“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.
The eyes of the world are upon you.
The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere
march with you.”
— Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower
It marked the 'beginning of the End' of the greatest, most destructive war in history.
Rather than 'celebrate' in the Tavern as we have for many years, we look today at War and it's 'simple' human cost. Not just WW2 but all wars before and since.
It’s difficult to conceptualize excessively large numbers, particularly when they pertain to human tragedies. But the highly-engaging animated data visualization below, made by and narrated by Neil Halloran makes WWII-related deaths all too comprehensible.
The 15-minute video (it’s well worth the time to watch), titled “The Fallen of World War II,” is divided into three sections.
The first is an analysis of soldier fatalities by nation, while the second tackles civilian deaths (including the Holocaust).
The final section provides a fascinating and illuminating overarching perspective of WWII in the context of previous conflicts and those that followed.
Soldiers and civilians died in the millions during the 6 years of the war. It was one of the shortest wars in history, but by far the most costly.
99% of the soldiers -
that is, those in uniform -
Among the more jaw-dropping moments in the video — of which there are many — are the charts showing total Soviet losses during the war (~ 6 minutes into the video). Many of those loses can be attributed to the professional state of the Wehrmacht and its superior application of tank warfare. But these staggering loses can also be attributed to Josef Stalin, who purged many of his top generals before the war and who had no qualms about throwing a seemingly endless supply of men into the Nazi meat-grinder.
China did the same.
The visualizations showing civilian losses is equally terrifying, especially as it pertains to Poland whose civilians (arguably) suffered the most during the 6-year conflict.
Click on the link that follows as it is not a 'You Tube' video, but Vimeo.
Watch, weep, perhaps take heart.
I shall pull the pints.
Now, the question remains. Is war a thing of the past?
It has been thought so before. After the 30 Years War, for instance. And after the Hundred Years War.
Since WW2 we have had Korea, Vietnam and a handful of small wars, mostly quite localised. Have we done yet?
I am not an optimist.
There is the prophesy of Armageddon yet.