It took Adolf Hitler six weeks to invade and conquer France and the low countries during World War II using Germany’s formidable blitzkrieg tactic.
Conquering Poland took 35 days.
Denmark took 6 hours.
During the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, it took just a little over a month for Germany to dominate most of the vast landscape of what is now modern-day Ukraine.
These were speedy and decisive victories.
This was the result of superior German military strategy and combat prowess.
Many have thus inferred that since Russia has failed to conquer Ukraine’s capital after a month of combat, they are losing the war.
But if we have learned anything from Russian history, it’s that they are a force to reckon with and anything can happen.
Since World War II ended with the atom bomb, tremendous technological advancements have thrown humanity into a new age of advanced warfare.
Military operations have grown more controversial and intense.
Videos and photos of the war in Ukraine make it onto everyone’s phones, sparking moral outrage and panic on a global scale.
Everyone wants the conflict to end as soon as possible, but for all we know, this could be a conflict that drags on for years. Ukraine has put up fierce resistance.
Women and children evacuate their homes while men stay home to fight for their families and country.
Russian paratroopers and ground forces as well as a major tank column have failed to conquer Kyiv and establish a Russian government.
The war is in Ukraine’s favor today, but the future is difficult to predict.
While we wait and see how the conflict evolves, we should consider the history of Russia and how formidable of a threat the country is.
Russia is a nation of proud people willing to fight for their motherland.
When Napoleon marched through the gates of Moscow in 1812, the Russians retaliated.
They drove the French back, costing Napoleon his international support.
When Hitler’s Wehrmacht could see the Kremlin in the distance during the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Russians launched a winter offensive.
This forced the Germans into a massive retreat.
Millions upon millions of soldiers were sent to fight the German invaders.
It is said that at the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942, there were more Russian soldiers than guns to fight the Germans.
Less than 3 years later, the Russians were shelling Berlin into surrender.
So how does America fit into all this?
These are foreign conflicts, so why should we care?
At the start of World War II, the United States was a nation of isolationists with various neutrality laws that dictated involvement in foreign conflicts.
Hitler knew major powers wouldn’t do much in terms of military involvement overseas aside from sanctions and the Lend-Lease Act.
For the most part, President Roosevelt had his hands tied.
Even during the Blitz when Nazi bombs rained on Britain, the United States refrained from declaring war on Hitler.
The war got a whole lot worse before the tide of the war even began to turn in favor of the Allies.
After World War II ended, Germany was cut up like a cake.
Western powers decided it was essential that an alliance was formed to prevent possible Russian aggression and the spread of the communist ideology.
Now, in 2022, Russia is fighting for control of territory once under its control.
The historic nature of the conflict demonstrates that the formation of NATO was the right call.
Our forefathers knew what they were doing when they distrusted the Soviet Union.
Now, old wounds are being picked at by Vladimir Putin.
Now, it is April 2022.
There are new allies, new enemies, but the same death and destruction.
We don’t know where the Russian invasion will go from here.
It could evolve into a greater conflict like World War II.
When compromise fails, the bullets start flying and the bombs start falling.
While Ukrainians are putting up a fierce fight, more support from NATO will be required for Ukraine to defend its sovereignty.
Ukraine alone will never emerge victorious if Putin continues his campaign.
That is why we must remember that NATO was formed as a contingency after World War II to protect Europe from the Soviet Union’s ominous encroachment on western Europe.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is exactly the kind of conflict we have been preparing for.
If Western powers fail to take more decisive actions in the near future, Putin will do as he pleases.
He will take whatever territory he wishes, as Hitler did in World War II.
Knowing the history of military matters will help us understand the politics and tactics behind the Russian invasion as well as why NATO plays a massive role in the conflict.
As brave and patriotic as the Ukrainian people are, they alone are no match for Russia.
Once again, history is teaching us the importance of having allies, and that alliances are only as powerful as their actions.
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