According to Wikipedia, on this day in 1942, the Soviet forces managed to open up a “much-needed railway link” during the Siege of Leningrad. That’s important stuff that not much attention is paid to by normal people: supply chains. To military people, well, it’s one of the biggest things they think about. And I have to admit to being in awe of the organizational capabilities of the US military. But then, I love systems; so it is a lot easier for me to get excited about how you manage to feed a couple hundred thousand troops than military tactics.
I was in a conversation with one of “my writers” who lives in Bosnia about World War II. He is really well informed about it. In fact, he pushed back a bit against the theory, Stalin, Not the Bomb, Defeated Japan. We were actually talking about Erwin Rommel and the plot to kill Hitler. He mentioned something that I had never thought about: that the war might have gone on longer if the military had been able to take control of Germany.
I had always assumed that if they had, the military government would have sued for peace. But it’s possible that the Allies would not have accepted anything but complete surrender, given that FDR had said just that. Rommel and company were proud men and probably wouldn’t have accepted that. I think it is more likely that FDR was just being rhetorical — at least as regards a non-Hitler Germany. But one can never say in alternative history, which is why it is so much fun.
But the reason that I’m bringing this all up is that I’ve always thought that if Hitler had not broken his pact with Stalin, World War II would have ended rather differently. Certainly I don’t know. I’m not that much up on this history (and it isn’t a period I’m that interested in, anyway). But if all those wasted resources on the eastern front had been put to the west, could the Nazis have been stopped? I wonder.