The hype about the Normandy Landings on D-Day reflect a deep seated prejudice in the Australian press, public and politicians. Tony Abbot wants to use our minimal contribution to milk the occasion so he can be seen amongst the great and powerful and this is understandable but the claim by Abbott and our media that D-Day was the turning point in the European theatre is nonsense.l The pivotal battles were Kursk and Stalingrad and it was the Russians who took Berlin thus ending the war in Europe – not the Western allies.Most German and allied casualties took place on the Eastern Front and something like two thirds of German forces were committed there.
The Normandy Landings opened the long awaited second front and relieved to some extent the pressure on the Eastern Front where most of the action had taken place and continued to take place. D-Day did liberate France, Belgium and Holland quicker than they otherwise would have been liberated and enabled the French to play a part in the taking of Paris. No doubt these three countries preferred to be liberated by the Western allies rather than the Eastern ally, However, the Western allies did not face anything like the main German forces. Germany preferred to try to hold the Red Army at bay until they could surrender to the West because they knew how badly they had treated the Russians and what retribution they could expect.
It seems that Stalin and Hitler were not the only ones to rewrite history to suit themselves.
Cavan Hogue was formerly Australian Ambassador to USSR and Russia.