Thursday, February 5, 2009

Irony in War - How Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan Enhanced Their Inevitable Defeats

As you know, when I write about War, it is almost always about the countless ironies that emerge from this man-made cataclysm; for example:
As I think about the present economic malaise that our culture is undergoing, my thoughts move back to the Great Depression.
One should be reminded that almost a decade after the Great Depression began, this event continued to persist. In 1938, it was called by detractors "Roosevelt's Depression", as unemployment was still a major issue.
Well, in one day, Imperial Japan solved that problem for us by its attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Gone was the Depression, as America shifted to a war footing, which ultimately insured Japan's defeat.
As for the European conflict; in the fall of 1940, the Luftwaffe attacks on the air fields and radar stations in Southeast England were inflicting such damage that it was thought by many in Parliament that the defeat of England was only weeks away, which could very well have altered the course of history, as we know it today.
In late August of 1940, when England was tottering on the brink, a German bomber accidentally dropped some bombs on a London suburb, which prompted Prime Minister Churchill to order a retaliation by bombing Berlin for the first time.
That bombing of Berlin, which inflicted minor damage, threw Hitler into a rage, whereupon he ordered his air force to cease its attacks on the English air fields and exact revenge upon London, therefore launching what is known as the Blitz.
Night after night, destruction rained down upon London, ultimately killing thousands of civilians.
In the meantime, the Fighter Command, having received respite from the German fighters and bombers, quickly recovered and not long after, exacted terrible damage on Hitler's Luftwaffe, forcing the dictator to postpone his planned invasion of England, as he no longer had air supremacy over that island. And so, because of a temper tantrum, Hitler certified his coming defeat by turning to Russia in 1941 without having vanquished England and insuring his having to fight a two-front war.
Also, one can never ignore the alliance formed by England and America at that point in time, which later gave us Operation Overlord, the invasion of and inevitable liberation of Western Europe.



Blogger Steve Hurwitz said...

I appreciated the telling of Toscanini's diatribe to his musicians. Maybe Hitler would have made a better conductor than a politician, since he didn't paint very well!


March 5, 2009 at 8:29 PM  

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