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Posted: 6/5/2003 7:29:25 AM EDT
What do you guys think are some of the close calls in history that would have resulted in a drastic turn of events if they turned out otherwise? One of my favorites to speculate on is Joshua Chamberlain's defense of Little Round Top. Virtually out of ammo after repulsing repeated Confederate attacks, he ordered his famous bayonet charge that saved the far left of the Federal line. What if that had failed? What if the Confederate army was able to sweep behind the Federal line? Would it have been a rout, leaving nothing significant between them and Washington, DC? So, do you guys have any favorite moments where history tilted in the balance?
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 8:40:51 AM EDT
When Von Molke (?) panicked in 1914 and pulled several divisions off the Western front right before the Marne to send them East right before Tannenberg was won without thier help. Cost Germany WW1, and kept WW1 going after Christmas 1914.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 9:05:48 AM EDT
Hitler not allowing Rommel to bring his Panzerkorps down to Normandy to give the Allies a welcoming party. Hitler calling off Sea Lion. Hitler not allowing the forces on the Eastern Front to withdraw so they could consolidate their line. Jeez, what a doofus. Good thing he was, eh?
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 5:12:52 PM EDT
Gave me a good laugh Brohawk. Italy invading Greece and getting slapped around forcing Germany to come to their aid.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 5:50:48 PM EDT
Pearl Harbor - Catching the carriers = bad timing, or hitting the above ground fuel depot and battleship ammo above ground in West Loch instead of sinking the ships = Bad Tactics, they hit those and throw up a blockade the Islands would have fallen. They could have easily bottled the fleet in without enough ammo and fuel oil to fight their way out, and had enough power to prevent reinforcement from West Coast. Would the US have gone to war. Another Hitler Mistake - Declaring War on the US after Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt would have had massive political pressure to fight the Japanese only and might not have been able to really pour the power into the anti-Germany fight before the Germans took North Africa and Egypt. At that point The possibility of the Germans and japanese actually linking up would have been possible. Trying to laund a second front from Englan without the forces coming up through Italy and the Med would have been impossible. Beauregard not firing on Sumter = No political pressure on Lincoln to fight the South. The North was a viable entity without the South. The South could not have survived economically. Plus without the Northern Invaders/Lincoln Boogeyman the South would not had the political will to start a fight. The North would likely have let the South fall away and negotiate navigation on the Mississippi
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 5:52:21 PM EDT
France throwing Hitler out of the Rhineland. They could easily have done so. WWII would have been many years if not totally delayed.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 2:41:58 PM EDT
Not really a [i]close[/i] call, but I vote for the battle of Teutoberger Wald in 9 AD. If the Germans had not defeated the Romans, there it would have been the end of the German race. (That was the Roman intent) Without that, there would have been no Anglo-Saxon migration to England. European / world history would be so much different had that one battle gone the other way. To me, it was the single most influtental event in history.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 2:44:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Atencio: Gave me a good laugh Brohawk. Italy invading Greece and getting slapped around forcing Germany to come to their aid.
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How about the [b]invading[/b] Italian army being stopped at the Albanian border by the border guards because they didn't have the proper papers to pass. That should have been a hint at how things were going to go from there on out.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 2:46:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Brohawk: Hitler calling off Sea Lion. Jeez, what a doofus. Good thing he was, eh?
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Sea lion was never more than an idea. There were never any real plans to do it. But yeah, what a doofus, and good thing he was.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 3:03:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 10:06:10 PM EDT by pogo]
How about the whole idea of ANYONE, especially Austria Hungary trying to build an empire in the Balkans? It won't work for Nato (ever read the Diktat Nato gave the Serbs before we started bombing?), didn't work for Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Russia, and all the way back to Alexander the Great. Bismark said it best: THe entire Balkans are not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier. EDIT: Oh! I meant Austria-Hungary expanding their sphere of influence into a hornet's nest in the very late 1800's up till WW1 - not modern day Austria. My prospecive father in law was from Vienna, and his dad was a sergeant (?) in the Austro-Hungarian Army. I've been trying to figure out what you were referring to, O, for a week and a half...
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 3:09:43 PM EDT
Pogo, I'm Austrian, so I would argue against that point, but I doubt we would ever agree. I would argue to the end that it did work, although I would have to agree, was it really worth it? I was an Austrian military advisor to the Slovenian "army" when they broke away from Yugoslavia. I have to say the whole place is a shit hole. The hatreds run back to far, and they have no concept of civilization despite what we tried to bring to them. (gee, that wasn't ethnocentric was it!!)
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 11:05:33 PM EDT
I will have to agree with "PaDanby" his three would certainly make my list. "brohawk" makes a very good point also. D-day might have been a disaster had the 21st Panzer division + 12th SS Panzer division been allowed to counter-attacked quickly on the first day. Not to mention the other divisions defending Pas-De-Calais.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 1:54:35 AM EDT
Looking with hindsight you have to go with Rommels tactic of not allowing the allies to secure a beach head.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 9:56:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/7/2003 10:01:44 PM EDT by PaDanby]
Gallipolli - 20/20 hindsight tells us Churchill was right. The Brits landed more than enough troops and with the NGFS available they could have moved much further faster and started a very winning Campaign. Petersburg - Baldy Smiths 18th and Hancock's 2nd Corps stopping to reconnoiter and regroup to attack the next morning and then not following through hardin the next few days allowed Lee to get troops into the Petersburg Defenses. had the Union Corp pressed an attack on arrival or in the next day or two they could have taken Petersburg. Richmond would have fallen in June '64. Lee likely would have retreated either south through the Carolinas or southeast toward Chaattanooga. That might have prevented Sherman taking Atlanta in September, undoubtedly would have prevented the March to the Sea, but it would have put Lee and Bragg/Hood/Johnson in between Meade and Sherman with Grant directing a huge pincer movement at a time the blockade was getting real effective.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 4:05:21 AM EDT
Another bad decision was Hitler directing that the Me-262s be fitted to be bombers. If large numbers of them had been committed to fighter/interceptor duties the end of the war would have been bloodier in the air. Considering the masses of Allied men & materiel being thrown into the fight and the bombing of production facilities I doubt they would have changed the outcome of the war, but that last year and a half would have been tougher on the Allied air forces. The story behind Galland forming/recruiting Jagdverband 44 makes for good reading. Essentially, there seems to have been an attitude of, "We're not going to change the outcome of the war, but we'll go out as fighter pilots." I read that one of the pilot's was told he had to supply his own airplane, so he went to the Messerschmitt facility and fast talked them out of a new Me-262.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 6:27:11 AM EDT
The Battle Of Waterloo- it was as the Duke of Wellington later admitted, "a close run thing", that he and his allies barely won. Only missteps and confusion on the part of Napoleon and his generals (Grouchy, for one) the timely arrival of Bluecher's forces, and the dogged resistance of the British and Germans at Quatre Bras, Hougoumont, etc., literally changed history- had all gone well for the French, and the Prussians not shown up just before dark, Wellington and the smaller British/Dutch forces would have been pushed back to the sea. The Allied victory against the French ensured peace (mostly in the shape of no major wars) throughout Europe for a century.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 9:06:59 PM EDT
June 4, 1942. Torpedo squadron 8 of the USS Hornets' air group attacked the Japanese strike fleet after becoming seperated from their escorts. All 15 aircraft were shot down, and 29 out of the 30 members of the squadron were killed. NO damage was caused to the enemy, but this attack won the battle of Midway for the US Navy. Japanese flight operations were disrupted to the point that when a second US strike stumbled across them, the Japanese aircraft carriers' decks were filled with aircraft, all in the process of being fueled and armed. A dive-bomber pilots' dream come true. Had Lt Cmdr John C. Waldron's "guess" as to there the Japanese fleet was, had he not had the balls to make the crucial decision to attack, and had the men under his command NOT had the courage to make what they HAD to have known was an attack they would never return from, WW2 in the pacific could have turned out very differently.
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 8:02:13 AM EDT
George Roger Clark's capture of Fort Sackville (modern day Vicennes). While it didn't stop the British sponsored Indian raids on KY or Virginia during the Revolution, it caused a lot of Indians to be doubtful and hesistant to support the King. Bushy Run for Pontiac's Rebellion. Allowed the lifting of the Siege of Fort Pitt (Pittsburg) and the further expansion of colonists into the Ohio Basin. French Voltigeurs failure to bag Wellington near Vittoria. Similarly the Tiraillers almost shot him t Condeixa but missed. In both instances, riflemen from the 95th drove off the French. If the French had kept a few rifles, they may have hit their mark and removed the greatest tactician in the British Army. Unknown American Rifleman at the Alamo's bell tower. Tried to shoot Santa Ana at about 500 yards distance and missed. Opps.
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 10:04:00 AM EDT
Suppose somebody stepped in front of Jack Ruby when he silenced Lee Harvey, "I'm just a patsy," Oswald. What if MacArthur HAD listened to reports of Chinese massing in North Korea in 1950? What if Dewey HAD won the election in 1948? What if Ross Perot HADN'T ran in 1992?
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