A year of decision for Germany - Essay Example

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In the paper “A year of decision for Germany” the author analyzes 1942 a pivotal year for Germany. A world left reeling from the Wehrmacht’s blitzkrieg triumphs in France and Eastern Europe had regained its balance and joined forces in a crusade that, after 1942, could only result in Germany’s defeat. …
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Download file to see previous pages Savage fighting on the eastern front had nearly bled the Wehrmacht white. The Germans’ lightning advance had brought them to the gates of Moscow, where the Red Army delivered a blow that began to turn the tide. The hubris that came in the wake of Germany’s startling early successes now served to delude Hitler and the German High Command at a time when they could least afford to ignore facts. Severe losses, badly stretched supply lines and the Russian winter were proving a deadly combination. “The opposing armies were exhausted. Yet both continued to overestimate their own strength while underestimating that of their opponents. In the short run, the Soviets paid for the miscalculation; in the long run the Germans paid even more.”¹
The Resurgent British
In the west, after three beleaguered years in which the British were brought to the brink of disaster, 1942 saw the completion of a reorganization that finally had the British Empire’s

(Name) 2
militaryforces posed to wage war effectively. The transformation had started from the
top, where “under Churchill’s inspiring leadership, as both prime minister and minister of defense, a carefully articulated hierarchy of committees produced coherent and intelligent policy that translated into effective strategy.”2 The change from Chamberlain’s style of leadership to that of Churchill was remarkable, according to one observer. “The days of mere ‘coordination’ were over for good and all…We were going to get direction, leadership, action with a snap to it.”3
...
direction, leadership, action with a snap to it.”3 One of Churchill’s greatest contributions to the war effort was his wartime diplomacy, which facilitated a vital coordination of military planning among the three new allies: Britain, America and the Soviet Union. Though the tide was beginning to turn in 1942, a collective assessment of the situation among Churchill and his partners led to the realization that the Allies’ land forces were not quite ready to take the field on a broad scale. “In 1942, even as the skies over Britain brightened immeasurably with the accession of the United States and Russia as allies, the combined Chiefs of Staff agreed that bombing remained vital…”4 In addition to overwhelming numbers, the alliance produced an unprecedented level of concentration and coordination of power. The Noose Begins to Tighten With the U.S. now officially committed to the war in Europe, the strategic moves (or blunders) that led to Germany’s “year of decision” had come full circle – literally so, because the Third Reich was ringed round by powerful enemies. “At the beginning of the war’s third year, (Name) 3 the Germans confronted a great worldwide coalition, formidably strengthened by Hitler’s declaration of war on the United States on 11 December 1941.” 5 To make matters worse, the American military leadership decided that Germany would be their first objective, and so the Reich would be the first to bear the full brunt of the Allies’ collective power. “Despite the fact that war had formally begun for the United States with a devastating Japanese surprise attack in the Pacific, Roosevelt and his allies quickly reaffirmed their commitment to the Germany-first strategy…”6 This “Germany First” strategy frustrated whatever ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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