seemed likely to overrun the Soviets with ease, the Russian people soon began to fight back with unbelievable courage and tenacity. When the Germans approached Leningrad, untrained and often unarmed young men (fighting from fortifications hastily dug by civilians) held off the enemy for nearly a month. When the Germans finally broke through this defensive line, they surrounded Leningrad and cut off supplies, but were unable to actually capture the city. For 27 MONTHS, the starving population fought tooth and nail. Russian casualties in Leningrad were higher than the combined casualties for the Americans and the British during the entire war. 800,000 of the 1.5 million Russian casualties were civilians.
But Leningrad held and was relieved by the Soviet Army in late January of 1944. Along with the battle of Stalingrad, weapons and supplies delivered by the Allies and the Russian winters, it was one of the major factors leading to the defeat of the Nazi armies on the Eastern front.
A commenter replied:
Interesting, especially considering that I read this portion of text, written DURING that war, just yesterday. From Isabel Paterson’s “The God of The Machine” (1943) is an absolutely fabulous book! How is it we all know about Ayn Rand and Rose Wilder Lane, yet it seems so few have ever heard of Isabel? It starts off a bit difficult to get into (almost boring, in a way), but once she gets going… …look out!