#AceHistory2ResearchNews – SEVASTOPOL – June 22 – A traditional youth action called the Toy Boats of Dream took place in the federal city of Sevastopol at four o’clock in the morning on Sunday.
(Toy Boats of Dream Full Size Models of Course No Pictures of the Event)
Thousands of young people came to the city’s Grafskaya Pristan (count’s moorage) to put down paper-made toy boats into the Black Sea in memory of the first victims of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945).
(Toy Boats of Dream Full Size Models of Course No Pictures of the Event )
By tradition, they wrote their sacred wishes on their boats.
The idea to hold the action was born six years ago.
It was inspired by an episode from a play by local playwright Aksinya Normanskaya titled “I am waiting for you at Grafskaya” in which school-leavers of Sevastopol schools come to the seaside to meet dawn and at that time the first bombs started falling on them.
About a thousand young people gathered on Grafskaya moorage in the early hours of morning on Sunday. This year’s school-leavers were the first to put down their toy boats. They went down to the sea on a road lined with lit candles.
“I wrote one wish on my toy boat – peace. The current events in Eastern Ukraine are repeating what happened here (during the war). I am praying that my relatives are not affected,” student Yekaterina Podbello said.
Several young people had laid down flowers to the monuments of the first WWII victims prior to coming to Grafskaya moorage. It was built at a place where the first German mines burst on the night to June 22, 1941. Eighteen people were killed and 136 were injured.
An official rally to commemorate the start of the Great Patriotic War that broke out on June 22, 1941 will be held outside the monument later in the day.
A memorial chapel in memory of the residents of Sevastopol who died during WWII will be unveiled at Victory Park.
|The initial phase of the Russian campaign, following Germany’s massive surprise attack on 22 June 1941, was extremely successful for the aggressor and catastrophic for the Soviets. The size of the invading army had no precedent in history: over 5.3 million men, over 4,000 tanks, 4,500 aircraft, and over 47,000 pieces of ordnance, attacking along an 1,800-mile-long front.|
In the first five months of the invasion German armored units drove deep into Soviet territory, advancing to some 750 miles at some points past the Russian front. They reached the outskirts of Moscow, captured most of the Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula in the south, and encircled Leningrad in the north, imposing a blockade on Russia’s second largest city.
The Red Army suffered losses unparalleled in military history: by 1 December 1941 it had lost 7 million (dead, missing, or taken prisoner), about 22,000 tanks, and nearly 25,000 military aircraft. In practice, nothing remained of the Red Army units formed prior to the German invasion.
The catastrophic defeats and losses of the initial stage of the war were clearly the result of the fundamental miscalculation of the Stalinist leadership that had chosen to ally the Soviet Union with the Nazi regime.
The collusion with Hitler had deprived Russia of the critical buffer of Poland, allowing Germany to amass troops along the Soviet border and launch the surprise attack.
In addition, the Soviet troops, deployed in the recently annexed eastern provinces of Poland, did not have enough time to set up powerful defensive positions.