The Canadians Were There Too

Period pieces are one of my favorite fiction genres, especially if they are generally historically and geographically accurate. Of course, I do actually expect all fiction to be geographically accurate if the author is going to use real locations, past or present. Popular for action pieces are any one of the war times of history and WWII is a top choice. It makes sense as it left a scar across the whole of the world and some would say that it changed the face of globe as well. Everything seemed to change during the war and maybe more so after it. The Old World was suddenly the supporting characters and new leading roles were assumed by the US and USSR.

Cover Art via Author Page

Whatever the reason, it is certain that period pieces of the ear are popular. Due to the popularity one can find all kinds of plots as well as quality of writing. From drama to action and everything in between to satisfy the desires of most readers. There might be some players of the period that are under portrayed. To that end, some authors are trying to increase the stories of these brave men and women and keep their memories alive. It is this goal that we have the pleasure of exploring today, with Vengeance Of The Allies.

I do have to admit that this is the first work that I remember reading that highlights the Canadian contribution to the cause. And while Canadians are certainly not the only countrymen that most don’t remember sacrificing , hopefully others will come or gain wider circulation in the future. I will neither affirm or dismiss the accuracy of some of the historical details of The Black Devils and will instead allow the author such credit as to his due diligence.

The story takes place in Occupied France, roughly 4 years in. The setting is mostly split between Marseille and Serronelle, in the South of France and unfolds from Berlin’s reaction to the murder of an SS Officer in the area. That leads to a chance opportunity for unlikely Allies to take things into their own hands. The obsession of these individuals change the course of the war and life for a group of unwitting Canadian commandos.

The action starts with the opening lines and continues to the last page. The reader is entwined into the unanswerable question what would you do if it were you? How far would you go to seek vengeance? What would you be willing to sacrifice for a promise made in the worst of circumstances?

For a debut novel, this work certainly shows skill and talent. There are some areas that word order made me stop and wonder if the proofing of my review copy was pre-final editing stage or have I never noticed Canadian word order being different. From a publishing point of view that is the strongest critique I have. I am pleasantly, surprised to see such quality work in a debut in today’s world of self-publishers and everyone thinking ANYONE can write and wanting their 15 minutes of fame and even more fortune.

I truly look forward to see more from Mr. Ethan Watts.

*Copy Received For Review.

What Will Sorry Change?

hiroshima bombing
Hiroshima, Japan 6AUG1945

On 6 August 1945, the United States made a decision that has been debated passionately since. The date marks the death of at least 100,000 Japanese civilians in the city of Hiroshima; and the first use of nuclear weapons in known history. Since the dropping of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the morality of even having such weapons, much less using them has been a hot topic in many areas of discussion. At the time of the event, many Americans completely supported the decision; however, today the thought of using nuclear weapons is one of the most appalling imaginable. Ironically, one of the safety balances that existed during the Cold War that no longer exists was the mutual annihilation factor of the US and the USSR having ‘equal’ numbers of warheads.

Kerry in Hiroshima
Kerry in Hiroshima via

Recently, during a G7 gathering, US Secretary of State Kerry visited the site. This makes him the highest ranking US government official to ever visit the site. Kerry’s honor will be short lived, as Pres. Obama will be touring the Hiroshima site during his visit later this month. The announcement has drawn criticism that even just showing up at the site can be seen as an apology.
Hello! People see just what they want to see anyway, when they look with an agenda!

This is one time where I have to tell Obama critics they really do need to grow up. If the general practice should be that heads of countries should never attend the sites of previous conflicts with mass casualties then all world leaders would have to go to the Moon to make any trips. Human history is full of such disasters, some will say that it is human nature, but I say it is evil nature, which is different, not that humans cannot be filled with evil, they can. I also believe that holding on to wrongs forever is just as wrong as the original crime and creates just as much destruction.

While I have no issue with Obama going to Hiroshima, I would be less accepting and supportive if he was making an official or even unofficial apology. It was a decision made during in a war with the intent of winning the war. Just like it would be insignificant for Japan to apologize for the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Apologies for acts during war should be limited to war crimes and other illegal acts of participants in the war, both military members, as well as, civilians. It should also be understood that civilian casualties are a part of war; yes, they should be limited and every effort should be made to limit them, however, they will occur.

In this case, for a war that most of the surviving combatants and civilians have already died; what will “sorry” change?
Will it turn back time? Would that ensure something better?
Will it bring the dead back to life? Will that definitely improve the world?
Will it change history? Will that make either country more just?

Participants in wars should be the most honorable and just that society has to offer, sadly that is rarely the case and even less so today. That being said it is not fair or just or right to judge wartime actions by peace time standards. In addition, demanding or demeaning things like official apologies is less important than moving forward by learning from the past. I do believe that it is possible for President Obama to visit Hiroshima without apologizing and it being a good and positive thing. In truth, official apologies have no true or real or sincere value, they are at most political stunts and thus irrevocably flawed from conception.

D Day +70 years

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day. And this post should be about honoring the honorable, brave men that stormed the beaches and eventually fought their way to Berlin. My problem is that it seems that their service to once great nations was in vain. Thus, the ceremonies taking place on sacred ground are a farce. Many of the remaining warriors from that Good War traveled great distances, both physical and emotional, to stand on the same sand that was stained with the blood of young boys full of heroic fear. Those young men from nations near and far stepped up and took a stand against evil and oppression. They trusted their governments and they were full of idealism. It was, on the surface, the Good War.
But, today it seems that we are full of bad wars and the leaders cannot be trusted. Ironically, those immoral, cowardly (with the exception of Prince Phillip) leaders of the West turned this momentous occasion into a political drama scene. Apparently, POTUS can sink lower than thought possible. Less than month ago the hottest story was how the US treats its survivors of this historic day, which Obama managed to hide behind an even more insulting event to those men and women that have given so freely in defense of the idea of America. He traded 5 high ranking Taliban leaders for 1 little Private that willing walked off his post in a war zone after sending home all personal valuables and stating his disillusionment with certain aspects of the situation. With these fires burning at home, POTUS flies off to Europe as the leader of the US at the ceremony remembering D-Day, 70 years ago. The truly pathetic role that Mr. Obama chose to play this week was one of a spoiled, entitled, ill-mannered child, mad that he wasn’t getting all the other kids at the cool table to follow his demands and knowing that all those “nobody kids” in the world were watching the event unfolded in real time.
Here is the deal POTUS, when you travel as the elected leader of the US, you are representing EVERY American. Some of us are not so uncultured as to think your behavior which is more reminiscent of a reality TV show (insert your own example of de-evolution) represents us and we are appalled that you think your classless rude behavior elevated you on the world chessboard. How dare you smear what our fathers and grandfathers died for on that beach! How dare you use their sacrifice to take jabs at Mr. Putin, whom represents an important ally in that Good War, that apparently you did not study while prancing and strutting through the halls of Harvard, finally decrying your blackness, having found that it gets you extras without actually being anything special, which is also an insult to each and every African-American whom fought and defended this nation and did it not by pointing out the color of their skin but in spite of the color of their skin. You shame them the most, they fought and struggled for you to have an equal and fair chance and you took their struggle and mocked it by claiming their heritage as your own and demanding benefit for it.
You should have conducted yourself with class and dignity. You should have focused on the meaning of this event. You should have made EVERY attempt to take the higher road, you know that one that you often look up to and wonder what it is, since you have never actually taken the high road. This was not the time for political drama pouting. If you thought shunning Mr. Putin and speaking of the Iron Curtain and Cold War, made you a better man, it is just more proof of your totally and completely naracistic personality. You are not the better man, the better man would have shaken the hand of the man whom leads the country who lost more than 20mil people at the hands of Hitler, the US did not suffer cities under siege or bombings or combat in the streets and you totally belittled the price paid by all Russians over what, your campaign of “Everyone Hates Russia”? Shame on you!!! This was NOT your day, it was the day of those that fought and those that suffered and those that gave their lives. And you could not for one day think past yourself! I do hope that you are proud of yourself; cause I as one American am not!
To EACH and EVERY man and woman and child that suffered, survived, fought, and died from EACH and EVERY country; I salute you, I thank you, I honor you. To the men and women that fought the Good War, on D-Day and every day of the struggle you are our heroes, our hope and our future! Not just on this day but on everyday.