Talk:World History Lecture Twelve

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The paragraph "Victory" reads like the USA won the 2.WW all on theire own. The US armed forces only lost about 170.000 men in europe. If you compare that to the 13.000.000 soldiers, who died fighting for the soviet union, this is hardly anything. The USA might have done a big chunk of the work, when it comes to financial help for the the allies, but claiming that American soldiers defeated Germany without mentioning all the other nations lossing millions of lives in the struggle against the third reich, is just wrong! - MolotoK 14:27, 30 April 2007 (EDT)


In October 1922, the Fascists or “Black Shirts” protested in Rome, demanding that King Victor Emmanuel abdicate in favor of Mussolini. The king did step down and Mussolini became Il Duce, the leader of Italy.

This is incorrect. The March on Rome did not seek the abdication of Victor Emmanuel, nor did he abdicate; but he did makle Mussolini head of government. VEII was still on the throne and dismissed Mussolini in 1943. Pachyderm 09:55, 30 August 2007 (EDT)


In 1937, Japan invaded China, and Japan invaded northern and central China. It sacked the Chinese capital of Nanjing, killing thousands of soldiers and civilians. Jiang Jieshi fled to the west while Mao Zedong’s guerilla fighters stayed to combat the Japanese.

Tut, tut, tut. I'm surprised at you of all people peddling this line. That the CCP stood and fought the Japanese while the Nationalists either fled or held back waiting for the post-war conflict is a staplke of Communist historiography. Objective assessments have found that both Communist and Nationalist forces fought bravely against the Japanese (there were Nationalist guerillas as well as 'conventional' forces), with successes and failures, but that the Nationalists were more successful and more active than the 'conventional wisdom' has it and the Communists less so. The Communists were just better at getting their message across. There was also an element of both sides holding back forces to face each other rather than the Japanese - vide the New Fourth Army incident of 1941. Pachyderm 10:03, 30 August 2007 (EDT)

Britain not England

We live in the United Kingdom. Occasionally, it is called Britain. "England" however, is merely one part of the union, and is incorrect. I don't refer to the US as Texas, although sometimes it seems like it. KarlJaeger 06:39, 3 June 2008 (EDT)

George Orwell

While George Orwell WAS fighting on the side of the republican government, he wasn't fighting for them. He was a member of the socialist POUM (Workers' Party for Marxist unification) militia. the Communists who had power in the Republican government were Stalinists and were therefore against the POUM who was more aligned with Trotsky. the fighting referred to here was between the Republican government and the communists on one side, and the anarchists and anti-stalin POUM on the other. so while Orwell did fight against the Communists, it was not on the side of the government.

--Dave Clark

WWII and Korean War

Germany declared war on the U.S., not the other way around.

I agree with MolotoK - you say "just as the American soldiers had defeated Germany in World War I, the Americans did it again," but hardly mention the four straight years of fighting on the Eastern front, where most of the German army was. You make it seem as if George Patton single-handedly won World War II.

"General MacArthur wanted to defeat them also, but President Truman refused and fired MacArthur." This should probably be clarified to point out that MacArthur wanted to expand the war into a general nuclear confrontation, and then was publicly insubordinate, it's a bit misleading.

--CWaddell 22:32, 23 February 2009 (EST)


  • You seem to suggest that the Soviet Union conquered Finland, in fact they annexed just a few border regions.
  • The British did not fortify the Maginot Line, that was solely the job of the French.
  • You should specify that the Vichy regime controlled only part of France that was not directly occupied by Germany.
  • The Free French continued to fight beyond the liberation of Paris, your wording implies they simply stopped at this point.
  • Operation Sea lion was the name of the proposed invasion of Britain, not the bombing beforehand, and it was of course never put into action.
  • I think you oversimplify the invasions of the Balkans and Greece when you say that Germany ‘simply invaded them and conquered them’
  • You call the Soviet Army the ‘most vicious’ without anything to support such an assertion.
  • You say ‘Russians never surrender’, whilst of course in the Leningrad case in particular they showed extreme resilience, masses of Russian POWs were taken during the war.
  • Mengele’s Ph.D was not based on Darwinian Evolution.
  • You fail to mention some of the key events in the intelligence war, the capture of Enigma machines and codes of which there are several examples.
  • Your claims about Peral Harbour being known about have only some truth to them. Certainly there were many signs that should have been picked up on, but they were not. This was largely due to mistakes lower down the chain of command. If I remember rightly the raid was picked up on radar but was wrongly assumed by some/someone to have been a group of US planes.
  • I think your claim about the Coral Sea is slightly wrong. It was the first naval battle when the opposing ships never sighted each other, but carrier planes had been used in earlier months.
  • You also fail to mention a key intelligence trick the US used in order to determine that an attack on Midway was about to take place.
  • You seem to imply that the US forces were involved in the Battle of El Alamein, which is incorrect.
  • You seem to have some rather dubious criticisms of Truman, the fact that he enjoyed playing cards is completely irrelevant to anything else in the lecture, and to say he ws out of his depth seems to be more your personal opinion than the general consensus amongst historians.
  • Your statement “Just as the American soldiers had defeated Germany in World War I, the Americans did it again” seems to omit any reference to the huge sacrifices made by the other Allies, especially the Soviet Union.
  • Operation Overlord was the name for the invasion of Normandy and the establishment of a foothold, not a catch-all term for liberating the whole of continental Europe.
  • D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion of all time, but not the largest ever invasion.
  • ”There were so many ships and people in the ocean that it obscured the water below” is more a poetic description than a fact, as should be clarified.
  • You also clearly state that the Americans overpowerd the D-day defenders, without mentioning that of the 5 landing beaches 2 were taken by the British and 1 by the Canadians.
  • You fail to mention the distinctive tactics used by Patton which played the greatest role in his success.
  • You very much oversimplify the German resistance by saying they were simply routed everywhere.
  • Patton did not simply ‘roll through France, Belgium, Luxembourg etc’, especially since his line of advance was south of that. It was only with the Battle of the Bulge that he moved north.
  • You completely fail to mention any other commanders, and omit massive operations such as Marketgarden.
  • It was the Free French forces who originally entered the city, not the Americans.
  • You vastly oversimplify the implications of allowing Patton to continue, which would have essentially led to war with the Soviet Union.
  • The Enola Gay was the name of one specific plane that dropped the 1st atomic bomb, not the name of all the planes involved.
  • Josef Mengele did not simply flee to Brazil, in fact he did not do so until 1949.
  • You fail to mention the US opposition to Soviet help against Japan, and imply Roosevelt was completely for it.
  • The Berlin airlift began in June 1948 and ran into 1949, not 1949 – 1950 as you claim.
  • You seem to imply that Kennedy was somehow lazy or negligent regarding the building of the wall. Although nothing practical was done, it was not really feasible for the US to actively oppose the wall’s construction, with actual intervention surely leading to war.
  • You seem to suggest the development of ICBMs somehow helped the development of spying, which makes little sense.
  • The U2 spy plane was shot down and did not simply ‘fall to earth’.
  • You fail to mention that the pilot was released as part of a prisoner swap.
  • You seem to imply that Truman stopped MacArthur from achieving victory in the Korean War. MacArthur was fired because he wanted to use nuclear weapons against China!
  • Your statement that China is completely communist is not true, China is actually quite open to the free market these days and becoming more so. It is almost certainly true that there is no such thing as a ‘true communist’ country since none have ever lived up to Marx’s actual aims.
  • I would also add that 'England' should read 'UK', through normally Britain will suffice. To simply refer to England downplays the contribution of the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish.

These are just the ones where I could actually identify factual errors, and there may be others. In general you seem to oversimplify non-American activities, particularly in WWII. Although I respect the fact that this is predominantly a US resource it is a World History course. RobertWDP 17:23, 24 February 2009 (EST)

I particularly agree with the statement regarding the Soviet Union. Consider the number of troops that the Soviet Union lost, something along the lines of 13 million! From the perspective of a World History course, yes, the United States' role in World War II was very significant in bolstering Western European nations' morale, but in terms of actual combat World War II as a whole was primarily a battle between Germany and the Soviet Union. This idea of a World History course could be very helpful to many people, but not if it distorts history through a pro-America lens. I love this country, too, but I love it enough that I can consider it great without overstating its influence. Alphanumeric1 00:23, 30 December 2010 (EST)

Specific Factual Errors

Specific Factual Errors with no room for interpretation:

-The Italian Conquest of Ethiopia took until 1936 (war began in 35, continued through beginning of next year).

-The discussion of the formation of the Axis Powers is a bit off. Germany/Italy signed a treaty in Oct. 1936 and Germany/Japan in November 1936, but the three were not joined as one until Nov. 1937.

-The Russians only took some border territory from Finland, not the entire country.

-The Germans took control of northern France, and Southern France became the Vichy government.

-Operation Sea Lion was the plan to invade England. Operation Eagle was the aerial campaign.

-Operation Overlord refers merely to the invasion of Europe, not the entire retaking.

-Hitler killed himself on April 30, 1945. May 7 was the signing of the Surrender, and May 8 was the end of operations, or what is celebrated as V-E day.

-Yugoslavia was thrown out of the Comintern by Stalin in 1948; it was not "controlled by the Soviet Union"

-The Berlin Airlift was from June 25, 1948 to September 30, 1949.

--CWaddell 18:54, 24 February 2009 (EST)


The US 1st Army landed 73,000 men on D-Day. The British 2nd Army landed over 83,000. In terms of achieving the D-Day goals the best results were achieved at Juno Beach (Canadian/British) and Gold Beach (British.) The worst progress was at Omaha Beach (US,) where the D-Day objectives were not achieved until D+3. To describe the landings as "the Americans overpowered them and started moving through France" is frankly nonsense. --SamRSC 11:51, 18 November 2011 (EST)


"...was the only Allied leader feared by the Germans." I can answer that absurd claim with a single word: Zhukov. --SamRSC 11:54, 18 November 2011 (EST)

Allied advance/Patton again

..."The best the German army could do was turn and run" So that's why it took Patton six months to advance as far as Rommel did in three weeks of 1940? Patton was a good general, but he wasn't a superman and he met PLENTY of resistance from the Germans. --SamRSC 11:57, 18 November 2011 (EST)

Eastern Europe/Patton AGAIN

"General Patton could have taken all of Eastern Europe from the Germans" With one army? Do you have ANY idea how much Wehrmacht strength remained operational in Germany, never mind the Soviet Army? Zhukov used three times Patton's strength to break through the Seelow Heights alone, and that was just one of the three Fronts in the Berlin area, never mind the rest of eastern Europe. To say that Patton could have defeated them alone is verging on delusional. --SamRSC 12:08, 18 November 2011 (EST)

el Alamein

"in May 1943 General Dwight Eisenhower led the Allies to a victory against the feared Afrika Korps"

The Afrika Korps was already retreating when Eisenhower arrived in Africa. The majority of Allied troops in North Africa were British and Commonwealth. --SamRSC 12:19, 18 November 2011 (EST)

Pearl Harbor

"the United States had a good radar system that should have been able to predict the attack an hour before it happened"

The United States had a single radar station in Hawaii and it wasn't operational; the crew were still being trained. They DID detect the attack (minutes before it happened - the radar range was only 50 miles or so) but badly trained officers thought it was a returning flight of B-17s.

As a history lesson on WW2 this just doesn't cut it. It is riddled with errors and omissions. --SamRSC 12:25, 18 November 2011 (EST)

Question regarding WWII

Why is there little mention of major operations in Africa, Asia besides the American involvement (the debacle at Singapore for instance) or for the most part the Eastern Front of Europe (the largest theater of war during the entirety of the war)? It seems quite a bit of important information is being left out. Are editors allowed to add such information to this area? EarlofGrey 12:04, 13 December 2011 (EST)

Please do make additions to the lecture as you suggest!--Andy Schlafly 12:13, 13 December 2011 (EST)