From a Cecil Parkinson interview with Wilson-Wilson St.John, distinguished historian, recently returned from Groznyy, Samarkand and the dead.

CP: Professor St.John.
W-WSt.J.: Mr. Parkinson. Cecil. Cec. C.
CP: Professor, I'm happy to welcome you onto the show tonight.
W-WSt.J.: I will permit this happiness.
CP: I'd like to talk to you, if I may, about your controversial theories concerning the outcome of the Second World War.
W-WSt.J.: What?
CP: Your controversial theories concerning the outcome of the Second World War.
W-WSt.J.: Ah, those.
CP: Indeed. Now, let's start with the accepted view. Your contemporaries -
W-WSt.J.: Yes, yes -
CP: - have long held the view that it was the intense cold of the Russian winter, coupled with Hitler's decision to invade Russia and not Britain or the Middle East, that brought the downfall of the Third Reich.
W-WSt.J.: Balderdash!
CP: Well, that's up for debate, and this is the time and the place. Now, I understand you take issue with these ideas?
W-WSt.J.: By Jove I do.
CP: Let's start with the supply situation. Do you contend that this was not an issue?
W-WSt.J.: Quite so, quite so. Germans do not need supplies you see.
CP: I'm sorry?
W-WSt.J.: Don't be, it's a perfectly respectable national trait.
CP: But...
W-WSt.J.: The Russians, of course, suffered horribly.
CP: Quite so.
W-WSt.J.: Horribly.
CP: Indeed.
W-WSt.J.: Horribly.
CP: Uh... let's move on to the effect of winter. Now, I doubt somehow you deny that Russian winters are fierce.
W-WSt.J.: Of course not.
CP: And the cold in 1941 was no exception?
W-WSt.J.: Indeed. It was a motherfucker.
CP: ...I see. Uh. So - so what many people will be asking is, do you not think it would have hampered the Germans?
W-WSt.J.: Horribly.
CP: But isn't that at odds with your theory?
W-WSt.J.: Irreconcilably. But as you said, it's controversial. This is just one example of its controversiality.
CP:...
W-WSt.J.: Horribly.
CP: Professor-
W-WSt.J.: Please. I think you can call me Wilson-Wilson Plantagenet de Orellana Wilson O'George MechaWilson. No need for formalities, what?
CP: So, Wilson-Wilson Plantagenet de Orellana Wilson O'George MechaWilson -
W-WSt.J.: I should point out that is not my name.
CP: ...Professor, let's continue onto the backbone of your theory.
W-WSt.J.: I like this bit.
CP: You contend that the real reason for the invasion's failure stems from Stalingrad.
W-WSt.J.: Yes.
CP: As opposed to many of your detractors, who say its stems from... Stalingrad.
W-WSt.J.: Swines.
CP: Tell me, where does your hypothesis differ?
W-WSt.J.: Well, Stalingrad was named after Stalin.
CP: Indeed.
W-WSt.J.: Whom Hitler hated.
CP: Part of the reason for his determined push for the city, yes.
W-WSt.J.: No, the whole reason.
CP: But -
W-WSt.J.: I AM THE VERY ESSENCE OF RIGHT. In this particular.
CP: Er, yes, good, I see, yes. Carry on, if you would?
W-WSt.J.: You see, the Russians are canny folk, much given to analysis, logic, parsley and debate. They picked up on Hitler's obsession with Stalingrad right away. In fact they knew about it before Germany was invented.
CP: And how did they act on this?
W-WSt.J.: Horribly.
CP: In what way?
W-WSt.J.: Not horribly at all. Very cleverly in fact. And without that habitual vileness of manner that distinguishes the Foreigns. When they had fought to a standstill at Stalingrad, they diverted the remainder of Hitler's army, how numbering three-halves of what it had before the battle -
CP: I think you mean one half -
W-WSt.J.: No, they bred.
CP: With whom?
W-WSt.J.: Indeed, very much so. Anyway, they began to rename nearby cities to divert Hitler into area that would favour their plans.
CP: Such as?
W-WSt.J.: Well, the town of Staly Petrov was the first. It was renamed "Stalingrad East". The Germans invaded within minutes.
CP: And this was the turning point?
W-WSt.J.: No, this was the Russian headquarters. Their plans lay in ruins and the Nazis captured eighty percent of their top personnel.
CP: That doesn't sound like the masterstroke I expected.
W-WSt.J.: They hadn't quite perfected the idea at that point. But they learnt quickly.
CP: So they carried on with the secret renaming plan?
W-WSt.J.: No, they carried on with the secret renaming plan. Do try to pay attention. The next town was Malenki Maximov, which became Stalingrad East East.
CP: And the Germans took the bait?
W-WSt.J.: Quite. They didn't even slow down.
CP: The Blitzkrieg at work.
W-WSt.J.: Yes. And wolves had eaten all the brakes off the tanks.
CP: I wasn't aware of that.
W-WSt.J.: Well, no. I am a professor.
CP: Do go on.
W-WSt.J.: The next step was to lay out a clear route away from major industrial centres and refineries.
CP: Of course, there was a fair amount of oil at stake in that region.
W-WSt.J.: These were vodka refineries.
CP: Don't you mean distilleries?
W-WSt.J.: No, refineries. You are clearly not au fait with Russian vodka.
CP: I'll concede you are more of an expert on it than I.
W-WSt.J.: Undoubtedly. For example, this isn't water I'm drinking.
CP: Ha! Ha!
W-WSt.J.: No, really, try some.
W-WSt.J.: Good, rather, isn't it?
W-WSt.J.: Quite takes the breath away.
W-WSt.J.: And the lungs.
W-WSt.J.: ...
W-WSt.J.: Where was I?
W-WSt.J.: Ah yes, there.
W-WSt.J.: Well I never did.
CP: hh.
W-WSt.J.: Shall I go on?
CP: hh.
W-WSt.J.: The next bit really is rather cunning.
CP: hh?
W-WSt.J.: Yes. Interesting. The Russians, having settled on their route, began to put their plan into action in earnest. Firstly, Retovorov became Undefendedgrad. The Germans swung into action - exactly where the Russians wanted them.
CP: A good plan well executed.
W-WSt.J.: The next step was to lead the hordes westwards. The Panzers rolled into Oilgrad, Immunetowinteriya and Richinnaturalresourcesgorod in quick succession. By this stage they were at the Polish border.
CP: Surely by this stage they were beginning to suspect something was up?
W-WSt.J.: Not at all. You see, the Russians had renamed the German garrisons left along the way on the initial invasions. Thus, when they were revisited by the bulk of the army, now numbering a squillion, they were mistaken for bears and bulldozed.
CP: I find that a trifle hard to believe.
W-WSt.J.: Well, I'm sure there were many doubts. But you see every soldier had a nametag proclaiming himself to be a bear. So any dissent was quelled as soon as it began.
CP: A nametag.
W-WSt.J.: Yes.
CP: In Russian.
W-WSt.J.: Yes.
CP: Not German.
W-WSt.J.: Yes.
CP: So how did the Russians get these nametags onto the soldiers, and how did they fool the incoming military so completely?
W-WSt.J.: I am about to explain that. I am now explaining that. Now I have explained that.
CP: ...
W-WSt.J.: Very much so.
CP: When was the final blow to Hitler's masterplan struck, in your opinion?
W-WSt.J.: That came in 1944 with the capture of INVADEHERETOWINTHEWARgrad. That, of course, was actually Berlin. Carnage ensued.
CP: And the Americans...?
W-WSt.J.: Horribly.
CP: Professor St.John, thank you very much.