Second world war winners and the appeal of Dad’s Army | Letters

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Martin Smith and Mark Ellis on Russia and the second world war, Luke Sorba on the Balkan wars, and Jane Moth on the bright side of Dad’s Army

Anne Perkins’ joshing about the British public’s admiration of Dad’s Army (A Dad’s Army Brexit looms. ‘Don’t panic!’ 8 October) is myopic. Berating the TV audience for supposedly accepting “the idea that it was the Dunkirk spirit and British genius rather than the mighty US war machine that had won the war” sounds like Trumpian rhetoric. No single nation won the second world war. It was the allies who did so. If she seeks a heroic “winner”, she might like to consider Russia or, more accurately, the USSR. The number of Russian lives lost in Leningrad alone was higher than the combined British and American war fatalities.
Martin Smith
(Director of Red Star, episode 11 of The World at War), Bristol

• In his book The Long Hangover, your Moscow correspondent Shaun Walker details how Vladimir Putin encourages the cult of the “Great Patriotic War”. In one city, children are drilled for weeks to march, sing and wave flags at a ceremony that includes a re-enactment of the storming of the Reichstag. By comparison, our affection for Dad’s Army seems rather sweet.
Dr Mark Ellis
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

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