Pivotal Battles

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Lon
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Post by Lon »

lilafran wrote: What do you think was the most privotal allied victory in WWII and why?



Lila
In the war against the Japanese Empire there were three events in a pretty short time frame that in my view were pivotal. First the "Dolittle's Raid" on the Japanes homeland did little damage but showed the Japanese their vulnerability. Secondy, "Battle of the Coral Sea" followed by the "Battle of Midway". After these two sea battles, the two navies were essentially on a par, wheras the Japanese had greater superiority prior.
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Post by gmc »

Battle of Britain for rather obvious reasons.
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Post by Bothwell »

For Britain not a battle at all but an evacuation (excuse me) Dunkirk.

For the USA from what I have read it was Midway
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Post by Raven »

Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nothing stands so starkly alone in it's influence.
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Lon
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Post by Lon »

Raven wrote: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nothing stands so starkly alone in it's influence.
With all due respect----these two events were the "coup de gras" and ended the war, not pivotal.
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Post by Raven »

Lon wrote: With all due respect----these two events were the "coup de gras" and ended the war, not pivotal.
okay.......since we're 'nit-picking' :-2

I'd say the most pivotal would be the battle of the bulge. That began the end for Germany.

As the US was fighting a war on two fronts, I would say Midway turned the tide in the Pacific.
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Lon
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Post by Lon »

On the European Front, the "Battle of Kursk" between the Russians and Germans, May 4th, 1943 was pivotal. It was the biggest clash of Armour in history, with 900,000 Germans & 1,300,000 Russians. Oddly enough, not many have ever heard of it.





http://zhukov.mitsi.com/Kursk.htm
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Post by greydeadhead »

Hmmm.. I would have to say the Normandy invasion in Europe.. and in the Pacific.. Midway..
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Post by Raven »

Lon wrote: On the European Front, the "Battle of Kursk" between the Russians and Germans, May 4th, 1943 was pivotal. It was the biggest clash of Armour in history, with 900,000 Germans & 1,300,000 Russians. Oddly enough, not many have ever heard of it.





http://zhukov.mitsi.com/Kursk.htm
We just saw a program on it.
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Post by gmc »

posted by Raven

okay.......since we're 'nit-picking'

I'd say the most pivotal would be the battle of the bulge. That began the end for Germany.

As the US was fighting a war on two fronts, I would say Midway turned the tide in the Pacific.




Actually there are many that if lost would have changed the course of the war, Cape Matapan, Taranto, Battle for Malta, If those had been lost there would have been no victory in the mediterranean or middle east (oil, sound familiar) therefore no El Alemain or invasion of North Africa, sicily, Italy.

Battle of the North Atlantic, if that had been lost we'd have had it. There would have been no Normandy invasion or battle of the bulge the latter was a last fling for Hitler it bwould only have delayed the inevitable if he'd won.

Agree with you about Midway and also battle of the coral sea. On paper the Japanese advantage was so great they should have walked it.

How about Taranto? that's what supposedly convinced the Japanese an attack on Pearl Harbour would work and they set about designing shallow water torpedoes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwtwo/ ... ntic.shtml

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Wild Weasil
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Post by Wild Weasil »

Market Garden, the allied airborne invasion of Holland September 1944.

If it would have succeded then the way to the Rhur and Berlin would have been opened, the western allies would have been able to finish the war further east and possibly thwarted Soviet influence in Europe.

Market Garden could have worked, but it did'nt. The fact that it failed condemned eastern Europe to decades of tyrany.
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Post by kensloft »

The invasion of Sicily. The start of the allied campign for Italy. For their battles they were called the d-day dodgers by the Normandy invaders a couple of years after the landings in Sicily. Wound up in the battle of the bulge.
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Post by Raven »

gmc wrote: posted by Raven



Actually there are many that if lost would have changed the course of the war, Cape Matapan, Taranto, Battle for Malta, If those had been lost there would have been no victory in the mediterranean or middle east (oil, sound familiar) therefore no El Alemain or invasion of North Africa, sicily, Italy.

Battle of the North Atlantic, if that had been lost we'd have had it. There would have been no Normandy invasion or battle of the bulge the latter was a last fling for Hitler it bwould only have delayed the inevitable if he'd won.

Agree with you about Midway and also battle of the coral sea. On paper the Japanese advantage was so great they should have walked it.

How about Taranto? that's what supposedly convinced the Japanese an attack on Pearl Harbour would work and they set about designing shallow water torpedoes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwtwo/ ... ntic.shtml

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I've really been thinking about this.

The MOST pivotal, IMO, would be the battle of Britain. If Britain would have lost that,........we would probably be discussing this in german. It was only by luck, the US deciphered the plans for midway. When Japan bombed Pearl, Hawaii wasnt a state yet. But when the US declared war on Japan, Germany, in turn declared war on the US. If Britain had lost the sky to the luftwaffe, Germany would have invaded Britain first, instead of Russia. The US didnt have the ability to wage war on both fronts alone. Thankfully the redcoats prevailed! :yh_bigsmi
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Post by gmc »

posted by scrat

If Hitler had been bombing your airfields instead of London and setting the wolfpacks off of your ports you would have been starved into submission by 1942 but even then Hitler could not discount the need for resources from the east. Britiain had very little economic value to his war efforts other than your holdings in the mideast and even those were of dubious value.


Actually he did bomb the airfields, it was a close run thing as the saying goes, The switch away from the airfields was fortuitous but we still had plenty up north out of range that had'nt been touched so the squadrons could be rotated. As to the ports you forget we still had the Royal Navy if it was possible for him to station U-boats off our ports successfully what makes you think he wouldn't have done so? The atlantic ports are on the west of Britain to get to them they had to go through the North sea, which is why Scapa flow was so important as a naval base. The channel was too narrow that's why they used e-boats there instead. By 1942 we were beginning to turn the tide in in the North Atlantic. As to the middle east it was all about oil, if we had lost there Hitler would have had all the oil he needed.

Hitler was convinced we wouldn't fight on alone.

I doubt very much the Reich would have been secure with a new and modern Russian army on the approaches of europe in 1943. I certainly know Russia would not have felt secure with the Reich next door either so I feel safe in saying that there would have been conflict at some point on a massive scale by 1950.


I do agree with you there. I have seen it suggested that the success of the finns in holding of the Russians was one of the things that convinced him he could take on Russia by the same token the Russians had a rethink after the war with the finns.
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Post by gmc »

posted by scrat

Yes on a few occasions they did, they even obliterated some of them but the key was air superiority which the Luftwaffe never attained. This was why they could not put the wolfpacks in the channel and around the ports and had to keep them at sea. A submarine can be spotted and killed very easily from the air in shallow water whereas a ship has little if any chance of spotting the sub that kills it.

Had they gained the dominance of the air and sea Britains Navy would have been helpless along with the whole island


That is rather the point of why the battle of britain was so significant, if we had lost air superiority we would have been in deeper trouble than we were.

It's a bit pointless debating what would have happened had we lost since we didn't.

Do bear in mind at this point we were on our own with no one giving much for our chances.

This phase of the war (Russo-German) and the Donetsk campaign were pivotal in the war. If Hitler had kept his word with Stalin the face of this world would be different than it is now. America would have never gotten a foothold in Europe.

We would have finished off the Japanese though.




Very true, but if the US had lost at Midway it would have taken an awful lot longer. That was an amazing achievement-at that point in the war the Japanese outclassed the US with better aircraft and more of them.
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Post by gmc »

I don't think you can say that there was ONE battle that was pivotal, there were many that made a difference. All the bits are interconnected, for example the the arctic convoys that were crucial in the early days of the eastern front. If we had decided not to keep fighting Russia wouldn't have had that support so maybe Hitler might have got to moscow. You can't really look at things in isolation because that is not the way things happen.
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Post by gmc »

posted by scrat

As I said earlier, campaigns win and lose wars, not battles. This is the one that broke the back of Germany.


Essentially i think we are in agreement, there is no one battle that turned the course of the war, the closest claimant is perhaps Kursk but without everything that led up to it it wouldn't have happened, without the Battle of Britain Hitler wouldn't have had to keep so many aircraft commited to the west or lost so many of his most experienced combat pilots, without the middles east losses there would have been more german aircraft available for the Russian front etc etc



http://www.mgtrust.org/ww2.htm

http://www.mgtrust.org/aao.htm
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Post by kensloft »

gmc wrote: posted by scrat



Essentially i think we are in agreement, there is no one battle that turned the course of the war, the closest claimant is perhaps Kursk but without everything that led up to it it wouldn't have happened, without the Battle of Britain Hitler wouldn't have had to keep so many aircraft commited to the west or lost so many of his most experienced combat pilots, without the middles east losses there would have been more german aircraft available for the Russian front etc etc



http://www.mgtrust.org/ww2.htm

http://www.mgtrust.org/aao.htm


History is, as a rule, written by the victors. The Sicilian campaign forced the Germans to begin their retreat and withdrawl from these regions which, incidentally, included the middle east and culminated in the complete destructon of the German forces in 1945. Campaigns and not battles win wars.

This campaign resulted in the creation of the reality that the Germans were alone in their battle to subjugate the world, under their new order, by removing their allies in Europe from the theater. It meant that retreat was their only option. It forced them to put their forces into a theater that would allow the allies to hammer them in a smaller area rather than the spread out cancer that they were.
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Post by john8pies »

Some excellent and interesting posts here.

I`d personally like to hope that just remembering that all

battles and wars led to the death of zillions of humans , and that hopefully there will eventually be no more wars necessary. I don`t hold my breath though! :-5

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