LETTERS: Turning point before 1944

Editor:

Re: Never forget, Nov. 11 editorial.

Editor:

Re: Never forget, Nov. 11 editorial.

It is a myth that D-Day, the 1944 invasion of France, was the turning point of the war in Europe.

Historian Omer Bartov argues the German Army’s back was broken in Russia long before 1944. Right up to 1945, 60 per cent of German soldiers were fighting in the east.

As well, Robert Citino, in Death of the Wehrmacht, states that 1942 was “the year the German Army died and took German dreams of conquest along with it” – defeats at Stalingrad and North Africa.

Uppermost in the minds of strategists in Washington and London was not just the defeat of Germany, but the imperative of not allowing the Red Army the chance to reach the English Channel. Indeed, when congratulated on the Russian conquest of Berlin, Stalin laconically replied, “Alexander, I got to Paris.”

This is not to diminish the sacrifice and achievements of those who liberated western Europe; my grandfather was among the Canadian soldiers warmly greeted by the Dutch, who had starved under Nazi rule. But let’s recognize the fact the U.S.S.R. fought the vast bulk of the German Army for many years, at a cost of 27 million dead, or one in seven of its citizens.

Bob Burgel, Surrey

 

 

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