Fighting Styles and Strategies in World War II

1998 WordsFeb 3, 20188 Pages
In the winter of 1944, Allied forces in Europe found themselves at the mercy of a massive German offensive. It only took days for the thirteen divisions of German armor to push the allies into such a retreat that contemporary press named the battle after the “bulge” that appeared in the Allied lines. Initially, German soldiers outnumbered the Allies 2:1, while their tanks, the Panzer IV and the Tiger II, completely outclassed their allied counterparts. However, within the weeks, the offensive collapsed. The tanks were out of gas. There was not even enough aviation fuel for the Luftwaffe to cover the retreat (Cole). Earlier that year, the forces of Imperial Japan, on the other side of the world, cut their own fuel allotments for pilot training. To counter the invasion of the Philippines, Japanese aircraft with half-empty gas tanks began crashing themselves into American carriers. The commanders of the Axis powers signed their surrender treaties as thirsty men. If a lack of petrol did not lose them the war, it certainly shortened if for them. As the Second World War was the first to incorporate planes, tanks and diesel powered warships on such a large scale, it is not surprising that oil was of massive importance. However, this essay will show that for the Axis powers, oil was not only a logistical necessity. But also a decisive factor in declarations of war, strategic decision making, objectives of campaigns as well as battlefield tactics. For readability, I will discuss
Open Document