Russian Book World continues to look into previously under-researched aspects of the Second World War or the Great Patriotic War as it most often called in Russia.
These days no serious historian would deny the critical contribution of the Soviet Union in defeating the Axis powers. Indeed without it the outcome of WWII might have been rather disastrous not just for the Allies but for the world at large. There was, of course a multitude of reasons, why The Red Army was able to withstand and then defeat the might of the Wehrmacht. The Red Army’s sheer size, determination of Soviet people to doggedly fight for their motherland and the ability of Soviet industry to supply improved equipment all played a role.
Yet, one of the major factors in the Soviet success in defeating Hitler is often overlooked. And that is the huge role that women played in the Red Army throughout the war. Recent major study called ‘Soviet Women on the Frontline in the Second World War’ co-authored by historians Roger D. Markwick and Euridice Charon Cardona of The University of Newcastle, Australia gives a broad and multifaceted picture of women’s participation in the Red Army during WW II. The book also tries to answer the question of why these young women fought so tenaciously in the face of a brutal and genocidal enemy.