War in the East

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By: Key Publishing
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Many people in the West may consider Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain and D-Day as the pivotal events of the Second World War, but it was the attritional struggle in the East which determined the outcome of the war. At the peak of the fighting in 1943, the Wehrmacht deployed almost 4 million men on the Eastern Front while the Soviets could count more than 6.5 million men in the fighting line. Total casualties numbered in excess of 5 million German and Axis troops, with the Soviets losing possibly twice that figure. Civilian deaths in the Soviet Union have been estimated to have been in the region of 20 million or possibly more.
 
The war on the Eastern Front saw great tank battles involving thousands of machines, and the operations of vast armies of millions of men; of gruelling sieges in the bitter Russian winter, of wholesale depopulation of entire districts with hundreds of towns and thousands of villages being completely destroyed along with the systematic murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians. The Eastern Front was not only the largest military confrontation in history it was also the deadliest – and it led to the downfall of Hitler and the end of the Third Reich.

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