Letter: The war’s other fronts
Journalist and historian Max Hastings has called the Normandy landings “the greatest feat of military organization in history, a triumph of planning, logistics and above all human endeavor.”
However, a recent letter (Sunday Monitor, June 1) saying that “it was D-Day that enabled the world to free itself of Adolph Hitler” does present an unbalanced view of World War II. On June 22, 1944, the Russians launched Operation Bagration, employing about 2 million men on a front extending from north of Pskov to south of Lwow, a distance of about 800 miles. This attack ended in what Antony Beevor has called Germany’s “greatest defeat in the whole war.”
The previous year, the Russians and Germans had put together 6,300 tanks, 4,400 aircraft and 2.2 million troops in the great tank battle at Kursk. There were more than 10 million Russian military deaths on the Eastern Front, and Axis troops lost more than 5 million. And the Russians were the ones in the streets of Berlin when Hitler shot himself in May 1945.
Let us honor those who went ashore in Normandy and elsewhere, but let us not forget that there were other fronts of crucial significance in WWII.
ROBERT S. PINGREE