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Film / Moscow Strikes Back

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Captured Germans.

Moscow Strikes Back (Разгром немецких войск под Москвой, Razgrom Nemetskikh Voysk Pod Moskvoy, "Rout of the German troops near Moscow"), is a 1942 documentary film from the Soviet Union.

It recounts the Battle of Moscow and the Soviet victory of 1941-42, in which Soviet troops mounted a great offensive that flung back the Germans from the gates of the capital. After showing some of the good times of pre-war Russia—a youth parade in 1939, a military parade in 1940—the film cuts to the fall of 1941 and the German assault on the Soviet Union. The Nazis approach to within 15 miles of Moscow before the Russians throw them back. The Russians attack with tanks, planes, infantry, ski troops, and cavalry, while women and civilians dig anti-tank ditches and man factories back in Moscow.


Moscow Strikes Back was one of four documentaries that won Oscars at the 1943 ceremony, the first to give out documentary awards. It is a relic of that brief period 1941-1945 when the United States and the Soviet Union were allies. Compare the dramatic film Mission to Moscow.


  • The Cavalry: Really! On horseback! With swords! Horse cavalry in those days could still be pretty effective when raiding behind enemy lines, provided you didn't run into any enemy heavy artillery or tanks.
  • Chummy Commies: The Movie. Multiple times, the narration talks about "the free peoples of the world" banding together to fight Hitler and the Nazis. Say what you will about the justice of the Soviet cause—they were attacked, after all—calling Stalin's people "free" was a bit of a stretch.
  • Citadel City: Moscow, with the people of the city digging anti-tank ditches to stop the Germans.
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  • Fighter-Launching Sequence: Russian planes taking off to attack Hitler's armies.
  • Hitler Cam: Ironically enough, used for Josef Stalin, who makes a defiant speech at the celebration of the Red October revolution, while the German hordes approach.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted in horrifying fashion, with graphic shots of dead children killed by the Nazis, as well as one scene in which several teenaged children are found hanged.
  • It's Raining Men: Soviet ski troops are dropped by parachute, then their skis are dropped after them.
  • Narrator: None other than Edward G. Robinson narrates the version of the film released in America.
  • Scenery Gorn:
    • Many shots of destroyed, burnt out Russian towns.
    • The film makes a point of showing how the Germans wrecked the homes of Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Tchaikovsky.
  • Spreading Disaster Map Graphic: Inverted. A map shows the German positions at the end of November 1941, at the gates of Moscow as well as threatening Moscow from the south. Then at the end of the movie the German tide is shown receding, due to the Russian attack.
  • Tank Goodness: Soviet tanks are shown coming off the assembly line and then engaging the Germans in combat.

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