The Inevitability of Allied Victory in Europe During World War Two

Topics: World War II, Operation Barbarossa, Soviet Union Pages: 5 (1899 words) Published: August 30, 2008
To consider the inevitability of allied victory in Europe during World War Two requires a more in depth analysis of Germany’s position rather than just looking at the pure ability for the allies to produce war materials and incalculable streams of soldiers. Ultimately ‘quantity of men and arms tells us little about quality’. Obviously Allied victory was final and decisive but this essay will argue that even though this war was won on economic power it did not mean that victory for the nations that were to be industrial superpowers was inevitable. However Allied victory eventually did become inevitable after certain turning points in the war, this essay will demonstrate how the two most important turning points, the Battle for Stalingrad and the entry of the USA into the war changed a possible German victory into an inevitable Allied victory. In essence this essay will show that the idea of total war and industrial gigantism do not guarantee victory in conflict. One must also ask themselves why Germany would have such a drive for war if Allied victory was conceived to be inevitable. After all what soldier would fight the unwinnable battle? Richard Overy states in Why the Allies Won that ‘no rational man in early 1942 would have guessed at the eventual outcome of the war’ . To appreciate the credibility of this statement and the probability of German victory, the early years of the war must be looked at retrospectively, and Germany’s position tactically, economically and socially must be analysed. Even though Germany was out-matched in production and numbers there is no reason to believe that the early years of the war pointed to inevitable Allied victory. WW2 in Europe was precipitated by many contributing factors. Widely accepted though is the idea that most Germans were resentful of the humiliating defeat in WW1 which in following, Germany was forced to sign the treaty of Versailles. Economic disaster ensued due to the large reparations the victors demanded. Thus it is not surprising that upon the Nazi Parties rise the German people immediately aggrandised Hitler, a wounded Linz Regiment corporal from the First World War who promised a mannish dream of another German Empire. Re-armament of Germany was soon to follow, in spite of the treaty’s prohibition of this, and a highly trained, equipped and motivated military war machine was built. Stats At this point Germany had 195 divisions 28 of which were elite armoured or panzer divisions, key elements in the army’s ability to fight a Blitzkrieg war. Hitler then moved to annex Austria and Czechoslovakia which he succeeded in doing while avoiding any conflict. Germany’s next move was to take Poland after signing a non-aggression treaty with Russia. Poland’s antiquated army fell in one month. The early years of the war saw the German war machine make crushing blows in Europe. Hitler’s blitzkrieg was ruthless and stunning to his enemies who found themselves caught in its path or more often cut off by its encircling tactics. After the fall of Poland the German Army turned south and fought a Blitzkrieg war through the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and France. At this point Germany was undoubtedly tactically superior to every other nation on Earth. ‘The German Army had fought an amazing campaign. It had shown itself almost incomparable in defence as well as in offence’ It was positioned to take Britain and the Soviet Union. Hitler had assessed the French and British as weak. Although this assessment certainly was not representative of the courage and fortitude of the nations and even their military size it was however an accurate depiction of their readiness and tactical ability. France was ready having placed its army at the Maginot line to fight a war of attrition, however Germany on the other hand was not ready to fight a war of attrition and indeed would not. Using blitzkrieg and paratroopers the German Army encircled the Maginot Line, defeating the defenders and...

Bibliography: Best, A, International History of The Twentieth Century and Beyond, Routledge, London, 2008
Duiker, WJ, Twentieth Century World History, Thomson Wadsworth, Belmont, 2006
Grenville, JAS, A History of the World from the 20th to the 21st Century, Routledge, New York, 2005
Overy, R, Why the Allies Won, London, 1996
Petrov, June 22 1941 Soviet Historians and the German Invasion, Columbia, 1968
Strategicus, To Stalingrad and Alamein, London
Strategicus, The War Moves East, London
Stokesbury, A Short History of WW2, New York, 1980
Statistical Data from Olive
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