Adolf Hitler started World War II by attacking Poland on September 1, 1939. Nazi Germany moved only after it had already remilitarized the Rhineland, absorbed Austria, and dismantled Czechoslovakia. Before the outbreak of the war, Hitler’s new Third Reich had created the largest German-speaking nation in European history.
Seventy-one years ago, the British, Canadians, and Americans landed on the Normandy beaches to open a second ground front against Nazi Germany.
Operation Overlord — the Allied invasion of Western Europe — proved the largest amphibious operation in military history, dwarfing even Xerxes’s Persian invasion of Greece in 480 B.C.
May 8 marked the end of World War II in Europe 70 years ago — a horrific conflict that is still fought over by historians.
More than 60 million people perished — some 50 million of them in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and China.
The pre-war Soviet state in the 1920s and 1930s had killed perhaps 20 million of its own citizens in purges, exiles, collectivizations, forced famines, and show trials. Then it lost an estimated 25 million soldiers and civilians to the German army on the Eastern Front. Hitler’s Germany by late 1942 had occupied almost 1 million square miles of Soviet ground.
Obama and European leaders are repeating the mistakes of their 1930s predecessors.
by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
World War II was the most destructive war in history. What caused it?
The panic from the ongoing and worldwide Depression in the 1930s had empowered extremist movements the world over. Like-minded, violent dictators of otherwise quite different Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, and the Communist Soviet Union all wanted to attack their neighbors.
Yet World War II could have been prevented had Western Europe united to deter Germany. Instead, France, Britain, and the smaller European democracies appeased Hitler.
Winston Churchill never once flinched in the face of the Third Reich.
by Victor Davis Hanson // World Net Daily
Over the years I’ve debated scholars and pundits on issues ranging from illegal immigration (no to open borders), George Bush’s troop levels in Iraq (don’t add and don’t subtract, but change tactics and force the Iraqis to step up), and World War II (the Red Army, for all the savagery and ordeal on the Eastern front, was not mostly responsible for winning the war, and its soldiers were no more courageous than Americans at Bastogne, Normandy Beach, Iwo Jima or Okinawa).
Blowing apart a problem for a while is different from ending it for good.
by Victor Davis Hanson // WND
The Japanese did not see their attack on Pearl Harbor as foolish at all. What in retrospect seems suicidal did not necessarily seem so at the time. In hindsight, the wiser Japanese course would have been to absorb the orphaned colonial Far Eastern possessions of France, the Netherlands and Great Britain that were largely defenseless after June 1941. By carefully avoiding the Philippines and Pearl Harbor, the Japanese might have inherited the European colonial empire in the Pacific without starting a war with the United States. And had the Japanese and Germans coordinated strategy, the two might have attacked Russia simultaneously in June 1941 without prompting a wider war with the United States, or in the case of Japan, an immediate conflict necessarily with Great Britain.
Seventy years ago this June 6, the Americans, British, and Canadians stormed the beaches of Normandy in the largest amphibious invasion of Europe since the Persian king Xerxes invaded Greece in 480 B.C.
About 160,000 troops landed on five Normandy beaches and linked up with airborne troops in a masterful display of planning and courage. Within a month, almost a million Allied troops had landed in France and were heading eastward toward the German border. Within eleven months the war with Germany was over.
Boko Haram and the Sultan of Brunei couldn’t care less about Western outrage.
by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
Nigeria’s homegrown, al-Qaeda linked militant group, Boko Haram, brags openly that it recently kidnapped about 300 young Nigerian girls. It boasts that it will sell them into sexual slavery.
Those terrorists have a long and unapologetic history of murdering kids who dare to enroll in school, and Christians in general. For years, Western aid groups have pleaded with the State Department to at least put Boko Haram on the official list of terrorist groups. But former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team was reluctant to come down so harshly, in apparent worry that some might interpret such condemnation as potentially offensive to Islamic sensitivities.
Instead, Western elites now flood Facebook and Twitter with angry postings about Boko Haram — either in vain hopes that public outrage might deter the terrorists, or simply to feel better by loudly condemning the perpetrators.