In their works Soviet historians examine in detail the social, political and ideological sources of the struggle the peoples of the colonies and semi-colonies conducted against fascism. Their investigations are based on a profound ideo- logical, political and social analysis of the conditions which governed the devel- opment of the struggle of the popular masses, on an all-round appraisal of the objective factors affecting this development. As a rule, the influence of three groups of factors is taken into account. The first group includes the sum total of social, ideological, political and economic factors inside the given country; the second group -- the sum of external factors which include international relations
the overall balance of world forces, the relations between the metropolitan
country and the colony; and finally, the military factor in wartime as an inde- pendent and decisive factor which manifests itself in victory or defeat on the decisive front. During the second world war this was the Soviet-German Front.
Soviet historiography has revealed that the plans of the fascist powers were to abolish the social achievements of the peoples, inhibit social progress. To this end they intended to enslave and exterminate whole nations and nation- alities by plunging the world into unprecedented cannibalism. The multivolume "History of the Second World War, 1939-1945" states:
"That was why the struggle against fascism, while meeting the fundamental interests of the peoples, acquired a just liberation character." 2
This fully applies to the colonies too. In some of them the struggle was headed by Communist Parties and anti-fascist people's fronts.
Soviet historiography examines a wide range of problems revealing the participation of the peoples of the colonies and semi-colonies in the fight against fascism. Among them is above all the problem of the ability to resist fascist ag- gression. In their works Soviet military historians show that the peoples of Libya and Ethiopia were the first to experience the attack of the fascist aggressors. In this connection Soviet scholars generalised and analysed for the first time the possibilities and methods of resistance a poorly equipped army put up against an aggressor army outfitted with modern weapons.
Soviet historiography further pays serious attention to a study of the con- tribution the peoples of the colonies made to the military economy of the Anti- Hitler Coalition. The fundamental research works by the military economists
L. Tyagunenko and A.Y. Spirt and the investigations of N.V. Pykhtunov and
N. Svanidze reveal the role the peoples of the colonies played in the delivery
of many types of strategic raw materials and foodstuffs and in running the inter- continental network of British and US (Allied) communications. Soviet re-