During World War II, Germany’s military was superior to anyone else in the world, with far more advanced technology, tactics, and weaponry. They had a fearless leader who would stop at nothing to make his country great again. Their closest rival, the Soviet Union, was almost out of the picture with a death toll of over 26 million. On top of that, Germany had nothing to lose, and would not conceivably stop. So how then, with all odds against them, did the Allies win the war? A combination of factors affected Germany’s downfall, such as lack of morale, unwieldy weapons, and failure to work with its so-called allies.
One very basic factor in the Allies’ victory was the forming of the Allies themselves. Neither France nor Great Britain could have fought the Axis powers on their own, nor were the two nations on the best of terms at the time. However, they found a common enemy in Germany. Also, without help from the other Allied nations, it is more than likely that the USSR would not have survived the war.
The Allies went beyond simply supplying each other with rations, weapons, and equipment. This alliance allowed them to coordinate war efforts between each other. Timothy Stewart, a student of history at the University of Minnesota, stated in his essay Why the Allies Won World War II that “Had the British and Americans not found a way to work with the ideologically disparate Soviets, the outcome of the war likely would have been different indeed… The Allies coordinated their efforts through a central staff and thus managed to ensure that good decisions were being made” (6).
Hitler, on the other hand, did not necessarily ally, so to speak, with the other Axis powers, nor did he cooperate well with his own staff. Hungry for power, Hitler dictated nearly everything himself, never seeking council from his staff. “Many of the critical mistakes made were his alone, and could have been avoided had he sought council from his staff” (Stewart 6).
The vast differences in technology affected both sides, and were both beneficial and detrimental. The Germans possessed more advanced technology and weapons than the Soviets, such as the MP40. According to Staff Writer on MilitaryFactory.com, the MP40 came about when the Germans realized that their previous submachine gun, the MP43, was “too much for war time production,” and a newer, more effective model was needed. The MP40 improved its predecessor’s original model, with its small size, decreased jamming incidents, and the revolutionary folding stock. This would become the “definitive submachine gun for the German Army” (Writer).
While the Germans had the upper hand in technology, this condition did have its drawbacks. This advanced weaponry was costly to manufacture, so the German Army could not afford to produce them in large quantities. On top of that, this new weaponry was also more difficult to repair and maintain, which reduced its efficiency even further (Stewart, 6).