A POST FOR HISTORY LOVERS
A POST FOR HISTORY LOVERS. Over the years, I have given impromptu talks on history as well as teaching history, and have gotten lots of positive excited feedback from listeners because I made history interesting. I don’t imagine that I will ever have the chance to write any history books, as my duty to my divine calling takes first place. But I decided to take a break from exposing the World Order and encouraging the Body of Christ, just to write a post basically off the top of my head concerning little known facts about WW 2. WW 2 is perhaps the most popular historical time period…but most accounts deal with the big events like D-Day and the Battle of Britain. What I want to do is give my readers who love history some interesting details of countries that got mixed up with WW 2, whose stories & contribution to the war are not well known. (As a personal aside, at age 13 I began drawing by hand a series of large world maps on velum—for my own amusement—a month by month history of the entire WW 2 exchange of axis-allied controlled territory. In order to do this, I had to research out the obscure histories of tiny islands & the realities of allegiances of all the nations, & boundary changes. My previous project was drawing the entire moonscape by hand.) As a reminder… Nazi Germany & Japan were the major Axis nations, & the USSR, UK, & USA the major Allied nations.
GREENLAND. Because the eastern seacoast of Greenland was sparsely populated, the German occupation of the east coast with 4 weather stations in Aug. 1942 is not well known. If one were to color in the area controlled by the Germans it is a significant amount of territory. As Greenland is considered part of North America, one can technically say, this was the largest area of North America seized by the Germans in WW 2. The German weather stations were critical for the German military to make accurate weather forecasts for Europe, which explains why they kept working at establishing bases in Greenland. Allied fighting patrols had to move north and reconquer the east coast in 1943, the last German weather station on Greenland being seized in Oct. 1944. Greenland at the start of the war was a colony of Denmark. Denmark surrendered to Germany in Apr. 1940, but Danish authorities in Greenland did not want to join the German side. Using an old law they became a self-ruling territory, and one year later in Apr. ’41 formally became a U.S. protectorate. What they did was technically treason to the Danish govt. When the U.S. declared war in Dec. ’41, the Greenland govt. became part of the Allied side. They supplied the allies with Cryolite from a mine, as well as bases for aircraft. A number of German & Norwegian ships working with the Germans were intercepted sailing to Greenland.
NEUSCHWABENLAND, ANTARCTICA. Just prior to WW 2, the German Antarctic Expedition using a ship that carried 2 Dornier aircraft explored an area of Antarctica and dropped hundreds of Nazi flags over the vast territory to claim it. Several Germans have said they returned to the German Antarctic territory during the war. What was the importance of Antarctica to the German military? It’s not known for sure what the Germans did during the war in their Antarctic colony.
HUNGARY. What gets missed by the history books is how much Hungary avoided the destructive influences of the war and Nazi ideology from 1939 to March, 1944. While Hungary was an axis country allied with Germany, during the first years of the war, it still maintained more freedom, good food, and good living conditions for its population than most of the rest of Europe. The laws pretended to persecute the Jews to placate the Germans, but were not enforced so the Hungarian Jews (in general) up until the German occupation lived fairly normal lives. In 1944 that all changed. On March 19, 1944, the Germans decided to occupy Hungary at the last minute before it switched sides. It was by and large a peaceful German occupation. The German army paraded in with bands playing and sharp looking, goose stepping troops and most Hungarians had no idea of all the secret drama that was going on by their govt. to secretly switch sides. On Oct. 15, 1944, the Germans turned the govt. of Hungary over to the Hungarian version of the Nazi party Arrow Cross, and overnight things got as nightmarish as Nazi Germany. One of the biggest battles of WW 2 was the long bitter 2 month siege of Budapest fought mostly in early 1945. Because western Hungary had Germany’s last oil wells, Hitler gave preference to defending Hungary than Berlin, and deployed his best Panzer units to fight hard to hold it.
ROMANIA. While the history books talk a lot about Germany, Italy and Japan, the contribution of Romania to the Axis war effort has been ignored. Romania’s assistance was way beyond Italy’s, yet Italy has always gotten far more attention. Perhaps, sometime in the future Romania’s contribution will be recognized. Romania supplied Germany & Italy with gas & oil…essential for planes, tanks & ships in a modern war. Because of their oil revenues, the Kingdom had extra money with which to invest into their military (relatively large amounts for a small nation). The Romanian army captured the important port city of Odessa from the Russians. The Italian army never captured anything of any real significance, and certainly not a major allied port. While the Romanian military was not armed and supplied as well as the Germans, they made a significant contribution to the war in Russia on Army Group South’s front. Since this was the decisive area of battle, their military contribution was strategically important to WW 2. Romanian & German naval units, along with mine fields, contained the Russian Black Sea fleet. Germany’s two allies, Romania & Hungary were arch-rivals, and the Germans had to keep their armies apart lest they start fighting each other. When Romania was forced by Russia to switch sides in 1944, they and Hungary immediately went at it.
FRANCE (Vichy). More French soldiers fought for the Axis than for the Allies, but France’s contribution to the German war effort is largely ignored by the history books. When France surrendered to Germany, the newly formed govt. of France was pro-German. Most of the French people, being law-abiding, accepted this new govt. and were loyal to it. This was the legitimate government of France recognized as the official govt. by the U.S. until 10/23/1944 and by Australia until the end of the war. But now it is claimed that it was illegitimate and it is called “Vichy France”, in order to remove the concept that at the time it was the legitimate govt. of France. The British navy had two big battles with the French navy in African waters, the first near Oran (6/22/40) and the second at Dakar (9/23/40). In retaliation for the attack at Dakar, the French airforce attacked the British at Gibraltar. The Allies had to conquer all the Vichy French colonies, except for those which had administrations that voted to join the Allies. Therefore, the Allies had to fight campaigns in Syria, Lebanon, Madagascar, and the French African colonies against the French military. Operation Torch in French North Africa cost about 1,200 Allied casualties fighting the Vichy French forces. The Madagascar campaign took the British 6 months of fighting. French volunteers provided the Germans several units, which fought in succession on the Eastern front: the 6,500 man Legion des Volontaires (LVF), Infanterierregiment 638, a battalion w/ the SS Division Horst Wessel, and the SS Charlemagne Division. Remnants of the French Charlemagne Division were the final troops defending Hitler’s Fuehrerbunker in the last days of the war. French islands in the West Indies like Guadeloupe & Martinique stayed loyal to the Axis until into 1943, the year the Germans lost the Battle of the Atlantic. These Caribbean islands were quietly used by German U-Boats during the war to resupply. This illustrates a general truth, most French people stayed loyal to their govt. (“Vichy France”) until it was obvious in 1943 & 1944, that Germany was going to lose. Only then did the resistance movement really get going. Some hedged their bets & played both sides continually.
THAILAND. The history books ignore the role of Thailand on the Axis side, and that the Allies gave it a free pass. The King of Siam joined up with the Japanese Empire, and yet managed to evade the repercussions of having fought for the Axis powers. Thailand walked away from having been on the Axis side basically free of any penalty. The main action Thailand took was when the “Vichy” French invited the Japanese into the northern part of Vietnam, Thai naval & army forces attacked French Indochina. This resulted in Japan brokering a treaty where parts of Laos & Cambodia (incl. Angor Wat) were given to Thailand. (These were surrendered back at the end of the war.) Japan sold their airforce planes. Thailand had a destroyer that worked some with the Japanese, but did not play a big role in the subsequent fighting. However, the fact that the nation was an ally and base for the Japanese certainly helped the Japanese war effort as they invaded west into India.
GOA (A small Portuguese colony in India). This small neutral colony was the HQ for a German intelligence operation that radioed the dates & courses of allied shipping to German U-boats in the Indian Ocean. Until the German ship that relayed messages to the U-boats was sunk along with 3 other Axis ships at Goa, the U-boats had the uncanny ability to sink allied shipping crossing the Indian Ocean. Because Goa was neutral, chosen volunteers from a paramilitary civilian group (Calcutta Light Horse) were trained by the British to take out the 4 axis ships in Goa’s harbor. Not only was it successful in’43, but its secret operation was not revealed for 35 more years.
I hoped you enjoyed this fresh view of WW 2 history. Have a good day!
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