In June of 1941 some 3 million German troops crossed the border to invade the Soviet Union. Success was immediate and stunning. They advanced to the outskirts of Moscow and captured millions of Soviet prisoners. By 1944 the tide had turned to the point that orders for a German soldier to go to the Eastern Front were paramount to a death sentence. To show strength and forewarn and humiliate the Germans, the Soviets marched some 60,000 German prisoners of war through the streets of Moscow, led by 19 captured generals. This “Parade of the Vanquished” was filmed and shown to the world. In a final act of humiliation, street cleaners followed the procession to wash away all traces of the only German troops to enter Moscow. This is the face of defeat.
— Steve Corbo
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