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Thread: Worst Military Performances of WW2: Pick Yours!

  1. #41
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    I wonder if Germany would have been better off allying with Nationalist China, instead of kind of betraying them and going with the Japanese. Seems doubtful though, I wouldn’t imagine China would’ve wanted a 3 front war with the Japs, CCP and USSR.

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  2. #42
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    The person who started this thread ("Berliners Remember") didn't dedicate it to the strategic mistakes of the Axis nor was it meant to be another "Germany's biggest blunders in WW2" thread nor was it about "how could Germany have won?" It's about battles gone wrong for the belligerents. The battle of Dunkirk qualifies, but the strategic and political consequences of Pearl Harbour and potential history don't. OP's favorite example is Operation Compass, the British invasion of Libya which led to staggering Italian losses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astragoth
    It wasn't the Italians that were the issue it was Mussolini. That conehead's invasion of Greece single handedly cost the Axis the war.
    Operation Marita, the invasion of Greece, was a most unnecessary diversion. It was a blunder on Mussolini's part. It had some impact on Operation Barbarossa, but how significant that impact was remains up for debate; I don't believe it to be crucial. Perhaps you got "lost time" and "general winter" on your mind as being the big drawbacks, but the bigger issue is Marita resulting in there being less potential reinforcements for Operation Barbarossa due to losses suffered by Germany's best troops in Greece and also extra wear and tear on equipment, rather than Barbarossa being postphoned due to slowed down deployment of Axis forces on the Eastern Front. The Balkan campaign does not seem to have influenced the start date of Operation Barbarossa.

    And because the weather had been exceptionally humid in the springtime, Russian roads were still in a terrible state by the start of the June. Even if the Germans had decided to attack regardless of that fact and hence also had been able to complete their deployment on time as planned (half May 1941) which they were unable to due to the sheer size of Operation Barbarossa and Polish/Hungarian/Romanian infrastructure or the lack thereof, what good would a mud bath in the Baltics, Belarus and Ukraine have done to the overall war effort in the East in the long run? The inability of the Germans to use their panzer forces properly at the onset of the campaign and logistical issues would've helped the Soviets to survive the opening stage of the war, the element of surprise would've been lessened too. And would any significant amount of time have been won? I certainly don't think so.

    And a side-effect of German involvement on the Balkan meant the Italians in North-Africa got a breather while Rommel received the opportunity to launch an offensive of his own, as Commonwealth forces were diverted from North-Africa to Greece, where they were always vulnerable to being completely cut off and captured on the European mainland, a fate that would eventually befall a great many of them.

    Italy's or the Axis' problem was not Mussolini though, he had the right idea in general, he was correct in believing the Axis main theatre of operations should've been the Middle East after the Fall of France; Italy's small industrial base and lack of resources were her bigger issues. It also took the Italians until 1942 before producing some semi-useful aircraft, tanks and other weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astragoth
    Japan's faliure to support Hitler was another big one.
    The German leadership wasn't too keen on Japanese participation either. But certainly, it would've been a favorable turns of events for Operation Barbarossa. There are reasons to doubt whether the Japanese would've gotten very far due to lack of infrastructure and the gigantic distances of the Russian Far East and the strength of Soviet forces and Japan's own weaknesses: Japan's armored doctrine and tanks were okay for war in the Pacific in the early forties, but they had no business participating in European style armored operations for instance. The Soviets had proven to be more than a match for the Japanese during border skirmishes prior to WW2. But they would've tied up Soviet forces.

    Yet at the same time Manchuria, an absolutely vital part of Japan's economy, would've been under constant threat and also bombed from the skies. As it happened, the Soviets overran Manchuria completely in the time space of just a few weeks at the end of WWII and it meant Japan could not continue the war anymore, it was perhaps more crucial than the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan as far as its decision to surrender is concerned.

    As an aside: at first there were only a few Siberian divisions diverted to Moscow in the winter of 1941, the role of Siberian troops in driving the Germans back as they neared Moscow has been overstated. So Japan not being at war with the USSR at that point was not a decisive factor in the outcome of the war.

    Quote Originally Posted by leRoux
    I wonder if Germany would have been better off allying with Nationalist China, instead of kind of betraying them and going with the Japanese. Seems doubtful though, I wouldn’t imagine China would’ve wanted a 3 front war with the Japs, CCP and USSR.
    And the British Empire and the Americans - Chinese cities would've burned. Not feasible. There would've been no foreign aid for China either from September 1939 on. They would not have been able to influence events in favor of Germany all that much - and not more so than Japan.
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