The most dangerous moment

Discussion in 'General' started by Warlord, Sep 6, 2011.


Most dangerous moment of WW2 for the Allied cause

  1. Fall of France

  2. Loss of Crete

  3. Loss of Singapore and Burma

    0 vote(s)
  4. The Indian Ocean Raids

  5. Fall of Tobruk

  6. Other

  1. spidge


    For me, in the context of timing, it has to be the "Battle of Britain".

    Nothing that has been written over the past 70 years which attempts to make comparisons with other very important battles of much greater scale and horrible loss of life can detract from the enormity of this "stand" militarily, politically and mentally and the place where in 1940, the war in Europe was won or lost.

    Germany had lost the "unbeatable" tag and much prestige and the rest of the world was watching. We know how WW2 evolved because the "Battle of Britain" was won and all forecasts and projections resulting from a loss are merely hypothetical.
  2. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    My vote goes to the Fall of Crete...for a not-readily apparent reason...

    The island campaign - that should have been a glorious victory over the Germans airborne forces - turned into a rout for the Commonwealth forces; but only a few weeks later, the course of the war turned with the beginning of BARBAROSSA...

    Now - the British were not 100% sure at that point that BARBAROSSA would take place, or even that it was aimed at the USSR as an operational name. All the indications were there...but during 1940, for instance - as early as the end of July they had the name "Sealion" and knew one aspect of the invasion plans I.E. whatever they picked up courtesy of Bletchley from Luftwaffe SIGINT. In other words - they ONLY knew what the Luftwaffe sent by radio, reporting details of liaison meetings etc. And as late as the middle of September, the Staff Chiefs were still issuing caveats that the invasion might come in East Anglia! There's a very good history of the timeline of intelligence on Sealion in David Newbold's thesis on the 1940 invasion preparations.

    Yes - the British thought they knew enough to warn Stalin repeatedly in the last few weeks that an invasion was imminent...but that could so easily have changed at the last moment, or been delayed.

    The question facing the British at THAT point then, was - DID we do enough on Crete to blunt the Luftwaffe's airborne capacity??? The Germans were turning out the various classes of MFPs, they had a far better "tailored" amphibious capacity in 1941 than they had in 1940 IF THEY DECIDED TO USE IT.

    IF Barbarossa didn't take place, IF we had got it wrong.....could all that assembled might have come bearing down on US at last? And had we done enough on Crete?
  3. peaceful

    peaceful Senior Member

    I can't isolate the options and look at them as operating independently

    I suppose that ground forces have an interest because my late dad was RAF ground crew but will excuse myself from the poll.


    Thought I was commenting on a new poll -- I don't know how to function in this day and age
    I'd best call it a day
  4. MarkVdK

    MarkVdK Junior Member

    I didn't know that Britain won the battle of Britain, I always thougt it was a matter of Britain not losing it.

    The most dangerous factors for the allied cause were the politicians.
  5. arnhem44

    arnhem44 Member

    I voted Fall of France...but I miss something about the Atlantik War.
    Over 1941 the UK got strangled by the German subs and other (air) raiders on their convoys.
    Quite hairy for Winston Churchill.
    Problem is that you can't pinpoint a day or a week in 1941 when it was worst.
    But still, it should have been mentioned on the list.

    ( Dutch Prime minister Gerbrandy on 1st meeting with Churchill: "goodbye", Churchills reply "yes, goodbye" (thinking : that was the quickest meeting I ever had).

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