Allied victories between 1939 -41 during World War II

Apr 2014
372
Istanbul Turkey
#1
All general World War II histories mainly generalises that between 1939-mid 1942 entire history of war were summarised as unceasing victories record for Axis (except Battle of Britain in 1940 and maybe battle of Moscow in 1941 winter when Wehrmacht retreated under pressure of Red Army and Winter) , after 1942 summer and autumn with Battles of Coral Sea / Midway , Alam El Halfa / El Alamein , Stalingrad tide suddenly turned ....

However when one checks out military history , Allies had some impressive sucesses even in middle of campaign failures and retreats under desperate conditions. Despite unprepared for a long and Total War Allies (Britain and France till June 1940 , Britain alone in 1940 and Soviet Russia and Britain till 1941 December) as morale , psyche as well as with deficiencies in armed forces and underequipped

-Sinking of Graf Spee (1939)
-Naval and Ground Battles of Narvik (1940)
-Battle of Hague
-Battle of Hannut /Gamblaux Gap
-Royal Navy victories in Taranto and Cape Matapan
-British victories in Libya and East Africa against Italian Army
-Sinking of Bismark
-First Siege of Tobruk
-Operation Crusader
-Siege of Leningrad
-Siege of Sevastapol (extended till June 1942)
-Suppression of Axis backed Iraq Rebellion
-Capture of Vichy France administered Syria and Beirut
-Invasion of Iran

and any other sucessful Allied campaign or single operation I might have missed during this time period is mainly dismissed or unknown. All sucesses against Italians are dismissed because Italians are considered incompatent , inept , second rate military power as if they are unprepared newcomers to Premier League. Actually Italian armed forces began to perform way more better after 1941 summer due to harsh battlefield experience and better leadership and equipment provided. Even at their worst any shot fired by Italians , would kill r wounded their adversaries. Same with French or Iraq rebels Allies dealt with in 1941.

Dismissal of German defeats like Narvik (they lost ten destroyers and eight supply ships on sea at cost of two British destroyers and German army forces eventually were forced to abandon Narvik on land due to Allied-British-French-Polish and Norwegian- landings and advance from their rear) is more puzzling though. It is as if scuttling of several German destroyers (or scuttle of Graf Spee or Bismark) after cornered and damaged beyond repair in a desperate battle , does not count as victory because hey eventually Germans themselves did it !. Or destruction of entire German airborne battle group by Dutch Armed Forces in Hague between 10-13 May 1940 (German casaulties exceeded 1.600 pratroopers including 1.300 POWs transported to UK and over 200 JU-52 transport aircraft-flown by experienced instructors-shot down. That put end to any large scale airborne invasion idea of Britain) It is almost German equalivent of Operation Market Garden (German airborne arm failed in their mission to capture Dutch Queen Wilhelmina and her goverment who escaped to Britain )

Battles of Gamblaux Gap in Belgium French mechanised divisions checked German Third and Fourth Panzer Divisions despite suffering heavy casaulties themselves , German tank losses wwere very severe also , but these are almost forgotten aftermath of Sedan breakthrough and Fall of France.

Different sieges in either Sevastapol (kept entire 11th German Army busy till 1942 summer) , Tobruk (all Axis assaults led by invincible Rommel to storm the place failed in 1941) also footnotes because both were captured in 1942 (though they were recaptured later)

And Allied operations in Middle East (Syria , Iraq , Iran ) or East Africa is almost unknown because they were against Axis symphatising countries not really against Germans who were Premier League actors in the war.
 
Last edited:
Apr 2018
589
India
#2
All general World War II histories mainly generalises that between 1939-mid 1942 entire history of war were summarised as unceasing victories record for Axis (except Battle of Britain in 1940 and maybe battle of Moscow in 1941 winter when Wehrmacht retreated under pressure of Red Army and Winter)
This can only happen if someone tells you to describe WW2 in not more than 10 lines. This is because overall campaigns are important from concise history point of view rather than individual battles. That said, the Battle of Mokra during the Invasion of Poland was probably the first 'Allied' victory of WW2.
 
Mar 2019
1,212
Kansas
#3
That said, the Battle of Mokra during the Invasion of Poland was probably the first 'Allied' victory of WW2.
Thank you - I was racking my brain trying to remember this battle as soon as I saw the thread title. There is another battle that centered around a rail station that the Poles absolutely kicked the Germans to the curb. If I am recalling correctly, it was a Polish armored unit that did most of the damage.

De Gaulle also scored a moral boosting victory at Coumont and to a lesser extent Abberville, unfortunately these also get swallowed up in the great context of the war.
 

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