Very long winded, but I had no idea just how brutal and bloody the fighting was on the Eastern Front, or how many millions died in that front. By some accounts, 10 million Soviet deaths, and 4 million Nazi German deaths.
This account of the Eastern Front went a long way towards explaining the post WW II Soviet attitudes and actions towards the West.
Russia’s immense size was the biggest factor, the lands the Nazis seized in the early days of Barbarossa exceeded the combined land masses of all the other countries. The Russians could simply fall back behind the Urals and let the Nazis exhaust their supply lines.
I am close to finishing Alexander Werth’s Russia at War, 1941-1945. Not my first book on the subject and I agree the Russians paid an awful toll in WWII. I don’t like the Soviet system and recognize that Stalin signed on with Hitler (for a variety of reasons). But having read these books it’s easy to see why the Russkies can be paranoid. And to say they just fell back to the Urals is wrong, see Leningrad, Moscow. Stalingrad and the Caucuses for examples.