The Sins of our Fathers

What does one feel about one’s parent if one’s father is culpable of some heinous crime? Is it denial or loathing? It can never be both or even some adulterated commingled version. Whenever the latter occurs, ones protestations in support of one’s parent become self-serving, irrational and tenuous whilst never addressing the real issue at hand. Such is the case with Horst von Wächter, son of Baron Otto Gustav von Wächter, Governor of Galicia during WW2. 

How does Horst today at 77 years of age, reconcile his vision of a loving father with that of a monster who was responsible for the deaths of at least 100,000 Jews? 

This is the tale of convoluted denial against all the evidence to the contrary. 

Main picture: Horst Von Wachter, Philippe Sands and Niklas Frank behind the scenes of My Nazi Legacy  Continue reading

Demyansk: The Template for Hitler’s Disaster at Stalingrad

In many ways, the Demyansk Pocket [German: Festung Demjansk or Kessel von Demjansk] was the forerunner of what was to occur later in 1942 except that in the latter instance, the outcome was tragic. Hitler, the Commander of the German Wehrmacht, had drawn the wrong conclusions from this action. The consequences of Stalingrad were immense: the elimination of Germany’s strategic initiative in the war forever.

Main picture: Like Napoeon’s forces before them, the Germans during the winter of 1941/1942 literally freeze to death in inappropriate clothing.

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Rating the Generals of WW2

My brother Blaine posed me a question the other day. “How do you rate the Generals of WWII and why?  I’ve listed my candidates and was wondering what your opinion of them is?To do this topic justice, I would have to do some extensive research. Due to time constraints, my opinion would not be based upon an ex libris search. Instead I would do the equivalent of an ad-lib speech and improvise.

Main picture: Erwin Rommel in North Africa during June 1942. Many, if not most pundits, would rate Rommel as the best General of WW2. His ability to smash the Allies line at its most vulnerable point on numerous occasions begrudgingly made him a hero in many Allies eyes.

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Life-like colourised photographs of WW2

World War Two black and white photos that are researched and colorized in detail by Doug and other artists from the ‘Colourisehistory Group.’ This is an example of their work.

Main picture:

A Finnish Brewster Buffalo 239 fighter (BW-352) of (Squadron) Lentolaivue/24 at Selänpää airfield. 24th June 1941. (Source – SA-Kuva. Colorized by Tommi Rossi from Finland)

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Take these Men by Cyril Joly

Summation: A vivid evocation & excellent cupola eye view of the armoured battles of the Desert war from 1940 to 1943.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Even though this is written as a work of fiction, the author based it 100% on fact. Presumably the main reason for this decision, I believe, was to protect his incompetent subordinates & fellow officers.

Unlike most of the other soldiers in the to and fro desert war, Cyril Joly served with the Armoured Corps throughout this part of the war. Unlike the other theatres of war, the desert was eminently suitable for armoured warfare. Without the distractions of civilisation such as towns & people, the true potential of armoured vehicles was unleashed.

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Nazi Germany: Was there Passive Resistance?

A Personal View – April 2014

Like in all dictatorships, collaboration with the Regime is the norm. Is one prepared to risk one’s life in passive resistance let alone supporting some form of insurrection? Hardly ever as it requires a special type of person! Within Nazi Germany itself, it made no difference to the punishment but it was the fact that it was less risky that might have tempted people to engage in passive resistance.

Inasmuch as there were many intelligent people who understood the abhorrent nature of the regime, very few chose to actively take any active form of resistance but a few did practice passive resistance.

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