Victor Davis Hanson and Christopher Hitchens take on the World War II revisionists, focusing first on Patrick J. Buchanan, the author, most recently, of Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War.
They counter the essential claims in Buchanan’s book that Britain’s guarantee to protect Poland in the event of a German invasion made the war inevitable; that the Holocaust was a consequence of the war and that, without it, the Holocaust may not have occurred; and that Germany invaded Russia only because Britain under Churchill was determined to partner with Russia against Germany.
Finally they address two claims made by author Niall Ferguson that "[the Allies] adopted the most brutal tactics of those they were fighting" and that the principal beneficiary of the Second World War was Stalin's Soviet Union- Hoover Institution
Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian, professor of classics, and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is the author of more than a dozen and a half books. His most recent volumes are Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, which Dr. Hanson edited, and The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern, a volume of Dr. Hanson's own essays.
Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007, the Claremont Institute's Statesmanship Award at its annual Churchill Dinner, and the $250,000 Bradley prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in 2008.
Christopher Hitchens is an author and journalist whose books, essays, and journalistic career span more than four decades. He has been a columnist and literary critic at The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Slate, World Affairs, The Nation, Free Inquiry, and became a media fellow at the Hoover Institution in 2008.
Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits the Hoover Institution's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's television program, "Uncommon Knowledge."
Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life; It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP; and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA.
Christopher Hitchens and Victor Davis Hanson discuss the contrasting views of Niall Ferguson and Rush Limbaugh, the former arguing that the Allies used tactics as brutal as those of the Nazis, whereas Limbaugh argues it is merely revisionist history.
Ecstatic crowds in London celebrating the end of the European phase of World War II, May 8, 1945.Picture PostHulton Archive/Getty Images(193945) International conflict principally between the Axis PowersGermany, Italy, and Japanand the Allied PowersFrance, Britain, the U.S., the Soviet Union, and China. Political and economic instability in Germany, combined with bitterness over its defeat in World War I and the harsh conditions of the Treaty of Versailles, allowed Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party to rise to power. In the mid-1930s Hitler began secretly to rearm Germany, in violation of the treaty. He signed alliances with Italy and Japan to oppose the Soviet Union and intervened in the Spanish Civil War in the name of anticommunism. Capitalizing on the reluctance of other European powers to oppose him by force, he sent troops to occupy Austria in 1938 (seeAnschluss) and to annex Czechoslovakia in 1939. After signing the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact, Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. Two days later France and Britain declared war on Germany. Poland's defeat was followed by a period of military inactivity on the Western Front (seePhony War). At sea Germany conducted a damaging submarine campaign by U-boat against merchant shipping bound for Britain. By early 1940 the Soviet Union had divided Poland with Germany, occupied the Baltic states, and subdued Finland in the Russo-Finnish War. In April 1940 Germany overwhelmed Denmark and began its conquest of Norway. In May German forces swept through The Netherlands and Belgium on their blitzkrieg invasion of France, forcing it to capitulate in June and establish the Vichy France regime. Germany then launched massive bombing raids on Britain in preparation for a cross-Channel invasion, but, after losing the Battle of Britain, Hitler postponed the invasion indefinitely. By early 1941 Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria had joined the Axis, and German troops quickly overran Yugoslavia and Greece in April. In June Hitler abandoned his pact with the Soviet Union and launched a massive surprise invasion of Russia, reaching the outskirts of Moscow before Soviet counterattacks and winter weather halted the advance. In East Asia Japan expanded its war with China and seized European colonial holdings. In December 1941 Japan attacked U.S. bases at Pearl Harbor and in the Philippines. The U.S. declared war on Japan, and the war became truly global when the other Axis Powers declared war on the U.S. Japan quickly invaded and occupied most of Southeast Asia, Burma, the Netherlands East Indies, and many Pacific islands. After the crucial U.S. naval victory at the Battle of Midway (1942), U.S. forces began to advance up the chains of islands toward Japan. In the North Africa Campaigns the British and Americans defeated Italian and German forces by 1943. The Allies then invaded Sicily and Italy, forcing the overthrow of the fascist government in July 1943, though fighting against the Germans continued in Italy until 1945. In the Soviet Union the Battle of Stalingrad (1943) marked the end of the German advance, and Soviet reinforcements in great numbers gradually pushed the German armies back. The massive Allied invasion of western Europe began with the Normandy Campaign in western France (1944), and the Allies' steady advance ended in the occupation of Germany in 1945. After Soviet troops pushed German forces out of the Soviet Union, they advanced into Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania and had occupied the eastern third of Germany by the time the surrender of Germany was signed on May 8, 1945. In the Pacific an Allied invasion of the Philippines (1944) was followed by the successful Battle of Leyte Gulf and the costly Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa (1945). Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, and Japan's formal surrender on September 2 ended the war. Estimates of total military and civilian casualties varied from 35 million to 60 million killed, including about 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust. Millions more civilians were wounded and made homeless throughout Europe and East Asia. See alsoAnti-Comintern Pact; Atlantic Charter; Battles of El Alamein, the Atlantic, the Bulge, Guadalcanal, and the Philippine Sea; Casablanca, Potsdam, Tehran, and Yalta conferences; Dunkirk Evacuation; lend-lease; Munich agreement; Nürnberg Trials; Siege of Leningrad; Sino-Japanese Wars; Omar Bradley, Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Bernard Law Montgomery, Benito Mussolini, George Patton, Erwin Rommel, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, Yamamoto Isoroku, Georgy K. Zhukov.
A quote from Churchill in his writings about various leaders:
"I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations. I am sorry, however, that he has not been mellowed by the great success that has attended him. The whole world would rejoice to see the Hitler of peace and tolerance, and nothing would adorn his name in world history so much as acts of magnanimity and of mercy and of pity to the forlorn and friendless, to the weak and poor. ... Let this great man search his own heart and conscience before he accuses anyone of being a warmonger."
Later on Churchill condemned Hitler but also when Hitler first came to power Germany praised him, then later criticized him.
In fact Hitchens goes so far to claim - quite erroneously (and this amounts virtually to a slanderous misrepresentation of Churchill) - that Churchill had written flatteringly about Adolf Hitler in his book, 'Great Contemporaries'. Hitchens ascribes a sentiment/statement to Churchill that Churchill never made in his essay on Hitler.....thus: "Churchill had written...a very flattering portrayal of Hitler saying that if Britain was ever to suffer a similar extremity as Germany he hoped that they would find a saviour of the same calibre...." - which is utter nonsense. Churchill never wrote that about Hitler. The closest he came to writing such a thing in his book is about Clemenceau, the French premier during WW1. Hitchens was either genuinely mistaken, and had forgotten the details, or was deliberately making a spurious point to appear clever (a strategem that Hitchens may not be above employing). And to his discredit, Hanson agrees - in a fatuous statement a few minutes later in the onterview, saying "Christopher is right about the sordid things that Churchill had said....". How ignoble of these two men to cast aspersions on the name of one whose heroism and courage and indomitable spirit and energy won for them and their generation a prize greater than any that any other single figure in history has bequeathed to posterity - the liberation of Europe from the Nazi tyranny and the recue of Western civilisation.
I had (and still have) a great regard for Hitchens, and his uncompromising stance on various issues and against the threat that we are currently facing from the 'parties of god' and from 'verminous mullahs' etc. But my respect for him has been sensibly diminished by this rather underhand treatment of Churchill's name and achievements. Churchill's record speaks for itself fortunately, and it reflects little but shame on these chattering pygmies to seek to smirch it.
Sad, isn't it, that neither Victor Hanson nor Christopher Hitchens have the honesty or humility to acknowledge the massive, and practically superhuman contribution that Churchill made towards the survival of Europe and Western civilisation in the face of fearsome odds, against the connivance of defeatists and appeasers in large numbers and of great influence and power (including the Royal family and Lord Halifax and the American Ambassador to Great Britain), and practically against every ordinary counsel of prudence. The fact that they can today enjoy the broad freedoms and privileges of the West, that they can breathe freely, is due more to Churchill's heroic vision and energy than to any other single factor in the history of the 20th Century. Had they been alive during the 30's they would most probably have joined with most people at that time in bowing to what must have then seemed inevitable: the destruction of civilised Europe and the defeat of Britain. It took a Churchill to make the British see themselves as Churchill saw them: brave, resilient, and capable of great sacrifice and honour - and by the exercise of those qualities, capable of ultimate victory. His was truly the heart of a lion - unconquerable. And how lucky for us - and for Hanson and Hitchens - that it was.
a little known fact is that France had the largest stock of gold in it's banks while the rest of europe and the usa suffered the full brunt of the great depression, France was collecting the most gold reserves of any country, so to finance his war hitler invades France. Plus if you read mein kemph hitler explicitly stated that the jews are to blame for ww1 and must be annihalated. Also the fact that churchill wanted to invade italy was correct because if the allies
took italy out germany would have been easily confronted, if American general mark clark did not for the sake of his ego continue on to rome instead of carefully taking out the germans in the siegfried line and clean out the germans, the partisan massacre and churchill's plan would have worked but gen. mark clark wanted headlines and he went on to rome to apppear on the front page, unfortunately for him, d-day occured on the same day and took the front page.