Abstract and Keywords
After a long period of scholarly neglect, owing partly to political reasons, the Second World War is now being studied as an integral part of the history of the Soviet Union. This chapter considers the war’s far reaching effects on state and society, taking a multi-faceted, comparative view. Beginning with German and Soviet war aims, the chapter goes on to highlight recent historiography, which has revealed much about the experience of the individual Soviet soldier and has emphasized that by concentrating on military set-pieces, such as the battle of Stalingrad, we risk distorting our understanding of the war. Also discussed are controversial subjects such as collaboration and partisan warfare, and the impact of the war on the Russian Orthodox Church and on Russian national identity.
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