Although there is discrepancy regarding which World War 2 battles are the most popular. There is no discrepancy as to the battles considered major. I guess the most obvious factor used in determining the scale would be "casualties" and then "monetary value".
Take for instance, the Battle of the Atlantic which began in 1939 with merchant ships traveling primarily to the United Kingdom and Russia. The merchant vessels delivering war materials and equipment were shelled and sunk by German U-Boats and continued throughout the war until 1945. Eventually Allied Forces were able to get the upper-hand but at a huge cost with more than 3,500 merchant ships and 175 war ships lost at sea. Germany also suffered severely with more than 783 U-boats lost. The Battle of the Atlantic lasted until the end of the war making it the longest running campaign in World War 2 and definitely considered a major battle.
On the other end of the spectrum would be the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944, a naval battle between the United States and Japan. One of the most one-side battles in world war 2 history. This naval battle took place in the Philippine Sea, near the Mariana Islands. This battle lasted 2 days, and was labeled "The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot". The Imperial Navy of Japan lost three aircraft carriers and more than 600 planes. The U.S. Navy in contrast lost 123 planes and most of those were a result of pilots trying to land at night.
The primary reason behind the Japanese loss was due to inexperienced pilots. Most of the experienced Japanese pilots were shot down during previous World War 2 battles at Guadalcanal and Midway, thereby pitting experienced American pilots against the inexperienced Japanese pilots proving to be disastrous. The U.S. Navy in contrast lost 123 planes and most of those were a result of pilots trying to land at night.
The losses at Midway, Guadalcanal and the Philippines, certainly helped Allied Forces when it came to the battle at Leyte Gulf. The previous losses weakened the Japanese naval forces resulting in fewer ships, planes, weapons and experienced personnel such as pilots. The Japanese continued to be at a disadvantage for the remainder of the war.
These World War 2 battles show that the length of a conflict does not necessarily determine the significance of the battle. Both of these battles, Philippine Sea and Battle of the Atlantic, although differing significantly in length, they were both important and considered major battles. They both had large numbers of casualties, and they both made an impact on other battles throughout the World War 2.
I bet if you ask any one of the men or women who participated in any of the World War 2 battles, they will tell you, all of the battles were "Major" to them!
How about you? Which world war 2 battles do you think played a bigger role than others in winning the war? Visit us at http://www.worldwar2movies.com and check out the selection of world war movies and short stories available.