Tuesday, August 01, 2006

War and occupation through the eyes of a child

I found this moving reflection on journal site - it's not about the Iraq war, but rather it is about WWII. In it's beautiful prose style it tells about another facet of war that I'm sure the Bush administration has not thought about - the lasting bad inpression that we leave on future generations of Iraq.


Read entire post at http://mparent7777.livejournal.com/9987357.html

War and occupation through the eyes of a child

Juky 4, 2006

The mother of a dear friend of mine, here, in the South of France, was six and living in Bordeaux when the Germans invaded that part of France.

She very recently wrote a moving testimony of her experiences as a child, during the German occupation and the liberation of France.

I translated it in English because, frankly, my first impression upon reading it was: "Is this how we are perceived in Iraq?" and the answer, which breaks my heart, is all too likely, "Yes, it is."

On June 5, the German attack on the Somme River line begins. The French have reorganized their forces, but there is little they can do to stop the Germans. On June 6, the line is breached between Amiens and the coast; eight days later Paris falls to the Germans. The British are evacuating all the troops they can - 30,000 from Cherbourg, 21,000 from Saint Malo, 32,000 from Brest, and almost 60,000 from Saint Nazaire and Nantes. On June 22, French General Huntzinger signs an armistice with Germany. While some fighting continues, the Germans have won - they have crushed three Allied armies and driven a fourth (the British Expeditionary Force) off the continent.

The Allied armies learn they are unprepared for Germany’s blitzkrieg tactics. They have inadequate tanks and antitank weapons; this inadequacy is compounded by poor deployment. The Germans mass their armor into divisions and even armies, while the Allies deploy armor in small units spread across wide fronts. The Allies also learn that it will take a force several orders of magnitude larger than that defeated in France to defeat Germany.

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