- John, what patience? I am totally engrossed in all this discussion, it is wonderful with so much relevant information put forward and then added to. This is aMessage 1 of 10 , Nov 30, 2011View Source
John, what patience? I am totally engrossed in all this discussion, it is wonderful with so much relevant information put forward and then added to. This is a history lesson that I am really enjoying, please do not stop, I want to learn more and perhaps there are others out there who will also benefit from this.
Invade and attack, I will always go back to your explanation. You are the first that has explained it this way. Now I understand why you challenged the dates. Thank you so much for taking the time.
Thanks for your patience about me hijacking your original post, Lenarda.
In this context, to attack is to strike out against someone else without regard to territory. You can attack someone on his territory, on your territory, or on someone else's territory (as in this instance, the Germans attacked Soviets occupying Polish territory).
To invade is to enter someone else's territory, which may include an attack if you are opposed (by the territory owner or a third party) or may not include an attack if you are unopposed. In this case, you would be technically correct to say that the Germans invaded Eastern Poland, attacking Soviet occupation troops there. (Sorry, Danuta - I'm responding to your post separately.)
So, saying "Hitler attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941" is correct if you take a very broad definition of "attack". For example, if Hitler's troops had shot at some Soviet soldiers or civilians visiting Germany, he could also be said to have "attacked the Soviet Union" although he was nowhere near Soviet territory. (Unless the attack involved entering the Soviet embassy, which is deemed sovereign Soviet territory, in which case it could be technically called an invasion of the USSR. Oh, dear.)
This went much farther than I intended and there is the risk it can be dismissed as pedantry. That would be a shame, because the important element remains: on June 22, 1941, this was still Polish territory, not part of the USSR. When the Germans overran it in the next week or so, it remained Polish territory and did not become part of Germany. When the Soviets turfed out the Germans and re-occupied the territory in 1944, it was still Polish territory. It did not become Soviet territory until after Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin agreed that it would be, and set in motion "legalization" efforts involving rigged votes, forced changes of government, and international recognition.
Whether deliberate or sloppy, "Nazi forces invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941" lets Churchill and Roosevelt off the hook for their role. It is historical revisionism, and must be challenged lest it become history - as it already appears to have done for many people, including some Western scholars.
Sault Ste Marie, Canada
From: Lenarda Szymczak <szymczak01@...>
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 8:51:31 PM
Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] Re: Nazis invaded USSR [was conscripted Soviet soldiers]
John I welcome this, I do not take offence, I did not realise this article was incorrect in the Summary. For a lay person with no military knowledge what is the difference between attack and invade?
This was a Spanish article, that I found at random and my interest was in the body of the article about the mistreatment of Russian soldiers who could have been forced Polish conscripts, our young men from the Kresy, not recognised as such and suffering the same fate as the Russians from German hands.
I like very much your criticism and correction of so called historical authors, who get the facts wrong. I learn from your explanations and so do the rest of us. You should never apologise for telling the truth and one day these brilliant authors ???????? will write the truth as it really was.
Lenarda, forgive me for focusing on a detail of the story you included (thank you!) but I cannot allow to go unanswered the author's error, "Nazi forces invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941".
As members of this forum know better than most, the Nazis did not invade the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. The Germans attacked Soviet troops occupying Eastern Poland on June 22, 1941. They went on to invade the Soviet Union a week or more later.
The Kresy was no more the Soviet Union at this time than Western Poland was Germany. In both cases, the annexation was recognized only by the belligerents Germany and the USSR, along with perhaps a few toady states, not the world as a whole. The Kresy did not become "legally" part of the USSR until after Germany was defeated.
Why is this significant? Because if the area was already "legitimately" part of the USSR in 1939-1941 during the Nazi-Soviet Fourth Partition of Poland, then Churchill and Roosevelt did not betray Poland at Tehran and Yalta. They were merely rubber-stamping a legal land transfer that had occurred during the Hitler era though they did not themselves recognize it at that time.
Along with this frequent error, many Western writers continue to use imprecise terminology such as, "Hitler attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941." This is not wrong per se, if you understand that attacking Soviet soldiers anywhere is akin to an attack on the Soviet Union, but it can leave readers with a misimpression unless it is clearly stated that these were Soviet occupation troops in Eastern Poland.
Thankfully, knowledgeable Western historians are starting to use the proper terminology. However, it amazes me that the erroneous forms are used so consistently. Funny how so many people think of occupied Eastern Poland as part of the USSR, but talk about "Polish concentration camps" in German-occupied Western Poland. In both cases, it is important to acknowledge that these were parts of enemy-occupied Polish territory.
I'm not faulting you in any way, Lenarda. Just taking an opportunity to set the record straight. I have done the same many times with "Polish death camp" and the like.
Sault Ste Marie, Canada
From: Lenarda Szymczak <szymczak01@...>
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 5:45:51 PM
Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] conscripted Soviet soldiers, could be Polish born in Kresy.
I have so many unanswered questions. When soviets troops were getting decimated and they enforced CONSCRIPTION, how do we know or not know, if they took every eligible male of fighting age, regardless of ethnic background and these poor souls could have been Polish boys, forced to fight for the Soviets. then caught in cruelty from the enemy of the enemy.
In a mere eight months of 1941-42, the invading German armies killed an estimated 2.8 million Soviet prisoners-of-war through starvation, exposure, and summary execution. This little-known gendercide vies with the genocide in Rwanda as the most concentrated mass killing in human history.
Nazi forces invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, in the biggest military operation the world had ever seen.