Greatest military blunder of WWII

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Thorlifter, May 11, 2007.

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Greatest military blunder of WWII

  1. German blunder of Dunkirk

    7.7%
  2. Operation Barbarosa

    32.7%
  3. Japan's mistakes at Midway

    5.3%
  4. Stalingrad

    9.1%
  5. Operation Sea Lion

    2.9%
  6. Operation Market Garden

    5.8%
  7. Kamikaze's

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Raid on Dieppe / Operation Jubilee

    3.4%
  9. Pearl Harbor

    9.6%
  10. Raid on Ploesti

    0.5%
  11. Battle of the Bulge

    1.0%
  12. Convoy PQ17

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  13. Hitlers Declaration of War on the US

    22.1%
  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Which one do you guys thing was the worst blunder of WWII?
     
  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    December 10th, 1941. Hitler declares war on the US. Firstly, it turned a European war into a global war. Before that, it is possible to call the wars going on The Great European War and The Great Pacific War. By declaring war on the US, it truely became a World War (not all the World was in it, but that stretched it all the way around the globe in an intertwined way).

    I was going to add June 22nd 1941 but that was not really a World War situation. It was still part of the Great European war. So Barbarossa doesn't quite make it (stupid blunder that it was).

    By declaring war on the US (the only country he actually did that to), Hitler added the last piece in the puzzle that would bring about his downfall. Russia had the Manpower, England had the position, the US had the Manufacturing capacity. US involvement in the European war might've been inevitable, but Hitler's actions only hurried his end.
     
  3. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    The worst blunder of the war was when Japan attacked the US at Pearl Harbor. They were absolutely unrealistic to believe that they had any chance to win a war against the US. The second worse was when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.
     
  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    DOH! I meant to add that one. Let me see if I can figure out how to add another catagory.
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Added it for you.

    I think that there are two many different ones that could fall into this catagory.

    Out of the list I voted for Dunkirk.

    The only reason I would not count the decleration of War on the US as a blunder is because it would have happened anyhow. If Germany had not declared war, the US would have done so eventually.
     
  6. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    Its not on the list but I'll go for the defense or rather the lack of defense by the British at Singapore there was adequate men and equipment to have fought off the Japanese but the leadership and planning where appalling.
    If I had to pick any other I would say Barbarossa soon as Hitler started on the Russians the whole out come of WW2 was sealed including that of the Japanese. Germany could not defeat Russia and the western powers simultaneously.
    After that the Russians begun their Manchurian campaign which had the A Bombs not been around was the beginning of yet another front that Japan could never hold so their defeat was inevitably on the cards
     
  7. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I'll have to go with Operation Market Garden. I wanted to go with Pearl Harbor because that is what got the U.S. mobilized and lit the fires in the production plants. But if the carriers were at Pearl, it's would have been trouble. Sure you can point out the oil fields were mostly ignored, but other than that, Pearl was a pretty successful attack.

    Operation Market Garden was a cluster F from the word go.
     
  8. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    The Japanese weren't trying to "Win a war" with the U.S. . Most high level Japanese knew that they could not win a protracted war with the Americans. They were hoping to kick America out of it's backyard so that they could continue to grow it's empire and reap the resources.

    They thought America was soft and would take the bloody nose at Pearl Harbor as a stern warning to get out of Asia.

    If there were a mistake by the Japanese, it was the bigger picture of underestimating the Americans determination to fight a long war.
     
  9. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    I voted on Hitler declaring war on the US, but it was a tough one. It was down to Midway, Stalingrad, and babarossa.
     
  10. nutesvagent

    nutesvagent New Member

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    Before I came up with my answer, I first had to define "blunder" with regard to WW2 events. It seems to me that if you have a decent plan, get all the available intelligence, have the appropriate forces to commit, and coordinate everything correctly, you should have a decent chance of success. That being said, a case could be made for the attack on Pearl Harbor, the German declaration of war, and just about any other one on the list. Except one. As Thorlifter said, Operation Market Garden was a cluster F from beginning to end. First of all, Montgomery was an idiot. I have no idea how he gained the reputation that he has enjoyed. He never won a single decisive victory except when he had overwhelming superiority in men, material, and terrain, and even then, it took him forever to act on his advantages. Market
    Garden was amateurish in concept. The idea that all those bridges could be seized and that XXX Corps could waltz single file down a single elevated road (like ducks in an arcade game) with no trouble should have been laughed at. When the intelligence came back showing tanks and SS in the area it was ignored. When the radio equipment looked like it might not work, that was ignored. And if these things weren't bad enough, after the whole thing got off to a disasterous start, they still kept dropping troops into the meat grinder. I can't think of a single thing worthy of praise except for the utterly heroic efforts of truly brave men who tried to make something good out of what was really a pile of dog crap. After all was said and done, Monty was knighted. Huh?
     
  11. Cyrano

    Cyrano Member

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    #11 Cyrano, May 11, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    The top three on the list would be the ones that caused the most damage to the Axis, these would be: Japan's failures and Midway, Barbarossa and Hitler's declaration of war on the US. Combined the made it a global war and one that the Axis was never going to be able to win. From there on it was almost certain Allied victory. I would agree with Lee about Singapore which was a humilation for the British but ultimately didn't contribute much as the Japanese were held at the Indian Border. Yes the British could of held out for longer (I have read recently though that there was only 2 days water supply left at the time of surrender) but unless they were resupplied they ultimately would of been starved out by the Japanese and the casualties would of been higher (as well as much of the Island destroyed) had the Japanese had to assault it. Dunkirk is another case of a missed opportunity that although major at the time would of only really resulted in prolonging the war as the British conscripted and trained the replacements for those left in France. Sealoin was just a missed opportunity (the same as Dunkirk) to knock Britain out of the war, had it succeeded (unlikely based on actual events) it would of been a success for a time and perhaps would of brought peace in Europe. Market Garden although messed up in the planning stages and in the intelligence ultimately although it cost a lot of lives achieved all but 2 of its objectives (Arnhem and the crossing of the Rhine) so it was mainly a success rather than a blunder. I would say the Battle of the Bulge was more of a Blunder than Market Garden was as it left the Germans outside of their fixed defences and vunerable to encirclement and destruction.

    Overall for me the thing that was the biggest blunder is going to be one of Hitler's decisions - Barbarossa or declaring war on the US. Barbarossa is less of a blunder than the latter because it almost succeeded until it was held at Moscow. So for me the biggest blunder was Hitler's declaration of war in the US, it effectively sealed his fate in Europe in 1941 when it was still 2 and half years until the Allies landed on the continent. Alongside this I would rank Japan's failures at Midway which lost her the majority of her carriers and experienced pilots. (if I could vote twice it would be for Midway and Hitler's war declaration) but as I can only vote once I will vote for Hitler's declaration of war on the US.
     
  13. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    It would have to be Dunkirk because if the Germans were knocking hard at the door with the Wehrmacht the RAF strength would have been blunted a bit more defending and counter attacking using UK based sqns . After all your not going to let your guys get decimated with air cover so close at hand . But I ''ll wait to vote
     
  14. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I agree with Adler that the Hitler declaration of war was not a blunder. Roosevelt was lookin for any excuse to declare war on Germany and the US would have been at war in Europe in short order. The big miscalculation that the Japanese made was not understanding the psyche of the majority of the population of the US at that time. The Japanese war aims might have been limited but the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by a race that the average American considered as "inferior and sub human" unleashed a hatred that caused the war in the Pacific to be waged on an entirely different level than the war in Europe. It was a racist war that was exacerbated by the atrocities commited by the Japanese and the US forces countered atrocity with plenty of their own atrocities. There was talk during WW2, especially by the British(and I think they were correct in thinking this way) of negotiations to end the war in Europe. There was never any thought of anything but the complete destruction of the Japanese Empire and their unconditional surrender in the Pacific. If the Japanese had not released that implacable desire for retribution by the Anglo-Celt in the US, Roosevelt would have had a much more difficult job getting the US into the war. You can bet that Roosevelt and especially Churchill both breathed a sigh of relief after December 7, 1941.
     
  15. rogthedodge

    rogthedodge Member

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    It has to be Dunkirk / Barbarossa / Operation Sealion - historically Hitler should have known a 2 front war was beyond Germany and therefore he should have dealt with one front before starting a second. I haven't voted as all 3 are aspects of the same decision

    If they'd captured the BEF we'd probably have sought terms and then Hitler would have been free to defeat Russia and the US would have struggled to stage any European inavsion (assuming Ireland would have been garrisoned)
     
  16. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    What about Hitlers order for the battle of Stalingrad to be fought in the city itself, and captured by flanking movements?
     
  17. Negative Creep

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    The Germans had already captured the flanks around Stalingrad. I don't think it was a blunder as such; there's no reason for German high command to expect the city to have been any more difficult to take then Kiev or Minsk. Although it was bad planning for the Germans to leave to Romanians to hold the flanks, I tihnk the eventual outcome was more down to good Soviet planning than bad German.
     
  18. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Definately Barbarossa. As a blunder it was the most devastating. It went way beyond the capabilities of Germany at the time.

    I would add two more :

    1. Invasion of Poland - only because most of Hitlers war machine was gearing up for a war around 1942 or nearabouts, went against the advice and planning of his Generals. Yes it succeeded but as a blunder I think it fits because of everything that came after.

    2. Anzio - Classic example of well laid plans with poor application.

    A third might be the failure to invade Malta. That was a huge sore spot for Germany and Italy.
     
  19. Maharg

    Maharg Member

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    I think Hitlers Declaration of War on the US was a huge mistake.
     
  20. 102first_hussars

    102first_hussars Active Member

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