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Europe should remember Red Army’s crucial role in victory over the Nazis, says historian

On June 6, 1944, the troops of the Anti-Hitler Coalition landed in Normandy, that marked the opening of the Western Front in World War II

MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. The European countries occupied by the Nazis during WWII should not forget that the main contribution to the defeat of Hitler’s Germany was that of the Red Army, whose role the West is nowadays playing down in every way, the scientific director of the Russian Military-Historical Society, Mikhail Myagkov, told TASS on Thursday.

Exactly 75 years ago, on June 6, 1944, the troops of the Anti-Hitler Coalition landed in Normandy, that marked the opening of the Western (Second) Front in WW II.

"Of course, the opening of the Second Front eased our situation and brought the end of the war closer. But it is worth emphasizing that the Red Army itself would have achieved victory, even if the allies did not land," the historian said.

"Of course, our losses would have been bigger, and we appreciate the contribution of the Allies, they brought closer the day when the war ended," he added.

"But today the West forgets that the decisive contribution to turning the tide of the war, to liberating Europe was made because the German military machine was overturned on the Soviet-German front. This is not just strange, but this looks like a deliberate provocation, the task of which is to neutralize the value and contribution of the Soviet Union to victory in the Second World War," he said.

According to the historian, Europeans cite "Operation Overlord" to land allied forces in Normandy as the main battle of WWII, forgetting about the Battle of Stalingrad, the Battle of Kursk and other battles in the Soviet Union.

"A few years ago a survey asked what operation they saw as crucial in WWII. Fifty percent failed to answer, while the other 50% said - Operation Overlord. Neither Kursk, nor Stalingrad, nor the Battle of Moscow or Operation Bagration came to their minds. But how can Operation Overlord be the turning point, if the crucial moment had already been at Stalingrad and Kursk, when the Germans were defeated?"- Myagkov wondered.

He also reiterated that even after the opening of the Western Front, casualties among soldiers and officers of the Soviet Union remained the heaviest. "Let's think back: around 200,000-220,000 were killed and wounded in Allies’ Operation Overlord, while we lost more than a million Soviet soldiers - killed, missing, wounded - just in one Battle of Stalingrad. While the Germans and their allies lost a million-and-a-half. This comparison is very illustrative," Myagkov said.

"Let us take a look at other figures. More than 600 divisions of Germany and its allies were defeated and destroyed on the Soviet-German front, and only 176 divisions were defeated by the Allies on the Western Front," he went on to say. "So, we continued bearing the brunt of warfare. And now the West forgets about it, while they should remember," Myagkov stressed.