Thursday, September 01, 2011
This Day in the History of Evil
On this day in 1939, the usual end product of appeasement came to fruition with Germany's invasion of Poland. Hitler had done the smart thing by previously signing a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, the only nation that could actually have come to the aid of Poland. However, Germany was hopelessly unprepared for a long, major war and the stunning successes before el Alamein and Stalingrad only made the later decline all the more precipitous. The two stupidest things Hitler did after defeating Poland and France was to waste the political triumph of the non-aggression pact with invasion of the USSR and then to compound that stupidity six months later by declaring war on America. Thus Hitler took on the only two countries who could have defeated his forces. As Buggs would say, "What a maroon!"
Oh, and the war in Europe probably cost 40 million lives. It's tough to tell how many Russians died. It's difficult for most, including me, to get one's mind around that statistic.
The photo shows the BMW R75 motorcycle with sidecar and trucks but the primary methods of moving German troops and guns was by foot and by horses, respectively, throughout the war.
Labels: WWII history; European theater