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Letters from the Front

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(Editor’s note: Welcome to Part 2 of the Road of Battlefield V. The Road to BFV: The Allies is a 3 part historical mini-series from the Allied perspective spanning from the years 1940 to 1941. If you want to see more of these historically based articles on videogames that are set within a historical time period, please let me know down below or on Twitter.)

( Part II: 1941-1942.)

During the Great War, Tsarist Russia experienced famine and economic collapse. On the frontlines, the Russian Army experienced great setbacks as many soldiers were deserting and at home, dissatisfaction grew among the people. The last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II abdicated from the throne following the end of the February Revolution of 1917 which caused upheaval in many Russian cities across the nation.

The Russian Provisional Government was installed after his abdication and received the support of the Mensheviks. The new government continued its commitment to the war and joined the Allied powers which the Bolsheviks disapproved of.

In the months leading up to the Russian Civil War, the new government was consistently being questioned by all the political parties. Failed military offensives in 1917 led to more disarray and it was during this time that support for the Bolsheviks grew and revolution broke out across the country with the Russian Civil War breaking out shortly thereafter.

Four years later, the Soviet Union was formed with the constitution being adopted in 1924 and the next several years leading up to World War II would be comprised of a tumultuous history and a period of massive industrialization and internal struggles as Joseph Stalin established almost complete control over Russian society, wielding unlimited power.

Before the beginning of World War II, Stalin and the Soviet Union viewed Nazi Germany with great alarm. In 1938, Nazi Germany annexed Austria and expanding their plans to go east with the Soviet Union rushing to modernize its armies for a potential conflict after the west betrayed Czechoslovakia. A year later, the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which was a non-aggression pact to divide Eastern Europe into two spheres of influence.

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Sixteen days after the German invasion of Poland which began World War II, the Red Army now invaded their half of Poland. As a result of the Soviet annexation of eastern Poland, the Belarusian and Ukrainian Soviet republics’ western borders were moved west. In the meantime, negotiations with Finland to trade land that would redraw the border with Finland away from Leningrad led to the Winter War which took a heavy toll on the Red Army but at the end of the conflict, Finland was forced to sign a pact and cede Karelia to the Soviet Union.

In 1940, the peace with Germany was tense as both sides were preparing for conflict and the peace ended with the German invasion of Russia in 1941 and by fall, the German Army had seized great amounts of territory and threatened Moscow.

A year later, German forces regained the initiative and pushed south reaching the Volga and the Caucasus mountains with Germany entering the city of Stalingrad.

The battle there would decide the entire course of World War II and decide the fight for the Soviet Union.

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