Ripple Effect

If you learned history the conventional way, you saw D-Day pretty much in terms of surface meaning – the opening of a Western Front, the beginning of the West’s drive to Berlin…well, the Elbe, anyway.

But the importance may have gone well beyond the operational. Had it not worked, or not been attempted when it was, the Eastern Front that ate up 2/3 of the German war effort might have gone away, allowing Germany to focus on its western and southern flanks:

There is ample evidence that Soviet and German representatives had met in Stockholm for serious talks. Hitler saw Stalin’s opening as a sign of weakness. Understanding the tension between the Soviets and the Americans and British, he didn’t believe in 1943 that they could mount an invasion. Since Stalin himself had doubts, Hitler drove a hard bargain, demanding that Germany retain the land it had already won, particularly Ukraine. The talks broke down, though contacts seem to have continued.

Had the Allies not invaded Normandy in 1944, it is reasonable to assume that Stalin, whose troops were still fighting far inside their own country, would have accepted the deal with Hitler, since he likely could not continue fighting without a western front or at the very least could not regain the territory on his own. Churchill, it should be noted, was never enthusiastic about the invasion, either because he feared the resulting losses would be the end of the British army or because he wouldn’t have minded if the German-Soviet war continued so the Allies could intervene at the last minute, while nibbling at Greece. Either way, Roosevelt rejected Churchill’s view, sensing that the Soviets would make peace without an Allied invasion.

Without D-Day, Europe would likely still be controlled by the Nazis.

Given Germany’s new-found focus on being Germany again, I don’t think most Americans – particularly our idiot “#Resistance”, know how important that is.

8 thoughts on “Ripple Effect

  1. Also interesting in relation to the post and my comment:
    Even if you accept her premise – And I don’t – Why is it good that one totalitarian ideology met its defeat at least in part at the hands of another?

    There’s a reason history has been revised to make Hitler [and] Nazism The Worst Thing Ever ™ — They must cover for the other socialists.

  2. And moreover, any post with a link to an article by VDH is great. Even if it was already great to begin with 😉

  3. … and not only VDH, but his article contains an awesome French quote: pour encourager les autres which literally means “to encourage the others”, or as described Merriam-Webster, an ironic description of an action (such as an execution) carried out as a warning to others.

    And no, I don’t know if I’m done now. Sorry.

  4. Peter Hitchens has been saying for years that the EU was the triumph of the the Germans over the independent nations of Europe.

  5. I once heard a comic joke that World War II was the greatest Guy’s Night Out, ever . . . hiking, camping, smoking, blowing up stuff, and women can’t complain because you have a perfect excuse — saving the world.

  6. Someone was circulating a photo yesterday of the Queen shaking hands with a line of heads of state attending the 75th anniversary. The caption read, “Queen Elizabeth is greeted by representatives of the countries who participated in D-Day.” The person’s hand she is shaking in the photo is Merkel’s.

    I think the Queen was thanking Merkel for her country’s support, because without the Germans there never would have been a D-Day.

  7. I like the bit about how Stalin wasn’t terribly worried about the apparent fact that the U.S. wasn’t ready to mount a credible invasion. “Just send them in, get a bunch of them killed, anything to draw a few divisions away from the east.” It’s the same kind of thing that characterized an interaction between U.S. and Soviet generals when they met at the end of WWII–after the U.S showed off a lot of amazing technology for minesweeping, the U.S. officer asked what the Soviets used. The answer; infantry.

    Regarding the possibility, I guess you’ve got the question of whether you could count on either side to keep a ceasefire. Their war had started, after all, after the Nazis violated a nonaggression treaty that I believe both sides had signed while intending to break it.

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