Below is an animated map of the progress of WWII day by day from 1 September, 1939 to October, 1945 when the last major units of the Japanese military surrendered. It provides a fascinating view of the way in which the fortunes of the went back and forth.
This is an issue I feel strongly about so every time there is a development I will be posting updates.
Yet more evidence that women are not physically capable of performing the combat tasks required of ground combat soldiers. There are jobs in the military that women can do and do well. Combat is not one of them. Why is women in combat being pushed so relentlessly? I am left with only the conclusio that liberals and PC types would rather see more women come home in body than admit that there are in fact differences in capabilities between men and women.
[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own]
The True German: The Diary of a World War II Military Judge by Werner Otto Müller-Hill is one of those rare books that come out of war. A diary written by someone to satisfy themselves with no expectation that it will ever get published. As such, it provides an almost unique view into the mind of the person writing it. The vast majority of war memoirs are self-serving and written to make a point. Diaries tend to be less so, and this one in particular as it was written for the specific purpose of allowing the author to vent his spleen of thoughts and opinions that he simply could not openly express in Nazi Germany without risking death or imprisonment. The book is 186 pages of text and covers the diary entries from March, 1944 to June, 1945.
What is striking about this diary is that it was written by somebody who was part of one of the vital aspects of the totalitarian regime that kept the Nazis in power, a military judge. Müller-Hill is remarkable in that although he was a military judge, he was not a hanging judge as so many Nazi era judges were. Indeed, he boasts in the diary that he never sentenced a man to death although he was pressured to do so. He always managed to find a sentence that avoided the firing squad.
Werner Otto Müller-Hill had served Germany in World War I and was 54 years old when World War II started in 1939. His age and experience color his observations throughout his diary and he constantly compares the Nazis to the Kaiser era. This is interesting because he is someone with intimate knowledge of both eras. He makes several predictions in his diary that turned out to be prescient.
However, the most striking thing that comes out when reading the diary is how Müller-Hill struggled to reconcile his role in the Nazi war machine with his own conscience. What comes out is the internal debates of an ordinary man who knows he serves an inhuman regime but finds himself powerless to do anything to stop the destruction of the country and people he love. He does what he can but knows that will never be enough. This book is a step to putting to rest the myth of a Germany full of Nazis and goes far toward showing that some, if not most, Germans were opposed to the regime but unable to do anything because of the iron grip of the police apparatus the Nazis built. If anything, the lesson to be learned from this diary and the Nazi era is not that Germans are evil but that if tyranny is not stopped early resistance can become almost impossible. This diary represents the story of one person who could not fight openly yet still resisted the regime in whatever way they could.
The True German: The Diary of a World War II Military Judge is compelling reading and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in World War II and the Nazi era in Germany.
Last Spring I did a presentation to my local Military History group about the Crete Campaign of 1941 and figured that since I now have the time I would put something up here about it as well because I find the whole campaign to be a comedy of errors by both sides in this misguided, ill-conceived, and poorly executed excuse for a battle. First, we should examine the strategic situation in May of 1941.
In May 1941 England had been run out of Greece with its tail between its legs and was using Crete as both a staging ground for evacuation and they were hoping like hell they could hold it and stop the Mediterranean, or at least the eastern part from turning into a German Lake. For their part, Germany did not know what to do. They were in the last stages of planning the attack on Stalin’s Russia set to commence in June but in the meantime they had all these troops hanging out in Greece with nothing to do. The possession of Crete would have conferred no strategic or even operational advantage to the Germans as the British still controlled Malta and the British navy still controlled the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Continue reading
FNG meets Lady Hooker
As much tension, tragedy and mayhem as the war provided it gave a group of crude, vulgar young pilots a fair amount of fun, too. The officer’s club was the hub of our hormonally driven behavior. It was where we drank ourselves silly, releasing the tension and bravado endemic to twenty-year old males, in or out of a war zone. The club was our sanctuary, watering hole, mailroom, our hello and goodbye spot where, as the saying goes, everybody knew my name. But before I could fully partake of the blandishments the club offered I had to pass in front of my fellow pilots. I had to get the secret handshake, to undergo the inevitable ritual without which Kearsley would have been right: I’d always be a new guy. The protocol involved an encounter with a lady named Hooker. (It’s not what you think.) Continue reading