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World War 2
D-Day

How did D-day's outcome shape World War 2?

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May 01, 2011 4:08AM

D-Day determined the entire outcome of the war. If the d-day invasion had been repelled the entire allied assault may have broken up. Without a foothold on continental Europe, no major assaults would have been possible. It was the deciding factor in the allies winning the way.

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I beg to differ. The outcome of World War II had long since been decided by the time that the western Allies landed at Normandy. There was no way that Germany could have won the war from any time after their crushing defeat at Stalingrad (autumn 1942 to early February '43). Their failed offensive in summer 1943 to try to pinch off the Kursk salient put the exclamation point on this matter. And for comparison, while the U.S., Britain and Canada were struggling to expand their beachhead in Normandy the Soviets were launching an enormous offensive that led to the deep envelopment and crushing of the largest German force of the war to ever be destroyed in one campaign, Army Group Center, in Byelorussia and eastern Poland. Read up on it. The outcome of the war had been decided at Stalingrad. After that it was impossible for Germany to win the war. The best they could do was to hope to grind the Allies down enough that some kind of negotiated peace could be made but that was an unrealistic hope (and the leaking of the Morgenthau plan, even though it wasn't ultimately carried out, made this seemingly clear to the Germans.)

The Soviets endured many thousands of times worse than anything that was thrown at U.S. or British or Canadian forces, and broke the back of the German military. Without the Soviets bleeding the Germans white on the Eastern Front there would have been no D-Day at Normandy in any case, it would have never been attempted unless Germany was already fatally weakened.

The most important outcomes to result from the invasion of northwest Europe by the western Allies?

1. It probably speeded up the defeat of Germany by a few months.

2. It made sure that France was liberated by the western Allies and not "liberated" by the Soviets after they got through tearing the Germans a new one.

3. It gave the American people a beloved myth that they have cherished ever since, the myth that America (and the U.K., and Canada, though they never seem to remember them) saved the world from Nazi tyranny by the gallant sacrifices made in storming the beaches of Normandy and singlehandedly turned the tide of the war in one fell swoop, stopping the Nazi war machine in its tracks and rolling it back to its destruction. Unfortunately that's all the most ridiculous hogwash to anyone who has bothered to read about the war on the Eastern Front and finds out that over 80% of Germany's war dead were killed fighting against the Soviets, that the Soviets destroyed vastly more German units than the rest of the Allies put together several times over, that the bulk of Germany's military was concentrated on the Eastern Front even after D-Day, roughly two-thirds of its units and most of its best units, et cetera, et cetera. But it plays really well in Peoria, right? To people who don't know anything about World War II beyond the dropping of the atom bombs and that movie Saving Private Ryan. But people who've looked into the matter know the Soviets won the war against Nazi Germany while the U.S. and U.K. and Canada merely helped out.