Friday, June 06, 2014
D-Day and the Proper Historical Frame of Reference
But let's not let our proper national pride get in the way of historical accuracy. We did not win the war on our own. D-Day was not the turning point of the war. Had we failed in it or any of our entry
points to the liberation of Europe, the war would probably have been over in early 1946 when Soviet troops broke though on the Ostfront and took Berlin. 80% of the fighting (and casualties) in WWII in Europe was Germany (and its allies) against the USSR, generally in Russia. We shouldn't minimize our important logistical support of the Reds nor undermine the importance of our bombing campaign against industrial targets, particularly the oil and transport systems, but it was largely the Soviets who fought, died in their millions, yet overcame the difficult to beat German Armies. Yes, we helped but we only helped. The turning point, by the way was at Kursk in mid-Summer, 1943. After that the Germans were on the defensive for the next two years--a slow retreat to defeat in the east and in the west it was the same except for the foolish gamble of a late offensive 6 months after D-Day which cost the Germans plenty.
The Soviets had more first lieutenants killed by the Germans 6/1941 to 5/1945 than we had soldiers of all ranks killed in the entire war.
None of this takes away from the heroism and sacrifice of our guys on this day 70 years ago but just don't lose perspective of the bigger historical picture. There's no need to hog more than our proper share of responsibility for the utter defeat of the NAZIs. In a way, it cheapens the victory nearly as much as not praising our guy's valor and skill at all.