« Careful how you go down Bristol way | Main | Choose your Doctor carefully »

Don't Let's Be Beastly to the Germans

Don't mention the War, says Cleese in World Cup peace bid - Britain - Times Online

Unlike Basil Fawlty, his alter ego, the actor is a keen Germanophile and is playing a prominent role in three projects designed to encourage a World Cup free from xenophobia and bigotry.
These include sponsoring a children’s essay-writing competition called “But Don’t Mention the War”, contributing a matching World Cup anthem and starring in a comedy football film for German television.
The song, which is available from iTunes, tackles more delicate territory than England’s official World Cup ditty, World at Your Feet by Embrace. It calls on football fans to concentrate on the game and abandon outdated prejudices, even if the Germans “bombed our chipshop 60 years ago”.

Meanwhile in news from Liverpool:

Telegraph | News | Ferry passengers stranded after a 1,000lb German wartime bomb was discovered floating in the Mersey.

OK I won't mention it again; though you did start it... As dear, dear Noel Coward wrote in 1943 "Don't Let's Be Beastly to the Germans " .

Lyrics below if you want to sing along this summer:


Verse

We must be kind
And with an open mind
We must endeavour to find
A way -
To let the Germans know that when the war is over
They are not the ones who'll have to pay.
We must be sweet
And tactful and discreet
And when they've suffered defeat
We mustn't let
Them feel upset
Or ever get
The feeling that we're cross with them or hate them,
Our future policy must be to reinstate them.

Refrain 1

Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
When our victory is ultimately won,
It was just those nasty Nazis who persuaded them to fight
And their Beethoven and Bach are really far worse than their bite
Let's be meek to them-
And turn the other cheek to them
And try to bring out their latent sense of fun.
Let's give them full air parity
And treat the rats with charity,
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun.

Verse 2

We must be just
And win their love and trust
And in addition we must
Be wise
And ask the conquered lands to join our hands to aid them.
That would be a wonderful surprise.
For many years-
They've been in floods of tears
Because the poor little dears
Have been so wronged and only longed
To cheat the world,
Deplete the world
And beat
The world to blazes.
This is the moment when we ought to sing their praises.

Refrain 2

Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
When we've definately got them on the run
Let us treat them very kindly as we would a valued friend
We might send them out some Bishops as a form of lease and lend,
Let's be sweet to them
And day by day repeat to them
That 'sterilization' simply isn't done.
Let's help the dirty swine again
To occupy the Rhine again,
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun.

Refrain 3

Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
When the age of peace and plenty has begun.
We must send them steel and oil and coal and everything they need
For their peaceable intentions can be always guaranteed.
Let's employ with them a sort of 'strength through joy' with them,
They're better than us at honest manly fun.
Let's let them feel they're swell again and bomb us all to hell again,
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun.

Refrain 4

Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
For you can't deprive a gangster of his gun
Though they've been a little naughty to the Czechs and Poles and Dutch
But I don't suppose those countries really minded very much
Let's be free with them and share the B.B.C. with them.
We mustn't prevent them basking in the sun.
Let's soften their defeat again - and build their bloody fleet again,
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun.


Comments


The Greatest Generation - The Truth About
Freedom’s Eager Beavers

By Alex S. Perry Jr.

In this first-person account, the second place winner of the TBR essay contest, himself a tail-end member of what NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw ingratiatingly called America’s “greatest generation”—the generation of Americans who were born in the 1920s, came of age in the Great Depression and fought in World War II—explains why Brokaw’s book is seriously overrated. He also explains why many members of that generation—himself included—who once were so proud of how they “served their country” and thought they had “saved the world” (and surely no one would question their honor, courage and perseverance) are today ashamed of how they were hornswoggled into that horrible, unnecessary war.

Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation, Random House, Inc., 1998—hereinafter GG) is proof that Brokaw is unable to call a spade a spade. Should Brokaw ever do so about World War II, Adolf Hitler, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin or Japan’s leaders during this period, he would lose his $7 million per annum broadcasting position.
This writer was in the Army Air Force during World War II. I did not have to go: I had a perfect medical excuse. I had a punctured eardrum that failed to heal after a mastoid operation when I was eight months old. But I wanted to go. The movie industry influenced me, as it did the rest of the nation. It influenced even those who did not know how to read, and if they did know how to read, they would have read practically nothing contradicting what they saw on Saturday night, as the same tribe that controlled the movies also controlled the news media.

Rep. Hamilton Fish (R-N.Y.) said he was ashamed of the part he played in World War II. Fish did more about World War II and the part the United States played in World War II than did all the armed forces put together. Fish was the congressman from President Franklin Roosevelt’s district. Fish made the first speech in Con gress asking for a declaration of war against Japan on December 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Of that speech Fish later said: “I am ashamed of that speech today, as I now know about Roosevelt’s infamous war ultimatum that forced Japan’s leaders to fight.”1 Fish also said, “Roosevelt’s ‘day of infamy’ has been turned into hy pocrisy, deceit and ashes by the searchlight of truth on the causes, events and results of the war.”2 “Roosevelt,” Fish said, “was the main instigator and firebrand to light the fuse of war.”3

Another man very disappointed [with World War II] was Gen. George Patton, the hero of World War II if there ever was one. Patton had been as gung-ho about the war as any 18-year-old could be. He literally believed the prewar and wartime propaganda that Germany was a threat to America’s freedom, and he acted on this belief. He wanted to kill as many Germans as he could. He inspired the troops under his command to do likewise, and they killed surrendered German soldiers in droves.4 Of course, there was the problem of what to do with the surrendered German troops, because there were so many of them. Killing them was one way to eliminate the problem, but killing them inspired those not yet captured not to surrender, but to fight to the death. Gen. Dwight Eisen hower expressed the sentiment, “Too bad we couldn’t have killed more,” in a letter to Gen. George Marshall in 1943. How ever, this remark was deleted when Eisenhower’s papers were published.5

As soon as the war was over, Patton began to express doubts about World War II. This change of heart can be detected in The Patton Papers, published in 1974 by Houghton Mifflin Co.6 After the war, Patton began to take up for the German people. On July 21, 1945, Patton wrote to his wife:

Berlin gave me the blues. We have destroyed what could have been a good race, and we are about to replace them with Mongolian savages. . . . It’s said that for the first week after [Soviet troops] took it [Berlin], all the women who ran were shot, and those who did not were raped.

In August, Patton had dinner with French Gen. Alphonse Juin. Patton’s diary entry for August 18 quotes Gen. Juin: “It is indeed unfortunate, mon general, that the English and Ameri cans have destroyed in Europe the only sound country—and I do not mean France.”

In an August 31 letter to his wife, Pat ton wrote: “Actually, the Germans are the only decent people left in Europe. . . . I prefer the Germans.”

Patton began to compare the Germans “with the French, the Italians, the Belgians and even the British. This comparison gradually forced him to the conclusion that World War II had been fought against the wrong people.”7 On December 23, 1945, Patton was killed, so his voice of disappointment was silenced forever.

Patton, however, was not the only person to express his regrets about the destruction of Germany. Winston Churchill was another one. After the war, he told Parliament (on November 2, 1946) that they had “killed the wrong pig.”8 Perhaps Churchill was thinking of what he had told the world, long before Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany:

It is the duty of the civilized world to reconquer Russia. The Soviets do not represent Russia; they represent an international concept entirely foreign and even hostile to what we call civilization. . . . To win against Russia, militarily and morally, would be too heavy a task for the victors [of World War I] alone, and as we must do it, we will do it with Germany. Germany knows Russia better than anybody else. . . . That will be for her the great opportunity. It will be this opportunity that will permit a proud and faithful nation to avoid defeat and humiliation. . . . She will pass thereby, almost without transition, from a cruel fight against us to cooperation with us. Nothing is possible in Europe without Germany; everything is possible with her.9

Any man in Brokaw’s position cannot afford to say anything good about Hitler. But before 1939, the volume of favorable remarks that were made about Hitler is astonishing. At that time, he was widely considered the greatest leader the world had ever known. He had millions of admirers in Europe and throughout the world. Brokaw has to say what the establishment wants him to say, in order to keep his job. In spite of the fact that there are more good things to say about Hitler than bad, only the bad things can be spoken. Brokaw’s tome only rehashes the prewar, wartime and postwar propaganda clichés that were designed to get America involved in what became World War II, and to make the nation feel satisfied that it had done the right thing in completely destroying Hitler, the government he gave Germany, Germany’s industry, and Germany itself.

If a nation is going to go to war, then that nation cannot afford to tell the balanced truth about the enemy nation, and anyone who does during wartime will be tried and sentenced for sedition, and possibly executed. The warmongering faction has to get its citizens mad at the enemy, and in the proper mood. It has to get its citizens to think they are fighting for the world’s good, and for Christian or other religious righteousness, and the enemy is evil and ruled by the devil. So it was with the propaganda against Hitler and Germany, and so it has been ever since.

Sefton Delmer, head of British research for propaganda broadcasts, told his staff: “Above all, precision! . . . We should never lie accidentally or out of carelessness, but always just intentionally and deliberately. And by our transmitting one newscast after another, and one armed forces program after another, a whole system of atrocity campaigns developed.”10 After the war, the German constitutional lawyer, Prof. Friedrich Grimm, had a chance to speak with Delmer and asked him to stop the atrocity propaganda. Delmer replied:

No, now we shall start all the more. We shall continue this atrocity propaganda, we shall intensify it, until nobody shall accept a good word from the Germans anymore, until all the sympathy you had in other countries shall be de stroyed and until the Germans themselves shall be so confused that they do not know anymore what they are doing.11

The most important items in Greatest Generation are the points Brokaw magnifies about people’s attitude about World War II or what should be today’s national attitude about the war—not the short biographies written of the individuals who served in the armed forces during the war. One gets the impression from his book that everyone was rushing, lemming-like, to get into some branch of the armed forces in order to do his duty to bring justice to the world by ending Hitler’s regime, which was called a threat to civilization, world peace and freedom because Hitler wanted, or so it was maintained, to take over the whole world and put it in bondage.

Most World War II veterans, if they do brag on the part they played during the war, never mention that they were drafted. They were in the service for one reason: not to defeat Hitler or for patriotic reasons, but because they were drafted. Does serving in the Army prove anything if one has to go anyway to keep from being put in prison, disgraced or maybe killed? No one has a choice during war. Everyone goes into slavery in order to “fight for freedom.” Of the 16 million who went into military service during World War II, fewer than 600,000 volunteered, and the majority of those who did, volunteered only because they knew they would be drafted shortly and volunteered for appearance’s sake or to get into some less-undesirable branch of the services than the infantry. (Few men find it attractive to slosh through the mud during wet weather with feet infected with trench foot, a heavy rifle in hand and a heavy pack on the back, to sleep in a pup tent in the winter on a battlefield or in a foxhole, and eat from a mess kit washed with sand and rainwater.)

Nevertheless, those who first “heard the call” were drafted September 16, 1940—that is, a little more than a year before Pearl Harbor. They were limited to one year’s training, and would have been discharged except that Congress violated its promise in August 1941 and voted that the length of service be extended.

Servicemen found out that bed wetting would give them an honorable discharge, and soon men began going on sick call in droves for bed wetting. No doctor in the Army knew how to stop it. No known medicine would work. It was finally stopped by changing the Army’s discharge law.12 From then on, if a man did wet his bed, he stayed in the service and just had to sleep on a wet, stinking mattress. James Martin elaborates on bed wetting and other means of getting out of the Army:

It is obvious that evasion of conscription by failure to register was no doubt the course chosen by a small minority, while the tiny band which defied it undoubtedly were steeled by a deep faith in some principled ethic or strong religious conviction. For the vast majority, registration and superficial cooperation was the route taken, with the objective in a staggering number of instances being that of gaining a discharge from the armed services or seeking a status of incapacity. In an extended comment on this side of the picture, John McPartland [Harpers, Feb. 1974, 186-92] related that at one time the Army decided that bed wetting was sufficient reason for a discharge, and that shortly after that, the incidence of bed wetting went up 1200 percent in one Texas training camp. A “wave of psychoneurotic discharges” followed, and it was only stemmed when the War Department issued a circular [that] removed bed wetting as a justification for discharge. But there were a number of other avenues open to unenthusiastic [conscripts]: “MR 1-9, the Army manual for spotting malingering, was never better than a lap or two behind the 10 to 20 percent of our troops who hit the sick book in high hopes of home. . . . There were more AWOLs than civilian strikers during the war, more hours lost in desertion,” declared McPartland, “than were lost because of strikes.”

We should always remember that this bed wetting took place during the Depression, when 11 million people were unemployed and were desperately looking for work. In the Army they would have received three all-you-can-eat meals a day, a place to sleep in comfort (much of the time), new clothes, shoes, a place to shower, no rent to pay, free laundry and a $21-a-month salary with no withholding taxes, equal to $210 a month in today’s dollars. All this princely income before the war, and no fighting to do. Yet these patriotic Americans did not want to serve their country as Congress thought they would.

I had only one uncle who served for a while, and he got out as soon as a law was passed that allowed 35-year-olds to leave the service if they wanted to. Brokaw says nothing about how his drafted father got out of the service, but he does say that he, himself, Tom, was born in 1940 (GG 3) and spent his “ages from three to five . . . on an Army base in western South Dakota.” So his dad must have rushed to get drafted around 1943. The father had at least three years to volunteer, but did not, again illustrating how anxious many men were to do their duty. But this man, being in his early 30s, could only have been somewhere between 30 and 33 years old when he was drafted. Therefore, Brokaw’s dad was too young to take advantage of the 35-year-olds discharge law. At most he spent only two years in the service, and in a very safe place at that. All this is deduced from the limited information available, because Brokaw does not give the details. Anyway, it would have been interesting had Brokaw told his readers exactly how and when his dad did receive his honorable discharge. As it is, it is still interesting, maybe more so, wondering why he did not tell us this.

One statement in Brokaw’s discussion of his dad’s military activities hardly makes sense: “When Dad returned home, it was the first time I saw my mother cry.” This statement does not make sense, because as Brokaw says in the sentence leading to this one, his dad never left home: “My father, Red Brokaw, . . . was an all-purpose Mr. Fixit and operator of snowplows and construction machinery, part of crew that kept the base functioning. [i.e., the base where Tom says he lived from ages three to five.] When he was drafted, the base commander called him back, reasoning he was more valuable in the job he had.”
If he was called back, then Tom’s dad was working at the base before he was drafted.

Some men never “heard the call.” They preferred a convict’s striped uniform to the Army uniform. The U.S. government im prisoned 16,000 conscientious objectors. Brokaw says nothing of the 17,000 or so GIs who went AWOL as soon as they hit the beach at Normandy, and how these soldiers made their living by stealing from the Army. Trainloads of clothing, food, fuel and other supplies were stolen and sold openly to the French on the streets of Paris and other places. So much fuel was stolen that Gen. George S. Patton’s tanks ran dry, and he could not move. Such was the attitude of the French and many American soldiers about winning the war. Carl Dreher, quoted by James J. Martin in Revisionist Viewpoints, gives this particularly absorbing testimony on how it happened:

In the line of crimes involving government property, which constitute one of the negative correlates of morale, the Army of the United States probably established a new low. In the fall of 1944 and the following winter, an “amazing psychological situation,” in the words of an Army auth ority, existed in the European theater, with gasoline, cigarettes, soap and other negotiable commodities disappearing from the supply lines in truckload, carload and trainload lots, hundreds of thousands of dollars being sent home by small groups, and between 12,000 and 13,000 soldiers AWOL and supporting themselves largely by crime. On the day when Patton’s tanks reached the Siegfried Line and ran dry, U.S. Army trucks were backed up the whole length of the Champs-Elysees [in Paris], with GIs selling gasoline and cigarettes openly to the French populace. No army is ever free of looting, but it is questionable whether any other army ever looted itself on the scale of ours.13

The looting was not confined to the war front. It also went on on the home front. On the war front, it went under the name of crime. On the home front, it went under the name of legitimate business. For example, in 1962, the General Accounting Office affirmed that John McCone, when he was interviewed by Con gress for the post of director of the CIA, and his associates made $44 million on an investment of $100,000 building ships for the Navy during World War II. And McCone’s operation was small in comparison to many others.14

Secretary of War Harry Stimson said, “If you are going to try to go to war, or to prepare for war, in a capitalist country, you have got to let business make money out of the process, or business won’t work.” During the period of trying to go to war or preparing to go to war, between middle-1940 and late-1941, Congress appropriated $36 billion for the War Department alone. This was more than the Army and Navy combined had spent on World War I.

Many wars are fought for commercial reasons, to destroy an enemy that has become too competitive or to make money from war contracts. Freedom and other idealistic reasons are thrown in, in order to make the domesticated human herd stampede into the enemy’s territory, but it is the business end of the conflict between nations that determines the outlook for war or peace. As James J. Martin relates:

One would have to admit that for some of the cooperators in “defense,” the war era itself was pretty wonderful. Few things angered the mouthpieces of the new internationalism more during the war than charges that it might also be, and was, profitable to its political exponents and their business and legal associates. But there must have been something to the charge, especially after Comptroller General of the United States Lindsay C. Warren’s testimony before the House of Representatives in 1943 and 1944, that more than $50 billion of “slush” had already been skimmed off some war contracts, and that extensive lobbying in behalf of war production firms was going on, conducted by officers after leaving the armed services. (This latter has become a veritable industry in itself, in the last quarter of a century.)15

It was also very profitable for members of Congress. They strove to get war contracts and subcontracts to favored constituents, airfields and military bases in their districts and were rewarded for doing so with lavish campaign contributions, votes and other payoffs. Lyndon Baines Johnson got fabulous contracts for Brown and Root Construction Co. in Texas, and they rewarded him with a fortune.16 Brown and Root got the cost-plus contract to build the Corpus Christi Naval Air Base with no previous air base construction experience.

And business surely went after the money. A new relationship developed between business and government. Before 1940, businessmen were dubious about doing business with the government. But this attitude began to rapidly change. No one could ever dream during the depression of the amount of money that could be made from government contracts. The rate of return on net investment ranged as high as 50 percent to as low as 20 percent. The government spent more than $300 billion for war materiel and services and more than $17 billion on investments in ammunition factories, shipyards, aluminum mills, chemical plants and other industrial facilities. The aircraft industry soared and became the nation’s largest industry. The government did not operate these facilities. They were leased to private contractors. These contractors were given an option to buy after the war, and plants were sold after the war at giveaway prices.

Brokaw fails to mention anything of the hundreds of Ameri can pilots landing in Switzerland and Sweden in order to avoid the horrific odds against their survival, an intentional evasion of their honorable and sacred duty. He also overlooks the fact that some of the Army field hospitals were overloaded with soldiers with self-inflicted wounds.17 These actual facts refute Brokaw’s statement: “These young men and women were eager for the assignment. They understood what was required of them, and they willingly volunteered for their duty.” (GG 3.)

American boys were so eager and willing to do their duty that they were actually praying to get wounded or killed, and when wounded, they thanked God for the blessing. Stephen A. Ambrose gives a description of the desperate picture in which American soldiers were wishing for injury or death:

“There were two things in front of you always,” Cpl. Clair Galdonik of the 90th Division remarked: “the enemy and death. . . . Sometimes morale was so low that you preferred death instead of a day-by-day agonizing existence. When you are wet, cold, hungry, lonely, death looked very inviting. It was always close at hand, and I found myself being envious of a dead comrade. At least he suffered no more, physically or mentally.”

Getting out of there honorably was every man’s dream—thus the expression, “million-dollar wound.” Sgt. John Sabia took five machine-gun bullets in his right thigh. His CO asked if he could make it back to the aid station on his own, as the company couldn’t spare a man. “Hell yes, I can do it.” Sabia took a tree limb to use as a crutch and began hopping awkwardly in the snow. After 10 meters he stopped, turned around, waved his limb in a gesture of defiance and exuberance, and bellowed to his buddies in their hole: “Hey you bastards! Clean sheets! Clean sheets!”

Pvt. Donald Schoo of the 80th Infantry recalled seeing one of his buddies, named Steehhourst, take a hit from an 88 that blew off his right hand: “He was crying and running around, yelling: ‘I’m going home! Thank you God, I’m going home!’ ” Capt. Roland of the 99th Division recalled: “Men began to wound themselves one way or another in order to get away from the front.”18

One of the horrors of that war was trench foot infection. So many soldiers had infected feet and could not walk and had to be carried to their sheltered pillbox positions at night and to their firing positions in the morning, lost their toes and had to have their feet amputated that senior Army officers who never got to the front and never knew what was going on from direct observation threatened to court-martial those whose feet became infected, because they suspected it was done deliberately, much the same as a self-inflicted wound. “During the winter of 1944-45, some 45,000 men had to be pulled out of the front line because of trench foot—the equivalent of three full infantry divisions.”

The soldiers could not help getting trench foot given the conditions under which they had to live. Nevertheless, the threat of court-martialing shows a suspicious attitude on the part of senior Army officers because they knew how far World War II soldiers would go to get out of combat once they found out what was actually involved, no matter how enthusiastically some may have “volunteered to do their duty” in the beginning.

The young women who eagerly volunteered did so because they wanted to be where the boys were. “At Supreme Head quarters, Eisenhower and Bedell Smith seemed to have much of their time consumed with the most mundane matters”—one of which was “which generals were sleeping with which WAC drivers. [Brig. Gen. Everett] Hughs noticed that Brig. Gen. Henry B. Sayler, the chief ordnance officer, was looking tired, and wrote in his diary: ‘H.S. has his chaufferess [sic] back, and looked red eyed.’ ”19

Eisenhower had a love affair with his female orderly, Kay Sommersby. He wanted to divorce Mrs. Eisenhower but was not man enough to stand up to Marshall, who told him, in so many words, to break it off.20

Another of Brokaw’s notions that needs a little elaboration in order to make it understandable is found on the inside of the book’s dust jacket: “At a time in their lives when their days and nights should have been filled with innocent adventure . . . they were fighting in the most primitive conditions possible across the bloodied landscape of France [and] Belgium. . . .”

Brokaw should know there were five invasions of France. One was done by invitation only. Germany came to France because France had declared war on Germany and mobilized to attack Germany. Hitler would not have invaded France had France acted in a less hostile manner toward Germany. When the Germans entered Belgium and Netherlands, Belgian and Dutch people welcomed the German soldiers as they came in, chasing the French soldiers back home. Many gave the “Hitler salute” and directed the German military traffic, showing them the best way to go to overtake the French army. The Germans returned these favors by helping the Belgians and Dutch to cross the rivers from one side to the other, whenever the bridges were destroyed.

“A telegram in German army files indicates that King Leopold [of Belgium] was furious at the looting and willful de struction of his country by the withdrawing French and British troops.”21 In other words, Leopold was glad to be rid of the French and British troops. The German army of 100,000 captured, within a few weeks, the French army of 6 million, which shows the enthusiasm the average Frenchman had for fighting off the Ger man armed forces.

When the Germans captured France, only the armies were involved. Hitler conducted his campaign against France according to the rules of civilized war. No French towns or cities were bombed. They made every effort not to damage anyone’s property. When the Germans reached Paris, they were perfect gentlemen, even down to the lowest foot soldier. They treated the French soldiers with great respect, and bragged on how well they fought.22 No French woman was raped. Whenever a French lady entered the public transportation system on which German soldiers were seated, they would stand and offer her their seats. All these acts of courtesy and respect were demanded by Hitler of his armies throughout Europe. French homes which were “occupied by Nazi officers during the whole period of occupation” were “left in almost immaculate condition when the Germans evacuated.”23

William L. Shirer made a fortune with his The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1960), a book about the German National Socialists with so many errors and deliberately false statements that it is impossible for anyone to correct in its entirety. But in his earlier Berlin Diary, he gives a somewhat different story by relating how the French women fled Paris because of their fear as to what the Germans would do to them:

It seems the Parisians actually believed the Germans would rape the women and do worse to the men. They had heard fantastic tales of what happened when the Germans occupied a city. The ones who stayed are all the more amazed at the very correct behavior of the troops—so far.24

On page 331, Shirer says the Germans came into Paris as tourists:

I noticed today some open fraternizing between German troops and the inhabitants. Most of the soldiers are well mannered. Most of the Germans act like naive tourists, and this has proved a pleasant surprise to the Parisians. It seems funny—every German carries a camera.

Pages 329 and 331 of Berlin Diary prove that all the mean, brutal and uncivilized descriptions of the Germans Shirer wrote in The Rise and Fall are grossly overstated. The German soldiers were always under strict orders to be civil and behave themselves.

One can also find a glowing account on how the Germans conducted themselves in France in the Time-Life Books on World War II. Time-Life Books are noted for their hatred of Hitler and Germany, but in Blitzkrieg: World War II this description is given of the German conduct:

The Germans, trim, fit and superbly disciplined, made a dramatic contrast to the fleeing French soldiers. They were under strict orders to behave themselves, and they did. “Wir sind keine Barbaren” (“We are not barbarians”), they told civilians in places they overran. They smiled, they helped old ladies cross the streets. They did no looting. . . . The initial astonished reaction of Frenchmen was that the Germans, despite all they had heard, were really quite “correct.”25

Peter H. Nicoll describes the mildness and goodness of the German peace terms presented to France:

The third fact is that so far from treating France with harshness and in [a] sense annexing her, Hitler made it clear that his own purpose, in dominating her for the time being, was to be in full control of the coast of France against the naval and military threat of Britain. And, in fact, he occupied only the west area. The mildness of his terms astounded Petain and all others. . . . Here were no ruthless and savage conquerors, but mild and reasonable victors who desired from their victory only safety for themselves and, that guaranteed, the fairest possible terms of cooperation permanently with their late opponents.26

Hitler allowed the French to retain their navy. He said France needed it to defend her empire in Indochina.27 This refusal to take control of the French navy is a strong indication that Hitler had no intention to capture the world or stay in France forever. But Hitler’s refusal to take control of the French navy was the cause of France’s second invasion. This time it was done by the British.

Churchill demanded that the French send the ships to Britain. The French naval authorities said they would not surrender their ships to England. When the French had made it plain they would not give up their ships, the British navy sneaked up on the French navy on July 3, 1940, and pulled off an attack on the French fleet at the Algerian port of Mers-el-Kebir, killing 1,200 French sailors.

But not all of the French navy was located at Mers-el-Kebir. Some battleships were located at Dakar, Senegal. The fine French battleship Richelieu was located there, plus 60 million pounds of Belgian and Polish gold. That was enough to cause Churchill to overlook the possibility that France would declare war on Eng land if the attack were undertaken.

Churchill’s cabinet demurred, but Gen. Charles de Gaulle agreed with Churchill’s plans to capture Dakar. De Gaulle wanted to lead the French troops who had escaped with him to England at the time of Dunkirk on this expedition in order to gain recognition and prestige. But Senegal let it be known that de Gaulle would not be welcome. On September 23, 1940, at sunup, Dakar was at tacked. The third invasion was under way. But the [Vichy] French were ready this time. Irving gives the details:

It was a humiliating fiasco. The assault forces never got off their troopships. De Gaulle’s aviators landed on the airfield and were arrested by the local gendarmerie. His emissaries were fired upon as their boat entered port, and turned back. The Richelieu, which Churchill had covetously described to Smuts as “by no means permanently disabled,” opened fire through the gathering fog with her new 15-inch guns, as did the Dakar fortress batteries, which hit the cruiser Cumberland amidships and put her out of action.

The next day’s brawling off Dakar was equally messy. The British sank a French submarine; the shore guns savaged [the] Barham. On the day after that, Gen. Spears, accompanying de Gaulle, radioed that the latter had thrown in the sponge and would proceed to Bathurst [Banjul], in Gambia, a British colony 100 miles down the west African coast. At 9 A.M., a French submarine slapped a torpedo in the battleship Resolution, and she too beat an undignified retreat. Morale among the French defenders was high. Churchill dithered; his ministers demanded they cut their losses.28

The buck did not stop with Churchill. He found plenty of scapegoats to be savage and vindictive toward.

Fewer than 1 percent of the Frenchmen had anything to do with the underground “resistance.” In other words, more than 99 percent cooperated with the Germans. Over 100,000 French soldiers joined the German army in its fight against Bolshevism. Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Belgian, Romanian and Spanish legions of volunteers fought in the anti-communist crusade. After the war, most of these soldiers were either killed or served long prison terms. The Spanish soldiers and those who escaped into Spain avoided the postwar punishment.29 When the Germans attacked Russia, on June 21, 1941, most Frenchmen considered their war with Germany over and were eager to see Germany win. To them, the chief menace to their country and to civilization was communism. They regarded the new war as a crusade in which they could join and forget their differences.30

The fourth invasion of France, the Allied invasion, (really the American invasion, as the British actually did next to nothing), was unlike the Germans’ in every aspect. But the way it was told to the home audience after the War Department had expertly and severely filtered the news, the population had nothing to believe except that the American Army was a “band of angels” on a holy mission. “The most primitive conditions possible,” as Brokaw describes “the bloodied landscape of France [and] Belgium,” was American made. The crimes committed by individual American soldiers—rape, thievery and murder—surpassed the crimes of the “Nazis” in every respect. Even American generals were stealing from the French civilians.31 During one period, over 500 rapes were reported per month. The French, Dutch etc were complaining so much that Eisenhower suggested public hangings; but he never got around to it.32 Maj. Gen. LeRoy Lutes reported that the French were looking forward to the day “when they are liberated from the [drunken and disorderly] Americans.” He also noted that: “The Germans did not loot either residences, stores or museums. In fact, the people claimed that they were meticulously treated” by the Germans. Therefore, he concluded that “the Allied propaganda about the Germans” was unmistakably false.33

Before the fourth invasion and during the American battles in France, the Allies dropped over 590,000 tons of bombs—equal to almost half the amount of bombs dropped on Germany during the entire war—on the cities of France. The purpose of bombing before the invasion was to destroy the French transportation system, but the centers of the transportation system were in the cities. Consequently, over 1 million French homes were destroyed with the Allied “precision bombing,” and some cities—Caen, Saint-Lo, Carentan, Montebourg and Valgnes—were completely liberated off the face of the Earth, with hardly a house left standing. For every German killed during these raids, the lives of four Frenchmen were taken.

Says David Irving:

[In preparing for the Allied invasion, Operation Over lord, which came on June 6, 1944, D-Day], the Germans prepared 40,000 extra hospital beds throughout northern France, with 28,000 more standing by in Paris and Brus sels, in addition to 20,000 in southern Germany. [All these extra beds were expected to be used to handle German combat casualties during the first few weeks of the invasion campaign.] “[b]ut by the day that Overlord actually began, every one of these beds was filled with French victims of the pre-Overlord bombing campaign.”34

Had Hitler actually been the kind of man the propaganda said he was, would he have allowed these Frenchmen to have occupied hospital beds intended for German casualties?

When Frederick C. Crawford, president of Thompson Pro ducts, Inc., returned from the inspection tour of the European battle fronts at the request of the War Department, he gave an amazing address on the conditions as he had found them to have been in France during the German occupation. Crawford spoke on January 3, 1945, to the New York Chamber of Commerce, and his comments were published the next day in The New York Sun, the only newspaper in the United States to carry this address.

Crawford said the French prospered under German domination. He said he had been told before he went on his mission that France had been suffering, but instead he found that a “consumer boom” existed in France. He had expected to find the French “deliriously happy” with the coming of the Americans to rescue France from the clutches of the German dictator, but instead he “found a cold shoulder.” The French were hoping that the German conditions would continue. Crawford emphasized that had these conditions remained in France for a while longer, they would have wanted them permanently. He also found that the Belgians were satisfied with the German occupation.35

Irving brings out an interesting sideline issue on the British invasion of France and how the British fought the Germans. In the first place, the British did not want to invade France. They thought it was too dangerous. But since the Ameri can generals insisted on it, because Russia wanted it, the British were forced to go along. Nevertheless, they did what they could to not get too involved in the fight, because Churchill did not want English boys to be killed if their lives could be saved “at the expense of foreigners.”36 So the British Gen. Bernard Mont gomery did what he could to avoid battle, because “[T]he command ers feel the blood of the British empire . . . is too precious to waste in battle.”37

The British did not put any of their good ships into the fight. They were all “anchored up in Scapa Flow.”38 The way the British conducted themselves at the expense of everyone who was trying to help them borders on blackmail or treason, if all the Allies can be thought of as one country. It was treason to the pretended cause, just the same. It was an action that, if an American soldier had done it, would have given cause for his commanding officer to shoot him for desertion.

Irving’s The War Between the Generals details how the war was fought in France and elsewhere and how the Allied generals behaved behind the scenes, not as high-class gentlemen, but as immoral and irresponsible, whisky-headed idiots absorbed in their own pleasure, publicity and promotion, with little concern for anyone else, except their government-supplied mistresses. The description of the war in France is not a charming picture, and not many who will read Irving’s book will ever want to have anything to do with the Army again, as the details are so vivid that one feels he has been through the torture of it all and would like to forget it. It is also an analysis of the shameful way in which Americans were fooled and misled on every important point by their own political and military leaders with the co oper ation of the news media during World War II and thereafter.

All this wonderful prosperity that Hitler gave to the French came to an abrupt end as the Allied bombing prepared France for their unwanted liberation. It is interesting, contrasting the easy manner in which Germany captured France and how, after the capture, the French began to admire the Germans and wanted to cooperate and help the Germans, and on the other hand the hard, brutal methods employed by the Allies in liberating France. The French people wished the Americans had never come and wanted them to leave as soon as possible.

The French were so overwhelmed over being liberated by the Americans from their German “slave masters” that they took up arms and fought with the Germans, both head-on and rearguard. It was dangerous for a high-ranking Allied officer to expose himself in any area that had been overrun by American troops.

Capt. Russell Grenfell says he found the enthusiasm for liberation in France entirely different from the radio version heard at the time:

I, myself, being in a part of Courseulles on the Nor mandy coast on D+1-Day, was cautioned against walking alone in the less busy parts of the small town, as the French inhabitants were said to be so vindictive about the manner of their liberation that they were taking any good opportunity of sniping their liberators.39

Second Lt. John Eisenhower graduated from West Point on June 6, 1944, D-Day, and was sent directly to Europe as an “eager” platoon leader and ready to do his duty, if Brokaw’s description of the American soldier’s enthusiastic attitude in true. Surely one of those young men who so willingly volunteered to save the world by never leading a platoon, but who indeed did enjoy his dad’s protection by never being involved in combat duty all during the war, he observed: “The attitude of the French was sobering, indeed. Instead of bursting with enthusiasm, they seemed not only indifferent but sullen. There was considerable cause for wondering whether these people wished to be ‘liberated.’ ”40

Young John visited the British section of the Normandy beachhead and found very little damage and no visible dead enemies. London seemed more like a war zone to him than the British sector of Normandy.41 By the way, West Point and Anna polis became the two most sought-after schools in America, not because of any desire for the majority of students to seek a lifelong military career, but because it meant doing their military duty with honor for four years without the danger of facing enemy bullets on the battlefield, and with the possibility that the war would be over by graduation time.

France’s last invasion, the fifth, was when the French invaded France. De Gaulle rode into Paris on American wheels to set up a new French democratic government. The fighting in France did not stop as soon as the battle fronts moved into Germany. To get rid of those who wanted Germany to win, the “resistance,” which made up less than 1 percent of the French population, and the de Gaulle forces initiated horrible massacres of the French civilians in the late summer of 1944. American troops were under orders from the policymakers in Washington, D.C. not to interfere, and the news media did not report on these atrocities, but an English journalist, Sisley Hud dle ston, who spent the war inside France, recorded his eyewitness account:

There has never been, in the history of France, a bloodier period than that which followed the liberation of 1944-45. The massacres of 1944 were no less savage than the massacres of the Jacquerie, of St. Bartholomew, of the revolutionary terror, of the commune; and they were certainly more numerous and on a wider scale. It is estimated that 20,000 persons lost their lives under the Reign of Terror, that 18,000 fell in the frightful butchery that followed the war and insurrection of 1870-71. The American service put the figures of “summary executions” in France in the first months of the liberation at 80,000. A former French minister (Adrien Tixier) later placed the figure at 105,000.42

The Germans lost around 100,000 soldiers fighting the American and English invaders. The French citizens that the French “resistance” executed were called collaborators, but they were really future political opposition to de Gaulle, had they been allowed to live and vote. So de Gaulle fought for “100 percent political democracy”—and that was what World War II was all about: “freedom” and “democracy.” Counting the 105,000 French men killed by their invading countrymen and the ones killed by the American bombers, France lost more people than did Ger many from the war during this portion of the liberation period.

The only decent, humane invasion France underwent during World War II was the German invasion.* This invasion would not have happened had France not acted toward Germany by declaring war on her. All the other invasions were cruel, savage, bloodthirsty and extremely brutal.

Brokaw needs to think realistically of the Americans and not romantically before he begins to tell the American public how it really was. If Congress had not passed a draft law to force American citizens into the Army to take up the fake cause of “freedom,” it would not have gotten enough men to fill one troop-carrying ship on its way to Europe.

What a load of crap.

TE adds: - The whole post? The be nice to germans bit or Noel's song?

how many times they have found those relics from the great war?

Post a comment