Shortage of raw materials
Both Italy and Japan had to import supplies, and even Germany was short of rubber, cotton, nickel and, after mid-1944, oil. These shortages need not have been fatal, but success depended on a swift end to the war, which certainly seemed likely at first, thanks to the speed and efficiency of the German Blitzkrieg. However, the survival of Britain in 1940 was important because it kept the western front alive until the USA entered the war.
The Allies soon learned from their early failures
By 1942 they knew how to check Blitzkrieg attacks and appreciated the importance of air support and aircraft carriers. Consequently they built up an air and naval superiority which won the battles of the Atlantic and the Pacific and slowly starved their enemies of supplies.
The Axis powers simply took on too much
Hitler did not seem to understand that war against Britain would involve her empire as well, and that his troops were bound to be spread too thinly -on the Russian front, on both sides of the Mediterranean, and on the western coastline of France. Japan made the same mistake: as military historian Liddell-Hart put it, ‘they became stretched out far beyond their basic capacity for holding their gains. For Japan was a small island state with limited industrial power.’ In Germany’s case, Mussolini was partly to blame: his incompetence was a constant drain on Hitler’s resources.
The combined resources of the USA
the USSR and the British Empire These resources were so great that the longer the war lasted, the less chance the Axis had of victory. The Russians rapidly moved their industry east of the Ural Mountains and so were able to continue production even though the Germans had occupied vast areas in the west. By 1945 they had four times as many tanks as the Germans and could put twice as many men in the field. When the American war machine reached peak production it could turn out over 70 000 tanks and 120 000 aircraft a year, which the Germans and Japanese could not match. Albert Speer, Hitler’s armaments minister from 1942, gave the impression that he had worked some sort of miracle, enabling Germany’s arms production to keep pace with that of the enemy. However, Adam Tooze has shown that Speer was more successful as a self-publicist than as an armaments minister. He claimed credit for successful policies that were actually started before he took over; he blamed everybody else when his policies failed, and continued right to the end to produce a stream of false statistics.JPSC Notes brings Prelims and Mains programs for JPSC Prelims and JPSC Mains Exam preparation. Various Programs initiated by JPSC Notes are as follows:-
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