Three Most Important Battles During Ww2

Discussion in 'General' started by ghvalj, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. ghvalj

    ghvalj Junior Member

    What do you guys think are the three most significantes battles during World War 2?
    I'd say Pearl Harbor, the battle in Moscou and Stalingrad(I only added this one cause of all the times I've heard about it, I'm still not sure why it's so important).

  2. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor

    For me the three would be: The Battle of Britain, Stalingrad and Midway.

    The Battle of Britain because it meant that the allies had a staging post into Europe, kept Britain in the war and was the start of everything that followed in Western Europe.

    Stalingrad: As is marked the first defeat of the German army in Russia and was the beginning of the turning of the tide there.

    Midway: As is marked the beginning of the end of the IJN and the start of the US domination of the Pacific.

    Moscow and Pearl Harbour are also important and would make up the rest of my top 5 moments because the defense of Moscow stopped the Axis defeat of Russia and Pearl Harbour because it marked the US's entry in the war which brought it's manufacturing might onto the side of the allies and meant the beginning of the end for the Axis powers aims of world domination.

    Moderation: Moved the topic to a more relevant place.

  3. adrian roberts

    adrian roberts Senior Member

    I couldn't argue with Gnomey here.: BofB, Stalingrad, Midway.

    There is a debate over whether the Germans could really have invaded even if they knocked out the RAF in the BofB, , but still it was the first major reverse that they suffered. The Germans lost a quarter of their experienced front-line aircrew dead or as POWs, and Galland siad after the war that the Luftwaffe was never the same again.

    Midway could have gone either way. The Americans had been having the worst of it, with the Yorktown in the process of sinking and the TBDs destroyed, but then a squadron of SBD Dauntless's discovered the four Japanese carriers refuelling their aircraft, with no fighter cover and fuel stacked on deck, and sank all except the Hiryu.
    Again, the IJN never recovered

  4. sappernz

    sappernz Member

    Battle of Britain, Midway and Stalingrad.
    The Battle of Britain was the most important as it stopped Hitler being able to fight on a single front. If Britain had fallen Germany would have total control of Europe and been able to attack Russia with a greater force and winning.
    I know it is fashionable to say thesedays that Hitler could not really have taken Britain but he tried bloody hard and the point is, failed.
    Midway was the battle that destroyed the Japanese carrier fleet and their strength after the battle of the Coral Sea halted the Japanese advance south.
    Stalingrad for the destruction of the German Sixth Army which allowed the Russian counter attacks to drive the Germans back
  5. Kaiser

    Kaiser Junior Member

    1. Battle of Britian- First sign of hope for the Allied forces and gave the Allies hope to keep on fighting.
    2. Midway- Evened the playing field between America and Japan
    3. Battle of the Buldge- Mark the end of German ability to fight back
  6. scott1964

    scott1964 Junior Member

    In the Pacific I would have to say: Midway, Coral Sea, and Philipinies in 1944/1945.

    In Europe I would ahve to say: Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, and Battle of the Bulge

    :) B)
  7. nolanbuc

    nolanbuc Senior Member

    I can't argue with the Battle of Britain, Stalingrad and Midway as the top three, but I'd like to offer an alternate three as well.

    El Alamein - A victory on a secondary front, to be sure, but it was the begining of the end for Rommel & Africa Korps, and it stopped the eastward push of the Axis towards the vital strategic points of the Suez Canal and the Middle East oil fields.

    Kursk - Largest tank battle and deadliest air engagement in history. Broke the back of the German army on the Eastern front. Also, destroyed Hitler's confidence in his generals.

    Guadalcanal - The real turning point in the Pacific War. Marked the turn from defensive action to offensive by the US vs. the Japanese. It was the first realization of the upperhand gained at Midway, and the beginning of the fulfilment of Yamamoto's prophecy of doom for the forces of Japan. Once Guadalcanal was taken, the Japanese's Pacific defense was breached, and one island-hoping invasion after another followed.

    Also, it's is interesting that noone has mentioned D-Day.
  8. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Can't just limit it to three battles. World War II was too huge. 46 million dead. Fighting on every continent except South America. Gunfire heard off of every continent. Many small battles had an impact outsize of their apparent significance. Hitler was furious about the Graf Spee battle, for example, and that impacted his handling of the war at sea forever after. When Bismarck was sunk, he forbade German warships operating in the Atlantic and sent them all to Norway. Other battles were fought far away from battlefields, like the British codebreaking and the American industrial mobilization. Churchill worried all though the war about the battle of the Atlantic and the convoys. Crete ended the use of the German parachute arm. The Battle of Khalkin-Gol may have doomed Japanse dreams of attacking Russia, which in turn may have freed the Siberian Army to fight at Moscow. There are so many ephemerals: Hitler's persecution of the Jews may have cost him the atomic bomb. The eccentric Lady Thelma Houston's donation of money to Supermarine provided Britain with the Spitfire. George Marshall's commitment to firepower and logistics and his appointment as chief of staff provided the US with an extremely well-supplied army. The Marines' study of amphibious warfare in the 1930s provided them with doctrine, while Andrew Jackson Higgins provided the Allies with the DUKW. Personally, I believe the critical weapons of the war were the jeep, the deuce-and-a-half, the jerrican, the C-47, the bulldozer, the Liberty Ship, modular construction, and codebreaking. World War II is a huge war, replete with many turning points.
  9. sappernz

    sappernz Member

    I agree with Kiwiwriter that WW2 was to huge to be limited to 3 battles affecting its outcome, but the original question was what do we think are the 3 most significant battles.
    There will always be battles that have a greater outcome on the wars end than others and one can ask would such and such a battle have been fought if another had been won or lost and so on.
    It is reasonable to state that for the poor soldier doing the actual fighting every battle he survived was significant.
  10. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    I suggest that if you were to ask any veteran what the most significant battles were he would reply "the one's I fought in"!!! I don't know about the other battles but I should have thought Kohima and Imphal (still the Forgotten Army) should be amongst the most important, for had the Japanese succeded in marching into India and linking up with the Germans the outcome of WW2 would have been very different. These battles inflicted the first and greatest land defeat the Japanese army ever had.
  11. nolanbuc

    nolanbuc Senior Member

    Originally posted by lionboxer@Apr 6 2005, 03:03 PM
    I suggest that if you were to ask any veteran what the most significant battles were he would reply "the one's I fought in"!!! I don't know about the other battles but I should have thought Kohima and Imphal (still the Forgotten Army) should be amongst the most important, for had the Japanese succeded in marching into India and linking up with the Germans the outcome of WW2 would have been very different. These battles inflicted the first and greatest land defeat the Japanese army ever had.
    [post=32953]Quoted post[/post]

    Excellent point! :)
  12. sappernz

    sappernz Member

    Who cares We won
  13. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by sappernz@Apr 7 2005, 04:07 AM
    Who cares We won
    [post=32969]Quoted post[/post]
    Future generations have to know how and why the war was won. They have to know the histiory of their nation, so they understand why they are where they are, and have to make the decisions they face. They have to learn moral lessons about good and evil, and life lessons about courage, sacrifice, teamwork, and commitment their values in everyday life. They have to know the truth, so that they do not fall prey to Holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis, demented ideologues, and cranks. They have to understand who and what they are, and why. They have to learn from the mistakes and the triumphs, so they what to do and what to avoid. They have to know, so that Kipling's sentence on every Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery is more than just an inscription: "Their Name Liveth For Ever More." That's what history is.
  14. Brownag

    Brownag Member

    A slightly different three from me, and in no particular order:

    1. D-Day Landings
    The Battle of Britain was significant but is it realistic to think the Germans could have invaded and captured Britain in 1940 even if they had air superiority? The successful landings and the opening of the third front in Europe (surely Italy counts as the second) definitely spelled the end for the Third Reich. Or to put it another way what would have happened if the landings had failed?

    2. Kursk.
    The defeat of the German armed forces in the largest Tank and Air Battle of the war along with their continued retreat and Hitler’s interference in the day to day waging of the war after this battle must make it a more decisive battle than Stalingrad. (And not Moscow either. The USSR could have lost Moscow and still won. 1812 anyone?)

    3. Capture of the Marianas Islands.
    The Enola Gay flew from Tinian Island in the Marianas in August 1945 to drop the A-Bomb on Hiroshima. You could argue that Midway led directly to the Marianas but even if the Allies had done nothing else against the Japanese on any front since the liberation of Tinian the Japanese would have still capitulated. That would not have been the case after Midway.

  15. Ryuujin

    Ryuujin Member

    Okay, I would say:

    Poland: If Poland had pulled back its forces behind the vistula and prepared for defencive raqther than offencive action Germany woul've been delayed c onsiderably allowing time for France to push germany over the siegfried line.

    Battle of France: If Hitler had been defeated here WW2 would've been defeated. In fact has France cut down the trees in the ardennes it would've slowed down Gudarian so much that his blitz wouldn't have been possible.

    Battle of Britain: For above reasons (in the thread) and may have convinced Hitler to attack russia for X reasons. (egding england on in the war etc (even though untrue)).
  16. Des

    Des Junior Member

    Where does Operation Bagration fit into the thinking? Surely worth a mention?

    I would also make a case for the Battle of the Atlantic ... what if that confrontation had been lost by the Allies?

  17. iwh

    iwh Junior Member

    I agree...Battle of the Atlantic was a key battle...certainly regarding the war in the West of Europe.

    Stalingrad...without a doubt...but El Alamein was also crucial. If lost, whole of Middle east under axis control..together with its oil and the Suez canal.
  18. irishguards9590

    irishguards9590 Junior Member

    I would agree with kiwiwriter. There were many turning points in WW2.
  19. sappernz

    sappernz Member

    The fact remains that the failure of the Germans to win the Battle of Britain means all other battles would probably never have been fought.
  20. blacksheep

    blacksheep Member

    What do you guys think are the three most significantes battles during World War 2?

    1. Battle of Britain,....significant because Hitler and the German Military machine were very much in control up until that time. The inability to defeat Britain was a pyschological step back that lead to Hitler's poor decision to look towards invading Russia. The Battle of Britain gave the allies hope, a moral victory.

    2. Midway...... Significant because the Japanese were in full force up until this battle, They were in control of the war in the Pacific. The outcome of this battle was more a psychological defeat for the Japanese due to their belief that the Americans were inferior to them. This victory gave the Americans a huge moral boost that empowered their forces and nation.

    3.Stalingrad....Significant because of the loss physically,( 6th German Army), and mentally, the german spirit on the Eastern front was severly damaged. Hitler's poor decision making and loss of faith in his military leaders during this battle contributed to minimal consultation with his own military experts from that time on. I believe the consequences of this battle, not only had Hitler question his officers credibility but his own. Hitler was too much of an ego maniac to accept that logic re: his own credibility but the loss at Stalingrad was colossal and morally devastating.

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