Sunday, June 6, 2010


Sixty-six years ago today, Allied armies (U.S., Canadian, British and others) stormed the beaches at Normandy (northern France), to begin the end of World War II in Western Europe. Over the following eleven months, they drove the occupying Germans out of France, Belgium and the Netherlands and then invaded Germany itself from the west.

At the same time, the Soviet Union fought its way through Poland and then invaded Germany from the east, including occupying Berlin. Adolf Hitler committed suicide, along with his new bride Eva Braun, on April 30, 1945, and Germany unconditionally surrendered on May 7. World War II (in Europe) actually ended at midnight on the night of May 8, now known as V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.


Clarissa said...

Germany began to lose WWII definitively during the Battle of Stalingrad, which happened long before the Allied invasion of Normandy.

Jeff Deutsch said...

Hi again Clarissa,

You're certainly right in that the tide began to turn at Stalingrad. If you wanted to observe the anniversary either of January 31, 1943 (when Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus officially surrendered), or February 2 (when the last German holdouts followed suit), as a momentous event, I would have no quarrel with that.

D-Day is an event more Westerners have learned about. Not to mention being, well, a single day, it lends itself a bit better to the popular imagination.

Do you think that WWII was a sure thing after Stalingrad, or do you think it still could have gone the other way?


Jeff Deutsch