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What were you taught about American involvement in the ww2 european front?


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#16 TerriblePizza

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 12:49 PM

I'll come back to this arguement in a month or two. We're about to hit the 20th century in the history classes here in Spain.

It'll be interesting to see how the Spanish teach it.

#17 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 12:50 PM

Some Japanese students still learn that they were liberating Asia from the rule of the Western colonial oppressors, and European children learn plenty of madness themselves.

Personally if a person isn't readily able to produce multiple primary documents (preferably in the footnotes), they're writing historical fiction. I'd say 90% of History textbooks throughout the word are garbage and the other 10% are bs jingoism fit only to burn for warmth.

Also any teacher or History professor who tries to bring any nationalism or politics into his/her lecture should be dutifully ignored (after you ask what will be on the test, of course).


I agree with you mostly. When I was in Bahrain, I use to visit some of the local bookstores. While most of the books were in Arabic, I did find a few English books by Arab authors. Some of the historical stuff was excellent, and brought out aspects that would not be discussed in the US, particularly when discussing the middle ages and the crusades. But some of the rest bordered on pure fiction. Most of the books on the Arab Israeli wars made me laugh outloud in a few spots.

#18 pstall

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 02:32 PM

What is ironic is I remember ZERO of what I was taught in high school.
Mainly because of girls,sports and drugs.

Took a few years after high school to find myself then became a History Major.
So....

#19 mmmbeans

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 03:05 PM

I'll come back to this arguement in a month or two. We're about to hit the 20th century in the history classes here in Spain.

It'll be interesting to see how the Spanish teach it.


the spanish have an entirely different perspective on it.

#20 natty

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 03:11 PM

I vaguely remember learning about WWII in high school. My teacher was an ultra mega dike bitch, but her classes on WWII were fairly interesting. She really emphasized the fact that 1. the war was the best way to get out of the depression and 2. the german military was vastly superior to any other country and it was more of American resources that won the war rather than a superior military.

All I remember from college was talking Bolshevik Revolution over and over and over, and the insane amount of hotties in the class(I was a computer science student, I was deprived of classroom eye candy).

#21 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 03:11 PM

Little known fact about Spanish involvement. The Spanish did participate in combat on the Eastern Front. A division of Spanish Volunteers fought under the German army against the Russians.

The Blue Divison

#22 Htar

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:09 PM

Hitler bit off more than he could chew. He was stretched thin and it made it tough to fight and occupy at the same time. No doubt the russians made serious sacrifices and took a pounding.

#23 Delhommey

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:11 PM

I like the story about the Portuguese force in WWI in their first assignment. They were in front of a British bicycle force.

The Germans shelled the poo out of the Portuguese. The British saw them running back towards them and tried to get information about what was going on. The Portuguese responding by beating them up and stealing their bicycles so they could retreat faster.

#24 Matt Foley

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 10:37 PM

All I know is that it wasn't over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, and it's not over now.

#25 N1kkadeemuz

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:16 AM

You mean Saving Private Ryan is a sham, Vin Diesel died for nothing!!!!

#26 cookinwithgas

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 08:18 AM

No, he died for our entertainment.

#27 Epistaxis

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 09:29 AM

I have to agree with the over-sexamazation of the invasion of Festung Europa by combined American, British, and Canadian forces as highly overblown here.

It was a big deal, but by 1944 the Russians had been getting shelacked for many years.
The British even longer.

Across a couple of oceans, the Chinese would say big deal, our barbarion island "friends" have been slaughtering our people for over 10 years.

And as Fiz points out, Mark Clark's forces were sloggin up Italy in an awful war of attrition long before France was retaken, in what has been largely forgotten, so appropos that Rome was taken, and a day later the headlines were stolen as the landings at Normandy took place.

So yeah, I totally hear you.
I believe the Russians would have eventually prevailed over the Nazis.
The learning curve was steep, but they figured out how to win a land war in Asia.
Drag it out as long as possible, get millions of your soldiers killed in a meat grinder, since the one resouorce you had before American lend-lease took over was almost endless human fodder, and send them in wave after wave, with NKVD "loyalty" squads behind them, ensuring that if they didn't get killed by the Krauts, they would be killed by their own "comrades".

Stalin and Hitler.....talk about two foul human beings.

Anyway, my history classes in HS were mostly bleh.
College was better, but not much.
I learn stuff on my own, and don't stop collecting data until I feel confident I can take most "experts" the distance.

#28 JeramiahCopperfield

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 09:31 PM

Hitler bit off more than he could chew. He was stretched thin and it made it tough to fight and occupy at the same time. No doubt the russians made serious sacrifices and took a pounding.


hitler was forced to attack russia, they were about to attack Germany. Then all those early routs were due to Germany getting behind the supply lines of the Russians.

But then yeah they were bogged down in Russia, and the rest is history

#29 cookinwithgas

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 10:10 PM

Hitler knew war was going to happen, but he was not "forced" to attack the Soviets. He was impatient and after the UK proved to be a bit too tough to crack right away, he convinced himself that Russia would be a pushover and he could have his armies back on the Western front by that next spring. Stalin was busy building his armies, but they were nowhere near ready to take on the Germans - he would have preferred to wait a year or two. The thing is, Hitler came within 20 miles or so of Moscow before being stopped.

#30 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 10:24 PM

Hitler knew war was going to happen, but he was not "forced" to attack the Soviets. He was impatient and after the UK proved to be a bit too tough to crack right away, he convinced himself that Russia would be a pushover and he could have his armies back on the Western front by that next spring. Stalin was busy building his armies, but they were nowhere near ready to take on the Germans - he would have preferred to wait a year or two. The thing is, Hitler came within 20 miles or so of Moscow before being stopped.


Even had the Germans made it to Moscow, I still don't think taking it wins the war for them. The Russians still had quite a few high quality divisions in the East that could have been moved West if the situation became truly desperate. Stalin traded space for time in order to build up new troops and reserves, in the end he won.


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