“HELLSTORM” by Thomas Goodrich is available in paperback, audio book and a documentary DVD at Money Tree Publishing.
World War II has often been described as “the good war” and those who lived and fought during this period in history are often called “the greatest generation.”
While Americans who answered the call to save Europe from Germany were indeed remarkable and made incredible sacrifices, there has been much hidden from the American public, and when one reads Hellstorm they might very well take away the feeling that Germany wasn’t the threat.
As shocking as that statement may seem, one has to realize that Germany was not the only participant with a propaganda machine, and Goodrich painstakingly documents this, along with a long list of atrocities that the American, British and Soviet leadership encouraged.
One of the worst was the decision to firebomb the German city of Dresden. In 1945 the war was all but over for Germany; its cities had been turned into rubble. One city that had been spared was Dresden. Normally the city had a population of 600,000 but the influx of refugees had doubled the city in size. It was not a military city, nor was it in possession of war-time military industry.
It had been a city known for its art and architecture and in 1945 was also a place in which wounded German soldiers were hospitalized. Nevertheless, between February 13-15 nearly 1,000 British and American bombers turned the city into rubble.
After the first wave came the second wave, in which the Allies dropped incendiary bombs that turned the city into a giant furnace, so hot that it melted the streets, and with it the people who were trying to flee. Those who survived started to gather at a park and were strafed by Allied fighter planes. Initial estimates were that 200, 000 were killed with later estimates claiming as many as 400,000-500,000 civilian deaths.
Other atrocities included widespread rape. As the Soviets invaded Germany it was not uncommon for the invaders to rape girls as young as 10 years of age up to elderly women. Some of them were literally raped to death, by groups of 30 to 200 men. The raping, pillaging and the murder did not stop.
Another tragic account found in Hellstorm is the treatment of German POWs after the war. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in an effort to subvert the Geneva Convention, changed the designation of German soldiers from POW’s to Disarmed Enemy Forces, at which time he began to starve them, resulting in a death toll of hundreds of thousands.
Shockingly at war’s end, German civilians were forced into slavery in either the Soviet Union or France; many would never return.
Hellstorm is not for those who possess a weak constitution but it is a book that needs to be read. Upon doing so the reader will realize that no one walked away with clean hands. Thomas Goodrich, in a quote from an American historian sums it up best:
“The most staggering in all history. It is deliberate, it is brutal , it is enormous- it is an Allied crime.”
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