The Great Patriotic War was a crucial part of World War II (1939-1945). It began on June 22, 1941, when Germany launched an attack on the Soviet Union in violation of all prevailing treaties. Germany’s allies in the war were Romania, Italy, Slovakia, which joined the war on June 23, Finland (June 25), Hungary (June 27) and Norway (August 16).
The Great Patriotic War lasted nearly four years and was the largest armed confrontation in history. Between 8 million and 13 million people simultaneously fought in different periods of the war over an area that stretched from the Barents Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south. The confronting armies had between 6,000 and 20,000 tanks and assault guns, between 85,000 and 165,000 pieces of artillery and mortars, and between 7,000 and 19,000 aircraft.
Moscow to Host Victory Day Military Parade on May 9
The Blitzkrieg, or the “lightning war,” that was planned by Germany to defeat the Soviet Union within a few months, went awry almost immediately in 1941. The staunch defense of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), the Arctic region, Kiev, Odessa and Sevastopol, as well as the battle of Smolensk, rendered the Blitzkrieg plans obsolete.
The Soviet army stood its ground, eventually pushing the enemy back, defeating Nazi troops near Moscow, Stalingrad (now Volgograd) and Leningrad, as well as in the Caucasus, in the Battle of Kursk, in Ukraine on the right (West) bank of the Dnieper River,…