World War II Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Fluke_Groundwalker, Oct 30, 2001.

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  1. Spiderdevil Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2000
    star 4
    Yea, I've still got the notes, Bane. But not here. They're at home. So after Thanksgiving break I can up this thread and go nuts. :D
  2. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    What was the turning point in the war that turned it in favor of the Allies?
  3. Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 26, 1999
    star 5
    I'd sat Stalingrad/Leningrad and the fiasco of staying in Russia for the winter w/o taking Moscow.
  4. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    Turning point?? In the Pacific, I'd say Battle of Midway. Proved we can overcome adversity. As for the European Theater, I'd say Stalingrad/Leningrad. Major events right there.
  5. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    Cmdr: On which front--European or Pacific? I think on the Pacific front it was the Battle of Midway. On the European front, I'm not sure--I know Germany was winning until sometime in 1943 but I'm not sure of an exact point when the war changed hands.

    Re: Roosevelt's knowledge of Pearl Harbor. I don't think he knew anything--that's my opinion. Or if he did, he didn't know much; he may have known that the Japanese had aircraft carriers in the Pacific, but may not have thought they could actually do much damage. Air strikes were a fairly new thing in 1941. No one really expected the Japanese to be able to do such damage to our Navy with aircraft. On the European front, the Battle of Britain came as a shock because no one thought the Luftwaffe had planes with enough fuel capacity to fly to London, attack, and fly home to Germany.

    If Roosevelt did know what was going to happen at Pearl Harbor, he would be guilty of high treason. Maybe my deep respect for Roosevelt sways my opinion, but I don't think he knew.

    Re: Hitler attacking America: it would have happened. Why not? Hitler created the Third Reich, the Reich that was supposed to last 1000 years. He was insane and power-hungry (a very Palpatine-like figure) and was able to take over Germany because the German people were impoverished, starving, and angry at the raw deal they got from the Allies at the end of World War I. In a way, the Treaty of Versailles caused World War II. Hitler took advantage of the German people's misfortune and anger--when you're in a horrible economic depression and have been mistreated by countries to whom you've lost a war, and a leader comes who says he'll restore your country back to its former glory days, said leader looks pretty good. (Again a comparison to Palpatine taking over a corrupt Republic and taking advantage of Amidala and the misfortune of the Nubian people.) Hitler did what he said he'd do, too, just not in the way the German people who allowed him to become their leader may have expected. He began building the German empire, one country at a time, starting with Austria in 1938. He broke a treaty by invading Poland, and broke another one by invading Russia. The only countries he left alone were Spain, because Franco was on his side; Switzerland, because he couldn't get over the mountains; and Italy, for the same reason as Spain. Why would he have left America alone? He had enough seapower to make it across the Atlantic, and would have done so after he had taken care of everyone on his side of the world.

    EDIT: After reading everyone else's posts, I'd have to agree that Stalingrad/Leningrad probably was the turning point for Germany. Hitler was stopped by the Russians in the same way that Napoleon was--by Stalin's harsh winter.
  6. Darth was Mauled Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2000
    star 4
    If I remember correctly Rudolf Hess was arrested when he tried to work out some sort of peace agreement and he was thrown in the Tower of London, where he stayed until the end of the war.
  7. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Roosevelt may have had intimations that an attack was planned, or imminent. This doesn't mean he believed them. After all, Stalin had several warnings that Germany was going to invade Russia, including a specific one from British intelligence. Stalin thought they were trying to break up the Russian-German alliance, and simply didn't believe it. (Richard Sorge, Stalin's own agent, told him it was coming. He *would not* believe Hitler would do something so stupid.)

    Roosevelt may have felt the same way; the Japanese were just making empty threats to get him to lift the oil embargo. Yes, he was an Anglophone, and sincerely believed that the USA should enter the war against Hitler. Encouraging a Japanese attack was not exactly the way to do this. In fact, the USA only entered the European war because Hitler declared war on USA after Pearl Harbour. He wasn't really required to, either, though Japan was an ally.


  8. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    My list of turning points:

    In Africa - Montgomery's attack that started the route of the Afrika Corps.

    In the Pacific - I think it was the Battle of the Coral Sea. No decisive victories by either side, but it stopped the Japanese invasion of Port Moresby by sea. On land, the Battle of Milne Bay was the first time Japanese land forces were defeated showing they weren't invincible.

    In Europe - Battle of Britain - stopped all hope of Operation Sealion going ahead. Stalingrad definitely. Also the Battle of the Bulge was Hitler's last throw of the dice and it turned out badly.

    Not a battle, but I think that Hilter himself was a liability. As soon as he made himself supreme commander of the armed forces he ruined all hope of a German victory. Also the failed bomb attempt on his life made him think he was destined to win and could not be defeated.
  9. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Hitler's invasion of Russia and declaration of war on the USA. Acquire two superpower enemies at one fell swoop.

    If you want a battle: Stalingard in Europe.

    Midway in the East. The Japanese lost four carriers.
  10. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    The battle of britan was not really the most decisive element in the war in europe. Without american support England could only really nuisence Germany as he turned to fight Russia. Was it important? Yes, no question.
    But the most important aspect was Stalingrad. Russia could not have faced Germany alone, but with what they had they held and started pushing Germany back long before we we're in gear.

    Could Russia have won without D-day? Yes, but they would not have I think. At some point the cost would be to great even for Stalinn and he'd have made a weary cease fire with Germany.
  11. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    I think the fact that the Italians couldn't defeat the Greeks was also a turning point. Germany was required to help them take Greece, which put the start of Operation Barbarossa back a few weeks. This obviously proved a fatal mistake, because the Germans were halted just before Moscow due as much to bad weather than anything else. Had Moscow fallen, the outcome of the war may have been completely different.
  12. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    That was important, but hardly a turning point.

    After that Germany was still on the offensive. After that the Allies were still in dire straights. After that the Russians had murderous years of retreating.

    Stalingrad was where thigns changed. The Germans surrendered, and they started the lng retreat to Berlin.
    That is a turning point. The start of a Russian Drive that would lead them to the Reichstag and a dominant position that lasted for almost 50 years.
  13. TripleB Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 4
    Well alot of good things have been discussed, so I will bring up a few things in conjecture.

    1) Pearl Harbor- Chances are, we will never REALLY know how much FDR REALLY knew. They probably knew an attack was imminent, but Pearl Harbor being the source of the attack was probably an extreme risk.

    2) Coudl Russia/Europe have won without the United states entering the war? Answer: Absolutely not!!! If the United States had not invaded North Africa, chances are, by 1942, the Africa Korp would have been used to invade Great Britain, ending the war almost outright.

    Also, if we had not intervened, the Nazi's almost certainly would have developed an Atomic Weapon no later then 1946. Put an A-Bomb on their V-1 and V-2 missles, and yes, the Soviets and the British would have surrenedered. Period. Remember that they were in the process by 1943 of going to get the ingrediants they needed to make weapons grade uranium. If it were not for the Allied Air attacks on Germany during that time, they would have had the time to research and develop a A-Bomb.

  14. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Montgomery was pushing Rommel back well before Operation torch.

    If torch hadn't happened Rommel might have made gone for another offensive, but given the state of his supply lines probably not.

    The Germans should have taken Malta. No question.

    Without the US the allies would have lost, but the same is true for the Russians and the Brits and the rest of the Empire and the Chinese.
  15. Talon Squad Leader Former Manager

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 1999
    star 5
    I say a turning point in the war was the creation and implementation of the P-51 Mustang fighter. No matter what tactics on the ground, no matter what battles were one, long range bombing and subequent action taken agains the Axis industrial complex could not have taken place without that little fighter. It provided a huge boost in Allied air superiority as well as giving the Allies a way to continuously attack targets from afar. As Herman Goering was once noted, once he saw American bombers being escorted all the way to Germany by the Mustang he knew the war was over.
  16. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Undoubtedly important by airraids alone can't win a war. The Germans learned that and the allies learned it. production always goes back up and the morale isn't destrpyed.

    What was the old joke?

    "One russian general met another in Paris and said 'By the way, who one the air war?'"

  17. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    Talon Squad Leader, or if you want to go the other way, the NOT using of the ME-262 who could beat those P-51 into pulp, luckely there wasn't enough fuel when hitler finally gave green light to use them (they were available in 1942 !)

    Also I would also say turning point would be greece, that stopped the germans from taking Moscow and without moscow the russians wouldn't have made it.

    Another turning point was the battle of Dunkirk.
  18. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    Farraday, I love that joke. I always tell it in military discussions, and get blank stares.

    // fades back into shadows
  19. That_Flashing Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2000
    star 5
  20. Rogue_Starbuck Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2000
    star 4
    Another factor to consider was that the Japanese did not attack the USSR's back door - Siberia. The movement of General Zukhov (sp?) and his Siberian soldiers, who specialised in artic conditions, to the Moscow front helped (along with the harsh Russin winter) to delay the Germans. If the Japanese had taken advantage of this situation, then it could have been a different story.

    Also, what if the US carriers were in port at Pearl Harbour? Then there would have been no Coral Sea victory, nor Midway.

  21. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    The point of the joke is to show that in the greater scheme of things, aircraft are not very important in warfare - they cannot occupy and control territory, they can merely annoy the forces that do.

    As for the turning point of WW2, from the German point of view, it was the Battle of Britain, at least according to Field Marshal von Rundstedt. Although they were still winning battles after September 1941, the German war machine essentially lost it's sense of invincibility and it's momentum. Many other factors come into play, the failure to build up the navy, and make proper use of the battleships (including the Bismarck and Tirpitz) for two points.

    As for the Pacific war, on land, it was the Battle of Kokoda, while at sea, it was almost certainly Midway.
  22. TripleB Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 4
    Well, I would argue that the German's did have the auru of power on the ground. Most of 1942 featured the German's charging thru the Soviet Union, which was no easy feat, and to make it as far as they did in as little time as they did is a great military feat. Unfortunately, they did get bogged down in Stalingrad and ran out of supplies, leading to the surrender of over 300,000 German troops.

    The P-51 was certainly a good plane, but you got to remember that pound for pound, the German Luftwaffe shot down more allied planes then it lost. The Luftwaffe was a good air corp, to be sure.

    But it is true that air power alone won't win a war. Even when the Germans unvealed the first use of Jet fighters in warfare in 1944, it was too late to turn the tide on the ground thru the air. Chuck Yeager, in his book, reveals the 'shock' factor when teh first squadron of jet fighters were used against the Allies, how there was so little they could do against them.


    And I am stunned to see no mention of the Flying Fortress Bombers that really pounded German industry into the ground.
  23. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    Or to be more correct under the ground. that's right at the end of the war germany was producing almost trice as much fighterplanes, guns etc as at the start of the war.
  24. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    As far as turning points goes, maybe most of these discussed aren't actual turning points but all were decisive to the outcome of the war.

  25. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    The case of the Messerschmidt Me-262 is merely another case of Hitler's interference. This work of art in terms of aeronautical engineering was designed purely as an interceptor - to get up there, mix it up with Allied bombers and fighters, and return to base for the next sortie. And yes, it's true, this plane was ready to be deployed from mid 1942.

    Yet Hitler saw the design for it and insisted that it be modified as a fighter-bomber, which went vastly outside it's flight envelope for maximum performance. Eg, less advanced aircraft were carrying two or three times as much ordnance as the Schwalbe for far better mission survivability. Most -262's were lost either on approach for landing, or prior to bomb release, where they were speed and maneuverability limited. Senior Luftwaffe officer, including General Lieutenant Adolf Galland, ranted about the mis-use of the most advanced warplane in the world at the time, yet they were continually rebuffed.
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