“The guts of the German army have been largely torn out by Russian valour and generalship.”
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, 1944.
The Soviet Union was a powerful partner of the Western Allies, including Australia, in the Second World War. Between 1941 and 1945, the Soviet Union was responsible for destroying roughly 75 per cent of Hitler’s military forces and played a crucial role in the victory over Nazism. In those years, more than 27 million Soviet civilians, mostly civilians, lost their lives.
Despite the crucial role played by the Soviet Union in the Second World War, its story is relatively unknown by many in Australia.
While the Western Allies conducted bombing raids that crippled German industry, and fought in the Atlantic and North Africa, the Red Army engaged mammoth formations of Hitler’s armed forces in the east. Together, they defeated Nazism. It was a shared victory.
Shared Victory, a new exhibition in the Reg Saunders Gallery at the Australian War Memorial, explores the often overlooked alliance between the Soviet Union and the West through a series of British and Soviet wartime posters calling on people to unite against their common enemy, Hitler.
It also tells the story of the Soviet war effort through a series of evocative photographs detailing the war experience of soldiers and civilians on the Eastern Front, and details the little known story of a small group of Australians briefly based in north Russia in 1942.
You need a ticket to the Galleries and Commemorative Area to see this exhibition. Tickets are free. Register here.