Abe Lincoln & Czar Alexander II
Category: Inconvenient facts never taught in school
This was a week of revelations for me in Moscow. I was surprised to learn that were it not for Russia the Confederacy might have won the US Civil War. Just when the British and the French were about to intervene in support of the South, the Czar positioned the Russian Navy off the East and West coasts of the US to thwart their plans. You can read the story and learn more about the long history of cordial relationships between the two countries HERE:
Because today is May 9, I learned why Russia calls our WWII the Patriotic War. While the other Allies slowly gathered their forces for the Normandy invasion, Russia was actively engaged in a fight for survival against the invading German army. The German advance was stopped in the suburbs of Moscow, and the regrouping Russians slowly pushed the overextended Germans back until they had thoroughly beaten them and driven them out of Eastern Europe. In the process, 27 million Russians died - including 6 of my wife’s enlisted uncles on the Western Front. Three brothers survived, including Olgas father who was a military doctor on the Eastern Front.
Given the sacredness of this holiday, there was a palpable anger in Moscow this week over Fascist elements in Poland, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and the Baltic States celebrating the SS Waffen to counter the Russian celebration. That was a special Nazi division that allowed non-Germans to join. The war that we study in our schools is only the battle of Western Europe. But Eastern Europe is where the best and most numerous German troops were because they needed the war resources (oil etc) in that region. If you are interested in the other half of the narrative, go here:
Travel is so much better when yiu can get some facts with your coffee.