Russian officials today, much like the Soviet authorities of a past generation, encourage a cult of the Great Patriotic War. In the national narrative, this was their Finest Hour, still invoked on significant anniversary days as an example of heroism and sacrifice by politicians such as Vladimir Putin.
No one here (I mean in Britain, not perhaps in the columns of The Spectator) likes to read anything nice about the Germans. So I shall warn you that there will be some praise for Germany in this review, mixed with the usual level of bashing. If the very thought of this shocks or appals you, I’ll do that rare thing for any journalist and suggest you turn the page and move on to something more comforting.