An estimated 17 million civilians, men, women and children, had perished, although no one will ever know the exact figure.
The Red Army still retreated, but kept fighting desperately.
The Germans tried one last hurrah, one last offensive against the Kursk bulge in July 1943.
Nevertheless, in the shadows lurked the usual haters of the Soviet Union, who were only biding their time before emerging again.
The everyman in Europe and the United States knew very well who had carried the load against the Wehrmacht.