Monday, June 23, 2008


I have always had a keen interest in history. This is coming from a guy who scored 94% in history/geography in the public school exams, and that was achieved by not mugging up the texts but actually reading up even more on the events. Yes, I am the guy who can pinpoint Smolensk on the map and tell you about the Caucasus and the history behind "And Quiet Flows the Don".

Regarding WW2, most people are under the impression that the D-Day landings on Normandy where the turning point in the war. Natural to think that way since that is the most publicized and celebrated event by the western media.

But Hitler was broken in the east, in the -40 degree cold of the Russian winter and the disorienting never-ending melancholic horizon of the land in the winter of 1941 and 1942. These defeats offered a glimmer of hope for the first time that the German army was not invincible. After those defeats it was a retreat all the way to the last stand at Berlin.

To know the full history, you can watch the following 3 free episodes... The full episodes can be seen after downloading the software from The below clips are excerpts.

Btw Barbarossa was Hitler's codename for the Russian invasion.


Deepak said...

I have discovered a fascination for Indian history in recent times, mainly through the works of William Dalrymple and Ramachandra Guha.

One of the things with studying history in school is that they dont teach you much modern Indian history, especially the post-independence era. This was impressed upon me when I read India After Gandhi and came away with a lot of stuff that I really ought to have learnt growing up.

Arun said...

Actually, Indian history was the least interesting for me... The reason I guess is that there are very few hero figures in Indian history... Only now do I understand how Gandhi's non-violence method preserved India after independence. Otherwise it would have been another South America kinda situation after 1947. but growing up, you tend to look upto revolutionaries...

As for pre-1857 Indian history, I never found the Mughals, Hoysalas and the Cholas interesting...