Russia

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.

Source: Wikipedia.

People

Abakumov, ViktorLitvyak, LydiaRybalko, Pavel
Babadzhanian, HamazaspMerkulov, VsevolodSaburov, Maksim
Bagramyan, IvanMolotov, VyacheslavSbytov, Nikolai
Beria, LavrentiyNovikov, AlexanderShaposhnikov, Boris
Budanova, YekaterinaNovikov, PetrStalin, Joseph
Budyonny, SemyonOktyabrsky, FilipTimoshenko, Semyon
Chuikov, VasilyOumansky, ConstantineTupolev, Andrei
Derevyanko, KuzmaPavlov, DmitryVasilevsky, Aleksandr
Golikov, FilippPetrov, IvanVatutin, Nikolai
Isakov, IvanPokryshkin, AleksandrVoroshilov, Kliment
Kalinin, MikhailPonomarenko, PanteleimonVoznesensky, Nikolai
Khudyakov, SergeiRodionov, MikhailZhukov, Georgy
Konev, IvanRokossovsky, Konstantin
Kuznetsov, VasilyRotmistrov, Pavel

Events Taken Place in Russia

Battle of Lake Khasan29 Jul 1938 - 11 Aug 1938
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact23 Aug 1939
Chechen-Ingush Insurgency1 Jan 1940 - 29 Dec 1944
Katyn Massacre and Related Atrocities3 Apr 1940 - 19 May 1940
Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact13 Apr 1941
Operation Silver Fox22 Jun 1941 - 22 Sep 1941
Operation Barbarossa22 Jun 1941 - 30 Sep 1941
Arctic Convoys21 Aug 1941 - 30 May 1945
Siege of Leningrad4 Sep 1941 - 27 Jan 1944
First Moscow Conference29 Sep 1941 - 1 Oct 1941
Battle of Moscow30 Sep 1941 - 7 Jan 1942
Battle of Sevastopol30 Oct 1941 - 4 Jul 1942
Rzhev-Vyazma Offensive and the Demyansk Pocket9 Jan 1942 - 5 May 1942
Battle of Stalingrad17 Jul 1942 - 2 Feb 1943
Caucasus Campaign23 Jul 1942 - 9 Oct 1943
Second Moscow Conference12 Aug 1942 - 17 Aug 1942
Raid on Gorkiy4 Jun 1943 - 1 Jul 1943
Battle of Kursk4 Jul 1943 - 13 Jul 1943
Battle of Belgorod3 Aug 1943 - 14 Aug 1943
Third Moscow Conference18 Oct 1943 - 10 Nov 1943
Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust24 Jul 1944 - 29 Apr 1945
Fourth Moscow Conference9 Oct 1944 - 19 Oct 1944
Fifth Moscow Conference13 Jan 1945
Yalta Conference4 Feb 1945 - 11 Feb 1945

Aircraft

BIIl-2 ShturmovikMBR-2Su-2Yak-9
Be-4La-5MiG-1Tu-2
DB-3/Il-4La-7MiG-3Yak-1
I-15LaGG-1Pe-2 PeshkaYak-3
I-16LaGG-3SB-2Yak-7

Ships

KaganovichMaxim GorkiyShCh-307ShCh-401
KalininMolotovShCh-317Shchuka-class
KirovS-7ShCh-320Sokrushitelnyi
Kirov-classShCh-205ShCh-324Voroshilov

Vehicles

BA-10Iosif StalinT-18T-34T-50
BA-20Kliment VoroshilovT-20 KomsomoletsT-35
BA-64SU-100T-26T-40
BM-13/8/31 KatyushaSU-76T-27T-43
BystrokhodnySU-85T-28T-44

Weapons

122 mm Corps Gun M1931/37 (A-19) Field Gun76 mm Divisional Gun M1942 (ZiS-3) Field GunNagant M1895 Handgun
122 mm Howitzer M1909/37 Field Gun76 mm M1938 Anti-Aircraft GunPM-41 Launcher
122 mm Howitzer M1910/30 Field Gun76 mm Regimental Gun M1927 Field GunPPD Submachine Gun
122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) Field Gun85 mm M1939 (52-K) Anti-Aircraft GunPPS Submachine Gun
152 mm Gun M1935 (Br-2) Field Gun85 mm M1944 (KS-18) Anti-Aircraft GunPPSh-41 Submachine Gun
152 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-10) Field GunBM-37 LauncherRG-42 Grenade
203 mm Howitzer M1931 (B-4) Field GunDShK M1938 Machine GunRGD-33 Grenade
210 mm Gun M1939 Field GunDegtyaryov PTRD-41 Anti-Tank RifleRM-38 Launcher
37 mm M1939 (61-K) Anti-Aircraft GunDegtyaryov Pekhotny 'DP' Machine GunRPG-43 Grenade
37 mm Spade Mortar LauncherF1 GrenadeSG-43 Goryunov Machine Gun
45 mm M1942 (M-42) Anti-Tank GunMaxim M1910 Machine GunSimonov PTRS-41 Anti-Tank Rifle
57 mm Anti-Tank Gun M1943 (ZiS-2) Anti-Tank GunModel 1914 GrenadeTokarev SVT-40 Rifle
76 mm Divisional Gun M1936 (F-22) Field GunMosin-Nagant RifleTokarev TT-33 Handgun
76 mm Divisional Gun M1939 (F-22 USV) Field GunNR-40 Blade

Territories, Possessions, and Nations Under the Influence of Russia

ArmeniaKazakhstanTurkmenia
AzerbaijanKirghiziaUkraine
ByelorussiaMoldovaUzbekistan
GeorgiaTajikistan

Facilities

Chelyabinsk Tractor PlantFactory
Lefortovo PrisonPrison Camp
Leningrad Kirov FactoryFactory
Leningrad Obukhov FactoryFactory
Lubyanka BuildingGovernment Building, Prison Camp
Ostashkov Special CampPrison Camp
Stalingrad Tractor FactoryFactory
UralmashFactory
Vorkuta Forced Labor CampPrison Camp

Photographs

Prototype T-16 light tank, Leningrad Obukhov Factory, Leningrad, Russia, spring 1927T-28 medium tanks under construction, Kirov Plant, Leningrad, Russia, 1930sVyacheslav Molotov at the funeral of the crewmen of Soviet high-altitude balloon Osoaviakhim-1, Kremlin Wall Necropolis, Moscow, Russia, 2 Feb 1934Newly built tractors outside Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant, Chelyabinsk, Russia, 1930s
See all 73 photographs of Russia in World War II


Russia in World War II Interactive Map




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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. smallz says:
    12 Oct 2008 10:18:48 PM

    I think it is a little ridiculous to say that the Russians declaring war on Japan had anything to do with Japan surrendering. They attacked Manchuria, they never stepped foot on the mainland. Plus, there was the small act of two nuclear bombs being dropped on Japan by the U.S. So I seriously doubt that a six day offensive had a great deal of sway of Japanese leaders.
  2. Suvorov says:
    15 Feb 2009 04:23:17 PM

    Soviet Tanks was the best in the world thanks god that hitler anderstood Stalins plans and atacked him first preventing Europe or perhaps all planet from the red color.
  3. bruninsky says:
    5 Apr 2009 05:09:25 PM

    I do agree. Japan only surendrered after the atomic bombs. Nothing else.
  4. zloykloun says:
    7 May 2009 06:41:28 AM

    Russians great warriors. Vechnaya slava geroyam!
  5. ed says:
    12 Sep 2009 06:51:23 AM

    I would just ask a question. Does anyone know what the Russian Black Sea assault craft look like??? Not the bronekater, but the troop carriers. Or did the bronekaters carry the raiding force as wwll???!!
  6. Bill says:
    11 Jan 2010 04:14:46 PM

    Present day Russia can be traced back to the
    9th Century when the first "Russian Empire"
    was founded in (862AD) the Capitol was moved
    to Moscow in (1326AD).
    Ivan the IV, known as Ivan the Terrable was the first to call himself the "Tsar of all the Russians"
    Within 100 years territory grew from what
    is European Russia past the Ural Mountains
    into Sibera to reach the Pacific.
    The Capitol was moved to St. Petersburg in
    1712, and once again back to Moscow.
    Poland, the Baltic States and Finland were
    conquered by Peter the Great the accuisition
    of Alaska in 1784 more land was conquered Crimean Region expanded to the Caucasus,
    present day Turkmenistan and Kazachstan in
    the 1860's. Tsars also took large parts of
    China and Manchuria. Russia continued to be ruled by the Tsars, until World War I, the
    fall of the Tsar, the October Revolution of 1917, rise of the Communists, World War II,
    Defeat of Nazi Germany, Eastern Europe under Communist rule, Cold War and the Collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, to the present day
    Russian Federation.
    Note*
    European Russia is not a separate country,
    but rather the far western end of todays
    Russian Federation. The Russian dividing line
    between Europe and Asia is the Ural Mountains.
  7. Bill says:
    12 Jan 2010 10:42:02 AM

    CIS Commonwealth of Independent States an
    association of former Soviet republics that
    was established in December 1991.
    The CIS's functions are to coordinate its
    members policies regarding economies,foreign
    relations,defense,immigration,environmental
    protection and law enforcement.

    Note*
    Following the South Ossentian War in 2008,
    Georgia withdrew from the CIS.

    Did you know that the Russian ruble is the only legal tender currency. It is illegal
    to pay for goods and services in US Dollars,
    except at authorized retail establishments.
    30 to 80 Rubles $1.00 to 3.00 US Dollars
    1 Ruble 100 Kopeks.

    By the end of the 19th Century Russia was
    22,400,000 sq.km or (8,600,000 sq.mi) almost
    1/6th of the Earth's landmass. The only rival
    at the time was the British Empire.
    From 1600 to 1900 Russia grew at a rate of
    50 square miles a day.
    The Russian Empire by 1914 was the largest in
    the world, in area from the Artic Ocean to
    the Capsian Sea and from the Baltic Sea to
    the Pacific Ocean. The Tsars ruled Russia
    with an iron fist and brutal towards its own
    people, with the fall of the Tsar in 1917
    the rise of Communism the people continued to suffer under the fist of Stalin million
    were shot,jailed,tortured,sent to the gulags
    continued persecution of the Soviet citizen. After Stalin's death in 1953 reforms were
    slow.
    The U.S.S.R. died quietly, 74 years after its
    founders vowed that communism would be the wave of the future.
    In the 1980's Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev
    wanted to reform the Soviet Union, changes in
    greater freedom would start Nationalism and
    Gorbachev underestimated its impact, and the
    speed of the nations change, and the rest of
    Eastern Europe.
    In 1990 many Soviet bloc countries declared
    independence from Moscow. Shortages of basic
    household goods and foodstuff were growing
    changes continued a warning of a coup by
    those who wanted to keep the old system, and
    were against reforms. By December 1990 the
    U.S.S.R. would cease to exist, Gorbachev
    resigned afterward the CIS was formed, one
    evening the old flag of the U.S.S.R. was
    lowered for the last time, and the new colors
    replaced it.
    Flag of the U.S.S.R. was adopted in Nov.1923 was plain red with a hammer and sickle and
    red star in the upper canton.
    The color red has always been positive in
    Russian Culture the word red (Krasny) is
    etymologically related with the Russian words for very good and the best, as well
    as beautiful.
    The hammer symbolizes the nations industrial
    workers (Proletarians), while the sickle
    symbolizes the nations agricultural workers
    (Peasants) who together formed a State, the
    red star represents the Communist Party.
    The old Soviet flag has not been banned in
    Russia, and it is still being used.
    On April 15,1996 Boris Yelysin signed a
    Presidental Decree giving the Soviet flag
    (called the Victory Banner, after the banner that was raised above the Reichstag on
    May 1,1945 in Berlin) status given similar
    to the National flag.
    The difference is that the hammer and sickle
    have been removed from the flag.
    On certain holidays, the Victory Banner is
    flown along with the Russian flag under
    President Putin, the Victory Banner was
    adopted as the official flag of the Russian
    Army.
    The Flag of Russia is the traditional colors
    of three equal horizontal bands of white top/
    azure blue middle/red bottom.

    Like all Regimes, Empires and Ideologies
    Soviet Communism lasted 74 years. Today Lenin
    still remains in his mausoleum on Moscow's Red Square, and the debating still goes on,
    as what to do with him, his legacy long
    passed into History, but it should continue.
    to be remembered.

    Note*

    This information is just an overview, and
    does not address contemporary events in detail.
  8. Bill says:
    12 Jan 2010 03:46:09 PM

    It is estmated that 94 million people were
    killed under Communist regimes, but then again we will never really know the total
    number of people killed.Indroctrination left a legacy of apathy and indefference, the
    Communists left Russia severely damaged.
    Just what is the legacy of Communism?
    In sweden a study found out that only 10% of
    students between the ages of 15 to 20 had
    heard of the Gulags, while 95% heard about Auschwitz! Communism is not dead, only in
    another form their are still States today,
    that think Socialism is the way to go, still
    brutal regimes that keep its people under
    control. Its still a warning to free people everywhere.
    It is, what I would say:
    A Continuation of Politics by Other Means.
  9. Bill says:
    12 Jan 2010 04:58:05 PM

    Communist movements have caused the deaths
    of 110,286,000 people between 1917 to 1987.
    Today Communism continues to rule over at
    least 1/4th of the world's people. Untold
    millions are still killed, and suffer under this system.
    Communism in the 20th Century proved to be
    one of the most heinous perpetrators of
    violence and genocide. By the 1980's 1/3rd
    of the world's population lived under
    Communism. Political parties have changed
    their names and ideologies, but still operate
    on the left of the political spectrum.

    Note*
    This information is an overview, and does
    not address contemporary events in detail.

    The universal concept of freedom:
    The freedom of expression and development to
    full potential for all. Freedom to acquire
    knowledge, the sanctity of life, without freedom of choice there is no creativity.

    Government, even in its best state, is but a
    necessary evil, in its worst state, an
    intolerable one.

    -Thomas Paine-



    These are my opinions alone and do not reflect the views of WW2DB.

  10. Bill says:
    14 Jan 2010 06:14:46 PM

    Facts About Russia...

    Russia has (11) time zones.

    Russia's Official Name: Russian Federation
    Came into effect in 1991 when the Soviet
    Union split into (15) Geo-Political parts.

    Official Language is Russian, about 75% of the population of Russia is made up of
    Slavic origin, However there are (48) other
    languages spoken by (120) or so Nationalities

    Red Square is a dramatic open cobbled space
    in the center of Moscow. Originally the
    city's market-place, public gathering for festivals.
    The Soviet state turned it into a memorial
    cemetery, and built Lenin's mausoleum, that
    is still open to the public.

    Did you know: That Moscow is situated in the
    center of the European part of Russia, at
    the very heart of the city, is the Kremlin
    the Russian place of command for almost (8)
    centuries.

    More About Red Square:
    The word "Red" doesn't apply to the color of
    the brickwork, neither is it a reference to
    Communism.
    The meaning of the word (Krasny) means
    "Beautiful" in old russian, but over the
    centuries the word changed to mean "Red"
    too giving the square's present name.

    Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the most
    famous in the world. Traveling by train
    takes (6) days, covering 5,869 miles or (9,446 Km.) the train stops several times a
    day, passes through (8) time zones, from
    Moscow to Vladivostok on the Asian Pacific
    Coast. The railway was started in 1891, and
    took (26) years to build.

  11. Bill says:
    15 Jan 2010 12:57:28 PM

    When the Communists took over one of the
    first things they did was to deny liberty and confiscate all personal firearms, to
    make sure the people can not resist against
    tyranny.
    But even the most insidious than the theft
    of the peoples weapons, was the theft of
    their history. Official Communist Historians
    rewrote history, to fit current party lines.
    Millions were Murdered, Tortured, Jailed without Due-Process, Starved and Worked to
    Death the Gulags.
    The rule of fear and terror...Millions in
    other Nations lost their freedom, as the
    Millions of Russians did.
    The Communists Raped Russia,Stole and Looted the Wealth of the Nation.
    Communism is the biggest ideology of Mass Murder in the 20th. Century, and continues
    to be an ever present evil.
    The Communists became experts when it comes
    to Mass Murder, Terror and Genocide.
    Its really absurd, that some people are still so naive!
    The Brutality of Psychchopaths and Paranoid
    Shizophrenics who ever they might be:
    Pol-Pot, Stalin, Cancescu, Mao Tse Tung Kim Sung and others.
    It continues today Revolutionaries whose one
    hope, is to overthrow a free Government and
    establish what? They have nothing to offer
    while on the other hand, free people every-
    where have Courage, Devotion and Willingness
    as a free people to act against oppression.

  12. Bill says:
    13 Apr 2010 04:18:53 PM

    Communism is the same, no matter what name change some slick person may give it, how
    can people still fall for such a big lie, is
    beyond me.
    Call it Progressive Movement, Social Justice
    or the Spreading of Wealth its the same old tune, take from those who have earned wealth
    through Enterprise and hard work, and give to
    those who will never bring themselves up from
    proverty, through self-determination and the
    will to give their families a better life.
    Study History and the Communist systems, and
    the pain and suffering it has fallen on millions. It dosen't take an academic to see
    evil in a deranged state.
    Freedom:
    Why have millions died defending it?.
    My question to the Politicians and the all the activist those who say, they really want Social Justice, then I say, cut your own wealth first, and give give it to the less
    fortunate. Let's wait and see, let's wait and see...
  13. Bill says:
    12 Dec 2010 06:31:12 PM

    The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or
    USSR, CCCP was created on December 30, 1922
    and ended on December 26, 1991.

    Its motto was "Workers of the World Unite!"

    On December 21, 1991 eleven former Soviet Republics (with the 12th republic Georgia attending as an observer)with the formation
    of the Commonwealth of Independent States, (CIS)the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ceases to exist.

    The Governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are Independent States, and chose
    at that time not to join CIS.
    Since 1991 former republics, have applied for membership in NATO.

    Former Soviet Warsaw-Pact Countries in Eastern Europe have also become independent, and have applied for membership in NATO.
  14. Me says:
    25 Jun 2011 12:43:51 AM

    Suvorovs thought process is wrong. It was Russias own fault that they provoked Germany into attacking them after they had helped Germany conquer Europe.
  15. Anonymous says:
    10 Jan 2013 09:52:50 AM

    What is the languages spoken in 1937

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Prototype T-16 light tank, Leningrad Obukhov Factory, Leningrad, Russia, spring 1927
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