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  1. Soren
    Soren at |

    Extremely annoying to see the term ‘England’ being used here. Try and remember that the UK is not just England. There are four countries that make up British Isles. Also the fact that the dominions also constituted a large part of the British Empire as it was then, contributed millions of troops to the cause. Its just naivety to keep spouting England all the time.

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  2. Ben
    Ben at |

    Big Military Blunders don’t always result in major defeat. The Battle of The Bulge is one example of this. I consider The Battle of The Bulge big blunders for the both the Allies and Nazi Germany. The Allies were so caught of guard it made men from top to bottom shit their pants. The few soldiers at the front, and then the generals away drinking champagne to celebrate their brilliance, didn’t know what hit them. There was pathetic shock, confusion, chaos, terror, disaster, misery and death. It was a big failure in military intelligence, strategic prudence and tactical readiness. The decision-makers back at Allied HQ underestimated the German’s ability to mount a major offensive, and then doubted Patton’s ability to rush to the rescue (fortunately, he outflanked them). While, Germany could not stop their sealed fate, it was a huge Allied embarrassment that resulted in traumatic horror in the field and in the civilian communities in the German offensive’s path. As a footnote, I met a very dignified 91 year old man last year (2014) who served in Patton’s army. He told me how he spent a long time freezing his fingers and toes off in a foxhole while fellow soldiers all around him were being shredded and blown to pieces, while wondering how their army could have gotten this so wrong.

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  3. van den Berg
    van den Berg at |

    Operation Market garden was a to optimistic plan from Montgemery. A desaster for so many people citizens and alied force. Nazi Terror could maybe finnished a year earlier but went that went wrong.

    But even that…..
    I thanks the man and woman who gives there blood for our freedom, something we never forget.

    Reply
  4. Jerry Allin
    Jerry Allin at |

    Douglas MacArthur was an egotistical SOB who missed the opportunity to adequately defend the Philipines after having several hours notice (he did nothing) then he flees the island and then publicly rips those left behind for having to surrender to the Japanese. He later rejects medals for those left behind. As if he didnt blunder enough in WWII he continues this poor planning in Korea. He is highly overrated.

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  5. percynjpn
    percynjpn at |

    The author does not seem to realize that FDR, Ernest King and Chester Nimitz, George Marshall and Douglas MacArthur, et al. debated WHICH needed to to be invaded, the Phillipines or Formosa. The Phillipines were chosen for various reasons, and they made the smart decision of bypassing Formosa, which would have been a truely big mistake. The Phillipines and its people were liberated and the country became an invaluble tactical and strategic asset for troop mobilization, airpower projection and naval basing and operations for the remainder of the war. Your choice of this as a blunder is hogwash.

    Gen. MacArthur was a self-obsessed egomanic, but he was also a courageous warrior and brilliant commander; your petty insults on his name and character are shameful – if only you could be 10% of the man he was.

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  6. Goetz von Berlichingen
    Goetz von Berlichingen at |

    Harry, you are delusional. The Germans created Hitler. Nazi-apologists like yourself could very well lead to the next one.
    And that Churchill quote? Sure are plenty of books that have been written by the losers.
    You strike me as yet another German rationalizing the legacy of his people.
    Schande.

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    1. Harry
      Harry at |

      I am not a nazi-apologist, i hate nazies, it’s in my blood. I was born in USSR right before it’s collapse. Russia of 90-es was a country where “patriotism” was almost a crime in the eyes of simple people. We was taught that we are nothing and west is ewerything. Some people in other former soviet republics thought that nazies was a liberators… calling us a true criminals… and west supported them as long as they keep talking that way. That confused me… still do… That continued untill we regained our selfrespect in 21-thcentury. But it doesn’t mean we didn’t draw conclusions from recent history. I know you have no idea what i’m talking about, after all your media is less freely than in Russia. (that i will newer doubt after 08/08/08) ))) Check sponsors of the gratest tyrant of all times and his sympathisers in Brtain and USA if you able… and compare their actions and intentions according to the ideas of the west of the early 20th century. There was “nothing” wrong untill he started to lose. (Dont tell me about Britain joined the war after Hitler attacked Poland, there still was planty of room to negotiate peace from both sides, before Hitler completely gone mad.)
      Different times – different thinking. Easier to blame someone who is already dead. Politicians all a bunch of lying sons of bithes. Yet again, Hitler was a usefull tool against communism untill it started to be clear, that he is unstable, and going to lose…

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      1. Kamal Gupta
        Kamal Gupta at |

        Harry I salute you.

        Reply
  7. Mac in 48
    Mac in 48 at |

    MacArthur received his MOH in April 1942, so I don’t see how he could have lobbied for it for the duration of the war. What he did lobby for, prior to the war, was for the US to prepare for war with Japan.

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    1. jimbo
      jimbo at |

      Perhaps MacArthur did lobby to be ready for the Japanese; but that makes me wonder how come his defense of the Philippines was so pathetic. He had over 200 planes; mostly P-40s a type which was used to great advantage by the Flying Tigers, from the accounts I’ve read these were largely destroyed on the ground in neat rows with no air patrols prior to the invasion and not a single Japanese plane downed by US aircraft? Even Pearl Harbor defenders did better than that without any warning. During the initial invasion the US had 30,000 men (12,000 were captured alone at the Bataan surrender, 3000-4000 captured later at Corregidor and most of the remaining either left isolated, captured or killed prior to those surrenders, a few were evacuated with Mac Aurthur who was “ordered to leave”). A numeric equivalence ought to have been an advantage to defenders, had US and Filipino troops been adequately trained the allied forces would have been at substantial advantage over the invading Japanese . Instead the troops were ill trained and lost any chance; for example the US had better M3 tanks but the troops were not trained to use them; which lead to defeat by less capable Japanese tanks. Mac Arthur had prior warning given the attack on Pearl Harbor – and since he been advocating for a preparing, it is surprising he appeared to be completely caught with his shorts down. Sounds like he ought to have taken his own advice. Perhaps the Japanese were underestimated, they themselves were evidently timid; instead of Midway later on, they ought to have planned to invade Hawaii following up the destruction of the US fleet. Even with the US carriers being unaccounted for they had a 2 to 1 advantage.

      In any case Mac’s performance up to 1942 hardly justifies a Medal of Honor award unless turn tailing and running leaving his troops was considered an act of conspicuous bravery. No doubt the US needed hero’s and wanted to avoid the embarrassment of a top General being captured but perhaps he could have defeated the Japanese had he prepared his own troops.

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  8. Harry
    Harry at |

    To begin, I want to express my gratitude to all those who died in that terrible war, fought for the right cause. Eternal glory to them and memory. At the same time – eternal shame to politicians whose greed led to enormous casualties. More and more files become declassified and now we can say with certainty that the cause of the war was not a romantic struggle between two ideologies or with absolute evil. The reason for the start of any war, as this one has always been money and land, and remains so to this day. Looking back you realize that you can not change human nature, it is understood by all the great minds of all times and peoples. And in this case the rulers feed us with lies, as always before, in order to stay on the throne longer. Indeed, as Churchill said, “History is written by the winners,” so they did – “written” it for what they need. West created Hitler, while he was admired before the war, not only for his hatred of communism. Financed, west forgave all violations of disarmament treaties by him, the annexation of several countries, and everything to push him with an ulcer in Europe – the USSR. Russia in the early 20th century planned to be divided by rapidly developing and suffering from a crisis countries into zones of influence under the control of the leading powers – the yesterday enemies of theWorld War I. Interest was strictly economic, see geological map and you’ll understand why. The German people had been deceived by the most brutal manner – West slipped to them a psychopath, and doomed german people to shame for many years. Japan has also been forced to attack the United States because of economic pressure on it’s part. America needed an excuse to enter the war officially, and the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was not surprise at all. As well as the attack on the Soviet Union was not abrupt, Stalin did everything not to give Hitler a pretext for an attack, although provocations by German troops on the border was a lot. Do you think that Hitler struck a preemptive strike of the USSR? If the USSR had not ended war with a reputation as a superpower, the genocide in its territory would continue to this day but by financial corporations of the alliance, as it was during the Civil War in Russia. (Yes, concentration camps are not a German invention – it’s British, and if not disgusting attitude of the alliance to the civilian population, the Communists would not have won the Civil War.) God knows what the world would look like if it all went on an original idea, but I assure you , could be much worse.

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  9. Caleb
    Caleb at |

    If that is your opinion or point of view then there is nothing I can say to change that, it is not my aim to to change that, but it stands clear to me that our appreciation of things are different, to me the Germans are the undisputed champions of recent large scale warfare , the statistical facts bear that out, if you don’t see it that way you are entitled to your opinion.

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  10. Caleb
    Caleb at |

    I’m not quite sure how you think that the Battle of Britain was only a British victory because of propaganda. The failure of the Germans to develop a 4 engine bombs became the downfall of their Luftwaffe. The statistics show that the British and their allies fought off superior numbers and defeated the one of the if not the strongest airforce in the world. The war for the Germans was over they foolishly invaded Russia before England was captured, they invaded the Balkans which cost them time they didn’t have to spend and they attacked Russian which I think was a huge mistake. I don’t believe that the Wehrmacht deserve the credit that you give them they fought no harder than any other army in the same situation.

    Regards
    Caleb

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  11. jan Malherbe
    jan Malherbe at |

    Note that I spesifically said the 2-1 kill rate was in the final period when Germany was finally being crushed by overwhelming odds against them, the true achievement of the Wermacht was the fact that it could keep the fight going against overwhelmingly superior enemies(numerically and materially) The BoB being an outright British victory is one of the longest standing propoganda lies concocted to bolster a nation that was in desperate situation reeling before the blows of a superior enemy the battle was more like standoff , the Luftwaffe taking unsustainable losses(bombers esp), and Hitler growing impatiant , knowing time was his enemy and the friend of his foes, read the battle statistics for that fight and you will come to the conclusion the Jagdflieger in their Bf -109 ‘s were getting the better of the RAF fighter command’s Spitfires and Hurricanes , regardless of the British having the home advantage the 109’s short range etc, compared to daylight British bomber command attempts against German targets with contemporary equipment in the form of twin engined Wellington’s the Germans faired pretty well under the circumstances. The BoB was a draw if anything, an unresolved battle due to Hitlers turning his attention to a much larger fish to fry in the east with dire consequences for the thousand year Rheich!

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    1. Frank M
      Frank M at |

      I had been refraining from joining this particular conversation because, honestly sir, I felt you were goading individuals with what appeared to be comments skewed to make you appear to be either a troll or a neo-nazi. Please understand I am accusing you of neither. However, your last comment which states that the Battle of Britain was, at best, a draw seems to strain credulity. If you were to look at the statistics, as you were fond of citing earlier, Britain had the obvious advantage.

      The definitive statement, however, should come from Luftwaffe General Werner Kreipe, who described it as a “strategic (Luftwaffe) failure” and “turning point in the Second World War”. Kreipe also states the “German Air Force was bled almost to death, and suffered losses that could never be made good throughout the course of the war”.

      I would recommend reading General der Flieger Kreipe’s “The Fatal Decision:Six Decisive Battles of the Second world war from the Viewpoint of the Vanquished.” It should give you a somewhat more balanced perspective.

      Frank M., MA, History

      Reply
      1. all righty then
        all righty then at |

        Well, no offense to General Kreipe, but Nazi aircraft production skyrocketed in the years following the brief and indeterminate aerial skirmishing over England in 1940, so their minor losses in that minor skirmishing were quite easily made good, many times over.

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        1. Frank M
          Frank M at |

          Since the comments of a former Air Chief of Staff don’t seem to convince, perhaps using statistics will.

          You mention how Nazi aircraft production “skyrocketed in the years following…” Let’s look at that;
          Bomber production, 1941, in Germany – 3373, Britain – 7943. 1942 – Germany – 4337, Britain – 11692. 1943 – 4799, Britain – 15075. 1944 – Germany – 2351, Britain – 16009.

          Fighter production, 1941, Germany – 3744, Britain – 7064. 1942, Germany – 5358, Britain – 9859. 1943, Germany – 10059, Britain – 10722. 1944, Germany – 24981, Britain – 10532.

          As we can see from the numbers above, insofar as bombers were concerned, British production skyrocketed while Germany had steady increase until 1944 when it dropped dramatically.

          As to fighters, other than 1944 (four years after the Battle of Britain) Germany’s production of fighter aircraft lagged behind Britain’s production. It could be argued, though I will not do it here, that the substantial increase in fighter aircraft production in 1944 was due to significant losses on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. Suffice it to say that 1944 was the only year in which it could be said that Germany’s aircraft production “skyrocketed”.

          I sincerely doubt that even these figures will convince you however. I would ask that if you make a statement such as that, please back it up with statistics and references.

          That being said, if major historians as well as historical figures fail to convince you of the importance of the battle and its repercussions as to the strategies of the Third Reich, I doubt that I will be able to do so. Indefensible Ignorance.

  12. Caleb
    Caleb at |

    I do not deny that that Germans fought well in both war. In both wars the fates were decided early on in my opinion. In the first war the Germans failed to secure the diplomacy they needed and that left them with 2 failing empires as Allies along with a few other minor nations. Otto Von Bismarck said that for Germany to win a major war they would need the support of 2 other major Europe nations/empires. In ww2 the Germans high command made a huge mistake in attacking Russia when they did and probably should have read a book about the history of russia and why it’s a bad idea to invade them. Now exacting a 2-1 casualty rate is good but I would fail to call it impressive many nations have caused a much higher rate and won the war on top of that. Now before you say that the Russians are the only ones who can claim they beat the Germans take a look at the early part of ww2 and the failure of the Luftwaffe to destroy the RAF and look at the inability for the Germans to launch a successful invasion of an island.

    Regards
    Caleb

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  13. jan Malherbe
    jan Malherbe at |

    Germany won many battles but lost the war due to overextending herself , they should have left the Russians alone and dealt the British (arrogant Island dwellers) the knockout blow by taking the middle east and consolidating the med into a axis lake , this was the advise of the German high command , but Mr Hitler was obsessed with bringing down communism ( good idea but to risky Russia to big, to many Russians , nasty weather). Mr Hitler became overambitious and gambled away his empire he had built with such speed and brilliance! But that the Germans were consumate soldiers, no person with a decent appreciation of matters military will deny , so to you above my friend, you obviously dislike Germans and your statements are oversimplifications of the first order!

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    1. Caleb
      Caleb at |

      Hitler had little to do with with the success of his forces early in the war. The Germans in my opinion lost the war at the battle of Dunkirk(if you’d call it a battle) as they allowed the entire British expiditionary army escape along with soldiers from many other nations. And those “arongant” island dwellers beat German in not 1 but 2 world wars so tread carefully. However I would have to agree that the German military was probably man for man the best of the war

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      1. jan Malherbe
        jan Malherbe at |

        If having the help of almost the rest of the world ; 3 empires , Soviet, American and all the dominions of the British empire to beat those nasty nazis,(Ww-2) is called a beating of the Germans in both ww1 and 2 by the British then I suppose you are right the British did beat the Germans in both wars. There is only one nation who can come close to claiming they ‘beat’ the Germans and that is the Russians (Ww-2 at least) 14 million casualties later , the Ruskies did by far most of the bleeding to defeat those tactically brilliant Germans, and by means of swamping them with vastly superior numbers, yet even then in the last desperate (for the Germans) months of the war , they still exacted a 2 to 1 kill rate against their enemies , a remarkable feat like so many other remarkable feats by the Germans in matters military!

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        1. all righty then
          all righty then at |

          They never exacted a 2 to 1 kill rate against the Americans. The US military killed the Germans 5 to 1 minimum. But yes, the Brits and Soviets were killed always at a 3 to 1 clip always, in both world wars. The Germans were far superior to both of them.

  14. joe p
    joe p at |

    Sick and tired of listening to all you nazi lovers . Bottom line germany decides to assist italy in n. Africa runs back to germany with tail between legs . Decides to attack britain runs back to germany with tail between legs . Decides to attack russia runs back to germany with tail between legs . Get over it you dopes the only reason the german people even exist as a race is due to the humanity of there conquers ! Sick and tired of listening to all the excuses as to why germany lost the war . They loss because they were inferior to thier enemies . Jokers!

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  15. David
    David at |

    The truly biggest blunder of the war was the toothless “guarantee” of Poland’s absurd boundaries, provided by the UK and France in 1939, smack dab in the middle of a major border argument between Germany and Poland. The war which followed hastened the end of all the European empires; and led to an exhaustion from which Europe still suffers. I hope NATO becomes careful about extending similar guarantees to small countries. Think how the Russia-Georgia War of August 2008 could have escalated if the U.S. had stepped in.

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  16. John
    John at |

    Operation Keelhaul, (repatriating Jews back to Russia after the war) While this alone isnt a blunder, it was a very shameful act by Eisenhower. Secondly, The Marshall Plan, giving Eastern Europe to Stalin. Despicable. Marshall and Ike were stooges of Stalin.

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  17. Fred
    Fred at |

    I think it was a big blunder that Japan didn’t invade the Soviet Union instead of attacking Pearl Harbor. Japan and Germany didn’t coordinate very well, it seems, contrary to all those propaganda cartoons I saw on TV while I was growing up where Hitler, Tojo, and Mussolini were always together. Anyways, the Japs thought the US would enter the war regardless of whether they attacked or not. They didn’t appreciate Roosevelt’s political problem had we not been attacked.
    I would also say that Hitler’s invasion of Poland was a blunder. The Germans didn’t expect war with England and France as a result. They were surprised.

    Reply
  18. Genma Saotome
    Genma Saotome at |

    One wonders what if….

    Barbarossa hadn’t been delayed by 6 weeks? Or had been pushed out to the spring of 42, allowing the Germans to use more troops to take Suez? Clearing the Med in ’43 increased Allied shipping capacity by a third simply by shortening the route from the gulf oil terminals.

    Churchill had persuaded we Americans to be more aggressive in Italy by landing further north… and on reaching the Poe River Valley to push NE towards Vienna.

    Japan had invaded Hawaii on Dec 7, 1941. Much more useful than what they actually did: occupying Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma.

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  19. David
    David at |

    This guy’s dislike of MacArthur is stupid and childish. The notion in (6) that MacArthur was trying to defend the entire Philippine archipelago is simply incorrect. Mac had 12,000 US soldiers, and 100,000 lightly armed Filipino Scouts. He didn’t disperse his defense efforts across all the islands…. Everybody knows that he deliberately CONCENTRATED the bulk of his forces in central Luzon waiting for the main attack; which he correctly believed would fall on the in the Lingayen Gulf, and proceed toward the Pampanga river delta. He was just outgunned, that’s all. MacArthur kept his eye on the ball, and thru necessity ignored Japanese landings at Cotabato, Zamboanga, Davao, Infanta, Vigan, Laoag, Panay, Cebu, and other locations … waiting for the climactic battle.

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    1. Higginbotham
      Higginbotham at |

      Too bad several silly factual errors and biases weren’t avoided… such as the author’s flatly false claim in (8) that Italy ‘unleashed’ an invasion of Greece … and Albania… in 1940. He even says “yes, I said Albania”. My reply? No, not Albania! Albania was annexed by Italy in early 1939, moths before the war ever broke out, and a year and a half before Italy struck at Greece.

      Have you noticed that none of these “blunders” were committed by Britain? All were committed by the Germans, Italians, the French, the Americans, or someone else. Not the British. They apparently were golden! Looks somewhat fishy.

      I wonder why the dogged U.S. defense of the Phillippines makes the list… but not the surrender at Singapore. This was one of the most titanic defeats in all world military history; certainly in British history. 80,000 men, many fully armed, and without having seen battle, were instead surrendered into the tender mercies of the Imperial Japanese Army, by the asinine British general Percival.

      But no, that doesn’t make this list.

      Reply
  20. jack Causon
    jack Causon at |

    Biggest blunders of WW2 in Europe.
    1. Putting an in- experienced general in charge of the European campaign. 2. Fighting on an extended front. 3.Delay in opening the port of Antwerp. 4.Unconditional surrender for Germany. 5.The Ardennes. Battle of the bulge.6.Poor tank design.

    Reply

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