Three Most Important Battles During Ww2

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

  1. L J

    L J Senior Member

    The disposition of the Red Army prior to the GP War was in military districts, which would transform into army groups at the first sign of war.
    I mean the following:the mechanized corps were concentrated in the saillants of Bialystok and Lwow,where theu were an easy prey for the Germans .
    In 1941,the SU lost 134O5 tanks,of which 3324 in june,and 3490 in the first 10 days of july;the reason was the Russian strategic disposition .
  2. Jen'sHusband

    Jen'sHusband Punchbag

    In my opinion, the 'big three' are Kohima (cheekily counting Imphal), D-Day and the battle of Stalingrad.

    They're obvious choices but I think they're pivotal because each represented, in its own way, a significant turning point.

    Like most, I consider a number of battles to be crucial (if not all but that's another story) and have trouble keeping it to just three.
  3. once again I can just express "my" opinion

  4. Spañiard

    Spañiard Junior Member

    The Battle of Verrières Ridge.
  5. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    The Battle of Britain - The Royal Navy would have been hit hard in the Straights of Dover opposing Sealion, without aircover

    The Battle of the Atlantic

    The Normandy Invasion

    Imphal - Kohima was only one small aspect of this battle which reversed the Japanese march on India. The British and Indian armies put into practice an entirely new way to fight.

    The fighting in front of Moscow

    The battle of Midway

    OK so there are six but sticking to the rules when they don't make sense is the mindset of the bureaucrat!

    There are one or two suggestions that are interesting but I just can't see them (El Alamein, Falaise, Dieppe etc). They didn't change an entire theatre or if they did, in the case of El Alemein, the impact would not have been as catastrophic as the six above. If I had to drop one I would drop Imphal for the same reason as El Alemein - taking India with a few divisions would have been a struggle without wholescale Indian cooperation (but would they have got it from some when they 'liberated' the sub-continent?).

  6. Gilespenn

    Gilespenn Junior Member

    Not being as knowledgeable as most of you (I'm very impressed by this thread), I think the three battles have to be linked to the three men who, by sheer force of personality and character, won the war. All three faced up to populations who didn't really want to engage in a battle to the death. All three faced up to political opposition which might have taken their countries out of the way of war. So, for me, the three battles were Churchill's willingness to take on Lord Halifax, Roosevelt's willingness to stand firm against American isolationism and Japanese expanionism in the Pacific and Stalin's final understanding that he must commit "mother Russia" to the battle for her life.

    Sorry if I'm not following the thread exactly, but the battles I think most important took place in the minds of these three men. In my view, Hitler was banking on these three men caving in, one way or another. The fact that they stood up to his madness was, for all of us, our salvation as a culture and free people.
  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Fair comment on three men who stood up to pacifists - in their own ways - however I would take issue with Rooseveldt being against isolationism as it was more the friendship with Litvinoff the Russian Ambassador before FDR became president around 1928 - that changed his mind - this friendship lasted throughout the war- and some think that this caused FDR to allow Stalin entry into Central Europe for 40 years post war - plus the activities of Japan to destroy the Empires of Britian - Holland and France in the far East as was admitted by his son in a book I read many years ago - as an answer to Churchill's query on their first meeting of "Did FDR wish to destroy the British Empire " the title being forgotten by now ! All this against the warnings of Churchill ! Plus the weakening of the forces of both 8th and 5th armies in Italy to prevent us gaining the the plains of Hungary / Poland to prevent the Stalin entry into Europe - it was Stalin who promoted the South of France landings on the pretext that George Marshall wanted more ports to land troops direct from the US..

    different aspect there ...not land battles but battles nevertheless....
  8. Gilespenn

    Gilespenn Junior Member

    Hi Tom and thank you for that info on Roosevelt. I don't want to start another thread here, so I'll leave it at that. At some point I'll put together some research on this issue and start a thread. Or perhaps all these issues have been well covered in this excellent forum (I'm a new member and extremely impressed).
    Regards to all
  9. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Gilespenn - look forward to your research as I can't think of the name of the son's book but the critical phrase written - burned itself into my memory box was : -

    " the reason that many Americans are dying in the Pacific is owing to the greed of the British - Dutch and French empires in the area pre-war - we cannot allow that to happen again "

    All three Empires disappeared shortly after the war !
  10. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    The Battle of the Atlantic
    D Day
    The Battle of Imphal
    The Battle of Midway
    The Battle of Stalingrad

  11. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    El Alamein - huge turning point in the war to gain access to southern europe

    Stalingrad - stopped Hitler turning right, getting the oil fields and joining up with the Balkans

    Op PLUNDER - must have been so soul destroying for the morale of the thousand year reich to have the allies on the soil of the fatherland en-masse
  12. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Capt. Bill
    Whilst I would agree that El Alamein was the turning point of the European(sic) war - it was not to open up Southern Europe - but rather to show that the much vaunted German Army could be beaten - by professionalism - especially by Monty.

    If you recall he had taken over the 8th army at a very low point in their morale on Aug 12th when he told all of them how to beat Rommel - at that time - 8th army had heard it all before - so hopes were not quite so high - then he reorganised Alum El Halfa - with the firm instructions to stay put and not chase after the DAK ....which was a new concept - it worked to the extent that Rommel was alleged to have said to Kesselring that " the swine did not come out " - vindicating Monty's new tactics.

    Then before El Alamein, Monty told the army how he would "hit him for six out of Africa " - 8th army then believed this little man still with his white knees and funny hat ! this is now history as we collected 250,000 POW's at Tunis /Cap Bon and just after Stalingrad - so no victory at Alum el Halfa - no El Alamein !

  13. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Maybe my wording could have been a little more accurate - I ment that it signified the strt to the end, a major decisive battle that then led onto victory in N Africa upon which access to S European mainlain was gained
  14. Havoc

    Havoc Junior Member

    I am going to pick those battles that had far reaching effects on other campaigns rather than particular decisive battles such as Kursk, Normandy or the Destruction of the Central Army group by the Red Army n August 1944:-
    Battle of Norway 1940:- While a ‘Victory’ for the Germans on land it saw over half the German Surface fleet destroyed and much of the rest damaged. Also many of the transport ships were lost during the campaign. This left the Germans unable to interdict the efforts of the Royal Navy in its efforts to evacuate the BEF and French Forces from Dunkirk. Also it made the threat of a German invasion of the UK pretty much Null and void. The task of Invading the UK would have been a very hard task with the entire pre-war strength of the German Navy – with only 4 Destroyers and a heavy Cruiser fit for purpose and a few dozen knackered U Boats (in desperate need of a refit and overhaul by mid 1940) – the task becomes impossible. The knock on effect was that Britain stayed in the fight with all of the repercussions that entails.

    Battle for Malta 1939 – 1942:- The failure of Italian and German Air forces (and indeed no attempted invasion) to reduce the islands ability to support Submarines and bombers, had massive and far reaching effects as to the conduct of the war. The Africa Korp’s and Italian Armies biggest problem (Other than the 8th Army) during the Desert war was supplies – they never had enough largely due to the efforts of sub flotilla 10 and the various bomber units that interdicted the resupply routes between Italy and North Africa. Had the Axis won the desert war then it would have threatened the Oil supplies from the Middle East, cut the Suez Canal, and possibly forced the Turks into joining the Axis. It might even have opened up a new front in southern Russia.
    Conversely the Axis failure resulted ultimately in one of the first major defeats of the German Army on land and by the end of 1943 the capitulation of Italy and a second front vs Germany.

    Pearl Harbour:- The failure of the Japanese Fleet to capitalise on its one chance of inflicting a decisive defeat on the US Navy. Regardless of the ‘missing aircraft carriers’, the Japs inflicted relatively little damage on the US Fleets ability to conduct its business. Other than the damage inflicted on Battleship row it did not attempt to attack submarines, Destroyers or other targets such as Fuel tanks and supply warehouses or indeed attempt to damage the shipyards in anyway. Having destroyed/disabled the majority of the US Airplanes on the ground effectively gaining air superiority the fleets should have launched as many attacks as was necessary and suffered further aircrew losses in order to destroy as many ships as possible and render the docks useless. Failure to damage the docks allowed it to continue to act as a forward staging area for the US Fleet and (for example) the shipyards remaining undamaged allowed the USS Yorktown to be fixed in time for the Battle of Midway – it was her aircraft that helped tip the balance in that battle. Had she had to sail to San Diego for repairs.....? And as for not attacking the Submarines or their facilities – they went on to succeed against the Japanese where the U-boats failed vs. the British.

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