Most Important Battles Of Wwii?

Discussion in 'General' started by Vanilla Coke Kid, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. Vanilla Coke Kid

    Vanilla Coke Kid Junior Member

    IMO, they are:

    Battle of Britain: Drove Jerry out of Britain.
    Stalingrad: Once Stalingrad was won Hitler knew he was screwed.
    El Alamein: First major British victory.
    Midway: Beginning of the end for the Japs.
    Sicily: Beginning of the end for the Italians.
    D-Day: Beginning of the liberation of Europe, which was planned since the early days of the war.
    Berlin: The final battle. If the Allies won the battle then they'd have won the war.

    One notable thing is that Stalingrad, El Alamein and Midway pretty much happened simaltaneously.
     
  2. paulyb102

    paulyb102 Member

    Battle of the Bulge, was the germans last offensive in the west, it was all downhill for the Germans after they lost this battle.
     
  3. Thomas McCall

    Thomas McCall Senior Member

    I'd say Stalingrad as after this on the Eastern Front the Germans were fighting on the back foot losing the Sixth Army couldn't have done much for german morale and the sheer numbers of men and materials lost was unbelievable.
    A possible 275,000 men were surrounded when the Red Army launched their final offensive to crush German resistance. The battle also helped to develope Soviet tactics like the operation to encircle Stalingrad, Operation Uranus launched in November 1942.
     
  4. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    As far as the war against Germany is concerned, I tend not to look at a particular crucial battle, but I think the key period was from el Alamein to the conclusion of the battle of Kursk. This period includes the decisive phase of Stalingrad, operation Torch and the clearance of Africa and the Sicily landings. It is the point at which the Germans definitely lost the initiative and never regained it.

    I personally am not at all sure that the Germans had any intention of invading Britain in 1940, so I have reservations about regarding the Battle of Britain as decisive militarily, although I think it was touch and go for a while whether Churchill's pro-war government could survive.
     
  5. Pte1643

    Pte1643 Member

    Hi

    With resect to Angie, nobody was sure, that Hitler did or didn't intend to initiate Operation Sealion and invade England. But the way they were "romping" through Europe the risk was there. We now have the benefit of hindsight, and can speculate that it is arguable whether the German forces had the manpower, equipment or intentions to do so at the time.

    Therefore it's my opinion that victory in the Battle of Britain was certainly a major turning point, maybe not the most decisive, but certainly one of them.

    I'm NOT pro American, but I'm also NOT Anti-American, but I do appreciate that we needed military help from the U.S. in order to drive Hitler from Europe. The British forces were simply not equiped, in numbers or kit, to do this alone. Just the same as we needed Stalin to "Open" another front in the East, further streching the German resources.

    Victory in the Battle of Britain ensured that Britain could provide the "Stepping Stone" needed for the Allies to invade Mainland Europe.

    But it's an argument military strategists will no doubt ponder for years to come.

    Best Regards.

    Mark
     

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  6. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Pte1643, I don't mind you having a different opinion to me. Yes, who can be sure about 1940? I am not, but over the years I have felt less and less inclined to regard a German invasion of Britian as probable.

    They didn't attempt it and the argument, therefore, is whether or not the Battle of Britain was the reason. If anyone wants to have this discussion, I will willingly take part.
     
  7. Pte1643

    Pte1643 Member

    Angie

    I have no concrete evidence, as to the importance of the BoB stopping the invasion of England in 1940. As I suposse no one has.
    In fact haven't we learnt that Hitler was even considering a truce with Churchill at this point?
    As was said in the original post, just stating an opinion, and giving my reason.

    But I can also see, as you stated, that another factor must have been Montgomery driving Rommel from North Africa. This would, and did, provide a platform from which to lauch the assault on Italy.

    The victory in North Africa also provided the country with a much needed morale boost as I believe it was regarded as the first substantial Allied (British) victory, at a time in the war when (probably the wrong choice of words...) not a lot was seen to be happening.

    It's good that people have differing opinions, it makes it possible to debate the subject, and hence learn other factors that may have not been personally considered.

    Just the same as...

    Was it really the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour that caused the Americans to join the war?

    I'm not so sure.

    Mark
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    My list:

    Battle of Britain
    Battle of the Atlantic
    Bismarck chase
    Crete (destruction of German parachute arm)
    Barbarossa
    Moscow
    Pearl Harbor
    Fall of Singapore
    Coral Sea and Midway
    Guadalcanal
    Alamein
    Torch
    Stalingrad
    New Guinea
    Barents Sea
    (all in the same 90 days)
    Kursk
    Strategic bombing of Europe
    Normandy
    Philippine Sea
    Leyte/Philippine invasion
    Burma campaign/Airlift to China
    Cobra/Falaise
    The Bulge
    US Submarine War in Pacific
    US bomber offensive on Japan
     
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Regarding Operation Sealion.(the plan to invade England) and the aftermath.

    Hitler was very cautious about this operation.He had seen the Luftwaffe performance inferior to that of the RAF in the Battle of Britain.Therefore air supremacy was something that he would have to have if he was to be able to mount a successful invasion of SE England.

    The other important point is that he possessed no invasion fleet.What he had was all but destroyed by Bomber Command during the Battle of Britain.He was known to be requisitioning any suitable barge for this purpose.The Germans did not have any invasion barges to hand.They expected to fight campaigns across land frontiers.The invasion of Britain was not in any plans laid down from 1937 on as were others which were revealed from German captured files.From when he came into power,Hitler along with his circle thought that Great Britain would never go to war again in Europe.He was confident of that until the fateful Sunday morning of 3 September 1939.There were no strategic plans to deal with Great Britain in his plans to wage war in the late 1930s.

    The exact truth about the Hess flight has never been revealed and will not be possibily be for some considerable time.Hitler wanted an assurance that Western Europe would be inert as a war front while he then had freedom of action in the East.This would pave his way for his first love,that of lebensraum in the East,the invasion of Russia to claim territory up to the Urals, seize the Ukraine and create his Germanic kingdom.At this time his thoughts were on a Germany stretching from Calais to the Urals.

    Hess's mission to make peace feelers with leading elements of the British establishment failed.Hitler never a patience military figure was anxious to invade Russia.He abandoned Sealion and initiated Barbarossa later than planned by almost two months.In doing so, that formidable "General Winter" came to Stalin's aid before the gates of Moscow in December 1941.It was the start of the first German military crisis,the failure to take Moscow.
     
  10. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    The German plans for Sea Lion were hilarious by Anglo-American 1944 and 1945 standards. The Germans planned to use powered tugs and barges to drag tied unpowered barges across the channel, and land horses in the first wave. They had nothing remotely approaching the Allied paraphernalia of 1944: no LSTs, no LCT ®s, no DUKWs, no Weasels, no "funnies" beyond a few amphibious tanks. My favorite comment on the Sea Lion planning comes from Admiral Ruge, who was asked by Jodl or some other big shot what he thought of the plans, and Ruge said, "Well, as we are sailing across the Channel at a speed lower than Julius Caesar's legions, I don't think much of it!" :lol:
     
  11. Friedrich H

    Friedrich H Senior Member

    The Luftwaffe could not achieve absolute air supremacy over Great Britain in autumn 1940. The Kriegsmarine could not land and supply 10 German divisions across the Channel. The Battle of Britain convinced the Germans and the British of that and showed the world that Germany was not invenceable.

    As for the most important battles:

    Midway (the IJN's main arm was destroyed)
    Guadalcanal (first and greatest defeat on land by the Japanese)
    Kohima-Imphal (definite defeat of the Japanese in Asia)

    Atlantic (ensured Great Britain's and the US's participation in the European war)
    'Operation Barbarossa' (doomed Germany)
    Malta (won the battle for the entire Mediterranean)
    Stalingrad (crippled the German armed forces forever)
    Kursk (definately took away Germany's limited initiative)
    'Operation Bagration' (one of the greatest 'lightning wars' ever)
    Berlin (one of the greatest battles ever fought)
    Normandy (ensured Allied victory in the western front)
     
  12. Timtom

    Timtom Junior Member

    WWII was a war of attrition...
     
  13. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Decisive Battles of the war??

    I think Stalingrad is right to have been called the "Graveyard of the Wehrmacht". The loss of nearly 300,000 men meant that the Germans were unable to project any strategic influence over the Eastern Front from that point on.

    In the Pacific it has to be Midway as the Japanese lost their entire Carrier Fleet and their most potent offensive arm was blunted. It was a blow from which it never recovered.

    The Battle of Britain was notable only in that it proved that Germany was not invincible. But the British were unable to capitalise on it at that time due to the Army's equipment being left in France following the Debacle of the defence of the Low countries and France. I dont think Britain was in mortal danger as I believe that the Royal Navy and the RAF still could amply defend the Island. But it sent out a wondeful message of hope that in those dark days, someone was prepared to stand up to evil and succesfully oppose it.
     
  14. GUMALANGI

    GUMALANGI Senior Member

    Originally posted by Gotthard Heinrici@Mar 9 2005, 02:14 PM
    Decisive Battles of the war??

    I think Stalingrad is right to have been called the "Graveyard of the Wehrmacht". The loss of nearly 300,000 men meant that the Germans were unable to project any strategic influence over the Eastern Front from that point on.

    In the Pacific it has to be Midway as the Japanese lost their entire Carrier Fleet and their most potent offensive arm was blunted. It was a blow from which it never recovered.

    [post=32032]Quoted post[/post]

    agreed,..
    after Stalingrad.. Losing couple, not one, of good panzer army, much superior training of German forces of 330,000 troops, it was equivalent to more than 10% of its initial manpower when hitler started barbarossa a year earlier,..which can be better off fighting germans enemy else where
    fuehrer simply lost trust over his army and tended to sided on SS waffen after then

    and midway,.. losing 4 of its major carrier,.. IJN was simply a boxer without a fist.
     
  15. sappernz

    sappernz Member

    The Battle of Britain is the most important battle of WW2. It was only the fact that Germany switched from attacking airfirlds to bombing cities that saved Great Britain. Dowding stated this himself. The invasion plans were laughable but the ability of Germany to bomb Britain into seeking a peace were very real, and do not forget, many British people were in favour of a settlement with Hitler. There was even one Minister, whoose name I forget, that was still in contact with Germany during the Blitz, ( Churchill was unaware of this at the time). As long as Britain was unconquered Germany was forced to keep extra divisions in France which weakened the attack on Russia. Some of the battles mentioned would probably never had been fought and the others would have had Germany winning. I cannot understand this hindsight view point that relegates the Battle of Britain to a seemingly lesser status. It prevented Germany from waging war on a single front and thus was responsible for the Allied victory.
     
  16. Dpalme01

    Dpalme01 Member

    Originally posted by Pte1643@Jan 8 2005, 06:49 PM
    Hi

    With resect to Angie, nobody was sure, that Hitler did or didn't intend to initiate Operation Sealion and invade England. But the way they were "romping" through Europe the risk was there. We now have the benefit of hindsight, and can speculate that it is arguable whether the German forces had the manpower, equipment or intentions to do so at the time.

    Therefore it's my opinion that victory in the Battle of Britain was certainly a major turning point, maybe not the most decisive, but certainly one of them.

    I'm NOT pro American, but I'm also NOT Anti-American, but I do appreciate that we needed military help from the U.S. in order to drive Hitler from Europe. The British forces were simply not equiped, in numbers or kit, to do this alone. Just the same as we needed Stalin to "Open" another front in the East, further streching the German resources.

    Victory in the Battle of Britain ensured that Britain could provide the "Stepping Stone" needed for the Allies to invade Mainland Europe.

    But it's an argument military strategists will no doubt ponder for years to come.

    Best Regards.

    Mark
    [post=30539]Quoted post[/post]


    I agreee with you on the point that America was needed to defeat Germany for the western Allies. I dont know if you were trying to say this, but I dont think America was needed to keep Germany off of Britain. Britain was doing very well on their own, considering their size vs. the size of Fortress Europe. They would have probably lost Africa, but Germany could not have crossed the channel. One of the reasons why overlord was succsseessffull (sp?) was because the Germans had no clue where the Allies were going to land, and so they had to spread their defences so thinly. The british however could have focused all their defenses to a reletively small area. The whole coast of England all the way around was almost smaller than the coast tha the Germans had to defend. Even if Battle of Britain was won by the Germans, I dont think Sealion would have been sucesful (sp?), partly because the Luftwaffe was only aiming for civilian targets, but partly because even without the RAF, Britain could have held off the Germans I am however, almost sure that hitler would have still tried invading England had the Americans not come in when they did. He would not settle for less.

    I would have to say that the most important battle of WWII was the invasion of Poland. That sort of awakened Britain and France to the fact that Hitler wasn't as nice of a guy as he said he was.
     
  17. 8th KRI

    8th KRI Member

    From reading the views and talking to those who took part my vote goes to El Alamein, the first major victory giving both a strategic foothold and a well needed morale boost.
    Chris
     
  18. ElHulio99

    ElHulio99 Junior Member

    The battle of the bulge was pretty interesting b/c if hitler would have thrown it the other way at Russia then we might have gotten to berlin before them
     
  19. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    I would have to say that the most important battle of WWII was the invasion of Poland. That sort of awakened Britain and France to the fact that Hitler wasn't as nice of a guy as he said he was.

    I suppose you could say it was an important battle because it not only showed Hitler's true colours but also showed Stalin as a despot and opportunistic murdering dictator who was to be respected whilst he was an ally, however never to be trusted as a friendly power.

    Though I am an Aussie, Tobruk gets my vote as Australian 6th Div helped take it, 9th Div and the British held onto it. Tobruk was a thorn in the side of Rommel. While he could go around Tobruk, he knew that not crushing that Garrison of Desert Rats forestalled any plans he had for taking the Suez.

    El Alamein is a question mark had these brave men not endured long enough for the allies to build that army.

    It gets my vote because with North Africa won, the Sicilian campaign could go ahead and stretch the German forces even further.
     
  20. hunter07

    hunter07 Junior Member

    Quite a few of you put the battle of Britain as the most decisive battle of WWII. I am not sure why but I am not going to argue. According to History Channel and few other historians (sorry can not remmember any names, pretty sure Beevor and Glantz in that list) battle of Stalingrad was the turning point of WWII. It showed that German not only can be stopped "battle of Moscow" but can also be defeated and outmanoeuvered. However, in my personal opinion the battle of Kursk was the most important battle. There was no way Germany could have recovered after that defeat.
    And for those of you who believe that battle of Britain was more important (and I am not trying to take away the importance of that victory) there were more planes shut down just on the first day of battle of Kursk than the whole battle of Britain, according to Glantz "When Titans Clash" and "Battle of Kursk". So I am not arguing about the importance but the scale and military forces involved of the battle of Kursk was definitely a lot larger than in the battle of Britain.
     

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