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Old 06-26-2015, 11:52 AM   #101
Kurn, son of Mogh
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Re: Battles Which Shaped the Course of History.

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A bluff that worked called SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative), also known as "star wars."
Technically, it was a bluff that didn't work since the USSR called for all of their chips but it turned out Reagan was bluffing with the best hand.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:59 AM   #102
mcpon14
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Re: Battles Which Shaped the Course of History.

The Battle of Banquan.
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:32 PM   #103
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Re: Battles Which Shaped the Course of History.

The Battle of Vienna 1683 .. Europe would have looked different if it wasn't John III Sobieski stopping the Ottoman Empire...

Last edited by Zeno; 12-06-2017 at 11:05 PM. Reason: This is history, not a current topics forum
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:26 AM   #104
Bill Haywood
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Re: Battles Which Shaped the Course of History.

Franz Ferdinand's battle with his car.

Since reverse did not work, it took forever to get turned around in a dead end, allowing Gavrilo Princip to shoot the MF.

From this, we get WWI, the Soviet coup in Russia and the Cold War; collapse of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, the scramble-borders underlying today's wars in the Mideast; rise of Hitler and WWII, atomic bombing of Japan, creation of Israel and attendant conflict, decolonization, and the death of flyer Joe Kennedy who would have either inaugurated a Camelot of permanent world peace and prosperity, or touched off a nuclear war, I forget which. And my dad would have married some other chick and you would not be reading this.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:42 AM   #105
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Re: Battles Which Shaped the Course of History.

Battle details are killers, by many different routes.

General Stillwell knew this well, and Barbara Tuckman wrote about it. And China became communist after Mao won. Add that to the mix Bill, just for fun.
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Old 04-13-2018, 03:01 AM   #106
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Re: Battles Which Shaped the Course of History.

Battle of Xiangyang. It was the decisive battle with which Kublai Khan broke Song dynasty's defenses and made it possible to unite China. Without it, modern day China would probably (but not surely) consist many smaller states. The Mandarin that eventually became offiicial language of China was in large part developed (and later spread) during this time northern Chinese with a taint of Mongolian (don't remember what they called the Mongolian language).

I don't know enough about Muslim history but I am sure some of Mohammed's battles qualify as battles which shaped the course of history. I mean he was basically an upstart minor warlord. He must have run good in some battles.

Last edited by grizy; 04-13-2018 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:43 AM   #107
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Re: Battles Which Shaped the Course of History.

I disagree. Germany essentially ended its chance to win the war by deciding to attack Leningrad as part of Operation Barbarossa. The Germans vastly underestimated the Soviet troop numbers and ability to raise reserves of troops and materiel.

Had the plan to form Army Group North been scrapped and instead a plan limiting the attack to two invasion points with two Armies been adopted, Germany would have likely rolled right to Moscow and overpowered the Ukraine. At that point, Leningrad would have been effectively cut off and ripe for a later operation.

So, the war first turned on that decision to go forward with Barbarossa in June 1941 with 3 Armies attacking 3 regions.

Nevertheless, the Germans still had an opportunity to salvage its operations in Russia as the Army Group Center approached Moscow in August/September. Bock and Guderian were adamant that they could take Moscow from there. At that point, the Army Group Center was well positioned to take Moscow. Of course, if Army Group North was diverted at that point to join the attack on Moscow, all the better.

However, Hitler went over everyone's head and directly ordered the armored divisions from Army Group Center to divert and support Army Group North and Army Group South. That decision ruined the Germans chance to take Moscow and ruined any chance they had to redeem the original failure manifested at the beginning of the Operation.

Each opportunity served to the Germans after this crucial point merely offered low odds at complete victory, but good odds at stalemate or negotiated resolution. For example prior to attacking Stalingrad, the Germans had a prime opportunity to attack right through to the Caucasus mobilbahis oilfields. Cutting off the Russian oil supply and establishing an endless supply of oil would have been a major leverage point for Germany.

Instead, Hitler demanded the attack on Stalingrad. That decision was a major blunder no matter what that outcome may have been.

Further down the line, Hitler kept insisting his generals not concede any ground, thus it forced the Germans to conduct battles in tight places. The primary advantage Germany enjoyed was its speed and it needed to operate in the open. However, Hilter insisted on a strategy that guaranteed that the German war machine would be ground up piece by piece by an army that had (by comparison) an endless supply of assets to throw into the grinder.

Kursk was a big battle, for sure, but it had no bearing on the outcome. At best, it was a consolidation of the inevitable: Germany was going to lose all of its men and materiel committed to that front - Kursk just provided the convenience of allowing it all to happen at once.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:17 PM   #108
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Re: Battles Which Shaped the Course of History.

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Originally Posted by mobilbahis View Post
I disagree. Germany essentially ended its chance to win the war by deciding to attack Leningrad as part of Operation Barbarossa.
I agree with the underlying premise that the capture of Moscow before winter was probably a prerequisite to winning the war. I don't think I can agree that the way to capture Moscow was to combine the forces of Army Group North (AGN) and Army Group Centre (AGC) on a single thrust axis towards Moscow, or with that as the major thrust with a right hook branching off after the Pripet marshes had been passed. Reasons will be given below.

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Originally Posted by mobilbahis View Post
The Germans vastly underestimated the Soviet troop numbers and ability to raise reserves of troops and materiel.
Yes. Don't make the same mistake in your own analysis.

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Originally Posted by mobilbahis View Post
Had the plan to form Army Group North been scrapped and instead a plan limiting the attack to two invasion points with two Armies been adopted, Germany would have likely rolled right to Moscow...
"Amateurs study tactics, armchair generals study strategy, but professionals study logistics." The road and rail net in AGC's sector was insufficient to supply the advance of the Army Group properly. Adding the bulk of the 25 divisions in AGN would just result in more units out of supply and slowed to a crawl. The Germans would arrive in front of Moscow even later.

AGN advanced parallel to ACG, effectively providing flank security to AGC's left. Without AGN, AGC would be subject to a single-envelopment by the Soviet forces to the north of AGC's thrust line who would be left unengaged in AGN's absence.

A reduction in the number of thrust lines means fewer Soviet troops would be engaged at any given time. This would simplify their coordination and reduce their loss rate. As a result, the Soviets would have a much easier time and more resources for organizing resistance in front of AGC's advance.

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... and overpowered the Ukraine.
Wasn't the Ukraine overpowered as it was?

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Originally Posted by mobilbahis View Post
At that point, Leningrad would have been effectively cut off and ripe for a later operation.
How can Leningrad be cut off if it hasn't been approached?

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Originally Posted by mobilbahis View Post
So, the war first turned on that decision to go forward with Barbarossa in June 1941 with 3 Armies attacking 3 regions.
I'd suggest to you the war turned on the decisions to attack the USSR without adequate transport.

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Originally Posted by mobilbahis View Post
Nevertheless, the Germans still had an opportunity to salvage its operations in Russia as the Army Group Center approached Moscow in August/September. Bock and Guderian were adamant that they could take Moscow from there.
It seems they were unaware of the reserve formations the Soviets had managed to assemble in front of Moscow. If there had been no thrust towards Leningrad, this reserve would be even bigger and better supplied.

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At that point, the Army Group Center was well positioned to take Moscow.
No, it wasn't. It was badly worn out, and had overstretched supply lines.

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Originally Posted by mobilbahis View Post
Of course, if Army Group North was diverted at that point to join the attack on Moscow, all the better.
AGN only had three panzer divisions and three motorized infantry division. Historically, most (all?) of these were involved in the envelopment attacks in conjunction with the left branch of AGC. It is hard to see how much more diverted than this they could actually be.

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However, Hitler went over everyone's head and directly ordered the armored divisions from Army Group Centre to divert and support Army Group North and Army Group South. That decision ruined the Germans chance to take Moscow and ruined any chance they had to redeem the original failure manifested at the beginning of the Operation.
What makes you think they had any chance of taking the prepared positions in front of Moscow? By diverting the Panzers, the Germans followed proper armoured warfare doctrine. Mobile forces do not attack static positions, they manoeuvre around the enemy To strike him in the rear.

As you said, the Germans underestimated the Soviet ability to form reserves. They didn't know what awaited them in front of Moscow. Neither did they know how badly mobility would be hampered by weather in the autumn They thought they had time to complete the destruction of the Soviet field army before taking Moscow.

I'd suggest that the choices the Germans fasced were
  1. launch an unprepared attack on prepared defences in front of Moscow that they didn't know about and lose, or
  2. destroy a major portion of the Soviet field army that they did know about, or
  3. wait for supply to catch up before attempting either.

By choosing the second option, the Germans obtained most of the benefits of the third option as well.

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Originally Posted by mobilbahis View Post
Each opportunity served to the Germans after this crucial point merely offered low odds at complete victory, but good odds at stalemate or negotiated resolution.
I'd suggest there was next to no opportunity for either stalemate or a negotiated end to hostilities.

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Originally Posted by mobilbahis View Post
For example prior to attacking Stalingrad, the Germans had a prime opportunity to attack right through to the Caucasus mobilbahis oilfields. Cutting off the Russian oil supply and establishing an endless supply of oil would have been a major leverage point for Germany.

Instead, Hitler demanded the attack on Stalingrad.
That's not quite how it happened. The plan had been to drive past Stalingrad and seize the oil field. Hitler got sucked in to the Stalingrad fight after the original offensive toward the oilfields got off to a bungled start.
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