Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made the false claim Wednesday that Normandy was “not a game-changer” for World War II.
The Foreign Ministry shared her words on Twitter, a statement observing the 75th anniversary of D-Day, or Decision Day, of the Normandy landing that was, of course, a game changer … and then some.
“The Normandy landings were not a game-changer for the outcome of WWII and the Great Patriotic War. The outcome was determined by the Red Army’s victories – mainly, in Stalingrad and Kursk. For three years, the UK and then the US dragged out opening the second front,” the full tweet, citing the spokeswoman, reads.
#Zakharova: The Normandy landings were not a game-changer for the outcome of WWII and the Great Patriotic War. The outcome was determined by the Red Army’s victories – mainly, in Stalingrad and Kursk. For three years, the UK and then the US dragged out opening the second front pic.twitter.com/LhzkEzNCQN
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) June 5, 2019
This is a breathtakingly dumb take, the kind of thing you expect to hear from a Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, or Jake Tapper … It’s the kind of dumbing down – not only of history, but of logic – that takes your breath away.
World War II was a massive war (hence the term “world war”) that delivered a number of “game changers,” more than one event or decision or lack of a decision that not only altered the course of the war, but, by extension, the course of human history.
As far as defeating Hitler and the Axis Powers, there is no question D-Day was one of those game changers, for it was the moment the Allies opened the Western Front that would chase Hitler all the way into his bunker.
D-Day was the first step in nothing less than the liberation of Europe, and by extension, the world.
Nevertheless, the Foreign Ministry is not wrong about Stalingrad and Kursk. The sacrifices the Russian people made in what was known as the Eastern Front, the death and deprivation they suffered to bog Hitler’s armies down through two brutal winters, was also a game changer.
Hitler invaded Russia in June 1941 and romped through the country killing some 27 million civilians and military personnel before it was over. But that romping came to a devastating halt for the Nazis during the Battle of Stalingrad (August 1942 to February 1943). The Red Army eventually won that terrible siege, and the estimates are as high as 1.1 million Soviet casualties, including 40,000 civilians.
Then, in July and August 1943, there were 685,000 Soviet casualties during the Battle of Kursk.
Imagine the loss of 1.1 million Americans in a fight over a single city. That is the current population of Dallas, Texas.
So, yes, Kursk and Stalingrad were game changers.
But another game changer was Hitler’s stupid decision to invade Russia in the first place.
For my money, though, an even bigger game changer was Hitler not finishing off the Allied troops he had cornered at Dunkirk. Rather than slaughter the 350,000 soldiers, which would have pretty much ended the European war, Hitler decided to let them go, fearing a counterattack and wanting to give his troops time to rest, repair equipment, and replenish supplies. He also did not like his generals telling him what to do, and his generals wanted to keep going. So Hitler’s terrible judgment, paranoia, and stupid pride resulted in one of the biggest mistakes in the history of modern warfare.
The Russians certainly have a point in wanting a fair share of the credit for defeating Hitler. There is no question it took a monster, Stalin, to defeat the monstrous Hitler, that it took a madman willing to sacrifice tens of millions of his own people to defeat the other madman. There is also no question the Soviet people showed enormous fortitude and courage in the fight for their homes and country.
But to demand credit for Russia’s role in defeating Hitler at the expense of the incredible men who stormed the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago today, to wrist-flick not only their sacrifice, but just how important that sacrifice was in saving of the world is the obscene act of an immature and ignorant crybaby.