I FIND myself in the rather odd position of being in basic agreement with the recent comments made by Alex Orr (June 8) regarding the massive contribution of Soviet Russia to the defeat of Nazi Germany.

The Russians did indeed pay the majority of the awful butchers’ bill for the war. Alex mentions a figure of 26 million Soviet dead. The great battles of the Eastern Front, Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk and Bagration, not to mention the battle for Berlin itself, fatally exhausted the Nazi beast. But without in any way playing down the extent of Soviet contribution to victory, there are a number of major points which should also be emphasised.

Firstly, while the Soviet Union gave most to defeat Hitler it was also instrumental in enabling him to launch the conflict in the first place. Would Hitler have attacked Poland in September 1939 without having arrived at his vital understanding with Stalin via the August 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact? This iniquitous agreement carved up the helpless body of unfortunate Poland between the two international thugs and sanctioned Stalin’s invasions of the Baltic Republics. Stalin faithfully supplied oil, minerals and grain to Germany right up until the Nazi attack on Russia in June 1941. Stalin himself always regretted the war with Hitler, later telling his daughter Svetlana that Soviets and Nazis together would have been unbeatable.

Secondly, without copious Allied supplies being convoyed up to Murmansk it would have been difficult to impossible for the Soviets to launch the vigorous campaigns of 1941-45. My father was an able-seaman on Arctic Convoy destroyers and I am well aware of the sacrifices of our sailors in the “worst sea in the world”. Furthermore, we must acknowledge that the Soviets were the beneficiaries of the massive Allied bombing campaigns. These did enormous damage, and as importantly drew away German troops and equipment from the Eastern Front.

Lastly, and most importantly, we must note that it was the success of the D-Day landings, AND OF THEM ALONE, that re-established liberty on the European continent. For all of the suicidal bravery of the Russians, their total victory in Europe would only have changed one dreadful tyranny for another only slightly less awful.

The clear lesson of history should be plain for all to see. It was the successful D-Day landings, and victory in the West, allied with the Marshall Plan and the continuing Nato commitment to Europe, that has bought our freedom today. Without these sacrifices of blood and treasure, the EU would be stillborn.

I would love to put that message on every red London bus.

William Ross

IN reply to Mary McCabe (Letters, June 7), I fully appreciate that if we started a television station we would only be talking to the converted. However, there is both a long-term and short-term reason for undertaking such a project.

Assuming we win the next referendum, which is about 18 months away, what then? Do we as an independent nation continue to pay the BBC/Westminster a fee for watching television programmes in Scotland, which we presently have to do? We know that they are biased against us, so we need to do something, and presumably this issue will transfer to Holyrood.

The right to broadcast in Scotland will obviously be under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Government, who will then issue broadcasting licences to those wishing to broadcast in Scotland and the government will have to set up some kind of national service anyway. Also I would assume the BBC will wish to continue to broadcast programmes in Scotland and presumably we might wish to broadcast into England. After all, others have agreements which allow them to broadcast over their own borders. So are we going to stop the BBC from doing this, or allow them to do so and then complain that their news is biased against us?

Mary McCabe mentions Radio Free Scotland, which she admits was a pirate station. I did point out in my letter that I’m advocating some kind of legal television service, which is entirely different. With a legal station you can easily find out directors and contact them; you know exactly where they will broadcast from; their programmes are freely advertised; and there is a whole host of information that anyone can easily access. Obviously as she pointed out RFS was jammed and had to keep moving so they didn’t get caught. Then of course who is responsible for the content and accuracy of the programmes, and who are they answerable to?

I know others have voiced concern that we don’t have an accountable service and, like Mary McCabe, I don’t know the full answer either. However, if nobody is willing to open up dialogue on the issue, then nothing will be done, and we aren’t going to win independence if nobody is willing to do anything. As Mary has stated: “If we can grab the imagination again in that way, we’re sorted.”

I would go a step further and say that we need to motivate the people; we need to believe and start acting as an independent nation; look for ways we can create jobs within Scotland and get as big a majority as we can or else we will have a similar situation as Westminster has with Brexit.

Alexander Potts