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Simons Lecture: Alexander Hill on Stalin's Army

The Department of History is proud to announce the Gary and Eleanor G. Simons Lecture for 2017, which will feature Dr. Alexander Hill of the University of Calgary. Dr. Hill’s talk, “Stalin’s Red Army at War, 1939-1945” will take place at 5:30 pm in G186 McCarty Hall on the campus of the University of Florida. This lecture is free and open to the public.
The Soviet road to victory over Nazi Germany on the Eastern Front was a rocky one. The Red Army was in many ways poorly prepared to meet the Axis invasion in June 1941 despite years of preparation for war. It would take in to 1944 for the Red Army to liberate pre-1939 Soviet territory – much of which had been lost in just a matter of weeks. The Red Army was undoubtedly a far more effective force by 1945 than it had been in 1941, but still took mind boggling losses during the closing stages of the war. How and why the Red Army went from the disasters of 1941 to being increasingly successful on the battlefield as the war progressed, and yet still at such cost, is the theme of this lecture.
Alexander Hill is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Calgary. His research is concerned primarily with Soviet military, naval and strategic history from c. 1928-1945. He has recently published The Red Army and the Second World War with Cambridge University Press (2017), that examines the development of the Red Army from the late 1920s through to the end of the Second World War in Europe. He has also written on the nature and military effectiveness of the Soviet partisan movement in north-west Russia, 1941-1944, on the development of Soviet naval power in the Arctic up to the first months of the Great Patriotic War, and the significance of Allied Lend-Lease aid for the Soviet war effort during 1941-1942.