There have been a substantial number of myths about the World War II. Weinberg highlights some of the myths attached to the countries, individual leaders and the combat of the war. This paper summarizes the myths and subsequently critiques some of the ideas highlighted in this article and the author’s work in general.
General Review of the Article. The author makes an effort to allude to some of the myths related to the World War II. For example, there is a myth that the victory of the Allies was a direct result of the superiority in human and material resources. A notion argued from the fact that some countries like Britain produced more plains per month than Germany (Weinberg p. 702). Furthermore, there is a myth holding that the Holocaust was actually different from the War. According to it,, the massive killing of the Jews was just intended for the global demographic revolution and was a mere coincidence (Weinberg p. 703). This myth is supported by the freedom in the movement of the leaders such as Hitler from Germany into other countries during the Holocaust.
The other myth regards the relationship between Adolf Hitler and his admirals. It postulates that the German armies could not secure withdrawal permission from Hitler (Weinberg p. 704 – 705). The generals also insisted on pulling out of the salients to build reserves to meet the future army. However, Hitler turned down their request .
There is also a myth about Benito Mussolini holding that he never reasoned on the cost of allying himself to the Germans during the war. Due to their limited capacity, the contribution of the Italian forces was belittled (Weinberg p. 706). Moreover, the author postulates that Winston Churchill opposed the major concessions to the Soviet Union against President Franklin Roosevelt (Weinberg p. 707). Furthermore, it has often been argued that either the Americans or the British placed Poland in the Eastern Europe between the Soviet Union and Germany (Weinberg p. 707-708).
Most historians have argued that the acts by President Roosevelt had an intension to keep the country out of formal participation in the war. They state that he devoted, for example, more than 24 hours to negotiations with the Japanese (Weinberg p. 712). However, it is mythical to a large extent. In addition, the Americans acted only when they had the overwhelming forces for the planned operation (Weinberg p. 713). It also believed that the World War II was fought by men, women and machines (Weinberg p. 717-718). It neglects the role played by the various animals like horses, dogs, camels or even elephants.
Critiques of the Article. The myths about war resources can be considered true to great extent. However, a careful consideration of the role of the assets in any war reveals that access to the resources leads to success in war. Put differently, unless all combat operations are automatic,, the availability of the facilities must not be ignored since it plays a critical role in determining who wins the war. Weinberg (702) cites that Allies mobilized and used more assets at the final stages of the conflict with the Axis Powers that had complicated their utilization of resources. Thus, most probably, the more equipped the forces are, the more they are likely to win.
Pertaining to the postwar claims advanced by the Germany’s World War II generals, considerations can be made to highlight a point when they retreated in order to advance and rebuild reserves against their foes. Considering their withdrawals, a better strategy should have been launched and their strengths rejuvenated. It is worth mentioning that the comparison of the armies capacity based on their performance in World War I to is not in the writer’s competency. These were two distinct wars at different timings.
The myth about the Italian forces’ contribution is also true to a certain extent. The author acknowledges that their performance was never as poor as it is depicted in the historical works. On the contrary, there was a poor performance from the side of the Italian forces (Weinberg p. 707). The contribution of the Italian forces can, therefore, not be dragged into this debate that far, especially considering that their performance and input was not very significant.
The annexation of the eastern part of the country may have been a sure indication of the interest in the territorial integrity. Nonetheless, gaps can be identified in this argument. It can be argued that the relationship between the leaders played a lot in matters of territorial integrity. Therefore, being fond to the leader may have also led to the move.
The myth about President Truman is true only to an extent. For example, it is true that unpreparedness may have made one side lose the battle as it is held in the myths. However, this claim can be critiqued on the basis that Truman had served in the American army and thus had experience (Weinberg p. 714). It is important to separate his responsibilities as a president and as a military servant.
In conclusion, despite the few critiques above, the article is well-written with an excellent depiction of the various myths. In light of the evidences presented in this article, the author took a quality time in carrying out the research. It is supported by the numerous and relevant works that he has cited in the footnotes and the reference page with credible sources. This work is valuable for students, especially those who are interested in history. Nonetheless, the work could have been more interesting if the myths were grouped under the common headings and images or photographs used for visual impression and avoidance of the reading monotony.