"Since the First World War Americans have been leading a double life, and our history has moved on two rivers, one visible, the other underground; there has been the history of politics which is concrete, factual, practical and unbelievably dull; and there is a subterranean river of untapped, ferocious, lonely and romantic desires, that concentration of ecstasy and violence which is the dream life of the nation."

Norman Mailer
"The whole work of healing Tellus depends on nursing that little spark, on incarnating that ghost, which is still alive in every people, and different in each. When Logres really dominates Britain, when the goddess Reason, the divine clearness, is really enthroned in France, when the order of Heaven is really followed in China--why then it will be spring."

"This new history of yours," said McPhee, "is a wee bit lacking in documents."

C.S. Lewis

Synchronicities this week

  • June 24 Midsummer/St. John’s Day
  • June 24, 1947 The first flying saucers are sighted over Mount Rainier by pilot Ken Arnold.
  • June 24, 1542 St. John of the Cross, Spanish Carmelite mystic and poet, is born.
  • June 24, 1938 500 ton meteorite lands near Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
  • June 24, 1717 First Free Masons' grand lodge founded in London.
  • June 24, 1374 A sudden outbreak of St. John's Dance causes people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapse from exhaustion.
  • June 24, 1314 Battle of Bannockburn; Scotland regains independence from England.
  • June 24, 843 Vikings destroy Nantes.
  • June 23 Midsummer’s Eve
  • June 23, 1972 Nixon & Haldeman agree to use CIA to cover up Watergate.
  • June 23, 1942 Germany's latest fighter, a Focke-Wulf FW190 is captured intact when it mistakenly lands at RAF Pembrey in Wales.
  • June 23, 1888 Frederick Douglass is 1st African-American nominated for president.
  • June 23, 1848 Workers’ insurrection in Paris.
  • June 23, 1713 The French residents of Acadia are given one year to declare allegiance to Britain or leave Nova Scotia, Canada. They choose the latter, migrate to Louisiana, and become Cajuns.
  • June 21 Summer Solstice (11:28 a.m.).
  • June 21, 1964 Three civil rights workers-Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James E. Chaney-are kidnapped and murdered by the Klan in Mississippi .
  • June 21, 1948 The 33 1/3 RPM LP record is introduced by Columbia Records.
  • June 21, 1944 Ray Davies of the Kinks born in London.
  • June 21, 1916 Mexican troops beat US expeditionary force under Gen Pershing.
  • June 21, 1877 The Molly Maguires, ten Irish immigrant labor activists, are hanged in Pennsylvania prisons.
  • June 20, 1947 Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, gangster, the “man who invented Las Vegas,” shot dead in Beverly Hills, Cal.
  • June 20, 1909 Errol Flynn, greatest of the swashbucklers, born in Hobart, Tasmania.
  • June 20, 1944 Congress charters Central Intelligence Agency.
  • June 20, 1943 Detroit race riot kills 35.
  • June 20, 1893 - Lizzie Borden acquitted in murder of parents in New Bedford Mass.
  • June 20, 1871 Ku Klux Klan trials began in federal court in Oxford Miss.
  • June 20, 1837 Queen Victoria at 18 ascends British throne ; rules for 63 years ending in 1901.
  • June 20, 1756 146 British soldiers imprisoned in the "Black Hole of Calcutta." Most die.
  • June 20, 1631 The Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Algerian pirates.
  • June 20, 1214 The University of Oxford receives its charter.
  • June 20, 451 Germans & Romans beat Attila the Hun at Catalarinische Fields.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

This Week in the Secret History: Some Sobering Thoughts for D-Day

Nobody will ever say that it didn't take supreme courage and selfless dedication to step off a landing
Red Army tank units liberate Bucharest

craft heading in to Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944. What a lot of historians will say now that the Soviet Union is not a mortal threat, is that certain common assumptions in Britain and America--for instance, that D-Day was the crucial turning point of the war--are having to be re-evaluated and in many cases abandoned as we learn more about the German-Soviet War, the Eastern Front. Just about any statistic you care to cite about the Eastern Front truly dwarfs most activities by the Western Allies (I'll tell you some in a minute). The accepted interpretation among most historians today (which they'll tell you if they're unafraid of a few letters from cranky alums) is that the plain facts show that the Soviet Union destroyed and defeated Nazi Germany, with some assistance from their allies who were fighting a much smaller scale sort of war. They didn't do it, and perhaps couldn't do it, singlehandedly, but that's closer to the truth than a lot of the "history" we were brought up with.

What the heck am I talking about? Well, here's a statistic: 9 out of 10 of all German soldiers killed in the entire war, in all theaters, were killed on the Eastern Front. 90
per cen
9 out of 10 of all German soldiers killed in the entire war, in all theaters,
were killed on the Eastern Front. 90 per cent.

All by itself, that tells you most of what you need to know. The Red Army, by any reasonable interpretation, destroyed the Wehrmacht. And with it Hitler's ability to fight any kind of war.

But here's another:

Of all the Allies, the Soviet Union sustained 65 per cent of the total Allied casualties. The next highest is China with 23 percent. The United States and Great Britain -- 2 percent each. Joined there by Yugoslavia.

Combined, German and Soviet Eastern Front military deaths (as opposed to the unimaginable numbers of civilian dead) account for over 2/3 of all military deaths for all combatants on all sides, worldwide.

Germany at no time had less than 55% of its divisions committed to the Eastern Front.

There was simply no campaign or theater of war in WWII that came anywhere close to it, in size or strategic significance.

These facts are still being overlooked by Anglo-American mythmakers. As careful of a researcher s Ken Burns is, he barely mentioned the Eastern Front in his recent documentary, the War. His focus on the U.S. gave the impression we pretty well took care of things single-handed.

This is kind of a hard pill to swallow for us Anglo-Americans. It's one of those realizations that makes the ground feel like it's shifting under your feet. Among other things, think how the Cold War era might have been different had we had a better understanding of what Russia both endured and accomplished during the war.

As is the case most of the time, it's better to know the truth.

Red Army infantry in winter combat

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