Friday, June 6, 2014
D-Day: June 6, 1944 - What Was the Point of All the Fighting?
The story of WWII is truly amazing. And, it is a long one.
Starting (in medias res) with D-Day, this particular operation stands like a colossus over all military operations in human history. Indeed, this operation was an exceedingly risky one and the Allied Supreme Commander, Eisenhower, knew it would be.
Eisenhower, Patton and MacArthur were seasoned students of history. There is little doubt that the Allies had a lot to lose if this invasion went bad. There were enough defeats and history, being a very loud and clear teacher reminded the leaders of the risk they were going to be taking with a 1,000,000 man operation. It had not gone well for the Spanish Armada in 1588 nor the other great amphibious assault launched by the Mongolian Empire by Kublai Khan in 1274. Both ended in complete disaster due to weather conditions. And, the weather wasn't the best on June 6, 1944. The two greatest amphibious assaults ever launched ended in catastrophe. And, based on that track record, the Allies were about to launch the third greatest in all of human history. But, as luck would have it, it went well, the forces landed and with a bit of American ingenuity, the Allies were able to cut through the hedgerows to make their ultimate advance on Germany.
But, was all of this REALLY necessary? Perhaps not. Amazingly, the Versailles Treaty of 1918 was a very unfair and unforgiving agreement and Germany was utterly put to financial ruin because of the harsh dictatorial terms forced upon the Germans by the Allies. Had the Christian concept of forgiveness and mutual respect been a part of the accords, WWII and tens of millions of lives would not have been lost. Tragically though, FORGIVENESS, justice and mutual respect was not in the cards but GREED was.
Perhaps World War II wasn't really a lesson about freedom versus tyranny as much as it was about forgiveness, justice and showing others mutual respect. Perhaps those are the real lessons of World War II and about the men and women who believed in those values.
RESPECT for life in the constant consideration of mutual respect, forgiveness and social justice should have been at the forefront of any discussion for lasting peace. If these ideas had been the hallmark guides of righteous conduct of the Allied government leaders in 1918, there would have been a very good chance that the history following the tyrannical peace accords of the Versailles Treaty would never have taken place. In place of facilitating forgiveness rather than hatred and revenge, Mussolini and Hitler may never have been able to seize power. The power of radical and fanatical hatred would not have had the seeds to grow and escalate to a Second World War. There would have been no massive consequence to the growing threat of hatred, bigotry and, inevitably, Holocaust. When our world forgets these simple values, nothing good can ever come from the disregard. Instead, we plant the seeds of our own destruction.