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War and Peace Lecture on March 28: How Did the Soviets Survive 1942?

Steve Miner delves into "Why Did the USSR Not Crack in 1941-42?" as he gives the inaugural War and Peace Studies lecture from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, in Baker Center, Room 242.

Steven M. Miner, professor of history and director of the Contemporary History Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a specialist in recent Russian/Soviet and East European history.

His first book, "Between Churchill and Stalin: The Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the Origins of the Grand Alliance" (1988), won the American Historical Association's 1991 George Louis Beer prize for the best book of the year in European history. His latest book is "Stalin's 'Holy War': Religion, Nationalism, and Alliance Politics, 1941-1945" (2003).

In June 1941, before the Nazi armies invaded the USSR, the Soviet army was 5.4 million strong. By December of that year, following the German invasion, almost 4 million languished in Nazi captivity, and a further 1 million had either died or were grievously wounded. By mid-1942 the Nazis had occupied territory encompassing some 44 percent of the total Soviet population. Yet, despite this unprecedented blow, the Soviet government, and the Red Army, did not disintegrate.

"Why did the USSR not collapse as a result of this unprecedented catastrophe? This is a greater blow than any state has sustained in modern history without disintegrating, yet historians have not explained this extraordinary conundrum," says Miner.

For more information about the War and Peace Studies program, visit http://www.internationalstudies.ohio.edu/academic-programs/undergrad/war_peace_maj.html.