Disinfo: The thieves of history are pushing the narrative that Churchill saved Europe

Summary

The usual narrative of the West is that Winston Churchill saved Europe (and the world) during World War II, but the West remains silent about what exactly he saved us from. The USSR and Eastern Europe are barely mentioned and only along propaganda lines. The West does not talk about the human and the material cost that the Soviet Union bore during World War II.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative accusing the West of Russophobic historical revisionism about the Soviet Union’s legacy during World War II which has gained traction around Victory Day.

Historians in the Western tradition recognise Winston Churchill as one of the key leaders who contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany during World War II. The predominant interpretation suggests that one of his most important legacies was inspiring and leading the British nation to continue the fight against Hitler after virtually all of Europe had ceased organised resistance. Additionally, historians also credit him with improving political and military planning as well as cementing the “Big Three” Alliance between Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States. While the statement in this article is an exaggeration of this interpretation, the underlying narrative about the role of Churchill is an evidence-based historical claim.

Although it is true that “in the Western popular imagination – particularly the American one” American General Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Churchill tend to be seen as the heroes of the war, the sacrifices of the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front are not lost in the narrative. For example, the British historian and journalist Max Hastings writes that “the main engine of Nazism’s destruction” was the Red Army, while the USSR suffered “95 per cent of the military casualties of the three major powers of the Grand Alliance.” Even though the exact estimates of casualties vary, the great human cost is also acknowledged and commemorated in the public narrative through various memorials such as the Soviet Citizens Memorial outside the Imperial War Museum London unveiled in 1999.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Bulgarian
  • Country: UK, US
  • Keywords: World War 2, Historical revisionism

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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