What if Hitler Had Invaded Britain?

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tags: Hitler, britain



Timothy Egan worked for 18 years as a writer for The New York Times, first as the Pacific Northwest correspondent, then as a national enterprise reporter.

For more than a thousand years, the tribes of Europe have stared into the gun-metal-gray chop of the English Channel and thought of conquest. “We have six centuries of insults to avenge,” said Napoleon. I was just there, on the same spring week when the great bedraggled scraps of the French and British armies were cornered for slaughter by the Nazi war machine 77 years ago.

Perhaps many people did not know, as Donald Trump says about obvious things that he just learned about, that the miracle of the Dunkirk evacuation continues to prompt one of the great historical “what-ifs” of all time.

Alternative history is all the rage now. One television series imagines a United States under German and Japanese rule (“The Man in the High Castle”). Another series in development at HBO will ask us to envision an equally horrid new world: the slaveholding Confederacy continuing to the present day.

Both scenarios are preposterous. But the question of whether the swastika could have flown over the Thames is much more than Hollywood fiction.

Thanks to the film “Dunkirk,” an improbably intimate look at what Winston Churchill called “a colossal military disaster,” minds otherwise gone soft by the heartless current governing policies of the United States can turn to a day when bigger minds guided Western democracies. Aside from slighting the French, the film is an energy drink of speculative fuel. ...




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