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World War Two Analysis

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The economies of countries like German and Japan were struggling following world war one and the great depression. World war two is ushered in by Germany’s refusal to honor the Treaty of Versailles and attacking Poland, and as a result, Britain and France declared war on Germany. Japan, Germany, and Italy united. US imposed an official trade ban on Japan which led to the attack at Pearl Harbor, prompting the USA to attack Japan and officially join the World War 2.

“Flags of our fathers (2006)’ film tells of a story of US soldiers as they embark on the Japan attack. One man falls in the water while the soldiers are on the ship, and there is no attempt to save or rescue him.’ So much for no man left behind’, laments one of the soldiers. As they get to the battlefield, guns, fire, and grenades explode. The soldiers help each other as they deal with the trauma of dead colleagues’ bodies slept off the shore. Fragmented body parts of hands and heads scatter the ground. Eventually, a flag is raised by six soldiers, including Mike, who dies on the battlefield. A second flag gets hoisted up again, this time with a cameraman and the faces of the soldiers facing away from the camera. The picture soon circulates in local newspapers, and the three remaining soldiers that put up the flag get flown back home.

World War 2 was about power and dominance; the film “Flags of Our Fathers (2006)” accurately portrays the conflict. The photo taken at Iwo Jima Island was emblematic of victory over Japan, and it appealed to the citizens back home. The government used the photo and soldiers to sell bonds to raise the money needed to sustain the war. The three soldiers got heroized for an act they felt they not deserve. They needed family love to help deal with the internal conflicts they were experiencing post-war. The war’s horrors sent flashbacks in their memories, like when the strawberry sauce got poured onto their cake. Eventually, after the glamour and parties, the soldiers were deserted by the same country that used them in solving the conflict. The soldiers were the ultimate sacrifice for power and dominance.

I agree with historian Keith Lowe from the linked TED Talk that world war two does not get commemorated for what it really ought to be. He talks about ‘gray areas ‘that are often left out. Watching this film makes one wish that the story comes from the soldiers’ perspective instead of what the people back home found appealing. The picture of the soldiers hoisting the flag was more appealing to American citizens than the struggles to get there. No one considered the brotherhood that made the soldiers carry on even amid terror. A photo of the doctor who helped injured soldiers would probably have been more appropriate, but no-that would portray defeat and failure. Indeed, history is made ‘interesting by the gray areas’ that often carry the weight of events.

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