Victory in Europe Day which is generally known as VE Day, marks the day Nazi Germany unconditionally surrendered to the allies in May 1945. Debate still rages among younger generations as to which allied nation played the most important role in defeating the Germans during the war. The USSR undoubtedly made the biggest human sacrifice with a quarter of the entire Soviet population killed or wounded during the conflict. In total, an estimated 27 million Soviets are thought to have perished. The U.S. had just over 400,000 military deaths (including the war in the Pacific) while the UK had approximately 384,000 (also including deaths in combat with Japan).
Despite the massive Soviet casualty figures, some believe their decisive contribution to the war effort was only achievable through lend-lease weaponry from the UK and US. Others point out that Russian ingenuity, industrial capacity and innovative equipment such as the T-34 tank were the main reasons the allies won the war. Some also say that USAAF and RAF bombing destroyed Germany's ability to wage war effectively, providing the greatest contribution to victory. YouGov conducted a poll to find out what the current generation think. In the UK, a clear 50 percent majority say Britain made the biggest contribution to victory while in the United States, 47 percent say it was their armed forces. In France, 56 percent say it was the Americans, 7 percent say the British and 22 percent say the Russians. In Germany, 34 percent of those polled said the U.S. played the most important role in winning the war, while 22 percent say it was the Russians and 7 percent say Britain.
This chart shows responses to the question: "who played the most important role defeating the nazis in WWII?"
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