In the last century the prime aggressor countries such as Germany, Italy and Japan invaded their neighbors seeking to steal their territories and subject the conquered to a virtual state of slavery. While their women and children stayed safely at home, well fed and warm in their cosy homes their men invaded their neighboring countries. They bombed and shelled their neighbor's cities and villages killing and maiming millions of innocent men, women and children. They pillaged and destroyed their victims homes, raped, murdered and enslaved the conquered people. All the while the men were doing these dastardly deeds the invader's women and children were living a fairly comfortable normal life at home.
During WW2 the Germans were not only conquering and destroying their neighboring countries and its citizens they were also systematically enslaving and executing certain groups of their own citizens, such as the Jews and gypsies and anybody else they felt did not fit in with their "super race". It seemed as though the devil itself had taken over these countries. They were acting completely irrational - devoid of all human compassion.
Earlier in the century in the first World War, the Germans had invaded the Low countries, France and Russia. They bombed England but never got to invade it. In this war they conquered the smaller countries but got bogged down in France and Russia. During the five terrible years of fighting, millions of soldiers and citizens were killed and maimed. Although the Germans won the war against Russia on the eastern front they were defeated on the western front and forced to accept an armistice with England, France, the USA and their Allies . Their dreams of conquest were shattered and the country was in an economic turmoil.
The German aggressors and their allies had been stopped and defeated - but their country's infrastructure was still intact and they still harbored dreams of conquest. After the war they immediately began to secretly reconstruct their army in Russia. Twenty 20 years later they were again a tremendous armed power, this time with a despotic maniac leader named Hitler in total charge of the country.
In the 1920's and 30's Italy and Japan also had their own dreams of invading and conquering their neighbors. The dictators in charge of Japan, Russia, and Italy were close rivals for the "most evil" in urging their men to commit despotic atrocities and destruction. In 1931 Japan invaded Manchuria, the Japanese men went forth committing terrible murders, destruction and atrocities and they began doing the same terrible things again when they invaded China in 1937. All the while they were doing their terrible deeds their women and children were safe at home. The Russians invaded Finland and Poland and "annexed" Estonia, Latavia, and Lithuania. Italy invaded Ethiopia, Albania and Greece.
It seems like the devil was on the loose in the 30s and 40s. Finally Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941 destroying most of our Naval Fleet in the Pacific. They then went on to invade the Philippines and most of south east Asia - destroying and committing also sorts of murder and atrocities. Their men were having a heyday killing and pillaging - it seemed like the Axis Powers were invincible - nothing could stop these evil men. The world would soon be theirs - Hitler had made big plans for the masters and the slaves. Was the world as we know it coming to an end?
Then things began to turn. Hitler made some strategic mistakes - although he had a monstrous restless war machine at his disposal - he had failed to gain dominance in the sky over England so he could not invade that country - he felt he had to use them somewhere so he picked on his old partner in crime, Russia.
Hitler badly underestimated the size and will of the Soviet Union's army. In September 1940 Germany invaded Russia, again committing terrible atrocities, destroying, pillaging and murdering everyone in their path. Things went well for the German devils as they sliced deep into Russia along a thousand mile front, until they came to a city called Stalingrad. This was their "Waterloo". Their war machine ground to a halt, every time they would destroy a Russian division five more divisions would replace them.
The Russians began pounding them with tremendous artillery and rocket firepower and thousands of the mighty T-34 tanks, probably the best tank of the war - better then anything the Germans had. Slowly the Russians began pushing the Germans invaders back toward Germany with both sides suffering tremendous casualties. Hitler felt a cold chill run down his back as he realized Germany could no longer win the war, he was doomed.
Meanwhile England and the U.S. began systematically destroying Germany's infrastructure - cities, bridges, factories, refineries - anything they could bomb. Now the tables had turned both in Germany and Japan. The German and Japanese men learned that now their families back home were being killed by the thousands in these tremendous air raids. Whole cities were being destroyed by firestorms as a result of the massive bombings. After the invasion of France by the Allies the Germans were relentlessly being pushed out of their conquered territories and into their own home land. Now it was time for the German and Japanese to experience some of the suffering their men had been dishing out to innocent victims for so long.
Finally the Russians pushed their way right into Berlin destroying what was left of the city, that the American and English bombs had missed. Hitler was forced to commit suicide to avoid capture and the European war was over. Germany was in ruins and the German war machine was totally defeated by April 1945. These arrogant ruthless aggressors had been totally humiliated! The same fate was in store for the Japanese only worse. The war continued on for a few more months with unrelenting continued bombing of the Japanese cities killing thousands of Japanese civilians in great bombing firestorms.
Finally in August the Americans, faced with the thought of suffering tremendous casualties in a Japanese invasion dropped two of the newly invented atom bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima completely destroying them along with thousands of civilians. These civilians, were the families and loved ones of the soldiers who had gone out to murder, rape, pillage and destroy their neighbors. It was as though their families were the final victims of their men's evil deeds. This action finally convinced Emporer Hirohito to surrender unconditionally. It was a terrible ending for a terrible war. Had mankind has learned its lesson?
Not really - just a few years later the North Koreans invaded South Korea and again the United Nation forces were forced to push back the aggressors with much suffering and casualties. In the 1970's the United States was forced out of Vietnam by that country's citizens, in 1991 the Iraqi invader's of Kuwait were defeated and forced back into their own country after causing much misery in that country.
Donald L. Hamilton is author of "The Mind of Mankind: Human Imagination, the source of Mankind's tremendous power!"