Explaining the Soviet Fighting Spirit?
Soldiers fight best when they feel the comradeship of small groups
How should we explain the extraordinary spirit of the Soviet people in the war? Why did so many Soviet soldiers fight with such determination and self-sacrifice? Was it something in the 'Russian character' or in the Revolution?
EXTRACT FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY. Orlando Figes, The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia (London, 2007)
Terror and coercion provide part of the answer. At the height of the Soviet collapse, on 28 July 1942, Stalin issued Order Number 227 ('Not One Step Backwards!')...
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