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(Cracked)   Do you know your history? Can you tell us the name of the most important battle of WWII? Rhetorical question, your answer will be wrong no matter what it is   (cracked.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, World War II, Red Army, Russia, top-secret Nazi spy plane, War, Eastern Front, Operation Barbarossa, high-tech equipment  
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2548 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Aug 2020 at 5:05 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-08-09 2:12:03 PM  
It's simple. The battle of Bowling Green.

Thread over.
 
2020-08-09 2:22:54 PM  
The battles of Khalkin Gol.  If Zhukov didn't win those, Stalin would not have put him in charge of the defense of Stalingrad, and the Germans likely would have gotten to the oilfields in the Caucasus.
 
2020-08-09 2:24:02 PM  
The battle to transform into a normal society afterwards.
 
2020-08-09 2:26:07 PM  
stalingrad
 
2020-08-09 2:26:27 PM  
Holy shiat, I guessed it without looking.

/just lucky
//literally started reading the man's bio yesterday
 
2020-08-09 2:27:25 PM  
Depends. Stalingrad. Midway. Battle of Britain. Battle of the North Atlantic. Gulf of Leyte.
 
2020-08-09 2:32:06 PM  

italie: The battle to transform into a normal society afterwards.


Technically, it was the battle to transform into a normal society before the war that ultimately made Germany, Russia, and Japan the 3 major belligerents. All 3 went through immense and violent upheavals between WW1 and 1939 trying to expand their influence so they could be seen as coequal to the other European powers which allowed nationalist movements to flourish and commandeer the levers of government and military power.

And yeah, the second I read "most important battle" the only viable answer was Russia vs Japan in Mongolia. It freed up both powers to subsequently join the Axis and kick off the opening push against lesser powers in Europe and east Asia.
 
2020-08-09 2:54:05 PM  
The most important thing about WW2 weren't the battles, it was the friends we made along the way.
 
2020-08-09 2:57:26 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: The battles of Khalkin Gol.  If Zhukov didn't win those, Stalin would not have put him in charge of the defense of Stalingrad, and the Germans likely would have gotten to the oilfields in the Caucasus.


So honestly the most important battle was Operation Barbarossa because without it, Hitler doesn't feed millions of soldiers to the Russian meat grinder to begin with.
 
2020-08-09 3:02:01 PM  
Since when is anything on Cracked factually correct or even minimally fact-checked?
 
2020-08-09 3:02:48 PM  

thecactusman17: italie: The battle to transform into a normal society afterwards.

Technically, it was the battle to transform into a normal society before the war that ultimately made Germany, Russia, and Japan the 3 major belligerents. All 3 went through immense and violent upheavals between WW1 and 1939 trying to expand their influence so they could be seen as coequal to the other European powers which allowed nationalist movements to flourish and commandeer the levers of government and military power.

And yeah, the second I read "most important battle" the only viable answer was Russia vs Japan in Mongolia. It freed up both powers to subsequently join the Axis and kick off the opening push against lesser powers in Europe and east Asia.


I'm not going to argue that, because there really is no one answer.

I will caution against dismissing the mental strain and toll reversing "the wartime norm" to "normal society" took on people.

Physical pain is short lived. Mental pain sticks around a while.
 
2020-08-09 3:06:56 PM  
I was thinking Stalingrad but Khalkin Gol makes more sense in the grand scheme of things.

An argument could probably be made for Pearl Harbor as well.  Not so much the battle itself but the reaction to it by the American population (pissing them off & getting the industrial might of the US involved/making things just a matter of time). Even though FDR wanted/knew the US would be involved eventually, the population in general was fairly isolationist.

If Zhukov gets the nod because he showed Stalin what could be done, then Japan getting eventually swamped by materials/equipment from the US that Japan just couldn't match production wise should also be in the discussion.
 
2020-08-09 3:07:08 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Marcus Aurelius: The battles of Khalkin Gol.  If Zhukov didn't win those, Stalin would not have put him in charge of the defense of Stalingrad, and the Germans likely would have gotten to the oilfields in the Caucasus.

So honestly the most important battle was Operation Barbarossa because without it, Hitler doesn't feed millions of soldiers to the Russian meat grinder to begin with.


Barbarossa would have worked if nearly all Russian troops were still in the east and not mobilized into Poland where they could fight delaying actions and draw the German lines hundreds of miles forward of their logistical support.
 
2020-08-09 3:17:00 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Marcus Aurelius: The battles of Khalkin Gol.  If Zhukov didn't win those, Stalin would not have put him in charge of the defense of Stalingrad, and the Germans likely would have gotten to the oilfields in the Caucasus.

So honestly the most important battle was Operation Barbarossa because without it, Hitler doesn't feed millions of soldiers to the Russian meat grinder to begin with.


So the Germans invaded Russia to get to the oil. But... if the Italians hadn't farked up invading Egypt and seizing Suez, would the oil in the Sinai had allowed the Axis to skip invading Russia? I know most of Egypt's oil comes from that area but not sure if those fields were fully explored back during WW2.
 
2020-08-09 3:35:40 PM  
Breaking the Japanese diplomatic cipher lead to the pivotal moment in the Pacific theater -- the victory at Midway, made famous in the 41% Rotten Tomatoes score movie of the same name.

Wasted opportunity, Cracked.  At the expense of a lousy joke, you could've directed people to a significantly better, though still imperfect, movie of the same name:

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0074899/
 
2020-08-09 3:36:37 PM  
I was thinking Kursk......
 
2020-08-09 3:54:41 PM  
Battle of Moscow.  The Germans take Moscow and its surrounding area and they may have actually knocked the Soviet Union out of the war.  Virtually every major railway line and roadway the Soviets had went through Moscow, so you'd cut that and virtually destroy their ability to move men and material north to south in reasonable quantities in a reasonable amount of time.  Some of the most important Soviet military infrastructure and manufacturing was within 100 miles of Moscow.  Stalin had made the decision to stay in Moscow, you remove him from the picture, the way Stalin had remade the Soviet political system to depend entirely on him, good luck getting a new leadership structure sorted out and set up in enough time.

Operation Typhoon and the 1941 Battle for Moscow - John Suprin
Youtube 8Z4aQTZC4H4

I'm going to discount the Pacific entirely because just looking at the U.S. by itself, the economic disparity was so big that we would have won eventually as long as we stayed in the fight.  Battle of Britain is kind of an amorphous thing, but even if the Luftwaffe gains air superiority, that doesn't mean they get air supremacy.  The British aren't going to stop producing aircraft and flying sorties.  It also doesn't mean the Germans can invade without problems, the Royal Navy is still there and the Germans don't have the logistics to supply an army even if it gets across the channel.  Battle of the Atlantic, there is an argument there.
 
2020-08-09 4:00:35 PM  

italie: The battle to transform into a normal society afterwards.


The Germans, Japanese and perhaps to a lessor extent Italians seem to have mostly threaded the eye of that particular needle.

It's the winners that seem to have had the problems with transitioning to a lasting mutual peace.
 
2020-08-09 4:11:14 PM  
 Cheers subby, I'd not heard of Purple.

*cough* Pearl Harbor:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_B_​C​ipher_Machine#Impact_of_Allied_decrypt​ion
 
2020-08-09 4:12:42 PM  
The Armstrong and Miller Show | Hitler Has Only Got One Ball
Youtube Y1DWJQkOJew
 
2020-08-09 4:44:40 PM  

LewDux: [YouTube video: The Armstrong and Miller Show | Hitler Has Only Got One Ball]


Standard.
 
2020-08-09 4:52:12 PM  

kbronsito: The most important thing about WW2 weren't the battles, it was the friends we made along the way.


No. It was the fact we found the real "Secret Garden" was inside *each* of us all along.
 
2020-08-09 4:59:01 PM  
That's easy...the air battle over Lake Chelan, WA.

I'm obviously kidding, but my Grandpa once told me that some people in town had really bad war nerves...and they claimed that they saw Japanese Zeros flying over the lake at night.
 
2020-08-09 4:59:52 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Marcus Aurelius: The battles of Khalkin Gol.  If Zhukov didn't win those, Stalin would not have put him in charge of the defense of Stalingrad, and the Germans likely would have gotten to the oilfields in the Caucasus.

So honestly the most important battle was Operation Barbarossa because without it, Hitler doesn't feed millions of soldiers to the Russian meat grinder to begin with.


Hitler lost when he declared war on the USA in December 1941.  In a way, it was Hitler's battle against his inner Hitler, and loser Hitler won.  His original plan all along was to enslave Russia.
 
2020-08-09 5:00:39 PM  

The_Sponge: That's easy...the air battle over Lake Chelan, WA.

I'm obviously kidding, but my Grandpa once told me that some people in town had really bad war nerves...and they claimed that they saw Japanese Zeros flying over the lake at night.


i1.wp.comView Full Size
 
2020-08-09 5:03:33 PM  

kbronsito: The most important thing about WW2 weren't the battles, it was the friends we made along the way.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-09 5:07:24 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: The_Sponge: That's easy...the air battle over Lake Chelan, WA.

I'm obviously kidding, but my Grandpa once told me that some people in town had really bad war nerves...and they claimed that they saw Japanese Zeros flying over the lake at night.

[i1.wp.com image 850x408]


Hahahahaha.

No joke:

I still remember my Dad renting 1941 for me when I was 11 or so.  When the guy in the diner mentions war nerves, Dad briefly told me about Grandpa's story.

/Asked Grandpa about it the next time I saw him.
//Forgot most of the details, though.
 
2020-08-09 5:18:19 PM  

The_Sponge: kbronsito: The most important thing about WW2 weren't the battles, it was the friends we made along the way.

[Fark user image image 425x643]


Also:

Don Rickles looks like a bad ass mofo on the poster.  R.I.P.
 
2020-08-09 5:18:51 PM  

Naido: Breaking the Japanese diplomatic cipher lead to the pivotal moment in the Pacific theater -- the victory at Midway, made famous in the 41% Rotten Tomatoes score movie of the same name.

Wasted opportunity, Cracked.  At the expense of a lousy joke, you could've directed people to a significantly better, though still imperfect, movie of the same name:

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0074899/


The theme song from that movie was the signature piece of my high school band.
 
2020-08-09 5:22:32 PM  
the Battle of Khalkyn Gol ... showed the difficulties Japan would have beating a large European military on land, with 75% of their soldiers K.I.A.

i2.wp.comView Full Size
 
2020-08-09 5:23:47 PM  
I'd say cracking Enigma was more important than Purple considering it was vital in winning the Battle of the Atlantic.  If the wolfpacks hadn't been broken up a lot of American and Canadian hardware don't make it to England and North Africa.  Rommel breaking through Egypt would likely get the Arab nations on side or at least stop selling oil to the Allies.  No gas, no tanks, planes or ships.
 
2020-08-09 5:27:47 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Hitler lost when he declared war on the USA in December 1941.  In a way, it was Hitler's battle against his inner Hitler


Fortunately, he found a way to kill that Hitler.
 
2020-08-09 5:36:08 PM  

Flappyhead: I'd say cracking Enigma was more important than Purple considering it was vital in winning the Battle of the Atlantic.  If the wolfpacks hadn't been broken up a lot of American and Canadian hardware don't make it to England and North Africa.  Rommel breaking through Egypt would likely get the Arab nations on side or at least stop selling oil to the Allies.  No gas, no tanks, planes or ships.


Even without cracking the Enigma codes, the Allies had other ways to detect and hunt down u-boats.  Improved aircraft ranges and basing across the Atlantic, HF/DF, and improved aerial radar were what allowed the hunter/killer groups from 1943 and on track down and destroy individuals subs.  These were the main factors that brought about Black May and squashed a quarter of the German submarine force in one month.

Even without the u-boats under control in late-1942, Allied convoys and invasion forces were able to operate across the width of the Atlantic to undertake Operation Torch.  Certainly, having broken Enigma made the entirety of the Atlantic war easier.  Convoys could be rerouted out of danger with it.  Yet, it was hardly the sole critical detail.
 
2020-08-09 5:48:31 PM  

The_Sponge: The_Sponge: kbronsito: The most important thing about WW2 weren't the battles, it was the friends we made along the way.

[Fark user image image 425x643]

Also:

Don Rickles looks like a bad ass mofo on the poster.  R.I.P.


Don Rickles was a bad ass mofo.
 
2020-08-09 5:50:06 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: cameroncrazy1984: Marcus Aurelius: The battles of Khalkin Gol.  If Zhukov didn't win those, Stalin would not have put him in charge of the defense of Stalingrad, and the Germans likely would have gotten to the oilfields in the Caucasus.

So honestly the most important battle was Operation Barbarossa because without it, Hitler doesn't feed millions of soldiers to the Russian meat grinder to begin with.

Hitler lost when he declared war on the USA in December 1941.  In a way, it was Hitler's battle against his inner Hitler, and loser Hitler won.  His original plan all along was to enslave Russia.


It's fairly hard to point to a single moment that doomed Germany.  The Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor and declaration of war was, among other reasons, motivated by German encouragement.  Germany needed an ally with a sizeable navy to counter the Royal Navy and keep the Americans busy while getting to knock out their supplies to Britain and the Soviets.  Because of American aid to the Allies, Germany wanted war with the US and couldn't believe the intelligence reports on the scale of their productive capacity.

You could also point to the invasion of the Soviet Union as another fateful step, with the Soviets then receiving British and American Lend-Lease materials.  It could be the failure to drive Britain to an armistice in 1940 immediately after France.  However, that and their inability to launch Operation Sealion goes back to the conundrum created on September 3, 1939: How do you defeat the world's largest sea power without a navy?

For the way the war went, Germany actually did really well.  The history we know is of many events going as well as they could have or even better than Germany predicted.  The invasion of France in May 1940, for example, was decided in a handful of days when even the German high command expected months, if not years, of slogging.  The invasion of Denmark in a few hours (okay, Denmark has never been a serious power in the modern era) and also catching Norway largely unprepared and just before Britain could land their forces?  That the German army could neutralize 4 million Soviet soldiers in the first six month of their war with them is still stunning.  Most armies can't afford to shed 4 million anythings.
 
2020-08-09 5:50:30 PM  
My Uncle Charlie fought and fought and fought.

They still drafted him.
 
2020-08-09 5:51:59 PM  

Colour_out_of_Space: The_Sponge: The_Sponge: kbronsito: The most important thing about WW2 weren't the battles, it was the friends we made along the way.

[Fark user image image 425x643]

Also:

Don Rickles looks like a bad ass mofo on the poster.  R.I.P.

Don Rickles was a bad ass mofo.


I'm grateful that I had the chance to see him perform twice.
 
2020-08-09 5:56:46 PM  

The_Sponge: The_Sponge: kbronsito: The most important thing about WW2 weren't the battles, it was the friends we made along the way.

[Fark user image image 425x643]

Also:

Don Rickles looks like a bad ass mofo on the poster.  R.I.P.


Telly Salvalas almost steals that sucker.


I would I read/saw some assessment of Operation Barbarossa along the lines of "The Germans would have been better off going into the Middle East for the oil,  it Hitler really hated the Russians."
I think it was the PBS series Secrets of The Dead episode The Deadliest Battle.
 
2020-08-09 6:01:49 PM  

Your_Huckleberry: The_Sponge: The_Sponge: kbronsito: The most important thing about WW2 weren't the battles, it was the friends we made along the way.

[Fark user image image 425x643]

Also:

Don Rickles looks like a bad ass mofo on the poster.  R.I.P.

Telly Salvalas almost steals that sucker.


Oh yeah...what an amazing cast.  Even Uncle Leo from Seinfeld is in it.
 
2020-08-09 6:09:11 PM  
Midway
 
2020-08-09 6:09:54 PM  

kbronsito: cameroncrazy1984: Marcus Aurelius: The battles of Khalkin Gol.  If Zhukov didn't win those, Stalin would not have put him in charge of the defense of Stalingrad, and the Germans likely would have gotten to the oilfields in the Caucasus.

So honestly the most important battle was Operation Barbarossa because without it, Hitler doesn't feed millions of soldiers to the Russian meat grinder to begin with.

So the Germans invaded Russia to get to the oil. But... if the Italians hadn't farked up invading Egypt and seizing Suez, would the oil in the Sinai had allowed the Axis to skip invading Russia? I know most of Egypt's oil comes from that area but not sure if those fields were fully explored back during WW2.


It's not enough to just have oil, you need to deny your rival of oil. Thus taking the Caucasus > taking Egypt.
 
2020-08-09 6:13:18 PM  

Your_Huckleberry: The_Sponge: The_Sponge: kbronsito: The most important thing about WW2 weren't the battles, it was the friends we made along the way.

[Fark user image image 425x643]

Also:

Don Rickles looks like a bad ass mofo on the poster.  R.I.P.

Telly Salvalas almost steals that sucker.


I would I read/saw some assessment of Operation Barbarossa along the lines of "The Germans would have been better off going into the Middle East for the oil,  it Hitler really hated the Russians."
I think it was the PBS series Secrets of The Dead episode The Deadliest Battle.


North Africa wasn't decided until 1943.  Germany couldn't have gone meaningfully east without deciding that theater between the British and Americans.  While Germany would have been delighted to seize oil from anywhere, as they were petroleum poor, going after the Middle East would be a tall order.  They would then have to figure out how to get the oil back to Europe, since Germany didn't have a meaningful tanker navy in the Mediterranean and they continuously struggled to transit enough supplies across to the Africa Corps.

Plus, Germany wasn't ideologically fixated on the extermination and enslavement of Arabs.  Slavs and the (alleged by Germans) Judeo-Bolshevism was.  Going into the Soviet Union meant access to all of these mismanaged materials conveniently in the hands of their racial enemies.  Taking Soviet soil would bring Germany increased farming land, part of the goal of living space.  Extermination of about 30-40 million Soviet citizens was a big part of the plan.  Further, Germany viewed the Soviets as being an obvious cake-walk and would wrap up within several weeks of launching the invasion.  The Soviets had floundered in their Winter War with Finland a few months before.  Communism was viewed as an inherently inefficient manager of production and resources, so clearly the Germans would be able to do far better than whatever Stalin was up to.  And, perhaps most importantly, the residents of the Soviet Union lacked that je ne sais quoi of racial superiority.  Only the Germans could bring that.
 
2020-08-09 6:21:49 PM  

The_Sponge: That's easy...the air battle over Lake Chelan, WA.

I'm obviously kidding, but my Grandpa once told me that some people in town had really bad war nerves...and they claimed that they saw Japanese Zeros flying over the lake at night.


They weren't descended from the survivors of the Russian 2nd Pacific Squadron were they?
 
2020-08-09 6:25:55 PM  

Polish Hussar: Battle of Moscow.  The Germans take Moscow and its surrounding area and they may have actually knocked the Soviet Union out of the war.  Virtually every major railway line and roadway the Soviets had went through Moscow, so you'd cut that and virtually destroy their ability to move men and material north to south in reasonable quantities in a reasonable amount of time.  Some of the most important Soviet military infrastructure and manufacturing was within 100 miles of Moscow.  Stalin had made the decision to stay in Moscow, you remove him from the picture, the way Stalin had remade the Soviet political system to depend entirely on him, good luck getting a new leadership structure sorted out and set up in enough time.

[YouTube video: Operation Typhoon and the 1941 Battle for Moscow - John Suprin]
I'm going to discount the Pacific entirely because just looking at the U.S. by itself, the economic disparity was so big that we would have won eventually as long as we stayed in the fight.  Battle of Britain is kind of an amorphous thing, but even if the Luftwaffe gains air superiority, that doesn't mean they get air supremacy.  The British aren't going to stop producing aircraft and flying sorties.  It also doesn't mean the Germans can invade without problems, the Royal Navy is still there and the Germans don't have the logistics to supply an army even if it gets across the channel.  Battle of the Atlantic, there is an argument there.


I vote that if Stalin had been taken out big bad mother Russia who likes to brag they won the war single handed would have crumbled like they did in WWI
 
2020-08-09 6:35:35 PM  
Regarding "decisive battles," how are we defining that concept?  The Battle of Midway is usually held up as the decisive battle in the Pacific.  But Jonathan Parshall, who co-authored "Shattered Sword," one of the definitive histories of the Battle of Midway, gave an entire lecture at the U.S. Naval War College about how he doesn't think it was a decisive battle.  His opinion is that the U.S. was going to beat the Japanese as long as we didn't give up, and even an American loss at Midway would only have extended the war for about a year.  On the other hand, you could argue that Midway changed the entire strategic situation in the Pacific, and it should be regarded as decisive because of the dramatic effect it had on the theater.

Naval Heritage | Jonathan Parshall: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
Youtube Y9rkKtK1b44
 
2020-08-09 6:37:49 PM  

Bukharin: kbronsito: cameroncrazy1984: Marcus Aurelius: The battles of Khalkin Gol.  If Zhukov didn't win those, Stalin would not have put him in charge of the defense of Stalingrad, and the Germans likely would have gotten to the oilfields in the Caucasus.

So honestly the most important battle was Operation Barbarossa because without it, Hitler doesn't feed millions of soldiers to the Russian meat grinder to begin with.

So the Germans invaded Russia to get to the oil. But... if the Italians hadn't farked up invading Egypt and seizing Suez, would the oil in the Sinai had allowed the Axis to skip invading Russia? I know most of Egypt's oil comes from that area but not sure if those fields were fully explored back during WW2.

It's not enough to just have oil, you need to deny your rival of oil. Thus taking the Caucasus > taking Egypt.


Taking Suez closes the Suez Canal, and essentially the Mediterranean.  The US doesn't have anyone pushing from the opposite direction in Torch, and Vichy North Africa and Italian Africa are secure.  Germany gets control of the Mesopotamian oilfields, and can sail it through the Eastern Med with no fear.

Hitler screwed up (big news, I know).  Securing Africa in 41-42 would have seriously hurt the Allies.
 
2020-08-09 6:37:50 PM  

Norfolking Chance: The_Sponge: That's easy...the air battle over Lake Chelan, WA.

I'm obviously kidding, but my Grandpa once told me that some people in town had really bad war nerves...and they claimed that they saw Japanese Zeros flying over the lake at night.

They weren't descended from the survivors of the Russian 2nd Pacific Squadron were they?


Ah, the Voyage of the Damned (Do you see torpedo boats?)

The Russian 2nd Pacific Squadron - Voyage of the Damned
Youtube 9Mdi_Fh9_Ag
 
2020-08-09 6:39:42 PM  
"All men are convinced they are excellent drivers and experts on World War II"
 
2020-08-09 6:40:07 PM  
Any article that includes the phrase, "utterly overlooked," when describing something, and then includes a live goddamned link to an article describing in detail the very same thing, isn't an article worth taking too seriously.

But, as this is a Cracked "Six Items We Scraped Off The Web" listicle, it's farking pointless, so, yeah.
 
2020-08-09 6:45:53 PM  

Polish Hussar: Regarding "decisive battles," how are we defining that concept?  The Battle of Midway is usually held up as the decisive battle in the Pacific.  But Jonathan Parshall, who co-authored "Shattered Sword," one of the definitive histories of the Battle of Midway, gave an entire lecture at the U.S. Naval War College about how he doesn't think it was a decisive battle.  His opinion is that the U.S. was going to beat the Japanese as long as we didn't give up, and even an American loss at Midway would only have extended the war for about a year.  On the other hand, you could argue that Midway changed the entire strategic situation in the Pacific, and it should be regarded as decisive because of the dramatic effect it had on the theater.

[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y9rkKtK1​b44]


The fun part? Technically, the Battles of Khalkhin Gol aren't technically considered part of World War II. They occurred before either party entered World War II, and had little to do with WWII and more to do with the Manchurian occupation of 1931 and Japan's interests in expanding northward. The first conflict occurred in 1938.

It's a real goddamned stretch to call this "the most important battle of World War II."
 
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