Few battles on the Eastern front in World War Two are remembered by people in the West. Ask anyone about the battles around Kharkov, or the perfect breakthrough of Operation Bagration, and you’re unlikely to get an answer. But mention Stalingrad, and most people will know that a titanic battle happened there, even if they couldn’t tell you where it is.
Stalingrad is probably best remembered as the place where the Nazi expansion into Europe came up against a Russian heroic defense. For the Russian people, it is one of their proudest episodes, one of their best military operations of the War.
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The battle of Britain: Never was so much owed by so many to so few
The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin. The survival of Christian civilization depends upon this battle. Our British life, and the history of our institutions and our Empire depend upon it. The whole fury and might of the enemy will soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit lands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, so that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour”.
Winston Churchill, House of Commons, June 18th 1940