In , Stalin ceded to his generals' call for the Soviet Union to take a defensive stance because of disappointing losses after Stalingrad, a lack of reserves for offensive measures and a prediction that the Germans would likely next attack a bulge in the Soviet front at Kursk such that defensive preparations there would more efficiently use resources.
By the end of , the Soviets occupied half of the territory taken by the Germans from — Successes at Operation Bagration and in the year that followed were, in large part, due to an operational improve of battlehardened Red Army, which has learned painful lessons from previous years battling the powerful Wehrmacht: To a lesser degree, the success of Bagration was due to a weakened Wehrmacht that lacked the fuel and armament they needed to operate effectively,  growing Soviet advantages in manpower and materials, and the attacks of Allies on the Western Front. Beginning in the summer of , a reinforced German Army Centre Group did prevent the Soviets from advancing in around Warsaw for nearly half a year.
Other important advances occurred in late , such as the invasion of Romania in August and Bulgaria. In late , Soviet forces battled fiercely to capture Hungary in the Budapest Offensive , but could not take it, which became a topic so sensitive to Stalin that he refused to allow his commanders to speak of it. To the northeast, the taking of Belarus and western Ukraine permitted the Soviets to launch the massive Vistula—Oder Offensive , where German intelligence had incorrectly guessed the Soviets would have a 3-to-1 numerical superiority advantage that was actually 5-to-1 over 2 million Red Army personnel attacking , German defenders , the successful culmination of which resulted in the Red Army advancing from the Vistula River in Poland to the German Oder River in Eastern Germany.
Stalin's shortcomings as a strategist are frequently noted regarding the massive Soviet loss of life and early Soviet defeats. An example of it is the summer offensive of , which led to even more losses by the Red Army and the recapture of initiative by the Germans. Stalin eventually recognised his lack of know-how and relied on his professional generals to conduct the war.
Additionally, Stalin was well aware that other European armies had utterly disintegrated when faced with Nazi military efficacy and responded effectively by subjecting his army to galvanising terror and nationalist appeals to patriotism. He also appealed to the Russian Orthodox church. By April , Germany faced its last days with 1. Stalin directed the Red Army to move rapidly in a broad front into Germany because he did not believe the Western Allies would hand over territory they occupied, while he made the overriding objective capturing Berlin.
Some historians argue that Stalin delayed the last final push for Berlin by two months in order to capture other areas for political reasons, which they argue gave the Wehrmacht time to prepare and increased Soviet casualties which exceeded , , though this is contested by other historians.
Despite the Soviets' possession of Hitler's remains, Stalin did not believe that his old nemesis was actually dead, a belief that remained for years after the war. Fending off the German invasion and pressing to victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War required a tremendous sacrifice by the Soviet Union more than any other country in human history. Soviet military casualties totaled approximately 35 million official figures Stalin soon conferred himself with the rank of the Generalissimus of the Soviet Union , which becomes the country's highest military rank followed by Marshal for his role in the Soviet victory of the war.
His personal military leadership was emphasised as part of the "cult of personality" after the publication of Stalin's ten victories extracted from 6 November speech "27th anniversary of the Great October socialist revolution" Russian: On 16 August , in attempts to revive a disorganised Soviet defense system, Stalin issued Order No.
The order required superiors to shoot these deserters on the spot. In June , weeks after the German invasion began , Stalin directed that the retreating Red Army also sought to deny resources to the enemy through a scorched earth policy of destroying the infrastructure and food supplies of areas before the Germans could seize them, and that partisans were to be set up in evacuated areas.
Stalin feared that Hitler would use disgruntled Soviet citizens to fight his regime, particularly people imprisoned in the Gulags. He thus ordered the NKVD to handle the situation. They responded by murdering approximately , political prisoners throughout the western parts of the Soviet Union, with methods that included bayoneting people to death and tossing grenades into crowded cells.
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In July , Stalin issued Order No. Soviet POWs and forced labourers who survived German captivity were sent to special "transit" or "filtration" camps meant to determine which were potential traitors. After the capture of Berlin, Soviet troops reportedly raped German women and girls, with total victim estimates ranging from tens of thousands to two million. In former Axis countries, such as Germany , Romania and Hungary , Red Army officers generally viewed cities, villages and farms as being open to pillaging and looting. According to recent figures, of an estimated 4 million POWs taken by the Russians, including Germans, Japanese, Hungarians, Romanians and others, some , never returned, presumably victims of privation or the Gulags, compared with 3.
During the rapid German advances in the early months of the war, nearly reaching the cities of Moscow and Leningrad , the bulk of Soviet industry which could not be evacuated was either destroyed or lost due to German occupation. Agricultural production was interrupted, with grain harvests left standing in the fields that would later cause hunger reminiscent of the early s.
In one of the greatest feats of war logistics, factories were evacuated on an enormous scale, with factories dismantled and shipped eastwards along four principal routes to the Caucasus , Central Asian , Ural , and Siberian regions. In general, the tools, dies and production technology were moved, along with the blueprints and their management, engineering staffs and skilled labour. The whole of the Soviet Union became dedicated to the war effort.
The population of the Soviet Union was probably better prepared than any other nation involved in the fighting of World War II to endure the material hardships of the war. This is primarily because the Soviets were so used to shortages and coping with economic crisis in the past, especially during wartime—World War I brought similar restrictions on food. Still, conditions were severe.
World War II was especially devastating to Soviet citizens because it was fought on their territory and caused massive destruction. In Leningrad, under German siege, over one million people died of starvation and disease.
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Many factory workers were teenagers, women and the elderly. The government implemented rationing in and first applied it to bread, flour, cereal, pasta, butter, margarine, vegetable oil, meat, fish, sugar, and confectionery all across the country. The rations remained largely stable in other places during the war. Peasants received no rations and had to make do with local resources that they farmed themselves.
Most rural peasants struggled and lived in unbearable poverty, but others sold any surplus they had at a high price and a few became rouble millionaires, until a currency reform two years after the end of the war wiped out their wealth. Despite harsh conditions, the war led to a spike in Soviet nationalism and unity. Soviet propaganda toned down extreme Communist rhetoric of the past as the people now rallied by a belief of protecting their Motherland against the evils of German invaders. Ethnic minorities thought to be collaborators were forced into exile.
Religion, which was previously shunned, became a part of Communist Party propaganda campaign in the Soviet society in order to mobilize the religious elements. The social composition of Soviet society changed drastically during the war. There was a burst of marriages in June and July between people about to be separated by the war and in the next few years the marriage rate dropped off steeply, with the birth rate following shortly thereafter to only about half of what it would have been in peacetime.
For this reason mothers with several children during the war received substantial honours and money benefits if they had a sufficient number of children—mothers could earn around 1, roubles for having their fourth child and earn up to 5, roubles for their 10th. The city of Leningrad endured more suffering and hardships than any other city in the Soviet Union during the war, as it was under siege for days, from September — January Since only , people were evacuated before the siege began, this left 2. Most survival strategies during the siege, though, involved staying within the city and facing the problems through resourcefulness or luck.
Soviet Union in World War II
One way to do this was by securing factory employment because many factories became autonomous and possessed more of the tools of survival during the winter, such as food and heat. Workers got larger rations than regular civilians and factories were likely to have electricity if they produced crucial goods. Factories also served as mutual-support centers and had clinics and other services like cleaning crews and teams of women who would sew and repair clothes.
Factory employees were still driven to desperation on occasion and people resorted to eating glue or horses in factories where food was scarce, but factory employment was the most consistently successful method of survival, and at some food production plants not a single person died. Survival opportunities open to the larger Soviet community included bartering and farming on private land. Black markets thrived as private barter and trade became more common, especially between soldiers and civilians. Soldiers, who had more food to spare, were eager to trade with Soviet citizens that had extra warm clothes to trade.
Planting vegetable gardens in the spring became popular, primarily because citizens got to keep everything grown on their own plots. The campaign also had a potent psychological effect and boosted morale, a survival component almost as crucial as bread.
Some of the most desperate Soviet citizens turned to crime as a way to support themselves in trying times. Most common was the theft of food and of ration cards, which could prove fatal for a malnourished person if their card was stolen more than a day or two before a new card was issued.
For these reasons, the stealing of food was severely punished and a person could be shot for as little as stealing a loaf of bread. More serious crimes, such as murder and cannibalism, also occurred, and special police squads were set up to combat these crimes, though by the end of the siege, roughly 1, had been arrested for cannibalism. The Soviet Union ended its long-standing peace treaty with the Japanese and invaded Manchuria, leading to a series of events which possibly led to the subsequent Japanese unconditional surrender.
Even though it won the conflict, the war had a profound and devastating long-term effect in the Soviet Union. The financial burden was catastrophic: Zotova gives a slightly different estimate of American experts estimate that the Soviet Union lost almost all the wealth it gained from the industrialization efforts during the s. British historian Clive Ponting estimates that the war damages amounted to 25 years of the Soviet Gross National Product.
This rendered some 25 million Soviet citizens homeless. At least 12 million Soviets fled towards the east, away from the invading German army. Official Soviet sources claim that the Soviet union lost 26 million people during the war.
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While its human losses were undoubtedly high, some historians and academics question this figure. Bruce Robellet Kuniholm, professor of public policy and history, estimates that the Soviet side suffered 11,, military deaths and additional 7,, civilian deaths, thus amounting to a total of 18 million fatalities.
After the Siamese revolution of , the Thai military led by Major General Plaek Phibunsongkhram as defence minister, and the civilian liberals led by Pridi Banomyong as foreign minister, worked together harmoniously for several years, but when Phibun became prime minister in December this co-operation broke down, and military domination became more overt. Phibun was an admirer of Benito Mussolini , and his regime soon developed some fascist characteristics. In early forty political opponents , both monarchists and democrats, were arrested, and after rigged trials eighteen were executed, the first political executions in Siam in over a century.
Many others, among them Prince Damrong and Phraya Songsuradej, were exiled. Phibun launched a demagogic campaign against the Chinese business class. Chinese schools and newspapers were closed, and taxes on Chinese businesses increased. Phibun and Luang Wichitwathakan , the government's ideological spokesman, copied the propaganda techniques used by Hitler and Mussolini to build up the cult of the leader. Aware of the power of mass media , they used the government's monopoly on radio broadcasting to shape popular support for the regime. Popular government slogans were constantly aired on the radio and plastered on newspapers and billboards.
Phibun's picture was also to be seen everywhere in society, while portraits of the ex-monarch King Prajadhipok , an outspoken critic of the autocratic regime, were banned. At the same time Phibun passed a number of authoritarian laws which gave the government the power of almost unlimited arrest and complete press censorship. During the Second World War, newspapers were instructed to print only good news emanating from Axis sources, while sarcastic comments about the internal situation were banned. This was directed against the ethnic diversity in the country Malay, Chinese, Lao, Shan, etc.
Modernisation was also an important theme in Phibun's new Thai nationalism. From to he issued a set of twelve Cultural Mandates. In addition to requiring that all Thais salute the flag , sing the national anthem , and speak the national language, the mandates also encouraged Thais to work hard, stay informed on current events, and to dress in a Western fashion. The mandates caused performances of traditional Thai music , dance, theatre and culture to be abolished, and changed into Western style.
Meanwhile, all cinemas were instructed to display Phibun's picture at the end of every performance as if it were the king's portrait, and the audience were expected to rise and bow. Phibun also called himself Than phu nam Thai: At the start of World War II, Plaek Phibunsongkhram shared many of his countrymen's admiration of fascism and the rapid pace of national development it seemed to afford.
The regime also revived irredentist claims, stirring up anti-French sentiment and supporting restoration of former Thai territories in Cambodia and Laos. Seeking support against France , Phibun cultivated closer relations with Japan.
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Faced with American opposition and British hesitancy, Thailand looked to Japan for help in the confrontation with French Indochina. On October , the Franco—Thai War broke out, the war was a sporadic battle between Thai and French forces along Thailand eastern frontier and culminated in an invasion of Laos and Cambodia in January The Royal Thai Armed Forces were successful in occupying the disputed territories in French Indochina , with the French scoring their only notable victory at sea at the Battle of Ko Chang.
Japan used its influence with the Vichy France to obtain concessions for Thailand. As a result, France agreed in March to cede 54, square kilometres of Laotian territory west of the Mekong and most of the Cambodian province of Battambang to Thailand, which reinstated the original name of Phra Tabong Province.
The recovery of this lost territory and the regime's apparent victory over a European colonial power greatly enhanced Phibun's reputation. Because Japan wanted to maintain both her working relationship with Vichy and the status quo, the real beneficiaries of the conflict were the Japanese. They were able to expand their influence in both Thailand and Indochina. The Japanese intention was to use Thailand and Indochina as their military base to invade Burma and Malaya in the future. The Thais were forced to accept only a quarter of the territory that they had lost to the French, in addition to having to pay six million piastres as a concession to the French.
The film carried a propaganda message from anti-war interests in Thailand: Thailand should remain neutral, only going to war to defend its sovereignty against foreign invaders. Phibun and the Thai government still hesitant to join the Allies or the Japanese. The Thais were given two hours to respond,  but the Thai government didn't have any response. On 8 December Japan invaded Thailand. After several hours of fighting between Thai and Japanese troops, Thailand acceded to Japanese demands for passage through the country for Japanese forces invading Burma and Malaya.
Phibun assured the country that the Japanese action was pre-arranged with a sympathetic Thai government. Thailand was rewarded for Phibun's close co-operation with Japan during the early years of war with the return of further territory that had once been under Bangkok's control, namely the four northernmost Malay states after the Malayan Campaign. On 21 December , a mutual offensive-defensive alliance pact between the two countries was signed.
To promote greater military and economic co-operation, Pridi was removed from the cabinet and offered a seat on the politically impotent Regency Council of the absent king , which he subsequently accepted. Since the Empire of Japan was using the country as a staging area for its invasions of both Malaya and Burma, Allied planes began bombing raids on the Thai capital city of Bangkok. With this added pressure, the Phibun Government decided to declare war on the Allies.
The Thais, who loathed the idea of being treated on the same level as the two Japanese puppet regimes, Manchukuo and Wang Jingwei regime initially resisted, but ultimately the Japanese had their way. Thai resentment on this issue lasted throughout the war, however, and resulted in Phibun refusing to attend the following year's Greater East Asia Conference.
Although the declaration of war, the Thai ambassador in London had delivered Phibun's declaration of war to the British government, the Thai ambassador in Washington DC , Seni Pramoj , had refused to do so. Accordingly, the United States did not declare war on Thailand.
Seni was able to achieve this because the State Department decided to act as if Seni continued to represent Thailand, enabling him to draw on Thai assets frozen by the United States. As a result, Thailand sent more troops to support the Japanese conquest of Burma , which later became known as the "Thai Burma Area Army". They limited the area of the Thai Burma Area Army under their command. In September , there was a long rainy season in Northern, Northeastern and Central regions of Thailand, causing a great floods in many provinces, including Bangkok.
In Bangkok, the major flooding was recorded as having effects on the city's infrastructure lasting three months. Although the majority of Thais were initially "intoxicated" with Japan's string of brilliant victories in early , by the end of the year there was widespread resentment as a result of arrogant Japanese behaviour and war-induced privation. A vicious contest for saw mills and teak forests owned by British companies erupted early on, followed by similar disputes over the control of enemy energy and shipping facilities within the country.
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Paying to dance with a female employee is available in some nightclubs of the United States, including many in Los Angeles. These clubs no longer use the ticket-a-dance system, but have time-clocks and punch-cards that allow the patron to pay for the dancer's time by the hour. Some of these modern dance clubs operate in buildings where taxi dancing was done in the early 20th century. No longer called taxi-dance halls, these latter-day establishments are now called hostess clubs.
For official purposes, in the United States their occupation was sometimes referred to as a 'dancer', when they worked in taxi-dance halls that had all the necessary business permits. But there were some professional secretaries who were moonlighting and legally worked part-time as a dancer.
The growth of tango tourism in Buenos Aires , Argentina , has led to an increase in formal and informal taxi dancing services in the milongas , or dance halls. While some operators are trying to sell holiday romance, reputable tango taxi agencies offer genuine services to tourists who find it hard to cope with the cabeceo —eye contact and nodding—method of finding a dance partner.
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