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Historian to Discuss Little Known Part of WWII

'The Russo-German War, 1941-43: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler'

Nov. 4, 2013

The factors that led to the Red Army's defeat of Hitler despite tremendous losses during World War II will be discussed by Robert A. McLain, associate professor of history, during a 7 p.m Tuesday, Nov. 12, Town & Gown Program, "The Russo-German War, 1941-43: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler" at the Fullerton Public Library.

"It is the worst thing that we've ever had happened in history," explains McLain about the continuing interest in World War II. "And it was self-inflicted. Think about it: it began with genocide and ended with an atomic weapon."

On the subject of the Eastern Front, McLain says many Americans know little about that part of the war, and because of the Cold War, many have a distorted view of what happened and its ramifications. 

"Eighty percent of German soldiers were wounded or killed on the Eastern Front," he says. "The Red Army inflicted three of the worst defeats in military history at Moscow, at Stalingrad and at Kursk. The numbers are staggering. The Soviet Union had 27 million people killed between 1941-1943 — 18,000 people a day."

A member of the University's history faculty since 2003, McLain appeared on last year's History Channel series "10 Things You Didn't Know About Adolph Hitler" and "10 Things You Know About George S. Patton."

McLain is one of two history faculty members taking part in the local library's annual lecture program. On Dec. 10, Stephen O'Connor, assistant professor of history, will present the "The Strategy of Classical Greek Land Warfare."

The Fullerton Public Library is located at 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton.

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