That Which Must Not Be Mentioned about WWII

by Armando Simón (July 2024)

The Rise of Fascism, R.B. Kitaj, 1975-79


In most historical conflicts between powers, most historians, and the general public, have little emotional stake on one side or the other. This is true even for the First World War; considering the stupidity and rapacity displayed by both sides, few people today would get emotionally distressed if the Central Powers had won instead of the Entente. Likewise, all would agree that historical veracity should be important.

Not so for the Second World War. This is not because of the mortality level or the material destruction, since WWI was also deadly and destructive. Nor is it because of its proximity to the present since in the late 1920s some people saw both sides of the previous conflict as disgusting. Part of the emotions over WWII is due to the deliberate atrocities against civilians (Dresden, Auschwitz, Nanking) but part of it is also because the war involved ideologies, some of which are still active today (democracy, Marxism), whereas others (Fascism, National Socialism) became defunct despite claims otherwise by present day fanatics.

Herein, I will not regurgitate the same specific events and personnel of the war that have been narrated hundreds of times in films and books and on television. Instead, I will briefly spotlight certain events which are deliberately skirted whenever the subject of the war is brought up.

Historical veracity should apply to WWII and here I would like to at least mention certain truths which need to be stated and, by doing so, erase lies. These lies are detrimental to the study of history itself, but they are also damaging to society today and, worse, were harmful to the Allied side during the conflict. To be sure, there is an emotional aspect to these lies so that the reader may resist accepting the following facts. Readers who go through this article may become very angry at the author for relating That Which Must Not Be Mentioned.

There is also an element that must be kept in mind when reading the following, something that is counterintuitive: that famous people and/or persons who have achieved positions of power and great responsibility can make stupid decisions. I have treated this counterintuitive proposition in another article on the role of stupidity in history, though I originally had thought of putting them all together in a (massive) book along with other incidents.


The legend of the “French Resistance”

The legend goes that the entire French population was supporting the so-called “French resistance.” In reality, the French population cooperated with the German occupation (going so far as to exceed the quota of Jews to be handed over to the SS to be murdered). The legend also states that only the Communists were moral enough and far-seeing enough to have resisted the Nazi occupation. Far from it. The truth is the French Communists were supporters of the Nazi occupation in the first two years of the war because the USSR and the Third Reich had become allies in carving up Europe between them. It was only when Hitler turned on his ally, Stalin, that the Communists flipped the switch on and suddenly dug up their old indignation against Nazi atrocities—the same atrocities that they had participated in, encouraged, and supported. Once the Germans were driven out, the French people who had previously been bootlicking the Germans began to act anti-German, welcoming the Allies and abusing a handful of Frenchwomen who had had relations with Germans. And the resistance killed 30,000 Frenchmen.

When Albert Speer was asked at Nuremberg how much damage had the French resistance caused the Germans, he replied: “What French resistance?”


The Non-Aggression Pact

In Russia, even now, it is taboo to mention that Hitler and Stalin made a pact to carve up Europe between them, i.e., that they were allies in aggression. The fact that they were allies not only affected the Communists in Europe, but elsewhere as in America, particularly Hollywood, where Communists squelched anti-Nazi views and propaganda. Yet, the unearthed documents are available.


The Nazis were financed to power by capitalists

This is a Communist tenet, which is often repeated here and there (the film Cabaret, for one). The name of Thyssen is evoked to support this, but he was one person; in modern times, many capitalists’ names (George Soros, Ted Turner) can be evoked who support, or have supported Communism (the personification of an oxymoron). The socialist aspect of National Socialism is deliberately and assiduously ignored because it is not considered polite to do so by those who advocate other types of Socialism. Some Socialists do not ignore it but try to talk their way out of the fact through the usual verbal gymnastics or insults. Nonetheless, the facts are there: Hitler was anti-capitalist:


We are Socialists, enemies, mortal enemies of the present capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, with its injustice in wages, with its immoral evaluation of individuals according to wealth and money instead of responsibility and achievement, and we are determined under all circumstances to abolish this system!


A couple of historians have also shown that prior to seizing power, the National Socialist Workers’ Party was perpetually at the edge of bankruptcy. Furthermore, the German aristocracy, even throughout the war, referred to the Nazis as the “brown scum;” indeed, prior to September 1939, with the eruption of the world war, several Junker generals had plotted to remove Hitler from power, contingent upon Britain supporting the coup (the British declined, another fact Which Must Not Be Mentioned).

Another unpalatable, and little known fact, is that 70% of the SA personnel were recent converts, former Communists (after all, the ideology of both sides were similar).

One of the characteristics of a “planned economy” (i.e., Socialism) is the dilemma of “guns or butter.” Apropos, Göring declared, “Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat.” A little known fact was that consumer goods were relatively scarce, but not to the same low level as the Soviet Union, whose population was known for being half starved and terribly dressed. In other words, a frequent symptom of Socialism.

As such, to characterize the National Socialists as being right-wing, or a tool of capitalism, is a deliberate misnomer in order to throw off odium away from other leftists/Socialists. In fact, the Horst Wessel song’s lyrics mention being attacked by Communists and “the reaction” (i.e., reactionaries, that is, conservatives).


Fascism is nothing but brutality

That is what is ordinarily thought of as being Fascism, mostly due because the label was attached to the Third Reich, which although was indeed a regime that turned out to be bloodcurdling brutal, the brutality was initially absent until the war began. Nowadays, any authoritarian country or ruler is referred to automatically as “Fascist.”

Fascism was a version of Socialism (just like Communism was a version of Socialism), called The Corporate State. Mussolini was originally an international Socialist. Under Fascism, businesses came under the control and the direction of the State. Because the brutality was initially absent until the war, many neighboring countries (Austria, Poland, Greece, Hungary) adopted Fascism during the Depression, since many people in the liberal democracies saw their political leaders as inept, self-serving idiots who would not deal effectively with the crisis. Even in America, shaken to the core by the Depression, some advocated Fascism (The Coming American Fascism by Carto, among others) while still others advocated Marxism. Some even argued that Roosevelt’s New Deal was technically Fascism, watered down.

There were very few executions carried out by the Italian Fascist regime. Most of the punishments meted out to enemies of the government was internal exile, that is, being ordered to live in some remote village (read Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi). For example, an Italian code breaker officer got drunk at a party where the British diplomat was attending and mocked him because the Italians could read the British coded messages. A court martial condemned the officer to firing squad, a completely justifiable sentence. His father went to Mussolini and begged Il Duce to spare his life. He did so.

By contrast, Italian Communists indulged in a bloodbath once Mussolini fell from power, particularly in Milan.

And, although Mussolini has been consistently portrayed as a buffoon since the war, the political and intellectual leaders in the democracies greatly admired him. The Italian population adored him—until the war—partly because of his achievements and partly because of a cult of personality.

Years after the war, Edda Mussolini remarked to a journalist that the concept of Fascism had been distorted out of reality. Before then, even during the war, George Orwell had said the same thing.

Something else that is somewhat relevant and is particularly part of That which Must Not Be Mentioned is that Italian Jews were some of the most fervent supporters of Fascism—a third of the Jewish adult population, in fact—until Mussolini came under Hitler’s spell after 1938 and enacted anti-Semitic laws (Mussolini’s one-time mistress was Jewish).


Russian POWs were starved by the Germans contrary to Geneva Convention

There is no question that this is true to a very large degree since Nazis considered Slavs to be subhumans. They were grossly underfed to the point of cannibalism in the camps, and not treated according to the Geneva Convention. However, this was not only because the Nazis particularly hated the Russians, but also because Stalin  had refused to sign the Geneva agreement, so the Germans were under no formal obligation to treat them humanely yet were stuck with millions of Russian POWs.

Something that also needs to be pointed out and which is part of That Which Must Not Be Mentioned is that when the Red Army was victorious, the Russian POWs held by the Germans were considered by Stalin to be traitors for having been captured when they ran out of ammunition and they were sent off to the gulag.


The book burnings in Nazi Germany were ordered by the government

In reality, it was idealistic college students who gathered up objectionable books and threw them into a bonfire, very much like today’s idealistic American and British college students topple statues, or burn Bibles. The myth that the government undertook the book burnings has been introduced into films (Inside the Third Reich, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)—not that the government objected to them!

It is ironic that once the Axis were defeated, the occupying forces in Germany threw thousands of pro-Nazi and pro-Fascist books into bonfires.


The Nazis and Fascists were anti-intellectuals

This follows from the book burnings, and it became a repeated propaganda message, principally by Communists who, in turn, pointed to intellectuals who were Marxists as proof that Marxism was the preferred ideal of intelligent people. Nonetheless, those who sympathized included Pirandello, D’Annunzio, Malaparte, Gentile, Ezra Pound, Lincoln Steffens, Heidegger, Carl Schmitt, La Rochelle, Benedetto Croce, Emil Cioran, Marconi, among many others. Mussolini himself was an intellectual who spoke fluent English, French, German and Italian; he was also a journalist, a playwright and a novelist. The statement “When I hear culture, I unholster my browning,” or, “When I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun,” attributed alternatively to Göring, Hitler, or Goebbels, is entirely fictitious originated by Marxists.

I remember in my college years that the fact Nietzsche was considered the philosophical basis for the Nazis—which they themselves claimed—was exceedingly uncomfortable to many leftist academics. This dissonance was dispelled in the most ludicrous manner when William Kaufmann simply proclaimed that the Nazis had distorted the philosopher’s writings. That was it. There was nothing in Nietzsche that supported Nazism—which was true, as long as one did not read Nietzsche. Kaufmann was very much rewarded for this linguistic tap dance.


The internment of Japanese by Americans during WWII was immoral

Anytime that there is an official declaration of war between any two countries, the civilians of the enemy country are interned, and perhaps be repatriated through a neutral country. These civilians, unfortunately, have their lives uprooted as a result. This is standard procedure and is done to prevent possible espionage and sabotage. However, what was different was that American citizens of Japanese descent (2/3 of those interned) were also interned. They were ultimately released after Ex Parte Endo and the 422nd  Regimental Combat Team became the highest decorated unit of the war. Nonetheless, internment is a standard procedure during officially declared wars even to this day.

It is often claimed by American leftists that the reason that Japanese-Americans were interned, as opposed to German-Americans and Italian-Americans, was racism. This is rubbish. The real reason was Pearl Harbor’s attack by the Japanese government, which evoked a deeply visceral response, infuriating Americans to the point that, for once, there was no dissension as to going to war.


Official declaration of war with the Third Reich

It is often assumed that America declared war on all the Axis parties after Pearl Harbor. Instead, it was Hitler who declared war on America at the request of Japan and, as strange as this may sound, he was totally justified in doing so since Roosevelt had been secretly waging an undeclared naval warfare against Germany for well over a year (not to mention the occupation of Iceland). Like Wilson, who supposedly supported the citizens’ wishes to stay out of the world war only to betray them, Roosevelt was in reality itching to get America into the fray and lied to the American people. It would not be the last time that an American president would lie to the people. It is fascinating to imagine what would have occurred if Hitler had not declared war on America.


Stupid claims about Hitler

It is to be expected that someone as odious as Hitler, responsible for so many crimes, should evoke outrageous accusations, particularly by those who suffered because of his orders. However, it is different when these patently asinine claims (such as he had syphilis, he wanted to rape a Jewish girl, his ancestry had Jewish blood, he had only one testicle, that when he got angry he fell on the floor and would chew carpets, etc.) make their way into history books. What is worse is that during the war, the idea that Hitler consulted astrologers—of which there was never any evidence, just wishful thinking—for military decisions made it into the British government, which put out fake astrologer’s predictions in a British newspaper—as if Hitler read British newspapers.


When the Germans invaded Mother Russia, they were opposed by The People

The Germans were welcomed with open arms, particularly in Estonia, Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia. The Baltic countries had been invaded the year before and a sizeable percentage of the population had been carted off to the gulag. Stalin’s famine in the Ukraine, not to mention the campaign against the “kulaks,” resulted in millions of dead just a few years prior. So, when the Germans poured in there was jubilation—which the Germans recorded in film. The people also helped the invaders to find hidden Communists in towns and cities. Because many of the ones who were killed were Jews, those peoples have been accused of anti-Semitism, conveniently omitting the fact that a disproportionate of Jews were Communists, just like a disproportionate number of Jews in Italy were Fascists (one cannot help but wonder if National Socialism had not been anti-Semitic would a disproportionate number of Jews been adherents to the movement).

Thereafter, some of the liberated fought in the Waffen SS (something that has been brought up in the present Russo-Ukrainian War) and monuments to them have been erected, which has infuriated American Jews.


Hitler wanted to conquer the world

Nothing of the sort. His primary aim, which he stated clearly in Mein Kampf, was a revenge war on France (Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium were in the way) and to subjugate Poland and Russia. His attack on Greece was because of a request from Mussolini, and on Yugoslavia because its government reneged on a treaty (Hitler would go berserk on the idea of betrayal).


Only the Axis carried out atrocities

The numerous atrocities of the Nazis and Japanese are well documented and well publicized (the latter less so). What is seldom, if ever mentioned, are all the war crimes that the Allies committed. What makes the crimes more repulsive is the cloak of respectability and the pretense of honor that the British, French and Russians adopt and the aura of victimhood in particular by the Russians and the minor allies (like France, Poland, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia).

Immediately upon the war ending, the Russians, French and British were all in favor of outright executing the Nazi leadership, but the Americans insisted on a trial, partly for propaganda reasons and partly to present a veneer of justice. At Nuremberg, the British and Russians sat in judgment of German leaders for their crimes, some being the exact crimes that they themselves committed. They condemned the bombing of Rotterdam—rightfully so—but made no mention of the Hamburg and Dresden incineration of civilians. They sat in judgment of admiral Dönitz for the same tactics that the navies of the Americans, British and Russians carried out. They sat in horror at the fact that the SS shot POWs, which is what they also did. All the while, they posed as the representatives of decency and humanity.

And they skirted altogether the issue of Russia’s invasion and annexation of Poland and the Baltic states.

Specific Allied war crimes. Good Lord, where to start?

The Russian army engaged in torture and rapes on a massive scare throughout eastern and central Europe, sometimes even in allied countries, which has been thoroughly documented—only by the West. Considering that Russians have carried this tradition in Afghanistan and Ukraine, makes one wonder if that is part of basic training in the Russian army.

And then there is the firebombing of civilians in Hamburg, Tokyo and Dresden by American and British planes, where people were burned alive (and there are still persons who wonder if those acts constituted a war crime!). Just like the Germans bombed civilian homes in Rotterdam and London, so did the Allies do the very same thing in Germany, except the Allies did it in the name of democracy and universal brotherhood, so that made it all right.

British, Chinese, Yugoslavian, French, Canadian and Russian soldiers were known to routinely execute POWs while American soldiers did so occasionally (the Russians are presently doing so in Ukraine). Although the naval branch of armed forces traditionally tend to be the aristocratic, better part of any military, the British navy often killed surviving enemy sailors (I have not come across anything similar by the German, Italian or American navy). One tragic incident occurred when, after a naval battle, a British sailor saw a German sailor who had lost both arms trying to stay afloat, and he dove to rescue the sailor; he was court martialed for doing so. Torture of POWs by the Allies was also not uncommon.

Nor was the murder and rape of Germans confined to the armed forces of the Allies. Czechs, Poles, and French indulged in carrying out atrocities against German civilians towards the end of the war and even afterwards.

The British condemned Germany’s violation of neutral countries while simultaneously doing the same in Norway and Iran while feeling very righteous about it. In fact, it was because of Britain’s violation of Norwegian neutrality which stimulated Hitler to invade Norway to secure the iron shipments.

French and British naval forces obliterated the town of Bjerkvik in neutral Norway, killing civilians who were minding their own business—in order to save them from the Germans.

Monte Cassino had a 14th century Benedictine abbey. It would have served as an excellent defensive position for the Germans, but because of its cultural significance, Field Marshal Kesselring refused to use it and informed both the Allies and the Vatican of his decision. Nonetheless, General Clark ordered it destroyed, whereupon the Germans occupied the ruins. Subsequent Allied attacks to capture were successful—after 80% casualties (incidentally, an American ex-GI told me that Clark was despised by many American troops in Italy).

Questionable behavior by Allied troops continued after the war when German civilians were randomly beaten or raped. Another sickening atrocity was Operation Keelhaul, which transpired when anti-Communist Russian soldiers and civilians in the British and American occupied areas were forcibly repatriated to the Soviet Union where they were murdered, tortured, or sent to the gulag.

Don’t expect Hollywood to make films about any of these atrocities.


The Austrian question

In spite of The Sound of Music, the majority of Austrians appear to have approved of the union with Germany (though the plebiscite itself was a farce). There are five reasons for this. First, Austria was already a Fascist (not Nazi) government under von Schuschnigg’s rule. Second, as mentioned before, Nazi brutality was not evident until Kristallnacht, months later. Third, it is indisputable that the German people up to that moment were far from feeling oppressed or debilitated under National Socialist rule and Austrians could see this. Fourth, there were the spectacles. Who, even now, does not become mesmerized at the Nazi spectacles, or at the very least, is impressed? Even Jews look upon the Nuremberg rallies and the like, totally fascinated.

But more important than all of these is the history of the German lack-of-nation. Because of the absurdity of the Holy roman Empire, “Germany” was for centuries composed of a hundred individual political entities. Schiller once remarked, “Germany, where is it?” There was a yearning to have a unified country, but (similar to today’s environmentalist who will not give up his car) none of the princes was going to give up his few acres. Until Napoleon. He did not unify Germany, but he vastly reduced the number of states, after which there was a rivalry as to who would have influence over these states, Prussia or Austria; Prussia ultimately won out. Although Austria was left outside of Germany, a strong historical feeling remained that the two countries should become one. Hitler accomplished it. Incidentally, this also explains the desire to acquire and bring together Sudetenland, Rhineland, Memeland and Danzig which gained approval by Germans and was formalized in the slogan, Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.

This yearning resurfaced during the Cold War when there was an East and West Germany and today we see the same feeling in South Korea’s yearning to be unified with the north—without its regime.

Incidentally, it was when Hitler, a few months after taking the Sudetenland invaded the non-German remainder of Czechoslovakia that the scales fell from Chamberlain’s eyes, and he realized Hitler’s ambition seeing that war was near.

And, as bizarre as it may sound, had Hitler died in 1939 before declaring war and before the genocide(s), or even in 1940, historians today would be arguing back and forth as to whether he was a great statesman or a villain.


The Germans were born Nazis/Germans / put Hitler in power knowing what he was going to do/Germans knew ahead of time that Hitler would murder all Jews and cause a world war / German people knew all about the death camps

I have grouped all these together for the sake of space and because they voice an anti-German racism, one that was formally proposed by William Schirer. Very few have realized that condemning the entire German people for Nazi actions was/is identical to the Nazis condemning entire races for the perceived wrongs of a tiny minority within those ethnic groups, or, for the retaliatory mass murder of civilians because of the death of a German soldier or official. And the fact that the Allies, whether civilian or military, carried out atrocities against German civilians and troops proves that the German people are not born cruel Nazis.

Hitler was not elected to power; he was appointed as Chancellor in a coalition government by politicians who had no idea of who they were dealing with. No one, but no one, knew what he was capable of or what his ultimate goals were.  I am convinced they believed that they would mire him in the usual parliamentary games that they had embroiled in for the past four years while the country went to hell and, thereby, he would be discredited. Many persons think of Hitler’s ascent to power was linear; instead, it was circuitously; this is detailed in Konrad Heiden’s contemporary account (which also describes the Socialist aspect of National Socialism in great detail).

In 1938, even though he had achieved a diplomatic triumph at Munich in obtaining the Sudetenland, he was angry he had been denied a war. He was also angry at the German people who showered gratitude at Chamberlain for securing peace.

The last thing that the German people wanted was another war. In fact, when Hitler came out to the balcony to announce war with England, France and Poland, the awaiting Germans were struck dumb. Far from cheering, they were shocked—which angered der Führer. Up to that moment, the goals—the Sudetenland, Rhineland, Memeland, Austria— had been achieved without a shot being fired. Göring muttered, “God help us if we lose this war.” Which is why Germans knew that they had to win this war, considering the previous Versailles Treaty.

Something that is frequently brought up when discussing WWII is the puzzlement or the contempt of “how the most civilized country in Europe” could embrace National Socialism. It’s simple: no one knew what was really going to happen; National Socialism was an entirely new phenomenon. By coincidence, one hears a similar befuddlement in America by immigrants from China, Vietnam, Cuba and eastern Europe: they ask how is it possible that America, the land of freedom which ended up triumphant over the Third Reich and the Soviet Union, how is it possible that some of its people would be trying to establish Communism with its tyranny, censorship, persecution, and fraudulent elections, and have come so far in such a short time in their goal of establishing a communist dictatorship—mostly through the simple tactic of throwing temper tantrums. And Americans do nothing about it. Except whine. Not a single shot has been fired to prevent it even though there is an overabundance of targets. Not even by the strutting Second Amendment jackasses who have been bragging for over a half century that their precious guns would prevent a tyrannical government.

The Nazis’ anti-Semitism was toned down prior to the elections since the German people found it to be distasteful if not disgusting. When they assumed power, a lot of Jews emigrated but returned a few years later thinking they had been alarmist. Even though the 1935 Nuremberg Laws were very discriminatory, the horrors would not really begin until the second year of the war. Yes, the German people knew that the Nazi big shots did not like the Jews, but there were many other things that overshadowed this and the horrors were not foreseen by anyone, not the German people, not the Jews, and not even the Nazis themselves. It is well documented that when Kristallnacht occurred as a reaction to the assassination of a German diplomat by a Jew, the ordinary German was shocked by the mayhem.

Once the death camps were up and running, they did so under a shroud of silence. The SS kept it secret and did not advertise it (unlike the present-day Hamas savages who on October 7th broke into Israel, butchering civilians, mutilating bodies, beheading babies, disemboweling women, recording and broadcasting their crimes). This was a ruthless dictatorship, where censorship had been firmly in place for several years and there was such a thing as the Gestapo. If there is one thing that you do not do in a totalitarian dictatorship is speak your mind, or ask the wrong questions, especially during a war of survival; having lived in such a regime, I know what I am talking about, unlike the sanctimonious, pompous writers who like to lambast the German people while feeling very self-righteous.

The same people who posture and voice indignation that the German people did not openly voice opposition to their government’s actions are the very same people today who cower at Politically Correct fanatics—simply for throwing temper tantrums.


Mers el Kebir

Mers el Kebir is definitely not something to talk about in polite company. In fact, such a significant event is not even mentioned in many history books on the war. Good reason, since it involves one of the biggest and most shameful stab in the back actions in history. It took place in 1940, right after France’s defeat, the Dunkirk evacuation and the armistice. Churchill panicked, thinking that the French fleet might be captured by the Germans.

The French government was still operational (in Vichy) and was still allied with Britain. Nonetheless, Churchill gave the order for the British fleet to sail to the French naval base at North Africa and demand that the French either scuttle their ships there, or hand them over to the British, or sail to the Caribbean to be seized by the British there. Upon arriving, the British admiral warned his ally that if he did not comply with the ultimatum, his ships would fire on the French navy, which eventually took place with a loss of a few French ships and over a thousand sailors. Most of the French navy survived, however, though a few ships that were already in British ports were seized.

The only thing this action managed to do was to justifiably infuriate the French.

Feeling in France against “Perfidious Albion” understandably went through the roof and diplomatic relations were severed. French ports throughout their empire were closed to the British fleet and there were subsequent attacks on British forces by the French. This is the real reason that Vichy France became pro-German. 30,000 French soldiers and sailors in England went over to Vichy. The French felt they had been suckered into the war by England, who on top of that had stabbed them in the back. Which was true. On top of that, the so-called Free French forces, with British backing, decided to ignore their government and went rogue. The Paris Protocols were signed the following year.

Naturally, anytime that Mers el Kebir is mentioned by English speakers it is to say that it was necessary.


Hitler despised Mussolini

Although this has not made its way into history books, it occasionally makes its way into movies. Hitler admired Mussolini. Mussolini was his idol. He copied the raised hand salute from Mussolini. He tried copying Mussolini’s March on Rome when he carried out the Bavarian putsch in 1923. He copied Mussolini’s Black Shirts with his own Brownshirts. In 1934, Austrian Nazis assassinated the Austrian fascist dictator (Dollfuss’ wife was visiting Mussolini’s family); an infuriated Mussolini rushed the Italian army to the border and threatened war with Germany if Hitler invaded Austria. But two years later, Hitler tried again, and Mussolini acquiesced. Hitler gushed gratitude to Mussolini. Just before the war started, Hitler told his generals that only he and Mussolini wanted a war (wrong). The German dictator (correctly) attributed Italy’s poor performance in the war to sabotage by the Italian aristocracy and when Il Duce was deposed by traitors and spirited away, Hitler made it a point to rescue his idol.


Churchill was a great war leader

Considering all the hagiographies in print and films, this may be the most bitter pill to swallow. It is true he was a good political leader, having warned early on of the danger that Hitler posed, and of sending troops to liberate Greece before the Russians entered the country, of doing everything possible to make Americans fight the war for the British and, of course, making inspirational speeches.

But a warlord? As one Englishman recently and very harshly put it, “Churchill was an idiot.”

I already mentioned Mers el Kebir and the violation of neutral countries. But, earlier to those events was the German victory over the Allies in 1940. The quick defeat of French and Belgian forces in particular came as a shock, remembering their stubborn defense in the previous war. As a result, the Allied armies became trapped, facing imminent defeat. At this point, Mussolini offered to mediate peace, but Churchill stubbornly refused—though having no solutions. Finally, the Miracle of Dunkirk—which was unquestionably a miracle—resulted in the extrication of most of the British and French men trapped in the pocket. But all their heavy equipment was left behind. If Britain had been unprepared for war before, it was quadruply so now; there wasn’t enough ammunition for the troops when they arrived back (his disaster was spinned into a victory of sorts—and still is—similar to America’s bungled humanitarian expedition in Somalia decades later). Britain should have made peace then so it could have had time to rearm and train a new army, but Churchill stubbornly refused (after all, it had made peace with Napoleon before only to declare war later). Had Hitler attempted an invasion in the following months, and had even one regiment landed in Britain, the war would have been over.

As a result of the defeat, a panicked Churchill conceived of an utterly asinine plan that he put to the French leaders of joining both countries politically together as one country, detailing a labyrinthic system of government. The French naturally declined.

Churchill would often remove troops from one theater of operations to another (Greece, Singapore, etc.) as circumstances changed, only for the troops to be defeated, killed or captured, while simultaneously ordering the general in command of where the troops had been originally stationed to attack with the now depleted forces. On top of that he refused to acknowledge that the equipment the British army used, particularly the tanks, were vastly inferior to the enemy’s (such as the Valiant tank, which was as bad as the Italians’).

Thanks to decrypting German orders, it was known ahead of time that the Luftwaffe was going to obliterate the city of Coventry as retaliation for bombing Munich. Yet, neither the RAF was employed to intercept the bombers, nor were the civilians living in Coventry evacuated. Churchill thought doing so might let the Germans suspect the British cracked the code.

Admiral Godwin-Austin was appointed governor of British Somalia in the middle of the conflict, with minimal forces under him. Ultimately having to evacuate (a strategically worthless territory) because of Italian attacks, he did so with minimum casualties (260). This latter fact sent Churchill into a rage and ordered General Wavell to hold a (kangaroo) court of inquiry. Wavell refused, with the words, “A big butcher’s bill was not necessarily evidence of good tactics.” This, in turn, sent Churchill into a towering rage and henceforth the mention of either man’s names would result in further Churchillian fireworks.

I have not come across any evidence for or against the following, but I suspect that once Japan was at war with both Britain and America, the Dutch government in exile was pressured to declare war at the orders of Churchill against Japan on December 8, despite having no credible forces in the Dutch East Indies and no time to make preparations. There was no logic to it. The Dutch East Indies were overrun.

One of Churchill’s advisors suggested to him that bombing civilian targets in Germany would demoralize the Germans and make them capitulate. This was implemented. The result was the opposite. And it was a war crime, just like the bombing of Rotterdam. And “the blitz.”

After the initial success of the Normandy landings, there was a lull in the Allies advancing into France because there were few functioning ports available to disembark the massive amount of supplies and men waiting. Operation Anvil (later renamed Operation Dragoon) called for a landing in southern France in order to acquire the ports through which to marshal supplies and men, not to mention that it would make it more difficult to the Germans. Churchill got it into his head that he wanted the Americans to open a new front in the Istria peninsula. A look at the map instantly reveals the absurdity of the idea. First, the distance from America and Britain would double in length for the initial attack and subsequent supplying. Second, the battles in France were still in the balance. Third, the invasion force and subsequent supplying would be traveling a long corridor (the Adriatic) from which both shores were controlled by the Germans (i.e., a gauntlet) and could inflict unrelenting damage. No matter how often Churchill threw temper tantrums, the Americans held firm and went on with Anvil/Dragoon, which was a success and met the objectives.

His temper tantrums when his generals refused to send their troops into suicidal attacks, his stubbornness and rage when faced with facts that contradicted his delusions, his belief that he was a great strategist whereas his generals were indecisive fools, his disregard for neutral countries, his inability to learn from his mistakes, and his insistence on attacking when there was objectively no possibility of success and succeeded only in the death of his soldiers  are remarkably similar to Hitler’s.

After the war ended and elections took place in Britain, Churchill and the Conservative Party received a crushing defeat, although it probably had to do with the Beveridge report.



Lastly, to end this, I must state the obvious in case I have been misunderstood or will (almost certainly) be misrepresented: the Axis powers were evil, guilty of many crimes, and it was a good thing that they were defeated. My aim here has been historical veracity, pure and simple. Nowadays, this is becoming uncommon. Just look at the 1619 gibberish and CRT in schools.


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Armando Simón is a trilingual native of Cuba, with degrees in history and psychology. He is retired and is the author of When Evolution Stops, A Cuban from Kansas, and Fables from the Americas.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


3 Responses

  1. I’ll second Carl. Not all is black-and-white we see in hindsight. There’s plenty of grey…

  2. Name the ism in the previous century and you will find Jews all through the ranks. If the Nazis hadn’t decided to exterminate the Jews, there would undoubtably have been Jewish Nazis. I think that it is a case of Jews willing to join any Gentile club that would have them. Once in, though, they became true believers and significant players. Only when they created their own ism–Zionism–did the Jews truly come in to their own.
    Great thought-provoking article.

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