Reaping the whirlwind

“Any civilized person must react with horror to the human consequences of the catastrophe that befell the German people in the last months of the war. The battle for the Third Reich cost the lives of something like 400,000 Germans killed in ground fighting and by aerial bombardment in 1945 alone, together with anything up to two million who died in the flight from the east. Eight million became homeless refugees. Yet it is hard to conceive any less dreadful conclusion to the nightmare Hitler and his nation had precipitated. When the German people failed to depose their leader, when they made the choice, conscious or otherwise, to fight to the end, they condemned Germany to the fate which it suffered in the closing months of the Second World War.” – Max Hastings, Armageddon

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