Not So Quiet on the Eastern Front
March 15, 2019 6:39 PM   Subscribe

Eastory is a YouTube channel for short, clearly animated recountings of war history and history in general, made by an anonymous Estonian guy. The narration is simply stated with plenty of detail and an incredible sense of scale, with appropriately ominous music throughout. The videos about the Eastern Front of WWII are superb.
posted by rhizome (12 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
 
I clicked play on a fluke and now I’m addicted. Super engaging and interesting. Thanks for posting.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 9:46 PM on March 15


It amazes me that when you see those various bulges opening and closing in the lines, that each of those is a lifetime of detailed and particular history and events for hundreds if not thousands of people.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:44 PM on March 15 [3 favorites]


For me it is the numbers that remain shocking, I mean mind numbingly astonishing to think about. See a line close and note the 663,000 POWs, which is roughly the equivalent of the entire city proper of Portland Oregon being captured without even accounting for the greater number of dead. The scale and human cost of the war on the Nazi Soviet front is literally impossible for me to really get a grip on, no matter how many times I see the information.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:42 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


The human suffering is unimaginable, indeed. Something like half of those prisoners were starved to death - maybe more. Not to mention what happened to the civilians.
posted by thelonius at 12:10 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


From the OP's language I was expecting something like Simple History. Eastory is different, focusing on maps and movement visualizations.
posted by doctornemo at 8:41 AM on March 16


The scale of the Nazi-Soviet war is mind-boggling. The biggest and arguably most terrible war in human history - and few know or appreciate it in the west.

I like how Eastory visualizes the strategy, managing to communicate a hefty amount of information in a hurry without overwhelming the viewer.

(WWI's eastern front is even less visible.)
posted by doctornemo at 8:44 AM on March 16 [4 favorites]


Another lesser-known bit that it covers in the video about the Eastern Front in 1941 starting at 4:55 is the Continuation War.

Finland and Germany as co-belligerents against the Soviet Union is a bit hard to explain to people who don't know much about the Winter War (animated Simple History explanation here) and the Continuation War (my paternal grandparents were both Finnish veterans of these wars, and left Finland after World War II because they were understandably concerned that Stalin would try again).

Estonia's situation in World War II vis-a-vis the Nazis and Soviets was equally complicated - the movie 1944 does a good job of dramatizing that mess if Estonia's story interests you.

As a backdrop to that, Eastory has a video that explains the 1919 Estonian War of Independence.

The scale of the Nazi-Soviet war is mind-boggling. The biggest and arguably most terrible war in human history - and few know or appreciate it in the west.

I like how Eastory visualizes the strategy, managing to communicate a hefty amount of information in a hurry without overwhelming the viewer.


These are really well done, but yeah, it's impossible to imagine the horror in Ukraine alone. Before the front swept eastward through Ukraine, and later back westward, we shouldn't forget that the Soviet Union starved somewhere around 4 million people to death there between 1932 and 1933. Eastern Europe was dragged repeatedly through the twin horrors of Nazi and Soviet brutality (witness, for example, Poland being attacked by the Soviet Union in 1939 at the exact same time Hitler launched his invasion from the west).

Thanks for the post!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:47 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


From the OP's language I was expecting something like Simple History. Eastory is different, focusing on maps and movement visualizations.

Maps! [knocks head] In my defense, I did struggle greatly coming up with a concise description!
posted by rhizome at 11:59 AM on March 16


My friend's parents were Poles in the Soviet gulag at the start of the war. Her father was offered freedom because they needed reinforcements so badly. He joked once, "Thank you, Hitler".
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:16 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


"Exposed to propaganda by local Bolsheviks..."
posted by ovvl at 8:15 PM on March 16


This is the kind of thing that would be amazing on a super large display with even more emphasis on the graphical display of information in place of narration. The way the salients get pinched off and evaporate is physically effecting.
posted by Pembquist at 9:51 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


It's instructional to think of the "Battle of the Bulge" as one of those attempted encirclement manouvers with an attack force of about 400,000, and then, when defeated, the little disappearing number would be between 50 and 100,000 Germans (not sure how many POWs but that'd be the number of casualties).

Stunning numbers, but just background noise on the eastern front.
posted by Rumple at 12:27 PM on March 18


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