By Patrice Greanville, Publisher of Cyrano’s Journal. cross-published with The Greanville Post. [Companion piece Shirkers and conchies: how governments tried to silence WWI resisters -another reminder of history rewritten.]
While the invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe by the Allies was a huge and unprecedented military feat that contributed to the eventual crushing of Germany, D-Day did not immediately alter the status quo in most Nazi-held territories. It would take many more months and more fierce battles on both the Eastern and Western fronts—including the Bulge, which also resonates greatly with the Americans—for the German military machine to finally begin to disintegrate. It was another battle, fought by the Russians a bit over a year before, at enormous cost, that broke the back of the German advances, destroyed one of their best armies (von Paulus), and buried for the first time the myth of Nazi invincibility. That battle was Stalingrad.
Hitler experiences his first humiliating defeat as Stalingrad turns the tide
The Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943) was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in the south-western Soviet Union. Marked by constant close quarters combat and disregard for military and civilian casualties, it is amongst the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. The heavy losses inflicted on the Wehrmacht make it arguably the most strategically decisive battle of the whole war. It was a turning point in the European theatre of World War II–the German forces never regained the initiative in the East and withdrew a vast military force from the West to reinforce their losses. (Courtesy Wikipedia)
Being truthful, giving credit where credit is due, does not detract from the sacrifice and heroism of others. Both Stalingrad and D-Day are memorable historical events of great consequence. There is no need for the American media to lead the jingoist parade and erase from memory the effort of those comrades on a distant front who were, after all, America’s allies at the time. Yet this is the norm in the United States, as evidenced in the randomly selected television clip below. —PG
| CBS NEWS
JUNE 7, 2014, 8:04 AM|Historian Kenneth C. Davis, author of the popular “Don’t Know Much About History” series, joins “CBS This Morning: Saturday” with a look back at WWII and D-Day – the beginning of the end for Hitler’s brutal Nazi conquest of Europe.