Saturday, July 19, 2014

Movie Review: Apocalypse: World War II: Inferno (2009)

This last in the series by Isabelle Clarke and Daniel Costelle, French filmmakers, using colorized original films.  In this last episode we are presented with the fall of Germany and Japan.  The title refers to the inferno of incendiary bombs dropped on Germany, and the atomic weapons unleashed on Japan.
This presentation starts with D-Day, and attack at Normandy where the sea wall was felt to be the most vulnerable.  The German’s defense was to push the attackers back into the sea.  However, of the beaches attacked, only Normandy had stiff defense.  The planes had not taken out the bunkers, and the Americans were pinned on the beach for some time, with over 1000 casualties.  However, the defenders were not able to push anyone back into the sea.  The Allies had air superiority.  And there was enough subterfuge that the attack was expected elsewhere.  It took some time before the commanders believed the reports of invasion.
With the success of the Allies, Rommel's position was poor with Hitler.  It was made even worse, when he agreed to take over the country should Hitler be assassinated.  The assassination plot on Hitler failed.  Rommel committed suicide.  Hitler executed 5000 of his top commanders.   High command of Nazi Germany went more and more to the SS, and the fighting was done more and more by children of the Nazi Youth Corp.
After establishing the front in France, a second front was made with landings in southern France.  This attack had less resistance.   The Russians were also attacking from the west.  In the end, a political decision was made not allow the Russians to take Berlin.  This decision angered General Patton, who had the might and the energy to enter Berlin before the Russians. 
Suicide was rampant in Germany the last days of the war and just after Allied occupation.  It was rumored that cyanide pills had been distributed by Hitler Youth at a concert, that Hitler gave his staff cyanide capsules, and many had hoarded suicide.  Hitler had said he preferred suicide to capture.  Also many were worried about the discovery of atrocities committed by the Nazis.  Adolf Hitler, and his new wife Eva Braun Hitler lead the way.  The publicity chairman and his wife committed suicide; but not before his wife gave cyanide to her six children while they slept, killing them.  There were 7000 reported suicides, and the number may have been under reported.
The was in Japan, and the invasion of Okinawa such increased usage of a Japanese strategy call Kamikaze.  This was Japan's last hope.  The sacrificed their pilots, in crashing their explosives laden planes into the American fleet, killing themselves, but also inflicting maximum damage.
It was estimated it would cost 1 million American casualties to invade japan.  However the atomic bombs forced the Japanese to sue for peace. 
WWII is the deadliest war in the history of the world, claiming 60 million, of whom over half were civilians.  However if you add deaths due to hunger and disease as a result of the war, the total deaths approaches 85 million.  This is about four percent of the population of the world.  Fourteen percent of the Russian population perished, and ten percent of the German population.  The United States lost .32 percent, 407,000 military deaths.

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