World War: EASTERN THEATER: Wootsk & Pootsk

Except for the devotees of Comedian Mischa Auer, Russian names have always been tongue-twisters; to Mischa and his fans they have been side-splitters. The Battle of Russia is the most unpronounceable campaign of World War II. Communiques are peppered with place names in not only Russia but Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, East Prussia, Poland, Rumania. The most important, together with rough approximations in English phonetics of their pronunciations:

Finland:

Aland Islands: o'land Hanko: hang'koe Helsinki: hell'sink-ee

Latvia:

Riga: ree ga Dvinsk: dvinsk

Lithuania:

Shavli (Sialiai): shau'ley Kaunas: cow'nahs

Old Poland:

Luck: wootsk Puck: pootsk Lwow: voof Lodz: lutsch Pripet: pree'petch Brest...

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