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Joris

Which battle was the turning point in World War II in Europe??

Tell us what you think!  

213 members have voted

  1. 1. At which battle did the tide of war change against Nazi Germany?

    • Battle of Britian
      51
    • Battle of Stalingrad
      108
    • Battle of Kursk
      20
    • Normandy Invasion
      31
    • Operation Torch
      2
    • I do not vote in polls
      1


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Looking back at World War II in Europe, what was the moment the war was lost for Germany? 

If you want to tell us about your choice, so much the better!

 

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1 hour ago, Joris said:

Looking back at World War II in Europe, what was the moment the war was lost for Germany? 

If you want to tell us about your choice, so much the better!

 

Hitler knows that he must defeat on this Island or lose the war.   Sir Winston  Summer 1941

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13 hours ago, Joris said:

Looking back at World War II in Europe, what was the moment the war was lost for Germany? 

If you want to tell us about your choice, so much the better!

 

The Pearl Harbor attack. Yes, it was that attack in the Pacific that brought the US into the war. With the motivation of that attack - the enormous population and industrial capacity of the US (combined with the resources and skills of our Allies the Canadians, the British, the French, etc) the war was lost for the Axis side. It is not realistic to talk about the war and just one of the Axis powers - it was a war against Japan, Italy, and Germany. 

The various conflicts that were listed all depended on the vast output of the US, and our untouched industries. Combine our population with the vast numbers of people that the Soviet Union was able to sacrifice, and the Axis just could not defend themselves. 

Edited by CharlesHouston
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I agree with Charles Houston. Operation Barbarossa (Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union) gave us hope; Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour gave us near-certainty that we, the Allies, would win the war, eventually. 

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On ‎01‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 4:22 PM, Robert Allan Kidd said:

Hitler knows that he must defeat on this Island or lose the war.   Sir Winston  Summer 1941

... If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be freed, and the life of the world may move forward into bright sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world - including the United States - including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into an abyss, made more sinister and perhaps more protracted by the lights of perverted science (Churchill 18 June 1940). 

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If we can disregard Pearl Harbor for now, which battle fought by Germany was the turning point?

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9 hours ago, Joris said:

If we can disregard Pearl Harbor for now, which battle fought by Germany was the turning point?

Ok - Normandy. Now that was a skirmish in comparison to battles on the Eastern Front but it marks when the Axis was fighting on two fronts - both of which had a flat path to Berlin. We were fighting in the Balkans and in Italy but they were both a long way from the German heartland and the Allies had a lot more serious obstacles to overcome. With the Russians coming from the East and now the rest of the Allies coming from France, Germany could not field enough people to defend it's homeland. 

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Surely Stalingrad.

Even some of the Germans thought that,once the Volga was reached then they were well on the way to achieving the A-A Line (Archangel to Astrakhan) which was their ultimate goal in the East.

 

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The invasion of itali into greece from october1940 - til may 1941

 

That is the turning point I think because hitler had to help the italians what delayd operation barbarossa whit several weeks so that the Germans get stuck in the mud and in winter .

If you take that weeks of delay of thy could have taken moscow in late summer instead of a winter battle

 

Edited by Johan
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16 hours ago, Johan said:

The invasion of itali into greece from october1940 - til may 1941

 

That is the turning point I think because hitler had to help the italians what delayd operation barbarossa whit several weeks so that the Germans get stuck in the mud and in winter .

If you take that weeks of delay of thy could have taken moscow in late summer instead of a winter battle

 

It's an interesting theory.

Did German activity in the Balkans delay Barbarossa enough so that the Axis forces had to contend with Russian Autumn mud and Winter snow ?

Similarly, might Russian successes in Siberia ( Khalkin Gol etc 1939) have deterred a Japanese invasion there in 1941 so that Stalin was able to deploy his Siberian troops before Moscow without risk ?

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3 hours ago, Philip Whitehouse said:

It's an interesting theory.

Did German activity in the Balkans delay Barbarossa enough so that the Axis forces had to contend with Russian Autumn mud and Winter snow ?

Similarly, might Russian successes in Siberia ( Khalkin Gol etc 1939) have deterred a Japanese invasion there in 1941 so that Stalin was able to deploy his Siberian troops before Moscow without risk ?

It also explain the germans missing enough supplies for the troops for fighting in winter conditions

Edited by Johan
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Failure to take Britain out of the war had incredible strategic implications for the Germans. A country with an empire, a massive navy and plenty of space to build bomber bases remained in the position to threaten their gains in the west.

With England (Britain) out of the war you can assume that the USA would not get involved, and if they would where would their staging area be? New York Harbor is a long way from Europe and Bombers couldn't fly that far. Not having a bomber threat meant that Germans could use the men (and woman) working the FLAK guns for something else.

It also meant that the Germans now had to start building the Atlantic Wall to defend their vulnerable coastline. The time, money and materials invested in it could then have been used elsewhere.

Invading Russia without taking out Britain was the turning point for me. 

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The beginning of the end started with the invasion of the Soviet Union but also moral was greatly improved with the battle of El Alamein after which we did not lose a battle. 

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On ‎07‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 3:54 PM, Joris said:

Failure to take Britain out of the war had incredible strategic implications for the Germans. A country with an empire, a massive navy and plenty of space to build bomber bases remained in the position to threaten their gains in the west.

With England (Britain) out of the war you can assume that the USA would not get involved, and if they would where would their staging area be? New York Harbor is a long way from Europe and Bombers couldn't fly that far. Not having a bomber threat meant that Germans could use the men (and woman) working the FLAK guns for something else.

It also meant that the Germans now had to start building the Atlantic Wall to defend their vulnerable coastline. The time, money and materials invested in it could then have been used elsewhere.

Invading Russia without taking out Britain was the turning point for me. 

And following on from Joris' remark: "Failure to take Britain out of the war...", the Axis powers' failure to take out Malta. By holding on to Malta, the British navy and air force were able to pretty well control attempts by Germany and Italy to supply and reinforce their armies in North Africa. This in turn pinned down German forces in North Africa - they had to defend themselves against British and Commonwealth forces - and they were stopped at El Alamein from advancing into the Mandate of Palestine and on towards the Caucasus mountains where they cause havoc to Soviet forced and help capture the oil fields around the Caspian Sea. Malta was strategically important out of proportion to its small size. And by the German forces being pinned down in North Africa by Britain and its allies in North Africa, this effective German war machine was prevented from joining the fighting anywhere on the Eastern Front. - I agree also with Philip Whitehouse that Italy's attack on the Balkans hampered Germany's military strength on the Eastern front both in terms of war material and the wastage of time in a 'silly' war that could have been avoided. 

Edited by Gunnar Sivertsen
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As for me, it was both Battle of Britain and Operation Barbarossa as a whole. Starting so huge offensive on the second edge of Europe without securing the back was a risky idea. If Operation Barbarossa would end a success before 1944... the Battle of Britain wouldn't be so significant as a loss and no Normandy would be possible, while the Allies in Italy would have a hard nut to crack. Operation Barbarossa was not a battle itself so my vote goes to Stalingrad too as it was a start of unstoppable counter-offensive that stopped only  in Berlin 1945. But again, if the UK would be somehow conquered - how many more German troops, supplies and machines could be moved toward Eastern Front? Scary to think, as the Stalingrad was won by a hair.

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On 1/8/2018 at 4:39 AM, Damian said:

my vote goes to Stalingrad too as it was a start of unstoppable counter-offensive that stopped only  in Berlin 1945. 

I can't agree on the "start of unstoppable counter-offensive" part. There were quite a few disaster that Red Army went through after the sacking of Paulus' army, including a horrible blunder at Rzhev immediately following Stalingrad. On the other hand, German Minister of Munitions Todt reportedly told Hitler that the war was lost already at the end of 1941.  

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On ‎01‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 12:00 PM, Joris said:

Looking back at World War II in Europe, what was the moment the war was lost for Germany? 

If you want to tell us about your choice, so much the better!

 

I think that the tide of the war changes around three  battles : Stalingrad - Alamein - Midway.

Of course, in the european theatre was Stalingrad.

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On ‎12‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 11:25 PM, CharlesHouston said:

Ok - Normandy. Now that was a skirmish in comparison to battles on the Eastern Front but it marks when the Axis was fighting on two fronts - both of which had a flat path to Berlin. We were fighting in the Balkans and in Italy but they were both a long way from the German heartland and the Allies had a lot more serious obstacles to overcome. With the Russians coming from the East and now the rest of the Allies coming from France, Germany could not field enough people to defend it's homeland. 

 

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What caused the Germans to lose the war was Stalingrad. Since Hitler attacked Russia he unleashed a beast on himself because he couldn't use self-control. Now he had to fight on two fronts and had lost a powerful ally. If he would of have been smart (good thing he wasn't) he would be able to focus his forces on one front and would have the military surplus from Russia.

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On 1/8/2018 at 4:39 AM, Damian said:

As for me, it was both Battle of Britain and Operation Barbarossa as a whole. Starting so huge offensive on the second edge of Europe without securing the back was a risky idea. If Operation Barbarossa would end a success before 1944... the Battle of Britain wouldn't be so significant as a loss and no Normandy would be possible, while the Allies in Italy would have a hard nut to crack. Operation Barbarossa was not a battle itself so my vote goes to Stalingrad too as it was a start of unstoppable counter-offensive that stopped only  in Berlin 1945. But again, if the UK would be somehow conquered - how many more German troops, supplies and machines could be moved toward Eastern Front? Scary to think, as the Stalingrad was won by a hair.

There was a slim chance if the nazis had won at Kursk. After that there was no chance.

The main turning point was the invasion of Poland. The nazis had insufficient armored forces and no 4 engine bomber. They also relied on horses too much to beat an industrialized America. They must have known that America would come in some day.

Hubris killed the fuehrer and wrecked Germany, not to mention lost it a lot of territory.

 

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On 12/4/2017 at 6:57 PM, Joris said:

If we can disregard Pearl Harbor for now, which battle fought by Germany was the turning point?

Pearl Harbour brought the USA to war with ONE of the Axis powers (Japan) but Hitler's assumption that if he declared war on the USA as well, then Japan would reciprocate and declare war on the USSR turned out to be badly mistaken.Russia's masterspy Richard Sorge had penetrated the Japanese command sufficiently to be able to assure his bosses back in Moscow that Japan would NOT go to war with Russia. SO, even although Germany had played no part in Pearl Harbour, the single action rippled outwards and in consequence left Germany at war with the USA. von Calusewitz's dictutm, in such circumstances, is that you concentrate on defeating the stronger enemy FIRST... and the USA decided that Germany WAS the stronger enemy.
Sorry Joris, but I don't think that the question makes much sense. War is about a great deal more than battles. (They say "Amateurs talk about tactics... professionals talk about logistics".) I recall reading a book, some while back, which disparaged the immense effort which the UK put into creating "special forces". After all.. what did the Commandoes actually ACHIEVE? Just a few pointless raids on occupied Europe. That's the VISIBLE part. The INVISIBLE part is the threat implicit in the enemy maintaining a force capable of making "tip and run" attacks ANYWHERE along thousands of miles of coastline, knowing that because they're fitter, better trained men than you have at your disposal, they'll "outsoldier" any enemies they encounter. You CANNOT stop them. In fact all you can do is garrison the coastline in the hope that you can hold them at the point of attack long enough to be able to bring in more and better defenders. Which involves millions of tons of concrete emplacements, and hundreds of thousands of troops wasting their time defending something that probably will never be attacked. But if it's left undefended... then the chances are that it will be. It's pretty much the OPPOSITE of a battle. But, nonetheless, it can win a war, by forcing your enemy to waste vast resources on essentially doing nothing - troops and resources which could otherwise have tipped the balance in a REAL battle somewhere.

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None on your list.  Winning the Battle of the Atlantic is what won the war in Europe.  Without the convoys getting through, England and Russia would have been knocked out of the war.  The real unsung heroes are the merchant marine and the navies escorts.  That is who should get the real credit.

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On 6/5/2018 at 10:20 PM, Joe Rich said:

None on your list.  Winning the Battle of the Atlantic is what won the war in Europe.  Without the convoys getting through, England and Russia would have been knocked out of the war.  The real unsung heroes are the merchant marine and the navies escorts.  That is who should get the real credit.

While not under-estimating the importance of winning the Battle of the Atlantic, I don't think it had much bearing on the war on the Eastern Front and the continuing involvement of the USSR.

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Phillip, Russia received huge amounts of materials from the Atlantic convoys.   I can't cite the amount, but just in raw materials, and fuel it help the Eastern front.   Some of the heaviest losses on convoys was on the Murmask route.  Germany hit them with subs, aircraft and ships.

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