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WWII quiz-which battle is this?

This is a discussion on WWII quiz-which battle is this? within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; I like to start military debates by posting a quiz. Does any one know which battle I am referring to. ...


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Old July 12th, 2010   #1
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Post WWII quiz-which battle is this?

I like to start military debates by posting a quiz. Does any one know which battle I am referring to.
Which WWII battle had the most direct and indirect effect of the war for the Allies.
Hint#1-- This battle lasted about 2 years.
Hint#2-- It included mostly air and naval units from at least 4 major countries.
If you think you have the answer post your comment and make sure to not only name the battle but why it was so pivotal.
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Old July 14th, 2010   #2
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I like to start military debates by posting a quiz. Does any one know which battle I am referring to.
Which WWII battle had the most direct and indirect effect of the war for the Allies.
Hint#1-- This battle lasted about 2 years.
Hint#2-- It included mostly air and naval units from at least 4 major countries.
If you think you have the answer post your comment and make sure to not only name the battle but why it was so pivotal.
The battle of the Atlantic. The battle, which actually lasted throughout the duration of the war, was at its peak from 1942 to 1944. This battle involved Axis submarines, mainly of the German navy, which were aiming to cut off desperately needed supplies to Britain and units of the Royal navy, Canadian and US navies who tried to keep the German submarines from sinking supply ships heading for the UK. The Royal navy was joined by the US and Canadian navy and aircraft to keep the sealanes between America and the UK clear. Britain, an island nation, was very much dependent on supplies from the American continent to keeping fighting Germany and supplies were also needed for the build up of forces to invade German occupied Europe.
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Old July 14th, 2010   #3
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The battle of the Atlantic. The battle, which actually lasted throughout the duration of the war, was at its peak from 1942 to 1944. This battle involved Axis submarines, mainly of the German navy, which were aiming to cut off desperately needed supplies to Britain and units of the Royal navy, Canadian and US navies who tried to keep the German submarines from sinking supply ships heading for the UK. The Royal navy was joined by the US and Canadian navy and aircraft to keep the sealanes between America and the UK clear. Britain, an island nation, was very much dependent on supplies from the American continent to keeping fighting Germany and supplies were also needed for the build up of forces to invade German occupied Europe.
Very good guess and you are correct about the importance of the Battle of the Atlantic but that is not the correct answer. I could give you another hint, like the battle started before America was officially in the war but that clue would also lead some one to think The Atlantic.
The right answer is The Battle of Malta.
If the British had not been able to hold on to this unsinkable aircraft carrier in the middle of the Med. then the Axis forces would have cut off 90% of supplies going to the British 8th Army in North Africa using Malta as a central base for bombers and submarines.
The British would have been forced to try and send convoys around the Cape and up into the Indian Ocean and this would have taken months for even just one convoy to make this very dangerous crossing. Danger from the seas around the cape, German U-boats and then Japanese long range I series of submarines.
Because the British were able to defend that island from both Italian and German air attacks Hitler could not order an invasion of Malta. Then the Allies were able to attack the German re-supply efforts for their Afrika Corps.
The Americans were not officially a part of this battle at first except for their brave Merchant Marine sailors who helped get badly needed supplies to Malta.
And as you mentioned the Battle of the Atlantic lasted for the duration of the war; the Battle for Malta only lasted about 2 years until the British and American forces had finished off the Italian and German forces in North Africa.
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Old July 15th, 2010   #4
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What If the Germans had gone ahead with the plan to seize Gibraltar and were successful? Though losses would have been high, seizing Gibraltar would have been much easier than Malta. With the loss of Gibraltar, Britain then would have had to rely solely on the Suez canal and overland routes to keep its forces in the region supplied as entry via the western Med would no longer be possible.

So my question is whether with the loss of Gibraltar, would Malta still have played a pivotal role ? Or would losing Gibraltar have made no difference to the British war effort as long as the Royal Navy based in Alexandria controlled the Med and British airpower operating from Malta continued to wreak havoc on Axis shipping? Ultra also played a big part in enabling British airpower and submarines to know where and when to look for Axis shipping. Apologies for all the ''what if'' alternative scenarios but even if the Falschirmjager had taken Malta, would it have made a long term difference, bearing in mind the part played by Ultra, British sea dominance and the fact that demands in Russia would have made it impossible for the Luftwaffe to continue mantaining large numbers of aircraft in the area.

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Old July 15th, 2010   #5
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What If the Germans had gone ahead with the plan to seize Gibraltar and were successful? Though losses would have been high, seizing Gibraltar would have been much easier than Malta. With the loss of Gibraltar, Britain then would have had to rely solely on the Suez canal and overland routes to keep its forces in the region supplied as entry via the western Med would no longer be possible.

So my question is whether with the loss of Gibraltar, would Malta still have played a pivotal role ? Or would losing Gibraltar have made no difference to the British war effort as long as the Royal Navy based in Alexandria controlled the Med and British airpower operating from Malta continued to wreak havoc on Axis shipping? Ultra also played a big part in enabling British airpower and submarines to know where and when to look for Axis shipping. Apologies for all the ''what if'' alternative scenarios but even if the Falschirmjager had taken Malta, would it have made a long term difference, bearing in mind the part played by Ultra, British sea dominance and the fact that demands in Russia would have made it impossible for the Luftwaffe to continue mantaining large numbers of aircraft in the area.
Seizing Gibraltar would only have been easier if Spain helped the Germans and Franco did not want to get fully involved in this war. If he did have any interest he had his chance in 1940 with the British and French forces trying to stop the German invasion. At this point he could have invaded France either through the mountain border area or along the coast into southern France. Franco had just started to get Spain back together again after winning the Spanish Civil War and he was happy to sit back and see which way the tides of war were moving. And I do agree that Ultra was an important factor during the entire war as explained in the very good book "Bodyguard Of Lies". But those British aircraft still needed Malta as a base to hunt down the German transports, both by plane and by ship, because most of the planes available to the RAF at that time did not have the range to fly any bombing or scouting sorties from Alexandria to the middle of the Med. Also, the Russian front problems only became a major factor around the end of the Battle of Stalingrad. After Hitler gave up on invading Britain by 1941 he then had ample Luftwaffe units to send to the Eastern front without taking much away from the war in the Med. Sea.
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Old July 17th, 2010   #6
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Also, the Russian front problems only became a major factor around the end of the Battle of Stalingrad. After Hitler gave up on invading Britain by 1941 he then had ample Luftwaffe units to send to the Eastern front without taking much away from the war in the Med. Sea.
The withdrawal of Luftwaffe units from the Med theatre at the commencement of Operation Blau and after the 6th Army was trapped had a profound effect on the ability of the Germans to neutralize Malta. The Germans never had sufficient airpower in the area for the duration needed to really make a difference.

Had Malta fallen it would most certainly have improved the German situation in the area but given - British domination of the Med, Russia, ULTRA, etc, would Malta's loss have led to a German victory in North Africa? No less important in my view was British control of the western Med, thanks to their possession of Gibraltar. I think the loss of Gibraltar would have been just as damaging to the British war effort as losing Malta.

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Old July 17th, 2010   #7
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I'll contribute a tricky question for the quiz.

What was the last battle where both sides had tanks before 1 Sep 1939?

Hint: it lasted ~128 days...
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Old July 17th, 2010   #8
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I'll contribute a tricky question for the quiz.

What was the last battle where both sides had tanks before 1 Sep 1939?

Hint: it lasted ~128 days...
I ll go for Khalkhyn Gol/Nomonhan.

Great question, because it is one of the history shaping battles, which somehow became largely forgotten, especially in the west.
With Zhukov, the Japs strategic direction changed, Stalins mind free for Poland and the west, and so on. It even "previewed" the Japs rigidity in conducting warfare given a set directive/code and the results of it (here eg: use of airforce), little to non adaptation within the conflict.
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Old July 17th, 2010   #9
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I ll go for Khalkhyn Gol/Nomonhan.

Great question, because it is one of the history shaping battles, which somehow became largely forgotten, especially in the west.
With Zhukov, the Japs strategic direction changed, Stalins mind free for Poland and the west, and so on. It even "previewed" the Japs rigidity in conducting warfare given a set directive/code and the results of it (here eg: use of airforce), little to non adaptation within the conflict.
You know your stuff - great and fast answer! Its the answer I was looking for.

A more difficult question.

This battle saw the first and sole use of this tank (ie no other type was used) which was never used in war by the country which designed it.

The above mentioned tank was used in battle by at least 5 different countries in battles that occurred before, during and after the 2nd world war.

Name the battle and the tank.
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Old July 17th, 2010   #10
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Ok, I ll add a question for the quiz as well.

In WW 2, with tanks, aircraft and ships, tens of thousands fought,
the prerequisites came from one theatre, the results effected another.
No Axis power fired a shot, yet peace was made in an Axis land
and the Axis profited the most.

Have fun

EDIT: Should refresh before writing. Tough one with the tank. Have to dig in when I come home .
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Old July 17th, 2010   #11
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Post The Importance of Malta

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The withdrawal of Luftwaffe units from the Med theatre at the commencement of Operation Blau and after the 6th Army was trapped had a profound effect on the ability of the Germans to neutralize Malta. The Germans never had sufficient airpower in the area for the duration needed to really make a difference.

Had Malta fallen it would most certainly have improved the German situation in the area but given - British domination of the Med, Russia, ULTRA, etc, would Malta's loss have led to a German victory in North Africa? No less important in my view was British control of the western Med, thanks to their possession of Gibraltar. I think the loss of Gibraltar would have been just as damaging to the British war effort as losing Malta.
I agree that a German capture of Gibraltar would have had a serious impact on the British operations but I still say that it would have been much harder for that to happen then an invasion of Malta. Without Malta and even with the use of Ultra the British would not have a base of operations in the middle of the German supply route by air and sea to Africa. And the Battle for Malta was near the end by the time Germany needed to pull equipment and crews to the Russian front. By this time the British had been able to get more planes stationed at Malta then they had in 1940.
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Old July 18th, 2010   #12
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I agree that a German capture of Gibraltar would have had a serious impact on the British operations but I still say that it would have been much harder for that to happen then an invasion of Malta.
I'm not so sure about it being harder to take. Taking Malta would have been relient on an airborne assault alone. Granted, to support the operation, the Italian Navy may have come out in full force but given the presence of the RN, resupplying and reinforcing Malta later by sea would have rather tricky. Even if air superiority had been lost to the Germans there is the possibility that the RN would have ventured out in full force to prevent any German/Italian shipping from reinforcing Malta, as the RN would have done in mid 1940 had the Germans attained air superiority over southern England and the Channel.

Gibraltar on the other hand would have been easier to take [on paper at least...] as there is a land route from Spain and a plus for the Germans, given their limited sea lift capabilities, is that taking Gibraltar would not have been relient on shipping.

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And the Battle of Malta was near end by the time Germany needed to pull equipment and crews to the Russian front.
The Battle of Malta was still ongoing in the middle of 1942 when there were still substantial numbers of Lufftwaffe aircraft in the area that had to be pulled out for Russia.
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Old July 18th, 2010   #13
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Post Malta yes, the Rock no.

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I'm not so sure about it being harder to take. Taking Malta would have been relient on an airborne assault alone. Granted, to support the operation, the Italian Navy may have come out in full force but given the presence of the RN, resupplying and reinforcing Malta later by sea would have rather tricky. Even if air superiority had been lost to the Germans there is the possibility that the RN would have ventured out in full force to prevent any German/Italian shipping from reinforcing Malta, as the RN would have done in mid 1940 had the Germans attained air superiority over southern England and the Channel.

Gibraltar on the other hand would have been easier to take [on paper at least...] as there is a land route from Spain and a plus for the Germans, given their limited sea lift capabilities, is that taking Gibraltar would not have been relient on shipping.



The Battle of Malta was still ongoing in the middle of 1942 when there were still substantial numbers of Lufftwaffe aircraft in the area that had to be pulled out for Russia.
But as I wrote before; if Franco had allowed Germany a passage to attack Gibraltar then he no longer could declare Spain as a so called neutral country and he did not want to be involved in that war. Franco was still trying to get Spain back together after his winning the civil war a few years before. As for the substantial number of German aircraft, and Italian, they still could not get air superiority over Malta when they outnumbered the British and because of that the Germans could never try an airborne attack on Malta. Also the RN would have been able to stop most of any ship supplies trying to reach any German forces that might have landed in Malta. A perfect example is Crete. The Germans had their chance to stop the RN from controlling all of the Med. but could not do much. Malta was more important to the Germans because in a way it was behind their lines in North Africa for most of the battle.
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