Thursday, November 24, 2011

Norman Rockwell "Thanksgiving 1943"





The is my favorite Rockwell painting; the most beautiful work of America's finest artist. Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgiving 1943 Saturday Evening Post cover: American soldiers-- our fathers and sons and brothers (and sisters)-- were routing the Fascists in Italy and liberating Europe. Countless American families sat down to Thanksgiving dinner without their loved ones. Their prayers were that they would come home safely. Many would not.

Rockwell reminded us during those dark times why our loved ones were over there. The girl in the Rockwell painting is an Italian refugee seeking warmth from a G.I. jacket and balancing a meager meal on her lap. It must have comforted many families who saw more clearly why, and for whom, their loved ones were in harm's way.

They are still in harm's way, protecting the innocent in Iraq and Afghanistan and wherever our soldiers serve. Please remember them in your Thanksgiving prayers today. May God bless them, keep them safe, and bring them home soon.

16 comments:

  1. Sorry to rain on your parade, Mike, but at the end of 1943 the Allies weren't exactly "routing the Fascists." They were stuck in southern Italy. The US and British were dragging their feet on the opening of the second front in Europe, which would not happen until June of 1944. Until then, the Soviets bore the brunt of the war.

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    1. True, but they were on their way to doing that. And we were not dragging our feet -- we were losing and even after D-Day, we didn't have clear victory for awhile.

      It's Thanksgiving, chill.

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  2. @oleg:

    Indeed. The Soviets had a tough time fighting the Nazis, their former allies.

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  3. Yes. They the Soviets have a tough time.

    Meanwhile, the Allies were not fighting the Nazis at all. They were sitting it out and only joined the fight when the Soviets were already routing the Germans, to use your language. By the D-Day, the Soviet armies had already crossed the former borders of the USSR.

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  4. "May God bless them, keep them safe, and bring them home soon."

    But he won't. Your god is not real. Also, Santa Claus is your parents.

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    1. Did that make you happy? Why be a jerk?

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  5. Mike,
    Happy thanksgiving to you and yours. We did ours a month back now, but I always manage to cook up something nice on this day too. A stuffed pork roast is tonight's feast.
    May you and yours celebrate in peace and comfort, and may the next year bring as much or more bounty.

    Oleg,
    "Meanwhile, the Allies were not fighting the Nazis at all. They were sitting it out and only joined the fight when the Soviets were already routing the Germans, to use your language. By the D-Day, the Soviet armies had already crossed the former borders of the USSR."
    Total bullshit. You intentionally ignore the Med, North Africa (Especially EGYPT /Suez), Italy, and Greece, Mr Chekov. Additionally to minimize the Italian campaign as you have done is reprehensible.

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  6. crus,

    Mucking around North Africa and Italy was peanuts compared to the operations on the Eastern Front. Don't even go there.

    And a word of advice to a novice name dropper. You will look more impressive when you spell those names correctly. It's Chekhov, my Canadian friend.

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  7. @oleg
    ...more impressive when you spell those names correctly...

    Look at the pot calling the kettle black.

    Spelling names correctly includes the use of accents when required!

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  8. Pépé,

    Your memory fails you. I always spell your name with the accents.

    And if I hear one more complaint from you about accents, I will have you spell my name in the original cyrillic. Ponder that.

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  9. Michael,

    It seems as though some people need to read some histories of the Second World War. Max Hastings' latest book 'All Hell Let Loose' is a good start.

    The Americans were very keen to invade France in 1943. Fortunately, calmer heads (such as Churchill's) were able to dissuade them. The North American 'Torch' and the Sicillian and Italian campaigns were very much sideshows, not important for the eventual outcome, although the invasion of Sicily did cause Hitler to call off 'Citadel', the enormous tank battle around Kursk, when it had already been lost.

    Oleg is definitely correct. We're it not for the Soviets, the Western Allies would have had a prolonged and very bloody campaign to defeat the Nazis. The bloodiest campaign was in the month after D-Day, which incurred allied casualties, which the Soviets had been suffering every month since 1941.

    Once the breakout was achieved, Allied losses became very light, mainly because the troops weren't as suicidal as their Soviet counterparts. For all of Montgomery's failings as a general (and he had many), lack of concern for his troops wasn't one of them. He once asked one of his soldiers to name his most valuable possessions; when told that it was the soldier's rifle, he replied, no you fool, it's your life, and he's going to make sure he returns home with it.

    The Western allies could have taken Berlin if they were ruthless, but they didn't. The 'drawback' of living in a civilized democracy is that you lose the ruthlessness to attempt to win at all costs, as Russian generals such as Zhukov did.

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  10. Олег wrote:
    And if I hear one more complaint from you about accents, I will have you spell my name in the original cyrillic. Ponder that.

    What? Cyrillic? You're an evil godless commie?

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  11. Oleg,
    Soviet revisionism aside, the battle for Egypt and the Canal and for control of the Med was not 'mucking about'. It has to do with energy and making war, nothing I would expect a 'novice' student of history and war to understand.
    As for my 'name dropping', I was correct.
    Pavel Andreievich Chekov, or Павел Андреевич Чехов, if you prefer is the name I was 'dropping'. Maybe you're just too young to remember that character from Star Trek? Look him up. You will find you two have a lot in common.

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  12. олег said...
    Pepe, (no accents!)
    This is America. So SPEAK AMERICAN! We don't need no stinkin' accents.


    Stinkin' primate!

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  13. CrusadeRex,

    What's 'revisionist' in pointing out that the Eastern Front had caused the defeat of Hitler? North Africa and the Suez Canal for Hitler were sideshows. He only put troops there because the Italians did so, not because he was hoping for Middle East oil. His attack on the Soviet Union was motivated by his need to seize the Caucasus oilfields. His disastrous attack on Stalingrad the following year was a continuation of the same strategy.

    Egypt and the Suez Canal were much more important to the British than the Germans. It was the only place that they could fight the Germans directly. A defeat there would have been psychologically devastating. Operation Torch was the only option possible at the time. Although it allowed the invasions of Sicily and the Italian mainland, they were sideshows too, and allowed to peter out as the time for the Normandy invasion approached. The Germans were still fighting right up to almost the end of the European war in northern Italy.

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  14. Crus,

    If your familiarity with the Russian language comes mainly through Star Trek, what can I say? Chekov isn't even a Russian surname.

    And Soviet revisionism? Come on, man, you don't dispute that the Soviets did most of the hard work fighting the Germans, do you? You're not that silly, are you?

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