The Battle of the Atlantic.
Franco-German frontier 1939
Strategic Bombing campaign vs Germany
other (see replies)
Ok guys, your vote, which battle was the single most important contest of arms 39-45?
The Battle of the Atlantic.
"The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it, and if one finds the prospect of a long war intolerable, it is natural to disbelieve in the possibility of victory."
- George Orwell
Kursk. The Germans finally and permanently handed the initiative to the Red Army, whose following offensives didn't stop until they had Berlin in their hands.
This, IMO, was the most important battle of the war, especially on the Eastern Front.
"The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world. So wake up, Mr. Freeman. Wake up and smell the ashes." G-Man
Attack on Pearl Harbor...
i think Japans missed the main goal...US Carriers werent there...
by the way the wake of sleeping giant prepared the end of Axis..
this is my opinion...
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.
Japanese navy lost the core of its highly trained, highly experienced, and irreplaceable carrier pilots.
"Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.
As WW2 was fought on many different fronts there isn't a single battle which proved decissive for entire war.
Battle for Kiev, 1941. Forcing Germany to divert forces south, postponing attack on Moscow and thus allowing Soviets to strenghten it's defences
Battle for Atlantic, as others said before.
Coral Sea on PTO. Removed threat from Australia and allowed forces to be concentrated elsewhere leading to Midway.
I tend to agree with Bluesman ( if you can believe that! ) regarding the importance of the so called 'Battle of the Atlantic'. If that 'battle' had been 'lost', then Britain could not have continued and the US could not have significantly intervened in Europe. With those conditions, Germany may well have been able to defeat an 'isolated' Soviet Union and thereby have won the war. Having said all that, the 'Battle of the Atlantic' was really more of an ongoing 'campaign' that lasted the entire length of the war.
Of those on the list that are more recognizable as distinct 'battles', I chose Stalingrad. My reasoning is as follows: first, IMHO Japan never had any reasonable prospect of victory against the US. So although there were key battles in the Pacific, I would not select any of them as it was just a matter of time. On the other hand, IMHO Germany was much more of a potential threat - especially if allowed to consolidate control of the continent. Given that the defeat of Germany was the key, and again IMHO the eastern front was critical in the defeat of Germany I selected what I thought was the key battle in deterimining the course of the war in the east. Within that context, I believe Stalingrad was key, as it decided that Germany could not win in the east and therefore it was just a matter of time before the much greater strength of the combined Allies could be brought to bear and Germany defeated.
Its a diffacult choice but IMO The majority of the battles for the pacific island chains. And the march across Europe to Berlin. Russian battles included.
Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.
IMO, there was no single decisive battle in WW2, but I'd go for a decisive month - Dec 41, for 2 reasons:
1. The Germans were first stopped and then pushed back from Moscow. What was important was not just the failure to take Moscow, but the surprise achieved by Soviet counterattack and the realisation in OKH that the war was not going to be won in a hurry.
It did not help that Hitler then sacked a lot of his key generals.
The Germans also failed to take Leningrad and in the South were pushed back from Rostov. That represented a failure of all 3 German army groups to take their objectives.
2. The attack on Pearl Harbour which bought the US into the war - after which American Industrial might ensured the war was unwinnable for the Axis.
Last edited by Deans; 23 May 07, at 14:01.
The Battle of Moscow, 41. That was the high mark of the German advance, after '42 it was a matter time before the Soviets re-activate their industrial and military power.
All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
-Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.
The most important battle of '39-45 isn't generally considered part of WW2 - The clash between Russia & Japan at Khalkin-Gol.
First up, this was a geniune battle. Japanese force were wiped out, losing more man than Australia lost in the entire war.
The result of the battle had enormous consequences.
By ensuring that Japan would never again threaten her eastern flank, Russia freed up resources that were to prove crucial in stopping Germany's only serious chance at winning - taking Moscow.
The battle also ensured that the Naval faction in the Imperial Government gained supremacy - leading inevitably to a confrontation with America.
My votes for most important battles of the regular war are Moscow - Germany's only chance to beat Russia; and Pearl Harbour, which ensured Japan's defeat & by dragging America into the war provided great (& perhaps crucial) assistance to Russia from the US.
I agree with gunnut. The Battle of Midway turned the Pacific War as Japan was unable to replace its experienced pilots. Japan continued to produce carriers (though not on the same scale as America) and aircraft but it could not match the USN pilot training program in either quantity, or more importantly, quality. Too many of the pilots who would have made fine instructors were lost with their four carriers at Midway.
Learn from the past. Prepare for the future.
I picked Leyte Gulf before sneaking a peek at the posts. Stalingrad is a good pick for the European theater. Midway might be a better choice in the Pacific theater. It did more damage to the Japanese navy. But had the Japanese succeeded at Leyte Gulf US forces already on the beach and preparing to push on to take Luzon would have been been seriously mauled and the retaking of the Philippines would have been delayed and with it the planned invasion of the Japanese homeland. The retaking of the Philippeans meant the Japanese could no longer defend the sealanes they depended on to ship oil to the homeland. So, if Leyte wasn't the most decisive battle; it ranks high up there.
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