- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2019

D-Day’s importance in winning World War II against Nazi Germany has been “exaggerated” in American and Western history in the decades since the landmark assault, Russian diplomats said Wednesday as President Trump and European leaders gathered to mark the historic landing.

Speaking a day before the 75th anniversary of the largest amphibious assaults carried out by American forces in history, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Allied operation to establish a beachhead on the European mainland would not have been possible had not Soviet forces already weakened the Nazi armies months earlier.

The impact of the D-Day invasion “should of course not be exaggerated. And especially not at the same time as diminishing the Soviet Union’s titanic efforts, without which this victory simply would not have happened,” Ms. Zakharova told a press briefing, according to the Reuters news agency.

“The Normandy landing did not have a decisive impact on the outcome of World War Two and the Great Patriotic War. It had already been pre-determined as a result of the Red Army’s victories,” she said, noting the Soviet victory in Leningrad in 1942.

Only after beating back the Germans in Russia, did Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower feel comfortable launching the D-Day invasion, Ms. Zakharova said.

“There was a wish [among the Allies] to wait for the maximum weakening of Germany’s military power from its enormous losses in the east, while reducing losses in the west,” she noted.

Over 150,000 U.S. troops launched a multi-pronged attack onto the beaches of Normandy, right into the teeth of Germany’s defenses in northern France on June 6, 1944. Numerous scholars and historians say the D-Day invasion effectively marked the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany’s so-called “Fortress Europe.”

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