[1] War to Be Won: Fighting the Second

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1 Williamson Murray
and Allan R. Millet, A War to Be Won: Fighting the Second World War (Cambridge,
Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2000), 262.

 

2 2012. Tony Howard’s Blog . July 27.
http://tonyhowardsblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/1942-year-of-decision-for-third-reich.html.

 

3 Ibid

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4 n.d. United States History. Accessed January 25,
2018. www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1761.html.

 

5 Ibid

6 Ibid

7 Hone, Tom. 2013. War on the Rocks. September
12. Accessed January 26, 2018.
https://warontherocks.com/2013/09/the-importance-of-the-battle-of-midway/.

 

8 Ibid

9 Williamson Murray
and Allan R. Millet, A War to Be Won: Fighting the Second World War (Cambridge,
Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2000

Yamamoto knew that the American’s wouldn’t tolerate an
attack anywhere close to Peral Harbor. His plan was to lure the debilitated Pacific
Fleet out into the open where his mighty force could crush them.8 However the Battle of
Midway ended in Japanese defeat thus ending the march of the Imperial Navy
across the Pacific. From here on out the Japanese would be on the defensive. As
a result of the loss at Midway, Yamamoto looked for every opportunity to draw
the Pacific Fleet into the range of his aircraft and battleship guns. The loss
also fast-tracked plans for a strategic defense along the frontier of the 1942
conquests.9

The Battle of Midway was a turning point in the
Pacific War. The Imperial Navy of Japan had defeated all of its enemies from
the Pacific and Indian oceans and at the Battle of the Coral Sea, they had won
a tactical victory.7
Their carrier striking force was the strongest in the Pacific, and the Japanese
fleet commander Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto hoped to use it to demolish what was
left of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet.

3. FULL ESSAY (40 points) Explain the Japanese
strategy for holding their gains in the Pacific after the Battle of Midway.
Could it have been planned more successfully?

 

Another reason why the operation started
off on a good note was the fact that Germany had far superior tanks, planes and
more battle-hardened troops than that of the Soviet Union.5 The Soviet
officer corps had also been stripped of its most senior and experienced commanders
and replaced by political allies rather than people with military experience. Despite
the Red Army out numbering the Germans in total man power they suffered from incompetent
officers, poor equipment and horrible training.6 But eventually
Operation Barbarossa failed due to the harsh Russian winter, and the Soviets
call to “protect the motherland” which drove many citizens towards the nation’s
defense in spite of their hatred for the government.

The Hitler-Stalin Pact, or Nazi-Soviet
pact, was a non-aggression agreement between the Soviet Union and the Third
Reich that lasted from August 23, 1939 until June 22, 1941 when
Operation Barbarossa began. Against the advice of his Generals, Adolf Hitler
developed and ordered the attack against the Soviet Union. Because of the Nazi invasion
of Poland in 1939 Great Britain came to the aid of their ally and Hitler hoped
a speedy victory against the Red Army would persuade Britain to accept peace
terms.4
One of the reasons why the Operation was initially such a success was that
despite having about 2.5 million German soldiers and a vast amount of supplies
at his border, Joseph Stalin didn’t think that the Germans would attack so soon
after signing their truce.

2. FULL ESSAY (40 points) Explain how, in spite of the odds against them,
the German military was able to initially succeed with Operation Barbarossa.

 

In 1941 Germany attempted to invade Russia in Operation
Barbarossa but it ended in failure. Barbarossa’s terrible losses had worn out
the Wehrmacht’s superiority. The big question in 1942 was whether or not the
Reich could gather together sufficient military forces to finish the war.1 Hitler found himself in
1942 caught in a to front war on, with enemies on Germany’s eastern and western
fronts. The Germans found themselves still fighting the Soviet Union and at the
same time they had to defend Axis possessions in North Africa against the
British.2 With the British and Italians
fighting in Egypt and Libya, Germany’s control of the Mediterranean and her
lines of supply were threatened. Hitler had no other choice but to deploy an
entire corps to restore a quickly degrading situation on the continent of
Africa.3 Over the remainder of 1942
Hitler made countless decisions, many of which ended up being catastrophic for
the Third Reich.

1.FULL ESSAY (20 points) Explain why 1942 was a
year of decision for Germany.

Categories: Strategy

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