Top 8 WWII Mistakes Made By The Allies


1. The Failure to Attack Germany After It Invaded Poland

Starting from the beginning, one of the first mistakes related to the Second World War was made after the invasion of Poland, on September 1, 1939, when neither Britain nor France did anything to stop the Nazis from advancing. They allowed the German troops to take their time in Poland, although they knew that the Polish were poorly prepared for that mass invasion.

Germany had 46 infantry divisions along the German western border. 35 of the 46 divisions were not fully trained. France, however, could have easily mobilize more than a hundred divisions alone.

Poland had no choice but to try to resist the attacks until the Western Allies would find a way to force the Germans to withdraw. The issue with Poland and not taking action at the right time, gave Germany 8 months to prepare for its attack on France.

2. The Failure to Anticipate a German Blitz Through the Ardennes

France simply believed that the Germans would not repeat their 1914 moves, reason for which they failed to see what the Nazis were building up around the French eastern border. When the attacks began, the Western Powers moved north, but the Germans punched a hole in the Allies’ front line and reached the North Sea soon thereafter. This resulted in the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force back to the UK , code-named Operation Dynamo. the io9 reports.

3. America’s Failure to Immediately Adopt the Convoy System

So the plan stated that if it would be to send chunks of convoys, counting 30 to 70 ships, they would have a better chance of not being detected and afterwards would they deal with the dispatching of U-Boats when the attacks begin. However, because the U.S. failed to build up the necessary number of ships, they didn’t implement the convoy system until May 1942. In the meantime, the United States lost up to two million tone in January and February only.

4. Underestimating the Japanese

Before WWII even started, the Japanese were considered sub-human barbarians, unable to think right, with their only goal to reproduce the superior western militaries and thought to be incapable of seeing well in the dark.

Although little effort was made to truly study and assess their capabilities, the first Japanese moves in the Second World War resulted in the greatest conquest in history.

5. The Utterly Useless Raid on Dieppe

5000 Canadian infantry, together with 1000 British troops attacked the Norther French port of Dieppe on August 19, 1942. They tried to get back to the Nazi occupied land in Europe and ended up in a mess that killed more than 1,000 soldiers, put 2,000 soldiers in prison and lost 106 aircraft.

6. FDR’s Demand of “Unconditional” German Surrender

American President Roosevelt requested the “unconditional surrender” of Germany, during the Casablanca Conference in 1943. It was the first time the end of the war was formally being decided. The demand to surrender put Germany straight on the leading line in terms of resistance to the attacks. Joseph Goebbels describes the impact of the news at the time, as the most effective way to make the Nazis not to give up the fight.

7. The Failure to Seize the Early Initiative At Anzio

While trying to get back moving to the Italian Campaign, the Allied forces came up with Operation Shingle, hoping it will outflank the German forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno so they could begin an attack on Rome. The invasion started on January 22, 1944 and failed with the first goal of outflanking the Gustav Line. After four months of fighting, the Allies had more than 66,200 casualties.

8. The Premature and Overly Ambitious Operation Market Garden

It was mid September 1944. The operation aimed to send airborne units along a corridor, 60 miles into the Netherlands from Eindhoven northward to Arnhem. The troops were meant to take bridges across numerous canals and three major rivers.

But the resistance seemed to be too strong all through their journey. So they ended up losing around 15,300 to 17,000 troops, compared to Germany’s 3,300 casualties.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE