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Who was the most powerful nation: USSR or USA?

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by misterkingtiger, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. misterkingtiger

    misterkingtiger New Member

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    Which nation had more of an impact on World War Two's outcome. My vote goes for the United States, because they took part in the landings in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, and Normandy, plus countless others in the Pacific. They liberated Paris, Cherbourg, Saint-Nazaire, and captured Cologne, Essen, Nuremburg, Frankfurt-am-Main, Kiel and Hamburg. And they helped supplied the USSR with chemical plants, locomotives, and tanks and aircraft.

    :angry: :bang: :angry: :bang: :angry: :bang: :angry: :bang: :D
     
  2. AL AMIN

    AL AMIN New Member

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    surely usa but hamburg and kiel were taken by the brits
     
  3. dave phpbb3

    dave phpbb3 New Member

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    I think it was a Free French unit that liberated Paris
     
  4. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    St Nazaire was not liberated by the US army, it was bypassed in 1944 and later besieged by french troops.
    The german garison hold out till 1945.

    But to answer your original question, I think that tough the US was a more powerfull country than the USSR, the USSR had a greater impact on the figthing in Europe.(as some 75 % of all german losses occured on the eastern front).
     
  5. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    I, too, would nominate the US as the most powerful of the world powers at that time. The US was the most versatile force of the war; it had mastered island/beach invasions, massive parachute drops, naval combat, airpower (both tactical and strategic), cooperation between tanks and infantry, nuclear weaponry, etc.

    The Soviet military had an powerful army and airforce (in the tactical sense anyways), but besides that, it was in its infancy. The Red Army never seemed to have the coercion like that of the US; Soviet mainstray strategy was "take these here 100,000 men, and throw them against these here German defenses."
     
  6. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    And then there is lend/lease:

    Of the USSR, the USA supplied:

    80% of all canned meat.
    92% of all railroad locomotives, rolling stock and rails.
    57% of all aviation fuel.
    53% of all explosives.
    74% of all truck transport.
    88% of all radio equipment.
    53% of all copper.
    56% of all aluminum.
    60+% of all automotive fuel.
    74% of all vehicle tires.
    12% of all armored vehicles.
    14% of all combat aircraft.
    The list includes a high percentage of the high grade steel, communications
    cable, canned foods of all types, medical supplies, and virtually every modern
    machine tool used by Soviet industry. Not to mention the "know-how required to
    use and maintain this equipment.

    Don't let the low percentage of tanks and planes fool you. The steel, fuel etc to manufacture those items in Rusian factories (many of which were set up by the US before the war) were provided by the US. The decision was made to shift Soviet production to tanks and plans almost exclusively only because nearly everything else was being supplied by the US.

    Of course those numbers do not include the materials provided to Britain/Commonwealth nation which was substantially greater than that supplied to USSR.
     
  7. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    Low? Considering the tens of thousands of Soviet tanks and planes built during the war and that the US still provided them with 12% and 14% respectively of those arms, I am beyond amazed!
     
  8. cheeky_monkey

    cheeky_monkey New Member

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    although without doubt the usa was the strongest nation in terms of its industrial might and potential firepower...i would say that the ussr had a bigger impact on the wars outcome...their sacrafice dwarfed all the allied nations combined..and as said earlier did more to bring about victory of the germans in europe than the allies ever did.

    the usa can claim full responsiblity for defeating the japanese, but can only claim a small share of defeating the germans.
     
  9. misterkingtiger

    misterkingtiger New Member

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    The USSR only made such a sacrifice because they had the manpower to do it. Their forces wouldn't take two months to ship overseas, would they? :angry:
     
  10. Revere

    Revere New Member

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    WEll actually the americans Did the work and thought it good politics to let the FF take there capitol back, I also think that the russians took alot of countrys to and payed alot heavier price
     
  11. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    Not a small share. The butcher's bill was higher in the USSR it's true but that isn't the only measure of participation, by a long shot. One can only speculate how much tougher it would have been for the Soviets to go it alone and whether they could have succeeded. I have my doubts and so did Marshal Zhukov :

    Zhukov quoted from :

    The Role of Lend-Lease in Soviet Military
    Efforts, 1941-1945" by BORIS V. SOKOLOV,
     
  12. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    :roll:

    Another 'which country did more' topic.

    Oh well...

    time to comment on a few points.

    No, not unless you discount the fact that 3/4 of the Japanese army was fully engaged in China. Oh, and then there is Burma etc.

    Actually that is the only point!

    My two pennies worth?
    (the outline only)

    The USSR kept the vast majority of German forces occupied for most of the war.

    China kept the majority of Japanese forces occupied from 1937 to 1945.

    The USA swept the Japanese from the Pacific, commited a lot of forces to Europe and supplied just about everyone with large amounts of essential material.

    The UK and the Commonwealth remained a viable opponant to Germany and Japan, while also providing a base for Western operations against German-held Europe.

    Germany and Japan both declared war on multiple nations they could not beat individually, never mind as an Alliance. My vote goes to them for having the biggest impact on the outcome of the war. :grin:
     
  13. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    Ricky wrote:

    He said defeating the Japanese. The fact that a large percentage of IJ troops were tied down in China ( I'm dubious about 3/4 figure) did little to affect the outcome of the war. It was a stalemate at best in China.( China was also receiving aid from the US to hold off the Japanese.)
    The IJ Navy was sent to the bottom by the USN, as was the Japanese merchant fleet which did more to put an end to Japan as a threat than all the other actions combined. Japan was totally dependent upon imposrts to continue the war.
    Their bases of support needed to project force across the Pacific were taken from them by the USMC and Army and of course their leadership was discredited and delegitimized when their cities were being systematically destroyed.


    Agreed. They had a lot of material aid as pointed out that was more than helpful but essential, if Zhukov and others are believed.

    A base for operations yes and a valuable ally but it is retroactive wishful thinking to characterize the UK as a viable opponent for the Germans.
    The Germans weren't likely to invade Britain however if they cut off and isolated Britain , which was conceivable without US aid, the people would have been in danger of starving and there would certainly be no factories turning out arms when natural resources were strangled. It goes without saying that Britain would not have been capable of invading mainland Europe and defeating the Germans in the west going it alone.

    Kind of circular logic. Of course those that started the war can be said to have made the largest impact by starting the war to begin with however the question was really about who was most responsible for ending the war IMO.
     
  14. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    If anyone ever accuses the forum of anti-Americanism again I'll just show them this topic... :wink:

    There is really a fundamental difference between the role of the US and USSR during World War II, and the actions they participated in.

    For the USSR, it was very simple: they were under direct attack from Germany and were fighting for their very existence, so they focused on the one thing that mattered: having enough forces on the ground to stop the German onslaught in their own land. The second element requiring focus was a tactical air force, and everything else (strategic air forces and navy) was not exactly urgent. Consequently they took severe casualties (not in the least because their tactics were crude) but also inflicted the greatest number of losses on the Germans who shared their focus on ground forces and tactical air forces.

    For the US, it was a lot more complicated: this country posessed a vast economical base but no imminent frontline that had to be guarded or no enemy that had to be expelled. The war they fought in the Pacific was one of navies and air forces and small amphibious armies. In the west, they contributed mostly by supplying the Allies with pretty much everything they needed (particularly the hard-pressed Soviets), and by helping the British defeat the Germans in the air (strategic bombing tied down most of the Luftwaffe in Germany) and at sea. When they actually started participating in the ground war in Europe the actions they took part in were minor compared to the Eastern Front; in Italy and North-West Europe combined, the Western Allies faced less than a third of the amount of troops the Germans had in the East.

    If we wish to determine which one of these countries was most important in winning World War II, we must first determine what is more important in war: defeating the main ground forces and killing the main body of men, or defeating the air and naval forces and securing the logistical situation.
     
  15. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    I did write a long piece justifying this but decided that as I gave short answers for the rest it would be unfair to give long reasons for only one.

    So...

    1) Britain, merely by staying German-free, caused the Germans to leave rather more troops etc in Europe than were otherwise needed. Commando raids encouraged this. It also neccessitated the creation of the 'Atlantik Wall' which consumed huge amounts of material and labour that were much needed elsewhere.

    2) British bombing raids forced the Germans to invest heavily in countering night raids - large amounts of manpower, resources, R&D time, all of which could have been more gainfully employed elsewhere

    3) If Britain no longer stood, would Germany have bothered making Vengeance weapons? Nope. More resources and R&D time gainfully spent in more useful persuits.

    4) Britain also effectively knocked the Kreigsmarine's surface fleet out of the war, and the huge efforts made by Germany in terms of Submarines was also a large drain on resources like fuel and manpower.

    5) Britain stopped Germany from getting access to Middle Eastern oil - and not just via the DAK. Britain foiled a number of German-backed coups, notably in Iran.

    Long-term, if the Atlantic was cut, Britain could not survive. No question there.
    But I get a little annoyed with the continual assumption that the UK sat on its rear behind the white cliffs and having diddly-squat impact on the Germans until America decided to send us some troops.

    Note - for Britain read 'Britain & the Commonwealth'

    It is also beside the point, as the question is USSR vs USA, which I only just noticed! :grin:

    Ooops... :oops:
     
  16. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    Ricky wrote:

    All of this establishes that which nobody disputes; i.e. Britain was an enormous thorn in the side of Nazi Germany. That isn't the same as being a viable opponent in the sense that without outside aid Britain could have had any reasonable chance of defeating Hitler. That is what it was really all about wasn't it? What good would it have done to isolate oneself on an island while Hitler conquered most of the world? No, a defensive, quite annoying thorn in the side was important but no substitute for what had to be done. Hitler and the Nazis had to be defeated plain and simple and just as plain Britain had zero chance of doing that without a lot of help.
    Nobody has suggested that Britain was sitting on" its rear behind the white cliffs and having diddly-squat impact on the Germans".
     
  17. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Sorry, I just got on my high-horse over not much at all. :oops:

    *climbs down*

    Apologies.

    Now, USSR or USA?
     
  18. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    [/quote]


    Well, I do not see the allies defeat Hitler without USSR.
    I do not see the USSR defeating Hitler without the USA.
    And I do not see the USA getting involved in Europe at all without the UK.

    I say the most important ally was:

    Militarily:the USSR, as it is undesputed that some 75-80% of german units were destroyed on the eastern front, by the red army.

    Economically:the USA, as it is undesputed that it was US economical help that enabled USSR and UK to undertake much of their military actions.

    Politically:the UK, as it is undesputed that in the dark days of 1940, it was the UK that symbolized the resistance against tyranny, it was the UK that welcomed the governements of the occupied european countries and encouraged the people of the occupied countries not to give in.(At that time, the USA was neutral, and the USSR actively supported Hitler).
    The base of the final allied victory was Britain's resistance against all odds in the summer of 1940.

    So the most important depends of in what order of importance you rate military, economical or political action.


    Personally I prefer to say that the allies won WW2, as that is the only way to respect the sacrifices of all allies.
     
  19. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    Castlot wrote:

    Like most Euro's you discuss WW II as though it only involved the defeat of Germany. You fail to mention Japan at all. When you look at the war as a whole, all theatres, the US was not merely an ecomomic power. The USN and USAF by late war was the undisputed most powerful Navy and Air Force in the world. The numbers of US infantry and armor divisions were certainly less than the USSR could muster however that figure is misleading. The USSR could not feed, equip and mobilize a ground army that size either had they not had massive US aid.
    I agree with your view that all the Allies made significant contributions to the war however that really doesn't address the topic in question does it? :wink:
     
  20. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    In this specific topic I was indeed only referring to the war in Europe.
    That's why I wrote something like "defeating Hitler."
    Of course this somewhat changes if one considers the pacific theatre as well.





    I don't doubt that one second.
    Economically it has been said that the US was more powerfull than the rest of the world combined in 1945.
    It's fleet and air force were also probably as strong as the rest of the worlds combined.
    There only was one superpower in 1945, not two.



    [/quote]

    ....no, not really.

    But as I said I find it really difficult to find "one most important ally".
     

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