Putin backs WW2 myth in new Russian film



Putin backs WW2 myth in new Russian film

A new film showing Red Army soldiers outnumbered by invading Germans but battling on heroically has become part of the Kremlin’s campaign to restore Russian pride.State television showed Russian President Vladimir Putin watching the film last week, alongside Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, in the Central Asian leader’s capital Astana.
The clear message was that Russia and Kazakhstan are maintaining Soviet-era bonds of friendship, despite tensions in other parts of the former USSR. But the film itself - Panfilov’s 28 Men - is based on a communist myth.

The film depicts an heroic act of self-sacrifice outside Moscow in November 1941.
According to the Soviet mythology, 28 soldiers from the Red Army’s 316th Rifle Division, mainly recruits from the Kazakh and Kyrgyz Soviet republics, stood unflinching against the advancing might of Hitler’s Wehrmacht.
The men, from a larger division led by Maj Gen Ivan Panfilov, were all killed, but destroyed 18 German tanks before they fell.
The 28 were immortalised - posthumously decorated as Heroes of the Soviet Union - and Soviet children learnt about their last stand in school.
Yet historians say the story is not true.

What the heck, everybody is entitled to their own mythology. In American movies we won WW2 all by ourselves, maybe with some help from the Brits.


Heqq. Every country has its military legends, going back to King David.

Even the Alamo wasn’t precisely as commemorated.



Unless it is a documentary, Hollywood makes films about whatever they want loosely based on whatever they want. I would never use a Hollywood film as a teaching aid.

And regarding the headline? There are still a few Russians who know what actually happened and where. The headline contains nothing that hasn’t been done before.



Well, that’s right. Right? I mean, wasn’t World War II just a repeat of World War I with more more modern weapons? :smiley:




Well, it was very lucky for the rest of us Allied layabouts that the crack American GIs were able to escape from Stalag Luft III, and capture the Enigma machine from U-571 so they could break the codes and thus liberate Burma and save the Iranian hostages. [oops, a tad anachronistic there] :smiley:


Canadians served well and bravely, as well as effectively. I think most Americans know that, and those who don’t, should.

One minor point. At the beginning of WWII, the Soviet armies greatly outnumbered those of the Germans, and did throughout the war. Initially, of course, Stalin had not prepared his armies sufficiently. Some were abandoned by their leaders. Some were not too loyal to Stalin to begin with. The Germans had other advantages at the beginning, but numerical superiority was not one of them.


Another key point.

When you’re fighting for your own country in your own country against an invading army as the Russians did, you tend to fight with far more urgency than foreign fighters fighting for some other country does.

True, had Hitler not been defeated in Europe, he could’ve threatened the US mainland directly.

However, American troops were fighting in foreign lands for those countries directly.

Same is true of the Canadians and Australians, but they and US forces were led in major part by the US under the commands of Eisenhower and MacArthur.



Well played, sir.
Everyone should write this down and take it out whenever a movie or TV show is advertised as “based on a true story”.


One in four of the men in the German Army fighting on the Eastern Front were not native Germans. The Russians, or Bolsheviks, were viewed as a threat by other countries.



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