Despite the allied bombing of Germany in WWII perhaps appearing to be significant, overall, it was only such to a limited extent. It is possible to analyse the extent to which the bombing was significant in four aspects: economic, morale, international relations and others theatres of war. The extent to which they were significant will be assessed against their respective pre-war expectations. Whilst each dimension are important, I am going to specifically focus on economic and moral because they were the main objectives of the Allies, and directly affected Germany.
The Schlieffen Plan is commonly – though misleadingy – identified with the German western offensive at the start of the First World War in August 1914, which began as a campaign of rapid movement but ended in deadlock and trench warfare. The plan is generally seen as a desperate gamble almost certain to fail, and its recklessness is counted as part of Germany’s war guilt – the plan held out the false promise of a quick victory, and so it underpinned the “short war illusion” that led Germany into a long war of attrition, ending with her defeat and collapse in 1918. This analysis confuses two quite different moments in history. The Schlieffen Plan was not designed to meet the strategic challenge Germany faced in 1914,
The United States entered World War Two in late 1941, and right away they were thrown into a conflict that involved making important decisions that would affect generations of people, in the United States and elsewhere, for years to come. A most notable decision by the Allies, namely the United States and Great Britain, was the combining of the American and British military chiefs of staff. This joint collaboration was appropriately titled the “Combined Chiefs of Staff”. They worked together as one body, and made war planning decisions and strategized together. This type of alliance was an innovation in war planning for the time, and the decisions made collaboratively by the two powers contributed greatly to the Allied victory in 1945. The relationships involved and the disputes that came up are worth noting, specifically the question of the Allies opening up a second front in the west, particularly titled “Operation Sledgehammer”. The relationship between President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, as well as General George Marshall of the United States and General Sir Alan Brooke of Great Britain were the main actors involved in this undertaking, and they will be the main individuals discussed and analyzed for the purposes of this paper. Ultimately Operation Sledgehammer was delayed and no action was taken upon it. Even though it caused rifts between the USSR, for reasons that will be explained, and the Allies far into the future, in retrospect they may have been
In this essay I will assess the significance of strategic bombing of Germany. I will do this by evaluating four key areas of the German war effort. This will include German and British moral, German economy, its effect on the outcome of the Eastern Front and the results of the preparation for D-Day. Overall allied bombing did not have a significant impact on the outcome of the war as for the majority of the war bombing techniques and technology were primitive and so had little effect. It only became a threatening tool latter on in the war, when the allies had effectively won.
MP1 One of the Carl Von Clausewitz’s central issues that describes war’s dynamic is the concept of “culminating point of victory.” Clausewitz advocated the idea that an offensive should be focused on the defender’s collapse, otherwise there is a “culminating point”, a momentum where the attacker loses his advantage for strategic victory. As he mentioned, “every attack which does not lead to peace must necessarily end up as a defense.” Military history has been enriched by battles of commanders with an overestimating self-confidence and high spirit who failed to identify this momentum. As a result, they lost the tactical advantage and they were defeated. Classical example in the World War II
It is heavily debated that the display of German aggression inevitably contributed to the outbreak of general European tensions, and war in 1914. The use of strategies such as the Anglo-German Naval Race, as stated in Joll’s source, highlighted the aggression by Germany prior to war. Moreover, this type of tactic also demonstrated the desire and hunger Germany obtained for continental power, another factor towards European tensions. The sources in question both support and contest the set statement, to an extent. Sources 1 and 3 by Corrigan and Joll, respectively, argue how Germany’s use of tactics agitated European powers, thus causing war. However, Source 2 by Turner disagrees with the statement, arguing how other European powers were to
This paper will examine the claim that “war is merely a continuation of policy by other means” in regards to World War II. It will first examine the broad context in which Clausewitz constructed this theory, that “war is merely a continuation of policy”, and then move on to widen the scope of investigation to that of Clausewitz’s theory in connection with WW2. Within the scope of WW2, this paper will specifically be inspecting how Clausewitz’s theory can be seen in the United States, Britain, and German policy and war strategy during WW2 . The German perspective of this paper will examine how economy played into German policy and how consequently, this contributed to Germany’s effort and success in waging a second world war. This paper will then explore FDR (United States) and Churchill’s (Britain) approach to policy and military objectives within WW2. Finally, the United States aspect will deal with how evident Clausewitz’s theory is when dealing with policy in Japan. The end result of this paper will be that of connecting the claim that ‘war is merely a continuation of policy by other means’ to the context of WW2, specifically the countries of the United States, Britain, and Germany and their political objectives and war tactics.
The development of the allied military strategy in World War II (WWII) presented challenges for the U.S. and Great Britain as they worked together to defeat the Axis powers. First, this paper will review the environment at the time of WWII when Admiral Stark penned the “Plan Dog” memorandum and MAJ Wedemeyer’s War Defense Team put together the “Victory Plan”. Next, it will look at the advantages and disadvantages of coalition operations with supporting examples. Then, a review of two major meetings between U.S. and Great Britain will identify what strategic decisions were made and the effects they have on the war. Finally, this paper will explore the foundations of strategy (Clausewitz and Sun Tzu) by which the allied forces used and
Richard Overy’s book “Why the Allies Won” is a great read for those who are intrigued by World War II alternate histories. Overy gives unique insights on the large scaled picture regarding how the war went throughout each of his chapters. The book identifies that the resulting Allied victory was not inevitable, and then it points out the factors that contributed to making the Allied victory possible.
The Battle of the Bulge, a massive German counteroffensive which began in December 1944, ultimately produced the largest casualty rate in any one battle throughout World War II. The Allied Forces alone lost almost 80,000 at the Battle of the Bulge. This casualty rate could have been much higher if Hitler would’ve grasped the importance and value of supply and logistical support. As a result, more than 1,500 tanks within Hitler’s most elite Panzer units simply ran out of gas only days after the “Bulge” broke through the Allied western front lines. However, the purpose of this paper is not to examine what could
Leading into the Fall of 1914, tactics on both sides of the line involved the rapid mobilization, maneuver and envelopment of the opposing side.10 Pre-1914 doctrine took little into account the effects of emerging new technology and their impact on both defensive and offensive operations. This disconnect between doctrine and technology contributed to the failure of early offensive operations in the Fall of 1914 and resulted in staggering casualties.11 Both sides developed doctrine that took into effect the unique terrain and technology that had been developed prior and during World War I. However by the end of the war, a combination of flexibility, decentralized control, and counterattack at every echelon made the German defensive system the most effective.12 This “elastic defense” had three unique characteristics; dedicated counter-attack force at all levels, decentralized command and control, fluid defensive belts and integrated artillery support at the Division level. Under this new doctrine, Corps headquarters had the role sustaining subordinate units, but not directing their actions during battle.13 This defense-in-depth and the lessons learned during the Verdun battles of 1918 were so successful that British forces adopted many of the German tactics with a special emphasis on their counterattack capability.10 Utilizing the new doctrine, by August 1918, Germany had made substantial gains, however had
This mission command analysis evaluates the battle of Team Desobry at the town of Noville, Belgium. These events took place 18-19 December 1944, and later impacted the battle fought at Bastogne during World War II. It is the goal of this review to discuss and analyze three mission command principles displayed during this battle: Create shared understanding, exercise disciplined initiative, and the acceptance of prudent risk. One of the main characters that took part in this story was the 20th Armored Infantry Battalion, 10th Armored Division. The commanding officer of this element was Major William R. Desobry. During the events of World War II, the German forces were trying to gain control of the Ardennes to cut off the allies’ supply lines in order to isolate British forces from the American troops. A pivotal task for German forces to attain this goal was to gain access and take control of the Belgian town of Bastogne. However, an important strategic stepping stone to get there was Noville, which is just seven kilometers northeast of Bastogne. Two main reasons made Noville such a critical location for the Germans: First, it had a junction of roads that were important for displacement of German forces to the West. Second, it provided an alternative road to access Bastogne from the north.1
Because Hitler’s vision did not translate into an effective strategic plan, with clear strategic objectives a disconnect between what Germany wanted to achieve (ends), the way it wanted to achieve it (ways), and the resources it would choose to utilize (means) was created. As such, it is this disconnection that also played a large role in Germany’s failure to translate its tactical and operational victories into strategic success and overall victory. Examples of this disconnect and the calamitous effects are clearly present in a quick analysis of the Battle of Britain.