The days and weeks following the British led Eighth Army’s spring 1942 defeats at Gazala and Tobruk, followed up by the long retreat east has often been held up by some as one of the key points in the war when the Axis could have achieved perhaps a decisive victory in North Africa and severed the British Empire’s jugular at the Suez Canal.
In reality, the otherwise triumphant German General Erwin Rommel and his Panzerarmee Afrika hardly possessed the logistical backing or combat capability to accomplish such a goal.
Part II of our series on the human cost of the Second World War in Europe detailed Eastern Europe and Poland’s immense suffering. Part III now turns to the country that bore perhaps the worst of Nazi Germany's aggression; the Soviet Union and its Red Army.
Beginning with military losses, the Red Army suffered 29 million casualties during the Second World War; including 11,444,100 killed, missing, or captured with 8,668,400 killed in action. These figures utterly dwarf those of any other of the war’s major military establishments. Even capture meant death for much of the War.
The Battle of Britain remains today one of the more heavily focused upon events of the Second World War. In particular, events that occured in English skies from August of 1940 through early 1941 attract the lion's share of attention.
What must be remembered however, is that the horror of facing random death, injury, or loss of possessions facing the average British citizen continued throughout World War II. During the spring of 1942 German night bombing raids managed to terrorize a significant number of people.
For the first time in seventy years it will be possible, as of 2015, to buy a copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf within Germany. What many of you may know is that since the end of World War II it has been illegal within Germany to, among other things, sell Mein Kampf, use/reproduce a swastika, and/or participate in, publish, or otherwise perform select activities that honor or commemorate the Third Reich.
However, copyright law, at least as applicable to Mein Kampf, is forcing an end to what have been entirely appropriate and needed policies.
From December 7, 1941 through the spring of 1942 the armed forces of Japan enjoyed overwhelming success in not only locking up control over much of Southeast Asia and the Central and Southwest Pacific, but also defeating Allied military forces at nearly every turn. That said, this did not mean that, at times, these victories were not hard earned.
The sweeping naval, air, and ground battles that define World War II continue to get the lion's share of our attention. However, the Second World War was also a war featuring a use of special forces on a scale almost unimaginable today. This war within the war was so unique it oftentimes was at odds with the reputation's earned by various nation's conventional forces.
For instance, the Italian military establishment's war effort has been much maligned, though the Italian Navy fought much better than it is often given credit for, but what is often forgotten is that Italian commandos achieved
Teachers and Readers Guide for Why Germany Nearly Won: A New History of the Second World War in Europe
Why Germany Nearly Won has been written not only with the reading public, military operator, veteran, and professional historian in mind; but also for college students. As such, the book is easily adaptable for inclusion in a course reading list.
For instance each of the chapter sub-headings can be assigned along with readings from other materials as entirely reasonable stand-alone assignments.
It is the end of an era. The final living WWI veteran, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) waitress Florence Green, passed away at age 110. Green served in the RAF for the war's final two months in 1918, having joined at the age of 17.
Though WWI is often overshadowed by WWII it is important to remember the tremendous impact the First World War had on modern history.
Though the Wannsee Conference of January 20, 1942 is often remembered as the seminal planning event of the Third Reich's genocidal strategic goals; in reality it represented a part of a much larger and horrific plan for mass murder. For on June 21, 1941, Heinrich Himmler had ordered planning to begin for a massive demographic reorganization of Eastern Europe, including the territories of the western Soviet Union. Professor Konrad Meyer authored this plan; labeled Generalplan Ost. Meyer’s genocidal plan went far beyond eliminating Europe’s Jews.