SOME OF YOU ARE NOT OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THAT NEARLY EVERY FAMILY IN AMERICA WAS GROSSLY AFFECTED BY WW II. MOST OF YOU DON'T REMEMBER THE RATIONING OF MEAT, SHOES, GASOLINE, AND SUGAR. NO TIRES FOR OUR AUTOMOBILES, AND A SPEED LIMIT OF 35 MILES AN HOUR ON THE ROAD, NOT TO MENTION, NO NEW AUTOMOBILES. READ THIS AND THINK ABOUT HOW WE WOULD REACT TO BEING TAKEN OVER BY FOREIGNERS IN 2007.
This is an EXCELLENT essay by Raymond Kraft of CA. Well thought out and presented
Sixty-three years ago, Nazi Germany had overrun almost all of Europe and hammered England to the verge of bankruptcy and defeat . The Nazis had sunk more than 400 British ships in their convoys between England and America taking food and war materials .
At that time the US was in an isolationist, pacifist mood, and most Americans wanted nothing to do with the European or the Asian war .
Then along came Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and in outrage Congress unanimously declared war on Japan, and the following day on Germany, who had not yet attacked us. It was a dicey thing. We had few allies.
France was not an ally, as the Vichy government of France quickly aligned itself with its German occupiers. Germany was certainly not an ally, as Hitler was intent on setting up a Thousand Year Reich in Europe. Japan was not an ally, as it was well on its way to owning and controlling all of Asia.
Together, Japan and Germany had long-range plans of invading Canada and Mexico, as launching pads to get into the United States over our northern and southern borders, after they finished gaining control of Asia and Europe.
America's only allies then were England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and Russia. That was about it All of Europe, from Norway to Italy (except Russia in the East) was already under the Nazi heel.
The US was certainly not prepared for war. The US had drastically downgraded most of its military forces after WW I because of the depression, so that at the outbreak of WW II, Army units were training with broomsticks because they didn't have guns, and cars with "tank" painted on the doors because they didn't have real tanks. A huge chunk of our Navy had just been sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbor.
Britain had already gone bankrupt, saved only by the donation of $600 million in gold bullion in the Bank of England (that was actually the property of Belgium ) given by Belgium to England to carry on the war when Belgium was overrun by Hitler (a little known fact).
Actually, Belgium surrendered on one day, because it was unable to oppose the German invasion, and the Germans bombed Brussels into rubble the next day just to prove they could.
Britain had already been holding out for two years in the face of staggering losses and the near decimation of its Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, and was saved from being overrun by Germany only because Hitler made the mistake of thinking the Brits were a relatively minor threat that could be dealt with later. Hitler, first turned his attention to Russia, in the late summer of 1940 at a time when England was on the verge of collapse.
Ironically, Russia saved America's butt by putting up a desperate fight for two years, until the US got geared up to begin hammering away at Germany .
Russia lost something like 24,000,000 people in the sieges of Stalingrad and Moscow alone... 90% of them from cold and starvation, mostly civilians, but also more than a 1,000,000 soldiers.
Had Russia surrendered, Hitler would have been able to focus his entire war effort against the Brits, then America. If that had happened, the Nazis could possibly have won the war.
All of this has been brought out to illustrate that turning points in history are often dicey things. Now, we find ourselves at another one of those key moments in history.
Raymond S. Kraft is a writer living in Northern California who has studied the Middle Eastern culture and religion.