Fatalities of the World War II – Part Two
21 April, 2011

The Second World War was a great tragedy for the Georgian people – more than 300 thousand ethnic Georgians were killed in the vicious War. The Georgian gene-pool was seriously threatened. Compared to this tragedy, even the individual heroic acts which took place during the War would seem bleak. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – As I know, there also was an attempt on part of the Georgian soldiers fighting on the German side to penetrate Georgia . . .
SM – Yes, attempts like that had taken place. One group of Georgian partisans even reached as far into Georgia as Tusheti and Ananuri. They sent out letters to their friends – the families of former allies – inspiring them to rebel and restore the independence of Georgia with arms in hand. Several anti-Soviet organizations were formed, but neither those letters nor those organizations turned out to be fruitful because all the adult males were at the front. Thus nothing was fulfilled. Stalin preempted the situation which was not at all in his favor and managed to turn the tables.  Starting from 1943 all went exactly as Stalin wanted to go. Anything that was happening was in his favor and was serving his interests. After the Stalingrad and Kursk battles in the summer of 1943 the fate of the war was decided in favor of the Soviet Union. The defeat of Germany was just a matter of time, especially after opening the Second Front in 1944, as a result of which USA and Great Britain joined the war efforts against Germany. The Georgian soldiers demonstrated numerous examples of personal heroism in the entire duration of the War. For instance, there was Private Danelia out there, a tank-man of 19. He was neither a commander nor even a qualified machine-gunman. He was just a regular soldier. His tank broke down in action having caught the fire, all that happening on the German territory. The entire tank crew perished in the battle. Danelia himself was wounded. Making uncanny efforts, he managed to grab the steering wheel of the tank, destroyed three German tanks, and killed several German officers and about fifty soldiers. He put out the fire in tank and returned to his camp. For this amazing heroism he was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union. There were examples of heroism of other Georgian men. We cannot tell all those stories here, but Georgians never lacked the battle spirit when in wars – neither in defense of their motherland nor participating in any other war operations.
GJ – They were just as good in other nations’ wars, weren’t they?
SM – I agree with you. It has always been habitual for a Georgian man to fight and die or win in a battle like a hero.  This is the way our genetics is working, and there is nothing strange in this. More than 300 thousand ethnic Georgians were killed in the vicious War. The Georgian gene-pool was seriously threatened. Compared to this tragedy, even the individual heroic acts which took place during the War would seem bleak. 
GJ – Why do you think the World War II took so many Soviet lives in general?
SM – The management of the Soviet Army was much worse than that of the Germany army. The Soviet military standards were not at all compatible with the Western ones. That’s why there were such big casualties on the Soviet side. Let’s refer to figures once again: as I have already said, only two bombs were dropped over the city of Tbilisi which killed no one. Meanwhile, 300 thousand ethnic Georgians fell in the Second World War. France lived under the German occupation in the duration of 5 years. Twice, in 1940 and 1944 action took place on the French territory, and only 300 thousand French citizens were killed. Germany kept bombing Great Britain for five years. Great Britain had a lion’s share in the liberation of France, the west and south Europe as well as Africa, and less than 300 thousand British citizens perished in the entire   War. America who also had a lion’s share in the defeat of the fascist Germany and is one of the main victors of World War II (having become the world leader after the War) lost only 280 thousand people in battles against Germany and Japan. Germany which was fighting on two fronts (eastern and western) since 1939 lost just nine million people having been attacked by the entire world in the fury of revenge.
GJ – This sounds a lot!
SM – Yes, it definitely does, but remember, the whole world was fighting against Germany as justly as it was done . . .