26 July 17
If the amphibious assault on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France on Tuesday, 6 June 1944, had failed (as it nearly did):
“I don’t know what you saw in Africa and Italy, but I know what I saw in Russia and Poland. We made a cemetery a thousand miles long and a thousand miles wide. Men, women, children, Poles, Russians, Jews, it made no difference. It could not be compared to any human action. It could be compared to a weasel in a henhouse. It was as though we felt that if we left anything alive in the East, it would one day bear witness against us. And, now, we have made the final mistake:
We’re losing the War”
German Army Officer Christian Diestl (played by Marlon Brando) in the 1958 movie version of Irwin Shaw’s 1948 novel about WWII, “The Young Lions”
Omaha Beach was the vital hinge of the entire D-Day Invasion. If Omaha failed, the whole Invasion would collapse, and everyone knew it! It would collapse ignominiously, much as did the ill-fated Dieppe Invasion two years earlier.
Had the D-Day Invasion failed, the War in Europe would surely have gone on at least through 1947, and would have likely ended in a notorious “negotiated settlement.” Hitler’s secret nuclear and V2 rocket programs may well have matured, undisturbed by advancing Allied Forces., and Hitler could have been in a position to threaten the UK, all of Europe, and most of Russia, with nuclear weapons!
In addition, the Holocaust would have expanded and continued, and the rest of the world would never know about it, as Hitler would have kept it all a secret, as he wrote the “official” history!
For that matter, the entire Eastern Campaign (Operation Barbarossa), which saw untold millions of Russian civilians slaughtered (as noted by Shaw, above), would likely be also unknown today.
In the West, it is barely known anyway!
As it is, courageous American forces made a success of Omaha Beach, at extreme cost!
As noted, we can only imagine how history would have been different, had they failed!
It makes one wonder what future historians will write about us and our time!
In this world, civilizations come and go. In the West, we dare not take our continued existence for granted. Our audacious previous generations surely didn’t.
In this world, when civilizations, even great ones, want to commit suicide, history will only too gladly accommodate them. It won’t be the first time!
There may well be another “Holocaust,” just around the bend!
Either way, history doesn’t care!
“We never looked back. The problem is: we never looked ahead either.”