Great Patriotic War

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The term Great Patriotic War (Великая Отечественная Война, Velikaya Otechestvennaya Voyna in Russian) is used in Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union to describe the war of 1941 to 1945 between Nazi Germany and its Axis allies, on the one hand, and the Soviet Union, on the other hand, i.e. the Eastern Front of World War II.

The term was coined following the Axis attack against the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 and was to mobilise the population to defend the motherland. Before then, the term referred to the Patriotic War of Russia against the French invaders under Napoleon in 1812 (now known as the Patriotic War of 1812).

The term Great Patriotic War appeared in the Soviet newspaper Pravda one day after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, in a long article titled The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet People (Russian: Великая Отечественная война cоветского народа). The term war against aggression was used by the Soviet Union before the involvement of the United States and Japan. The conflict was also known as The Sacred War or The Sacred People's War by Soviet media in the early days of the war.ru:Великая Отечественная война 1941-45

de:Großer Vaterländischer Krieg nl:Grote Vaderlandse Oorlog

Great Patriotic War

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