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Turning Points

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Turning Points & Reasons for Allied Victory in World War II Adapted from a History Lecture by Ken Webb The issue of hindsight in history Advantages: We know the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Turning Points


1
Turning Points Reasons for Allied Victory in
World War II
  • Adapted from a History Lecture by Ken Webb

2
The issue of hindsight in history
  • Advantages
  • We know the result
  • Perspective
  • Can see the long-term
  • effects of events
  • Research
  • Lack of emotional involvement
  • (hopefully)
  • Danger
  • Nothing in history is inevitable,
  • even if hindsight suggests it is!

3
An outline
  • Turning Points
  • Identifying a turning point
  • Suggestions
  • Battle of Britain (Aug Sept 1940)
  • Survival of Moscow (Dec 1941)
  • El-Alamein (October 1942)
  • Kursk (July 1943)
  • Reasons for Allied Victory
  • Economies, organisation mobilisation
  • Victory at sea
  • Air supremacy
  • Moral high ground
  • Leadership

4
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5
Identifying a turning point
  • An unhistorical notion?
  • Too simplistic
  • History is complex
  • The danger of what if history
  • List of turning points is (almost) endless

6
The Battle of Britain Aug Sept 1940
  • What, when, where?
  • Outcomes
  • Reasons for outcomes
  • RAF skill, courage
  • Churchill British
  • determination
  • radar
  • where battle was fought
  • German errors
  • Beware the myths!
  • the few

7
Significance of the outcome of the Battle of
Britain (1)
  • End of Operation Sealion
  • the debate was it realistic?
  • Britains survival
  • Churchills survival
  • galvanised opposition
  • British morale
  • International impact
  • the USA Roosevelt

8
Significance of the outcome of the Battle of
Britain (2)
  • Richard Overys argument
  • revisionist, but
  • a calamity avoided
  • Strategic significance
  • two-front war
  • unsinkable aircraft carrier
  • promoting resistance
  • D Day after

9
The Survival of Moscow Dec 1941
  • Operation Barbarossa
  • Success of blitzkrieg
  • staggering Soviet losses
  • unstoppable Wehrmacht
  • August Kiev the Ukraine
  • impressive victory, but
  • Dec Moscow, so close, but
  • climate
  • logistics communication
  • Stalin Soviet morale
  • Zhukovs tactics
  • effect on German morale

10
Significance of the Survival of Moscow (1)
  • Russell Stolfis argument
  • Hitler so close in 1941
  • Britain no real threat
  • result German control of Europe
  • Rodric Braithwaites argument
  • chaos of Moscow
  • impact of Moscows fall/survival
  • Significance of Moscow
  • communications hub
  • industrial centre
  • issue of morale
  • military political collapse

11
Significance of the Survival of Moscow (2)
  • Moscows survival meant the
  • Soviet Unions survival
  • economically, politically
  • psychologically
  • Strategic significance
  • meaningful two-front war
  • economics an issue
  • the USA
  • Why not Stalingrad?
  • symptom not cause of Nazi
  • failure

12
The Battle of El-Alamein Oct 1942
  • October 1942
  • British 8th Army, led by
  • Montgomery
  • Deutsche Afrika Korps, led
  • by Rommel (on leave)
  • The battle
  • artillery bombardment
  • overwhelming Allied
  • superiority in tanks
  • infantry assault
  • WWI battle fought with
  • modern weapons
  • Lasted 12 days
  • ended with heavy Axis losses DAK in full
    flight

13
Significance of the outcome of the Battle of
El-Alamein (1)
  • End of the Axis presence in
  • North Africa
  • Nov 42 Allied landings in Vichy
  • N. Africa
  • Apr 43 Tunisia falls
  • 250 000 Axis POWs
  • Strategic importance
  • Suez Canal is safe
  • oilfields of the Middle East safe
  • threatens Italy, Balkans
  • Morale booster

14
Significance of the outcome of the Battle of
El-Alamein (1)
  • Historians differences
  • John Bierman/Colin Smith call it
  • a major turning point
  • Russian historians claim it was
  • small compared to the E. Front
  • Churchills view
  • This is not the end. It is not even
  • the beginning of the end. But it is
  • perhaps, the end of the beginning.
  • Before Alamein, we never had a
  • victory. After Alamein, we never
  • had a defeat.

15
The Battle of Kursk July 1943
  • Operation Citadel
  • Hitlers view of Kursk
  • Stalins view of Kursk
  • The battle
  • greatest tank battle in
  • history
  • Hitler tantalisingly close?
  • had to partially disengage
  • to reinforce Sicily
  • By Nov 43
  • Germans had lost Kharkov,
  • Smolensk, Kiev, etc

16
Significance of the outcome of the Battle of
Kursk (1)
  • Paul Carrells argument
  • in 43, Nazi victory still
  • a possibility
  • victory by the Germans would
  • allow them to regain the
  • strategic initiative
  • General view of Kursk
  • decisive defeat for Germany
  • strategic initiative passed to
  • Red Army
  • inexorable process of weakening
  • of the Wehrmacht

17
Significance of the outcome of the Battle of
Kursk (2)
  • Richard Overys argument
  • impact of German losses
  • balance of armoured vehicles
  • now completely in favour of the
  • Red Army
  • initiative passed to Red Army
  • Teheran Conference in Nov 43
  • dominated by the Big Three
  • discussed setting up post-war
  • Europe
  • gave Stalin leverage

18
Axis defeat isnt it obvious?
Axis Defeat
Allies had more men, more weapons, more
everything
Superior Allied economic strength
Germany had bitten off more than it could
chew
Axis defeat has an air of inevitability about
it
19
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20
Reasons for Allied Victory
USAs economic miracle
Soviet Unions superhuman efforts
Situation inside Nazi Germany
Reasons For Allied Victory
Allied control of the seas
Allied air supremacy
Allied leadership
Allied victory in the war of morale
21
Situation inside Nazi Germany
  • Germany in 1939 was
  • geared for a short war
  • Success of blitzkrieg led
  • to complacency
  • Internal structure
  • rivalries
  • Role of ideology
  • Belated move to
  • total war in 1943
  • Chaos, confusion, rivalry
  • duplication

22
USAs economic miracle
  • Roosevelts persuasion
  • preparation
  • American know how
  • Mass mobilisation
  • Patriotic profit
  • Relatively untouched by
  • war
  • Some amazing production
  • stats

23
Soviet Unions superhuman efforts
  • Fight for survival
  • Single-mindedness of the
  • Soviet state people
  • Economic relocation
  • Rationalisation
  • Soviet morale
  • Some amazing production
  • stats

24
Allied air supremacy
  • Effects of air supremacy
  • closed the Atlantic Gap
  • destruction of enemy
  • ground forces supplies
  • freedom of movement for
  • own assets
  • reduction of enemy morale
  • industry
  • Relationship differences
  • between tactical strategic
  • bombing
  • Allied innovation in
  • strategic bombing
  • Significance of strategic
  • bombing

25
Allied control of the seas
  • Britain almost brought to her
  • knees by U-boat menace in WW1
  • Churchill extremely worried by
  • U-boat threat
  • Kriegsmarine neglected by Hitler
  • Allied control of shipping lanes
  • crucial to supply Britain build
  • up troops to liberate Europe
  • Air power crucial to closing the
  • Atlantic Gap
  • Achieved by mid-1943 in Atlantic
  • Mediterranean

26
Allied victory in the war of morale
  • The side of right/moral
  • high ground
  • Big Three presented a
  • united front to the Axis
  • The Resistance in
  • Occupied Europe
  • Nazi rule by fear/terror
  • Domestic propaganda

27
Allied leadership
  • Hitlers lack of perspective
  • decision-making
  • Nazi system of government
  • The Big Three
  • (Western) Allied leaders
  • were politically answerable
  • to their countrymen

28
Reasons for Allied Victory
USAs economic miracle
Soviet Unions superhuman efforts
Situation inside Nazi Germany
Reasons For Allied Victory
Allied control of the seas
Allied air supremacy
Allied leadership
Allied victory in the war of morale
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