Poll: Most significant death of WWII?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by smilefan, Apr 28, 2011.

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Most significant death of WWII

Poll closed Jun 27, 2011.
  1. Adolf Hitler

    9.1%
  2. Franklin Delano Rooseveldt

    9.1%
  3. Isoroku Yamamoto

    54.5%
  4. Erwin Rommel

    27.3%
  5. Nicolai Vatutin

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. smilefan

    smilefan New Member

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    #1 smilefan, Apr 28, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
    In your opinion, the individual whose death during WWII had the
    most significant impact on the course of the war.

    Adolf Hitler – Died 04/30/45 (?) His death pretty much marked the end of the ETO struggle.
    An obvious choice, or is it? Chuikov’s men were within firing range of the
    bunker when he pulled the trigger. Wasn’t the end only days away even if he had lived?

    FDR – A prime contender. Died 04/12/45. Allied troops were only about a month
    from Berlin. Truman was only VP for about 80 days when he passed and never
    in his confidence about the full war picture (i.e. Manhatten Project). So Truman
    marched to his own drummer in prosecuting the last 4 months of the war. Would FDR have dropped The Bomb?

    Yamamoto – Died 04/18/43. Would he have been able to hold the USN at bay
    any better than his followers? Generally acknowledged as the sharpest tool
    in the IJN shed, his death took a lot of the wind out of Navy confidence/moral.
    The war was a trainwreck for Japan after his passing.

    Erwin Rommel – Died 10/14/44 by his own hand as a result of his somewhat
    oblique involvement in Hitler’s Wolf’s Lair assassination attempt. What might
    the Battle of the Bulge have been like with the Desert Fox in the mix?
    Would he have been able to buy enough time for Germany’s wonder weapons
    to see front line service?

    Nicolai Vatutin – Died 04/15/44. Arguably one of Stalin’s best generals.
    He foiled Manstein’s attempt to take Leningard. He achieved the first large-scale encirclement of German forces at the Battle of Moscow. He stopped the Wehrmacht at the Battle of Voronezh, where after they focused their efforts on Stalingard. He contributed to the Stalingrad victory by encircling and destroying the Italian 8th Army. He contributed to the victory at Kursk, then vigorously pursued the Germans retaking Belgorod in the process. He beat Manstein at Kiev.
    In a pincer move with General Konev he trapped 60,000 Wehrmacht troops in the Korsun Pocket. Ironically, he was killed in an ambush by insurgent Ukrainian troops in early ‘44. Could he have accelerated the drive to Berlin and the end of war in the ETO? Seems very possible for this aggressive dynamo.

    Feel free to suggest any others not on this listing. And detail the rationale for your choice.
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    It certainly was not Hitlers. The war was over any way you look it at. By the time he commited Suicide it was only a matter of days and if he had lived it would not have ended that.

    The only thing signifigant about it, was that since he killed himself he was not able to put on trial and answer for his crimes.
     
  3. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Though the war was over when Hitler comiitted suicide, if he had chosen to leave Berlin and hole up in the Alps somewhere, the war might have gone on for some weeks or months longer.....if he had tried to disappear to Sth America or somewhere, the world would still be full of rumours and nutbags trying to glanourize him. So IMO the death of Hitler was still the most significant death of the war.

    An interesting what if is if Hitler had been captured.......would the Nurnberg trial still have proceeded????
     
  4. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Extending Parsifal scenario, an escaped Hitler leading a resistance movement. There were still large numbers of undefeated German soldiers and Hitler Youth. Hitler would have served as a rallying point for all those Germans, sort of a Napoleon from Elba.
    FDR had no effect by that point.
    Rommel/Yamamoto could have lengthened the war and made thing more difficult but in either case the writing was on the wall
     
  5. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    the death of General Sikorski from Poland might have had the most effect at least on post war europe
     
  6. smilefan

    smilefan New Member

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    #6 smilefan, Apr 28, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
    Hitler certainly could have gotten out of Berlin. Hanna Riech tried to fly him out. It would have
    lenghtened the war's mopup a bit, but never put the end in any doubt. Most of the General Staff
    wanted him dead at that point, even Himmler had deserted him, and his health and spirit were gone.
    I doubt many would have rallied to him.

    I think FDR would have dropped the bomb, just like Truman did. His passing did not appreciably
    effect the last 4 months of the war.

    I choose Yamamoto as the individual whose death had the greatest effect. I think his presence,
    though never putting the end in doubt, would have lenghtened the war in the Pacific by many months. Even though he lost miserably at Midway, he fought a brutal slugging match in the Solomons where he gave almost as good as he got. We were down to Enterprise alone at one point. He showed his ability to bleed us
    white with the proper resources at his disposal. Had he lived, I think there is every reason to believe
    his defensive strategies would have been very effective in delaying the inevitable. Although Japan's
    loss was assured even by mid '43. They had no backup plans or wonder weapons in the works.

    Rommel could have fought a brilliant rear guard action in the closing days of ETO, but by his
    death it was already too late for new jets and rockets to have bought Germany any significant
    breathing room. Even if he bought them enough time to field some hundreds of new jets,
    they didn't have the infrastructure to support large enough air operations to contest the Allies
    air supremacy.

    Nicolai Vatutin could have indeed hastened the Battle of Berlin if Stalin had let him. But Stalin
    was in no hurry to end the war. He swung thru the Balkans and Eastern states first to make
    sure they were Communist states postwar. Taking his time getting to Berlin.
     
  7. smilefan

    smilefan New Member

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    You think he could have lobbied with the other Allies with any success against Stalin?
    Stalin was planning Poland's occupation and subjegation as early as the Warsaw Uprising
    of '44, where he deliberately let the Wehrmacht slaughter the Polish Resistance despite
    having a huge Army camped within easy reach to assist them.
     
  8. cherry blossom

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    Dare I escape the initial “during WW2” clause and hesitantly suggest King Albert I of Belgium. He was killed in an accident in 1934. It is just possible that his influence might have maintained a Franco-Belgian Alliance leading up to WW2 and possibly prevented WW2 or allowed a quick allied victory in 1938 or 1939.
     
  9. cherry blossom

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    Escaping in the other direction, Subhas Chandra Bose probably died on 18th August 1945. Had he survived, he would have given the British a nasty problem!
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Why? The war was over and the Brits tacitly understood that India was going to gain independence one way or another.
     
  11. cherry blossom

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    So what would they have done if he had fallen into their hands or been somewhere, such as Thailand, where they could perhaps ask the government to hand him over? For that matter, what would Nehru have wanted done?
     
  12. Coors9

    Coors9 Member

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    I'll go Hitler just for the war crimes trial. That would have been something to see.
     
  13. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I'll go with Yamamoto. I feel he was still in control more than Rommel was at the time of their death.
     
  14. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    another interesting if Hitler had surrendered to the Russians, would they have allowed him to go to trial??????

    And would they have hanged him? And would that have transformed him into some kind of grotesque martyr?????
     
  15. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    I went for Yamamoto Isoroku since there's no Ernst Udet. Both understood their enemies (more than others around them) both were skilled in their knowledge, and both might gave changed things at least slightly in-favour of their own side more than it was.
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Udet may have had some impact, but he was too steeped in the "old school" of thought (example: planes had to be capable of dive-bombing). He may have understood his enemies but he wasn't impressed with, nor took advantage of, leading edge technology when it was presented to him at a critical stage of Germany's buildup. This was more of a setback than an advantage.
     
  17. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Reinhard Heydrich is my proposal for the most significant death of WWII. Under Hitler and Himmlers direction he was the driving force behind the Final Solution. With his drive and phycopathic urges Euopean Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals and other so called undesirables could well have all been wiped out by 1945.
     
  18. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I actually have 2 not on the list. If the criteria is who would've changed the war I submit...

    1) General Wever. The importance of aircraft during the war and the importance of bombing, I would pick him as one who might have changed the war had he lived. A proponent of the larger bombing and not the dive-bombing concept, he was Germany's only voice for what the Allies eventually proved would win the war.

    2) Werner Molders. He would have at the very least got Goering to accept certain realities with his Luftwaffe and with Galland as his wingman, might have changed the face of the war in ragrds to how the Luftwaffe operated. As it was, Galland fough on alone against Goering and eventually was laid to the side. I think Moelders would have been a stronger voice for what was needed. And that may have given the Allies fits.
     
  19. cherry blossom

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    One additional possibility is Italo Balbo. It is just possible that he might have launched a determined attempt to invade Egypt from Libya before enough British forces arrived to stop him. I doubt if he would succeed but he coundn't do worse than Graziani.
     
  20. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    wqually, if O'Connor had not been captured, the British may have been able to re-organise their armoured forces in the desert more quickly and neutralised Rommels brilliance more quickly.

    Or perhaps even if Gott had not been killed, we might have had a similar result in 1942.

    There are endless possibilities here.....
     
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