|Full Name||Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic|
|Alliance||Soviet Union - Major Member Nation|
|Entry into WW2||17 Sep 1939|
|Population in 1939||109,300,000|
|Military Deaths in WW2||10,700,000|
|Civilian Deaths in WW2||12,500,000|
|- Civ Deaths from Holocaust||1,000,000|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Russia of the World War 2 era was governed by the Soviet Union, or specifically, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic which was the head of the Soviet Union. The new Russian government came to power after the February Revolution of 1917 that overthrew Tsar Nicholas II of Imperialist Russia and the October Revolution of 1917 that placed Vladimir Lenin in power, and the Soviet Union was formed in Dec 1922. Through various industrial and economic reforms, Russia rose to the status of a power. Joseph Stalin, Russia's leader since the late 1920s, kept the Russian political scene relatively stable and kept himself in power by deploying brutal tactics to purge his political enemies. In the 1930s, Western European nations began to build a distrust of the expansionist communist ideology, which included both the Anglo-French alliance as well as German, two sides which would eventually fight against each other in the upcoming European War. A preliminary showdown took place in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, where Germany and Russia each supported opposing sides in the conflict and used the Spanish Civil War as testing grounds for new weapons and new tactics. Surprising the world, Russia and Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on 24 Aug 1939, which included a secret clause that divided Eastern Europe between Russia and Germany; the clause was activated at the start of the European War as Germany invaded Poland, bringing Russia into WW2 on 17 Sep 1939 on the side of Germany.
In the east, the Japanese Army eyed Russian Siberia along with its resources with envy. After several failed attempts at challenging the Russian forces in the region, plus the shifting favor for a southward expansion, Japan eventually signed a cease fire with Russia. The two countries remained at peace for all but the final few days of World War 2 when Russia broke the treaty and attacked Japan by surprise.
In Northern Europe, Russia engaged in war with Finland in the Winter War over territorial disputes near Leningrad, which played a role in Finland siding with Germany down the road when Germany launched Operation Barbarossa against Russia on 22 Jun 1941.
When Operation Barbarossa began, Russia looked to the Western Allies for help. As the German forces rolled across the Russian borders, initially the Russian troops fell back time after time. But when the siege of Leningrad became stagnant and the attack on Moscow was stalled, Russian troops began to turn the tide. Many consider the Battle of Stalingrad the definitive turning point where the Russian troops dealt their German counterparts a crushing defeat. From that point on, Russia put Germany on the defensive until the Battle of Berlin that ended the war.
In Asia, Russia declared war on Japan on 8 Aug 1945, catching the Japanese by surprise, launching Operation August Storm that speedily captured Manchuria from Japan. The declaration of war on Japan by Russia was among the key factors for Japan's surrender on 14 Aug 1945.
After the war, Russia, as the head of the Soviet Union, emerged as a world power. The countries Russia liberated from Germany became puppet states answering to Moscow, including East Germany. The new found superpower status did not come without a price, however, for Russia suffered the highest number of deaths as a direct result of World War 2 among all nations involved. For decades to come, Russia was to lead the communist countries in the Cold War against United States and her allies.
Events Taken Place in Russia
|BA-20||Kliment Voroshilov||T-20 Komsomolets||T-35|
Territories, Possessions, and Nations Under the Influence of Russia
|Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant||Factory|
|Lefortovo Prison||Prison Camp|
|Leningrad Kirov Factory||Factory|
|Leningrad Obukhov Factory||Factory|
|Lubyanka Building||Government Building, Prison Camp|
|Ostashkov Special Camp||Prison Camp|
|Stalingrad Tractor Factory||Factory|
|Vorkuta Forced Labor Camp||Prison Camp|
Russia in World War II Interactive Map
Visitor Submitted Comments
All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.
- » Wreck of USS Houston Identified (19 Aug 2014)
- » Chester Nez's Passing (4 Jun 2014)
- » Bill Guarnere's Passing (9 Mar 2014)
- » See all news
- » 797 biographies
- » 310 events
- » 30,678 timeline entries
- » 697 ships
- » 308 aircraft models
- » 164 vehicle models
- » 282 weapon models
- » 82 historical documents
- » 76 facilities
- » 352 book reviews
- » 235 maps
- » 19,559 photos, 1,618 in color
Thomas Dodd, late 1945