- Miss America 1989 Gretchen Carlson, Anchor of FOX News Channel's The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, to Write Memoir
- 'Chappie' Takes on 'Focus' for Top of the Box, Check for Showtimes
- McConaughey Tweets "Long Way from 1971..."
- Ginseng Harvest Returns as "Appalachian Outlaws"
- Chuck Pagano, Andrew Luck, Dwayne Allen, David DeCastro, Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Dennis Haysbert, Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev Join USO Tour
- Storm Warning Issued for Thursday
- PARALLEL UNIVERSE: Sending Money to Countries That Hate Us Makes No Sense at All
- MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX Mar. 3, 2015
- CIVIL WAR OP-ED: Saint Patrick’s Day Tribute to General Patrick Cleburne—The Fighting Irishman
- CARIBBEAN VIEW: Cuba: Challenges and Chances for the Caribbean
BOOK REVIEW: 'The European Theater Anthology of World War II': Little Known Aspects of Mankind's Deadliest Conflict Presented in Accessible Format
To take just one number -- 55 million -- from a book subtitled "Unique, Unknown and Interesting Information for the Cognoscenti of the Second World War": It's the estimated number of dead in a war that probably could have been avoided if an art school in Vienna hadn't insisted on a high school diploma from an aspiring student named Adolf Hitler from Linz, Austria.
This is the best book I've seen on the little known aspects of World War II, from the failure of the Germans to develop a strategic Air Force, to the lifesaving role of Lend-Lease Spam to the Willie and Joes of the Red Army on the Eastern Front, to the role of horses in transport: Germany relied on horses for up to 80 percent of its transport needs and the Russians relied on real horsepower too in a country with few hardsurfaced roads. In return for the untold misery of the Holocaust of Jews, Gypsies and people the Germans considered "untermenschen" we reaped the benefit of the microwave oven, among other scientific advances. Radar, vital to the air transport system, came out of World War II, as did jet engine airplanes and guided missiles.
Weiler, whose "Why Normandy Was Won: Operation Bagration and the War in the East 1941-1945" (Ostfront Publications, Hanover, PA, 488 pages, photos, maps, glossary, bibliography, index, $24.95, available from the publisher or Amazon.com) wrote that "Germany lost more than 300,000 men in twenty-two divisions in just five weeks; this was a blow from which the Ostheer (the German Army in Russia) never recovered. In order to stabilize the front, the German command was forced to transfer forty-six divisions and four brigades to Byelorussia from other sectors, taking some of the pressure off the British and American troops in France."
Weiler says he put the technical details described in this new book in footnotes in "Why Normandy Was Won." Transport and logistics played a major role in the defeat of the Axis in Europe, with the famed Red Ball Express -- utilizing GMC 2 1/2 ton trucks -- "Deuce and a Halfs" --- only the most famous of a number of routes that supplied the troops advancing into Germany. While many books on the war refer briefly to the logistics, Weiler concentrates on the aspects of supplying troops under weather conditions ranging from sub-zero to well over 100 degrees fahrenheit.
You'll learn that the much vaunted German technological edge was tarnished by the use of gasoline engines in German tanks, compared with the superior Diesel engines in the Russian T-34 tanks, which Weiler enthusiastically describes as a superior weapon to both the German and Allied tanks. Of course there's the irony of the German developed Diesel engine, which was far more durable under warttime conditions than gasoline power plants. The Germans also used dart-like anti-tank devices that required the user to approach the tank very closely, exposing him to deadly fire from the tank.