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D-DAY | 80TH ANNIVERSARY 1944 – 2024

JUNE 6, 2024

Who Really Beat the Germans?

Eighty years ago this day the Allied powers massively raided the French beaches at Normandy.

It was a super excellent event — the greatest maritime invasion in all of history.

Its plotting, its organizing and its implementation remain astounding wonders.

Over 4,000 Allied men fell down that day and never stood back up — over half were American.

Thousands and thousands more were slain in subsequent campaigns against Herr Hitler’s armies.

If you ask an American he will likely instruct you that D-Day was the high moment of the Second World War.

It represented the momentous pivot. He will concede that Allied nations had something to do with it.

Yet he will tell you theirs was a junior contribution. It was an American show with American stars and Allied extras.

Is it true? It is largely untrue.

It is truer to claim the United States largely scotched imperial Japan than Nazi Germany.

In certain respects, the German armies the Allies battled in Normandy were sad shadows of themselves.

They were largely underpowered and undermanned. As we have noted before: Some Germans manning the Atlantic Wall were not even German.

D_DAY image of soldiers not Germans

D_DAY - soldiers not Germans

Many German units had been depleted on the Eastern Front. They were on recuperation in France when the Allies dropped in on them.

They remained formidable nonetheless.

The English Churchill once claimed, “You don’t know war until you have fought Germans.”

The Allies knew war. In every meaningful joust the Germans inflicted greater casualties upon the Allies than they absorbed.

Allied materiel superiority simply overmatched and overwhelmed them — American materiel superiority in particular.

The Germans moaned that if they encountered an enemy force and were met with well-aimed rifle fire, they were up against the British.

If they got sprayed by machine gun fire it was Russians.

If nothing happened at all and 30 seconds later they were showered with artillery shells… they knew they had run into Americans.

The Germans were astonished that the smallest American units enjoyed such luxurious combat support. They did not have it. Nor did they believe it was gentlemanly.

We do not seek to diminish, demean or dismiss the valour and accomplishments of the United States Army.

We certainly do not intend to diminish, demean or dismiss the sacrifices of its men — we have visited the American military cemetery above Omaha Beach.

Yet the United States was not the war’s central victor. Who then was the war’s central victor?

The answer is the Russians. The Russians did much of the wet work.

The United States showered them with substantial materiel assistance, it is true.

The convoy routes to Murmansk were busy — as were the German Unterseebooten interdicting them.

Yet it was the Russians who largely trounced the Germans. The war in the East heavily decided the Second World War.

The Eastern Front was a scene of unrivalled homicide.

The 1943 Battle of Kursk — for example — was the largest confrontation in the history of warfare.

Over 3 million men were at each other’s throats. Ten thousand tanks and 8,000 aircraft locked in hellacious competition.

The Russians won and the Germans were subsequently cooked. Following Kursk German defeat was not if — but when.

The battle transpired nearly one entire year before the Allied landfall in France.

The Russian Operation Bagration ran from June 1944 to August 1944.

It murdered some 450,000 German soldaten and wrecked 28 crackerjack divisions.

Had those forces been available for service in France, the Allies would have likely confronted a severe mauling.

Yet the Russians handled them. From the military perspective, Bagration bulked far larger than Overlord.

It cleared the route to Berlin.

How significant was the Russian contribution to the Allied triumph?

Russia inflicted some 80% of all German wartime casualties — 80%!

The United States, Great Britain, Canada and additional Allies inflicted a mere 20%.

In all, the United States withstood some 400,000 World War II combat fatalities. Russian combat fatalities… meantime… ran to 8.7 million.

An additional 19 million Russian civilians went under the sod — over 27 million Russians in all.

The nightmare is burned and seared into the Russian memory.

Is it any wonder then that the Russians are so alert to external menaces — including that of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?

We would remind you that portions of Ukraine sit east of Moscow.

Place to one side Mr. Putin’s multiple atrocities. If you seek to understand his trespassing of Ukraine, look first to geography.

Yet on this 80th D-Day anniversary, we reflect upon the war’s avoidability.

The abovesaid Churchill even labelled it “the unnecessary war.”

Why did the unnecessary war become the inevitable war? Read on.

Wilson’s “Gift” That Keeps on Giving

A nation can survive its fools, it has been said — but not its traitors. Yet we begin to suspect the opposite is true. That is, a nation can survive its traitors — but not its fools. That is because a nation’s fools nearly infinitely outnumber a nation’s traitors.

Please answer this question: How many traitors roam within your range of acquaintances? Now please answer this question: How many fools roam within your range of acquaintances?

If the fools do not exceed the traitors by a count of 1,000-1 we would collapse immediately upon the floor.

All evidence we have compiled indicates the ratio of fools to traitors very far exceeds even the 1,000-1 figure we cited. It may indeed approach 1,000,000-1.

Being a fool is no crime, of course. We would be rotting behind the bars if it were. Much of the population would be with us — as would our very jailors.

Fools nonetheless present dangers. And the damages they work often defy calculation. A fool is a fool, it is true. Yet a fool with a bad idea in his head is a toddler with a loaded pistol in his hand…

Woodrow Wilson, Fool

In 1917, after three years of relative neutrality, Woodrow Wilson ordered the doughboys into the trenches. Was Woodrow Wilson a traitor for meddling in Europe’s civil war? We would never suggest it.

He may have meant the best in the world. He may have authentically wished to make the world safe for democracy — and by extension safe for America (as well as the large American banks, who had extended the Allies substantial loans).

He may have believed the angels were with him.

But was he a fool for hurling the nation into a European civil war? Almost certainly. The warring parties had nearly bled themselves white by 1917. Neither side could shatter the other.

They would have likely exhausted themselves. They would have likely come to terms and walked away, honors even. “Never again!” they would have cried.

But Mr. Wilson dispatched the boys “over there” in 1917. This dispatching shifted the battle tide against the kaiser. And the Allies “won” the war.

Yet the Versailles Treaty that closed the war to end all wars… spawned the peace to end all peace.

The German nation did not consider itself defeated on the field of battle. And why would it?

Where were the Allied breakthroughs across the Rhine? Where were the German towns falling one by one to Allied onslaughts?

There were none.

Germany believed it was signing up for “peace without victory” when it signed at Versailles in November, 1919. It did not believe it was signing for defeat.

The European Allies who signed the same document entertained ideas altogether different. They embraced the theory of German defeat. What is more, they embraced the theory that Germany was uniquely responsible for the civilization-wrecking warfare.

Thus they yelled for harshest retributions against Germany.

These retributions and the German resentments trailing behind them paved the path for Herr Hitler — with all that followed.

In brief: Mr. Wilson’s fool crusade failed to make the world safe for democracy. It rather made the world unsafe for democracy by making the world safe for fascism… and communism.

Mr. Wilson’s shade remains in favour among today’s overseas interventionists. His ghost has been observed recently in Ukraine, wagging an index finger against isolationism.

American anti-interventionists are aware of his ethereal presence. They have countered with a wagging finger of their own, directed towards Mr. Wilson.

It is not an index finger — but the middle digit. But to proceed…

WWI was coined “The Great War” until an even greater war broke loose 20 years later. This greater war you know as WWII.

We must return then to Versailles. Was Woodrow Wilson and his famous 14 Points responsible for the Second World War?

All Roads Lead Back to Wilson

Here our former colleague David Stockman hauls Wilson into history’s dock. Does David exhibit clemency? No. David instead indicts Wilson for every crime on the calendar:

Had Woodrow Wilson not misled America on a messianic crusade, the Great War would have ended in mutual exhaustion in 1917 and both sides would have gone home battered and bankrupt but no danger to the rest of mankind.

Indeed, absent Wilson’s crusade there would have been no Allied victory, no punitive peace and no war reparations; nor would there have been a Leninist coup in Petrograd or Stalin’s barbaric regime.

Likewise, there would have been no Hitler, no Nazis, no Holocaust, no global war against Germany and Japan and no incineration of 200,000 civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Nor would there have followed a Cold War with the Soviets or CIA-sponsored coups and assassinations in Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Brazil and Chile to name a few. Surely there would have been no CIA plot to assassinate Castro, or Russian missiles in Cuba or a crisis that took the world to the brink of annihilation.

There would have been no domino theory and no Vietnam slaughter, either.

Nor would we have had to come to the aid of the mujahedeen and train the future al-Qaida in Afghanistan. Likewise, there would have been no Khomeini-led Islamic revolution and no U.S. aid to enable Saddam’s gas attacks on Iranian boy soldiers in the 1980s.

Nor would there have been an American invasion of Arabia in 1991 to stop our former ally Saddam Hussein from looting the equally contemptible emir of Kuwait’s ill-gotten oil plunder — or, alas, the horrific 9/11 blowback a decade later.

Nor would we have been stuck with a $1 trillion Warfare State budget today.

Does David simplify events? Do we simplify events? Perhaps so.

A Fool, Not a Traitor

We do not propose the 20th century would have remained bloodless absent Mr. Wilson’s botchwork. The world was — as it always is — to its neck with fools. And these fools would have certainly gotten themselves up to mischief somehow or other.

Yet we believe the hottest hells of the 20th century may have been averted had Mr. Wilson simply sat upon his hands in April 1917 — and kept the boys home.

But it was not treason that sent Mr. Wilson stumbling into Europe’s war… and the world subsequently into the 20th century’s hells.

It was foolishness.

“God has a special providence for fools, [drunks] and the United States of America,” said Germany’s Iron Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck.

It has remained the case. Yet we begin to suspect even God’s providence has its limits…


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