I didn’t know America won it for us all. Did they?
I thought we managed it all on our little selves on D-Day. Or whenever. Didn’t Americans come in at the last minute when their ships were targeted somewhere far away from Europe?
My first degree was in history, but it was totally Europe-based, as was my school history. So although I studied WW2 (and WW1) at school, they were done from a European perspective.
Even though we were British, I’d never heard about Gallipoli and Anzacs. America’s contribution on our curriculum was down to two lines. Pearl Harbour and Hiroshima. I think our educational systems have a lot to answer for, but I guess the world was a little smaller when I went to school.
My parents’ generation were all in the second world war. My grandparents’ generation were all in the first world war. I grew up thinking war was a part of life and waited for the next one because I had heard so much about it. I thought WW3 was around the corner with bombs, and dads being called up.
I grew up hearing about the night my mother walked home as a teenager when she had been working (under age) and narrowly avoided the bomb that dropped on the town. My uncle who had to swim for his life twice when the (merchant navy) ships he was in were torpedoed. Another uncle was shot down and killed in the RAF.
And the blunt truth is, no-one who lived through the war years that I knew, ever said the USA won the war(s). Whether or not that is true is not the case, that was the perspective from the British generations of my family who fought in the world wars. All anyone ever said about America, was over here and over paid or whatever the phrase was. Over sexed may have come into it.
American deaths in world wars were trivial in the scheme of things. Less than half a million in WW2 and just over a hundred thousand in WW1. More than 23 million Russians died in WW2.
Out of nearly 70,000,000 deaths in WW2, 418,000 were American. That’s including civilians. I don’t know anyone from British war years who has ever said they owe their life and free speech to the Americans.
But did we ever have to pay? Oh yes. The Marshall Plan. (America’s serious imperial/colonial onslaught).
A couple of posts back, I mentioned a blog I found that said the US saved the UK. I did get a courteous response in the end.
This post has come about because I thought it was too long to post as a comment on someone else’s blog. But it was an interesting topic because we all have different perspectives.
However the response to mine was grossly inaccurate. (This quote below incidentally is apparently from a history teacher – now that is bad news). I’m not linking to the blog because it is not relevant. What is relevant is that people do NOT check out their facts and believe political rhetoric.
Those millions of unselfish American men and women who fought bravely and gave their lives in both world wars bought you that precious, priceless right to continue to believe and speak freely what is in your heart. If they had not — if the monsters like Hitler had won instead — you would not have that right today.
is blatantly untrue. More than a million British (empire) people died in the first world war, while 116,000 Americans died. And the above figure of 418,000 Americans who died in WW2. Nowhere near approaching millions. Half a mill as far as my inadequate maths go.
We can all interpret figures how we choose, but basically millions of Americans did not die in two world wars. Even put together. So no. America, you did not buy my precious freedom. Or maybe you did, financially. Personally, I would rather you hadn’t done, but I wasn’t a politician at the time.
History is relative. And relevant. But do get those facts right.
In more detail, my post on Armistice Day has lots, and war poetry too of course.
And on a lighter note. To show the American obsession with, well America:
I wasn’t even aware the next Olympics would be held in Britain. There’s not much news about this here in the US. ( I suppose there is on the Sports Page ) The US is now busy with Presidential elections.
That says it all. Seriously. The most important issue in the world is the election of the next American president. Oh. It is.
*I have some great American readers out there but sometimes, there is a need to let rip..*