Dear Sir:

Well, part two of “Losing the War” by Lee Sandlin [March 14] was better than the first [March 7], but only because he stayed with interpretation more than facts. He did make a few mistakes again though.

The reason Hitler and his generals thought the Soviet Union would fold under invasion was the defense of Finland (a Nordic race) against the Russians at odds of more than ten to one.

Hitler did NOT have the largest empire since Alexander, that privilege belongs to the great Khan who conquered all of Asia, India, and most of Europe.

There were NO kamikaze raids against U.S. battalions. A battalion is an army infantry unit and kamikazes attacked only naval units.

The air raids on Japan were not “the largest berserker rage in history.” It was coldly calculated to be the cheapest way to destroy the military might of a nation where almost every citizen believed and practiced the principles of Bushido.

Jet engines in WWII were not “prototypes,” the German ME 262 squadrons were fully operational months before the end of the war.

“One group didn’t cheer along with the rest [at the end of the war]: the soldiers in the battle zones.” Nonsense, every soldier celebrated in some way. By firing their weapons into the air, by setting their own tents on fire, and, if possible, by getting as drunk as they possibly could.

I could go on, but why bother? Sandlin couldn’t find his point with both hands. It’s very unfortunate your fine paper has been degraded by this guy’s rantings.

Richard L. Hayes

Tinley Park

Lee Sandlin replies:

I’m interested to learn that the Germans did manage to get their jet engine into production. Most of your other complaints involve issues of interpretation, but I would make one point regarding the word “kamikaze.” What I wrote was this: “Kamikaze attacks on American ships at Okinawa came in waves of a hundred planes at a time.” Why you think that refers to American ground forces I can’t imagine.