NAV20
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If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:49 pm

This subject came up (rather off-topic) on a thread about two submarines (one British, one French) colliding recently. It produced a very entertaining discussion and I thought that it might be worth starting a discussion on which all the contributors could ‘argue out’ the specific topic.

My own views are as follows:-

1. The simple fact that Britain did not oblige Hitler by surrendering in 1940 meant that Germany (even after being joined by Italy) could not win. The only remaining question was whether Britain and the Empire/Commonwealth could muster enough resources not just to avoid defeat, but to ‘win’ in their own right.

2. One has to assume that Japan would not have entered the War in 1941 – and that, therefore, the United States would have remained ‘neutral’ in military terms – while still providing ‘all aid short of war’ to the UK.

3. BUT, one also has to assume that Hitler would have invaded Russia anyway.

4. So, in late 1942, even without Japanese and US entry into the War, the situation would almost certainly have been that Germany had failed to capture Moscow before the onset of winter, and was having awful trouble around Stalingrad. And that Commonwealth forces had defeated Rommel, the Afrika Korps, and the Italians at Alamein, and were setting about the task of driving them right out of Africa.

5. From then on, seems to me that it comes down to a question of ‘available weapons.’ Britain had begun developing four-engined bombers, capable of carrying up to ten tons of bombs, as far back as 1936; Germany and Italy only had twin-engined ‘tactical’ types. Germany did not have a proper navy – only submarines. By 1942 the Royal Navy had total superiority over Germany and Italy in terms of surface ships, and were also ‘on terms’ with their submarines.

6. In addition, as early as 1941, the British ‘Maud Report’ had established the feasibility of the atomic bomb. And even set out a ‘production plan’ which envisaged production of the weapon by late 1944 or early 1945. As things turned out, once the USA entered the War, the sensible thing was for the USA to develop the new weapon. But the British (having available all the limitless military resources of the Commonwealth and Empire, with no need also to confront Japan) could have done it themselves, if they’d had to.

7. So the War would almost certainly have been a bit longer. The Commonwealth plan for the invasion of Europe would have been different – it would have included knocking Italy out of the War, but would probably have involved an invasion of mainland Europe from the south, in the area of Trieste, and advancing into Germany through Austria, instead of the ‘head-on’ D-Day cross-Channel invasion. But it would still have happened.

8. In the meantime, nothing that Hitler had available would have prevented all the major cities of Germany being reduced to rubble by the RAF.

9. And, finally, by 1946 at the latest, the horror of atomic bombs would have been unleashed on Germany, instead of Japan.

As far as I can see, once Hitler ‘cried off’ invading Britain in 1940, he’d lost the War. Even if Japan and the United States hadn’t joined in, the only remaining questions, from 1941 on, were how much longer it would have taken to defeat him, and how many MORE people would have had to die in the process.

[Edited 2009-02-25 05:50:50]
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baroque
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:03 pm

You might need to set out a few more parameters for "your" war. Hitler might still have been pushed into declaring war due to convoy escort activities by the US in the N Atlantic. The US naval war of pre December 1941 tends to be a bit forgotten in the light of what followed. So if you are assuming there was no war involving the US and Germany, that might not be what would have happened. You would also have to produce a solution to the Japan-US argument over China and the blockade of oil supplies.

I presume you still have development of the RR engined Mustangs and don't forget that the war in the Atlantic depended to a significant extent on the cannon/depth bomb/rocket armed long range Liberators. (I was horrified to find yet another US program last week on our TV on WWII mentioning only the Fortress and totally omitting the Lib.) You would also have to assume some method of the UK being able to pay for the war you envisage. It is true that not having to worry about Japan would have been a great help. Rommel might have been defeated much earlier without the removal of most of the Auk's best units.
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:16 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 1):
You might need to set out a few more parameters for "your" war.

Agree in principle, Baroque. But 'ave an 'eart' - they don't dish out Ph.Ds for A.net posts! Nor do they set 'minimum lengths.' I HAD to stop somewhere!

My central point is, if Japan and the USA had not joined in, would the outcome have been any different?

Quoting Baroque (Reply 1):
I presume you still have development of the RR engined Mustangs

That's a 'hole in one' for me.   The Allison-engined Mustang was an aerodynamic dream, but an engine nightmare - since its supercharger was on the US 'secret list,' and not very effective anyway. It was condemned by the RAF to low-level 'strafing' duties for years - and the USAAF wouldn't even order it. It was the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough that eventually experimented with fitting a Merlin to it - and produced a war-winner.

[Edited 2009-02-25 06:42:12]
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baroque
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:35 pm



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
Agree in principle, Baroque. But 'ave an 'eart' - they don't dish out Ph.Ds for A.net posts! Nor do they set 'minimum lengths.' I HAD to stop somewhere!

Well you did arsk!!! Anyway time you collected your material into a comprehensive thesis!!  angel 

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
My central point is, if Japan and the USA had not joined in, would the outcome have been any different?

Tempting as it is to answer "don't know" I will resist.

Well Russia would still have won, although Stalingrad might have been more painful without boot, not sure if the trucks had made that much difference by late 1942. One disadvantage might have been more pressure on the Arctic convoys - had a cousin on an ex US 4 stack destroyer on some of those and he did not enjoy them!!

Once Russia survives to Citadel, it does not matter much what anyone else does.

As far as damage is concerned, I think you underestimate the quality of the large bombers that were never developed properly by Germany. If you took an He 177 and improved it as much as the Manchester to the Lanc, that would have been awkward!

I do hope that CIGS would have stopped Winnie going for the not-as-soft-as-he-thought underbelly. Thessaloniki was not that good a preview, and attacking from Trieste would have been b awful. S of France easier, but fighting up the Rhone in the absence of being cut off from Normandy would not have been funny either.

I guess points outstanding:

1. What about the money? OK for Russia, they did not have to worry about money, but capitalist UK did.

2. I think the US would have ended up in the war anyway, due to the U-boat campaign. Probably some sort of a repeat of 1917 but not needing the Zimmermann telegram.

Another issue has come to mind, if there had been no US assistance, how would Bletchley Park have gone with the 4 rotor Enigma? Not that it could not have decoded the material, but without the extra bombes from the US would it have been timely enough? Once Colossus got going, OK, but Colossus was a bit late - I think without checking.
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:10 pm



Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
8. In the meantime, nothing that Hitler had available would have prevented all the major cities of Germany being reduced to rubble by the RAF.

Not sure if as much of Germany would have been reduced to rubble as you think, probbly a lot more of the UK would have suffered under German bombing.

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
9. And, finally, by 1946 at the latest, the horror of atomic bombs would have been unleashed on Germany, instead of Japan.

Germany was also researching atomic weapons, who's to say that if the war was prolonged they could have developed it first, plus they had a delivery system in the V2 that was far better than anything the allies had.

The big question you should have asked and that's what would have heppened had Hitler not had a rush of blood to his head and invaded Russia. If he's waited a few years and consolidated what he had already won before attacking Russia and had the US not entered the war the Germans would surely have won.

Read SS GB by Len Deighton or Fatherland by Robert Harries, both good novels set in a world where Germany won the war.
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:45 pm

I disagree. Britain was on the verge of financial collapse at the end of 1941. By early 1942, the British economy would have collapsed, forcing the UK to sue for peace, leaving Hitler a free hand to concntrate on the Soviet Union.

US assistance to Britain, in spite of all the little tricks FDR tried, was required by the neutrality act to be paid for. At the end of 1941, Churchill's correspondence with his cabinet clearly shows that they had just about exhausted the UK's supply of gold and currency - all that was left was hyperinflationary printing of non-backed money. The US wouldn't accept such payment. After the US got into the war, Britain was extended all the credit it needed.

The Soviet Union also benefitted greatly by Lend-Lease, supplying food, aircraft, vehicles, fuel, ammunition and clothing. Considering how desperately close Germany came to defeating the USSR, I think we can be pretty confident that if Germany could have concentrated everything in Russia and without US assistance, it would have been enough to tip the balance in Germany's favor.
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:47 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 3):
Another issue has come to mind, if there had been no US assistance, how would Bletchley Park have gone with the 4 rotor Enigma? Not that it could not have decoded the material, but without the extra bombes from the US would it have been timely enough? Once Colossus got going, OK, but Colossus was a bit late - I think without checking.

Common missconception:

The Bombas were designed to crack German Enigma traffic, which (in form of the three rotor enigma was used for tactical signals by the German Army and Luftwaffe, while the Navy used the four rotor enigma for their signals to and from the U-boats).
The Colossus machine was used for acompletelydifferent set of enciphered signals: Those enciphered by the German Lorentz Geheimschreiber, a telex / chiffring machine, which used a much more difficult to crack code and was used for signals of strategic and diplomatic secrecy.

Jan
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:59 am



Quoting Baroque (Reply 3):
As far as damage is concerned, I think you underestimate the quality of the large bombers that were never developed properly by Germany.



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
Not sure if as much of Germany would have been reduced to rubble as you think, probbly a lot more of the UK would have suffered under German bombing.

Fair to say, Baroque, that one of the main factors contributing to Germany's eventual defeat was Hitler.  Smile He had a blind spot as far as weapons development was concerned. He left the Luftwaffe, in particular, in the position of having to fight the whole war with obsolete aircraft, while he poured all available R & D resources into strategically-useless 'gimmicks' like V1s and V2s.

KiwiRob, I was really stating a fact there - the major German cities were reduced to rubble by war's end. From late 1942 onwards, the RAF was sending regularly sending hundreds of heavy bombers over Germany, two or three times a week - and thanks to efficient target-marking etc. they were finding their targets. By contrast, the Luftwaffe pretty well gave up sending large bomber forces over Britain by the end of 1941 - losses were mounting, particularly to radar-equipped nightfighters, and no evident results were being achieved - and for the rest of the War they mostly sent only single intruder flights, ('nuisance raids' by comparison).



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
Germany was also researching atomic weapons, who's to say that if the war was prolonged they could have developed it first, plus they had a delivery system in the V2 that was far better than anything the allies had.

The fact that the Germans might have been researching the same field was of course the main reason for the Allies developing theirs. But in fact - presumably because Hitler and his gang weren't interested - their research never got far. As to the V2, I'm afraid that you're 'off track' there; it only carried a payload of 2,000lbs. (the WW2 atomic bombs weighed about five tons), and only had a range of about 300 miles. What's more, no-one knew to within about 30 miles where each one would land - the vast majority of those fired actually missed London!  Smile

Quoting Baroque (Reply 3):
What about the money? OK for Russia, they did not have to worry about money, but capitalist UK did.

LendLease - effectively, the US giving Britain, and later Russia, weapons - had been in operation since mid-1941. So money wasn't a problem - it never is in a war, look at Iraq!  Smile

Quoting Baroque (Reply 3):
I think the US would have ended up in the war anyway, due to the U-boat campaign.

That's what many people believe - and it's the ''64-dollar' Question. But the view 'begs the question' of how Roosevelt could have got a declaration of war through Congress without a full-scale act of war like Pearl Harbor. The US Navy had been escorting US ships part of the way across the Atlantic for six months or so, and even occasionally dropping depth-charges as 'warning shots' - but it's hard to see how that could have been built up into a full-blown casus belli?
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:03 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 6):
The Bombas were designed to crack German Enigma traffic, which (in form of the three rotor enigma was used for tactical signals by the German Army and Luftwaffe, while the Navy used the four rotor enigma for their signals to and from the U-boats).
The Colossus machine was used for a completely different set of enciphered signals: Those enciphered by the German Lorentz Geheimschreiber, a telex / chiffring machine, which used a much more difficult to crack code and was used for signals of strategic and diplomatic secrecy.

True but! The four rotor signals were a problem, not so much in getting a solution but rather in getting a timely solution. The extra bombes were a help in that. Colossus was used for later codes simply because by then the earlier ones were solved by other means. Had that not been the case, Colossus would have been used for U-boat signals (I think!). It is always difficult to work out what would have been, but that is the most likely. IIRC the principles of the machine were developed with particular reference to the enigma messages, but it was deliberatly made more flexible - for guess what!!

The real problem would have been burst transmissions. Luckily they were not that important. They were probably soluble, but as it actually happened were not much of a worry. Had they been a concern, would they have been cracked, probably???

I think you are right about the nuclear bomb Nav, the V2 was a bit low in capacity and Hitler managed to stuff up the German work. Then again, it is difficult to know how a UK only program would have developed. Certainly not a usable weapon in 1945. I would point out however that missing by 20 miles would not have been the problem it was with conventional explosives!! Just one nuclear bomb can entirely spoil your day.
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:25 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
Then again, it is difficult to know how a UK only program would have developed. Certainly not a usable weapon in 1945.

Not sure about that, Baroque. The British Maud Committee reported on the feasibilty of the project in mid-1941 - and sent a copy of their draft report to the US 'Uranium Committee.' Among other things, it said:-

".......a plant to produce 2-4 lb (1 kg) per day (or 3 bombs per month) is estimated to cost approximately 95,000,000 pounds, of which sum a considerable proportion would be spent on engineering, requiring labour of the same highly skilled character as is needed for making turbines.

"In spite of this very large expenditure we consider that the destructive effect, both material and moral, is so great that every effort should be made to produce bombs of this kind. As regards the time required, Imperial Chemical Industries after consultation with Dr. Guy of Metropolitan--Vickers, estimate that the material for the first bomb could be ready by the end of 1943. This of course assumes that no major difficulty of an entirely unforeseen character arises. Dr. Ferguson of Woolwich estimates that the time required to work out the method of producing high velocities required for fusing (see paragraph 3) is 1-2 months. As this could be done concurrently with the production of the material no further delay is to be anticipated on this score."


http://www.atomicarchive.com/Docs/Begin/MAUD.shtml

However, nothing much happened after that - until General Groves was appointed to run the Manhattan Project in September 1942. The issue was simply not pressed. Enter at this point an Australian working in Cambridge, Mark Oliphant, who was a leading figure on the Maud Committee:-

"Britain was at war and felt an atomic bomb was urgent; there was less urgency in the USA. Mark Oliphant was one of the people who pushed the American programme into action. Oliphant flew to the United States in late August 1941 in an unheated bomber, ostensibly to discuss the radar programme but was actually tasked to find out why the United States was ignoring the Maud Committee's findings. Oliphant said that "the minutes and reports had been sent to Lyman Briggs, who was the Director of the Uranium Committee, and we were puzzled to receive virtually no comment. I called on Briggs in Washington, only to find out that this inarticulate and unimpressive man had put the reports in his safe and had not shown them to members of his committee. I was amazed and distressed."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Oliphant

Even then, though, the issue meandered on through the Washington (and London) 'committee-doms,' and the only work carried out on either side of the Atlantic seems to have been leisurely laboratory work aimed at deciding on the best methods - like a 'gun' bomb or an 'implosion' type, enrichment by centrifuges or gaseous diffusion, etc.

Just a personal fancy of mine, but I think that Einstein, who first informed Roosevelt of the feasibility of an atomic bomb, actually made a mistake in his August 1939 letter on the subject! A key paragraph read:-

"A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory. However, such bombs might very well prove to be too heavy for transportation by air."

http://hypertextbook.com/eworld/einstein.shtml

At a guess, neither Einstein nor the Americans knew in 1939 that the British were already developing bombers that could carry five tons or more. And they therefore expected the bomb's use to be restricted to that of a shipborne 'port-destroyer' (presumably delivered by a suicide crew  ).

This even after 'Maud' had reported, as early as mid-1941, "The weight of this gun will of course greatly exceed the weight of the bomb itself, but should not be more than I ton, and it would certainly be within the carrying capacity of a modern bomber."

'Maud' also made three vital 'judgment calls' in its report. It said firstly that a relatively-simple 'gun' bomb, a uranium bomb, would be sufficient; secondly that the best method of enrichment would be 'gaseous diffusion'; and thirdly that a rate of production of only 2-3 bombs per month was all that could be aimed for.

When Groves took over the arguments about the 'best way forward' were still raging. He 'solved' the problem by saying, effectively, "Do it all ways at once, and we'll decide which is the best way later!" That's why both a uranium bomb and a plutonium bomb ('Little Boy' and Fat Man') were used on Japan. He also wanted 'volume' - I believe that when the Japanese surrendered there were something like 30 nukes in course of production.

Obviously Groves eventually succeeded. But his approach required the formation of a massive team and a mindbending amount of construction and processing - all of which would have cost time. So it remains open to doubt as to whether the Maud Committee's 'targeted' approach - metaphorically aiming a rifle at their chosen target, rather than using a shotgun as Groves did - might have yielded 'adequate' results sooner than Groves' approach did?

Especially if development of the bomb had started in mid-1941, instead of late 1942 when Groves was appointed.

[Edited 2009-02-25 21:31:06]
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:58 pm



Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
1. The simple fact that Britain did not oblige Hitler by surrendering in 1940 meant that Germany (even after being joined by Italy) could not win. The only remaining question was whether Britain and the Empire/Commonwealth could muster enough resources not just to avoid defeat, but to ‘win’ in their own right.

I highly doubt it. I think that the amount of resurces needed from the US would have Germany declare war on us anyways. The U-Boats would still be roaming the Atlantic coast to try and stop this flow and bringing the US into the war

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
. BUT, one also has to assume that Hitler would have invaded Russia anyway.

What was he thinking??

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
the situation would almost certainly have been that Germany had failed to capture Moscow before the onset of winter, and was having awful trouble around Stalingrad.

Without the US in the war I doubt that the UK could of kept up any pressure in the MED and espesially Italy. ANd ther would be no threat of a major invasion on the Atlantic Coast. These two circumstances would have allowed the Germans to keep many more troops and Aircraft on the Eastern front. How long they could off stood up to the Russians no one will know. But the odds of a stalemate and causing Russia and the UK to collapse from lack of funds I think is feasable causing a peace with Germany still occupying a large chunk off Europe.

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
And that Commonwealth forces had defeated Rommel, the Afrika Korps, and the Italians at Alamein, and were setting about the task of driving them right out of Africa.

It took the help of the Americans to do that

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
Britain had begun developing four-engined bombers, capable of carrying up to ten tons of bombs, as far back as 1936

Without the 8th and the around the clock bombing the Germans could off concentrated more on the British night bombing. They had the Tech coming on line to do more damage to the bombers at night. Also without the threat of Invasion in the Med theye could off kept more assets in france to counter the Brits.

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
Germany did not have a proper navy – only submarines

I do not see how the AMericans would not be drawn into the war with them still involved in Lend-Lease. The german navy would have to attack the merchants and drag the US into the conflict. The German Navy was not prepared for this conflict.

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
the British ‘Maud Report’ had established the feasibility of the atomic bomb. And even set out a ‘production plan’ which envisaged production of the weapon by late 1944 or early 1945. As things turned out, once the USA entered the War, the sensible thing was for the USA to develop the new weapon

I highly doubt that the UK would have had the Money to fight the war and do large projects like this. I think they had the brainpower for it but as far as the funding???

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
8. In the meantime, nothing that Hitler had available would have prevented all the major cities of Germany being reduced to rubble by the RAF.

Once again without the 8th Airforce the English would have had a hard time alone. Even with the 8th and around the clock bombing the airmen took terrible losses. I would call this portion a tossup without the US

Quoting Baroque (Reply 1):
that might not be what would have happened. You would also have to produce a solution to the Japan-US argument over China and the blockade of oil supplies.

WIth Japan not at war with the US they would still have been aggressive against their Asian neighbors thus keeping the Commonwealth tied down there. Stopping the sending off these resources to the UK

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 5):
I disagree. Britain was on the verge of financial collapse at the end of 1941. By early 1942, the British economy would have collapsed, forcing the UK to sue for peace, leaving Hitler a free hand to concntrate on the Soviet Union.

Without the outright financing by the US I have to agree with dreadnought. Financailly I do not think they could off gone it alone. And after WWI and the WWII so far they just did not have the manpower left to carry on alone. Especially the manpower and material for a cross cahannel invasionThe odds are you would off ended up with the Russians waving across the channel looking at the White Cliffs of Dover.

Do not take me wrong. I love England and the British people and am a big fan of Churchill but I do not think they had the manpower or cash to do this without the full involvement of the US. The best they could off done was to keep the Germans occupied while the Russians biult up. The Brits would have to be the Anvil to the Russian Hammer to win this or even cause a stalemate. And they would off have to tely on a ton off aid from the US.

Good topic though.
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:03 pm

One more "what if"

What would have happened it Hitler had listened to his Army commanders instead of Goering at Dunkirk. Would the loss of manpower have caused the Brits to sign a deal?? And if not would they have the manpower left to be any real threat for a long period of time?
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:09 pm



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 11):
What would have happened it Hitler had listened to his Army commanders instead of Goering at Dunkirk. Would the loss of manpower have caused the Brits to sign a deal?? And if not would they have the manpower left to be any real threat for a long period of time?

Possibly Arras again would have happened assuming the British had enough ammunition.
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:46 pm

Well here's a few more things to consider:

1) without the 8th Airforce daylight bombing of German infrastructure would the Germans of had enough panzers and ammunition to keep the Soviets back. The RAF campaign was much rougher and less effective until round the clock raids began with the Americans.

2) The Barbarossa campaign did not really come apart until the Battle of Kursk. If the Germans had been able to come back fighting in the long summer of 43 they might well of pushed the Soviets back to the Urals and then been able to wear down their manufacturing.. or at least taken Moscow and Leningrad and been in a position to hold out against the Soviets in 3 major cities (Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad) which would of pretty much drained Soviet manpower to 0... 1 city did a very good job of keeping alot of the Soviet army bottled up for a long time, 3 would of been the end of them, they would of had to cut and run. And once the Germans had pushed them back to the Urals they could of launched bombing raids even with the smaller bombers they had quite effectively... at least enough to keep the Soviets off balance and deplete them to the point of collapse... East of the Urals most of the Soviet food supply would of been cut off, along with much of their resource refining (see Steel mills and the like). Factories are easy to move, foundries not so much.

3) American sentiment in the early 40s didn't swing hard against Hitler until December 7th, so one more factor is would Roosevelt of been able to keep sending help to Britain (and the Soviets... P39s anyone?) without very visible capital coming back.

and 4) The Germans may well of gotten an a-bomb 1st without the US bombing campaign and the well funded Manhattan Project... and that would of been the end for both the Soviets and the British (odds are Hitler would of used it against Stalin and Churchill would of had to sue for peace).
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:35 pm

Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
The U-Boats would still be roaming the Atlantic coast to try and stop this flow and bringing the US into the war

Immediately after the USA entered the War, Windy95, the situation was the exact reverse of that. The US Navy had virtually no expertise or equipment for dealing with submarines - and there was an absolute massacre of American shipping on the Eastern Seaboard in the first half of 1942, subsequently christened 'the U-boat Paradise.' The first act of the British and Canadian Navies, after America's entry into the War, had to be to transfer no less than 40 badly-needed escorts to protect US Atlantic shipping. Well-documented here:-

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
And that Commonwealth forces had defeated Rommel, the Afrika Korps, and the Italians at Alamein, and were setting about the task of driving them right out of Africa.

It took the help of the Americans to do that

Over-simplification, Windy95. Rommel was comprehensively defeated at Alam Halfa and Alamein, weeks before the Torch landings. The key was to prevent him from capturing the Suez Canal. Arguably, 'Torch' was unnecessary - that part of North Africa had next to no strategic relevance, and had Rommel been left to himself he would probably have withdrawn his forces in any event. 'Torch' only really happened because both Roosevelt and Churchill wanted US forces to 'get their feet wet' before the end of 1942.

Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
Once again without the 8th Airforce the English would have had a hard time alone. Even with the 8th and around the clock bombing the airmen took terrible losses. I would call this portion a tossup without the US

Daylight bombing of Germany was simply not practical until 1944. The 8th. Air Force did not start bombing Germany in earnest until 1944. Throughout 1942 (starting in July of that year) they only bombed targets in France and the Low Countries. It was January 1943 before they attacked Germany proper, and that was only Wilhelmshaven, right on the coast. Later in 1943 they tried to bomb targets deep into Germany - but losses were dreadful, culminating in the two disastrous raids on Schweinfurt (50 bombers lost on each). After that, the USAAF had no option but to suspend operations over Germany until January 1944, when enough Merlin-engined Mustangs, capable of escorting the bombers all the way to Germany, had been delivered to Europe.

Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
And after WWI and the WWII so far they just did not have the manpower left to carry on alone. Especially the manpower and material for a cross cahannel invasion

You have to bear in mind that we're not just talking about 'Britain,' but about Britain PLUS the Commonwealth and Empire. Britain had an almost unlimited supply of manpower, far exceeding that of Germany. And, had they not had to fight the Japanese as well, in Malaya, Burma, India, and the Pacific, all those resources could have been applied to defeating Hitler and Mussolini.

In point of fact, as to the D-Day landings, two out of every six soldiers who landed on 6th. June 1944 were American; three were British; and one was Canadian. It was August 1944 before more US forces than British/Commonwealth ones were 'in contact with the enemy' in France and Italy.

Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
Do not take me wrong. I love England and the British people and am a big fan of Churchill

Don't get me wrong either. I love the United States and its people in my turn. But I get tired of people in the USA saying, 'We saved Europe'; and also people in Germany saying, 'We'd have won if the Americans hadn't joined in' (yes, years back I had people say that to me to my face); and especially Russians who reckoned that they 'saved Europe,' when they'd actually helped Hitler invade Poland, and later used WW2 to enslave most of the continent that they were supposed to have 'saved'........

Truth is, we were all in it together - and thankfully, in the end, the 'good guys' won. 'Sort of,' anyway......  

[Edited 2009-02-26 07:42:15]
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GDB
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have W

Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:40 pm

It might have hung on just how much FDR valued Nazi Germany not knocking the UK out of the war, US involvement or not.
If he could argue, even with the US staying out, that it was in the long term security interests of the US to continue to aid the UK, (which it was), then a way to continue aid might well have been found.
He did not want Germany to win in Russia, a result of which could well have been allowing Hitler to dust off his ideas for his grand 'Z-Plan,' to transform Germany into a major globe spanning naval power by the late 1940's.

With a still uneasy relationship with Japan, who was an Axis power, this could seriously threaten the security of the US in time.

Though much of the scientific brains were there, it is very hard to see wartime Britain having the industrial resources to commit to a Commonwealth version of the Manhattan Project, it being as massive exercise well beyond Los Alamos.
Remember, the UK was totally a war economy, far more than Germany was (until it was too late for them).
Even after many women joined the services, worked in factories and on the land, it was still not enough, so conscription of women into these areas started in Dec 1941.
Something unimaginable in Nazi Germany then.

It is also impossible to imagine Churchill ever suing for peace, though he was not immune to Parliamentary censure, while the general election due by 1940 was suspended by the forming of his coalition government, by-elections were fought, the coalition did not always win. But these were usually reactions to defeats, like losing Tobruk.
The general mood was more supportive.
Not only Winnie either, it's pretty hard to imagine other leading Coalition government members ever suing for peace either, not Ernie Bevin, not even the seemingly mild mannered deputy PM, Atlee.

If it took a kind of martial law to carry on, so be it.
They were in too deep by then.

To the question 'who would have won', it might well have been, in the end, Stalin.
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:47 pm

The US

Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
Without the US in the war



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
I think that the amount of resurces needed from the US



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
Without the US in the war I doubt that the UK could of kept up any pressure in the MED and espesially Italy.



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
It took the help of the Americans to do that



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
I would call this portion a tossup without the US



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
Without the outright financing by the US



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
And they would off have to tely on a ton off aid from the US.

The question is, would the US even exist without the intervention of the French and Spanish?  duck 
 
AGM100
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:42 am

Good thread , interesting.

I have always wondered how it would have been if Japan had been able to capture and fortify PH. If Japan had held us of from gaining our early footholds in the SP islands by forcing us to waste time invading PH it may have given them more time. More time to build there fleet and further reinforce Saipan , Guam, Tinian, Iwo etc.

Could the Japanese sustain a occupation force and defense of PH is the question I guess.
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:49 am



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 17):
I have always wondered how it would have been if Japan had been able to capture and fortify PH. If Japan had held us of from gaining our early footholds in the SP islands by forcing us to waste time invading PH it may have given them more time. More time to build there fleet and further reinforce Saipan , Guam, Tinian, Iwo etc.

Time was the last thing Japan needed. Once the US industrial capability was woken up, they were cranking out a new aircraft carrier every few weeks, not to mention tanks, planes and guns by the tens of thousands. Once the US refused to surrender in the first 6-7 months, it was all over but the fat lady. Even Adm. Yamamoto knew that.
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:05 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 17):
Good thread , interesting.

I have always wondered how it would have been if Japan had been able to capture and fortify PH.

Cheers, AGM100!  Smile

I don't think that Japan ever considered capturing Hawaii. That woud heve required a lot of soldiers, and even they didn't have unlimited supplies of those. Japan's objectives were to secure the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and their oil; Malaya and its rubber; and much of the rest of South-East Asia, for the food and raw materials it offered. Thus leaving it independent and powerful enough to defy the rest of the world and continue its conquest of China.

The intention of the simultaneous attacks on Pearl Harbor, Singapore, the Philippines, and Hong Kong was to knock out the sea power of the only two nations who could stop them achieving that aim - the USA and Britain. Sea power being everything in that region, given that it's mostly sea......  Smile

Going on from there:-

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 18):
Once the US refused to surrender in the first 6-7 months, it was all over but the fat lady. Even Adm. Yamamoto knew that.

Absolutely - Yamamoto only promised the Japanese junta 18 months of 'local superiority,' in which they should either negotiate a peace deal, or face defeat. The junta appears to have gone beyond that - reasoning that the USA was too 'soft' to fight, that it wouldn't face the bloodshed involved in driving the 'Imperial' forces back across the Pacific.

Oddly enough, I think that Hitler felt the same way - that the British, with their army driven out of Europe, their cities being bombed, and the U-boats sinking ther supply ships, would also 'fold' and do a deal.

Churchill again - the man who caught the spirit of the times - to the House of Commons in 1940:-

"Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender......."

http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=393

And writing on how he felt going to bed the night after Pearl Harbor:-

"Silly people -- and there were many, not only in enemy countries -- might discount the force of the United States. Some said they were soft, others that they would never be united. They would fool around at a distance. They would never come to grips. They would never stand blood-letting. Their democracy and system of recurrent elections would paralyze their war effort. They would be just a vague blur on the horizon to friend or foe. Now we should see the weakness of this numerous but remote, wealthy, and talkative people. But I had studied the American Civil War, fought to the last desperate inch. American blood flowed in my veins. I thought of a remark which Edward Grey had made to me more than thirty years before -- that the United States is like "a gigantic boiler. Once the fire is lighted under it there is no limit to the power it can generate". Being saturated and satiated with emotion and sensation, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful."

http://www.courts.fsnet.co.uk/wsc11sept.htm
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AGM100
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:56 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 18):
Time was the last thing Japan needed.

True enough , Attacking PH was a huge error for sure. I recently read Sea of Thunder, again I was amazed at Japans lack of strategic planning and strategic intelligence. I guess it is another of history's "what were they thinking?" items.. I am not a military planner , but I think I would have assumed the US would rebuild its fleet and ."come after me " .

Like my brother says ... you have not won until a Marine is standing on the ground .. Japan should have considered holding Hawaii .. if they could not, then the bad idea may have become apparent to them. Planning a hit and run air raid is of course much much different than a occupational landing .

Interesting the personalities within the Japanese admiralty , No offense but not the brightest lighthouses were they?. Of course they had extreme political pressure on them as well.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 19):
I don't think that Japan ever considered capturing Hawaii.

I guess they should have , then they may have seen the follies of there planning. I am positive that they could never have held Hawaii much past say Sept of 42 maybe and by then the Axis powers were starting to shrink. The deal was done for Japan .. no question.
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:05 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 20):
Interesting the personalities within the Japanese admiralty , No offense but not the brightest lighthouses were they?.

Bright enough to do remarkably well at Guadalcanal bearing in mind the US had ground air close at hand.

If they had used their subs better, they might have been able to hang on the PH - assuming they took it in the first place. In any event Y told them what would happen, so you cannot say he was not the brightest lighthouse. One might also wonder if he was not so sharp why the US bothered to ambush him?
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:26 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 21):
If they had used their subs better,

Yes like maintaining a submarine recon picket around PH would have helped. Why didn't they ? Could they not support them that far from port?

The error of missing the US carrier battle group leaving PH on its way to Midway proved a disaster. Goes back to strategic intelligence I guess ... they just assumed the US fleet did not make PH at that point.
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:39 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 22):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 21):
If they had used their subs better,

Yes like maintaining a submarine recon picket around PH would have helped. Why didn't they ? Could they not support them that far from port?

One comment commonly made is that they were very keen on fancy missions such as launching midget subs into Sydney Harbour, they had less time for more mundane activities such as recon or sinking the enemy's warships!! They did sink the odd carrier at inconvenient moments and accounted for the Indianapolis one journey too late for their own good. Maybe the Ward gave them too much of a fright on Day 1 although that was only another midget sub. One of the great what ifs.

Then again if US torpedoes had been effective in the first nearly two years of the war well who knows!!! But a decimated Japanese navy and merchant fleet a heck of a lot earlier, as in some time in 1943! What a difference that would have made.
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:44 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 23):
very keen on fancy missions

I assume to impress the emperor with "victories" instead of the mundane grinding war fighting eh?

Are you referring to sub launched torpedoes Klaus ? I did not know that it was a problem .
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:30 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 24):
Are you referring to sub launched torpedoes Klaus ? I did not know that it was a problem .

Both the sub torpedoes and the surface ship torps were close to useless until Sept 1943.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_14_torpedo

Set out in Wiki, but Blair published the scandal many many years ago. First they ran deep by about 10' which would have prevented the "preferred" mag exploders from working. Then the back up contact pistol concertina-ed with a square hit so the farcical first fix was to suggest firing only glancing shots when the pistol was not so stressed and would function.

Reason, the torpedoes had not been properly tested. Wiki does not quite agree with the stuff up but in general it is about right. And they had sub commanders swearing on a stack of bibles that they saw the hits and no explosions. There must have been an awful lot of Japanese sailors getting ready for the explosion and then going "Ahhh" as the torp bounced off. Mind you it would have been an unpleasant shock after Sept 43 when they started going "bang".

The persona involved were fascinating. Fife and Lockwood. Those who should have tested them and those who would not believe the sub commanders should have been .......... Well read Wiki and if interested read Blair - SIlent Victory.
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:50 pm

I´m convinced that Japan and Germany still would´ve declared war on the US and Japan would´ve lost earlier in WW2 (maybe the atomic bombs wouldn´t been used).
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PSA727
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:30 pm

I think this hypothesis is flawed to begin with. Japan was already at war in December 1941, just not with the U.S. And Hitler had already invaded Russia by the time of Pearl Harbor. I do believe that Japan would have made advances into Russia from the east had it not been drawn into combat with the U.S. All in all, what probably would have happened in Europe would have been a German occupation and dominance of continental Europe, similar to what existed in Eastern Europe by the Soviets at the end of the war. And the Russian campaign probably would have ended in a stalemate.
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:41 am

Quoting PSA727 (Reply 27):
Japan was already at war in December 1941, just not with the U.S. And Hitler had already invaded Russia by the time of Pearl Harbor. I do believe that Japan would have made advances into Russia from the east had it not been drawn into combat with the U.S.

Don't follow that, PSA727? Japan was not involved in WW2 until Pearl Harbor, when it attacked the USA and Britain simultaneously, in December 1941. Japan never declared war on Russia. Nor did Russia do anything to help the other allies in the Far East. Stalin only declared war on Japan on 8th. August 1945 - two days after the Hiroshima A-bomb - in a vain attempt to get himself a 'seat at the table' and a share in the postwar occupation of Japan.

Quoting PSA727 (Reply 27):
All in all, what probably would have happened in Europe would have been a German occupation and dominance of continental Europe,

That was certainly the situation up to 1944. But the question is, how long could Germany have kept it up? In the first place, all these 'enterprises' - resisting the British in Africa, invading Russia on a front of more than a thousand miles, and occupying most of Western Europe in face of increasingly-active resistance movements (particularly in places like the Balkans and Greece) - required literally millions of soldiers.

The other issue was 'supply.' Much has been recorded about the U-boat blockade of Britain, but that never completely cut off Britain's supplies. Conversely, the Royal Navy's blockade of Germany was almost total. Until 1941 Hitler had been free to import food and raw materials from Russia - but the attack on Russia shut off that source. What's more, Stalin ordered Russian forces to operate a 'scorched earth' policy - destroying all food and raw material stocks, and all production facilities, as they retreated.

From 1941 on, Germany faced crippling shortages of virtually everything - not just raw materials and oil, but food as well. Even if Japan had not entered the war, in my opinion that situation (and the increasing scale of RAF bombing) would vastly have weakened Germany's ability to resist.

[Edited 2009-02-27 16:45:32]
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:36 am

British 'typical' divisions raised WW2, approx,

Armoured: 11 Raised, 6 saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 36 Raised, 23 saw Combat/Service
Cavalry: 1 Raised, 1 saw Combat/Service
Airborne: 2 Riased, 2 saw Combat/Service

Colonial (African) Infantry: 5 Raised, 5 saw Combat/Service

South Africa :Armoured: 2 Raised, 1 saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 3 Raised, 2 saw Combat/Service

Canada :Armoured: 2 Raised, 2 saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 7 Raised, 3+ saw Combat/Service

NZ: Infantry: 5 Raised, 2 saw Combat/Service

Australia :Armoured: 3 Formed, part of 1 after redesignation saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 11 Raised, 7 saw Combat/Service

India :Armoured: 3 Raised, 1-2 saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 20 Raised, 19 saw Combat/Service
Airborne: 1 Raised

Don't know if these figures are right, but looks like 112 divisions raised by the 'British Empire' with about 76 seeing service compared to

US divisions There were 16 Armored Divisions and 73 Infantry Divisions (that includes the 1st Cavalry Division) for a total of 89 Divisions. Every division was deployed overseas and only two did not see combat.

Compared to German divisions 761.
Germany raised about 761 divisions during the war, about 670 army, 48 Waffen SS, 40 Luftwaffe, and 3 Navy. A great many “divisions” were raised during the closing weeks of Hitler’s Gotterdammerung, few of which had very many troops. About 110 of these were destroyed in action and fully 173, virtually all army, were disbanded due to severe losses.

Compared to Soviet strength June 1941, the Red Army's ground forces had 303 divisions and 22 brigades, 1 August 1941, despite the loss of 46 divisions in combat, the Red Army's strength stood at 401 divisions. Soviets raised approx 550 divisions during WW2, many of them reformed time and again after their destruction.
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:19 am

Looks about right, CALTECH - except that German 'divisions,' in particular, tended to be very under-strength, particularly late in the War; but were still called 'divisions,' presumably in order to 'confuse the enemy.'

Could work the other way, though. At the battle of Bardia in North Africa in 1940, the infantry (mainly Australian and Indian) reached the coast road and cut the Italians off. A harassed British cavalry subaltern with only a troop of say three armoured cars had an entire Italian division surrender to him.

He radioed in for reinforcements but his HQ kept asking him how many prisoners there were. Eventually, he replied that he didn't have enough men to count them, but that there were "...about five acres of officers and two hundred acres of other ranks...."

Obviously a lad 'from the shires.'  Smile
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have W

Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:12 am

By 1944/45, a German 'division' was rarely anything of the sort.
Recalling Hitler's deluded sweeping of the maps in his bunker, insisting on attacks here and there, with these formations often being barely functional in any way, with numbers, equipment, fuel, ammo etc.

Interestingly, throughout the war, the German Armies were more reliant still on horse drawn transport in their supply chains.
(Maybe German industry, typically, built very good vehicles, but never anything like enough of them. Whilst the Russian Army got great use of trucks supplied by the Allies, particularly the mass produced American ones).

But them again, which were the better tanks, the US Sherman or the German Panthers and Tigers? The German ones, by a considerable margin, but they were much more difficult to mass produce. While the Russians got the best of both worlds with the T-34.
(The best Sherman was the one up-gunned with the British 17 pounder gun, superior to the base 75mm one).
I think the above illustrates rather well the various contributions from the Allies!
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:20 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 15):
It is also impossible to imagine Churchill ever suing for peace, though he was not immune to Parliamentary censure, while the general election due by 1940 was suspended by the forming of his coalition government, by-elections were fought, the coalition did not always win.

But, GDB, there is the document in the British Museum, "Framework for a Negotiated Armistice", drafted in June 1940 between representatives of the Reich and HM Government in Stockholm. I do not know if this was a genuine initiative by the British to negotiate a peace agreement, or something to play for time after Dunkirk.

I have sometimes wondered if the time frame of the negotiations in Stockholm (mid-June), and the topic (surrender, effectively), formed the basis of Len Deighton's terrific novel "XPD", which played out the historic aftermath of same, with a slight twist.
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have W

Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:11 pm

The Foreign Office would have looked at all contingencies, it's also quite probable that document had it's genesis when it was expected by most, that Lord Halifax would take over from Chamberlain. (Who, aside from the loss of his political authority, was dying of cancer).
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:56 pm

Nav,
The biggest problem with this scenario that you have laid out is that it completely ignores the fact that the U.S. and Japan would have eventually come into conflict in the Pacific. Either directly (PH, philippines) or indirectly (an attack on australia).

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 18):
Even Adm. Yamamoto knew that

Wasn't he the one who said "i fear we have woken up a sleeping giant," or am I getting my historical facts mixed up with a Michael Bay movie?

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 17):
Could the Japanese sustain a occupation force and defense of PH is the question I guess



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 19):
I don't think that Japan ever considered capturing Hawaii. That woud heve required a lot of soldiers, and even they didn't have unlimited supplies of those. Japan's objectives were to secure the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and their oil;

They never did, nor would they want to. With the exception of strategic airfields and harbor, Hawaii offered nothing. It was way too distant from Japanese supply lines, and too close to the mainland U.S.--it would have been extremely vulnerable to a counterattack. Japanese military resources could be spent better elsewhere.

To add a condition to your hypothetical, what would have happened if the Pearl attack had achieved its full purpose, and taken out both the fuel storage facility and the pacific fleet carriers?
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:06 pm



Quoting Us330 (Reply 34):
Wasn't he the one who said "i fear we have woken up a sleeping giant," or am I getting my historical facts mixed up with a Michael Bay movie?

The actual quote was "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." The quote is attributed to a letter Yamamoto wrote in 1943 to the Admiralty in Tokyo.
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:53 am



Quoting Us330 (Reply 34):
The biggest problem with this scenario that you have laid out is that it completely ignores the fact that the U.S. and Japan would have eventually come into conflict in the Pacific. Either directly (PH, philippines) or indirectly (an attack on australia).

I think that's what most people think, Us330 - that eventual US involvement was inevitable. But it's perfectly clear that Roosevelt would have gone to war in 1940, if he'd been free to do so. But he'd have had to convince Congress - and I simply can't see how he could have done that without a clearcut event that made it essential for America to fight. Majorities in both houses in favour of entering a world war (at that time, a largely European one) is not the sort of thing you could achieve by a bit of West-Wing-style pork-barrelling.  Smile

Quoting Us330 (Reply 34):
To add a condition to your hypothetical, what would have happened if the Pearl attack had achieved its full purpose, and taken out both the fuel storage facility and the pacific fleet carriers?

I think it would have prolonged the Pacific War, but not changed the outcome. Cetainly the fact that the US carriers were unharmed helped the USA kick off hard and on the right foot - and the loss of the Japanese carriers at Midway ended any chance Japan might have had of winning. But the USA would have built more carriers; and Britain, which had quite a few by then, could probably have provided a couple to bridge the gap (Lend-Lease in reverse  Smile).

In point of fact, the Japanese offensive was in two stages. At first they largely planned only on grabbing Indonesia and Malaya to extend their 'co-prosperity sphere,' plus enough Pacific bases to defend it. But that first phase was so easy, and so quick, that they began thinking in terms of Burma, India, and even perhaps Australia. That was their undoing - once they'd grabbed such a huge amount of territory, they were never going to have the forces to defend it.

On the specific case of attacking Australia, they wouldn't have got very far - or rather, they might have got a long way, but only captured a huge area of 'nothingness.' To invade Oz, they would only have had two options. Either they would have had to land on the northern coast - and be faced with having to cross up to 2,000 miles of largely-waterless desert before they got anywhere near the centres of population; or they'd have had to land in the south-east corner, which would have stretched their lines of communication from 'incredibly-long' to 'impossibly-long.'
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:03 am

Further, regarding 'Lend-Lease in reverse,' I discover that by war's end the British Pacific Fleet comprised "17 aircraft carriers (with 300 aircraft, about 25% of the total Allied air strength), four battleships, 10 cruisers, 40 destroyers, 18 sloops, 13 frigates, 35 minesweepers....."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Pacific_Fleet
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GDB
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:53 am

Interesting link about the BPF, a slight jarring note with USN Admiral King's presence, him who enabled the second U-Boat 'happy time'.

Also that though the RN carriers armoured decks, famously more resistant to Kamikaze attacks (though at the cost of smaller hangars and aircraft complements), the structural damage rendered them unfit for post war use.
But then the armored decks were a result of expecting pre war, to be much more in range of land based attacking aircraft, in the Mediterranean.
 
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:15 am



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 36):
To invade Oz, they would only have had two options. Either they would have had to land on the northern coast - and be faced with having to cross up to 2,000 miles of largely-waterless desert before they got anywhere near the centres of population; or they'd have had to land in the south-east corner, which would have stretched their lines of communication from 'incredibly-long' to 'impossibly-long.'

In storage I have photos of Japanese invasion maps detailing the Whitsunday coast of Queensland.
If I was not in the process of finding a new home and moving I would search for these and post them for those interested.
The maps were inside a Japanese bunker in Rabaul so are likely no longer accessible.

Cheers
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
cairo
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:46 pm

Germany was defeated by Russia.

The western front, the western allies, etc... were more of a sideshow.

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
once Hitler ‘cried off’ invading Britain in 1940, he’d lost the War. Even if Japan and the United States hadn’t joined in, the only remaining questions, from 1941 on, were how much longer it would have taken to defeat him,

Agree with you that the US and Japan were not pivotal to the eventual outcome in Europe, but it was Hitler's attack on Russia that sealed his fate, not really his decision not to invade Britain.

Assuming Lend-Lease and other help stayed in place to Russia and the UK, (probably would have even increased dramtically), the Soviets and Britain alone would have defeated Hitler.

...of course, the US would not have become a superpower and this brings up the whole spectre of a post WW2 world dominated entirely by the USSR.

Cairo
 
baroque
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:22 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 3):
Well Russia would still have won, although Stalingrad might have been more painful without boot, not sure if the trucks had made that much difference by late 1942. One disadvantage might have been more pressure on the Arctic convoys - had a cousin on an ex US 4 stack destroyer on some of those and he did not enjoy them!!

Once Russia survives to Citadel, it does not matter much what anyone else does.

As far as damage is concerned, I think you underestimate the quality of the large bombers that were never developed properly by Germany. If you took an He 177 and improved it as much as the Manchester to the Lanc, that would have been awkward!



Quoting Cairo (Reply 40):
Germany was defeated by Russia.

We agree there.

And to add to the ifs.
The He 177 A-5 had a combat radius of 960 miles and a top speed of 350 mph @ 21,000'. Bomb load of 7,200 kg (15,873 lb). Less range but faster and higher ceiling than the Lanc. If they had fixed the engines, both Russia and the UK might have had a more miserable time of it. I wonder in a contest was run between the RR Vulture and the DB 610 which would have come out worst!!
 
PSA727
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:01 am



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 28):
Don't follow that, PSA727? Japan was not involved in WW2 until Pearl Harbor, when it attacked the USA and Britain simultaneously, in December 1941. Japan never declared war on Russia. Nor did Russia do anything to help the other allies in the Far East. Stalin only declared war on Japan on 8th. August 1945 - two days after the Hiroshima A-bomb - in a vain attempt to get himself a 'seat at the table' and a share in the postwar occupation of Japan.

There's probably millions of Chinese who might argue differently. In fact, prior to the U.S. entry into WWII, there were American "missionary" pilots fighting with the Chinese against the Japanese. I'm not sure exactly when Japan invaded Korea, but I thought that it was also prior to Dec 7, 1941.

However, you can't put out a hypothesis and then use actual events that happened after your intial timeline to say "this wouldn't have happened because by 1944/1945...." The actual events that happened in 1944 are direct results of what happened prior to 1944. It's called chain of events, and they are all linked together.
fly high, pay low...Germanwings!
 
NAV20
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:35 am

Had a look at the He177, Baroque, and (as you imply by mentioning the R/R Vulture engine) it had a lot in common with the Avro Manchester.

The logic of two super-powerful engines (in the He177's case, actually two engines in one nacelle) being better than four ordinary ones - thus resulting in less weight, less drag, and better manouevrability) couldn't be faulted. The first snag being that such exotic new engines were unreliable; the second being that if you lost one engine out of four you had a chance of getting home on three, whereas with only one left you were going nowhere......

The difference was that Avro in Britain realised their mistake, reverted to four Merlins, and produced the best bomber of the War, the Lancaster. Heinkel persisted right through the War in trying to make the 177 work......

In any case, even if they'd managed to make it reliable, the evidence is that it would have been impossible for the Luftwaffe to carry out mass raids on Britain to match those being carried out by the RAF (and later the USAAF) on Germany.

In the 'Baby Blitz' in early 1944 the Germans assembled a force of some 550 bombers, including 45 He177s, to try to do just that. The campaign failed for three reasons:-

1. The target-marking was inadequate, so very few of the bombs landed on target.

2. The RAF had plenty of radar-equipped Mosquito nightfighters and the Army had plenty of radar-equipped AA guns.

3. The crews were inexperienced at night-flying and the airfields used were inadequately constructed and lit, resuting in many crashes on landing.

The effort petered out after only a few raids. The first raid was almost completely ineffective, and accuracy didn't improve much even later on.

"Considering the number of aircraft involved in the double attack, the capital sustained remarkably little damage. The civil defence organisation logged 245 incidents of bomb damage reported, but only 44 of those occurred in the London area. The rest were in Kent, Sussex and Essex."

Losses were very heavy - around 60% of the force by the end of the campaign:-

"Air raid casualties in Britain during the first five months of 1944 totalled 1,556 killed, with 2,916 seriously injured. During the five months of Operation Steinbock, the Luftwaffe lost about 330 bombers and crews. Thus, for every five people killed on the ground, the raiders lost one bomber and four trained crewmen killed or captured."

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/features/the_baby_blitz-1.php
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
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fraspotter
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:27 am



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 28):
Don't follow that, PSA727? Japan was not involved in WW2 until Pearl Harbor, when it attacked the USA and Britain simultaneously, in December 1941.

Wrong. What most people fail to know or realize is that the war in the pacific didn't begin in December 1941 like most people read in textbooks. In all likeliness, the pacific war wouldn't have occurred at all if the Japanese hadn't invaded Manchuria in 1931. Most historians actually consider the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 as the "true" beginning of World War II. And really the major reasons they decided to invade Manchuria in the first place can be boiled down to 2 main reasons. 1. It allowed the Japanese to have a guaranteed source of food production for export to Japan since they couldn't grow much on mostly mountainous islands that was the Japanese home Islands. 2. Served as a military buffer to protect Japan from invasion (Chinese, communists, etc.)
"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee."

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Doona
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:52 am



Quoting PSA727 (Reply 27):
I think this hypothesis is flawed to begin with. Japan was already at war in December 1941,



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 28):

Don't follow that, PSA727? Japan was not involved in WW2 until Pearl Harbor, when it attacked the USA and Britain simultaneously, in December 1941. Japan never declared war on Russia. Nor did Russia do anything to help the other allies in the Far East. Stalin only declared war on Japan on 8th. August 1945 - two days after the Hiroshima A-bomb - in a vain attempt to get himself a 'seat at the table' and a share in the postwar occupation of Japan.

Japan was fighting the Chinese already. And concerning the USSR, they had signed a non-aggression pact with Japan, and therefore did not enter the Pacific War. When they finally did, it was because of an agreement made during the Potsdam conference. Stalin agreed that he would send 60 divisions into Manchuria on specifically August 8th. The idea was to "convince" japanese forces that a drawn out land war would ultimately fail, and to keep the Japanese forces on the Chinese mainland occupied in the event of an American invasion of Japan.

Quoting PSA727 (Reply 42):
I'm not sure exactly when Japan invaded Korea, but I thought that it was also prior to Dec 7, 1941.

Korea had been annexed by Japan in 1910.

The Japanese expansion in the Far East was critical to Japan's survival (at least in the minds of the many of the country's leaders). They felt that they had no other choice but to expand to the south and west in order to gain resources, which were scarce in mainland Japan. Considering the oil in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), it's obvious that the Japanese would have taken a crack at it sooner or later. And even though Pearl Harbour in hindsight was a mistake, the purpose was to strike a blow to the US Pacific Fleet. The mistake lay in the fact that the Japanese though that would be enough.

As many racial predjudices that the West had about the Japanese (including the theory that the Japanese could not fly planes for longer than a couple of hours, because they were carried on the backs of their mothers as childern and thus lacked a proper sense of balance), the Japanese had the similar misconceptions of Americans. Apparently they just couldn't fathom that the US might actually be able to move in more naval forces, as well as construct a hell of a lot more.

Cheers
Mats
Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
 
NAV20
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:53 am



Quoting PSA727 (Reply 42):
There's probably millions of Chinese who might argue differently.

Have to admit that that's 'fair comment,' PSA727. I was thinking in terms of WW2 'writ large,' It honestly never crossed my mind that Japan had been involved, for ten years or so, in a desultory 'colonial war' with China.

But, IMO, entry into WW2 was in a different class. That meant not only taking on the UK and the Commonwealth, but also the United States.

Can't help feeling that, whatever else they were, the fascist leaders were stupid. Hitler thought that the British were stymied, that he was free to attack Russia because they were in no position to intervene. The Japanese thought that that Hitler would win in Russia - and that USA was too 'soft' to fight, that if they could knock out their seapower the Americans would make peace rather then fight. And also that the Burmese and the Indians, for example, would turn on their 'Imperial masters' and welcome the 'liberating' Japanese armies...........

The Japanese junta reckoned, in 1942, that all they had to do was jump on the bandwagon and share in the spoiis of world domination........

Reminds me of a (thoroughly-honourable) German officer who is recorded to have said, as he surrendered to the British Army in 1945 - "It took we Germans two world wars to realise that a nation of free men is stronger than a common cause."
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
baroque
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:23 pm



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 43):
Losses were very heavy - around 60% of the force by the end of the campaign:-

"Air raid casualties in Britain during the first five months of 1944 totalled 1,556 killed, with 2,916 seriously injured. During the five months of Operation Steinbock, the Luftwaffe lost about 330 bombers and crews. Thus, for every five people killed on the ground, the raiders lost one bomber and four trained crewmen killed or captured."

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/features/the_baby_blitz-1.php

Interesting link, it is not a phase of the war that gets much treatment, most blitz stories manage the Baedeker raids or just hop straight from the 40-41 blitz to the bloody doodlebugs.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 46):
The Japanese thought that that Hitler would win in Russia -

Might not be quite so. The Japanese got an extremely bloody nose from Russia in 1937 and again in 1940-41. The T34 tanks were a most unpleasant surprise for the Japanese as was the Russian artillery but the campaigns tend to get ignored. Had the West been more aware of how Russia clobbered Japan, they might have done better when Japan was clobbering the US, UK and Aus in late 41 and early 42. A few tanks might have saved Malaya - but of course I forgot, they would bog down in all that tropical mud, just as they did later in Burma - NOT!!
 
baroque
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:24 pm

Maybe I meant the clobbering Japan got in 1939.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Halhin_Gol

That was before the T34 but not before Zhukov!

Interesting briefing for the US in 1941 about when the Kwantun army would attack Russia. Mind you it was wrong. Had more attention been paid to the battle of Khalkhyn Gol it might have been worked out that Japan would give up its ambition for a northern strike and settle for a southern strike instead.
http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/timeline/411021amie.html
Brigadier General, U. S. Army,
Acting Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2.

(EXHIBITS OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE, PHA, PT. 14, EXHIBIT NO. 33 MILITARY INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATES PREPARED BY G-2, WAR DEPARTMENT) I. B. 144

October 21, 1941.

Memorandum for the Chief of Staff: Subject: The Kwantung versus the Siberian Army

(For Situation Map see Tab A.)

1. The best information available to this Division indicates the strengths of the Siberian forces east of Lake Baikal and the Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchoukuo to be approximately as indicated below:
 
Bramble
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RE: If Pearl Harbor Hadn’t Happened – Who'd Have Won?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:42 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 3):
Well Russia would still have won,



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 10):
Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
. BUT, one also has to assume that Hitler would have invaded Russia anyway.

What was he thinking??

He obviuosly never played Risk as a kid.....you could never hold Asia!!!!!

Quoting Baroque (Reply 3):
. I think the US would have ended up in the war anyway, due to the U-boat campaign. Probably some sort of a repeat of 1917 but not needing the Zimmermann telegram.

I too believe the US would eventually enter the war, perhaps not to the level the6y actually did but enough to help the Brits and Commomnwealth.

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