VE Day 70th Anniversary: The Weapons that Helped Win the War

British Sherman Firefly Tank in Battle of the Bulge - wikipedia

A British Sherman Firefly pictured in 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge. Once the Americans replaced the Stuart light tanks with the Sherman series of medium tanks, the Allies started making headway against the German Panzers.

May 8 marks the 70th anniversary of VE Day, Victory in Europe, when Germany surrendered, bringing about the end of World War II in Europe. Although it was not the end of all hostilities — the U.S. was still at war with Japan — it was the beginning of the end for the Axis powers. The war began in 1939 when German dictator Adolf Hitler thought he could invade Poland with few repercussions from Britain or the former USSR. This miscalculation launched the most widespread war in history, with people from over 30 countries participating.

Many advances in weapons were made during World War II, ushering in a new technological age. Some of them, such as assault weapons as standard issue for infantry, are still around today. The development of technology was sped up due to the war, with changes made midway that directly contributed to victories. Much of the technological competition came down to American vs. German weapons. The weapons from these two countries were, for the most part, far superior to others. Ultimately, the United States helped win World War II due to the quantity and quality of its weapons, supplying firepower to Britain, Russia and its other allies.

Early on in the war, although the Germans had only half the number of field guns (generally cannons) as the Allies, they were able to“neutralize the disadvantage with their tactic of blitzkrieg (lightning) warfare, which exploited weaknesses in the allies defensive lines with rapid strikes by their panzer (tank) corps.” The Germans were much more organized, with each tank assigned to a division. German dive bombers would  attack and disrupt the enemy’s supply and communications lines, causing chaos and confusion.

Read the rest of the article at The Stream

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