yanksn4
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Sat Feb 19, 2005 12:06 pm

Greetings everyone. With my U. S. History Honors Class just finishing up World War II, I have this question to ask you guys: Would the United States have joined the war even if the Japanese did not attack Pearl Harbor? Also, should the United States have joined without Pearl Harbor occuring? I ask that everyone please discuss this in a calm matter. My personal opinion is that since we were continually aiding the British, we would have eventually joined the war against Hitler and the Nazis. However, I'm not sure about the Pacific War. Anyway, please discuss.

signed,
Matthew
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mdsh00
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Sat Feb 19, 2005 12:27 pm

I agree about this too. Because of the Lend-Lease Program, we would have eventually entered WWII. However, I think that there would not be the same patriotic fervor that was present after Pearl Harbor.
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ANCFlyer
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Sat Feb 19, 2005 12:34 pm

Perhaps eventually the troops would have gone to Europe. Either at the behest of the UK or Russia or both. Certainly the war would have been shortened IMHO had we not had to deal with the Japanese as well.

As Mdsh00 says, the patriotic fervor might not have been there - I most certainly agree since the US (without Pearl Harbor) would not have been directly attacked.

As for the second question, do you think they should have. Simple answer: Yes. Protracted explanation: Had Germany continued on it's quest to take over Europe and parts of Russia, certainly they would have had to slow to a stop evertually, simple logistics and lack of adequate forces would have caused this. However, as powerful as the jugernaut was in the beginning, there were few countries prepared to deal with its ferocity. Examples include Poland and France. I believe England would have held out, and I only give it a 1 in 10 chance of surrendering to the Germans since that was not Hitler's only battlefield. Eventually the Germans would have faced (and did in fact face) a formidible Russian foe that wore them down. The balance of the European countries were subjugated and IMO of no value militarily to the Russians. The UK could not have beaten the Germans back on their own, even with the assistance of the Russians on the opposite front. So, assistance from US would eventually have to come to break the stale mate.



[Edited 2005-02-19 04:42:25]
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Falcon84
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Sat Feb 19, 2005 1:43 pm

One reason so many conspiracy theorists think FDR knew about Pearl Harbor is that he had been trying to get the US actively in the war since mid-1940. With Lend-Lease, the US became the "Aresenal of Democracy"; US merchant ships had been torpedoed and sunk long before the US officially entered the fray. The US was an active "non-combatant" long before Pearl Harbor.

So, yes, the US would have eventually entered the war, at least in Europe, even without Pearl Harbor. That was inevitable, since we were moving inexorably in that direction anyway. I am not convinced we would have gone to war in Asia, but even there, I'm forced to conclude that some event would have transpired other than Pearl Harbor to go after the third of the Axis powers.

How much different Europe or Asia might have looked had we not come in till later, is anyone's guess, but the landscape of the world, politically and militarily, at least, might have been a lot different.
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UALPHLCS
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Sat Feb 19, 2005 2:48 pm

In April of 1941 a destroyer the USS Rueben James was attacked and sunk in the North Atlantic by a German U Boat. Roosevelt thought that that incident would have lead to war, but the isolationists were still too powerful.

I think that eventually, the US would have been drawn into war with Germany and Japan regardless of Pearl Harbor.

Interestingly, the US didn't declare on Germany, only Japan. Hitler abided by his treaty with Japan (probably the only treaty he honored) and declared war on the US, in reponse to the US declaration on Japan.

For the US the flash point was always in the Pacific. Japanese imperial ambitions came into direct contact with US possesions and interests. Some of those interests were Pan Am routes.

Germany was an ideological war. Tangible, physical US interests in Europe were not to be had. So until German aggression actually threatened the US in a real way and not in simply an academic sense War with Germany would have come much later. Pressure on real US interrests would not really dawn on the American public until after Britain's fall.
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Falcon84
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Sat Feb 19, 2005 2:52 pm

Interestingly, the US didn't declare on Germany, only Japan. Hitler abided by his treaty with Japan (probably the only treaty he honored) and declared war on the US, in reponse to the US declaration on Japan.

And to this day, I envision Old Winnie doing backflips and yelling at the top of his lungs when old scrambledbrains Schickelgruber did that.  Big thumbs up
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ANCFlyer
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Sat Feb 19, 2005 2:55 pm

Quoting UALPHLCS (reply 4):
Pressure on real US interrests would not really dawn on the American public until after Britain's fall.


Do you think the UK would have fallen regardless?

After Hitler began to actively move on the Russian front many of his assets were diverted from the Western to the Eastern front. Futher, there were only so many Germany solders to go around. Eventually, he would have run short on manpower.

He did possess a formidable battle fleet as far as the Navy is concerned, but IMO, his ability to land troops off the continent was much less than adequate. So, coupled with the need to continue to supply aircraft, tanks, trucks and other vehicles to maintain the fight on the Eastern Front with Russia he would have had to develop and put to sea a force capable of crossing the English Channel and landing on the UK.

I suspect he would had met with more of a foe than he did in Poland, France, Belgium, and elsewhere had he attempted to do so.

[Edited 2005-02-19 06:56:23]
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yanksn4
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:01 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (reply 6):
He did possess a formidable battle fleet as far as the Navy is concerned, but IMO, his ability to land troops off the continent was much less than adequate. So, coupled with the need to continue to supply aircraft, tanks, trucks and other vehicles to maintain the fight on the Eastern Front with Russia he would have had to develop and put to sea a force capable of crossing the English Channel and landing on the UK.


In order to land troops onto the British Isles, Hitler constantly bombed ports and other facilities near the coast. His plan was to destroy these defenses and then paratroop German troops into England. However, since he couldn't stop the RAF, Hitler abandoned this plan and set his sights on the Eastern Front.

signed,
Matthew
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Falcon84
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:06 pm

One thing that held Hitler up in actually invading the UK is that he just abhored amphibious operations. He was a "romantic", if you will, that all battles should be fought on terra firma between large armies, and he just didn't care for amphibious maneuvers.

Too bad-he found out in 1944 what amphibious warfare could accomplish, if done in force.

As for the question if I think the UK would have fallen: No, I do not. I think they would have found a way to stave off annihilation until the US finally came into the war.
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ANCFlyer
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Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:15 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (reply 8):
He was a "romantic", if you will, that all battles should be fought on terra firma between large armies, and he just didn't care for amphibious maneuvers.


That's what you get for letting a corporal be in charge . . .  Big thumbs up

Quoting Falcon84 (reply 8):
As for the question if I think the UK would have fallen: No, I do not. I think they would have found a way to stave off annihilation until the US finally came into the war.


Concur
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UALPHLCS
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Sun Feb 20, 2005 2:43 am

I don't think the US public would have gotten behind a European front for the US unless Britain fell.

One could argue that Briain was too tough enough a nut to crack. But If the Germans had kept up te Battle of Britain long enough to gain air superiority, or developed heavy bombers then Britains ability to fend off invasion is in doubt. In other words if Britain DIDN't fall and Germany DIDN'T declare war on the US the US MAY have left Germany alone, and continued simply to supply Britain with arms and moral support.

My point was that the American public was perfectly content to let Hitler be so long as he was only thretening Europe. There was a strong feeling that Europeans had been butchering each other for hundreds of years and there was no reason for the US to involve itself. Ideology along could not sway them. In fact there was a fairly strong American Nazi movement in the US. A huge rally in Madison Square Garden took place before 1939. Charles Lindberg was a public voice who saw that American weapons technology was far inferior to what the German were fielding at the time. Many had no faith that the US could beat the Germans.

ON the other hand, Japan's ambitions and American interests came into direct conflict in the Pacific. There was also a racial superiority complex that American had over the Japanese. The Pacific was considered American and Western territory. The War for the US was always going to start in the Pacific, be it with Pearl Harbor, or some other US interest being atacked. You know Pearl Harbor was not the only US base hit that day. The US was attacked in the Philipeans and the Aleutians as well.
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vc10
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Sun Feb 20, 2005 4:01 am

I believe that Hitler was quite content to leave the UK alone , as he believed that the U-Boat offensive would in the end force the UK to sue for peace or starve, and he was not far wrong. The reason was that Britain grew very little food for itself because it built the engineering goods for the Empire and got food in exchange. A great plan until your country is blockaded.

Without lend lease the UK would have been in a terrible state, but do remember that lend lease only came in when the UK had run out of money buying goods from the rest of the world.

It is also interesting to consider that towards the end of ww2 Germany had thoughts of Bombing the USA's east coast and even started to develop a two stage V2 rocket with the range to reach the the USA's east coast, so just aswell,l the war finished when it did.

That's it, staying out of this USA discussion now

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ANCFlyer
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Sun Feb 20, 2005 4:07 am

Quoting VC10 (reply 11):
It is also interesting to consider that towards the end of ww2 Germany had thoughts of Bombing the USA's east coast and even started to develop a two stage V2 rocket with the range to reach the the USA's east coast,


Absolutely right, given another year with the Germans developing these long range bombers (there's a History Channel show highlighting them) America would have been drawn into the war when Germany bombed NYC.

Quoting VC10 (reply 11):
That's it, staying out of this USA discussion now


Please continue to post, your perspective is of great value, especially since you're flying the Union Jack!
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11Bravo
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Sun Feb 20, 2005 4:59 am

As far as war with Germany is concerned, I think that was inevitable. One of the key elements of the German strategy was to isolate the UK with a massive U-boat campaign.

By the end of 1941, that campaign hadn’t really started in earnest. There were submarine attacks, but nothing like the scale of the anti-shipping attacks that began in 1942.

Germany would have had the choice of either forgoing that effort, or including American shipping in those attacks. I don’t think that the United States could remain their neutrality for very long with dozens, or even scores, of ships being lost each month. As others have pointed out, American ships were being sunk, but not in great numbers prior to American entry into the war. I do not think that the US Government or the American people would have tolerated the massive loss of life and property that resulted once the full U-boat campaign started.

As for the Pacific, I think that’s a much harder question because of the challenging logic of suggesting that there even was a Pacific War without a conflict with the United States.

In response to Japanese military adventurism, the US imposed a very effective incremental embargo of oil, steel, and other material against Japan starting in 1939. By the middle of 1941 that embargo threatened the viability of Japan’s military operations in China and Northwest Asia.

The Japanese responded to the embargo with a strategy that was dependant on implementation the “Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere” to provide the raw materials necessary to support their industrial and military capacity. A critical component of that vision was the seizure of the Dutch East Indies to provide oil, rubber, and other important natural resources.

The problem for Japan was that the Philippines, and the huge American military presence there, was right in the middle of their Co-prosperity Sphere astride their lines of communication and supply. It would have been militarily insane for Japan to think they could have occupied Java and Sumatra while leaving the United States in possession of the Philippines.

If Japan really wanted the Co-prosperity Sphere, they knew they must go to war with the United States, so in that sense it was inevitable.
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ltbewr
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:51 am

I would also suggest other reasons that would have led the USA to get involved into WWII even if the Japanese hadn't attacked Pearl Harbor.
One was the need to improve the USA economy out of the Great Depression with the production of armenants, which was underway early in 1940.
We also had a need to help our allies in Europe - almost exclusively the UK and the USSR, as we were doing by early 1940 anyway as without our help, those countries could have fallen earlier and easier without our eventual involvement after Pearl Harbor.
The spread of the war in Europe and Asia also crippled our access to important resources like natural rubber, various critical mineral products and regular trade partners.
Also by late 1941, we were the only real superpower left other than Germany and Japan, so we had an obligation to participate to defend the world and our allies. WWII raised the USA to the level of the superpower and world's policeman that we have become (for better and worse).
There is also the deep moral issue that Japanese and Nazi presented to many Americans, that Axis countries had become a deeply immoral and evil situation and 'God-fearing' Americans believed we had an obligation to prevent it's spread. The isolationist movement only represented a vocal minority, and we still had many problems due to the continuing Great Depression.
Almost all Americans are immigrants by birth or ancestry, mostly from Europe and they clearly knew Germany/Italy Axis powers were hurting the countries of their birth.
 
N766UA
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Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:01 pm

It would have been impossible for the US to maintain its isolationist policy. Either US troops were going to Europe and the Pacific or German and Japanese troops were coming here.
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UALPHLCS
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Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:18 pm

So let me try to synthise everyones answers to the question posed in the original post.

The US was going to be drwn into WWII with or without Pearl harbor. The question when you take out the attack is WHEN.

I think we all agree that the US and Japan would come blows the soonest. The oil embargo made it intevitable that Japan would attack the US for access to oil in what is now Indoneseia.

The remaining question is When would the US be forced to go to war with Germany.

Obviously, Hitler's ambitions would make conflict inevitable. However, if Hitler had ignored his treaty with Japan, the US COULD have avoided a European war in 1942.

Newt Gingrich wrote a SciFi history called 1945 a few years ago. In the book Hitler was in a plane crash in fall 1941, and was incapacitated when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Due to his hospitalization he ignored his treaty with Japan. The US fought an exclusively Pacific War, which bearing the full brunt of US industrial might, Japan quickly lost. By 1945 the US and Germany were heading towards war but the US still behind in technology to the Germans. The rest of the book is pure imagination, but the premise was certainly plausible.
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yyz717
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Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:15 pm

The US was going to be drwn into WWII with or without Pearl harbor. The question when you take out the attack is WHEN.

I agree. The US would not have tolerated a Nazi conquered Europe for long. Had Germany successfully invaded the UK, I think the US would have jumped immediately to the UK's defense, and then much of the continental combat fighting between the Allies and Germany would have occurred instead in the UK. Even without a UK invasion, the US inevitably would have gone to war against the Germans.

Russia was focused initially on repelling Germany from Russian land but then became the aggressors themselves by routing the Nazis and marching all the way to Berlin. Without the US & the UK fighting Germany from the West, Russia would likely have kept marching further west with a goal of making all of Europe Communist. The US had to enter to war to halt the westward march of the Russians as much as to defeat Germany.
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L-188
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:39 pm

I think that we can pretty safely argue that we where allready in the war in the Atlantic prior to Dec 41.

I don't see how the US could not have been drawn into the war eventually.

After all the Phillipines where hit just as hard, and where an American territory at the time.
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Venus6971
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Sun Feb 20, 2005 4:29 pm

I remember reading about the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe was doing a good job in the beginning beating up RAF bases but switched to carpet bombing city's. That was when the battle was lost. If they kept at the RAF he could have knocked the UK out of the war in which they would have sued for peace . The Wehrmacht and the SS were recruiting non German divisions in the UKraine, Serbia and probably could have had the Turks come on there side if Ataturk was given the proper motivation. Turks fought under Imperial German command in the WW1. They could have had stabilized the Russian front since Lend lease would have stopped since Britain was out of the war.
War between the U.S. and Japan would have inevitable. Lets not forget in this scenario that the Brits would have probably would have given up there holdings in the Pacific to the Germans in any terms of surrender or peace treaty. Then maybe then the US would have fought the Germans in the pacific
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GDB
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Mon Feb 21, 2005 4:09 am

Some points;
Churchill said that the Battle Of The Atlantic was the theatre that worried him the most, even allowing for crash programmes in increased food cultivation at all levels.
But there was also fuel, here the Mediterranean and North African campaigns that Britain fought were vital, if now somewhat unsung.

Both in that theatre, as well as the Atlantic and Battle Of Britain, Hitler failed to get a knock out victory.
Britain being able to roll back Hitler was an impossibility by 1941, but it was by no means certain that Hitler would ever be in any position to visit London to see the Swastika raised over that city.

In late 1941, the US was a superpower in only the economic sphere, not militarily, the USN, while big and impressive, was still not as large as the RN, (who would in 1940, even without air cover and heavy losses, have massacred any German attempt to cross the Channel in a bunch of converted river barges and only a quite small German fleet to screen them, having taking a beating in the Norway campaign, despite winning there eventually).
But being an economic superpower, untroubled by air raids, made becoming a military superpower in short order much easier!
(In this respect, Lend Lease was a useful precursor to US mobilisation).

Despite the trouble we were in in 1941, after the invasion of Russia, the UK sent supplies to Russia, via the dangerous Arctic Convoys, another now sadly unsung effort.
It probably made little actual military difference, as least at first, politically it was vital however.

Then there is the Manhattan Project, a non US commitment to Europe would likely have made that effort if not delayed, maybe not even happening at all.
As those who created the whole enterprise, were motivated by fears of a Nazi bomb, including scientists who had fled from Hitler as well as British scientists too, working on this massive US project.

Now we know that Hitler was some way off getting one, not least due to efforts by the SOE, Commandos and Norwegian Resistance, but unencumbered by US entry into the war, he'd have got there eventually, along with an 'Amerika Bomber' or rocket, to carry it to NY and Washington.
Maybe after 'testing' it on London and/or Moscow.

What would be the point of eradicating European Jews and leaving a bunch in the US, which as a democracy and potential superpower, was always a medium to long term threat to a 1000 Year Reich.'
 
UALPHLCS
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Mon Feb 21, 2005 2:57 pm

GDB

I agree with most of your post, however, I have to disagree with your assertion that the Manhattan Project might not have happened.

I agree that it may not have proceeded at the crash pace that it eventually did, but the scientists who made the case most strongly FOR the project were all German ex-pats. They made it seem that Germany was much further along in atomic bomb R&D then they really were, (sound familiar?)

Roosevelt, even if the US was not at war with Germany in 1941, could certainly see that war with Germany was inevitable, development had to continue. Who knows, if resources were concentrated on Japan and the Bomb alone without a European theatre it may have been developed quicker.

Hitler made three strategic errors that helped the allies win the war.

He abandoned the Battle of Britain. Germany should never have left its backdoor open.

He began the invasion of Russia a year or two too soon. And again before he finished off Britain.

He honored his trety with Japan. Bringing the Americans into the European war.

One could argue that he didn't develop war winning weapons either. Jet technology was on the backburner in the early years of the war. And Germany never developed a long-range heavy bomber that could do to Britain what the RAF and Army Air Corp did to Germany. Those are minor compared to the other three.
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yanksn4
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Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:13 pm

Quoting UALPHLCS (reply 21):
He began the invasion of Russia a year or two too soon. And again before he finished off Britain


I do not think that Operation Barbarosa was too soon. If anything it was too late. If Hitler had started the operation a few months earlier, he would have toppled the Soviet government before the Russian winter came in. The second part I do agree with however.

signed,
Matthew
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Venus6971
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Mon Feb 21, 2005 4:27 pm

I do not think that Operation Barbarosa was too soon. If anything it was too late

Just to add on this point, Hitler invaded Poland 3 years early. The Kreigsmarine did not have enough U Boats to do what they wanted to do in 1939. Adm Doenitz wanted a bigger fleet so he could have starved any resupply of the western Powers of France and Britian. If the Kreigsmarine had all the Uboats they wanted in 1942 or 43 then launch their ground offensive most of Europe would have speaking Duescth. Any resupply from the U'S. Would have ended up on the bottom of the North Atlantic. Lend Lease would have failed and Russia would have been on its own to fight off the Wehrmacht.
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ANCFlyer
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Mon Feb 21, 2005 5:32 pm

Quoting Venus6971 (reply 23):
If the Kreigsmarine had all the Uboats they wanted in 1942 or 43 then launch their ground offensive most of Europe would have speaking Duescth. Any resupply from the U'S. Would have ended up on the bottom of the North Atlantic. Lend Lease would have failed and Russia would have been on its own to fight off the Wehrmacht.


Interesting perspective.

I would make the following comments: I think the lend lease would have succeeeded regardless, as far as the Russians are concerned. Aircraft were being ferried through Canada and Alaska to Russia at a pretty steady unhindered rate.

I think the US would have still been able to provide resupply of materials to the UK, albeit less tonnage would have gotten through. Even with the fleet Donitz wanted his submarines couldn't be everywhere, every time.

As I mentioned in an earlier post . . .

Quoting ANCFlyer (reply 2):
Had Germany continued on it's quest to take over Europe and parts of Russia, certainly they would have had to slow to a stop evertually, simple logistics and lack of adequate forces would have caused this. However, as powerful as the jugernaut was in the beginning, there were few countries prepared to deal with its ferocity. Examples include Poland and France. I believe England would have held out, and I only give it a 1 in 10 chance of surrendering to the Germans since that was not Hitler's only battlefield. Eventually the Germans would have faced (and did in fact face) a formidible Russian foe that wore them down. The balance of the European countries were subjugated and IMO of no value militarily to the Russians. The UK could not have beaten the Germans back on their own, even with the assistance of the Russians on the opposite front. So, assistance from US would eventually have to come to break the stale mate.
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DeskPilot
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Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:03 pm

Quoting Venus6971 (reply 19):
I remember reading about the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe was doing a good job in the beginning beating up RAF bases but switched to carpet bombing city's. That was when the battle was lost. If they kept at the RAF he could have knocked the UK out of the war in which they would have sued for peace


Disagree. The Luftwaffe were suffering terrible losses during the BoB. Their fighters could only manage 30 mins or less over UK soil to defend their bombers. Their Me110 destroyers and Ju-87 Stukers were sitting ducks. The RAF, who also suffered terrible losses, were well organised and holding on better.

Also remember Goring (spelling ?) made grand promises to Hitler that he couldn't keep. He lost favor with Hitler after his failure to smash the RAAF as promised. This, combined with Hitler's joke of an invasion fleet (barges ?!?!?) was never a serious threat of invasion. Had it been attempted to cross the Channel in this rag tag fleet, the German losses would have been horrific through RAFF and RN attacks, let alone attempting to storm the beaches.

Although he kept up preparations, it was only a decoy to keep the UK tied up with homeland defenses.

[Edited 2005-02-21 11:17:50]
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UALPHLCS
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Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:36 pm

Quoting Venus6971 (reply 23):


[quote=Venus6971,reply=23]Just to add on this point, Hitler invaded Poland 3 years early. The Kreigsmarine did not have enough U Boats to do what they wanted to do in 1939. Adm Doenitz wanted a bigger fleet so he could have starved any resupply of the western Powers of France and Britian.[/quote

Yes this is very true. Hitler originally slated 1944 as the year he would go to war with Britain and France. His plans included a larger battleship fleet including a monster battleship twice the tonnage of Yamato and a larger U-boat fleet. And probably a heavy bomber.

However, there have been a number of articles and now popular history shows that theorize that Hitler advanced the timetable because he wass suffering from Parkinson's disease. If he was aware he was dieing and wanted to see his plans come to fruition that would explain quite a few of his blunders.

Hitler's rise to power and his clever manipulation of world politics means you can't simply write him of as crazy. He was Evil, but not crazy. So his rushed invasions and dropped plans had to be for another reason.
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:42 pm

Quoting Yyz717 (reply 17):
Russia was focused initially on repelling Germany from Russian land but then became the aggressors themselves by routing the Nazis and marching all the way to Berlin. Without the US & the UK fighting Germany from the West, Russia would likely have kept marching further west with a goal of making all of Europe Communist. The US had to enter to war to halt the westward march of the Russians as much as to defeat Germany.

During the Casablanca conference in 1943, Roosevelt demanded an unconditional surender of Germany.
During the 5th Washington conference of May 1943, the Western Allies accepted the territorial claims by the Russians.
Latest during the Yalta conference it was agreed that Germany should be occupied and sectors of occupation drawn.
The Allies didn´t want to let Germany get strong again like in 1918.
Up to summer 1945 (after VE day) the Soviets and western Allies were still cooperating.

Jan
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dl021
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 12:22 am

Coming in late to the conversation.....

Yes. We would have entered the war. Later than we did, and at different times against Japan and Germany, and with the false sense of security from our outdated battleship navy that would not have fared well against the Japanese aircraft carrier navy, especially with the conservative admirals still in place and nothing to have shaken them up.

It is distinctly possible we would not have entered the war until the Germans tried to occupy Canada, and it is by no means certain that the Russians would have been able to hold out against the Germans, especially if the Japanese had delayed attacking us until they had secured the rest of the Pacific, and held their divisions in Manchuria making the Soviets too nervous to bring them to the defense of Moscow, which was the turning point for the Eastern Front.

We probably would still would be the United States, but there is no assurance that Europe would be recognizable, and it is probable that Japan would be the primary partner in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Had we been beset on both fronts without the British Armies (Home, Territorial, Colonial, and Commonwealth) still in the fight, and without the advantage at sea of being truly desperate and forced to employ novel and daring strategies and tactics, we might have ground into a stalemate.

Read some Turtledove and look at alternate history fiction in your bookstore.
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GDB
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:38 am

Hitler certainly had all the signs of Parkinson's disease by late 1944, after the July Plot attempt on his life for sure.
But he was far from well anyway, made worse by his person physician, a Dr Morrel, who was a dangerous quack who made Elvis's doctors look like models of good medical practice.

Had war been delayed until 1944, I doubt Hitler's Z Plan naval expansion would have gone unchallenged, it is worth noting that British re-armament, albeit from a low base, started in 1936/7, ramping up after 1938.
Chamberlain was somewhat duped by Hitler, at first, but in the late 30's he was deliberately playing for time.

Which with hindsight, was a mistake, Germany in 1938 had the advantage in the air, but not on land, most Panzers then were small and very lightly armed, with no fall of France, the Luftwaffe could not even reach the UK.
Even in 1940 French armour was numerically superior and often better in quality, but the defensive Maginot Line focus and truly deep French political problems in the 1930's and an aging general staff, totally blunted that advantage.

Hitler sort of stumbled into war with Britain and France in 1939, but early success gave Hitler massive over confidence, which he and Germany paid dearly for.

It is worth noting that Nazi Germany was far from orderly, despite all the spectacle and parades, it was a very chaotic form of government, Hitler almost always gave the same job to several subordinates, to watch who would come out on top.

Policy was generally created by subordinates listening to Hitler's long, rambling monologues, then they would compete for his attention, soon learning the way to get his favour was to propose the most radical ideas.
Usually this went on long into the night, as Hitler rose late, mooched around for hours, always uninterested by detailed policy, watched some favorite films, studied grandiose plans for building projects, then 'relaxing' by starting his monologues while subordinates listened intently and worked out what to propose to him the next day to get into his good books.
 
FDXmech
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Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 4:11 am

The B-36 Peacemaker was initially designed for a specification of intercontinental bombing capability (US to Germany) that assumed Britain would fall. Britain falling was back then a conventional wisdom certainty. At least those not British.

I disagree with those espousing US entry into WW2 if Britain fell. As a matter of fact Churchill was relieved with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. That dispelled the uncertainty of America's entrance into WW2.

Don't forget that Japan declared war on both US and Britain after the Dec 7 attack.

A trivia fact on the Battle of Britain is the mistaken bombing of London by German bombers leading to a switch from bombing RAF airfields to British cities. bad for civilians, good for an RAF respite to catch its breath and eventually turn it around.
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Venus6971
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RE: Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 4:49 am

Back to my point of starting the war too early.
If Adm Doenitz would of had the navy he needed or wanted to be equal of the royal navy or the USN just think if the Bismarck had been part of a Carrier task force with air cover and Uboats fighting with it. The Kriegsmarine would have been able to project force instead of just being a frigate navy for coastal defense. With carrier borne FW 190's or ME 262's I don't think that any swordfish would have gotten close to a German battlegroup. The US Navy would have been fighting carrier wars in all over the planet. Nobody wins a war without being able to dominate the sea an air.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:04 am

Quoting Venus6971 (reply 31):
Nobody wins a war without being able to dominate the sea an air.


All well and true . . . now. Not necessarily then. Aircraft carriers and Naval Aviation were just coming in to their own. Effective tactics and strategy had not yet been clearly established.

Oh sure, the realization of strength in carrier borne air power was obvious, but still too new to be 100% effective - hence the continued building of large scale battlewagons.

Do you think Hitler, other than to satisfy his ego, would have continued to build powerful battlewagons had he fully realized the potential for carrier air power?

Fortunately, the UK and the US pushed forward with it before Hitler.
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UALPHLCS
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RE: Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 7:49 am

ANCFlyer,

In answer to your question, YES. He would have continued to build Battleships.

As I said Hilter's plan for his navy inclued a battleship with 22 in guns. Larger than any battleship afloat. It would have dwarfed the Yamato the largest battleship ever built.

However, there are other cases that shows that Hitler wasn't interested in military effectiveness. The massive siege guns he had built are prime examples. Huge guns that needed 3000 men to operate. Gustav got the job done, but the same resources could have been put into airpower and gotten the same result.

Yes the German navy had plans for a carrier to be launcehed in time for the 1944 deadline Hitler set. But it would have taken a back seat to His Superbattleship.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
GDB
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RE: Would The U. S. Have Joined WW II Without Dec. 7th?

Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:20 am

The only German carrier that was even started (but never completed), the Graf Zeppelin, was to carry navalised ME-109T fighters with JU-87's for strike.

Had Germany started this project sooner, you can bet British Naval aviation would had stopped being so terribly neglected sooner, (for most of the inter war period the RAF controlled the FAA), a Gloster design that looked a lot like the Japanese Zero (complete with radial engine), that lost out to the Hurricane for the RAF, would have made a fine carrier fighter, the Hurricane was quite suitable too, but not really the Spitfire.

As it was, Lend Lease Grumman F4F's as well as some intended for France, wee used.
For strike, US designed carrier aircraft could fit the bill.

Had Graf Zeppelin been completed, you can bet the RN would have harried it as much as the Bismarck was, if not more, or crippled it in port if was forward deployed to Norway, like Tirpitz was.

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