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Keeling, Ralph Franklin, 1901- / Gruesome harvest
(1947)

Chapter I: War devastation,   pp. 3-6 PDF (1.3 MB)


Page 3

CHAPTER I
WAR DEVASTATION
Devastation of the Reich by total warfare was alone enough
to cast serious doubt on Germany's postwar ability to survive.
Never before in history had the life-sustaining resources of
a nation been so thoroughly demolished. Returning from vic-
tory in Europe, General Bradley declared, "I can tell you that
Germany has been destroyed utterly and completely." I
The demand for unconditional surrender had forced the
desperate Germans to fight to the bitter end, until their cities
had been pulverized into death-ridden rubble and their facto-
ries, railroads, canals, dams, power installations, communica-
tions, buildings, homes-all their exposed facilities-had been
converted into heaps of twisted, smouldering ruins.
Allied fervor to destroy everything German had been ex-
pressed by General Eisenhower with the opening of the Roer
drive.
"Our primary purpose," he declared, "is destruction of as
many Germans as possible. I expect to destroy every German
west of the Rhine and within that area in which we are
attacking.""
Allied capacity to destroy became overwhelming after the
American industrial colossus had been converted from peace-
time to war production. American output soon surpassed that
of all other belligerents in the war combined and became twice
as great as the capacity of the doomed Axis. a Stunned by
American power, Herman Goering confessed to his Nuern-
berg prison guards: "The industrial genius of America is some-
thing of which no one dreamed."
A glimpse of America's smashing force when devoted to
the grim business of mass production of death and destruction
is provided by the following description written by a front
line war correspondent:
"A cataclysmic blast of exploding, splintering steel rent the
earth before us and it seemed like the world was coming to an
end.
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