A reflexion against a new black legend fueled from Moscow

Normandy landings: Russian propaganda and what Europe would have been without D-Day

Today is June 6, 2024. I write these lines at dawn. At this time, 80 years ago, Operation Overlord began.

The figures of the American and British aid that prevented the defeat of the USSR in the WWII
The 'liberation' of Poland by the USSR: an overview of the Soviet crimes and looting

The Allies suffered more than 200,000 casualties in the Battle of Normandy

At night, three parachute divisions (two American and one British) with about 24,000 men were dropped on Normandy. In the morning, at 6:30 a.m., the landing on the beaches began: 132,000 soldiers arrived in Normandy by sea on D-Day. The vast majority of them were from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Battle of Normandy lasted until the end of August. In their fighting, the allies lost more than 200,000 soldiers.

Russian propaganda and its distortion of historical facts

Today, Russian propaganda has convinced many people that D-Day was not that relevant and that the real credit for Germany's defeat in World War II went to the Red Army of Stalin. The extreme left (and lately also the pro-Russian extreme right) believe that it was the Soviets who "liberated" Europe, since they were the ones who suffered the greatest number of deaths in that war. This version is especially successful in Hispanic countries.

In the case of Spain, this proopaganda appeals to the historical rivalry between the Spanish and the English, embodied in that last vestige of the old colonialism in Europe: Gibraltar. According to this new pro-Russian Hispanism, the "Anglos" are the cause of all our misfortunes and there is nothing to thank them for. In Hispanic American countries, this version appeals to hatred of the "Gringo", which is fueled by the idea that the misfortunes of the countries of Central and South America are due to the Anglo-Saxons of North America.

The creation of a new black legend as false as the anti-Spanish legend

Obviously, in all countries there have been good and bad rulers, but it is curious to see that some who criticize - rightly - the black anti-Spanish legend are now feeding another black anti-Anglo-Saxon legend, inspired directly from Moscow. A legend as false as the anti-Spanish legend and that combines true facts - the terrible treatment that the indigenous people suffered in North America, for example - with false facts, such as believing that all the problems of the Hispanic world are due to the Anglo-Saxon world strong>, and not to the bad rulers that we have had for many years, some of them with notable popular support.

Stalin acknowledged that he would have lost the war without American and British help.

In the face of this propaganda, I think it is necessary to remember something obvious: the Second World War was not started by the "Anglos", but the Germans and the Soviets in an alliance to divide up Poland. In fact, Hitler took advantage of the little desire that the British had to get into a new war after the disasters of the First World War. In the United States, the dominant policy was favorable to isolationism: the country did not enter the war until after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. On the other hand, and as Stalin recognized, the USSR would have lost the war without the colossal economic and military aid it received from the Americans and British.

The USSR did not liberate anything: it replaced one dictatorship with another

On the other hand, we must remember that the USSR did not liberate anything: its occupation zones replaced the Nazi dictatorship with communist dictatorships. The countries occupied by the Soviets suffered extensive looting and brutal deportations, in addition to mass rape of women and girls by soldiers of the Red Army.

In the case of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the end of the war brought the same situation as the beginning, since these three countries had been invaded by the USSR in 1940 under the secret protocol of the pact German-Soviet of August 1939. For Poland, the war began with Hitler and Stalin jointly invading that country and ended with Stalin occupying it completely, usurping the Poles' democracy and freedom for almost half a century .

What would have happened in Europe without the Normandy landings?

If there had been no landing in Normandy, or if it had failed, the Western Allies would have only been able to advance positions from Italy (where the advance was much slower than in France) and the Balkans (an area dominated by the Soviets). The situation in Central and Western Europe would not be that of 1945.

Possibly, the war would have lasted longer and Europe would have suffered much more damage. Even if they had still managed to defeat Germany, perhaps the Soviets would have occupied most of continental Europe, subjecting it to communist yoke. Spain and Portugal, then under anti-communist dictatorships, would have fallen under Soviet rule later from the war. The Spaniards and Portuguese would have known then a type of dictatorship much worse than the regimes they lived through.

Even if Greece had managed to remain on the side of the Western allies, with the USSR dominating almost all of Europe the Greek Civil War (1946-1949) would surely have had a very different result, since American aid and British would have had more difficulties getting there.

Under these conditions, the fall of communism in Central Europe in 1989 might not have occurred, since it was greatly facilitated by the desire for freedom and prosperity that lay within the peoples subjected to communism, in view of the very different situation that existed in free Europe. But if free Europe managed to recover from the war it was largely thanks to the enormous American aid that came with the Marshall Plan. Its Soviet counterpart in Europe controlled by the USSR, COMECON, was a great plunder for the countries subject to Moscow.

What Europe owes to those heroes and what it did with their sacrifice

The lies of Russian propaganda cannot cover the fact that thanks to the Normandy Landings, Western Europe regained its freedom and knew prosperity, while Europe under communist rule sank into misery and poverty. oppression for decades. Thousands of American, Canadian and British soldiers landed and died on the European continent and thanks to their sacrifice, the end of Nazism did not mean the replacement of one dictatorship by another for millions of Europeans. Even neutral countries such as Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Ireland benefited from the consequences of D-Day, knowing the emergence of a large middle class favored by a free market environment in Western Europe.

What Western Europe did with that freedom it was given is its responsibility. The socialist drift of the European Union is the consequence of what the Europeans themselves have voted for year after year and decade after decade, as well as the clumsy decision to give in to Russia's wishes, a policy especially encouraged for years by the governments of Germany and France, and which ultimately led to Putin being encouraged to invade Ukraine thinking that would have no opposition. Let's stop inventing black legends to blame others for the consequences of our mistakes and let's show a little gratitude, at least, for so many thousands of young people who came from another continent to fight and die to give us back our freedom.

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Photo: Robert F. Sargent. "Into the Jaws of Death — U.S. Troops wading through water and Nazi gunfire". Photo of the Normandy Landings taken on the morning of June 6, 1944.

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