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At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.

Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby LWD on 03 Jan 2013 16:24

Adibach wrote:The down fall of Germany was when Hitler ordered his tanks to hilt before reaching Dunkirk

Hitler basically confirmed the halt order he didn't make it. The tanks stopped because they couldn't go much further.
..the British Army had time to retreat..also no going through with the invasion of Great Britten...

It's not clear just what a continued advance would have resulted in. There's a very good chance that at least some of the force that evacuated at Dunkirk would have escaped anyway and it could potentially have been a disaster for the Germans. In any case Sea Lion would still have been very questionable.
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby phylo_roadking on 04 Jan 2013 02:08

Sept. 1 1939...Germany had some victories and gains, but having never won WW2, IMHO the first day was the point she lost WW2.


Not quite... :wink:

10:59:59 GMT on September 3rd :) AFter all - under Hitler the Germans beat the Poles pretty much squarely...but that was just the Polish war...

At one second to 11am on the 3rd, the two-hour window to reply to the Anglo-French ultimatum to withdraw or give undetakings to withdraw from Poland ran out :P At 11am it became a world war.
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby rodrigueza15 on 05 Jan 2013 01:56

Germany lost the war when they decided to invade Russia. They just did not have the resources to do it and the German High Command knew it. Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch wrote.
“The German Army is tired. The vain effort to defeat Russia's armies has used up its equipment and reduced its morale.”
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby bf109 emil on 06 Jan 2013 08:15

phylo_roadking wrote:
Sept. 1 1939...Germany had some victories and gains, but having never won WW2, IMHO the first day was the point she lost WW2.


Not quite... :wink:

10:59:59 GMT on September 3rd :) AFter all - under Hitler the Germans beat the Poles pretty much squarely...but that was just the Polish war...

At one second to 11am on the 3rd, the two-hour window to reply to the Anglo-French ultimatum to withdraw or give undetakings to withdraw from Poland ran out :P At 11am it became a world war.


ya, your more correct, they did have a window to escape WW2, but time lapsed and phylo is right as to a more accurate defeat of Germany timeline...
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby doogal on 11 Jan 2013 16:58

The end of 1941.. between the failure of Barbarossa and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour prompting Hitlers declaration of War in support of his Axis Partners. so the end of September to 7th December .... After these events there were to many opponents for Germany in too many theatres. A strategic dead end had been reached. The Russians had survived and the Americans would come.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby ColinWright on 12 Jan 2013 00:20

My vote would be for when Germany paused in its drive on Moscow and turned away to Kiev.

I'm aware of the counter-arguments -- but I think the Germans could have taken Moscow in late August/early September 1941, and the city falling that suddenly might well have caused the Soviet empire to fall apart. This in turn would have put Germany in a very favorable position to force Britain and America to accept a negotiated peace -- particularly if Hitler had had the wisdom to not declare war on America in December 1941.

Certainly it's difficult to see how Germany could have won after she made the choice to turn away to the south. Conversely, I don't clearly see how she could have won other than by taking Moscow in 1941. War between Russia and Germany was going to come, and 1941 was actually Germany's one best year to strike.

...I've also contemplated Seelowe, and I don't think that was likely to work under any circumstances. Even had there been no 'Panzer halt order' and the Germans had destroyed the bulk of the B.E.F., it remains problematical. At the end of the day, there's no way the Germans can keep the Royal Navy from entering the Channel and sinking any invasion fleet -- and Britain actually had a fairly formidable collection of troops forming and training in Britain even without the B.E.F. Home Forces could probably have dealt with whatever the Germans did manage to get across the Channel -- given the Royal Navy. There is the Luftwaffe -- but there is also this thing called 'night.' As events off Crete demonstrated the next year, while the Luftwaffe could inflict appalling losses on the Royal Navy, it couldn't actually stop it from interfering with an amphibious operation if the Navy chose to accept the cost -- and of course if it had been a matter of a German invasion fleet being in the Channel, the Royal Navy would have accepted the cost.

Actually, about the only way wiping out the B.E.F. might prove decisive is that it might tilt the balance in London towards peace. For all the subsequent claims, the issue of whether to go on was undecided at the beginning of June, and if there had been no Dunkirk, Churchill might not have prevailed, Britain might have inquired as to Hitler's peace terms, and she might have found them acceptable. However, none of that has anything to do with a successful Seelowe.

Morever, Britain accepting a peace would not necessarily have secured final victory for Germany in and of itself. There was still seems likely to be a clash with Russia. When and on whose initiative was open, but not the clash itself. Even aside from Stalin's aggressive tendencies, there are Hitler's. The whole point of the war was ultimately to attack and destroy the Soviet Union and acquire his 'Lebensraum.' How does it make sense to have waged the war at all if he is forgo that?

...and to win that clash, Germany's one best bet is a single-minded and swift drive on Moscow in 1941.

So it comes back to the decision to turn away from Moscow. In almost any timeline, Germany loses when she does that.
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby KDF33 on 13 Jan 2013 20:15

How would taking Moscow lead to the defeat of the USSR? It's just a city, the importance of which to the Soviet war effort as a transportation hub is IMO overstated. All the fundamentals which allowed the USSR to maintain it's war effort - it's abundant supply of manpower, the preservation of it's war industry and the retainment of sufficient industrial resources (oil, coal, iron ore, alloy metals, Lend Lease supply) - would remain after the fall of the capital. Even a putsch against Stalin wouldn't change these fundamentals. In fact, the only way I can imagine the fall of Moscow having a decisive negative impact on the Soviet ability to resist is if it triggered a civil war between different Soviet factions, like the RCW of 1918, a most unlikely scenario in 1941.

In sum, it was IMO impossible for Germany to defeat the USSR in a single campaign, so your point is moot.
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby merdiolu on 23 Jan 2013 12:44

KDF33 wrote:How would taking Moscow lead to the defeat of the USSR? It's just a city, the importance of which to the Soviet war effort as a transportation hub is IMO overstated. All the fundamentals which allowed the USSR to maintain it's war effort - it's abundant supply of manpower, the preservation of it's war industry and the retainment of sufficient industrial resources (oil, coal, iron ore, alloy metals, Lend Lease supply) - would remain after the fall of the capital. Even a putsch against Stalin wouldn't change these fundamentals. In fact, the only way I can imagine the fall of Moscow having a decisive negative impact on the Soviet ability to resist is if it triggered a civil war between different Soviet factions, like the RCW of 1918, a most unlikely scenario in 1941.

In sum, it was IMO impossible for Germany to defeat the USSR in a single campaign, so your point is moot.



Definetely agree on that. When Moscow has fallen in 1812 to Bonaparte's Grande Armee it did not spell doom of Russia either. Russians just retreated and continued to fight. And in 1941 their main forces and vital industrial potential were already transported beyond the reach of Germans.
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby Alixanther on 26 Jan 2013 21:24

There are lots of such "turning points" as historians say. In my opinion I'd say Germany lost WW2 the day Roosevelt got reelected. Hitler probably declared war to US because he thought a Roosevelt-led US would jump into the British war wagon anyway. I know I shouldn't dabble into "what if's" but I dare to say that in such an occurrence (a candidate of "America First" gets elected instead) Hitler might have even broken the Tripartite Pact, align with the US and ask them to mediate a separate peace with Britain. This might have strained his relations with Mussollini even more but once he got Romania under control he could care less about Italian oil difficulties. However the case, Mussollini would have been forced to swallow the bitter pill or even oisted out of command by the king. I very much think Hitler would've preferred to wage war against SU, Italy and Japan instead of US and Britain which he regarded as "his fellow anglo-saxons".
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby RJ55 on 27 Jan 2013 02:18

KDF33 wrote:How would taking Moscow lead to the defeat of the USSR? It's just a city, the importance of which to the Soviet war effort as a transportation hub is IMO overstated. All the fundamentals which allowed the USSR to maintain it's war effort - it's abundant supply of manpower, the preservation of it's war industry and the retainment of sufficient industrial resources (oil, coal, iron ore, alloy metals, Lend Lease supply) - would remain after the fall of the capital. Even a putsch against Stalin wouldn't change these fundamentals. In fact, the only way I can imagine the fall of Moscow having a decisive negative impact on the Soviet ability to resist is if it triggered a civil war between different Soviet factions, like the RCW of 1918, a most unlikely scenario in 1941.

In sum, it was IMO impossible for Germany to defeat the USSR in a single campaign, so your point is moot.


War is more than strategy and logistics-it is also a political activity. Both Hitler and Stalin often defended or attacked cities not just for their strategic importance [and some did not have much importance] but their propaganda/national pride value. The prime example here is Stalingrad. Hitler ruined the whole balance of his strategy in the south by wasting huge resources trying to take Stalingrad, and we know the cost-the total loss of 6th Army, and the smashing of several allied armies. The loss of men and equipment during and after Stalingrad made the retreat from Asia manditory, and made the whole German campaign in the east a failure.
Stalin too wasted resources on Stalingrad, but he had less to lose, as the long German left flank had too few men and guns. So although he too was as fanatical about saving Stalingrad as Hitler was in taking it, defending Stalingrad did have more strategic value to him.

IF Hitler had let Manstein take Leningrad when the last defences were breached, then Moscow would have been much easier, for the left flank would have been secured, the link-up with the Finns achieved, any future threat from the Murmansk convoys averted, and the ability to supply at least part of Army group North via the Baltic sea/Leningrad would have relieved somepressure on the main supply lines for army groups North and centre. this would have made the Moscow push less hazardous, and easier to hold onto once it was captured. It was all win. But the opportunity passed quickly and so most of a whole army group [Nord] had to do "guard duty" for 900 days. Perhaps "guard duty" is the wrong term, because AG North were under severe pressure from the Russians nearly all the time, especially when strong assets were transferred south for the summer campaign in 1942.
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby steverodgers801 on 27 Jan 2013 15:50

Exactly where were these men to take Lenningrad to come from. There were not enough men to guard the flanks of the army group as it was and tanks were of little value due to the swamps and forests. and the city fighting would have killed men at a much higher rate. The last defences were not breached as the city it self was being fortified.
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby RJ55 on 28 Jan 2013 11:52

steverodgers801 wrote:Exactly where were these men to take Lenningrad to come from. There were not enough men to guard the flanks of the army group as it was and tanks were of little value due to the swamps and forests. and the city fighting would have killed men at a much higher rate. The last defences were not breached as the city it self was being fortified.


There were plenty of men to take Lenningrad, as I am talking about the initial assault in 1941. After Hitler's stop order the 11th army and Manstein were transfered south to attack the Crimea.
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby ljadw on 28 Jan 2013 13:09

No:11th Army was already in the south in june ,in september,Manstein was transferred to the south,because of the death of von Schobert,commander of the 11A
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby steverodgers801 on 28 Jan 2013 16:01

Mansteins troops were scheduled to to north in 1942 after the fall of Sevastopol, but it was incomplete. The Germans were having tough battles in the Valdai hills area and their PZ group was sent south to help the flanks of AGC in part due to the difficulty of the terrain for tanks.
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Postby Halle on 29 Jan 2013 01:46

Germany lost WW2 the moment it accepted a war on two fronts - It should have brought the British to a separate peace before it invaded the Soviet Union .
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