When the Western Allies successfully landed in Normandy 64 years ago, they overcame tossing seas, heavily fortified defenses, and murderous fire from determined defenders on the beaches. What they did not have to face on June 6, 1944 were the Luftwaffe or over 80% of the German armies. Today Time magazine's Jordan Bonfante reminds his Western readers of the main reasons why:
By measure of manpower, duration, territorial reach and casualties, [the Eastern Front] was as much as four times the scale of the conflict on the Western Front that opened with the Normandy invasion of June 1944. The Nazis' initial invasion of Russia, Operation Barbarossa, involved 3.2 million German troops and 3,000 aircraft, and even after the U.S.-led invasion of Western Europe, the vast majority of German military resources remained deployed against the Soviets. By war's end, according to historian Norman Davies, the U.S.S.R. had lost 11 million troops.
Read the rest of the article at Time magazine online.
Click on the extended post for links to other Russia Blog articles about World War II.