The Soviet Union lost more soilders fighting for other people's liberty than the US?

From the Washington Post:

the claim

"You know, you look back over our history, and it doesn't take you long to realize that our people have shed more blood for other people's liberty than any other combination of nations in the history of the world.''

-- Fred D. Thompson, stump speech in Des Moines, Sept. 7


A grandiose claim that is hard to justify no matter how you define "other people's liberty." Let's begin by looking at U.S. casualties in foreign wars. (Domestic conflicts such as the Revolutionary War and the Civil War are excluded.)

Conflict Casualties

Spanish American War 2,446
World War I 116,516
World War II 405,399
Korean War 36,574
Vietnam War 58,209
Persian Gulf War 382
Wars in Afghanistan,
Iraq (as of yesterday) 4,217

Total 623,288
SOURCES: Congressional Research Service, Defense Department

The number of overall U.S. military casualties, while high, is still relatively low in comparison to those of its World War I and World War II allies. In World War II alone, the Soviet Union suffered at least 8 million casualties, or more than 10 times the number of U.S. casualties for all wars combined. According to Winston Churchill, the Red Army "tore the guts out of the Nazi war machine." It can be argued that Soviet troops were primarily fighting to free their homeland from Nazi occupation. After fighting its way to Berlin, the Soviet Union imposed its own dictatorship over Eastern Europe. Even so, Soviet sacrifices contributed greatly to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi domination. Soviet forces died for their own country and their own tyrannical government, but they also spilled blood on behalf of their Western allies. . . .

Is this really serious? Suppose that the Americans have encountered more difficulty from the Germans on D-day and the Soviets had been able to go further West. Does the Post believe that people living in that additional area would have been free?

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Anonymous Keith said...

Hi John, Sorry this is so quickly written...

The Soviets fighting for anyones freedom, now there's a joke.

Having a genocidal psychopath on the allied side and keeping him on the allied side was certainly a big help in defeating Hitler, but Stalin was probably even more of a monster than Hitler, many of the Soviet losses were because of his policies and purges.

The 20M odd killed by the Soviets in post war purges in eastern Europe were hardly a sign of freedom.

I fail to see any altruism from any nation in either the first or second world wars, just self interest. beat the enemy before he beats you. In the case of the Soviets, killing a few million along the way helped to keep the masses at home controlled and fearful.

9/19/2007 1:57 PM  
Blogger Francesco Poli said...

I love it how these half-men compare America's forces to the Soviet conscripts.

First, the Soviets suffered such devastating losses because they valued human life so little that they saw no problem tossing anyone who could stand into the fray, whether they could arm or support him or not. The battle of Stalingrad was won largely because the Soviet dead piled to mountains and the Germans didn't bring climbing equipment.

Second, even if the US forces during WWII were mostly drafted (I don't know, I can't find reliable numbers offhand), they most certainly did not need their officers threatening to shoot them in the back if they refused to fight.

Who was fighting for freedom and who was fighting for a corrupt, evil empire should be pretty damn obvious.

9/19/2007 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Is this really serious? It's seriously twisted!
No wonder Mark Levin calls it the Washington Compost!

9/19/2007 10:40 PM  
Blogger The Green Gun said...

Looks like more moral relativism & socialist leanings at the post.

The far left rings its hands over something as simple as paying homage to the flag and our veterans on the 4th of July, so seeing them equating the soviet takeover of Eastern Europe in WWII as somehow expanding freedom doesn't surprise me.

9/20/2007 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Jack Spectre said...

Utter rubbish. The Soviets made a pact with Hitler and then had to fight for their lives when the Nazis turned on them. They were trying to save their own necks, not trying to free the world from Fascism.

9/20/2007 10:54 AM  
Anonymous cbar10@hotmail.com said...

"It can be argued that Soviet troops were primarily fighting to free their homeland from Nazi occupation."

Wrong. There was no freedom involved with Communist dictator Stalin at the helm. Soviet troops faced execution if they failed to fight. Stalin himself is said to have stated, "It takes a brave man to be a coward in the Soviet army." Fighting for freedom? No. For survival? Yes.

"...barring some tortuous definition of the phrase "other people's liberty."

How about not living under a murderous dictator? Or is that too "tortuous" a definition for some anonymous Stalinist at the Washington Communist Post?

9/20/2007 4:21 PM  

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