“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana — Philosopher, poet and novelist
“In 1945, most French people thought that the Soviet Union deserved the most credit for Nazi Germany’s defeat in World War II — even though the Soviets didn’t play much of a role in France’s liberation, relative to the US and Britain. By 1995 and 2004, however, the French had changed their minds, and were crediting the US as the biggest contributor to victory in Europe.”
Vox — June 2014
April 20 2018 — On 13 Apr 2018, 2565 UK adults were asked that question: “Who do you think played the most important role in defeating the Nazis during World War 2?” Results were weighted to be representative of the GB population. These results are simply baffling. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
RELATED POST: One Year Ago — The Washington Post rewrites History
UPDATE (November 13 2018) — Today, US president Donald Trump tweeted:
“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”
INTEL TODAY would like to know what YOU think!
END of UPDATE
Fifty percent of the UK adults appear to believe that their country played the most important role in defeating the Nazis. That is right: 50%!
Do not be too harsh on the Brits. Today, most European people believe that the US Military played the major role. That is of course complete nonsense.
Once upon a time, people knew better. But, I would guess that the investment of the US Military — and do not forget the CIA — in Hollywood has been very rewarding.
In early July 2017, Tom Secker and Matthew Alford reported on their astonishing findings from trawling through thousands of new US military and intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
“The documents reveal for the first time the vast scale of US government control in Hollywood, including the ability to manipulate scripts or even prevent films too critical of the Pentagon from being made — not to mention influencing some of the most popular film franchises in recent years.
This raises new questions not only about the way censorship works in the modern entertainment industry, but also about Hollywood’s little known role as a propaganda machine for the US national security apparatus.
US military intelligence agencies have influenced over 1,800 movies and TV shows.”
The authors conclude:
“In all, we are looking at a vast, militarised propaganda apparatus operating throughout the screen entertainment industry in the United States.
It is not quite an official censor, since decisions on scripts are made voluntarily by producers, but it represents a major and scarcely acknowledged pressure on the kind of narratives and images we see on the big and small screens.
In societies already eager to use our hard power overseas, the shaping of our popular culture to promote a pro-war mindset must be taken seriously.”
French blogger Olivier Berruyer put together the following chart using survey data from the French Institute of Public Opinion.
In this post-truth era of fake news and alternative facts, History may no longer be relevant.
But those who still care about our past and have studied the WW II, know that the Soviet Union’s successful resistance of Nazi invasion was the “most important of many crucial factors” in defeating Germany.
As historian Richard Overy explains in his book Why the Allies Won:
“If the defeat of the German army was the central strategic task, the main theatre for it was the conflict on the eastern front. The German army was first weakened there, and then driven back, before the main weight of Allied ground and air forces was brought to bear in 1944. Over four hundred German and Soviet divisions fought along a front of more than 1,000 miles. Soviet forces destroyed or disabled an estimated 607 Axis divisions between 1941 and 1945. The scale and geographical extent of the eastern front dwarfed all earlier warfare. Losses on both sides far exceeded losses anywhere else in the military contest. The war in the east was fought with a ferocity almost unknown on the western fronts. The battles at Stalingrad and Kursk, which broke the back of the German army, drew from the soldiers of both sides the last ounces of physical and moral energy.”
This analysis does not diminish the importance of the American and British contributions to the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Numbers don’t lie
If you’re looking at the human toll of the war, the Soviets clearly incurred the heaviest losses.
“Tony Judt’s Postwar cites estimates suggesting there were 8.6 million Soviet military deaths and over 16 million civilian deaths in World War II.
The US lost 418,500 military and civilians in all theaters of the war — still a staggering figure, but not on the same scale as Soviet losses.”
Of course, the number of lives lost during the war is not the only contribution of a country as scientific achievements also played an important role. Without a doubt, the contribution of British scientists was very significant.
Nevertheless, the Soviet Union deserves the most credit for Nazi Germany’s defeat in World War II.
UK Poll — “Who do you think played the most important role in defeating the Nazis?”