Random Blogness: That Time When Superman Kept the US from Entering World War II
70 years ago today, Nazi Germany began Operation Barbarossa, in which they began an ill-fated invasion of the Soviet Union. Originally planned for mid-May, various other factors in World War II forced Hitler to move the start date back to June. The delay resulted in the invasion going into winter, which proved disastrous for the German troops. The operation was Hitler falling victim to one of the classic blunders (never get involved in a land war in Asia), and it signaled a change in fortune for the Third Reich. As a result of the failure, Germany was forced to fight a two front war, and the rest of history. Truly, Operation Barbarossa was one of the major turning points in World War II.
I say one of the major turning points, because it can never beat out the most pivotal moment, which actually occurred before the war began. I speak of course about the time when Superman kidnapped a political lobbyist and kept the United States from getting involved in World War II from the beginning.
Oh, you haven’t heard of this? Well, somebody needs to brush up on their history.
The year was 1938. Germany had just annexed Austria, Mussolini had Italy in his fascist grip, and war in Europe was imminent. Sensing the tense political climate, then-Senator Barrows met in secret with lobbyist Alex Greer, seeking a way to force America beyond its stated stance of neutrality and aid its European allies against the rising forces of Nazism. Had Barrows and Greer been successful, the United States would have been involved in World War II from the outset, and millions of lives might have been saved.
Unfortunately, an upstart vigilante known only as Superman emerged at about the same time. Superman had taken a vow to fight for truth, justice, and the American way – and at this point in history, the American way involved sitting on our thumbs and letting Hitler march across Europe.
As evidenced in Action Comics #1, Superman kidnapped Alex Greer and dangled him by the foot from high-tension power lines before finally delivering him to the capitol building, exposing the plot:
History mentions little of Barrows and Greer following this instance, but it is believed that they both retired in shame. Further research suggests that Senator Barrows drank himself to death, while Alex Greer became a male prostitute in Gotham City’s red light district. And, of course, because of Superman’s intervention, the United States remained neutral until 1941, by which time the Axis powers had devastated much of Europe.