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U.S. did not defeat Germany

Reader comment on item: Europeans: From Venus?

Submitted by Stephen Hudson (Australia), Jul 18, 2002 at 23:47

While I agree with the thrust of your article, I find your assertion that it was U.S. forces that defeated Germany objectionable on two counts.

Firstly, while U.S. troops participated in the final defeat of Germany, other Allied forces had been fighting against Germany for three years before any U.S. troops saw action. The pivotal battles which saw the defeat of Germany were arguably those at Stalingrad and El Alamein and in neither battle were U.S. forces involved. Further, the operations of D-Day and after were carried out by ALLIED forces, not U.S. forces alone. While lumping "mid-size Britain" in with the rest of Europe you ignore the nearly four years of sacrifice that the British people endured before, your words, "U.S. forces defeated Germany", not forgetting the two years of war with Germany suffered by the Soviet Union. I agree that Germany would probably not have been defeated without the contribution of men and materiel of the United States but I doubt that the United States could have done it on her own.

Secondly, your assertion implies an attitude encompassing more than the Second World War. This attitude can be seen in not only in military affairs but also in the commercial, diplomatic, artistic and literary fields. It comes across as an arrogant disregard of anything which is not done in an American way and perhaps give rise to the "cowboy" image of the United States. Theodore Roosevelt said "Speak softly and carry a big stick" and there's nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately America is seen as shouting loudly and carrying a big stick and your assertion that only U.S. forces defeated Germany doesn't do anything to soften it.

I am very mindful of the United States' contribution to my liberty and grateful of the sacrifices its people have made on my behalf and the rest of the world. Just remember that we were there too.

Stephen Hudson
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