Great Strategic Turning Points in World War 2

The most significant conflict of the world, the bloodiest battles of World War Two is a startling reminder of the bloodshed game in 1939 that lasted up to 1945. Although the stage was set by the instability created in Europe during the First World War, the outbreak of war was triggered by the Hitler’s invasion of Poland.


Japanese attack on the US Naval base at Pearl Harbour; 7th December 1941 (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

The devastating war witnessed over 60 million deaths and countless lives blighted. However, some thrilling moments had the potential to sway the battle in favor of either side. Here we are going to analyze ten major strategic turning points that had a significant impact on the Second World War.

War Declared by Great Britain and France

The deadliest war began with the Hitler’s invasion of Poland with a silent pact with the Soviets. In response to the Hitler’s foray, allies of Great Britain and France declared war on Germany in 1939.


Hitler and other high German officers watch a long line of Nazi soldiers marching through the mud of Poland after Germany attacked Poland in the morning hours of September 1, 1939. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

The unanticipated action diverted the over-confident Hitler from his grand plan to occupy Poland and Russia.

The Battle of Britain

In 1940, the world witnessed one of the most significant sustained bombing campaigns over the skies of the United Kingdom. After the conquering most of Europe, including France, Germany wanted to invade Great Britain. To destroy Great Britain’s Royal Air Force, Germany launched a massive bombing attack on London on September 15, 1940. While Nazi Germany’s air forces, the Luftwaffe was closing in on victory, Great Britain’s Royal Air Force took to the sky and shot down some German planes.


The large dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral is wreathed in smoke from buildings burning after a German air raid in World War II.

The successful defense of Great Britain against Germany’s unremitting and destructive air raids made it one of the great strategic turning points of World War II. The battle of Great Britain ended up with the decisive victory of the Royal Air Force (RAF) Fighter Command that saved the country from a ground invasion by German forces.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor

Early on the morning of 7th December 1941, a surprise attack by Japan on Oahu, Hawaii, smashed a large part of the US fleet docked in Pearl Harbor just within 2 hours. This is a significant turning point that brought the full might of the USA into the battle and forced the U.S to enter the World War II.


An explosion at the Naval Air Station, Ford Island, Pearl Harbour (Pearl Harbor) during the Japanese attack. Sailors stand amid wrecked watching as the USS Shaw explodes in the center background. The USS Nevada is also visible in the middle background, with her bow headed toward the left. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

The Imperial Japanese Navy intended to destroy as much of the US Pacific Fleet as possible. The devastating attack killed 2,400 Americans, damaged nearly around 21 ships and destroyed more than 188 U.S. aircraft.

The Second Battle of El Alamein

The First Battle of El Alamein stalled the Axis from attacking deep into Egypt further, and this turned the tide in the North African campaign. At El Alamein, Egypt, the British established a strong defensive line with Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery on command. As a result, the Second Battle of El Alamein launched on 23 October 1942 in which the British forces ground through the enemy defenses and shattered the Italy-German lines.


Maps and plans are spread on the sand as the Brigadier takes his decisions and gives his orders’ (1942), from ‘The Eighth Army’ (His Majesty’s Stationery Office, London), 1944. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)

The shortage of supplies and fuel compelled the Axis force to draw back to Libya, and the battle ended with the victory of British Forces. The battle ended the hopes of Axis to occupy Egypt, Suez Canal, and the Middle Eastern oil fields. The Second Battle of El Alamein was the turning point of the North African campaign of World War II.

The Battle of Midway

On June 5, 1942, The U.S Navy trounced the Japanese attack against Midway Atoll. Marking a turning point in the war, the battle lasted from June 4th to June 7th, 1942. The attack on the island of Midway was a trick by the Japanese to bring the American carrier fleet into a trap.


An artist’s impression of the Battle of Midway, during World War II, June 1942. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The plan was to plug the hole in the Eastern defensive perimeter Of U.S. control of Midway, destroy the US Pacific Fleet, and possibly even invade Hawaii. Unbeknownst to the Japanese, the US forces were ready for battle and scored a decisive victory.

D Day

The Battle of Normandy, also known as D-Day began on June 6, 1944, when a massive force of over 156,000 American, British and Canadian troops landed on the coast of Normandy, France.


Build-up of Allied forces landing at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France during the World War two D-Day landings 1944. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

This was one of the most significant amphibious military assaults in history and a turning point in the World War II. The Allies conducted an extensive deception campaign to mislead the Germans about their intended target. By the end of the day, the Allies broke the Nazis’ grip on France and gained foot-hold in Continental Europe.

The Battle of Moscow

The Word war II teetered on a knife edge at the beginning of the battle of Moscow on 2nd October 1941.


Moscow. USSR. Crossfire attack between Soviet and German troops at night. (Photo ITAR-TASS/ Naum Granovsky) (Photo by TASS via Getty Images)

The destructive battle became a significant turning point in the war with the victory of Soviet Russia who successfully saved their capital from the German forces. With fierce and strategically well-executed Russian defense, Stalin’s Red Army defeated the German troops even in temperature down to -22 Degrees.

The Battle of Dunkirk

After the capitulation of Belgium, the French and British troops were left trapped in between the German forces.


Dunkirk evacuation of British BEF and French troops. Allied troops on the beach waiting for evacuation. about (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

On May 26, 1940, a battle was fought between the Allies and Nazi Germany, and a massive evacuation was launched to bring the soldiers back. The Battle of Dunkirk was a military operation carried out to evacuate the British and other Allied forces from the port of Dunkirk, France. In the remarkable Operation Dynamo, a mammoth 338,000 troops were rescued.

Operation Barbarossa

Operation Barbarossa was the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union started on 22 June 1941. With an ideological aim to conquer the western Soviet, Hitler commenced his armies eastward.


Operation Barbarossa, Wehrmacht soldiers are attacking a bunker on the Eastern Front in Russia. 1941. They are using the flamethrower 41 which was effective as far as 30 meter. They are part of over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers during the invasion of the USSR. Soviet Union. (Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

Moreover, this followed the most destructive war in history with a horrific crash of totalitarianism. In August 1941, when the Soviet started its counteroffensive, the operation Barbarossa began to backfire, and German forces failed to defeat the Soviet Union. This was the crucial turning point in World War II as its failure compelled Nazi Germany to fight a two-front war against an alliance possessing superior resources.

Battle of Stalingrad

Battle of Stalingrad is one of the overwhelming and bloodiest chapters of the history of warfare that changed the destiny of countries involved in the war. One of the consequences is the loss of an entire German army that can’t be compensated by any subsequent action.


STALINGRAD, RUSSIA – 1942: Soviet Anti aircraft machine gun during the Stalingrad battle in Stalingrad, Russia, in 1942. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

On 23 August 1942, the most significant confrontation of World War II had begun with the Battle of Stalingrad. In an attempt to acquire the city of Stalingrad in Southern Russia, Germany started its bombing campaign. However, the Soviet civilians and soldiers surprised the German troops with their grit. The Soviets had the Germans on their heels by vicious fighting, and counterattack. Lastly, German had to withdraw their forces on February 2, 1943.