A few weeks ago I saw the Darkest Hour, the film about Winston Churchill and just how easy it would have been for Britain to just give up. One of the books that I have in my library is an abridged history of WW2 from Time Life books that has been in the family since the late 1960’s. In addition to Churchill’s text, the book has photo and art sections including some paintings from the Pacific theatre done by a man named Tom Lea. The pictures are stark in their images of the weariness and horrors of war and in showing the determination of the people involved in the war to get the job done regardless of the cost. The cost was high, as this famous picture shows.
Lea did not pull his punches as this gruesome picture of a marine’s last seconds shows.
This post from War History showed up on my Facebook timeline. It’s a small album of pictures of the Atlantik Wall built by Nazi Germany to stop an Allied invasion. The defense failed. The Atlantik Wall was a huge effort on the part of the Wehrmacht using some 600,000 workers. Massive concrete bunkers and gun emplacements were built all up the Atlantic coast.
This is a view of WW2 as the people living Germany would have seen it. It’s a false narrative, for the most part. A lot pictures of heroic German soldiers, surrendering enemy soldiers and happy peasants. No pictures of burning villages and genocide. More than a little shading of the truth and reality. To be expected of course. And not unusual when you see German stuff from WW2. As I’ve seen before.
The M6 is one of those military options that the US Army pursued and then dropped. Through 1940 and the beginning of the war the US Army initiated these various armored vehicle and self propelled gun project as stopgaps and in response to evolving doctrine. As the war progressed and these various vehicles proved to be redundant, the programs were reduced to a barely sustained level and then canceled altogether. So if the question is ever asked why the US didn’t design a heavy tank, the answer is that they did. Then the Armored forces decided that the gains were not worth the resources.
he atomic bomb at Hiroshima was a horrible thing. But it was not the beginning of horrible things, but the end. Why the world went on it’s horrible spasm in the 1930’s and into the 1940’s will probably never be known. The people responsible for all the decisions are long dead and gone.
For what ever reasons, the people who had just survived the greatest war of all time after 1918 went right back to the old arguments as soon as they could, in new places. If the first war was fought in Europe, well the new would start in China and Spain. With the turmoil stirred up by new players who learned nothing from the first war and the big players of the first war trying as hard as they could to “give peace a chance” when the new players wanted terror, death and monstrosities, what happened was inevitable.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre | The falcon cannot hear the falconer | Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold | Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world | The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere | The ceremony of innocence is drowned | The best lack all conviction, while the worst | Are full of passionate intensity. -- W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming