In this essay I will explore the decisions Hitler made and decide whether these were appropriate decisions or foolish decisions. Hitler’s decision to invade Russia on the June 22nd 1941, as opposed to the planned January 1941 proved fatal. This took the wind out of Germany’s sails and proved costly. The Russian troops were able to drag on the war to the winter of 1941. The harsh Russian weather proved unbearable for the German troops.
This defeat definitely had a major effect on WWII’s outcome due to the massive Nazi force that was allotted to Operation Barbarossa and their failure to take command of the U.S.S.R. The key points of Operation Barbarossa were who planned it, why they planned it, the events that had major effects on the war, and Germany’s failure. Hitler authorized Operation Barbarossa on December 18, 1940; the invasion started on May 15, 1941. However, the invasion did not actually begin until the 22 of June, 1941. The main reason Hitler wanted to invade the U.S.S.R. was because the Soviets had large amounts of land and resources that would help them in the war and he believed belonged to his country.
Hitler had extra motivation to take Stalingrad because the significance of the name, it was named after the Soviet Russian leader Stalin. Russia had been war torn and devastated from previous attacks and battles from the Germans, they knew they had to persevere and hang on along enough to defeat the German Army. The Soviets did have somewhat of a warning of the German attack, they shipped out cattle, grain, and other main supplies, but most of the civilians stayed. Hitler was very confident he could take this city down without losing major causalities. While Hitler was planning the attack the Soviet Marshall Zhukov was planning a major counterattack.
The German High Command, at this point, knew that they could no longer continue to fight and needed to surrender or face annihilation. Tactical changes within both main armies fighting on the Western Front would eventually lead to battlefield success for both sides while leading to an impending victory by the Allies. The Germans on one hand developed the use of combined arms, Stormtroopers. These soldiers while extremely successful also led to a destruction of the German moral and reserves due to high casualty rates. On the other side, the Allies stymied their original failures in tactics by maintaining moral and developing their own tactics.
This time the allied planners had their counter-strategy well developed. With the opening of the battle, forces were rushed to fold in onto the Germans. The Allied forces were not in front where their heaviest concentration of forces was placed, but in fact, at the sides, and in an attempt to avoid direct combat, the armored spearhead, was forced into a short narrow street. The idea behind the amrored spearhead was to concentrate as much firepower into a small front as possible, so any defenders in front of them will be overwhelmed. But the spearhead was ambushed and its plan unsuccessful.
Although Operation Overlord was a successful invasion, the leaders did a poor job in planning and losses were heavier than they needed to be. In the combining of strong American, British, and Canadian armies, the control of leadership became a problem at D-Day and affected the major decisions made for battles. One of the reasons for so many fatalities of Americans during D-Day was due to the lack of preparations and planning while using new boats and tanks in the treacherous waters. Another problem occurred during the use of the airplane bombings, and the affects that it has on the rest of the battle. The execution of Operation Overlord demonstrates poor planning through the struggles of the leadership control, through lack of preparation for the tides of the seas, and the allied forces’ poorly planned aerial attacks.
The capture of Pegasus bridge to hold back the German armour that would have spelt disaster for the whole invasion was executed without fail, the soldiers also set up an 'Alamo' just in case the Germans broke through the defence of their newly captured bridge, the Alamo being if the Germans broke ... ... middle of paper ... ...ish row after row and occasionally buried together. I believe that if the Russians did not come into the war than the outcome could have been much different, and if Stalin did not do his 3 5 year plans to modernise and equip Russia for war, then once again it could have been very different. I say this because Germany lost a lot of morale and many thousands of soldiers. This also spread evenly the opposition the allies faced to defeat Germany from all sides, from the 60 divisions that were in North France to the 120 that fought the Russians. Who knows, the war hinged on so many factors and it is our role as historians to find the truth working through bias, but there's one thing I know for sure and that's the fact that many people died and that its also our role as historians to make sure that's never forgotten.
Why the Stalemate on the Western Front Was Broken All of these reasons are important reasons as to why stalemate finally broke on the western front and they are all linked in various ways, The development of new technology like the tank was a important contributor but not the most important as there were advantages and disadvantages to the tank, advantages being that it caused a lot of alarm within the German troops and was a great moral boost among the British troops, another advantage was that it could advance ahead of the troops crashing through the enemies barbed wire and spraying the enemy with machine gym fire. The disadvantages of the tank was that when the tank was first developed not many people new how to use it and it did not have much effect as none of the men could keep up with the tank so it was always advancing to far ahead of the troops, the tank was almost to effective as it would blast through the enemies lines so quickly the infantry could not keep up. Germany also started inventing the tank so the sides were once again equal. There were also other new inventions like the new types of gasses for example chlorine and phosgene, there were advantages and disadvantages to using these types of gasses for example the disadvantages were that chlorine could be seen and its effect was immediate. And Phosgene was a terrible gas that was later developed which could not be seen and was not effective immediately causing only mild discomfort to begin with but eventually deadly.
The invasion of Normandy by the allied forces would not have been a success without the courageous fighting and essential sabotage of the ground troops such as Adelchi Pilutti. World War II had been raging for five long years. The allied forces had begun pushing a brutal offensive against the axis power in North Africa, but General Eisenhower, general of the allied armies, knew this was not enough to stop the axis beast. He knew they would have to begin an offensive movement on Hitler’s famous Second Front, Normandy, France(Snyder 58-59). Eisenhower’s plan was to drop men from planes behind the beach front to disable communication, bridges, and any other points of interest(Snyder 58-59).
The Germans were successful in the beginning, taking the lead for a short time. This was generally because the Americans were totally oblivious to the Germans movement. They had no idea of the planned attack against them, so the Germans used the element of “surprise”. Also, the intense cold meant the ground was hard enough to move the tanks in and destroy many American forts/vehicles. And before the attack itself, English speaking German soldiers disguised themselves as American soldiers and spread misinformation, cut telephone lines, changed road signs, and helped the other German soldiers capture bridges critical to the success of the war.