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Most important battle of Western Front

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  • Most important battle of Western Front

    We have seen most interesting eastern front battles but other than D-Day, the June 6th operation, what is the concensus on the most important battle of the Western Front? This includes the North African and Italian theatre of operation. By important, I mean that this battle had a direct long term effect on the course of the war.
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  • #2
    Battle of the Buldge

    The most important nattle on the Western front was the Battle of the Buldge. Hittler put one last effort into driving the allied forces back to the beaches in a offensive in the Ardennes. If we hadn't have won that battle we might have been in the war longer than 1945!!
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    Peter Williams

    "We're not lost private, we're in Normandy"-

    Lt. Richard Winters 101st 506 pir

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    • #3
      With all due respect to the Americans who fought in the Bulge, I don't think it can be considered the most important battle of the Western Front.

      Really, for all the fireworks, not much was at stake. The germans had little chance of achieving anything of strategic significance. The goal of the objective was Antwerp, and that was just not possible.

      If anything, the Bulge hastened the end of the war. Had the germans used these forces as mobile fire brigades they could have held up the allies advance for quite a while.

      I like the topic, but really, how many "significant battles" on the western front can most of us identify?

      Ah, I see the original poster has eliminated Overlord from consideration. Does that include Cobra? If not, then I would submit that Cobra was the most important battle/operation.

      El Alamein is a contender for it's significance as a morale booster and as the clear beginning of the end of the germans in north africa.

      Crusader showed that Rommel was not infallible.

      But perhaps the most important battles took place in France in 1940? Hmm, a little more depth here than I might have thought at the beginning. Good topic.

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      • #4
        Re: Most important battle of Western Front

        Originally posted by dannybou
        We have seen most interesting eastern front battles but other than D-Day, the June 6th operation, what is the concensus on the most important battle of the Western Front? This includes the North African and Italian theatre of operation. By important, I mean that this battle had a direct long term effect on the course of the war.
        OPeration Cobra; the breakout from Normandy. It was a rousing success and nearly obliterated the German Army except for those who made it out of the pocket.

        Cheers!


        Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

        "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

        What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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        • #5
          How about Dunkirk 1940? Over 300,000 Allied soldiers are evacuated. Hitler's blunder? Just brainstorming on this one right now.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by dannybou
            How about Dunkirk 1940? Over 300,000 Allied soldiers are evacuated. Hitler's blunder? Just brainstorming on this one right now.
            One can make a very good argument for Dunkirk. But you can also easily agrue for Torch, Sicily, El Alamin, etc. But I think I'll stay with Operation Cobra as it caused a major shortening of the war.

            Cheers!


            Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

            "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

            What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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            • #7
              How about Kasserine?

              It was a baptism of fire for the US and served as a lesson to it's commanders and troops. They realized that they were now up against the varsity team and the battle brought a purpose to the struggle for the American soldier.

              From that point on the US Army was a credible opponent.
              Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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              • #8
                I would go with the Invasion of France/Low Countries in 1940. It forever changed the face of warfare and illustrated how far behind the "allies" had fallen. The swift victory over a sovereign nation such as France surely ranks right up there (although not really a "battle" per se).

                For a pure battle, I would throw in the early siege of Tobruk - as it gave the Commonwealth a bright spot in an otherwise dismal war - and helped deny the Suez to Rommel.
                Our forefathers died to give us freedom, not free stuff.

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                • #9
                  Despite the fact I'm not a big fan of Monty I'd have to say El Alamein. After that it was just one long fighting retreat for the Germans.
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                  • #10
                    I'd also have to go with Cobra. Without that smashing breakout, the war may very well have been extended.
                    "Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for"
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                    • #11
                      Cobra was a really important battle. The Army aircore was a little off target though. They tried to blast the hedgerow and ended up killing hundered of our men!!
                      Peter Williams

                      "We're not lost private, we're in Normandy"-

                      Lt. Richard Winters 101st 506 pir

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                      • #12
                        Cobra

                        I would also pick Cobra as the most important battle on the Western Front. They should have let Patton close the gap.

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                        • #13
                          I vote Cobra.

                          On the Dunkirk question, hmm. Lots of variables to consider, I guess. I do not believe England was ever in serious jeopardy of being invaded, but on the other hand, losing BEF in its entirety might have caused serious political problems for Churchill, and would have strained British manpower even more very early-on in the war. Perhaps it puts N. Africa more at risk of falling to Rommel. (sorry for the free-associative style here, I'm at work). Perhaps it makes Spain more likely to risk entering on the side of the Axis. Perhaps it makes the United States more likely to intervene earlier. Maybe Hitler's distrust of his Generals (or at least some of the major ill-effects), is minimized or at least delayed from affecting the path of the war. Assuming N. Africa falls, wouldn't German forces concentrate more on taking political objectives in the USSR, as opposed to sometimes mixing-in resource-objectives.

                          Or we could back up a bit and explore how the '40 battle for France might have proceeded without BEF having 'evacuation' as an option.

                          I still vote Cobra. To paraphrase Churchill: Wars are not won by evacuations...

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                          • #14
                            The Breakout phase of Cobra. But who would assume that
                            OKW would stick its best men into a noose?

                            They all died or were captured. War is madness.

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                            • #15
                              Falaise springs to mind as being a vaguely significant moment...
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