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Most Important Battle in History

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,711 times Debate No: 24876
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)




Each person will plead their case for the most important battle in history. Whoever convinces the judges of their point will get the win. You get one shot, no refuting the other's choice.

- No schematics
- No trolling

The most important battle will be one you think had the greatest impact on history, culture etc.

Any battle in history is open for discussion.

First Round Acceptance


I like the way you set this up: no rebuttals. Just presenting your case and allowing the public to decide.

I accept your challenge. May the battle begin (see the pun?)
Debate Round No. 1


Battle of Stalingrad (July 17, 1942-Feb. 2, 1943)

Combatants: Nazi Germany vs. The Soviet Union

Casualties: Appx. 2,000,000 [1]

Outcome: USSR victory

The Battle of Stalingrad is the most important battle in history for a number of reasons. It influenced WWII immensely but it's ramifications go far beyond the pure military aspect of the battle.

I. Military Influence

After months of bitter fighting the German army was surrounded and slaughtered by the Soviet forces. This victory was key for a number of reasons. First, the Nazi army in Russia was completely destroyed. The victory here essentially crushed Nazi power in the Eastern Front leading to the slow but steady march of the Soviets back West into Germany itself. Without such a decisive victory the Nazi's could have retreated and drawn out the war effort in the East both prolonging the war and giving Hitler a chance to focus more on the advancing forces on his West.

Not only was this battle one of the bloodiest in recorded history (disputed by some to be the bloodiest) but it was the first truly crushing blow Hitler faced since North Africa. The German advance and occupation of Russia had ended in a spectacular fashion.

If Hitler had won the battle then the USSR would have surely collapsed from poor morale and a continuously advancing German army. The Eastern Front would have been all but wrapped up leaving Hitler to commit the bulk of his attention and resources to the incoming Allied forces via Italy and France. If Hitler could have used the reinforcements from the East and given more air power and supplies to his Western armies then the course of World War Two could have been very different. The key downfall to the Nazi regime was the pincer movement that the USSR and the Allied forced created around Berlin as they marched almost simultaneously from both East and West forcing Hitler to divide everything between the two advancing fronts. Without the Battle of Stalingrad the Eastern Front would have collapsed destroying the decisive pincer movement thus altering history in Hitler's favor.

II. Psychological Influence

The Battle of Stalingrad influenced more than just military affairs. It had a potent psychological effect on both sides involved. After the defeat Hitler became more mistrusting of his generals [2] thus weakening the chain of command and faith in his military superiority. Hitler's illogical treatment and paranoia surrounding some of his best and most trusted generals is determined a big factor in his downfall. This faith was severely eroded by this loss in the Soviet Union. [2]

On the other side it gave the Soviets confidence that Germany was beatable. It also made the Russians extremely angry and passionate about beating the Germans for the first time. This passion, rage and confidence boost unleashed a terrifying force starting here with the Battle of Stalingrad that swept all the way to Berlin. After the victory at Stalingrad the morale of the Russians was soaring enabling them to fight bravely all the way back through Russia and into Germany. Without this morale boost and victory the Russians would never have risen up as they did.

The psychological effect was massive. Not only did it undermine Hitler's confidence and chain of command thus weakening his war effort from the inside it gave the Russians a huge boost - the huge boost - they needed to win the war. This change on both sides was massively influential in the war as a whole.

III. Historically

The World War 2 is the bloodiest war in human history. The stakes were immense and it was surely the most influential war in recent history and arguably world history. World War 2 put an end to fascism, it put an end to war in Europe, it crushed European dominance in the world, set up the US and USSR as global superpowers leading to the Cold War as well as creating the most civilian casualties of all time. The nuclear bomb came out of WWII along with countless other deeds and technologies (such as new anti-air ammunition).

And Stalingrad is considered both a turning point and most influential battle of the war. [1][2][3] Considering that WWII was hugely historical, bloody, influential and that Stalingrad is considered by many many historians to be "the turning point" and most influential battle of the entire war it is safe to say that the Battle of Stalingrad is the most important battle in history.

Thank you.



Thank you for that history lesson.

My battle was also considered a turning point of its respective war, however I will go back a bit farther than world War 2.

Battle of Saratoga*: Oct. 7, 1777
Beligerents: British Empire and Continental Army
Verdict: Continental Army wins
Casualty (both sides): 500+ killed, 900+ wounded, 6000+ captured (1)

* Technically, there were 2 battles of Saratoga, but I chose the second of the two, seeing as it was the actual end of the fighting in this region.

Military significance:
This battle was a marquee victory for the Continental Army. The most important, was that it was the first major victory for the colonies (2). The fledging Americans had had minor wins in skirmishes up to this point, yet the battle of Saratoga was different. The British, led by the famed Burgoyne, were soundly defeated by Gates' rag-tag band of brothers. The Americans faced less than a fourth of the casualties the British experienced (1). The Americans forced Burgy to surrender some 6000 men, and his tattered and defeated army had to trudge back to Quebec (1).

However, this was only the tip of the ice berg. Soon, word got to the French about this battle. This was where the french began to negotiate with the American rebels. Thus the Franco-American alliance was born. (The Dutch and Spanish would soon aid on the side of France.) France was the reason the Americans won their war for independence. France opened up a small theater of operations in Europe, in naval warfare. The French would later play a vital role in several other battles, most notably in the siege of Yorktown, which is typically agreed to be the fiinal battle in the War of Independence. Without French aid, the Americans would have had no chance against the Empire. (3)

The win here at Saratoga was perhaps the equivalent to drinking 4 five hour energy bottles at once for the American rebels. Finally, the Americans forced the British into a massive surrender. The Americans outnumbered the Brits 3 to 1 (1), and for once the Continental army looked like the proffesionals. The surrender was huge (see numbers above) and americans now had confidence that their little rebellion could succeed.

And what is one man's 5 hour energy can be another man's breakdown. What was the first major win for the Americans, was conversely the first major defeat for the British. Now, questions arose when the Empire realized that one of its best generals had been bested by the ungrateful children of Britain. the war became loseable

On a different note, the battle gave America the leverage it needed to convince a skeptical France to join in. The French definitely wanted to best their natural rivals, but they would not stick their necks out for a lost cause. Saratoga gave them peace to back the Yankees.

Easily, The Battle of Saratoga turned the tide for the Americans. With this momentum and French aid, they defeated the might of the British Empire. Now, after the war, a new nation would be born. A nation that would later become the most influential nation in the world during the 20th and arguably 21st centuries. The United States began more or less because of what happened on October 7, 1777 at Saratoga. Obviously there were more battles to comes, and the war would not end for years, but the events at Saratoga paved the way for the Americans to face what came down the road.

There is little argument of the historical significance America has had in the modern world. The world as it is known today would be seismically different had the American revolution been a failure, and there is good reason to think that had the Battle of Saratoga been lost, the revolution may have crumbled in its infancy. Without the French, the Americans would have had 0 chance.

While Yorktown will always be the battle thought to have given birth to America, it ought to be remebered that what happened at Yorktown could never have happened without Saratoga. And may the US olympians do unto the Bristish in London as they did at Saratoga. (Not literally, this is in reference to winning medals, not killing and capturing)

Thank you, I rest my case.

Debate Round No. 2
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by MouthWash 6 years ago
It was inevitable that Nazi Germany would have lost the war after invading the Soviet Union. It was just a formality that they started losing battles.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: I generally agree with Pro's choices for battles.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: If I were to apply my own knowledge, then the vote for once side over another would be a lot more blatant: but of the information provided it is a bit closer. The role in future events of the rebellion of the Americas and this battle specifically is more important, if not as internationally well known, than the seige of Stalingrad. If there was a bit more diplomatic effect, political effect, or actual future effect, the vote would be a bit better, but it seemed to be more who won soundly
Vote Placed by 16kadams 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Stalingrad saved us from hitler. Saratoga we could have lost yet drawn it out enough and wait for French intervention.