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    At what point could Germany have no longer won the second world war?
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    Depends how you define a win, but frankly, the moment it invaded the Soviet Union.
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    At what point could Germany have no longer won the second world war?
    Lots of theories, but maybe when they invaded Russia or when the US joined. You could say he was never going to beat Russia, but he left it too late. Stalingrad is seen as the pivotal battle, but you could say he lost a long time before.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Depends how you define a win, but frankly, the moment it invaded the Soviet Union.
    I disagree. From Germany's perspective it was better to act soon and not wait while the USSR was building up it's military. They had extraordinary success at first in making progress into it.

    I would say once the USA entered the war, they lost the chance to win.
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    I agree with anarchism101. At that point Germany was in a two-front war and had to supply most of it's resources and manpower on the Eastern front. The USSR was massive and took too long to completely invade, also the Red Army numbered similar to the Wermacht and would later outnumber it.
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    At what point could Germany have no longer won the second world war?
    Assuming this is an essay subject, look closely at the first post by anarchism101
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    (Original post by Hatter_2)
    I disagree. From Germany's perspective it was better to act soon and not wait while the USSR was building up it's military. They had extraordinary success at first in making progress into it.

    I would say once the USA entered the war, they lost the chance to win.
    They had extraordinary progress at first because the Soviets weren't prepared for war yet and had poorer officers due to the Stalinist purges. As soon as the Soviets were able to turn their full capacity on the Germans, it was almost certain they would grind out victory in the end.

    The Wehrmacht would basically have had to occupy the entire country West of the Urals within a few months to stand a chance of winning.
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    A lot of what I’ve read says the decision to invade Russia was the real downfall but they were supposedly so close to Moscow they could see the Kremlin at one point
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    A lot of what I’ve read says the decision to invade Russia was the real downfall but they were supposedly so close to Moscow they could see the Kremlin at one point
    They reached suburban stops of the Moscow tram network, however they made the fateful mistake of not packing enough winter clothes.
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    A lot of what I’ve read says the decision to invade Russia was the real downfall but they were supposedly so close to Moscow they could see the Kremlin at one point
    Yes, but this isn't like Old style war where taking the capital equals victory. Soviet capacity in just about everything - manpower, production, resources - exceeded Germany's. The only advantages the Germans had (initially) were better officers and being more prepared for the initial offensive.
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    Possibly underestimating Soviet capacity and willingness to sustain losses and carry on resisting, it is hard to envisage a Western democracy sustaining the damage the Soviets sustained and not suing for peace. Stalin's control only seems to have really been tested at the outset, once it was fully reasserted not sure that Germany ever had a credible path to total victory, even if the USA had not entered the war, though it might have more developed into a much longer conflict or quasi stalemate.
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    At what point could Germany have no longer won the second world war?
    It would seem that 1941 (Invasion of Russia) is the agreed point at which Germany was definitely going to lose. But I would argue that losing the war in North Africa had a major impact on the German war effort since a victory there would have secured vital oil supplies in the Middle East
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    (Original post by JamesN88)
    They reached suburban stops of the Moscow tram network, however they made the fateful mistake of not packing enough winter clothes.
    The Russian winter is infamous, but less well-known is the impact of the Russian spring - the Wehrmacht thought they'd made it through the winter, only to find the spring rains turned the terrain into a muddy bog. Slows movement of troops and supplies down massively - big problem when your supply lines are already overextended, compounded by the Red Army's scorched earth retreat policy and partisan targeting of supply lines.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Yes, but this isn't like Old style war where taking the capital equals victory.
    It is impossible for Hitler not to have known that-1812.
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    A lot of what I’ve read says the decision to invade Russia was the real downfall but they were supposedly so close to Moscow they could see the Kremlin at one point
    Then you should look at the cost , why they had stopped advancing so quickly and why they were unable to hold onto territory..
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    (Original post by ElAshtonio)
    It would seem that 1941 (Invasion of Russia) is the agreed point at which Germany was definitely going to lose. But I would argue that losing the war in North Africa had a major impact on the German war effort since a victory there would have secured vital oil supplies in the Middle East
    I would say the point is earlier than that.

    Victory really means at least a generation of peace with stable borders.

    Hitler could not have achieved that once the decision was made for the UK to fight on in June 1940.The British and French Empires, like the Soviet Union were more or less unconquerable.

    Victory over France required an armistice and that armistice carried about half the French Empire with it. If the French government had withdrawn to Algeria, France would have been occupied but never defeated. There would always have been more France outside Nazi control than within it which would have meant a permanent insurrectionist population within the occupied territory.

    That is the fallacy of SS-GB type television. It assumes that Britain is a small offshore island rather than a worldwide Empire.
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    There are many different points. One is when Hitler declared war on the United States on the 11th December 1941. Some historians define the "turning point" in WW2 as the Battle of Stalingrad or the Battle of Kursk. I'd argue that Hitler couldn't have won the war against the USA, however a peace may have been signed, however I don't know what would have happened. I'd also argue that the Battle of Kursk was the turning point in the war, after Stalingrad Hitler had suffered a defeat but the Wehrmacht hadn't yet lost it's capability to launch offensive operations. The defeat at Kursk however, proved that Germany would never again be able to launch offensive operations on a large scale, which is why many see it as the turning point of WW2.
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    Hitler invaded Russia because he thought he could get a quick victory through a surprise attack, eliminating a potential enemy before he would end up fighting Britain and the US. I think with this mindset, he never had any realistic chance of winning the war. But yes, I agree, attacking Russia was the point of no return.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I would say the point is earlier than that.

    Victory really means at least a generation of peace with stable borders.

    Hitler could not have achieved that once the decision was made for the UK to fight on in June 1940.The British and French Empires, like the Soviet Union were more or less unconquerable.

    Victory over France required an armistice and that armistice carried about half the French Empire with it. If the French government had withdrawn to Algeria, France would have been occupied but never defeated. There would always have been more France outside Nazi control than within it which would have meant a permanent insurrectionist population within the occupied territory.

    That is the fallacy of SS-GB type television. It assumes that Britain is a small offshore island rather than a worldwide Empire.
    I agree, but I do think there's a possibility (albeit a small one), that Churchill could have been force from power in late 1940/early 1941 and replaced by someone willing to cut a deal with the Nazis, in the same way Reynaud was ousted by Petain in France.

    If we forget for the moment that Nazi ideology made an invasion of the Soviet Union virtually inevitable and treat it as just a strategic choice, this is the only way I can see a German victory - a more dovish British government being willing to accept the German conquests of Czechoslovakia and Poland (and, depending on the timing, possibly the Nazi client states in the Balkans) in exchange for peace and a German withdrawal from France, Scandinavia and the Low Countries.

    Of course, Hitler had built himself into an ideological corner that essentially required war with the Soviets, so this scenario is entirely hypothetical.
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    When the Red army encircled Stalingrad
 
 
 
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