Many of my consultants have stressed the point that in order for the world to find some semblance of peace, we must first understand the underlying reasons for World War II - so as to learn valuable, applicable lessons from its outcome for the future. An associate compiled this interesting summary for me.
Here is Part I:
Due to the reports of the Red Army's deployment and its preparations for an attack on the German eastern front - which the Germans discovered in May and June 1941 from radio surveillance and air reconnaissance - the German war against Soviet Russia began on June 22, 1941. Let it be known that it was a preventative war.
The Russian historian Victor Suvorov, who was born shortly after the Second World War, was a high-ranking officer in the Soviet military secret service GRU who has been living in political exile since 1978. He became known worldwide for his books "The Icebreaker", "Der Tag M" (Day M), and most recently "Stalins verhinderter Erstschlag" (Stalin's Thwarted First Strike). He sums up the situation as follows:
Stalin wanted to overthrow Europe, not just Germany " that is the historical revisionist dimension. The great sacrifices on the part of Germany and the other Axis powers prevented the Red Army from hoisting its Red banner over Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Rome, Stockholm and possibly even over London.
On July 12, 1941 England concluded an open pact with Soviet Russia - in violation of the guarantee it had given to Poland, large parts of which were now under Russian occupation.
In a secret addendum, Soviet Russia's demands with regard to its interests ranging from the Balkans to Finland were also granted. Germany had categorically refused these same demands on the occasion of Molotov's visit to Berlin in November 1940.
On a map, E. Stettinus, in charge of the American Lend-Lease shipments of materiel of war to "friendly" nations, shows the supply routes to Great Britain and its Asiatic and Near Eastern possessions and to the Soviet ports of Murmansk and Archangelsk. Right after June 22, the USA supplied the USSR with trucks, gasoline, wheat, P40 fighter planes, etc. The supply routes look like great octopus arms in the process of squeezing the heart of Europe, Germany, in a death grip.
On August 14, 1941 the Atlantic Conference took place on American warships. Roosevelt had invited Churchill to this conference. The here established Atlantic Charter determined that, after the war was over, the "New World Order" would guarantee the following:
- Rejection of territorial aggrandizement;
- free decision of all peoples as to their form of governments
- free access to seas and oceans and free trade, for all peoples
- refusal to use war as a means of international politics.
Someone reading this today, 59 years after the fact and after all that has happened since, must ask himself: ... and what came of such noble institutions?
Churchill certainly did recognize that this also meant the dissolution of the British world empire. However, due to England's staggering war debt, he had no choice but to co-sign the Charter.
Along a front 1,300 km long between Memel and the Black Sea, the incredibly powerful German attack on Soviet Russia had been carried through on June 22, 1941; it was hoped that the element of surprise would help achieve a quick victory. And indeed, the Soviet units, which were not prepared for defense. only for their own attack, were surrounded in great battles of encirclement such as at Bialystok and Minsk and farther south at Uman in the Ukraine.
The German Army was initially successful. By the end of August, the three Baltic states had been liberated from the Red Terror in the north, Leningrad was surrounded on September 8, and the battle at Kiev was won on September 20.
In early October further Soviet armies were defeated at Brjans and Orel. The Germans were just outside Moscow, on the Crimea and at the Asov Sea and had taken more than four million prisoners in several great battles.
In vast parts of Russia, especially in the Ukraine, the Germans were hailed as liberators from Bolshevism.
I personally can certainly attest to that, for I remember clearly how Ukrainian peasants knelt by the road, tearfully offering bread and salt, the traditional Ukrainian welcome.
Tomorrow, Part II.
Thought For The Day:
"If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think they'll hate you."
Back to Table of Contents of the Dec. 2000 ZGrams