The Second World War lasted for six years and ended in the defeat of Germany by the Allies. During this war there were many important battles that had a great effect on the war and perhaps sometimes to shortlist five critical battles can be a hard task. But the battles listed below had a profound effect on the conduct of the war and deserve mention. More important they were trend setters
The Battle of France 1940.
This battle was the cornerstone of Hitler's domination over Europe. The French capitulated inside 40 days and the much fancied French army lost. In this theaudaciousness of Hitler and his generals paid dividend. They put to good use the Schiffilian plan and surprised the French by advancing through the Low Countries. The French army thus had the enemy in its rear. The battle is important for speed and the lightening thrust of the German army that left Hitler as the Master of Europe.
The Battle of Crete(1940).
Crete is a small island in the Mediterranean Sea of the coast of Greece. Hitler ordered a Para invasion of the Island. The battle is a landmark battle as for the first time an entire invasion was carried out from the air. The campaign as a trail blazer isimportant as Hitler landed troops through gliders who surprised the British. This attack from the air is important as it showed the power of an airborne assault. Crete was captured by this audacious move.
The Battle of Stalingrad (1943).
This was the first occasion when an entire German army under field marshal Von Paulas surrendered after bitter hand to hand fighting to the Russians. 93,000 German soldiers were taken POW and Winston Churchill referred to this battle 'as the beginning of the end of the third Reich'. This in my view was the crucial battle that sounded the death of the German Army, for after this defeat the German army just could not recoup its losses and it was a one way downslide to defeat. Much of the reasons for this defeat must lie with Hitler who refused to allow Paulas to break out and ordered him to fight to the end. It was a glorious victory of Russian arms.
These battles had aprofound effect as amplified the concept of war and its principles as laid down by Douhet and Clausewitz.