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Most important turning point of WW2

LAURENCE REES: What do you consider to be the single most important turning point in the war?

TAMI BIDDLE: It depends on what country you’re talking about. I think the West tends to under-appreciate the role of the Russians in the war. Just looking at the numbers which are so staggering for the Russians and so different; we sort of look to be a little unimportant theatre off to the side for most of the war. I think one of the most fantastic things is when the Russian people, when they’re in absolute crisis after Barbarossa, pick up their industry, literally pick it up and put it on trains and they move it East, behind the Urals. And they are able to continue to fight and they’ve still got something of a war industry left. They do this massive human effort that’s almost unfathomable in terms of what it took physically to dismantle everything, dismantle factories, load them onto rail cars, move them and set them back up again. I mean it’s a human feat of labour that is just breathtaking. That’s one of the turning points. Midway is a great turning point in the Pacific War. I think bringing escort fighters into the European theatre and having them be really effective in the spring of 1944 is a great turning point.

LAURENCE REES: If we were going to use just one it would be that Russian achievement?

TAMI BIDDLE: I think Russia staying in the war in 1942 and 1943 is very important. You know, I think if Germany had won the war in the East - the way they won the war in the East in the First World War - then you start to think about dropping atomic bombs on Germany. Because I don’t know how you would have done it. The other huge piece is the Battle of Britain. I don’t know if there’s a single turning point, you know, I think there’s so many pieces that have to kind of click into place at the right moment.