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The US remains neutral in the 20th century


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#1 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:30 AM

While not strictly a WW 2 question, what if the US had remained truly neutral to events in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. Now, I suspect Germany would have still lost WW 1. We can also assume that at some point Hitler rises to power.

Given that, could the UK and USSR have successfully defeated Germany without lend-lease and US entry into the war? Both would have still been free to buy war materials from the US as would Germany and Italy (assuming they could get ships to the US and back) but, they would receive no assistance or "freebies" from the US.

I could see Britain selling or trading overseas possessions for munitions like say, Bermuda to the US.

In Asia if Japan could avoid angering the US in China they likely could have avoided a war with the US in this scenario.

I think in Europe that Britain would have had to eventually reached a peace agreement with Germany, however tenious, as without US involvement in the war Britain alone stands no chance of regaining the continent and defeating Germany. The Soviets likely would have had to come to some peace agreement as well at some point. Again, without substancial US backing it is unlikely they could fight the war in the East to a successful conclusion.
How much land Germany got versus what the Soviets hold onto is an open question.

Additionally, what might a rematch down the road look like?

#2 formerjughead

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:35 AM

.....
Additionally, what might a rematch down the road look like?



It would involve lots and lots of Battleships..........:D

#3 paratrooper506

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:39 AM

It would involve lots and lots of Battleships..........:D


actually it may involve atomic bombs and nuclear warheads :eek:

#4 Heidi

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:49 AM

While not strictly a WW 2 question, what if the US had remained truly neutral to events in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. Now, I suspect Germany would have still lost WW 1. We can also assume that at some point Hitler rises to power.

Given that, could the UK and USSR have successfully defeated Germany without lend-lease and US entry into the war? Both would have still been free to buy war materials from the US as would Germany and Italy (assuming they could get ships to the US and back) but, they would receive no assistance or "freebies" from the US.

I could see Britain selling or trading overseas possessions for munitions like say, Bermuda to the US.

In Asia if Japan could avoid angering the US in China they likely could have avoided a war with the US in this scenario.

I think in Europe that Britain would have had to eventually reached a peace agreement with Germany, however tenious, as without US involvement in the war Britain alone stands no chance of regaining the continent and defeating Germany. The Soviets likely would have had to come to some peace agreement as well at some point. Again, without substancial US backing it is unlikely they could fight the war in the East to a successful conclusion.
How much land Germany got versus what the Soviets hold onto is an open question.

Additionally, what might a rematch down the road look like?

welle,i am not as godde at other members on answering these type of qeustions!

America wuold not be thee powerhuose of today!I wuold think that Russia wuold be thee powerhuose in todays era.

I don;t thinke America saved Briton at all,it was Japan and Hitler mistakes on attacking Russia and America when there was no need to do so, that turned thee tide for England and thee Allies.

withe out America after ww2 in germany,russia wuold have dominated europe (not Briton thuogh) europe today wuold be so different.

i do thinke Briton withe america being nuetral wuold have survived thee on slaoght off Germany in ww2 ande the Russians in thee cold war,i do think thee Briton wuolde have to give up thee Birtish Empire thuogh.
I ame an damneed Idiyot.

Regards Hiedi.

#5 von Rundstedt

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:58 AM

While not strictly a WW 2 question, what if the US had remained truly neutral to events in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. Now, I suspect Germany would have still lost WW 1. We can also assume that at some point Hitler rises to power.

Given that, could the UK and USSR have successfully defeated Germany without lend-lease and US entry into the war? Both would have still been free to buy war materials from the US as would Germany and Italy (assuming they could get ships to the US and back) but, they would receive no assistance or "freebies" from the US.

I could see Britain selling or trading overseas possessions for munitions like say, Bermuda to the US.

In Asia if Japan could avoid angering the US in China they likely could have avoided a war with the US in this scenario.

I think in Europe that Britain would have had to eventually reached a peace agreement with Germany, however tenious, as without US involvement in the war Britain alone stands no chance of regaining the continent and defeating Germany. The Soviets likely would have had to come to some peace agreement as well at some point. Again, without substancial US backing it is unlikely they could fight the war in the East to a successful conclusion.
How much land Germany got versus what the Soviets hold onto is an open question.

Additionally, what might a rematch down the road look like?


To start off a truely neutral state takes no sides what so ever to this includes sending troops or sending supplies and any weapons of any kind, your description is ambigious at best almost conditional neutrality. To be blunt it stays out of the affairs of others period

Well for a start that the Americans would have never sent troops or supplies to the Allies in WW1 meaning that the Germans would have been in a far better position to prolong that war for several more years or may have been victorious.

1, Consider that the Russians and Germans signed a armistice declaring peace.

2, Italy could not have defeated the Austro-Hungarian Empire by herself, even with French help.

3, The Allies could not defeat Turkey.

4, Germany would have sent in the bulk of her freed up Eastern Army to the West and that it may have been possible for the Germans to finally capture Paris forcing France into a seperate armistice.

5, Britain to carry out the war on her own, eventual public backlash on the attritian of troops lead to Britain to sue for an armistice, status quo in Europe.

6, No League of Nations

Now i ask you to explain how Germany lost WW1 in this senario as you suspect you say it would.

I do agree with you Hitler and the Nazi's could rise up in Germany this is done when the Communists begin to take control of the Reichstag, this also could trigger anti-semitism as the Jews are connected to the German Communist Party, Hitler could have garnered right wing support by stating that it was communist influences that almost cost the Germans WW1, and so history is played out as in real time.

But several things bug me in your question as to the lead up to WW2, you have left out the rise of Mussolini in Italy, the Civil War in Spain, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the birth of Poland, the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of Turkey. So how does a WW2 break out.

Britain at the time of the outbreak of war was almost bankrupt as the last of her gold reserves had been sent to America, this would quickly run out, then by 1940 Britain has no more gold or cash reserves to trade with to buy even basic foodstuffs let alone the 100 million tonnes of oil she bought during the war on lend lease and then war materiel on top of that.
The Soviet Union would even be in a worse shape, her currency at the time was worthless outside of the Soviet Union, the US would have to make damn sure that the currency tranfer would benefit the Americans thus sending the Soviet regime into an almost perpetual state of paying off the war to Americans.

Would Britain consider stripping herself of her Empire to pay for the war, i don't think so. Without America Britain would have fallen in 1940 or 1941 and that The Soviet Union would have collapsed by 1943 after the destruction of it's Army.

Continue later.

v.R

#6 lwd

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:29 PM

While not strictly a WW 2 question, what if the US had remained truly neutral to events in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. Now, I suspect Germany would have still lost WW 1. We can also assume that at some point Hitler rises to power....


While Germany probably still looses they are likely to be in a much stronger position and the resultant peace treaty is unlikely to be as burdensome. In this climate, especially if the German royal house is still in power, I don't see Hitler coming to power at all. As it was the Nazis were actually declining in power when Hitler was appointed Chanceler. Indeed in this scenario Hitler might not even survive the war.

#7 Piat

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 05:21 PM

I still think the Red Army could have defeated Germany regardless.

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History is written by the Victors.


#8 Sloniksp

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:13 PM

While the outcome of the war would not have been any different, post war Europe would have. For one, I do not see the formation of NATO in 1949.
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#9 LRusso216

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:30 PM

While Germany probably still looses they are likely to be in a much stronger position and the resultant peace treaty is unlikely to be as burdensome. In this climate, especially if the German royal house is still in power, I don't see Hitler coming to power at all. As it was the Nazis were actually declining in power when Hitler was appointed Chanceler. Indeed in this scenario Hitler might not even survive the war.


I don't know about that. If Germany lost WW1 (and without the US, I'm not so sure that would happen), I think the treaty would have been every bit as harsh. Britain and France were the driving forces in making the treaty punitive. I don't think Wilson and the US had much to do with that part.

As for the Germany royal family, the Hohenzollerns abdicated after a sailor's revolt led to a general revolt that forced the issue. The socialists then began putting the beginnings of Weimar together. Even though it was touted as a democracy, the allies (Britain and France) still put punitive language in the treaty. I don't believe the royal family would have been returned to power. There was too much ultra-nationalist sentiment.

I think Hitler, or someone like him would have still come in , given the lack of support for Weimar.
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#10 lwd

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 09:48 PM

I don't know about that. If Germany lost WW1 (and without the US, I'm not so sure that would happen), I think the treaty would have been every bit as harsh. Britain and France were the driving forces in making the treaty punitive. I don't think Wilson and the US had much to do with that part. ....

I am suspicious that although they loose they are in a stronger position. As such they can negotiate terms that aren't as bad as the historical result.

#11 LRusso216

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 10:08 PM

I am suspicious that although they loose they are in a stronger position. As such they can negotiate terms that aren't as bad as the historical result.

How would they be in a stronger position? They still would have lost, and Britain and France were not interested much in negotiation. The Germans always referred to the treaty as the "Diktat", and I see no reason that would not have been the same mindset. Remember, the Germans who sat at the table were not the ones who prosecuted the war. With or without American help, the British and French were out to make sure Germany was not going to be a threat again.

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#12 Totenkopf

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 10:57 PM

If there was no US funded intervention Britain would be out of the war possibly before 1941. Much US industrial equipment and material supplies are what kept the RAF running during the Battle of Britain.

UK might have been caught with their pants down with a shortage of aircraft.

Somehow the US neutrality might have even affected German politics or what have you and there might not have been no "Stop order".
Not the the Germans really could have assaulted Dunkirk but the appearance of Panzers alone might have scared the BEF into surrender.

A weakened Britain at peace with Germany, France secure. No industrial damage. We could be seeing possible winter clothing and a winter assualt at Moscow during 1941. The Soviets fight just a fierce except they lack the ability to produce as much armour for their counterattacks.


Possibly something like this as a result?
(Britain being independent of coarse)


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#13 formerjughead

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 08:07 AM

If the US remained neutral then there would be a lot more of the world whose diet would consist of Vodka and pickes. American neutrality would have garunteed comunist/ soviet domination of Europe.

#14 lwd

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 01:38 PM

How would they be in a stronger position? They still would have lost, and Britain and France were not interested much in negotiation. ...

When I say they would loose I mean that they would not be able to keep any of their conquests and would probably loose her over seas colonies. Britain and France may not have been interested in negotiating in the historical case but with a truly neutral US that would probably change. German in this case is in a much stronger strategical position. In 1917 the French have pretty much given up on offensives. The Russians are out of the war and may now be a route around the British blockade if not an outright source of resources such as food. Also consider that the spring offensive of 1918 by the Germans was at least in some part a response to the US entry. Without the US in the war the Germans have the means to prolong it for an inderminant amount of time and the 1917 French mutiny has to be a consideration to both the French and British.

#15 lwd

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 01:41 PM

If the US remained neutral then there would be a lot more of the world whose diet would consist of Vodka and pickes. American neutrality would have garunteed comunist/ soviet domination of Europe.

Or perhaps not. If Germany emerges relativly intact from the war what happens post war in the east is a whole new game. Remember the Soviets weren't in firm control until well after the end of the war.

#16 Sloniksp

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 04:48 PM

If the US remained neutral then there would be a lot more of the world whose diet would consist of Vodka and pickles.


So another words..... A bunch of skinny people having a great time! :D

Or perhaps not. If Germany emerges relativly intact from the war what happens post war in the east is a whole new game. Remember the Soviets weren't in firm control until well after the end of the war.


Russia's own history is in part entangled in Germany's. Remember Lenin stepping out of the German boxcar? I wonder how that might have played out not to mention German, Russian post WW1 relations?
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#17 brndirt1

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:00 PM

We are getting pretty far afield of WW2 here, but that said; when the U.S. declared war on Germany and entered World War I in April of 1917, there were a few American divisions who fought in Europe almost immediately. But they only fought in support of the major French or British units already envolved. General John "Blackjack" Pershing responded to France’s request for troops by assigning the 369th (and the 93rd Division’s other regiments) to the French army. These men would become known as the "Harlem Hell-fighters". The General himself had a very high opinion of the "colored" troops, unlike his American contemporaries. Pershing had commanded many in the past, including the famed "Buffalo Soldiers", and was impressed with their fighting spirit. It is rumored it was his admiration of the colored troops which gave him his nickname.

However in the segregated American Armed forces, it wasn’t until September 12, 1918, that the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) launched their first major offensive in Europe as an independent armed force. One month before, August 8th, 1918, the combined forces of the French, Australian, British and Canadian had attacked the Germans at Amiens, and forced them back in retreat. When the Battle of Amiens ended, German Commander Ludendorff claimed the event was a; "black day of the German army." Ludendorff had suffered other defeats, earlier that year. As in when he launched an originally successful offensive (Kaiserschlacht), in March of 1918 with the newly available troops from the Eastern Front, but while they made great advances at the beginning, they failed to disrupt the French and British on the front lines, Ludendorff called of the advance in April, and shortly thereafter had to relinquish the territory they had gained. The next two offensives launched fell to the same fate, and Ludendorff collapsed under the stress of these defeats. He had lost his second step-son (a pilot I believe) in the attacks, and on occasion his ravings against defeatists and incompetent civilians turned into what can only be described as tantrums. (Hitler would follow this example himself later, n'est pas?) Coupling his own defeats in March, April, and May with the defeats in August, it was on the 28th of September that he told Hindenburg and his staff that Germany must seek an immediate armistice. The Kaiser and Chancellor Hertling heard this sad news the next day, and agreed.

Ludendorff later publicly reversed his position about Germany's ability to continue the war, it was Ludendorff who first came up with the "stab in the back" concept which Hitler adopted with relish. It seems that the Kaiser’s Germany was doomed by the end of 1916, and I sort of think many in the higher command, and government sectors knew it full well. This may have led to the tactic of the importation of Lenin into Tzarist Russia had disrupted that enemy and removed it from the war. As for the new "Soviet" Russia aiding the German state in any fashion, let alone with food-stuffs, that seems unlikely as they remained in their own Civil War until 1923. While it had pretty much petered out by 1920 in military fighting, the Germans had long since capitulated to the Western Allies by then, and the new Soviet was facing food
riots in their own cities.

The "neutral" Americans were supplying their opposition with arms and food stuffs, while they were still under blockade. In frustration over that, in February of 1917 Germany broke its pledge to limit submarine warfare. In response to the breaking of the Sussex Pledge, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Germany, the first step to our joining the western allies lined up against Germany. The month before, in January of 1917, British cryptographers deciphered a telegram from German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German Minister to Mexico, von Eckhardt, offering United States territory to Mexico in return for joining the German cause. The British didn’t release this to the Americans immediately, but only after the unrestricted submarine warfare declaration had been made by the Germans. Couple the breaking of the Sussex Pledge, the cross border attack of Pancho Villa, with the Zimmermann Telegram and America wasn't likely to stay neutral in any event. But these were desparation moves by Germany which brought America into the fight, although only actively for the last two months really.

Fermenting civil unrest had worked in the case of the Tzar and the Russian enemy, perhaps they imagined that it would work to get America to focus internally as well. Since Mexico was itself in Revolutionary turmoil, just like Russia, maybe not totally without justification. The Kaiser’s Germany had lost all of its allies before the armistice was sought by them, with the Austro-Hungarian Empire falling into total chaos, both militarily and governmentally, and offering to surrender to the allies.

The Austro-Hungarians didn’t sign an armistice, they really surrendered nearly a week before the Germans signed their armistice. Bulgaria had also surrendered in September, and the Turks did so in October. The Germans were well on their way to "standing alone" when Ludendorff delivered his "bad news" to the Kaiser in September, but this might have been prompted when the Americans were deployed in any significant manner; that was the "last straw" which broke the back of the German camel. I don't think the Americans did much more than accelerate the inevitable. The major error in my opinion was allowing the German army to march back to Berlin in good order, and parade in the streets. If allied armies had done so, the Germans might well have fully felt defeated, not betrayed.

Happy Trails,
Clint.

#18 blacksnake

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 08:26 PM

....Given that, could the UK and USSR have successfully defeated Germany without lend-lease and US entry into the war? Both would have still been free to buy war materials from the US as would Germany and Italy (assuming they could get ships to the US and back) but, they would receive no assistance or "freebies" from the US.....


I don't usually do the What If? Thingy, so I expect to be corrected...:rolleyes:

The Lend-Lease program that ended America's neutrality in WW2 "officially" began in 1941. After two years at war Britain was struggling, but hardly on the brink of defeat.

With no assistance or freebies from the US...The question I would ask wouldn't be, could we beat Germany...But, how long would it be before Europe was weak enough for Germany to make a play for the US...Then president, FDR was by NO means a fool, he knew full well that the longer and more effective the UK and Russia were able to hold off Hitler's army, the less likely it would be that the US would end up fighting the war alone when the inevitable declaration of war came. Europe was a good "buffer" from the war so why would'nt the US give in-direct assistance?

Is that the way this "What If" thing goes???
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#19 von Rundstedt

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 01:10 AM

In Asia if Japan could avoid angering the US in China they likely could have avoided a war with the US in this scenario.?


If we follow this line as per situations in Europe then the isolationist lobby successfully petition the President to stay out of the war between China and Japan, as Japan invades China the Nationalist Chinese Government asks for some type of intervention, but this is rejected as this violates American Neutrality Act, America tells China she is on her own.

Japan therefore is not slapped with an embargo thus there is no situation for Japan to get angry enough to attack American interests, and so when Germany ivestigates what the US response to the invasion of the Soviet Union America responds that it is not the US concern and so the Japanese with the might of her armed forces not already engaged in China attack the Soviet Union and again the US declares she has no interest in the matter and again no embargo is imposed.

Japan is now so committed to China and Soviet Union she has no more troops left to begin a so called Pacific campaign.

v.R




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