What if Hitler Won the War?”

Guest Post by  James Diehl

Between 1941 and 1945, tens of thousands of American men responded to the grave threat posed on the world by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. For nearly four years, these heroic men put their lives on hold to fight against evil on the battlefields of Europe, Asia and Africa.

They were selfless men who, almost to a man, felt they had a responsibility to defend the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” They’ll tell you today that they’re not heroes, but that they were merely doing their jobs.

Those beliefs and values are a big reason why men and women of that era became known as the greatest generation in history, as Tom Brokaw so eloquently stated a few years ago. The men who survived the horrors of World War II often withstood a dozen or more close calls with death – they are heroes, as are the ones who never made it home.

It makes me shiver to think what life would be like today had the Allies not won the war. America would certainly be a very different place in the 21st century, as would the free world.

Think about it for a second. What if the Axis had won the war and imposed their will on the United States, mandating a similar fate to the one the Allies imposed on Germany in the post-World War II era?

What would America look like split in two by a giant wall running through the middle of the country, from the Mexican border all the way through to our border with Canada? Imagine a wall with thousands of miles of barbed wire and armed guards keeping watch over anyone trying to cross over from East America to West America. Instead of the Berlin Wall, history might have referred to the Yankee Wall or the American Wall, or any of several other possible names.

Sound a little far-fetched? I’m sure Germans living in the 1940s never envisioned such a scenario either, but it happened.

In reality, many of us would not be here today if the Allies’ had failed in World War II. Today, America is known worldwide as the most culturally diverse country in the world, but how different would life be today if not for the heroic men of the 1940s?

Adolph Hitler’s self-defined “master race” didn’t allow for much diversity, after all. The benchmark by which all forms of evil have been measured ever since, how many gas chambers would the German Fuhrer have needed to impose his will in North America?

Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?

America is today the greatest country in the world, a country others look up to for guidance and help when in need. Since World War II, the country has become even stronger as the Cold War has been won and America’s resolve has continuously proven strong.

But what we are as a country today can be traced back to those battlefields in Asia and Europe, to places like Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, Normandy and Berlin – traced back to the men who were just “doing their jobs” to protect American interests for generations to come.

Our World War II veterans are becoming a rare commodity these days. But if you happen to run across one, be sure to shake his hand and thank him for what he did all those years ago.

It was their sacrifices and their selfless acts that make life in America as grand as it is today, all the way from “Sea to Shining Sea.” 

James Diehl is an award-winning journalist who has covered Sussex County, Delaware for various media outlets since 1998. Since 2007, he has owned and operated a freelance writing company based in Seaford, Delaware and is also a partner in a Lewes, Delaware-based public relations and marketing firm. He is the author of two works of non-fiction – Remembering Sussex County, from Zwaanendael to King Chicken, published in 2009 by The History Press, and World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware, published in 2009 by the DNB Group, Inc.

James can be found online at http://www.twitter.com/sussexwriter, at http://www.facebook.com/sussexwriter, at http://www.worldwar2heroes.blogspot.com or via http://www.ww2-heroes.com.

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Posted on November 27, 2009, in Featured Authors, History, Politics. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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