Fifteen years go, the iconoclastic global romantic and raconteur supreme, Taki Theodoracopulos was a co-founder of The American Conservative. I have followed Taki’s writings since. Today, Taki has moved on to focus on Taki’s Mag, but he remains as prolific a recounter as ever, and I try to catch each of his often eyebrow-raising, controversial Taki’s Mag lead essays. My abridged copy below is from a most recent issue, and titled “What Price Normandy?”. Enjoy!
Back in New York and digesting the five glorious days I spent in Normandy.
Our stifling culture of PC now makes the sacrifices of those young men who fell in Normandy seem, well, not in vain, but hardly worth it.
Operation Cobra, launched by the Americans at the end of July, created the decisive breach in the German lines. Fifteen hundred B-17s and B-24s churned up the landscape with saturation bombing, and fighters with napalm joined in the cataclysm. Panzer Lehr was literally pulverized, 45-ton Panzers flying through the air as if they were toys.
At the start of the Normandy campaign, the Germans had 2,400 tanks; after 77 days of war they had…24. You do the math.
By Aug. 11 Kluge’s counterattack is over as typhoons flying in pairs pick off the remaining Panzers. The Poles are massing in the Falaise Gap, sweeping up Germans who are now finally surrendering en masse.
Our final view is that of the bronze statue of General Maczek, the Polish hero who lived to be 102 and who sealed up the Falaise in the final battle after 77 days.
A half a million casualties, 200,000 dead—what price Normandy?
All the beautiful thoughts about dying for a cause quickly disappear. Aerial bombing leaves men out of their minds, some tearing at their brains before falling dead. Heroes like George W. Bush, Dick (nine deferments) Cheney, Bill Clinton, Mohammed bin Salman, and others of their ilk send young men to fight. I want to revert to the good old days, when leaders led from the front—you know the type: Achilles, Leonidas, Alexander, Miltiades, Ney. But I’m wasting my time. Shoot anyone over 30 who wants war.