World War II
The journey has been well worth making once. Winston Churchill
Bear in mind that my brain works in about the same way as a calculating machine. Adolf Hitler
On September 1, 1939, the German army under Adolf Hitler invaded Poland and began World War II. The German military machine struck decisively at Poland in what was known as a blitzkrieg (lightning war). High-speed panzer (tank) units pushed across the borders, blasting holes in the Polish lines. From the skies, Luftwaffe (air force) bombers destroyed the Polish air force, damaged communications lines, and prevented the Poles from moving reinforcements, supplies, and ammunition to the front lines. Then, German foot soldiers moved forward to hold the conquered ground. Meanwhile, Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3.
On September 17 that same year, Soviet troops marched into Poland. The Polish government and high command escaped into exile on the next day. The Soviets halted at a line running from East Prussia down to the Bug River. Hitler and Stalin then partitioned the conquered country: the USSR occupied the eastern half, populated by Ukrainians and White Russians as well as Poles; the Germans took the western half, which included Gdansk (Danzig) and the Polish Corridor.
Three million Polish Jews were subjected to a Blitzpogrom of murder and rape. Reinhard Heydrich, an aide to Heinrich Himmler, issued a ghetto decree that month, and Jews were progressively fenced off from the rest of the population. Seven hundred thousand Polish Jews would die of disease and starvation over the next two years as the Nazis toyed with the idea of deporting all Jews to Nisko, a proposed reservation in the Lublin area, or to Madagascar.
When Germany attacked the USSR in June 1941, four special Einsatzgruppen (strike squads) were deployed against Soviet Jewish civilians. The worst atrocity committed by these squads occurred at the Babi Yar ravine in Kiev, where 33,771 Jews were machine-gunned September 29 and 30, 1941. At Hitlers insistence, in January 1942 Heydrich chaired the Wannsee Conference on the Final Solution of the Jewish Question.
In late September and early October, Stalin forced the Baltic states Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuaniato to accept garrisons of Soviet troops within their borders. The following year, elections held under Soviet auspices resulted in the incorporation of the three nations into the USSR as constituent republics.
After crushing the Poles, Hitler subdued Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and The Netherlands. Then, he set his sights on France.
Collapse of France
During the winter of 1939 and 1940, the French army and the German Wehrmacht faced one another in what was regarded satirically as the Sitzkrieg, or sit-down war. The world waited in anticipation of a major conflict between two powerful forces. On May 13, a bridgehead was established at Sedan, considered the gateway to France, and then suddenly, on May 16, 1940, a day after the Dutch capitulation, the German blitzkrieg was released on northern France. German mechanized forces outflanked the Maginot Line, surprised the Allies by attacking through the wooded Ardennes rather than the Belgian plain, and drove the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from the continent at Dunkirk. On June 5, the Germans launched another offensive southward from the Somme. They entered Paris unopposed on June 14 and forced France to sign an armistice at Compiegne on June 22, 1940.
The fall of France was an extraordinary victory for Hitler. The supposedly unbeatable French army had melted away before the onslaught of his mobile units with their convincing display of mechanized power. Nazi Germany then occupied most of France and permitted the establishment of a friendly government at Vichy, in central France on the Allier River.
The Vichy Government was headed by Marshal Henri Petain, hero of World War I, and
Pierre Laval, a collaborationist. Disgruntled French patriots rallied around General
Charles de Gaulle, who pronounced himself leader of the Free French.
During the early months of the war, Benito Mussolini maintained Italys neutrality. When France was about to fall, he decided to join the Nazis. Declaring war on the Allies on June 10, 1940, he invaded southern France in what U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt described as a stab-in-the-back.
During the Belgian campaign, the Germans drove rapidly across southeastern Belgium and
turned toward Abbeville on the French coast, thereby isolating Allied troops. The British
Expeditionary Force and its French comrades appeared to be doomed. While some of the
troops of the French First Army sold their lives in a fierce rearguard action, from
British ports sailed one of the strangest armadas in history, composed of destroyers, motor launches, private yachts, old ferries, steamers, even fishing smacks, about 850 vessels in all. While planes of the Royal Air Force (RAF) provided an umbrella over the scene to drive off German bombers, the fleet of British vessels moved to Dunkirk and proceeded to evacuate about 338,000 British, French, and Belgian troops from May 26 to June 4, 1940. Not only was a military disaster turned into a propaganda victory, but several hundred thousand experienced troops were saved for future action against the Axis.
Battle of Britain
Hitler, anticipating further eastern conquests, hoped Britain would accept German control of the Continent and seek peace. But Britain shunned the chancellors overtures of July 1940, and, in August, Hermann Goerings Luftwaffe began an all-out attack on British ports, airfields, and industrial centers and, finally, on London. The goal was to crush British morale and wipe out the RAF in preparation for Operation Sea Lion, an invasion of England.
The Battle of Britain was the first great air battle in history. For fifty-seven nights, London was attacked by an average force of 160 bombers. The outnumbered RAF, employing the effective Spitfire fighter and aided by radar, destroyed 1,733 aircraft while losing 915 fighters. German air power could not continue sustaining such heavy losses, and in October, Operation Sea Lion was postponed indefinitely. France fell that same year, but Hitlers plan to invade Britain was foiled when the German air force lost the air Battle of Britain. When Italys invasion of Greece and Africa failed, Hitler seized the Balkans and North Africa.
During this time, the Nazis began to import inferior races from conquered countries to relieve the manpower shortage. Those who resisted were herded into concentration camps. About twelve million people, including about six million Jews, were exterminated.
Since well before the war, Hitler had looked toward the conquest of the Slavic peoples of eastern Europe and the USSR to provide the additional Lebensraum, or living space, he believed the German people needed. He hoped to establish German colonies in those regions to be served by the despised Slavs. After the defeat of France, the German chancellor began planning an invasion of the USSR. To avoid fighting a two-front war, Hitler first tried to make peace with Britain. After that attempt to clear the western front failed, he launched the Battle of Britain but again failed to put the British out of action.
Nevertheless, full-scale preparations for the invasion of the USSR began in December 1940. He believed Britain, having been expelled from the Continent, no longer posed an offensive military threat. He was convinced that the greater menace came from the Soviets, who in June 1940 had moved uncomfortably close to Romanian oil fields.
Originally scheduled for mid-May of 1941, the invasion of the USSR, called Operation Barbarossa, was delayed until June 22 by Hitlers campaign in the Balkans. Launching a blitzkrieg with 121 divisions on a 3,200-kilometer (2,000-mile) front from the Baltic to the Black Sea, the Germans employed a three-pronged assault. In the north, they moved on Leningrad via the Baltic states. Moscow, the target of the German center, was approached by forces moving east to Smolensk. In the south, the invaders marched toward the Ukraine and Kiev, where they planned to turn south to the Crimea and cross the Don to the Caucasus and to Stalingrad on the Volga. A smaller force of Romanians and Germans attacked in the extreme south.
As justification for the move, Hitler accused the Kremlin of treachery, of threatening German frontiers, and of disseminating anti-German and pro-communist propaganda. He alleged that the invasion was a crusade against Bolshevism; in addition, however, he was attracted by wheat, oil, and mineral supplies that would enable him to defy the British blockade. So certain was he of victory that he did not even bother to equip his troops for winter.
The onslaught took the Soviets entirely by surprise, and the Germans made startling progress. In the first eighteen days, the attackers advanced 640 kilometers (400 miles), capturing three hundred thousand prisoners, a thousand tanks, and six hundred guns. During the first forty-eight hours alone, the Soviets lost more than two thousand aircraft. The northern forces had entered Leningrad province by July 10, and on August 31 were within 16 kilometers (10 miles) of the city. In the center, German troops took Minsk on June 30 and Smolensk, only 320 kilometers (200 miles) from Moscow, in mid-July. Progress in the south was slowed by unexpectedly heavy resistance and rainy weather, but the invaders captured Kiev in late September. More than a million Soviet prisoners had been taken by the end of that month. The Soviets retreated, adopting a defense-in-depth strategy, but German victory seemed imminent.
The German invasion of the USSR signaled a change in the alliance structure. Despite his aversion to communism, Churchill promised Stalin economic and technical assistance against the Axis. On July 13, 1941, Moscow signed a mutual-aid pact with London. Offers of help also came from Washington. Italy and the Axis satellites Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary allied themselves with Germany. Vichy France broke off its diplomatic ties with Moscow. On August 1, Britain severed relations with Finland, which the Germans had used as one base for their invasion. Sweden had granted permission for German troops to cross its territory, but announced its determination to remain neutral. Despite pressure from the USSR and from Britain, with whom it had an alliance, Turkey, too, proclaimed its neutrality. Japan, which had concluded a mutual nonaggression pact with the Soviets in April and was, in addition, a member of the Axis Pact, adopted a policy of watchful waiting.
Growing U.S. Involvement
From the beginning of the war in Europe, the sympathy of the American public was with the Allied cause; most Americans felt a Nazi triumph would pose a grave threat to the United States. As German victory followed German victory, isolationist sentiment, originally strong, began to evaporate.
From 1935, U.S. neutrality legislation had forbidden the selling of war supplies to belligerent countries. In November 1939, a revised neutrality law authorized the sale of war supplies on a cash-and-carry basis while forbidding U.S. vessels and nationals from traveling in combat zones. This act was intended to prevent direct U.S. involvement in the war through the sinking of U.S. vessels, a problem that had spurred the nations involvement in World War I. From the beginning of the war, however, the British dominated the seas; the cash-and-carry law thus had the effect of favoring the British cause.
The next year, President Roosevelt and Congress began preparing for possible U.S. entry into the war. In September 1940, the first peacetime draft law in U.S. history provided for the registration of 17 million men. The Alien Registration Act of 1940 was aimed at curbing subversive activities. In March 1941, Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act, empowering the president to allow the shipment of vital war material to nations, primarily Great Britain, whose defense he considered to be necessary for U.S. security. Later that year, the law was extended to include China and the USSR. The Americans also took measures to defend the Western Hemisphere by patrolling the Atlantic Ocean. American forces occupied Greenland and Iceland. In August and September 1941, the sinking of U.S.-owned ships led to a measure authorizing the arming of U.S. merchant vessels and permitting them to carry cargoes to belligerent ports.
On August 14, 1941, President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill held a conference on a war vessel off the coast of Newfoundland. The two agreed to present plans for a new world based on an end to tyranny and territorial aggrandizement, the disarmament of aggressors, and the fullest cooperation of all nations for the social and economic welfare of all. The Atlantic Charter was designed as a counterthrust to a possible new Hitler peace offensive as well as a statement of postwar aims. The next month, the USSR and fourteen other anti-Axis countries endorsed the Atlantic Charter.
Japanese Expansion and U.S. Response
Japans 1931 invasion of Manchuria and its 1937 full-scale assault against China had brought expressions of disapproval from the U.S. government. With public opinion strongly isolationist, however, the United States did not act to halt Japanese expansionism. Not until the outbreak of World War II in Europe and the escalation of Japanese aggression did the U.S. response become strong.
In 1940, Nazi Germanys march into western Europe opened up opportunities for Japan to consolidate its position in China and penetrate Southeast Asia, thereby advancing the Japanese goal of dominating a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. After the fall of France, the Vichy government accepted in August 1940 Japanese demands that aid through French Indochina to the Chinese resistance be cut off and that Japan be allowed to use air bases in Indochina. In September, Japanese troops moved into northern Indochina, and Japan joined the Axis. Meanwhile, with Britain fighting for its life and the Netherlands under Nazi occupation, Japan called on the British to close the Burma Road to supplies bound for China and pressed the Dutch East Indies for economic and political concessions. In July 1941, Japan occupied southern Indochina, an obvious prelude to further expansion in Southeast Asia, a rich source of rubber, tin, oil, quinine, lumber, foodstuffs, and other vital raw materials.
Japanese prime minister Prince Konoe Fumimaro (1891-1945) hoped the United States would accept Japans actions, but in September 1940, President Roosevelt imposed an embargo on U.S. exports of scrap iron and steel to Japan. In July 1941, he froze all Japanese assets in the United States. This action virtually ended U.S. -Japanese trade, depriving Japan of vital oil imports.
On September 6, 1941, an imperial conference met in Tokyo to consider worsening relations with the United States. Emperor Hirohito and Prime Minister Konoe favored a continuation of negotiations in Washington, D.C. The war minister, General Tojo Hideki (1884-1948), however, believed the United States was determined to throttle Japan, that war was inevitable, and that it would be preferable to begin the conflict sooner rather than later. Tojos views had wide support within the Japanese military.
At the insistence of the war party, Konoe was given six weeks to reach a settlement with the United States and was to insist on a set of minimum demands: immediate cessation of economic sanctions, a free hand for Japan in China, and rights for Japan in Indochina. With no progress occurring in the negotiations, Konoe resigned on October 16 and was replaced by Tojo, whose cabinet decided to wait only until the end of November for a diplomatic breakthrough.
Talks between U.S. secretary of state Cordell Hull (1871-1955) and Japanese emissaries remained stalled. U.S. cryptographers had broken Japans major diplomatic code, and U.S. authorities knew that rejection of the minimum demands would mean war. Even so, on November 26, Hull formally reiterated the U.S. position. Japan, he said, must withdraw from China and Indochina, recognize the Chiang Kai-shek regime in China, renounce territorial expansion, and accept the Open Door policy of equal commercial access to Asia. An imperial conference on December 1 set the Japanese war machine in motion.
The United States expected the first blow to be in the Philippines or Southeast Asia. But Japan had made plans for a devastating aerial strike against the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, in the Hawaiian Islands. In late November, a powerful Japanese task force left the Kuril Islands; on December 2 it received a coded message issuing the attack order. The undetected Japanese force arrived off the Hawaiian Islands on the morning of December 7. In two successive waves, more than 350 Japanese bombers, torpedo planes, and fighters struck. Altogether, eighteen U.S. ships were sunk or disabled. At one stroke, U.S. naval power in the Pacific was crippled. Fortunately for the Americans, their aircraft carriers were on missions elsewhere. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps lost 2,117 men, the Army lost 218, and 68 civilians were killed. More than twelve hundred were wounded. About two hundred aircraft were destroyed, most on the ground. The Japanese lost twenty-nine planes.
The next day President Roosevelt told a joint session of Congress that December 7 was a date which will live in infamy. Congress voted to declare war on Japan. On December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The European war now merged with the Pacific war into one global conflict.
After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Hitler declared war on the United States. Hitlers defeat at Stalingrad (now Volgograd), in the Soviet Union, marked the turning point of the war. The Allies drove the Nazis out of Africa, Italy, and the Soviet Union. Germany became a battleground as the Allies closed in from east and west.
U.S. War Effort
Following Pearl Harbor, the U.S. economy was placed immediately on a war footing, and its industrial productivity plant played a crucial role in the global conflict. All key industries were running twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Within a year after Pearl Harbor, U.S. war production equaled that of all Axis nations together and by the beginning of 1943 greatly exceeded that of the Axis powers. During the war, the United States manufactured 296,000 planes, 87,000 tanks, and 2.4 million trucks, as well as millions of rifles and millions of tons of artillery shells. From January 1, 1942, the nation produced 28 million U.S. tons of shipping, enabling the Allies to replace vessels lost to the enemy.
Turning of the Tide
In 1942 and 1943, the German offensive in the USSR ended at Stalingrad, and the Allies won the North African campaign, secured the Atlantic for their shipping, and were winning the battle of the skies. The days of German supremacy in the European theater were over.
As Germany suffered military defeats, it also faced increasing difficulties inside occupied Europe. At first, resistance to German occupation occurred on a modest scale, in part because many believed the Nazis to be invincible. But after the Battle of Britain and later Axis setbacks, anti-Nazi activity in occupied countries increased. Organized groups, aided by British and, later, American intelligence, killed officials and soldiers, wrecked trains, blew up ammunition dumps, sabotaged factories, provided useful information to the Allies, and helped escaped prisoners of war as well as downed Allied pilots. Many who were not active in the resistance helped shelter and protect those who were. Having spread his forces over a large area and treated many of the conquered peoples with unprecedented cruelty, Hitler could not crush the resistance despite the extremely harsh retaliatory measures taken by his administrators.
Battle of the Atlantic
Early in 1942, German U-boats were sinking more Allied shipping than ever. From January to June, they destroyed three million U.S. tons, much of this along the U.S. coast. Soon, however, the productivity of the U.S. war economy began to neutralize the German effort. In August 1942, the construction rate of new Allied ships at last reached the level of Allied losses, and in December permanently surpassed it. As more and longer-range planes were built, air support was extended to all but the mid-Atlantic region. There, escort carriers began providing air cover for convoys in March of 1943. New types of radar also facilitated the detection of enemy ships. From the spring of 1943 the U-boats were, finally, held in check.
Germanys surface ships were hamstrung by the British blockade, although in February 1942 the battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen broke through it. The British retaliated in March by sending commandos to destroy the locks at Saint Nazaire, a French port at the mouth of the Loire and the only Atlantic port suitable for the repair of Germanys bigger ships.
Allied Strategic Bombing
Aided by rapid production of aircraft in the United States, the Allied forces began making major air raids on Germany in 1942. The Royal Air Force attacked the cities of the Ruhr Valley, a major center of German heavy industry, in crippling raids. In May 1942, the first RAF thousand-bomber raid was directed against the Rhineland city of Cologne, destroying much of the city. In the summer of 1942, the U.S. Army Air Force joined in the operations against Germany. U.S. B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators concentrated on daylight precision bombing of industrial targets, whereas the British struck at night. Most raids were still small and of limited destructiveness, however. Although the German Luftwaffe had played a major role in the early campaigns of the war, its effectiveness declined precipitously after the Battle of Britain.
Not until after the Casablanca Conference of January 1943, when Churchill and Roosevelt decided to place greater stress on strategic bombing, did the Allies begin winning air superiority in Europe. The Combined Bomber Offensive was launched, and the bombing became better organized and more intensive. In the summer of 1943, for example, three-quarters of Hamburg was destroyed in combined raids. Round-the-clock bombing mounted steadily until all Germany was subjected to massive air raids. As the effectiveness of the U.S. fighter escorts increased, the Luftwaffe became less and less able to counter the air attacks.
In 1942 and 1943, the Allies thwarted Japanese efforts to expand farther southward and eastward and began their island-hopping campaign toward Japan. In the summer of 1943, a disagreement arose among Allied strategists on the method for opening the route to the Japanese home islands. General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1969), the Southwest Pacific commander, favored an approach along the New Guinea-Philippines axis. But Admiral Chester Nimitz (1885-1966), Central Pacific commander, believed it best to capture key Central Pacific islands to win strategic air and naval bases that would be used to cut Japan off from its empire.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff gave priority to Nimitzs design, but elements of both plans were to be employed. Nimitzs forces would island-hop through the Gilberts, Marshalls, Carolines, and Marianas. MacArthur would capture northern New Guinea and islands lying between New Guinea and Mindanao, the southernmost island of the Philippines.
The Allies on the Offensive
By 1944, after the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, the Soviet advance in the east, and the establishment of a second front with the Normandy landing, Germany was in full retreat.
Invasion of Sicily
Meeting in Washington in mid-May 1943 at the conference code-named Trident, Roosevelt and Churchill confirmed the invasion of Sicily, decided on a cross-Channel invasion of France for early May 1944, and agreed to step up the airlift of supplies to China and to go ahead with plans to retake Burma. To implement the first of these goals, Operation Husky was put into action under the command of Eisenhowers deputy, British general Harold Alexander. First, the little island of Pantelleria, Italys fortified base midway between Tunisia and Sicily, was bombed into submission from sea and air. A month later, on July 9 and 10, 1943, British and American forces landed in Sicily in a combined action.
Although German and Italian troops in Sicily had expected the invasion, the date and precise landing points were complete tactical surprises. Italians surrendered in great numbers. The Germans, however, began a spirited defense, and for a time the success of the invasion was in doubt. After initial difficulties at Gela, the U.S. Seventh Army swung across the center and west of the island and took Palermo on July 22. The British Eighth Army, reinforced by Canadians, plodded up the east coast against strong German resistance and took Catania on August 5. Both armies moved on Messina, which was taken August 17, 1943.
On July 25, 1943, Mussolini was overthrown in a surprise development, and Marshal Pietro Badoglio assumed the post of head of the government. Italians throughout the country demanded peace. Suspecting (with good reason) that the Italians might defect, the Germans seized all strategic centers on the Italian mainland and awaited an Allied invasion of the peninsula.
Not until after the Sicilian invasion was the Allied decision made to strike at the
Italian mainland. On September 3, 1943, British and U.S. forces moved across the Strait of
Messina to the toe of the Italian peninsula. A week later, the U.S. Fifth Army, under
General Mark W. Clark (1896-1984), landed on the beaches of Salerno; within a month,
southern Italy was under the control of the Allies. Naples fell on October 1, 1943. Now,
however, German resistance stiffened, and the Allied campaign bogged down. By the end of
the year the Allied forces were still closer to Naples than to Rome. About 130 kilometers
(80 miles) south of Rome, the Germans had set up a strong defensive line, the Gustav, or
At Algiers on the day of the invasion (September 3), the Badoglio regime secretly signed an armistice with the Anglo-American forces. The Italian capitulation was announced on September 8, and on October 13 the Badoglio government declared war on Germany. In the meantime, however, the Germans had rescued Mussolini from imprisonment, and he was installed as the head of a puppet regime in northern Italy.
Meanwhile, on the eastern front, the Germans, after their loss of the Battle of Stalingrad, were unable to mount a crushing offensive. It was February 1943 and the Germans and their allies had lost 850,000 to death or capture since the beginning of the Soviet invasion in the summer of 1941.
After several months of retrenchment, General Erich von Manstein (1887-1973) launched a desperate summer counterattack against the Soviets in the south. The situation had changed slightly in the Germans favor since Stalingrad. They had shortened their lines, while the Soviet troops were stretched over a massive front with a bulge westward around Kursk. On July 5, 1943, the Germans, using their new Tiger and Panther tanks, struck at this Soviet salient. Hitler committed more than a thousand planes against the Red Armys enormous concentration of troops, artillery pieces, and tanks. The encounter developed into one of the largest and most vicious armor battles ever fought. More than three thousand tanks were engaged on the grasslands. On July 12, 1943, the Soviets, favored by a seemingly endless supply of troops and tanks, moved in fresh tank divisions, and the advantage finally swung to the Russians. Manstein, having lost seventy thousand men, half his tanks, and more than a thousand planes, was forced to withdraw.
The Germans pulled back to strong defensive lines. As they retreated, the Soviets launched a new offensive northward toward Orel, which they captured on August 4, 1943. They also captured Kharkov (August 23), Poltava (September 22), and Smolensk (September 25). Kiev was liberated in early November. Mansteins forces were being severely reduced by the steady Russian advance, but Hitler still refused to allow a massive withdrawal, leaving his now-outnumbered troops to the grinding Soviet military machine.
The Soviet advance halted temporarily as winter set in, but once the roads and waterways were firmly frozen, an enormous Soviet counteroffensive began along the entire eastern front. In mid-January 1944, the 890-day siege of Leningrad was relieved after Soviet troops reestablished land communications with the city. Since September 1941, the people of Leningrad had withstood German artillery and air bombardment. More than two hundred thousand of them had been killed in the siege; a half million more died from cold, starvation, and exhaustion, although for a time the city had been tenuously supplied across frozen Lake Ladoga.
As the Red Army pressed westward, it took Riga and Vilna in the north and was crossing into East Prussia by mid-July. In the center, the Germans had withdrawn from Minsk by July. In the south, the entire Crimea was in Soviet hands by May. By mid-July 1944, the Soviets were deep into Poland and by the end of August had crossed into the Balkans. As the Red Army approached the suburbs of Warsaw, the resistance in the Polish capital led a revolt in August through October against the German occupiers in an unsuccessful attempt to gain control of the city before the Soviets arrived.
Collapse of Italy
In early 1944, the Allied armies in Italy were slowed down because of difficult terrain and stubborn German resistance. On January 22, 1944, in an attempt to catch the Germans in a pincer movement, fifty thousand U.S. troops were landed at Anzio between the German Gustav Line to the south and Rome 53 kilometers (33 miles) to the north. Unable to move forward immediately, the troops settled on the beachhead. Under General Albert Kesselring (18851960), eight German divisions moved to form a powerful perimeter around Anzio. After repeated attacks, which included the destruction of the old monastery at Monte Cassino, the Allies managed to break the German lines. On June 4, 1944, Rome fell to the Allies. In the ensuing months, the Germans retreated from one defensive line to another as Allied troops pushed cautiously but irresistibly north toward Tuscany. Not until early 1945 did the Allied forces reach the heights overlooking the Po Valley. Mussolini was captured by anti-fascist partisans near Lake Como on April 28, 1945. He and his mistress were shot and their bodies were taken to Milan the city where fascism had first taken root and displayed in the public square.
During 1943, while the campaign in Italy was underway, Allied leaders met in two significant conferences to plan a grand assault on France and to map out other aspects of their strategy against the Axis. At the first Quebec Conference, held in mid-August, Roosevelt and Churchill confirmed the decision to establish a second front in France and approved specific plans for a landing at Normandy, to take place on May 1, 1944.
At the Tehran Conference, from November 28 to December 1, 1943, Stalin met with Churchill and Roosevelt for the first time, and the date for the invasion, code-named Operation Overlord, was confirmed. Stalin agreed to launch a simultaneous attack on Germanys eastern front. At Tehran, Stalin was also assured that a second invasion of France (from the Mediterranean), known as Operation Anvil, would take place. He reaffirmed that the Soviets would join in the fight against Japan after Germany was defeated but asserted that the USSR wanted Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, and a year-round Pacific port on the mainland of Asia. The postwar restoration of Iran was also discussed.
As they prepared for a cross-Channel assault on France, the Western Allies built up on British soil one of the largest and most powerful invasion forces in history. For two months before the landing, while troops, equipment, and supplies poured into Britain, the Allied air forces bombed railroads, bridges, airfields, and fortifications in France and Belgium and continued their attacks on German industrial centers.
Postponed by delays in gathering the necessary landing equipment and by weather and tidal conditions, Operation Overlord, with Eisenhower in command, began on June 6, 1944, afterward known as D-Day. Throughout the preceding night, paratroopers were dropped behind German coastal defenses to sever communications and seize key defense posts. Hundreds of warships and innumerable small craft supported the invasion.
Between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m., waves of Allied troops moved ashore between Cherbourg and Le Havre in historys largest amphibious operation, involving approximately five thousand ships of all kinds. About eleven thousand Allied aircraft operated over the invasion area. More than 150,000 troops disembarked at Normandy on D-Day. Because all major French ports in the north were mined and fortified, the Allies improvised two artificial harbors, with pontoons, breakwaters, and sunken ships. One of the harbors was destroyed by a severe Atlantic gale, but the other worked perfectly. Twenty pipelines below the Channel were used to bring in critical supplies of gasoline for the tanks.
The Germans had anticipated an Allied invasion of western Europe at about this time, but were surprised by its location. General Gerd von Rundstedt (1875-1953), commander of German forces in the West, had expected the Allies to take the shortest water route and land at Pas de Calais. A British intelligence operation called Ultra, having broken key German ciphers, learned of his misapprehension. To capitalize on the situation, the Allies stationed a phantom army in Kent that reinforced Rundstedts mistaken opinion. It may also have influenced Hitler to decide against sending reserve panzer divisions to Normandy, a decision that greatly facilitated the landing and the establishment of beachheads.
Yet, the Germans struck back vigorously. For more than a month, they resisted while Allied forces were being built up on the crowded beaches. The defenders were under a severe handicap, however, because Hitler had been forced to send many of his troops from France to the eastern front, where the Soviets were on the offensive.
Campaigns in France
To trap the Germans in a pincer movement, the Allies had decided on a second landing in the south of France. On August 15, 1944, a fleet of Allied warships appeared off the French Mediterranean coast between Toulon and Cannes. Following a heavy bombardment, they unloaded an army of U.S. and French troops. Speedily taking Marseille and Nice, the Allies headed northward along the Rhone River. German troops in western France were now threatened with isolation.
The huge Allied force that had set ashore on the Normandy coastline more than a million men within three weeks of D-Day gradually extended its width but not its depth. Cherbourg was captured on June 27, 1944, giving the Allies a major port for the flow of men and supplies. On July 25, Allied troops broke through the German lines between Caen and Saint Lo and then fanned out into open country. The Germans counterattacked at Avranches but were contained by U.S. troops. The heavily armored U.S. Third Army, led by Lieutenant General George Patton (1885-1945), turned the German left flank at Avranches, broke into Brittany, and then moved northeast to the Seine, to outflank Paris on the south.
To avoid expected loss of life, Eisenhower intended to bypass Paris. The French resistance fighters inside the city and French troops in the liberation army, however, called for a quick and clean capture of their capital. On August 19, Eisenhower changed his mind on receiving word of an uprising in Paris. He sent the Free French Second Armored Division, supported by U.S. troops, into the city. Paris fell to the Allies on August 25 without great damage because the German commandant disobeyed Hitlers orders to fight to the last man and to raze the city.
Western Offensive Toward Germany
As the Allied commanders planned final strategy for the assault on Germany, a disagreement arose among them. Montgomery urged a big thrust of all concentrated Allied armor through Belgium to the Ruhr, but Eisenhower, although he agreed to give initial priority to such a drive, decided that the earlier plan of simultaneous advance by all the separated armies should thereafter be resumed. In early September, the British liberated Brussels, and U.S. troops crossed the German frontier at Eupen. On October 21, the U.S. First Army took Aachen the first city within Germanys prewar borders to fall to the Allies. Meanwhile, the invasion forces from Normandy and southern France joined near Dijon. The Allies now had a continuous front from Belgium down to neutral Switzerland.
German resistance stiffened, however, in the last months of 1944. In late September, a British airborne division was dropped behind German lines across the Rhine near Arnhem in the Netherlands. The operation incurred heavy casualties: of the ten thousand troops landed, more than a thousand were killed and at least sixty-four hundred were taken prisoner. The Allied offensive ground to a temporary halt.
On December 16, 1944, General von Rundstedt launched a counteroffensive, known as the Battle of the Bulge, which took the Allies by surprise. With a quarter of a million men and a massive panzer force, he hit the center of the Allied lines at the thinly held Ardennes area. In eight days the Germans cut deeply into Allied-held territory. Eisenhower ordered Patton and his Third Army to turn north toward the fighting. In clearing weather, Allied air power, which had been grounded at the start of the counterattack, now hit hard at the Germans. In early January 1945, the German thrust was contained. The last great German offensive in the West had failed to terminate the Allied drive to the heartland of Germany.
After the successful landings in Normandy, the Allied Combined Bomber Command turned its full attention once again to targets inside Germany. By the end of 1944, it had seriously curbed German oil production. The Luftwaffe, with diminishing resources and pilots, tried to strike back. In late December, eight hundred German aircraft attacked Allied-held airfields in northern Europe, taking a toll of a hundred aircraft. The Allies, however, were able to replace their losses immediately; the Germans were down to their last reserves.
Many Germans continued to hope that Hitler would unveil at the proper time some secret weapon of shattering power that would turn the tide of battle in Germanys favor. In 1944, two deadly Vergeltungswaffen (vengeance weapons) were ready for use against the Allies. On June 13, 1944, just seven days after D-Day, Hitler ordered the release of the first V-1s, or buzz bombs, from bases along the French coast in the Pas de Calais sector. They were aimed at London in an effort to terrorize the civilian population. The robot bombs whined across the English Channel on a predetermined course. RAF pilots became adept at shooting them down. Altogether, about half of the V-1s sent off to London from northern France and Belgium reached the city; the bombs killed nearly six thousand Londoners, injured forty thousand others, and destroyed more than seventy-five thousand homes.
The heavier and more deadly supersonic V-2 rocket was put into action on September 8, 1944. From bases in the Low Countries, the V-2 hurtled toward London. With its 1-ton warhead, the V-2 buried itself into the ground and exploded violently. Of the more than one thousand V-2s rained on England, about five hundred hit London; they caused nearly ten thousand casualties. Although the vengeance weapons were deadly and caused much loss of life and property damage, they came too late to influence the course of the war.
During the first four months of 1945, a two-front trap closed in on Germany, forcing its surrender in early May. Meanwhile, the Allied leaders met to deal with the Far Eastern theater, to cope with problems concerning the liberated states of eastern Europe, and to establish terms under which postwar Germany would be occupied.
Soviet Advance to the Oder
With the Germans in the midst of their western counteroffensive, the Soviets, on January 12, 1945, initiated a tremendous assault on the German lines in the east. Within five days they took what remained of Warsaw and two days later captured Krakow. In the north, Soviet troops swept across East Prussia and took Gdansk (Danzig). By February, the Soviets cut off the crucial coal-producing region of Upper Silesia and crossed the Oder River near Breslau (Wroclaw).
As the Soviets moved through Poland, they came upon the notorious Auschwitz extermination camp, where as many as two million Jews, gypsies, Poles, Russians, and members of other groups that the Nazi leaders deemed as undesirables had died in the crematoria.
From February 4 to February 11, 1945, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met at the Yalta Conference held in the Crimea. In eastern Europe, then being occupied by the Soviets, Stalin promised to establish provisional governments that would include all democratic elements and to hold free elections as soon as possible. The USSR, it was agreed, would receive eastern Poland, with Poland to be compensated at Germanys expense. Germany was to be divided into four zones of occupation, to be administered by the three major Allies and France.
In exchange for its declaration of war against Japan within three months of Germanys surrender, the USSR was to receive the southern half of Sakhalin Island, the Kuril Islands, and special rights in the Manchurian ports of Dairen (Ta-lien) and Port Arthur (Lu-shun). Later criticized as excessively generous to the Soviets, these concessions were made at a time when the Far Eastern conflict was expected to continue many months after Germanys defeat.
Battle for Germany
In February 1945, Pattons fast-moving tanks cleared the entire west bank of the Rhine. The Americans captured intact a key bridge at Remagen near Cologne on March 7. Allied troops began to pour over it in strength and were soon crossing the Rhine at other points. With Montgomery poised in the north and Patton in the south, the Allies were now in a position to drive into Germany and head straight for Berlin.
Eisenhower, however, intent on pursuing the enemy and not aware of the political significance of Berlin, decided to head for Leipzig and then to concentrate his power on the supposed national redoubt in the south, where he expected Hitler to make a last stand. Thus, although U.S. forces reached the Elbe on April 12, 1945, and were only about 96 kilometers (60 miles) from Berlin, Eisenhower informed Stalin that he was leaving the city to the Soviets. Systematic bombing by Soviet artillery and Allied air power operating from England reduced the German capital to ruins. The Luftwaffe, with its corps of pilots depleted, airfields destroyed, and fuel supply nonexistent, could not protect the city.
On April 16, 1945, the final attack was launched on Berlin. By the end of the month, the Soviets had penetrated to the center of the city. German soldiers and civilians, fearful of revenge expected from the Soviets, hastened to surrender to the Americans and the British in the belief that they would receive better treatment from the Western Allies. On April 25, 1945, Soviet troops, who now encircled Berlin, met the Americans at Torgau on the Elbe.
While the Soviets were making their final drive on Berlin, Allied troops liberated one concentration camp after another. In April they reached Buchenwald as well as Belsen where they found forty thousand inmates barely alive and ten thousand unburied corpses and Dachau, one of the worst extermination centers. A shock of amazement ran through the entire world at the extent of Hitlers Final Solution, unprecedented in the entire history of civilization.
Allied armies occupied all of Germany. They found it a wasteland. Allied bombers had almost pulverized the large cities. Thousands of civilians had died in air raids. Some 3,250,000 German soldiers had been killed. The war left Germany shrunken in size. In early 1939, it had been a country of 183,000 square miles (474,000 square kilometers) with a population of about 60,000,000. In 1945 it was reduced to 144,000 square miles (373,000 square kilometers) and was also reduced by several million inhabitants. The Soviets annexed northern East Prussia. Poland administered southern East Prussia, Pomerania, and Silesia, and Germanys eastern border was pushed back to the Oder and Neisse rivers.
Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker on April 30. On May 7, 1945, representatives of Germanys armed forces capitulated to the Allies at Eisenhowers headquarters in Reims. The formal unconditional surrender came the next day in Berlin. Hitlers Third Reich had come to an end.
The last wartime Allied conference was held at Potsdam, Germany, from July 17 to August 2, 1945. Attending were Churchill, replaced by Clement Attlee during the conference; Harry S. Truman, successor to Roosevelt, who had died in April; and Stalin. They confirmed the Yalta plan for the division of Germany into four zones of occupation, and reached agreement on plans for the de-Nazification, demilitarization, and democratization of Germany. Those Nazis and Nazi supporters guilty of war crimes or atrocities were to be tried. The conferees also called for the unconditional surrender of Japan. Truman informed Stalin that the United States had tested an atomic bomb that could be used against Japan.
Differences among the Allies also appeared at Potsdam. Britain and the United States refused to accept the pro-Soviet provisional government in Poland because they did not consider it to be democratically based. They called for free elections in Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, whereas Stalin demanded that the Western Allies recognize the puppet regimes established by the Soviets in those nations. Disagreements also arose over German reparations and other matters.
Defeat of Japan
In 1944 and 1945, the Allies completed the Central Pacific campaign, took the Philippines, bombed Japan, and penetrated the Japanese home islands. By the summer of 1945, Allied victory was only a matter of time; it was hastened when the United States perfected the atomic bomb and dropped two of the devices on Japan.
By early 1945, Japan was on the verge of collapse. About 1.5 million Japanese troops remained in the home islands, with another 3 million in the Pacific or in China and Manchuria; the Japanese air fleet, however, had been severely mauled. The navy had lost 11 battleships, 19 aircraft carriers, 34 cruisers, nearly 150 submarines, and many other combat craft. The merchant fleet had been drastically reduced.
With one naval and air defeat after another, supply lines extended for impossible distances, and raw materials cut off, Japan could not hold out much longer. In a new development, American fliers operating from the Marianas began in November 1944 the strategic bombing of Japanese airfields, industrial targets, and naval installations. The bombing intensified in 1945 as the Allies captured air bases in the home islands.
Iwo Jima and Okinawa
A tiny island of volcanic ash, Iwo Jima, was one of the most strategic locations in the Western Pacific. Only 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Tokyo, it would be for the Americans an invaluable refueling base or emergency landing field for heavy bombers going to or returning from Japan. They reached the peak of Mount Suribachi on February 23 and secured the island by mid-March. The Japanese lost twenty-one thousand to death; only two hundred were taken prisoner.
The next objective was Okinawa, the main island of the southern Ryuku Archipelago. Allied strategists were attracted by its airfields within about 560 kilometers (350 miles) of Japanese cities. In the Pacific theaters largest amphibious operation, the first of the 172,000 troops of the U.S. Tenth Army began moving ashore on April 1. Within three weeks, they held four-fifths of the island, but organized Japanese resistance continued until June 17.
The door to Japan was now open, with U.S. casualties totaling twelve thousand dead or missing. The Japanese lost one hundred thousand; many committing suicide to avoid capture. In the Japanese code of warfare, defeat was unthinkable and shameful. Nonetheless, Japan faced imminent subjugation. Desperately seeking to turn the tide of battle, Japan began to employ suicide as an official weapon. Young pilots were asked to join the Kamikaze Corps, whose members were to crash their bomb-laden planes into Allied ships. Volunteers were plentiful.
The kamikaze pilots began operating at Leyte Gulf in October 1944. At Okinawa, they
made fifteen hundred individual attacks. Altogether, they sank 34 naval craft, none larger
than a destroyer, and damaged 358 others. Despite the fury of their assaults, they did not
affect the outcome of the war.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
By the end of July 1945, almost half of Tokyo had been destroyed, and scores of Japanese cities had been leveled by strategic bombing. Preparations were being made for an Allied invasion. On July 16, however, the work of the U.S. Manhattan Project came to fruition when an atomic bomb was successfully tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico. President Truman decided in favor of using the weapon to end the war quickly unless Japan surrendered. From Potsdam on July 26, Truman, Churchill, and Chiang Kai-shek issued an ultimatum demanding the unconditional surrender of Japan. It did not mention the bomb. Japan decided to continue the war.
On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb with an explosive force greater than 20,000 U.S. tons of TNT was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, with a population of about three hundred thousand. At least seventy-eight thousand people were killed outright, ten thousand were never found, and more than seventy thousand were injured. Almost two-thirds of the city was destroyed. On August 9, the day after the USSR declared war on Japan, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, with a population of 250,000. About forty thousand people were killed, and about the same number were injured.
On August 10, Japan sued for peace on the condition that the emperors position as sovereign ruler be maintained. The next day, the Allies stated that the future status of the emperor must be determined by them. At the behest of the emperor, an imperial conference on August 14 accepted the Allied terms. The next day, U.S. forces were ordered to cease fire. On September 2, 1945, Japanese representatives signed the formal document of surrender on the deck of the U.S. battleship Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.
Crimes of War: The Holocaust
The first concentration camps were established in 1933 for confinement of opponents of the Nazi Party. The supposed opposition soon included all Jews, Gypsies, and certain other groups. By 1939, there were six camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Flossenburg, and Ravensbruck. The outbreak of war caused a great demand for labor, and other camps were added. The most notorious was Auschwitz in conquered Poland. Inmates were required to work for their wages in food. So little food was given, however, that many starved. Others died of exposure or overwork. The dead bodies were burned in huge crematoriums in or near the camps.
The most horrible extension of the concentration camp system was the establishment of extermination centers after 1940. They were set up primarily to kill Jews. It is believed that from eighteen to twenty-six million people were killed in them, including six million Jews and four hundred thousand Gypsies. Prisoners in these camps were also used for barbaric medical experiments. This slaughter is known as the Holocaust.
Holocaust, an Old Testament sacrificial term, is used by historians to describe the massacre of six million Jews by the German Nazi regime during World War II. Hitler gave top priority to removing the Jews from Germany. Between 1933 and 1938, the Nazis boycotted Jewish businesses, established quotas in Germanys professions and schools, forbade intermarriage between Jews and Gentiles, and instituted the first concentration camps at Oranienburg, Buchenwald, and Dachau. During the next three years, Jews represented more than half of those exterminated as undesirables in concentration camps. Methods of killing at Auschwitz and other camps included cyanide gas or carbon monoxide gas, electrocution, phenol injections, flamethrowers, and hand grenades all of this while the rest of the world looked on.
The Nazis used the assassination of Ernst vom Rath, a German legation secretary in Paris, as an excuse for Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass). One night in November 1938, storm troopers burned 267 synagogues and arrested 20,000 people. Germanys Jews were also required to pay a fine of four hundred million dollars for damage to their own property.
Lacking weapons, weakened by disease and starvation, and isolated from the Allies (who were apparently apathetic about their fate), Jews nevertheless fiercely resisted the Nazis throughout the war. Perhaps as many as sixty thousand joined the partisan units that operated from North Africa to Belorussia. Ghetto uprisings occurred in Krakow, Bialystok, Vilna, Kaunas, Minsk, and Slutsk, as well as in Warsaw from April to May 1943. Jewish inmates destroyed Sobibor and Treblinka and led rebellions in fifteen other concentration camps. Despite these efforts, when World War II ended, two-thirds of Europes Jews had been murdered, more than had been slain in pogroms during the previous eighteen hundred years. The foundations of Western theology have been shaken by these horrors; a vast literature has developed that attempts to reconcile God, civilization, and the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
Anti-Semitic extremists have sought to propagate the notion that the Holocaust is a myth, and many people show a surprising ignorance about it.
The Costs of the War
No one will ever know what the war cost in the number of people killed, crippled, and wounded. Many nations could not accurately count their losses. The military forces of the Allies and the Axis reported a total of about 14.5 million killed. The civilian population suffered even more than the military through air bombings, starvation, epidemics, and deliberate massacre. Estimated civilian deaths amounted to almost thirteen million, which did not include those in China and other parts of eastern Asia. Total military costs were more than a trillion dollars; property damage was estimated at almost that much. The war at sea cost 4,770 merchant vessels, with a gross tonnage of more than twenty-one million. This amounted to twenty-seven percent of all the ships in existence at the start of the war.
In addition, war spending did not stop when the fighting ended. Care of the crippled, pensions, and other expenses continued. In the United States, money spent for United Nations relief, occupation of foreign countries, and veterans benefits raised the total cost by another thirty billion dollars.
Churchill and Hitler
There are two dominant personalities involved in this world catastrophe: Sir Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler. Both were politicians and both had knowledge; however, neither of these protagonists possessed wisdom, but rather a level of egoism and lust for destruction in the extreme. One would destroy tens of millions and the British Empire; the other millions more and the German Empire.
Churchill and Hitler each masked a dark sinister side beneath his public persona. As this modern tragedy played out, these dark and sinister personalities began to manifest. Of course, it must be remembered that, like the first world war, World War II was proclaimed a just war. However, like all wars preceding it, World War II was nothing more than an act of lunacy perpetrated and foisted on humanity by dysfunctional individuals who sought fame and immortality through their misguided actions. As usual, the victims were the innocent participants, whether directly as military personnel or as civilians.
As we review this war, it becomes obvious that the published reasons for its existence were skewed, masking and camouflaging the underlying motives. These stemmed from almost a half century of the triune sophistries of the secular revolt, materialism, and atheistic science. These human inventions, involving philosophy, politics, social, and physical sciences, would mutate into a worldwide mindset that would readily accept the thinking of the major leaders in this war men such as Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, Roosevelt, Mussolini, and Hirohito. These men reacted in their own way to the triune sophistries shaping the national patriotism to suit their particular agendas. Each harbored egocentric and self-aggrandized plans, not only for his place in history, but also for his nations dominance over the worlds landscape. This mindset, having found a populist place globally, would continue to manifest all the way through to the end of the twentieth century.
Let us take a look at two of these men of war to assess who they were and why they were as they appeared at this defining moment on the temporal stage of action.
Sir Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill will always be remembered as the First Citizen of western Civilization, Defender of the Faith. Or so said Henry R. Luce in 1946, publisher of the magazines Time, Life, and Fortune.
After a decade of meticulous research, noted historian David Irving presents a shockingly different picture of the great man. In all of the historical works on Churchill, it was found that David Irvings Churchills War provided the most accurate and revealing story of a flawed, complex world leader who was more saboteur than savior. We shall draw heavily on his research to expose this politician as the master exploiter of "idiots" the masses.
In the introduction to Churchills War, David Irving paints the real picture of the postwar Churchill, flush with victory:
It was March 14, 1946: the uneasy interlude after the end of World War II had ended, and everybody could sense it. Luces fellow editors and executives scrutinized the famous Englishman, as if taken aback to find him so small, in the way that movie fans are startled to find that their idols are less than the twenty-foot giants of the silver screen. In the words of a lucid and penetrating memorandum that Charles Murphy wrote for Luces private files, there was just a dress-shirted cave where the chest should have been, and a swelling paunch that bore testimony to years of rich fare.
Behind them was a brooding sculpture of a bald eagle, carved in clear ice some hours earlier by the Union Club chiefs. The wings of this symbol of American might were outstretched: its eyes glittered, and every crevice was heaped with black caviar. The clubs heating had been turned up, and rivers of iced water dribbled down its chest. Churchill leered. The eagle, he announced, seems to have caught a cold.
He was hypnotized less by the sculptors art than by the caviar. He waved aside the genteel slices of toast an editor handed him, explained, This stuff needs no reinforcement, and put words into action by shoveling a whopping helping onto a plate, and from there, with scarcely a perceptible interruption, straight and undiluted to his mouth seemingly unabashed at the appreciative belches that shortly emerged from that orifice. I hope, Gentlemen, he apologized with little evidence of true contrition, I hope you dont find me too explosive an animal.
Luce misinterpreted the remark. On the contrary, sir, he said, you were only putting into words what was gravely in the minds of many Americans.
The remainder of the evening, or so Charles Murphys memorandum goes, saw the obese animal that had become Churchill quaffing down copious amounts of liquor and rich food, until finally:
At one point that evening, Churchill just settled back and let his thoughts ramble over Eisenhower, whom he always called "Ike,"over that vanishing breed, horses; over Drew Pearson and American journalism. Then he eagerly described a new American gadget, the Dictaphone: Think of being able to talk for twenty minutes into a little green disk that only costs a dime, he said. But that is not the end of the marvelous accomplishments of this machine. If you wish to ponder what you have said, it is only necessary to flick a switch and it will play your words right back.
The journalists present that evening would probably never forget their encounter with Winston Churchill. With fire in his eyes, he talked wistfully of the panoply of battle, and he said challengingly: War is the greatest of all stimulants. Henry Luce proposed a toast in words which everybody felt exactly right: We are accustomed, announced Luce, to drink toasts to people. I propose a toast to Civilization. But Civilization is embodied in people. So, to Winston Churchill, the First Citizen of Western Civilization, Defender of the Faith.
They were sorry to see him leave. Churchill pulled himself to his feet, politely repeated the name of each person as he shook hands with him, and peered intently into that mans face as though fixing it hard upon his memory. He was no longer Prime Minister but in opposition. A spent force? The fire has unmistakably burned low, wrote one observer.
If there was one passage that fixed itself on their minds, it was when Churchill warmed to the theme of Fulton and the furor that his Iron Curtain speech has caused. He dismissed the Soviet reaction as ill tempered, crude, and a typically Communist trick. In fact and his cheeks positively glowed as he said it Stalin had used almost the same terms to attack him as had Hitler in his time. War Monger, inciter of wars, imperialist, reactionary has-been-why, it is beginning to sound like old times, scoffed Churchill.
We see a glimpse here of the real Churchill, bloated and scoffing at the aphrodisiac of war and the remembrance of past battles irrespective of lives lost whether innocent or not; Churchill, the consummate politician having made decisions to send men and women to do battle and yet not once showing any remorse or personal feeling about doing so. The real Winston Churchill was a power-hungry politician who deliberately prolonged the war to advance his own career. He was a coward who goaded Hitler into bombing London then fled to safety during the Blitz. He was a serious alcoholic who hired an actor to deliver his greatest speech because he was too drunk to broadcast it himself.
The real Churchill lived for the moment of power and the lustful life. As Hitler was to become the terror of civilization, so Churchill would respond in equally terrifying ways. Here are a few more examples from Irvings Churchills War:
Ifear that if we entered upon this pass we should soon find that it led to Mussolini being a mediator between us and Germany, and to an Armistice and conference under the conditions of our being at Hitlers mercy. Such a conference would only end in weakening fatally our power to resist the terrible terms which will almost certainly be imposed, if not upon France, at any rate upon Britain.
We do not feel unable to continue the struggle and our people would never allow us to quit until we have fought our fight. They are an unbeaten people and will never allow us to surrender. They know well that for us once under the Nazi domination there can be no mercy.
Thus we do not see any way but to fight on, and we have good hopes of holding out until some deep change occurs in Germany or Europe (Irving, page 295)
Political oblivion moving ever closer, Churchill whistled up the familiar demons to prove Britain had no choice: If, he argued, Herr Hitler was prepared to make peace on the [basis of] restoration of the German colonies and the over lordship of Central Europe, that was one thing. But it was quite unlikely that he would make any such offer (Irving, page 299).
Churchill spoke scathingly of the French hypnotized by the Maginot Line, he called them. He blamed the B.E.F.s retreat on the French failure to push northwards from the Somme.
How many would get away we could not tell . Calais had been defended by a British force which had refused to surrender, and it was said that there were no survivors.
Dunkirk, he continued, motioning with his cigar, was under a pall of black smoke. On two occasions great flights of German bombers turned away and declined battle when they saw our fighter patrols. It would be said, and with some truth, that this was the greatest British defeat for centuries.
Attempts to invade us would no doubt be made, but they would be beset with immense difficulty. We should mine all round the coast; our Navy was immensely strong our supplies of food, oil, etc., were ample; we had good troops in this island, others were on the way by sea, both British Army units coming from remote garrisons and excellent Dominion troops.
His main purpose was to discourage thoughts of peace:
It was idle to think that if we tried to make peace now, we should get better terms from Germany than if we went on and fought it out. The Germans would demand our fleet that would be called disarmament our naval bases, and much else. We should become a puppet state, though a British Government which would be Hitlers puppet would be set up under Mosley or some such person Therefore we shall go on and we shall fight it out, here or elsewhere. And if at last the long story is to end let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the field. (Irving, page301)
When, in mid-August 1940, Chamberlain was growing weaker because of cancer, Winstons attitude toward him was contemptuous:
... that rather distant and sympathetic manner that the United States was manifesting towards Britain. Behind the sympathy was a lingering contempt. History will deal severely with Chamberlain, he would rasp, toward the end of the current war, and add, after a well timed pause, I know because I shall write it, (Irving, page 401)
Readers may be alarmed at some elements in these pages. Few of the visiting statesmen
failed to comment in their private papers on Churchills consumption of alcohol,
occasionally coupling their remarks with the puzzled observation that even the hardest
liquor appeared to leave him unimpaired. In official American publications, documents have
been doctored to omit such passages. Irvings book also shows evidence that, on
occasions, Churchills temporary incapacitation resulted in political or military
decisions that damaged British prestige, and even caused casualties among the soldiers and
sailors concerned. He was his happiest at war, and said so. He was rarely a
creator, always a destroyer of cities, of monuments and works of art, of
populations, of frontiers, of monarchies, and finally his own countrys empire.
During the years leading up to the war and the political struggle between Churchill and Chamberlain, we see the real Churchill emerge. Churchill was a consummate politician who connived and stretched the truth to obtain his way. According to Irving:
At the Admiralty, the Officers were aghast at the distinct possibility that Churchill would profit from Chamberlains humiliation. The danger to my mind [wrote the acting Director of Operations that night] is that out of it will come a Government headed by that arch-idiot Winston. Im quite certain hes played the whole of his last 8 months to become P.M., often at the expense of helping to win the war as witness the way he never backed us against the Air.
There are too many examples in Churchills war to mention, which propose that this man of destiny had an agenda based on self-interest and a breakneck speed to get his way. This, of course, is the hallmark of the egocentric, of which Churchill was perhaps this centurys champion.
As Hitler was a psychopath, so Churchill was the consummate manipulator, hell-bent on creating history no matter the cost, whether they be lives or empires. To prolong the war and immortalize himself in history, he deliberately fastened the British Empire into debt with the United States, dressing it up as the Lend Lease.
In addition to Hitler and Churchill, we have a the third player in this disaster: Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt was the consummate gambler, playing his cards very close to his chest, never letting the right hand know what the left hand was doing. I would rather, said Roosevelt in 1942, lose New Zealand, Australia, or anything else rather than have the Russians collapse. He also said England was an old tired power and must take second place to the younger United States, Russia, and China. Later, this sly statesman conceded, When there are four people sitting in a poker game and three of them are against the fourth, it is a little hard on the fourth.
Frances humiliating defeat and Britains threatening bankruptcy gave Roosevelt an opportunity to clean up these old empires. At Teheran in 1943, he confided to Stalin, I want to do away with the Third Reich. He added, In any language. Stalin liked that. Roosevelts policy was to pay out just enough to give the empire support the kind of support a rope gives a hanging man. When his treasury secretary confirmed, after visiting London in 1944, that Britain was penniless, the cynical man in the Oval Office snickered: I had no idea, he said. I will go over there and make a couple of talks and take over the British Empire.
This inspired American statesman would pursue his subversion of the Empire throughout the war. He might lead the crusade for democracy, but he expected the front-line nations to foot the bill. During the Munich crisis, he had predicted to his cabinet that the United States would be enriched by any resulting war. Sure enough, gold from the beleaguered nations had begun to flow in payment for American war materials. The 1939 revision of neutrality legislation, which legalized this sale of war goods to belligerents, and the Johnson Debt-Default Act required that such purchases be for cash. So the great bloodletting began. Britain donated £2,078 million in aid to its own minor allies during the war years, but the United States extorted from Britain every movable asset in return for acting as an arsenal of democracy. During the war, Britain would sell off £1,118 million of foreign investments; in addition, its foreign debt would increase £2,595 million from 1938 to 1945. Formerly the worlds major creditor, Britain became an international pauper and even forty years later had not permanently recovered.
The turning point came when the United States Congress enacted Lend Lease. On that day, Britain was saved from an ignominious defeat at the hands of the arch-enemy Hitler and the Third Reich but at what price? Churchill, in vanity and ineptitude, had destroyed the empire and its assets. So as we see this savage and brutal conflict play out between the old empires of Germany, France, and Britain (Russia having succumbed to the Bolsheviks), the new empire of the United States with a history of self-interests and socialization under Roosevelt was to become the champion. Materialism was in full swing at this point of the twentieth century. Leadership was at an all-time low on all fronts, with greed and power lust fueling the veins of the protagonists as they sacrificed everything in their quest for dominance. This was no just war; it was no different from any other war prior or since. It was merely about greed and power.
Eventually, with the well-designed and well-executed official entry of the United States into the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the war in Europe meandered toward its final conclusion. One of its protagonists, Adolf Hitler, commited suicide. Although Churchill secured his place in history and Roosevelt attained his greedy ambitions, the war in the Pacific was relatively short, although savage and blood-thirsty, as the animal-minded Nippon forces cut a swathe through the Pacific. Their end came with the godless yet fully justified acts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By wars end, knowledge was in full cry and wisdom long forgotten.
As we explore the warped and obviously insane mind of Adolf Hitler, we will use references from Robert G. L. Waites The Psychopathic God, Adolf Hitler. According to H. Stuart Hughes, of all the works authored on Adolf Hitler since 1945, Waites is a triumph a wonderful mixture of psychological perception and good sense. Even though a thousand books are written on Hitler, this will long remain the best. In reviewing this definitive psychological portrait of Adolf Hitler, which documents accounts of his behavior, beliefs, tastes, fears, and compulsions, many new revelations emerge explaining not only how his insanity manifested but why. Waite sheds new light on this complex figure. It is recommended to any serious student of history.
The young Adolf suffered from many mental disorders that emanated from an abnormal relationship with his parents. He idolized his mother and lived in fear and hate of his father:
Like many fathers of his place and time, Alois Hitler believed in corporal punishment. Bridget Hitler, the wife of Alois Jr., testified that her husband had often told her about his childhood and described his father as a person with a very violent temper. He often beat the dog until it wet on the floor. He often beat the children, and on occasion would beat his wife Klara. Other people who knew Alois Hitler have said that his children never dared to speak in their fathers presence without being told to. They were not permitted to use the familiar du, but were told to address him as Herr Vater. He was accustomed to calling his son Adolf not by name but by putting two fingers in his mouth and whistling for him as he did for his dog. (Waite, page 134)
The adolescent Adolf developed a decidedly abnormal and dysfunctional personality. His twisted and paranoid mind of terror was prone to all manner of fetishes and symbolical responses to everyday life.
During his adolescence, he suffered an identity crisis. A painful process of finding himself followed:
During the identity crisis a person may adopt a negative identity as a means of attacking a hated father when a son takes on an identity radically different from one his father intended for him and this is certainly what Adolf did he is showing a paranoid form, a powerful death wish (latent in all sever identity crises) against [his] parents. (Waite, page 185)
In Hitlers case, this was accompanied by an extreme need for some type ideology:
... a total commitment that will answer all the vague but urgentquestions which arise in consequence of identity or conflict. Hitler found his faith in anti-Semitism and racial nationalism... It became the ground of his being and the core of his political philosophy. It allowed him ... to destroy and to create. It required that he destroy the Jewish peril and create a radically pure Motherland.
Anti-Semitism was deeply satisfying to Hitler for psychological as well as historical or philosophical reasons. He embraced anti-Semitism at a highly vulnerable point in his life. Even before his mother died [of breast cancer while under the treatment of a Jewish physician], Adolf had experienced one of the most shattering events of his life: he was rejected by the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts, apparently smashing his cherished ambition to become an artist. (Waite, pages 186-187)
Questions about his own genealogy made him extremely uneasy. When he was once threatened with blackmail by a relative who claimed to have special information that Adolf had a Jewish grandfather, he ordered his lawyer to investigate. His lawyer discovered Adolfs father was the illegitimate son of a domestic who worked in a Jewish home. Adolf became obsessed with worry about the possibility that he was Jewish.
The two physical characteristics he associated with Jews body odors and large noses were two things that bothered him about himself. Hitlers obsessive concern with personal cleanliness and his abhorrence of perfume and after shave lotion was so great, one suspects, because he was afraid that either the smell of body odor or the use of perfume to cover it up might make people think he was a Jew. When one of his colleagues asked why Jews always remain strangers in the nation, Hitler had his ready answer: The Jews [have] a different smell. (Waite, page 131)
He was the doe-eyed, sympathetic figure who could instantly change into a terrorizing despot. His response to the arts was that they demanded fanaticism. According to Christa Schroeder, one of his secretaries, His library contained no classics or any single book of humane or intellectual value. Hitler himself said, I read to confirm my ideas.
Since Hitler saw himself as a Messiah with a divine mission to save Germany from the incarnate evil of International Jewry, it is not surprising that he likened himself to Jesus. On one occasion during the 1920s, as he lashed about him with the whip he habitually carried, he said that, In driving out the Jews, I remind myself of Jesus in the Temple. At another time, Just like Christ, I have a duty to my own people (Waite)
At a Christmas celebration in 1926, Hitler thought it appropriate to compare his own historical importance favorably with that of Jesus. Christ had changed the dating of history and so would Hitler. It was his intention to complete what was begun by Christ. He would mark the beginning of a new age in the history of the world with his final victory over the Jews. In a speech on February 10, 1933, he parodied the Lords Prayer in promising that under him a new kingdom would come on earth and that his would be the power and the glory, Amen. He added that if he did not fulfill his mission, he should be crucified.
In reminiscing about the institutions and ideas that had influenced him, Hitler said he had learned a great deal from Marxist terrorism, from the protocols of the Elders of Zion, and from the Freemasons. But, he concluded, Above all, I have learnt from the Jesuit Order. Certainly, the oath of direct obedience to the Fuehrer was strikingly reminiscent of the special oath that the Jesuits swear to the Pope. Moreover, Hitler spoke of his elite SS, who wore the sacred symbol and dressed in black, as his society of Jesus.
In this self-deluded messianic state of mind, Hitler projected a vision of human history that was one of religious mythology and mysticism. He believed a pure German people had lived in an early Garden of Eden. He concluded that this pure race had been attacked by the devil and made incarnate in the form of the Jew. He said many times that the Jew is the personification of the devil and all evil. By fighting the devil (Jews), he rationalized the he was doing the work of the Almighty God. His theology, based on original sin as depicted in the biblical Garden of Eden story, concluded that the original sins of this world manifested in blood and race. World War II was regarded in eschatological terms by Hitler, who saw himself as the commander of the forces of good standing at Armageddon, battling the forces of Satan: Often it seems to me as if we are being tested by the Devil and Satan and we must pass through Hell together until we finally obtain ultimate victory.
He viewed the Nazi Party and the Reich not merely as secular organizations. I consider those who establish or destroy a religion much greater than those who establish a State, to say nothing of founding a Party, he wrote in Mein Kampf. Years later he told his followers, We are not a movement, rather we are a religion.
The institutional pattern he used for creating his new order was the Roman Catholic Church, which had so greatly impressed him. As a boy, he had dreamed of being an abbot. When he became Fuhrer, however, he raised his sights and saw himself as a political Pope with an apostolic succession. He announced to a closed meeting of the faithful in the Brown House during 1930, I hereby set forth for myself and my successors in the leadership of the Party the claim of political infallibility. I hope the world will grow as accustomed to that claim as it has to the claim of the Holy Father.
Hitlers obsession with the Jews came primarily from his reading of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and he believed his personal mission on Earth was the eradication of all Jews.
The member of the Thule Society who most influenced Hitler and who helped reinforce his political ideas was the racist poet Dietrich Eckart, best known in Germany for his translation of Peer Gynt. Hitlers eyes invariably moistened whenever he spoke of Eckart. He dedicated the second volume of Mein Kampf to him a highly atypical public acknowledgment of indebtedness. And years later, in a midnight reverie, he looked back upon Eckart as an admonishing father figure in whose presence he felt like a small boy: He shone in our eyes like a polar star. When he admonished someone, it was with so much wit. At that time  I was intellectually a child still on the bottle.
Eckart had written scathing attacks on Jews and other non-Germans in his racist periodical, Auf gut Deutsch (In Plain German), a journal that shows clearly Eckart had read Lanz-Liebenfels, List, Fritsch, Wagner, and H. S. Chamberlain, and that he too was fascinated with runic mysteries and such secret signs as the SS and the swastika. His poetry, which Hitler considered as beautiful as Goethes, proclaimed his belief in Germanys messianic mission:
Father in Heaven, resolved to the
Kneel we before Thee, Oh answer us, then!
Does aught other people Thine awful command
More loyally follow than we Germans do?
Is there one such? Then Eternal One, send
Father, Thou smilest? Oh, joy without end!
Up! and onward, onward to the holy crusade.
A little-known pamphlet that seems to have been written jointly by Hitler and Eckart and published in 1924 is an important source for Hitlers political ideas during these years. Despite its ambitious title, Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin: Dialogue Between Adolf Hitler and Me, there is virtually nothing in the pamphlet about Bolshevism. Hitlers concern here, as it had been in Vienna, is with race and the alleged Jewish conspiracy. He and Eckart discuss various other matters, including freemasonry, Christianity, pacifism but not Communism. Hitlers invectives against the Bolshevik peril were to come later, as his propagandists later claimed, instinctively anti-Communist. Indeed, he had grudging admiration for their radical activist theory and openly admired the way Communist leaders used their theory to control and manipulate the masses. Stalin, he often said glowingly, was just one helluva fellow!
As technology and our ability to use it in acquiring knowledge continued, we see the fulfillment of the prophecies of past ages. This chapter of the twentieth century was a defining moment in our planets long and turbulent history, whereby the consolidation of these three sophistries was effected. >From that consolidation would emerge the beginning of the dire harvest of materialism and secularism; still more terrible destruction was yet to come.
While the evolution of mankind provides our modern civilization with incredible technological advances together with an exciting and self-gratifying experience, patience will be required if our planet is to evolve to a point where all people benefit equally. Unbridled self-gratification and impatience have the propensity to plunge mankind into devolution. History records eloquently that this undisciplined impatience quickly unravels the well-woven fabric of society.
In our confusion over mans origin, we must not lose sight of our eternal destiny. Lets not forget that Jesus loved little children, and that He forever made clear the great worth of human personality. As we view the world, remember that the black patches of evil we see are shown against a white background of ultimate good. We do not view merely white patches of good that show up miserably against a black background of evil.
When there is so much good truth to publish and proclaim, its a pity to dwell on and accept the evil in the world simply because it appears to be an unalterable fact. The beauty and spiritual values of truth are more pleasurable and uplifting than is the phenomenon of evil. In religion, Jesus advocated and followed the method of experience, even as modern science pursues the technique of experiment. We find God through spiritual insight, but we approach this insight of the soul through the love of the beautiful, pursuit of truth, loyalty to duty, and worship of divine goodness. Of all these values, love is the true guide to real insight, which is wisdom.
As we learn from our past mistakes, we must strive to break the pattern that has afforded such destruction. But how is this to be achieved when our children are denied the complete picture of our recent history? Our institutions of learning have been modified and manipulated by those who would prefer ignorance and indolence in our curriculums so that their agendas may be progressed.
As adults, we face similar obstructions to truth. Our modern minds are so preoccupied with survival and the present that we scarcely have time for reflection on our history. The information overload is so great that our news is provided in five-second sound bytes that cater to a mass audience with a diminishing ability to concentrate, weigh and question.
Little wonder, then, that so many accept World War II as being a just war when, in fact, it was an amazing chronicle of mass human carnage and genocide. This panoramic review of the twentieth century up to the end of World War II provides a sense not only of what went wrong but why. Wars are the product of egocentric megalomaniacal political leaders. Their personal psychotic impulses are so strong and unfettered that they recklessly plunge their nations and eventually the world into blood-soaked battles where there are no winners and the losers are the innocent mortals so cruelly destroyed by their leaders. How can any war no matter who starts it, who participates, and whatever comprises its principles ever be justified and described as just? Yet, its a popular description, utilized by those in our societies who fall into the populist mindset of the day.
This mindset is described by Howard Bloom in his book The Lucifer Principle. Bloom examines the research of Dr. Paul D. MacLean, who first posited the concept of the triune brain. According to MacLean, near the base of a human skull is the stem of the brain poking up from the spinal column like an unadorned walking stick. Sitting atop that rudimentary stump is a mass of cerebral tissue bequeathed us by our earliest totally land-dwelling ancestors, the reptiles. When these beasts turned their back on the sea, roughly three hundred million years ago and hobbled inland, their primary focus was simple survival. The new landlubbers needed to hunt, find a mate, to carve out territory, and to fight in that territorys defense. The neural machinery they evolved took care of these elementary functions. MacLean calls it the reptile brain. The reptile brain still sits inside our skull, like the pit at the center of a peach. It is a vigorous participant in our mental affairs, pumping its primitive, instinctual orders to us at all hours of the day or night.
Violence as it has developed in the twentieth century is the product of the neocortex, according to Blooms elucidation of MacLeans theory. Having only just reached a point of pre-civilization, the neocortex is breached by the primal savagery of the reptile brain. What Bloom failed to recognize is that in this transition from reptile to mammal to primate brain, hundreds of millions of years culminated in the emergence of free will. This free will as exercised by the modern hominid already possessed psychotic tendencies and resulted in reptilian thinking. In modern language, this is referred to fight or flight. Remembering that it takes two or more sides to eventuate a war, the opposing political leaders, being ignorant of their reptilian brains, reacted with similarly reptilian responses savagery. Once the reptile brain is loosened from the nurturing mammalian and hominid neocortex, savagery and barbarism are unleashed in blood-letting, as the history of world wars proves.
Eons after the first reptiles ambled away from the beach, their great-great grandchildren, many times removed, evolved a few dramatic product improvements. These upgrades included fur, warm blood, the ability to nurture eggs inside their own bodies, and the portable supply of baby food we know as milk. The remodeled creatures were no longer reptiles; they had become mammals. Mammals evolved features gave them the ability to leave the lush tropics and make their way into the chilly north. Their warm blood allowed them, in fact, to survive the rigors of an occasional ice age while exacting certain costs. Warm blood meant that mammalian parents could not simply lay an egg and wander off. It forced mammalian mothers to brood over their children for weeks, months, or even years. And it required a tighter social organization to take care of these suckling clusters of mammal mothers and children.
All this demanded that a few additions be built into the old reptilian brain. Nature complied by constructing an envelope of new neural tissue that surrounded the reptile brain, like a peachs juicy fruit enveloping the pit. MacLean called the add-on the mammalian brain. The mammalian brain guided play, maternal behavior, and a host of other emotions. It kept our furry ancestors together in nurturing gangs.
Far down the winding path of time, a few of our hirsute progenitors tried something new. They stood on their hind legs, looked around them, and applied their minds and hands to the exploitation of the world. These were the early hominids. But proto-human aspirations were impractical without the construction of another brain accessory. Nature once again complied, wrapping a thin layer of fresh neural substance around the two old cortical standbys the reptilian and mammalian brains. The new structure, stretched around the old ones like a peachs skin, was the neo cortex the primate brain. This primate brain, which includes the human brain, had awesome powers. It could envisage the future. It could weigh a possible action and imagine the consequences. It could support the development of language, reason and culture. But the neocortex had a drawback; it was merely a thin veneer over the two ancient brains. And those were as active as ever, measuring every bit of input from the eyes and ears and issuing fresh orders. The thinking human, no matter how exalted his sentiments, was still listening to the voices of a demanding reptile and a chattering ancient mammal. Both were speaking to him from the depths of his own skull.
Richard Leakey, the eminent paleoanthropologist, says war didnt exist until men invented agriculture and began to acquire possessions. In the back of Leakeys mind, one might find a wistful prayer that agriculture would go away so we could rediscover peace. But Leakey is wrong. Violence is not a product of the digging stick and hoe.
Hitler, as described in Waites The Psychopathic God, released the reptilian side of his nature. Churchill responded in an equally reptilian manner, spurred on by political aspiration, greed and power lust. The whole episode escalated into a blood-letting period that is unsurpassed in our history. Roosevelt responded in an equally reptilian manner by maneuvering Churchill and the British into a suicidal plunge to poverty and the end of the British Empire. Stalin, Mussolini, and Hirohito were no different. They each acted out their reptilian natures in ways that would see their countrymen slaughtered either on the battle field or innocently in cities. World War II was created by unwise and reptilian-minded political leaders, undertaken by the reptilian minds of the various military commanders, filtering down to expose the worst propensities of man. Atrocities and all manner of savage behavior resulted that rivals only the Jurassic era.
The glorification of war is nothing more than the primitive mind of mankind seeking to justify the voices of a demanding reptile and a chattering ancient mammal. The truly civilized mind of hominid not only controls the reptile brain, but seeks to shame future generations into accepting that it is unnecessary. It preempts and corrupts our individual free will. Ultimately, it is against God.
Insights from this piece of modern history together with the valuable information that Bloom gleans from MacLeans theory will form much of the content of solutions presented in later chapters. We must first know our history, then evaluate why things happen. More important, we must know ourselves if we are ever to develop a system of government that provides peace on earth. There are solutions to our problems. They are available if we as societies of so-called civilized beings will only stop and take proper notice of past prophets and teachers. We must seek the truth with open minds and a willingness to learn anew. Then and only then will our world be free from the savagery of our reptile natures and share the sublimity of peace on earth. Anything less, and we shall all surely suffer the suicidal fate that hangs like a dark cloud over our heads in the twenty-first century.
Knowledge Without Wisdom