Originally Posted by MontyB
To me this was Stalingrad in the European theatre with Kursk a close second mainly because without Stalingrad there wouldnt have been a Kursk and I really dont believe the Germans had a chance of winning at Kursk and basically at Stalingrad the Russians learned they could win and at Kursk the Germans knew it was all over.
I look at El Alamein and D-Day and to be honest of the two I think El Alamein was the more decisive as it showed that the British could compete which really hadnt been seen to that point by the time D-Day rolled around the war was pretty much over but the shouting its only real effect was to shorten the war (this is not saying that it was pointless nor am I saying it wasnt an amazing feat of arms and logistics).
Unfortunately when discussing WW2 the Pacific war always seems to take a back seat but if I was to pick the turning point battle for the Pacific it would be Midway.
The thing is, the Germans did have a chance to win at Kursk, but only if they had launched it quickly. Instead they took far too long to assemble and Hitler insisted on waiting for the new Panther and Elefant tanks to be ready before giving authorization for the operation to begin. This gave the Soviets plenty of time to build up very
formidable defences. By the time the Germans launched their attack the Soviets were more than ready for them. Even so, had all the German Panzerkorps present followed the operational plan delivered by the II SS-Panzerkorps it still *might* have been possible for the Wehrmacht to eke out a victory.
I think El-Alamein was very important from a morale-boosting viewpoint and it definitely helped restore some pride back into the British Army after their crushing defeat 3 years earlier. However, from a grand strategic viewpoint it definitely could not be considered decisive as it did little to affect the eventual outcome of the war. The Battle of Britain also falls into that category.
I think WW2 definitely falls into two regional conflicts and the European one was the more important of the two. That doesn't mean to say that the Pacific Theatre should be ignored I agree. Midway definitely was a decisive battle.