We live in the age of slick videos produced by people who know how to code, while being seductively parsimonious with their logic. Thus they are easy to listen to, not to say hypnotizing. One such video is “The Fallen Of World War Two”. “An animated data-driven documentary about war and peace, The Fallen of World War II looks at the human cost of the Second World War and sizes up the numbers to other wars in history, including trends in recent conflicts.”
Roughly Correct Is Not Fully Correct:
The video is Roughly Correct. “Roughly Correct” is a category I will introduce. The caveat with the “Roughly Correct” is that the devil is in the details. So being Roughly Correct misses the diabolical, and thus the divine.
[French military dead do not count those who died fighting in the resistance. In the Battle of Vercors alone, 5,000 French civilians died; that obscure and overlooked battle was crucial, as it diverted elite Nazi and SS units from the landing in Normandy which soon followed. The USSR military losses are probably above 14 millions: Stalin was not willing to conced the trashing he got, and how weak the USSR truly was in 1945… In spite of its 600 divisions… In general, partisan activity, which was huge in some countries, ought to be counted as military, in my opinion.]
An example of the perversion of reality by the “Roughly Correct” is that the aforesaid video slickly affirms, authoritatively, that USA’s bombings in World War Two were targeted against enemy cities (“contrarily to what you heard“). This is roughly correct. Roughly, but not really.
What the video does not say is that a lot of industry was located in said cities. Bombing the industry meant bombing the cities. In particular, in the case of Japan, countless small factories were located throughout Tokyo, so the fire bombing there was not just a terror bombing, but, first of all, a strategic bombing to destroy the enemy’s industry. In the case of Nagasaki, the primary objective, with important military industries and naval installations, was under clouds so the Plutonium carrying B29 bomber diverted to Nagasaki (I don’t think that landing back with the Bomb had been envisioned).
The Fascists Got It All Started:
City bombing was started by the Nazis, on a massive scale, They started with the bombing of Guernica in 1936, to terrorize the population, which supported the legitimate, Republican government. Then, starting on September 1, 1939, the Nazis bombed Poland, To kill Poles, mills were deliberately targeted. Bombing French cities was next. It brought the French to retaliate with a successful Berlin bombing, to the Nazis’ hysterical fury (they screamed that the bombing of Berlin by the French Navy air force was a war crime).
The Nazis were not smart, so they tried the same trick in England, especially in Coventry and London. Those racist imbeciles were not even ready to wage a city-destroying war. They were too dim witted to have heard of the massive built-up of a long range British bomber force. British retaliations were terrible. Massive bombing of German cities by the RAF forced the Nazis to relocate industry in the woods. The Americans came later, and, to their credit, tried precise daylight bombing on specific factories, suffering losses which became sustainable only when the bombers could be accompanied by long range fighters).
World War Two Killed More Than 3% Of The World’s Population:
The Hufftington Post entitled the video: “Jaw-Dropping Visualization Will Give You New Respect For The Sheer Number Who Died In WWII.”
However, if anything, the video underestimates of the sheer numbers (a drunk Stalin famously joked to Churchill that he killed more Soviets than Hitler did). A number of countries had interest to undercount how many died. For example Russia wanted to look stronger, after the war, than it really was. The Nazis and the Soviets, together, killed at least 51 million citizens of the USSR (latest evaluations).
A Few Numbers:
The fatalities of the French empire alone were well above two million (civilian plus military). Generally, French losses do not count those of the French empire, which are several times greater: this is, of course, a form of racism (just as it is racist to assimilate British empire losses to Britain when they were, for example Indian, or Nepalese). The French empire was under French jurisdiction at the time, so those losses ought to be counted as such. (The French also do not count the 40,000 Alsacians who were drafted and died under Nazi flag; those are generally counted as “German” military losses.)
The losses in Greece are above 800,000 (including more than 30,000 military). This informs the present crisis in Greece (whatever present German leaders say).
The losses in Poland are around 6 million dead.
Chinese losses were well above 20 millions (whereas Japan suffered only two million dead or so, most of them military),
Indonesia suffered up to four million dead (mostly civilian). From the Japanese invasion (something Japanese kids should learn).
So a graph found in the Huffington Post has the pernicious effect to make the unawares believe that only Russian, Nazis, Americans and Brits suffered.
In truth, in many places, the ravages of the war were so immense that counting the dead is impossible by up to a factor of five.
Another point: distinguishing between “Nazis” and Germans is a distinction without a difference. However it exculpates most Germans living at the time from having collaborated with the Nazi machine. They did not have to. They were cowards to support the cruelty, debasement, violence and viciousness of the Nazi enterprise. Worse: most of Germans living at the time, above 95%, enthusiastically supported the Nazi project.
This was amply demonstrated by the fanatical resistance of the Nazi population at the end of the World War, in 1945. What was called the “War of the Cities”. The Nazis had lost their right to exist, thus never had their killing frenzy been so high.
And it was not just top-down. An example: Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS, negotiated with the Swedish ambassador, and enacted, saving the lives of thousands of Jews. Himmler was anxious to save his skin (whereas, the top Brits, who captured him, were anxious to silence him: Himmler’s alleged suicide made little sense).
Meanwhile, millions of Germans, aka, Nazis, were fighting to death.
Just a little example: the First French army crossed the Rhine under fire, and then dashed through Southern Germany: Bade Wurtenberg, and then Bavaria, Austria. In Bavaria alone the French First army during what should have been a cakewalk in April 1945, suffered more than 5,000 soldiers killed.
Meanwhile, as the Soviets, led by Marshall Joukov, triumphed at Berlin, they were left with only one hundred functioning tanks (out of the thousands Joukov’s tank armies had a few weeks earlier). So yes, the Nazis resisted, down to the bitter end, like the demented maniacs they were, and, even at the very end, they were an enormous percentage of the German population.
Conclusion: Politically correct, and roughly correct is not philosophically correct: Germans were Nazis in World War Two. That is why Naziland was so hard to crush. Nazism was not a handful of criminals barking out orders. It was more than 70 million maniacs trying to goose-step all over the world.
And the Japanese, who suffered around two million dead, of which much less than a million were civilian, should stop whining hypocritically: they killed more enemies by a factor of ten, or twenty. And more than 95% of those “enemies” were civilians. It’s high time for schoolbooks in Japan to depict those facts.
The video wonders about the “long peace” which followed World War Two. Its cause is very simple: the world, since 1945 is administered as an empire with five principals, the five nuclear armed permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. None of these five powers had interest to attack and conquer (this may be changing as Xi and Putin are unstable leaders). Any factor endangering that nuclear oligarchy threatens the long peace (so Putin and Xi are threats). And when it breaks, watch out. Losses comparable to World War Two would kill now 250 million people, and potentially much more (as an Indo-Pakistani nuclear war would quickly demonstrate).