IAN Mitchell’s plea for balanced recognition of the enormous Soviet contribution to Allied victory in the Second World War was timely (Letters, June 8). Soviet military and civilian losses were, indeed, staggering and still have the capacity to shock one even today. This fact in no way diminishes the sacrifices made on the D-Day beaches and elsewhere in the West or, indeed, those in the Far East which are sometimes eclipsed by the Normandy campaign. However, sadly, it has been allowed to be sidelined by political developments during the Cold War and its aftermath.

It would have been an appropriate courtesy to have recognised and honoured this historical truth during the D-Day commemoration, however strained the current relationship between London and Moscow may be.

Dave Stewart, Glasgow G11.

DR Jim Macgregor (Letters, June 8) believes that US and UK bankers backed Nazi Germany's massive rearmanent in the 1930s, but how did Hitler's Government repay them, with interest, and using what as security?

In fact, the very flawed post-First World War "settlement" violated Winston Churchill's very wise injunction that humiliation of losers the must never be the victors' policy. That profound flaw contributed a casus belli for the Second World War. At the Peace Conference in 1919, the French PM, Georges Clemanceau, had predicted another world war within 20 years. A prediction as accurate as the Versailles statesmanship was disastrous.

In marked contrast, post-Second World War, the occupation of Germany by the allies, the Marshall Plan and formation of Nato all reflected very much wiser policies, which played a more fundamental part than did the EU in maintaining peace.

The very creditable restoration of the fabric of Europe, and its industrial recovery are no less impressive than the pre-war Nazi military build-up.

However, it remains unclear how a defeated, impoverished Germany could have paid back the much-maligned international financiers of the 1930s.

(Dr) Charles Wardrop, Perth.