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

Tell us what you think!  

225 members have voted

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

    • Battle of Britian
      54
    • Battle of Stalingrad
      113
    • Battle of Kursk
      23
    • Normandy Invasion
      33
    • Operation Torch
      2
    • I do not vote in polls
      1


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25 minutes ago, Joe Rich said:

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.

Agreed. By the end of 1941, Stalin's losses in assets, materials and production capacity are estimated at 85%. It would be very hard for him to overcome this without the Lend-Lease shipments. 

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My Grandfather was a merchant seaman during WW2, and returned on leave to see his family in Bristol. He got there during an air raid, and (unbeknown to him) a previous raid had caused the nearest public bomb shelter to flood.(A bomb had broken the watermain) He walked down the (unexpectedly wet) steps down to the (empty) shelter, slipped, and landed at the bottom of the steps - with a broken ankle. Which probably saved his life: his ship's next convoy was PQ-13 to Murmansk. Not many ships survived the trip.

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13 hours ago, Joe Rich said:

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. 

I have read, and also watched TV documentaries which 'clearly' says that these convoys had only a marginal effect on the Soviet war machine. Those who were onboard those ships were real heroes, but in terms of military value....For instance: Airplanes like the Hawker Hurricane was a big disappointment to the Russian pilots; many british tanks were not at all suited for the Eastern Front, and as for the Shermans...Yes, all this Atlantic help speeded up the Soviet juggernaut, but it would hardly been defeated by the Nazis even without this help. 

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George, that goes to my point that winning the Battle of the Atlantic won the war in Europe.  Hitler could not have realistically hoped to win in Europe if he was half sane.  He should have known he would be up against the united forces of the UK, the industrial might of the US and the vast amount of Russian country and manpower.  But, I don't know anyone today that would call Hitler bright on the larger picture of the war.

  Heck, by 1943, the US and Canada were producing more ships than Germany could sink.  That is not even getting into the manpower reserves and the technology that the UK and the US brought to the table.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hans Werther said:

I have read, and also watched TV documentaries which 'clearly' says that these convoys had only a marginal effect on the Soviet war machine. 

I would be surprised if it was the other way around. Particulalry in Russia, you could be put away for even hinting at the allies' role as being anywhere close to significant. But timelines and numbers don't normally lie. Narratives do very often, however. 

Edited by George Collins

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Hans, In reference to the Lend-Lease Act, and the supplies it sent to Russia I found this:

During the lend-lease debate, opponents had tried to exclude the Soviet Union from the program. But American strategists knew that only the Red Army could defeat Hitler on the ground, and lend-lease would help do just that. U.S. aid constituted only about 7 percent of what the Soviet Union itself produced during the war, but it did allow the Soviets to concentrate their production in the most efficient manner. Lend-lease to Russia was, for Roosevelt, much more than just a wartime aid program. It could demonstrate the benefits of the American system and promote mutual trust, all key elements in Roosevelt's postwar plans. It was, therefore, presidential policy to promise to give the Russians almost everything they requested. Misunderstandings and resentment resulted when supply requirements to other theaters made it impossible to deliver. The Cold War prevented a formal lend-lease settlement with the Russians until June 1990, when, with the Soviet system on the verge of collapse, a repayment agreement (for nonmilitary goods) was reached.

Lend-lease, what Churchill had called "the most unsordid act," was an immensely successful wartime aid program, one that set the stage for the U.S. foreign aid programs that followed. Lend-lease was designed to help win the war without leaving behind a residue of war debts and recriminations, and it did just that.

I pulled this off:encyclopedia.com

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Joe Rich said:

U.S. aid constituted only about 7 percent of what the Soviet Union itself produced during the war

I pulled this off:encyclopedia.com

Joe, the key here is how these 7% are calculated, particularly what period of time is being used to derive to the Soviet production baseline. If it includes pre-June 1941 numbers, it is meaningless. I've already mentioned that the USSR lost most of its original production capacity, assets and materials between June and December of 1941.

Edited by George Collins

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3 hours ago, Joe Rich said:

Hans, In reference to the Lend-Lease Act, and the supplies it sent to Russia I found this:

During the lend-lease debate, opponents had tried to exclude the Soviet Union from the program. ..The Cold War prevented a formal lend-lease settlement with the Russians until June 1990, when, with the Soviet system on the verge of collapse, a repayment agreement (for nonmilitary goods) was reached.

 

I pulled this off:encyclopedia.com

I don't know if I have got it right, but Lend-Lease was suddenly stopped without warning, and without any discussions even before the end of WWII. Not only Russia, but also Great Britain were cut off from further aid. 

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Hans wrote;  I don't know if I have got it right, but Lend-Lease was suddenly stopped without warning, and without any discussions even before the end of WWII. Not only Russia but also Great Britain was cut off from further aid.

  I think your facts are off on this.  Lend-Lease went on well into WW 2.  Can you give me your source?

 

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12 hours ago, George Collins said:

Joe, the key here is how these 7% are calculated, particularly what period of time is being used to derive to the Soviet production baseline. If it includes pre-June 1941 numbers, it is meaningless. I've already mentioned that the USSR lost most of its original production capacity, assets and materials between June and December of 1941.

Meaningless anyway. There were some areas of production where the USSR was simply so far behind as not to even be IN the race. Like the Radio gear which allowed T34 tanks to communicate with each other. (in 1940, they were communicating using flags and semaphore - NOT radio. A unit leader would have a radio set to communicate with HQ, and having received orders, he'd pop up out of his turret, and pass on the orders by waving the flags about. It's a good way to make it clear to the enemy which tank contains the commander, and it's a good way to get that commander's head shot off. The USA provided radios which were beyond Russia's own capability to manufacture in bulk. Also trucks AND Jeeps, promptly copied by the Russians themselves. Yes they got given some tired old gear by the Western Allies as well - but usually early models, and without manuals or documentation. The groundcrew of a Spitfire as almost as vital as the pilot, patching repairing and tuning their charge so that it emerges like new for each sortie. Russia's poor view of most of these (largely symbolic) hand-me-downs wasn't usually delight.

 

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17 minutes ago, Ron Walker said:

USSR was simply so far behind as not to even be IN the race. Like the Radio gear which allowed T34 tanks to communicate with each other. (in 1940, they were communicating using flags and semaphore - NOT radio

This is a myth, particularly if applied to the time of Wehrmacht invasion. By January 1941, RKKA had 40 front-wide radiostations with the range of up to 2 thousand kilometers and 381 frequency channels; over 1.5 thousand army- and corps-wide radiostations; almost 6 thousand regimental radiostations and over 35.5 thousand portable radios for batalions and companies, with the range of 10-15 kilometers. 35 to 40% of all RKKA tanks deployed by the summer of 1941 were equipped with radios. Like I wrote before, in the summer of 1941, the problem was never the lack of equipment; catastrophic loss of command and control was the problem.

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1 hour ago, Joe Rich said:

  I think your facts are off on this.  Lend-Lease went on well into WW 2.  Can you give me your source?

 

I will try. 😊 I have read some books about the history of Great Britain during WW2, and after. For instance: "The End Of Glory". Many Brits were bitter for a long time (anti-Americanism!) about the REAL behaviour of the US during, and after the war. Does this come as a surprise to you?

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Posted (edited)
On 6/7/2018 at 11:02 AM, Joe Rich said:

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.

I've never doubted that. The Battle of the Atlantic was crucial, and the Murmansk convoys were  truly heroic episodes in WW2. But whether it was absolutely essential to the military survival of the USSR is debatable (No, I've haven't forgotten all those Studebaker trucks).

Edited by Philip Whitehouse
spelling !

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Hans, I did not live during those years.  I also have not visited England like I have Germany.  So I can't answer your question about Anti-Americanism. I do know that my countrymen's self-confidence and pride in their country its abilities have and can rub people the wrong way.  I have read many accounts where the Brits said during the war that there were 3 problems with "Yanks".  One they were overpaid, oversexed, and over here.

  But the bare fact of the matter is that without the US's aid to Britain during WW 2, we would have a very different world today.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Joe Rich said:

Hans, I did not live during those years.  I also have not visited England like I have Germany.  So I can't answer your question about Anti-Americanism. I do know that my countrymen's self-confidence and pride in their country its abilities have and can rub people the wrong way.  I have read many accounts where the Brits said during the war that there were 3 problems with "Yanks".  One they were overpaid, oversexed, and over here.

  But the bare fact of the matter is that without the US's aid to Britain during WW 2, we would have a very different world today.

Of course. But nobody should run away with the idea that the aid was donated out of pure altuisim. It was very much in the interest of the USA that Western Democracy should triumph.

Edited by Philip Whitehouse
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Phillip, of course, I agree with you on this.  Even Churchill mentioned that England only had a few years before America would call all the shots.  England gave the world many things.  I hate to see that the world has refused to see it.  I once talked to a lady from India.  she said the only thing the English ever did for her country created a fine school system.  But we both know better than that.  

I am studying the war.  I am awed at the courage of the British, both civilians and military.  I see where the US gets it.  With all the immigration going on today, I hope we don't lose it.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Joe Rich said:

Hans, I did not live during those years.  I also have not visited England like I have Germany.  So I can't answer your question about Anti-Americanism. I do know that my countrymen's self-confidence and pride in their country its abilities have and can rub people the wrong way.  I have read many accounts where the Brits said during the war that there were 3 problems with "Yanks".  One they were overpaid, oversexed, and over here.

  But the bare fact of the matter is that without the US's aid to Britain during WW 2, we would have a very different world today.

Common misapprehension. "Oversexed, Overpaid and over here" was an expression coined by the Australians long before GIs began to arrive in the UK in significant numbers. From memory, relationships between Australians and American forces fell to such low levels in the New Guinea campaign that they were actually exchanging gunfire. Johnny-come-lately Americans (mostly with zero experience of actual combat) were demanding a commanding role. McArthur in particular made seriously unfortunate comments about Australian troops fighting on the Kokoda trail. Getting TO the battlezone entailed a 24 climb - through torrential rain - up a 45 degree slope - the equivalent of running a couple of marathons. McArthur suggested that, on arrival, they "just weren't trying hard enough". (demonstrating thereby how far out of touch he was, rather than what a great commander.)

Edited by Ron Walker

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McArthur suggested that, on arrival, they "just weren't trying hard enough".    I have no doubt the asshole Dugout Doug said that.  He is far from my favorite US general of the era. I have no doubt that we rubbed the Australians wrong.  McArthur sure would not have made matters better.   I have read about the Australians fight the Japanese in New Guinea.  They have nothing at all the be ashamed of.  It was a hard fought and both sides did the best they could.  I have done combat patrols in jungle mountains.  There is nothing easy about it, and we had helicopters for support.

    When I get a little more experience on this site, I just might start something on McArthur.  There are two camps over here.  He walked on water, or he was a low life creature that should have been left in the Philippines.

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1 hour ago, Joe Rich said:

McArthur suggested that, on arrival, they "just weren't trying hard enough".    I have no doubt the asshole Dugout Doug said that.  He is far from my favorite US general of the era. I have no doubt that we rubbed the Australians wrong.  McArthur sure would not have made matters better.   I have read about the Australians fight the Japanese in New Guinea.  They have nothing at all the be ashamed of.  It was a hard fought and both sides did the best they could.  I have done combat patrols in jungle mountains.  There is nothing easy about it, and we had helicopters for support.

    When I get a little more experience on this site, I just might start something on McArthur.  There are two camps over here.  He walked on water, or he was a low life creature that should have been left in the Philippines.

There were several distinguished US soldiers serving under McArthur and I'm sure their names would be far  better known had they served in Europe; but,unfairly, Douglas took all the credit. His dispatches were all about him.

General Eichelberger,for example, had he fought in Europe I think his name would be as well regarded as Patton or Bradley.

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Phillip, you will get no argument from me about McArthur.  I think the general of the era that summed him up the most was General Eisenhower when he said that he studied dramatics under McArthur for four years.

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On 6/7/2018 at 10:58 AM, Hans Werther said:

I have read, and also watched TV documentaries which 'clearly' says that these convoys had only a marginal effect on the Soviet war machine. Those who were onboard those ships were real heroes, but in terms of military value....For instance: Airplanes like the Hawker Hurricane was a big disappointment to the Russian pilots; many british tanks were not at all suited for the Eastern Front, and as for the Shermans...Yes, all this Atlantic help speeded up the Soviet juggernaut, but it would hardly been defeated by the Nazis even without this help. 

do not discount soviet propaganda that states that the soviets could have done without the aid we sent.

that is nonsense.  hundreds of thousands of trucks, thousands of tanks, thousands of aircraft hundreds of locomotives, dozens of ships including a battleship. not to mention hundreds of thousands of rolls of copper wire, ammunition,gasoline, oil, medical supplies. I am not near my referEnce books at the moment but i just read something on it. challenge me and i will get you an ansswer form a good source.

Aid did not just come from the Atlantic and up to Murmansk, it went across to VLADOVISTOK--My spelling is wrong but I have not got the time to look it up. Also via rail up through Iran. The Soviets may have survived without our massive amounts of aid but they would not have won for a longer time than it took. Or they might have sued for a separate peace once their sources of raw materials, especially oil in the Caucasus were lost..

https://www.rbth.com/business/2015/05/08/allies_gave_soviets_130_billion_under_lend-lease_45879.html

THIS OFF THE INTERNET WILL GIVE YOU SOME IDEA OF THE AMOUNT OF AID.  SOME OF THE TOTALS ARE FAR BELOW WHAT I HAVE READ IN OTHER SOURCES. THE SOVIETS HAVE DOWNPLAYED THE ALLIED HELP AS IT WOULD HAVE SHOWN THAT SOVIET AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY TO BE DEFICIENT.  THIS HELP WAS NOT GIVEN OUT OF ALTRUISM BECAUSE IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT THE SOVIETS WERE FACING THE GREATEST BULK OF THE GERMAN ARMIES AND THEY MAY WELL HAVE SUED FOR PEACE IF THEY GREW TOO WEAK.

THIS HAPPENED IN WW1.

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On 6/7/2018 at 6:52 PM, Joe Rich said:

Hans, In reference to the Lend-Lease Act, and the supplies it sent to Russia I found this:

During the lend-lease debate, opponents had tried to exclude the Soviet Union from the program. But American strategists knew that only the Red Army could defeat Hitler on the ground, and lend-lease would help do just that. U.S. aid constituted only about 7 percent of what the Soviet Union itself produced during the war, but it did allow the Soviets to concentrate their production in the most efficient manner. Lend-lease to Russia was, for Roosevelt, much more than just a wartime aid program. It could demonstrate the benefits of the American system and promote mutual trust, all key elements in Roosevelt's postwar plans. It was, therefore, presidential policy to promise to give the Russians almost everything they requested. Misunderstandings and resentment resulted when supply requirements to other theaters made it impossible to deliver. The Cold War prevented a formal lend-lease settlement with the Russians until June 1990, when, with the Soviet system on the verge of collapse, a repayment agreement (for nonmilitary goods) was reached.

Lend-lease, what Churchill had called "the most unsordid act," was an immensely successful wartime aid program, one that set the stage for the U.S. foreign aid programs that followed. Lend-lease was designed to help win the war without leaving behind a residue of war debts and recriminations, and it did just that.

I pulled this off:encyclopedia.com

Most of what you put here is correct in my opinion.. I feel that 7% is far too low, however.

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Just now, SCOTT said:

Most of what you put here is correct in my opinion.. I feel that 7% is far too low, however.

also it was not just roosevelt. churchill send convoys also prior to dec 7 1941.

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On 6/14/2018 at 7:49 PM, SCOTT said:

do not discount soviet propaganda that states that the soviets could have done without the aid we sent.

that is nonsense.  hundreds of thousands of trucks, thousands of tanks, thousands of aircraft hundreds of locomotives, dozens of ships including a battleship. not to mention hundreds of thousands of rolls of copper wire, ammunition,gasoline, oil, medical supplies. I am not near my referEnce books at the moment but i just read something on it. challenge me and i will get you an ansswer form a good source.

Aid did not just come from the Atlantic and up to Murmansk, it went across to VLADOVISTOK--My spelling is wrong but I have not got the time to look it up. Also via rail up through Iran. The Soviets may have survived without our massive amounts of aid but they would not have won for a longer time than it took. Or they might have sued for a separate peace once their sources of raw materials, especially oil in the Caucasus were lost..

8

I just finished reading The Naval War against Hitler, by Donald Macintyre.  On page 445, Vice-Admiral Ruge, a distinguished German writer on naval affairs said:  Between August 1944 and April 1945, the 250 plus ships on the Arctic run carried over 1,000,000 tons of war material.  The weapons, equipment, and vehicles allowed the Russians to equip 60 motorized divisions which gave them not only a numerical but a material superiority at focal points of the battles.  Thus the Anglo-American sea power also exerted a decisive influence on the land operations in Eastern Europe. 

   That pretty well sums that up.

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Previously, with some of these polls there has been an option to vote "none of the above" and to ADD an item. My money would be on "The Intelligence Battle". Germany's attempt to defeat the RAF while crippled by a glaring lack of accurate intelligence was (IMHO) doomed from day one. At the start of the war, The British effectively "rolled up" Germany's entire intelligence-gathering network in the UK. That by itself would have been disastrous, but to make things worse, the majority of the agents who had been arrested having been charged with espionage, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged, then agreed to change sides, in exchange for their lives. Add to that the work of Alan Turing and Tommy Flowers and the "Golf, Chess and Crosswords Society" (As they flippantly referred to the Government Code and Cypher "School") which was soon routinely decoding wireless traffic that Germany believed to be UNcrackable. And a picture emerges that not so much of a battle... more a massacre. Plus, of course, with Germany occupying such a large (and UNfriendly) area, information about GERMAN forces generally flowed in the opposite direction like a torrent; Throughout the war, Germany was continually wrong-footed because it believed the skilfully created lies fed to its own "intelligence network" by Britain's "Twenty Committee". And - unlike Germany - The Brits WERE able to check if their tricks WERE working - because they were "reading Hitler's mail". Not every "battle" involves shooting: I'd argue that the struggle to gain intelligence supremacy was AT LEAST as important as the (rather later) battle for Air supremacy.

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