Biggest mistake: U.S. delay on WWII
I would like to comment on Richard Cohen's World War II column and the fine response by Mr. Hogan on April 6. First, contending that the Soviet Union won the war seems to me quite an exaggeration of the facts.
True, the Soviets may have done more, but the Allies (as Hogan explained) caused the Germans to keep forces in and around Europe, preventing the axis from sending even more divisions and military equipment into Russia. Even the anticipation of a second front, which Stalin had been arguing for since the beginning, kept the Gemans committed to a large force in Europe. Therefore, without Allied offensives, bombings and supplying equipment to the Soviets, the fighting on the Eastern front may have had a more questionable outcome.
Even the possibility that Stalin would have negotiated a separate peace with Hitler, was something that worried Roosevelt and Churchill.
Secondly, as Hogan stated, the U.S. was "rightfully preoccupied with the Pacific." The question I keep asking myself is why we were not "rightfully preoccupied" in Europe, when the war there first broke out? I understand we were isolationists and didn't want to engage in European affairs. But in 1939 and 1940, when Poland was overrun, France was conquered and London was being bombed on a daily basis, America stood by and did nothing.
Sometimes I wish we were isolationist now. It seems we get involved too easily in wars. And the more history that I read, the more anti-war I become.
But our involvement in World War II should have come much sooner. These were are Allies, these were our friends, and yet we initially turned our backs on them, even as they were being destroyed. In my opinion, it was one of the most costly and insensitive mistakes our great country has ever made.