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Why and when did Germany lose the Second World War?

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Introduction

Azhar Syed Azmi History HL History Essay: Why and when did Germany lose the Second World War? From 1939 to 1945, the Second World War ravaged much of the globe, and was clearly provoked by the expansionist policies of Germany, Italy and Japan. Although initially successful, these Axis powers, and especially Germany, were ultimately defeated by the combined forces of the Allies- Great Britain, U.S.S.R, and the U.S. The defeat of Germany during the Second World War can be attributed to a series of tactical mistakes which Hitler carried out, in addition to brilliant strategies implemented by Allied forces. Several key turning points during the Second World War helped turn the tide of war in favor of Great Britain, U.S.S.R, and the U.S, and led to the gradual defeat of Germany. These turning points are war plans and decisions commanded by Hitler, and include the invasion of France, the Battle of Britain, the military campaign in North Africa, the invasion of U.S.S.R, and the declaration of war against the U.S. The actions of German armed forces in the battles that resulted from these decisions were for the most part unsuccessful and disastrous. Thus, the question of when Germany lost the Second World War is best answered by scrutinizing these points during the conflict, as it is not one critical moment which entailed the defeat of Germany, but several- all of which contribute to its destruction. ...read more.

Middle

The German army was also overstretched, and fighting in North Africa therefore limited the ability of German forces elsewhere to win against enemies. As the first defeat of the German army, the Battle of Alamein was a morale boost for the Allies, and portrayed the limitations of Germany's strength. Another implication of the exit from North Africa is Germany's loss of access to oil in the Middle East, as well as control of the Suez Canal. A lack of oil in latter years of the war was to deeply affect Germany's military performance. With Allied victory in North Africa, Great Britain and the U.S were able to invade Sicily and Italy, thereby opening a new front on Europe. This led to the defeat of Italy, and thus the loss of a vital ally of Germany (although a puppet nation was created in North Italy under the virtual control of Hitler). All these factors were direct effects of the loss of German forces in North Africa, and contribute to the eventual defeat of Germany in the Second World War. Hitler's tactics during the invasion of the U.S.S.R is another factor which contributed to the gradual defeat of Germany. Named Operation Barbarossa, Hitler decided to invade the Soviet Union by the use of a three-pronged attack on Leningrad, Moscow, and the Ukraine. ...read more.

Conclusion

I personally consider the most significant dates which caused Germany's loss to be the 11th of September (the date the U.S entered the war) and November 1942 (the month that the German army lost the Battle of Stalingrad). The creation of the U.S as an enemy of Germany is uniquely significant as it is unlikely Germany could survive a war against such an economic colossus. The Battle of Stalingrad, on the other hand, marks the beginning of the Soviet Union's offensive against Germany, ultimately leading to the takeover of Berlin. It also marks the cessation of Germany's access to bountiful oil, as they were checked by the Soviet Army before reaching the Caucasus. One must, however, note the significance of other events, such as the Battle of Britain, as it actually allowed the event of D-Day, and kept Britain as a fighting opponent of Germany. El Alamein is also significant, as like in the Battle of Stalingrad, it stopped Germany from having access to oil in the Middle East (oil was a vital commodity during the Second World War for machinery, and a lack of it played a significant role in the defeat of Germany). In the end, Hitler's overtly ambitious war plans proved to be impossible for the army to carry out, as it was overstretched and overwhelmed by the Allies it fought against. Germany simply did not have the resources to achieve victory, after the loss of soldiers, war material and necessary resources it incurred during these decisive moments in the Second World War. ...read more.

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