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Most overrated leader of WW2

LAURENCE REES: And the most overrated leader?

ROBERT SERVICE: The single most overrated leader I think is Stalin. He was a divided personality, he was an exceptional politician and he was a dominant leader. He brought the politics and the military sides of the war together, but he fought a disastrous war in other respects. It was he who had produced the worst farming system the world has ever known: Soviet collective agriculture. It was he who made it possible that most Soviet people in the unoccupied areas might starve to death. It was he who deported peoples who were not collectively responsible for collaborating with the Germans. It was said that if there hadn’t been so many Ukrainians he would have deported all of them as well. It was he who had purged so many officers who had done no wrong and who were decent professional officers in the Red Army. A lot of the damage done to the Soviet war effort was done before 1941 by Stalin, and a lot of the triumph of the Soviet war effort has to do with some of the slackening of this brutality between 1941 and 1945, though even during the war Stalin behaved like a brute.