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"The 5 Key WWII Campaigns in the European Theater are..." Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian27 Sep 2021 10:31 a.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

The 5 Key WWII Campaigns in the European Theater?

And in the final round of voting, you determined:

17% of the votes: "Battle of Britain" AND "Normandy landings and breakout"

15%: "Stalingrad"

11%: "France 1940"

9%: "Operation Barbarossa (Summer 1941)"

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2021 10:52 a.m. PST

Interesting choices – I didn't pick Normandy because, IMHO, the Third Reich was doomed whether or not the Normandy landings succeeded

I did though pick Kursk which I see did not make the list

mildbill27 Sep 2021 4:44 p.m. PST

Since the British Army at D-Day was the last army Britian could field, a failure could mean a stalemate in the east.
Kursk is a good choice although I feel that the battle for the North Atlantic was probably the most important campaign.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2021 8:39 p.m. PST

Stalingrad, Kursk, North Africa, Normandy, Operation Bagration and Atlantic all had a measurable effect on the war. Perhaps add the air assault on German industries and oil production.

The East Front as a whole was the decisive campaign.

Perun Gromovnik27 Sep 2021 11:31 p.m. PST

I doubt that there would be stalemate in the east if D day failed

Murvihill28 Sep 2021 1:06 p.m. PST

IIRC the Germans fed 1400 tanks into the Normandy campaign. At the same time there were only 580 in Army Group Center. Bagration would have been much less successful if not for Normandy.

Mark 129 Sep 2021 3:18 p.m. PST

Bagration would have been much less successful if not for Normandy.

Hardly matters, though. By the summer of 1944 the Soviets could afford to fail with Operation Bagration. The Germans not only could not afford to fail, they could not even afford to win.

By this time the Soviets were producing about 3,000 tanks per month. And the population under Soviet control, from which they conscripted forces for their army, was growing by more than 100,000 adult males per month.

So yeah, 1,400 tanks might make a difference in one Soviet offensive. And then what? There will be another Soviet offensive.

They Soviet planning was based on using up all of the tanks in each of their strategic operations. Basically the tanks were considered as expendable as ammunition. You used them up, achieved what you achieved, and then planned your next operation using the next quantity of tanks that became available. At 3,000 tanks per month production, that meant a strategic offensive every month or so.

Even with all that the Soviets put into Bagration in July, they launched another strategic offensive, the 2nd Jassy Kishinev offensive, in August. This campaign took Romania out of the Axis camp, and all the petroleum that had flowed to the German war effort from Ploesti was cut off. This one change had a greater impact on German warmaking potential than the entire allied strategic bombing campaign of 3 1/2 years' duration.

So if Bagration falls short … so what?

(aka: Mk 1)

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