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Had the United States declared war on Germany


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#1 John Dudek

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 08:25 PM

Gentlemen: If the US had not declared war on Germany, do you think England and the Soviet Union could have prevailed against Germany and Italy?

#2 John Dudek

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 08:28 PM

Sorry guys. Topic should read "Had the United States not declared war on Germany" I've got a housefull of loud kids that are home because of a winter storm.

#3 Andreas Seidel

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 09:52 PM

England could not have prevailed alone without active American assistance.

The Soviet Union maybe, this is hard to say. Assuming everything else goes as it did historically, the Wehrmacht could perhaps wage a war of attrition in the East, which would be won.
„Solange man nicht mit dem Kopf unterm Arm rumläuft geht es doch noch!" Erwin Rommel

#4 C.Evans

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 10:33 PM

Thats a good one and I agree with Andreas. I will go a step further and say that I believe that Germany would beat the russians.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#5 PzJgr

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 10:49 PM

First of all, the U.S. did not declare war on Germany. It was the other way around. Hitler was attempting to show good faith and declare war on the U.S. in the hopes to lure Japan into war against the USSR. But in the spirit of the question, I do not believe the UK could have done any real damage to Germany. The USSR would have taken an added 4 years to the war because of the lack of a second front and lack of material support from the U.S. Would they have defeated the Third Reich.....probably not because Germany would have had the time to allow their wonder weapons, jet planes, advanced subs to have an impact against the allies. Like the saying goes, the industrial might of the U.S. is what tipped the balance.
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#6 Andreas Seidel

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Posted 02 February 2002 - 08:32 AM

You are right of course in saying that Germany declared war on America and not the other way around.

BUT! Really, this was just a matter of form. American destroyers were engaged in the battle of the atlantic easily half a year before this, and war was inevitable in the end. I do not doubt that America would have declared war on Germany if Germany hadn't.

However, we are assuming that America doesn't really care what happens to Britain, so there is no cooperation going on in the Atlantic etc. etc.
„Solange man nicht mit dem Kopf unterm Arm rumläuft geht es doch noch!" Erwin Rommel

#7 C.Evans

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 12:57 AM

Hello Andreas, that is true. I think the first American Destroyer sunk by a Uboat was the Reuben James somewhere near Nova Scotia or Ireland?

I can't remember who sank the ship, possibly Erich Topp? I just can't remember.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#8 alath

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Posted 06 February 2002 - 05:52 PM

<blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by C.Evans:
I will go a step further and say that I believe that Germany would beat the russians.<hr></blockquote>

I don't know about this. Remember, the Russians were fighting the Germans for a long time before Western Allies' aid really began flowing in on a large scale.

At the time of Typhoon and the Russian counter-attack outside Moscow, the Russians were pretty much on their own.

Nor can you give the Western Allies credit for Stalingrad. Material aid from the West was just getting started, and hadn't really filtered in to the front line effort. Nor was diversion of German forces to other theaters very significant at that time. There were some divisions in France, but not many and not the best and the Germans would have had a hard time equipping them, reinforcing them, and supplying them even if they had been sent East. Many will point to the DAK as a diversion of forces, but I don't think just three German divisions would have turned the scale at Stalingrad.

On the whole, I don't think the Western Allies had much effect on the German-Russian conflict until well after Stalingrad - by which time the Wehrmacht was very much broken down from its peak strength.

There is no doubt, Western aid to the Russians was a big help once the Russians were on the offensive. American trucks and fuel, in particular, helped the Russians press on their offensives and maintain supply. Also, the strategic bombing campaign by '43 was diverting Luftwaffe strength away from the Eastern front.

So you can definitely say that the Western Allies helped hasten the defeat of Germany.

But I don't think you can say that the US saved the USSR from being defeated by the Germans. They did that themselves.

#9 C.Evans

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Posted 06 February 2002 - 07:36 PM

I agree with a few things you post Alath but.... There were more than just 3 German divisions at and or near Stalingrad. (Just for a small point there)

True, the lendlease might have been at a trickle while Stalingrad was happening but, none the less, what they were getting helped keep them afloat untill everything startind to build up. Then you can filter in all the Siberian divisions that were let loose to cause real trouble elsewhere.

I can see that the Germans could have held the russians at a strong defensive line somewhere and not in germanic territory--had the russiand not had all those jeeps, trucks, and tanks that we gave to them.

Without the jppes--command cars, transport trucks--halftracks and tanks--a good many a Russian victory would not have happened simply because of the Russians lack of available transportation. The Russian military was not a mobile military except in rare instances and when they had the narrow gauge trains that ran anywhere near where they were going.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#10 Miro

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Posted 08 February 2002 - 11:19 AM

The funny thing about Lend/Lease was that it did not depend on the US being a combatant nation or not. The British received L/L throughout the war and the Soviets did as well (although in small numbers initially, mostly due to transport difficulties) even before the US entered the war.
The effect of L/L in 41 and 42 was almost negligible, in 41 and early 42 the Soviets were almost entirely depending on stocks of older equipment interspersed with some newly produced weapons and a little L/L, while the evacuation of factories to the East was underway. In the later stages of 42 almost all factories in the Urals and Siberia were fully on-line (horrible conditions for the workers but nevertheless producing almost non-stop), so the Soviet weapons industry was producing enough arms to fight and beat the Germans at Stalingrad and in the Caucasus and Don Regions.
Western military aid only became important after Kursk, with the commencement of the deep operations and the need to carry large numbers of foot-infantry and supplies to support the advancing armoured formations of the Red Army.
(see Glantz, D.M. "When Titans clashed" for a more complete explanation of all this).

Now, with this said, it is almost inconceivable that the US would have stayed out of the war until let's say early '43, thereby denying the USSR some (but not all) of the means of defeating Germany's expansion eastward.

#11 Miro

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Posted 08 February 2002 - 11:41 AM

Carl, I believe what alath meant by "DAK" is 'Das Afrika-Korps', Hitler's attempt to rescue the incompetent Italians and challenge Britain in the Mediterranean and North Africa.
Although often glorified these units could not have made much of a difference on the Eastern front, and especially not at Stalingrad, where the main German mistake was not too few troops, but the ill-equipped Rumanians on the flanks of 6th Army as well as a successful Soviet 'maskirovka' deception. This coupled with Gen Paulus' failure to keep an armoured reserve behind the 6th Army and then Hitler's refusal to allow Paulus to link up with von Manstein in late December (this operation would probably have destroyed the 6th Army nevertheless, since it involved 50mi fighting footmarches by the weakened infantry across the frozen countryside before they could escape the Stalingrad cauldron), made things more convenient for the mostly inexperienced Red Army commanders, but even if there had been an additional 5 PzDiv in the area of Army Grps A&B they would have been too widely dispersed to effectively deal with those massive breakthroughs of Operations Uranus and Little Saturn.
No, I believe that while the US aid to the USSR was great, it was not vital, the USSR would most likely have beaten Germany nevertheless. I do acknowledge that it would have talen them longer and the casualties would have been much higher, but from '43 onwards it was Germany that was suffering irreplacable losses, and if the war had lasted another two years with no Allied invasions of Italy and France, Germany would have come off a lot worse than it already did.

#12 C.Evans

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Posted 08 February 2002 - 07:12 PM

Thanks for the correction, I couldnt imagine a student of russian history could have thought there were only 3 German Divs at Stalingrad--and the D.A.K. actually had 4 German Divs including the 5th Lechte Div. :D

PS, im not trying to soulnd like a jerk--im just in a hurry as I am late going somewhere. ;)
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#13 Miro

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Posted 09 February 2002 - 05:44 AM

No problem, you are not in risk of sounding like a jerk, and you are perfectly right to point out that DAK had 4 divisions.

#14 C.Evans

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Posted 11 February 2002 - 09:11 PM

Thanks Miro smile.gif
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
:snoopy: :ww1ace:
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