I made reference in a thread about an upcoming WWII computer game, Call of Duty: World At War that World War II is at serious risk of turning into a simplified Fairy Tale for future generations.
If you believed many computer games and several more recent movies, WWII went something like this:
On December 7th, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour for no reason at all. America declared war on Japan, and, for the hell of it, Germany, because Hitler was a Bad Guy™ and need a good ass-kicking- he’d invaded France on the same day, you see.
There’s a very picturesque war in the Pacific, with lots of Palm Trees and Coral Atolls and American & Japanese aircraft bombing ships and shooting each other down. America wins, of course.
In 1944 the Americans suddenly show up in England- who have been building a lot of aeroplanes for some reason- then the US single-handedly cross the channel, invade France, and liberate the French from the Germans, who’d been there since Pearl Harbour and not a moment before. About the same time the Russians decide- again, for no particular reason- to invade Germany. The Russians get to Berlin and level the place, and the Americans drop Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, acheiving much the same thing as the Russians in Berlin but with more fire and radioactive death.
Germany and Japan surrender at the same time, and the credits roll. The End.
Yes, I’m deliberately over-simplifying to make a point, namely that Popular Culture is ignoring the wider aspects of WWII (You know, like Other Countries besides the US, Russia, Germany, and Japan being involved) and is simplifying WWII into a Good vs Evil Fairy Tale starring America and Adolf Hitler (with special guest appearances by Josef Stalin, Emperor Hirohito, and a cameo by Winston Churchill).
I know there are movies about the British in WWII, and a couple of computer games acknowledge this too, but the current generation of games and movies seems to focus simply on the US/Russia/Germany/Japan aspect of the war and make it a very black and white story and as an historian that concerns me.
So, am I alone in thinking that WWII is turning into a sort of semi-mythical Fairy Tale, or am I just being un-necessarily pessimistic about the US-centric nature of movies and computer games concerning the war?