Most decisive battle of the Second World War



  • @FieldMarshalGames:

    @aequitas:

    Dunkirk and Moscow '41 and the Atlantic

    I vote for the battle of the Atlantic

    Good choice.


  • '10

    Ah well. Nevertheless it is simple to understand.
    Because of the battle lost over England, the resistances and the obtination of churchill, Hitler has change his plan and so he attacked USSR.
    A fatal error!!!

    While I agree attacking Russia was Hitler’s error, it’s just to damned big to be overtaken, it was already his plan to attack Russia. He could get rid of the Bolsheviks and the Jews, while creating living space for a growing Germany. Also wanted the resources they had as well. Failing at England didn’t cause Hitler to invade Russia. I think it was more of a Pearl Harbor type move anyway. Not trying to conquer England, just trying to render it useless to stop Germany from doing what it really wanted.



  • I think the Battle of Poland was the most decesive. He never got away with that, and was doomed.

    72 million germans versus the rest of the world.

    Starting the fire in Poland was the sole action that would bring the Third Reich down.



  • I think Leyte Gulf is an important and often over looked one as well.

    If Japan had been able to break through to the US ships moored in the gulf, they could have absolutely destroyed the US’s logistics train. With out being able to transport the men, and more important, the supples for those troops, the US timetable would have been set back by several years. Giving Japan, which at this point hadnt been bombed, a chance to regroup and catch its breath, so to speak, could have been devestating to further allied offensives.



  • @i:

    they already had a second front , ITALY! and before that AFRIKA!

    Germany had two fronts, but more area to defend would make it tougher to defend. The war would take longer if there weren’t three fronts on Germany.



  • okay sorry that comment was made late at night 12am and i read your post wrong i though you sad the seconded front.



  • Germans were going to lose before Stalingrad: they were fighting Russia, Britain, and the United States

    With Stalingrad’s capture would mean the Germans hold the key to the Caucasus oil fields, bolstering their forces. Yes, they were doomed since they were repelled at the gates of Moscow, but if the Germans won Stalingrad, the Soviets would probably have lost a lot more soldiers than they did. Also, the loss of Stalingrad would be a huge blow to Soviet morale. Stalingrad resulted in the destruction of the German 6th Army, which left a gaping hole in the Wehrmacht, much more devastating to the German armed forces than the Battle of Britain.

    Japanese were going to lose even if they completely decimated America at Midway. there’s an essay showing that American carrier numbers would overtake Japanese carrier numbers by 1943.

    One essay in a sea of countless other essays. We will never know if the Japanese still could have won, but it’s still certain that Midway was the first major defeat the Imperial Navy suffered in over three centuries.

    By Kursk, Germans were already losing

    But, again, it was decisive. If the Wehrmacht had one the Germans would have re-gained the strategic offensive, even if it would be temporary.

    Germans were definetly losing by D-Day. I never got why it was seen as a turning point.

    Losing? They locked down the Allies in Italy, whom didn’t make any significant advances until well after D-Day, and if there wasn’t a Allied threat to invade from the West, Hitler could have sent much needed forces East. It was a turning point because the Allies were able to get a significant foothold in Europe, and fulfill their promise to Stalin to open up a second front in France. Hitler now had to commit significant forces on not just one major front and a minor one (Italy), he now had to deal with two major fronts and one minor one.

    Even if the Soviets won and got to Berlin, say the Allies were still trapped in Italy. Who is to say the Soviet tanks wouldn’t simply continue to roll all the way to Amsterdam, Paris? If the Allies hadn’t invaded Normandy or their invasion failed, Europe would be very, very different–-and very, very red.

    Japanese were already losing before Leyte gulf

    Irregardless, Leyte Gulf sped up their defeat considerably. If there wasn’t a Leyte Gulf the Japanese would have caused much more casualties to the Allies.

    Plus, Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle in history. I think I’d call that decisive.



  • @UN:

    Germans were going to lose before Stalingrad: they were fighting Russia, Britain, and the United States

    With Stalingrad’s capture would mean the Germans hold the key to the Caucasus oil fields, bolstering their forces. Yes, they were doomed since they were repelled at the gates of Moscow, but if the Germans won Stalingrad, the Soviets would probably have lost a lot more soldiers than they did. Also, the loss of Stalingrad would be a huge blow to Soviet morale. Stalingrad resulted in the destruction of the German 6th Army, which left a gaping hole in the Wehrmacht, much more devastating to the German armed forces than the Battle of Britain.

    Japanese were going to lose even if they completely decimated America at Midway. there’s an essay showing that American carrier numbers would overtake Japanese carrier numbers by 1943.

    One essay in a sea of countless other essays. We will never know if the Japanese still could have won, but it’s still certain that Midway was the first major defeat the Imperial Navy suffered in over three centuries.

    By Kursk, Germans were already losing

    But, again, it was decisive. If the Wehrmacht had one the Germans would have re-gained the strategic offensive, even if it would be temporary.

    Germans were definetly losing by D-Day. I never got why it was seen as a turning point.

    Losing? They locked down the Allies in Italy, whom didn’t make any significant advances until well after D-Day, and if there wasn’t a Allied threat to invade from the West, Hitler could have sent much needed forces East. It was a turning point because the Allies were able to get a significant foothold in Europe, and fulfill their promise to Stalin to open up a second front in France. Hitler now had to commit significant forces on not just one major front and a minor one (Italy), he now had to deal with two major fronts and one minor one.

    Even if the Soviets won and got to Berlin, say the Allies were still trapped in Italy. Who is to say the Soviet tanks wouldn’t simply continue to roll all the way to Amsterdam, Paris? If the Allies hadn’t invaded Normandy or their invasion failed, Europe would be very, very different–-and very, very red.

    Japanese were already losing before Leyte gulf

    Irregardless, Leyte Gulf sped up their defeat considerably. If there wasn’t a Leyte Gulf the Japanese would have caused much more casualties to the Allies.

    Plus, Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle in history. I think I’d call that decisive.

    I think we have a definitions difference. I see the word decisive as meaning turning point, i.e., the battle before which the axis were winning, but after which they were losing. This, Russia taking over France still counts as the allies winning



  • I think we have a definitions difference. I see the word decisive as meaning turning point, i.e., the battle before which the axis were winning, but after which they were losing. This, Russia taking over France still counts as the allies winning

    The war status of a country isn’t always either “winning” or “losing”. In 1942, for example, victory for the Allies was still not certain. Although Germany had been halted at Moscow they were still a very dangerous threat and commanded a still-formidable army. Japan still possesed a navy that threatened the entire Pacific.

    Japan was decisively losing at Midway, and Germany at Stalingrad, both having lost significant assets to their war effort.


  • '10

    If Germany had taken Great Britian could U.S. have launched Overlord from the east coast or perhaps North Africa? No way in 1944 or ever?



  • Without Great Britian, it would have no doubt been more difficult.  But I wouldn’t say impossible, even in 1944, because the Americans were invading islands in the Pacific over distances greater than several possible invasion launch sites in the Atlantic such as Iceland, the Azores, North Africa, etc.

    The invasion of Okinawa, for example had 183,000 Army and Marine units

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Okinawa

    which compares well with D-Day which had 160,000 troops in the initial crossing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Overlord

    It is important to keep in mind that the Germans were able to reinforce France and the Japanese were unable to reinforce Okinawa.  For this reason, the allies had over 3 million personnel in France by the end of August. Therefore, I think a European invasion such as you describe (either on France or Great Britian or Norway for that matter) would have been more difficult than Okinawa.  But it would not have been impossible.

    Nor was an invasion of France the only options that would have been available for the US to win the war.  They could join the Russians and come in from the East (though by 1944 the Russians were doing quite well at this on their own).  They had already invaded Italy, no doubt they could have pushed harder there using the forces being built up for overlord.  They could also invade the Balkans or southern France as an alternative.  Or, for that matter, the USA could simply have nuked Berlin, provided the Russians didn’t get there first.


  • '10

    @221B:

    Without Great Britian, it would have no doubt been more difficult.  But I wouldn’t say impossible, even in 1944, because the Americans were invading islands in the Pacific over distances greater than several possible invasion launch sites in the Atlantic such as Iceland, the Azores, North Africa, etc.

    The invasion of Okinawa, for example had 183,000 Army and Marine units

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Okinawa

    which compares well with D-Day which had 160,000 troops in the initial crossing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Overlord

    It is important to keep in mind that the Germans were able to reinforce France and the Japanese were unable to reinforce Okinawa.  For this reason, the allies had over 3 million personnel in France by the end of August. Therefore, I think a European invasion such as you describe (either on France or Great Britian or Norway for that matter) would have been more difficult than Okinawa.  But it would not have been impossible.

    Nor was an invasion of France the only options that would have been available for the US to win the war.  They could join the Russians and come in from the East (though by 1944 the Russians were doing quite well at this on their own).  They had already invaded Italy, no doubt they could have pushed harder there using the forces being built up for overlord.  They could also invade the Balkans or southern France as an alternative.  Or, for that matter, the USA could simply have nuked Berlin, provided the Russians didn’t get there first.

    Now you have made an interesting comment there. Would the U.S. have ever used nukes in heavily populated Europe? That is something that deserves some deep thought.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '15 Customizer

    @UN:

    Japanese were already losing before Leyte gulf

    Irregardless, Leyte Gulf sped up their defeat considerably. If there wasn’t a Leyte Gulf the Japanese would have caused much more casualties to the Allies.

    Plus, Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle in history. I think I’d call that decisive.

    Decisive, yes. The Americans absolutely blasted the Japs at Leyte… but that itself shows that it was not a turning point. It was a nearly one sided battle. It’s not a turning point if the guy who is expected to win actually wins. Midway was a turning point because the Americans won when they weren’t supposed to and because it was a decisive and important victory.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Fishmoto37:

    Now you have made an interesting comment there. Would the U.S. have ever used nukes in heavily populated Europe? That is something that deserves some deep thought.

    In 1945, the effects of radioactive fallout were not well understood, and the only nuclear weapons available were kiloton-range fission bombs rather than megaton-range thermonuclear bombs.  So my guess is that a nuclear strike against, say, Berlin, would have been seen as just that: as a bombing attack against an enemy city whose direct blast effects would have been highly localized, and whose downwind radiological effects would not have been given much consideration.  Even in early postwar atomic tests, the radiological dangers to the scientists and troops who observed nuclear blasts and who then went to the explosion site to conduct tests were not taken as seriously as they would be today.



  • @GrizzlyMan:

    Midway. It completely reversed the balance of power in the Pacific. The Japanese fleet outnumbered the Americans heavily, and most importantly had superior aircraft and aircraft carriers. In only one battle the United States reversed completely and destroyed 4 Japanese CVs to the loss of only 1, and, after that point, the United States was on the offensive.
    Had one of the British powers folded, the US populance may have supported an early peace with Japan, which would be a major victory for the axis. Had Midway been a defeat for the Americans, or had it not taken place, the war would have ended very differently.

    I am sorry to inform you that your way off base with what your saying. Yomoto’s plan was to declare war BEFORE attacking the USA…that didn’t happen because they screwed up…he knew that he had a year and a half tops before the USA fleet grew to big to stop. He figured a win at midway would buy another year, enough to complete the build up and new weapons they were making. But even with a loss at midway we made too much stuff for Japan ever to win not to mention the bombs we were making. It would have bought Japan more time but in the end the result would have been the same.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '15 Customizer

    @RedHunter:

    @GrizzlyMan:

    Midway. It completely reversed the balance of power in the Pacific. The Japanese fleet outnumbered the Americans heavily, and most importantly had superior aircraft and aircraft carriers. In only one battle the United States reversed completely and destroyed 4 Japanese CVs to the loss of only 1, and, after that point, the United States was on the offensive.

    I am sorry to inform you that your way off base with what your saying. Yomoto’s plan was to declare war BEFORE attacking the USA…that didn’t happen because they screwed up…he knew that he had a year and a half tops before the USA fleet grew to big to stop. He figured a win at midway would buy another year, enough to complete the build up and new weapons they were making. But even with a loss at midway we made too much stuff for Japan ever to win not to mention the bombs we were making. It would have bought Japan more time but in the end the result would have been the same.

    Possibly quite true. However, we are talking about turning points in the actual war. It doesn’t matter what might have happened, the US losing Midway and then outbuilding Japan in a year, what matters is that the odds were terribly against us at Midway, yet we won decisively and got the Japanese where it hurt them most. That is the point. Not a “what if” history… If we were going to argue that way, we could just say that the US was such an economic giant that it was inevitable that we would win. Or that, because we developed the Bomb, it was inevitable that we would win the war. So the US was predestined to win the war. Do you believe that?

    Midway was a turning point. The US was, at best, fighting a counter-move war, and at worst, we were losing. After Midway the roles reversed and we moved across the Pacific. I don’t know how that is not a turning point.



  • @LHoffman:

    @RedHunter:

    @GrizzlyMan:

    Midway. It completely reversed the balance of power in the Pacific. The Japanese fleet outnumbered the Americans heavily, and most importantly had superior aircraft and aircraft carriers. In only one battle the United States reversed completely and destroyed 4 Japanese CVs to the loss of only 1, and, after that point, the United States was on the offensive.

    I am sorry to inform you that your way off base with what your saying. Yomoto’s plan was to declare war BEFORE attacking the USA…that didn’t happen because they screwed up…he knew that he had a year and a half tops before the USA fleet grew to big to stop. He figured a win at midway would buy another year, enough to complete the build up and new weapons they were making. But even with a loss at midway we made too much stuff for Japan ever to win not to mention the bombs we were making. It would have bought Japan more time but in the end the result would have been the same.

    Possibly quite true. However, we are talking about turning points in the actual war. It doesn’t matter what might have happened, the US losing Midway and then outbuilding Japan in a year, what matters is that the odds were terribly against us at Midway, yet we won decisively and got the Japanese where it hurt them most. That is the point. Not a “what if” history… If we were going to argue that way, we could just say that the US was such an economic giant that it was inevitable that we would win. Or that, because we developed the Bomb, it was inevitable that we would win the war. So the US was predestined to win the war. Do you believe that?

    Midway was a turning point. The US was, at best, fighting a counter-move war, and at worst, we were losing. After Midway the roles reversed and we moved across the Pacific. I don’t know how that is not a turning point.

    Turning point, yes, most decisive, no. World War 2 was not won or lost in the Pacific. The war was decided on the Eastern Front.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '15 Customizer

    @ABWorsham:

    Turning point, yes, most decisive, no. World War 2 was not won or lost in the Pacific. The war was decided on the Eastern Front.

    I’d probably agree with that. I have not done enough in depth research myself, but all that I have read and been told points to that. It is pretty similar in Axis and Allies actually. If Russia cannot hold against the Germans, or cause them a major defeat, then the war is very well lost for the Allies.

    Stalingrad… Drive to Moscow… Siege of Leningrad…

    Most of my knowledge does point to Stalingrad as the ultimate gamechanger for the Germans. The battle of/drive to Moscow was disasterous and disappointing, but it was by no means the last hope for Germany. Had they taken Stalingrad, who knows what may have happened. The Germans didn’t even have to attack Stalingrad to get to the Caucasus, which is where the 6th Army was headed. Hitler, being the strategic dumbkopf he was, wanted Stalin’s city, so they turned aside to take it. Bad move.

    But no, I don’t believe that Midway was the decisive battle of the war. Decisive and a turning point in the Pacific, but not for World War II.



  • I’ll speculate a bit here…

    One way I like to think about Midway is that the dominance of the Pacific by the Americans was bound to happen eventually due to the vastly superior industrial production capability of the USA.  A Japanese victory at Midway probably gives them six months to a year before another major confrontation with the Americans, but wouldn’t have changed the fact that the US would be producing armaments at a rate and quality the Japanese could never match.  Another “decisive” battle would be fought, had the US lost Midway.  And if the US lost that battle, there would have been another.  And another, and so on until the US won (if for no other reason that through attrition for the Japanese) because the Japanese simply did not have the resources for a long fight.

    There was nothing the Japanese would be able to do to match the production capabilities of the US.  Consolidation of the oil from the Dutch East Indies would have helped (and a victory at Midway might have permitted this to happen), but I don’t think that would have been enough.  A successful Japanese invasion and occupation of the US west coast (which could never have happened) would have been the only thing I can imagine that would have shifted this balance to the Japanese.

    A German victory at Stalingrad on the other hand would mean the resources of the Caucases would be denied the Russians and given to the Germans.  This would result in the Russians being unable to fight west of the Urals (or A-A line if the Germans ceeded this to the Russians).  Effectively, I think the Germans could have won the war with a victory here (or by taking Moscow).


  • 2018 2017 '16 '15 Customizer

    Clever name Baker Street… I like it.



  • @LHoffman:

    Clever name Baker Street… I like it.

    thank you.



  • After reflection I would say Pearl Harbor was the most decisive battle.  Without Pearl Harbor America doesn’t enter the war for another year or more if ever.


  • '10

    @Fishmoto37:

    Midway has to be the turning point in the Pacific. Pearl Harbor was the turning point in the European conflict. Thats when hitler declared war on the U.S. This ought to generate some interesting comments.

    @tlasjr:

    After reflection I would say Pearl Harbor was the most decisive battle.  Without Pearl Harbor America doesn’t enter the war for another year or more if ever.

    Amazing. Someone agrees with me.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '15 Customizer

    @tlasjr:

    After reflection I would say Pearl Harbor was the most decisive battle.  Without Pearl Harbor America doesn’t enter the war for another year or more if ever.

    Again, we’re getting into the Undefeatable America argument here. I agree with the sentiments of American exceptionalism, but to say that because America entered the war it was a lost cause for the Axis is, I think, a little premature. Yes, the happening of Pearl Harbor on Dec 7 1941 generated one of many possible outcomes for the war. However, I do not believe that the Axis were doomed from that day on. American presence in the European war really didn’t show until at least 1943. And their gains in the Pacific in 1942 had little bearing on the European war.

    Pearl Harbor was (a) not much of a battle and (b) decisive only if the Axis were fated to lose once the Americans joined the fight. I don’t really believe that. Come Overlord and the successful landing at Normandy… then I will say the outcome was totally assured. But nothing is certain in war, at least up to that point of uncontestability.

    America’s contribution was totally essential I believe. Whether America saved the day or not, I am still out on… (did America defeat the Axis, more than any other Ally)… but I do not believe that Germany or Japan could have done nothing which would have caused a negotiated peace.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @LHoffman:

    Again, we’re getting into the Undefeatable America argument here. I agree with the sentiments of American exceptionalism, but to say that because America entered the war it was a lost cause for the Axis is, I think, a little premature. Yes, the happening of Pearl Harbor on Dec 7 1941 generated one of many possible outcomes for the war. However, I do not believe that the Axis were doomed from that day on. American presence in the European war really didn’t show until at least 1943. And their gains in the Pacific in 1942 had little bearing on the European war.

    Richard Overy looks at this whole issue in his book Why The Allies Won.  He says that there was nothing inevitable about the Allied victory, and that it’s simplistic to argue that Germany was doomed as soon as it faced the combination of Russia’s huge pool of manpower and America’s vast economic and industrial resources.  The Allies had to fight long and hard for their victory, at a great cost in lives and treasure.  They had to learn to fight effectively, using proper tactics and proper equipment; they had to define their strategic objectives correctly, and had to learn to work together (particularly in the case of the British and the Americans, who got into some lengthy squabbles over how the war in the west should be conducted); and they had to sustain the morale of their populations through a long, tough war that made exceptional demands on everyone.  An Allied victory was by no means assured in 1942, and it would not have happened if the Allies had not learned from their early defeats.  And even by 1944, by which point the Allied material advantage had become overwhelming and it was clear that the Allies would certainly win if they maintained their resolve to fight, final victory still depended on the Allies maintaining that determination – on their willingness to stick to the job to the bitter end, and to accept nothing short of the unconditional surrender they had defined as the only acceptable outcome.


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