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Thread: History's Greatest Military Defeats

  1. #136
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    I have to go with Fuller in adding the Battle of Warsaw in 1920 which stopped the Red Army getting into Central and Western Europe.

  2. #137
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    I'll call that a great victory

    Don't know if it was mentioned,but Leipzig deserves a place.
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    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  3. #138
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    I have four important wars in my mind.

    1-) Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC)

    casualties and losses: Alexander The Great lost 1000-2000 men, Darius III Lost at least 100.000 men.

    2-) First Gulf War (1990)

    casualties and losses: Coalition led by USA lost 2000-3000 men most of them were Kuwaiti soldier, Iraq lost at least 100.000-125.000 men mostly due to USA's Air superiority.

    3-) Battle Of Cannae (216 BC)

    casualties and losses: Carthaginians lost 5000-8000 men, Roman loss were massive nearly all of the army, 60.000 men.

    4-) Six-Day War (1967)

    casualties and losses: Israel lost nearly 5000 men most of them were wounded and 46 aircrafts shot down, Arab Coalition led by Egypt lost more than 30.000 men including 450+ aircraft.

  4. #139
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    The Battle for Moscow 1941- While this battle was not the worst casualty taking battle for the Germans (Germans lost apps. 400,000 men to Russia's almost 1 million), it insured that the war to conquer Russia would not be a fast war, as well as a fatal war that was now being waged on three fronts, bringing down the mighty Nazi Empire (Good thing for us, bad for them... well, for the Nazis, at least).

  5. #140
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    At this point I have to speak up and talk about the lopsided victory of Operation Desert Storm.
    U.S. casualties: 148 battle deaths, 145 nonbattle deaths

    #
    Army: 98 battle; 105 nonbattle
    #
    Navy 6 battle; 8 nonbattle
    #
    Marines: 24 battle; 26 nonbattle
    #
    Air Force: 20 battle; 6 nonbattle
    #
    Women killed, 15

    U.S. wounded in action: 467.

    Estimated Iraqi Losses: (Reported by U.S. Central Command, March 7, 1991)

    #
    36 fixed-wing aircraft in air-to-air engagements
    #
    6 helicopters in air-to-air engagements
    #
    68 fixed- and 13 rotary-wing aircraft destroyed on the ground
    #
    137 Iraqi aircraft flown to Iran
    #
    3,700 of 4,280 battle tanks
    #
    2,400 of 2,870 assorted other armored vehicles
    #
    2,600 of 3,110 assorted artillery pieces
    #
    19 naval ships sunk, 6 damaged
    #
    42 divisions made combat-ineffective

    Enemy prisoners of war captured: U.S. forces released 71,204 to Saudi control.
    Source: Operation Desert Storm

    I'd call that a pretty crushing defeat - even if it took until 2002 to go after Saddam himself.

  6. #141
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    I'd have to say the fall of France in 1940.

    The reason I pick this over the first gulf war is that the French could've stood a chance had they done things correctly. They outnumbered the Germans yet failed to anticipate what kind of war they were fighting. It was personal error and misjudgement, not technological insufficiency.

  7. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by barracudabq View Post
    I'd have to say the fall of France in 1940.

    The reason I pick this over the first gulf war is that the French could've stood a chance had they done things correctly. They outnumbered the Germans yet failed to anticipate what kind of war they were fighting. It was personal error and misjudgement, not technological insufficiency.
    The fall of France failed to gain Germany a 1 front war by being unable to force Britain from the war when the BEF was allowed to escape. This ultimately allowed the Brits to stay in and that doomed Germany.

    Not having to defend France also let arriving US troops train in peace and quiet and US stock piles pile into mountains in England instead of being fed in to a WW style quagmire. It also brought a significant portion of the best units in the German army, a disproportionate amount of artillery, steel and radios west where the allies could get at them and/or entrap them. In trade for eventual defeat and total collapse the Germans gained only 3 years of paltry French industrial production and a lot of good wine.

  8. #143
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    z,

    The fall of France failed to gain Germany a 1 front war by being unable to force Britain from the war when the BEF was allowed to escape. This ultimately allowed the Brits to stay in and that doomed Germany.
    what doomed germany was declaring war on the US. without hitler's own goal, the UK would have had to throw in the towel eventually. churchill's whole premise for staying in the war was because he was hoping for american intervention.

    frankly if france had managed to resist the germans or fight them to a stalemate, the most likely scenario is that hitler gets assassinated and a wehrmacht junta takes over, and tries to do a ceasefire. they were already more than happy over the results of 1939, because german domination of central europe would have eventually led to economic dominance against france.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  9. #144
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Tactically, Battle of Philippine Sea was one of the most lopsided loss in the history of naval warfare. IJN wanted a decisive battle against USN. IJN got it. IJN lost nearly everything.

    Strategically, this battle did not change the history of the world. Japan was hopelessly outmatched against the US. Even with a "decisive" win, IJN would only face a bigger USN in less the 6 months time.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  10. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    z,



    what doomed germany was declaring war on the US. without hitler's own goal, the UK would have had to throw in the towel eventually. churchill's whole premise for staying in the war was because he was hoping for american intervention.

    frankly if france had managed to resist the germans or fight them to a stalemate, the most likely scenario is that hitler gets assassinated and a wehrmacht junta takes over, and tries to do a ceasefire. they were already more than happy over the results of 1939, because german domination of central europe would have eventually led to economic dominance against france.
    I don't dissagree, but regardless of why, the fall of France didn't gain Germany anything.

  11. #146
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    A major defeat (which is a major victory for the other side) changes the course of a war and the trend of history.

    Napoleon's retreat from Moscow doomed his empire.

    If Lee had won at Gettysburg he could have occupied Baltimore and cut off transportation and even Morse Code communication between Washington and the rest of the Union. The Union Army would not have been able to put down anti draft riots then happening in New York City. Lee could have won the Civil War. By losing the battle of Gettysburg he lost it.

    Germany's defeat at Stalingrad probably doomed the Third Reich.

    The defeat of Napoleon the Confederacy and the Third Reich contributed to the spread throughout the world of democracy.

  12. #147
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandala View Post
    A major defeat (which is a major victory for the other side) changes the course of a war and the trend of history.

    Napoleon's retreat from Moscow doomed his empire.

    If Lee had won at Gettysburg he could have occupied Baltimore and cut off transportation and even Morse Code communication between Washington and the rest of the Union. The Union Army would not have been able to put down anti draft riots then happening in New York City. Lee could have won the Civil War. By losing the battle of Gettysburg he lost it.

    Germany's defeat at Stalingrad probably doomed the Third Reich.

    The defeat of Napoleon the Confederacy and the Third Reich contributed to the spread throughout the world of democracy.
    There is no scenario in which the Third Reich comes out ahead. Sept. 1st, 1939 was the beginning of the end. Dec. 8th, 1941 sealed the deal.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  13. #148
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    gunnut,

    Sept. 1st, 1939 was the beginning of the end. Dec. 8th, 1941 sealed the deal.
    if hitler had sat on his hands on dec 8, 1941, he probably would have walked away with a minimum of domination over western europe and central europe. if his luck was good, maybe even over russia.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  14. #149
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    Who knows about the last part, operation Typhoon was ended 1 month later.
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  15. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    There is no scenario in which the Third Reich comes out ahead. Sept. 1st, 1939 was the beginning of the end. Dec. 8th, 1941 sealed the deal.
    It would not have been possible for Germany and Japan to conquer and occupy the United States. Nevertheless, the Japanese could have won the Battle of Midway. The Germans could have won the battle of Stalingrad. If they had won both the U.S. and the other Allies would have been in serious trouble. The Second World War could still have ended with the Germans occupying the mainland of Europe, and the Japanese occupying the Philippines and Hawaii.

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