Although the Soviet Communist Party was an implacable foe of the United States during the Cold War (which began before WWII even ended), the U.S. and the free world owe a debt of gratitude to the common Russian soldier, who broke the back of Hitler's Wehrmacht. Eight out of every ten German soldiers killed in the Second World War lost their lives on the Russian front. Russia herself lost more than twenty million lives, civilian and military deaths alike, during that conflict - a toll of suffering almost unimaginable in today's world. To put Stalingrad in perspective, Russian casualties in that campaign alone were 1.12 million, of which more than 478,000 were deaths. During WWII, the U.S. lost 416,000 dead, less than the USSR at Stalingrad.