Skip to comments.Taking a Second Look at WWII with Victor Davis Hanson’s ‘The Second World Wars’
Posted on 05/15/2020 8:19:13 AM PDT by Rummyfan
Most people today assume that our understanding of WWII is largely complete, thanks to the enormous quantity of books, TV series such as ITVs classic 1970s documentary The World at War, the myriad of documentaries that aired in the early days of the History Channel cable TV network, and the unending series of movies produced by Hollywood, particularly when compared to its predecessor, WWI. But classicist historian and fellow PJM columnist Victor Davis Hanson does yeomans work unpacking the events of 1939-1945.
Starting with the plurality in the title, Hansons 2017 book, The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won emphasizes the disparate nature of the Wars myriad battles. Hanson also explores the enormous difference in mindsets between the leaders of the Axis and Allied powers. He makes plain their difference in desired outcomes right on page three, when he notes, The Axis losers killed or starved to death about 80 percent of all those who died during the war. The Allied victors largely killed Axis soldiers; the defeated Axis, mostly civilians.
Curtis LeMay Repurposes the B-29
(Excerpt) Read more at pjmedia.com ...
Curtis LeMay was a great American.
This is a fantastic book and I cannot recommend it highly enough. My copy has been read by 4 people and all of them enjoyed it greatly.
VDH looks at the war unlike other authors from a macro scale for economics, resources, etc, rather than focusing on the battles and generals. I am a WWII history buff and I learned a lot and found many historical lessons that are applicable today for our national defense and our cold war with China.
Our “national defense” starts with our economic engine.
Fabulous video lecture series. Mrs. jimfree and I did that several months ago. Also a Ph.D. historian, she loves VDH’s depth and breadth of knowledge and easy delivery.
Thx for the info!
I have seen “The World At War” a couple of times. It is truly a great documentary. The only problem with it, and it’s a big problem, is that it should be called, “Europe At War”. It’s a very Eurocentric documentary.
Great book, and yes...Curtis Lemay WAS a great American.
Interesting...General Lemay was known for his ever present cigar...but he did that initially to hide from others the fact that he had an attack of Bell’s Palsy in 1942, which would have kept him out of combat, so to hide it, he put a cigar in that side of his mouth that was problematic, and developed a stony face so he didn’t smile often or give long speeches, which would have given away the ailment.
Agreed. Excellent book. VDH is intellectually talented.
The real battle was fought and won right here in the USA. We won the manufacturing battle hands down. It was what enabled the Allies to win the war.
The Americans said: HE!! no we won't abandon Australia to the Japs.
An American had a hard time buying a beer in an Australian pub, right until 1980. Australians would not let him pay. Beer was mostly free for Americans.
Most people do not realize there were over 200 separate bombing raids against Australia by Japanese bombers, most of them in the North. The first raid against Darwin had more Japanese aircraft than did Pearl Harbor. About 250 people were killed by the first Japanese raid against Darwin, on 19 February, 1942.
Good read at the link. Makes we want to check out the book.
Exactly. The U.S.A. produced more war material than all the other combatants, on both sides.
All that is true.
However as a student who has read many many WW II history books including the multi volume history by the US Navy, I found the Hansen book to be very difficult
I found the insertion of events thousands of year ago to be a detraction
I concur as to the excellent video course. I signed up for the Hillsdale course and enjoyed Hanson immensely. I am reasonable knowledgeable about WWII with some detail. Hanson’s views were fresh to me and very enlightening.
He makes it clear that after the U.S. gets involved and through the tough first months, the outcome is inevitable. Many military historians hold this view, but Hanson expresses it with a different twist that is significant, substantial and enlightening.
As was Harry Truman and Paul Tibbets and the many great Americans that made the hard decisions to win the war in the Pacific, not just fight it.
Revisionist history now vilifies them for their courage to make those decisions.
I saw VDH on tv and he was explaining the importance of the strategic bombing of Germany.
I had always considered it to be marginal at best.
The point he made was that the heavy bombers forced the Nazis to pull their most effective antitank weapon, the 88, from the Eastern Front to defend against our bombers.
This allowed the Russian tanks to survive longer and better support their Infantry.
An absolutely brilliant observation by VDH.
Good read, yes. The fact that really stands out is that all of the numbers were overwhelmingly in favor of the allies from the beginning. Japan, Germany and (Italy) were underdogs before the first shot was fired.
It was only a matter of time and much bloodshed before the war was ended.
Have noted that similarity to many of my conservative friends. I always suggest half jokingly that they watch Cabaret.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.