Rob Citino, a senior historian at the National World War II Museum, spoke to TIME magazine about what he sees as popular myths about World War II.
Citino said that he spent a lot of time trying to prove that US President Franklin Roosevelt did not know about Pearl Harbor in advance. The source believes that such assumptions are a “crazy conspiracy theory,” and there is not a single document that could confirm this.
The next fallacy, according to Citino, is the claim that Erwin Rommel was the best German general. The historian believes that the military was bad at administration and did not care about logistics at all.
“His last mission was to try to prevent the Normandy landings, the invasion of the Western Allies on June 6, and he failed one hundred percent,” he explained.
Another popular myth, according to an American expert, shifts all the blame for the defeat of Germany in World War II on the shoulders of Adolf Hitler. Citino said that “I would love to blame Hitler for everything,” but, according to the historian, one person is not capable of being responsible for every bad decision made by the German army.
“The highest German officers, the generals, bear a large share of the responsibility for starting the war, for waging the war, and for continuing the war until there was no longer any chance of victory,” he said.
Citino also debunked, in his view, the false claim that Japan could have won the war if Japanese planes had managed to bomb American oil storage facilities during the raid on Pearl Harbor. According to the historian, such an action by the Japanese military, at best, would only delay the victory for several months. In addition, the expert expressed the opinion that there were no turning points in the war that could dramatically change the course of history.