PROBLEMS WHICH FACED THE PEOPLES OF THE COLONIES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST FASCISM DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR, AS REFLECTED IN SOVIET HISTORIOGRAPHY.
[Lieutenant-General P.A. Zhilin and Colonel L.L. Kruglov of the Institute of Military History of the Soviet Army, Moscow (U.S.S.R.)]
Detailed studies in the history of the second world war have formed one of the key lines in Soviet military historical science throughout the postwar period. The writing and publication of a multivolume "History of the Second World War, 1939-1945" marked an important stage in this research effort. The best students in history of the Soviet Union have contributed to this work. Just like Soviet military historiography in general this multivolume edition regards the second world war as a most outstanding event in world history. In the fight against the fascist threat not only the independence of the U.S.S.R., but also the "destinies of all mankind, the honour and freedom of the peoples of the world" were at stake. 1
Soviet historiography of the second world war shows that the Soviet Union which shouldered the main burden of the war against fascism enjoyed the sym- pathies and support of all the peoples that fought shoulder to shoulder in the ranks of the United Nations against the common enemy of mankind, including the peoples of the colonies. The research works of Soviet historians show that the victories the U.S.S.R. scored in the armed struggle against fascism on the Soviet-German Front and against militarist Japan exercised a direct influence both on the activisation of the fight against fascism on other fronts and on the rise of the national-liberation antifascist struggle of all peoples all over the world.
Soviet researchers have given prominent space in their works to studies in the struggle the peoples of the colonies and semi-colonies waged against fascism and Japanese militarism. Soviet historiography regards this question as one of the problem questions bearing on the pre-history and history of the second world war. At the same time Soviet historians took into account the fact 1) that the peoples of the colonies as an object of imperialist contention for the redivision of the world were, during the war, an object of vigorous colonial expansion on the part of the fascist powers; 2) that at the same time they took part in the struggle against fascism and contributed to the victory; 3) that studies in this contribution have broadened our knowledge of the role the masses of people play in the con- temporary epoch, the epoch of transition from capitalism to socialism; and, 4) that the victory over the fascist-militarist bloc secured by the Anti-Hitler Coali- tion has opened broad possibilities for the development and consolidation of the forces of peace, democracy and socialism and has accelerated the collapse of