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tommy1808
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World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sun May 24, 2015 12:57 pm

This thread is to pick up the Off-Topic discussion that started in Delta Pilot Overhears Words With US & China Navy (by RWA380 May 21 2015 in Non Aviation)

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 57):
I agree Russia won the war, but imagine a war where:

Ok, i start to imagine  
Quote:
1. No bombing of German Factories. In particular, the destruction of the bearing factories, tank factories, and the Maybach factory. At a critical juncture, Stug, Panther, and Tiger production was halted during a massive production ramp. Another 1,600+ German tanks per month would have made a significant difference in the length of the war.

By the time the bombing campaign started to become really effective, the USSR had already almost pushed the Wehrmacht out of its territory. While it did certainly have an effect, our modern day view overestimates the effect it did have. Production capacity wasn´´t really a problem for the Deutsches Reich, just look at even the 1944 war supply production numbers. The very real bottleneck of German tank production was the availability of certain resources like Chromium, Manganese etc. to make high grade armor steel. Later production models had armor that was very brittle, so i have doubts as to Germany´s industries capacity to churn out more tanks w/o a significant reduction in quality. That those things can be scarce, doesn´t really cross a 21st century´s persons mind.

Quote:
2. No need for U-boat production freeing up more resources for German Tank production. Estimates vary, but the same factories that were making U-boats could have been making trucks or tanks.

Since problems with the quality of steel showed up much later in submarine than tank production iirc, i would assume that the scarcity of those alloying element limited production of both in different ways. Maybe someone really knowing metallurgy can weigh in on that one. So, maybe, just maybe, a meaningful shift between the two products would not have been that easy.

Quote:
3. Take a look at the quantity of fighters going up against the Western bombers. Perhaps the #1 contribution of the west. The war in the East would have been much different if the Germans had been able to maintain the air war.

Fighter qty was much less of a problem than fuel and experienced pilots. But you are correct, despite from the wrong angle, AAA was the real drag in manpower and resources. And that thanks to the utter stupidity of the German high command that a) canned the development of proximity fuses pre-war in the working prototype stage and b) failed to equip their AA ammunition with impact fuses until late in the war,1945 (!), even with the troops screaming for those for years. Those alone tripled the effectiveness of the Flak, considering the further increase proximity fuses showed in the pacific .... imagine bomber losses some 10+ times higher. The "famous" raid on the Schweinfurt Ball bearing production may have very well been wiped out on the inbound leg.
Lack of coordination of the German war industry was probably the biggest break in favor of the allies, secrecy was to a degree that when the first SAMs where designed, no-one in those teams was aware that there has been a working proximity fuse design for years....
Considering that Bomber losses did come close to unsustainable levels on some occasions, that may have easily turned the tide.

Quote:
4. Oil, without the Western fighting, Germany would have had Libyan oil thanks to Italy. That would have made a notable difference.

Considering the shipping losses in the Mediterranean i don´t think it would have had that much of an effect, unless you want to expend the "what-if" scenario into the Empire giving up defending itself all together that is. Germany didn´t start using U-Boats to ship strategic supplies if shipping had worked to any satisfying degree.

Quote:
5. Trucks, boots, and other supplies sent to Russia from the Western powers. 6
6. Aircraft and Trucks to Russia. I count over 13,000 fighters alone

Which is a lot, but in the context of over 130.000 aircraft produced in the soviet union during the war probably not a game changer.

Quote:
7. Touring's code breaking totally changed the battle of Kursk.

Didn´t the USSR need to get those information via spying? I have the feeling that means that the western allies didn´t consider that information crucial to the outcome of the war, otherwise they should have shared it.

Quote:
8. Spam. I'm serious. There were times the Red Army advanced instead of starving thanks to Lend-Lease food.

Oh yes, they needed it. Question is, did they fundamentally need it, of did the need arise because they had Trofim Denisovich Lysenko .... the ideological father of the greatest preventable famine the world has ever seen later in China.
In all lend and lease provided supplies for about 10% of the USSR combat power. Significant, but probably not turning the tide.


Quote:
9. Anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns, lend lease supplied 21%.

Well, i guess that one had noticeable effect.

Quote:
If Japan had won the battle of Coral Sea, than the Australians and Kiwi's would have withdrawn their troops from Africa granting Rommel his obsession of the 'infinite oil of Iraq.' That alone would have extended the war a few years. IMHO, the battle of Coral Sea saved Russia by depriving Germany of oil *and* tying up the Africa Corps. This would have freed up the 250,000 troops at the end and the nearly 150,000 who surrendered during the fighting with the British/Australians/New Zealanders. While a large fraction would have been left to secure Africa, we're not talking small quantities of troops or equipment.

So far everything i did read about the African campaign pointed to the overstretched, and constantly attacked, supply lines and ultimately lack of everything needed to stay in the fight doomed the expedition -> http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/JanFeb01/MS610.htm

Quote:
So while I agree the war was won on the Ost front, recall that the tank losses of 1944 almost had the Russians negotiate a separate peace.

I honestly never heard of that. I know that the western allies where scared a good deal that there could be a separate peace between them, i heard that Japan and Italy where urging Germany to seek a separate peace, but never ever that the USSR seriously considered it, especially not after Kursk.

Quote:
Recall how young of troops Russia was drafting in 1945.

Older than the ones we drafted. Combat support troops ages 10-14 where quite common in 1943, the same year 15-years olds where taken into training for front line combat duty and in 1945 advancing allied troops encountered combat units entirely at ages 12 and younger. I think the youngest POW captures was eight years old.

Quote:
The USSR would have signed a peace by 1944 due to the losses of manpower.

Forgive me, but i´d like a credible source for that, as i never even heard of it. I would then call my old history teacher and complain....    ..he should still be alive.

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flyingturtle
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sun May 24, 2015 2:21 pm

I'm just here for the comments.   

I'm convinced that Hitler - had he the necessary IQ in his top floor room - could have easily signed a armistice treaty with the USSR, and kept continental Europe. What sealed the fate of Nazi Germany was his decision to split the forces between the Caucasus and its oil fields, and Leningrad/Moscow.

Setting the armaments priorities straight (fighters vs. bombers, the choice of tanks... in the French theater at the closing of the war, the Tiger tanks were much less feared than the 8.8 cm PaK.


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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sun May 24, 2015 11:37 pm

I've never had any serious debate about this, so a lot of this has gone around in my head.

There are a lot of fine margins in WWII. But in a lot of these contexts, you have to consider that no Hitler = no war, or else a much easier surrender. But he is there, and thus you have to see why he made decisions, a lot of them too emotionally. The choice to stop attacking he RAF airfields and bomb London in retaliation? Emotional and pride-driven. The choice to invade the USSR and Eastern Europe? Emotional. The choice to persist with Stalingrad? Emotional. Those are just 3. You have to imagine that while anyone other than Hitler/the Nazi party might not have made the decision to start/continue a war anyway, anyone other than Hitler would have seen sense and made decisions that would have turned the tide at key points in the war.

Germany did have huge manufacturing resources, but a lot were destroyed by bombing, and that isn't a coincidence or a lucky factor. They were surrounded on 2 sides and against enemies that were determined and had more resources than they did.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 38):
Please British history is littered with atrocities,
Quoting RWA380 (Reply 38):
Really if it weren't for America, you'd be speaking German right now.

This is a more appropriate place to post.

The United States of America entered the war in late 1941, effectively 1942. You can debate whether WWII started in 1937 between Japan and China or in 1939 with the invasion of Poland, but let's stick with 1939 for now. That's over 2 years of no American involvement in the war. Britain was under threat in 1940, and can you really say that the USA saved Britain here when they had a few (

[Edited 2015-05-24 16:45:29]
 
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pvjin
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sun May 24, 2015 11:51 pm

I always wonder what would have happened had United States not interfered in WW1. I think Germany would have won or at least it wouldn't have lost the war so badly, we wouldn't know who Adolf Hitler was and Europe would have several million more Jews living in it.
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sun May 24, 2015 11:54 pm

What if Truman has dropped the bomb on Berlin? Where would Germany be today?   
 
jetwet1
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 12:18 am

Quoting tommy1808 (Thread starter):
Fighter qty was much less of a problem than fuel

The fuel issue cannot be underestimate, the allies went after the Bulgarian oil fields and the German refining system (including synthetics) with a passion.
 
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 2:39 am

Quoting pvjin (Reply 3):

I always wonder what would have happened had United States not interfered in WW1. I think Germany would have won or at least it wouldn't have lost the war so badly, we wouldn't know who Adolf Hitler was and Europe would have several million more Jews living in it.



Germany caused US intervention in WWI and they gave the world Hitler. Maybe had Germany's neighbors n ot been so easy to topple things would have been different. As for Finland I'm not sure the country would even exist. Maybe you'd even be Russian.

As to WWII, I think some things in history are inevitable. Maybe there's no Hitler, but there is probably someone else. Europe was a freakin mess in the late 1800's and early 1900's. It's why my great great grandparents on both sides of the family left Prussia/German Empire in the 1890's. It's a bizarre irony that their sons and grandsons would end up fighting the country they left.

[Edited 2015-05-24 19:49:01]
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MrChips
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 2:55 am

So here's a What If? for you...What if the Nazis had, instead of devoting huge amounts of resources to the V2 program, instead devoted it to the development/production of more useful projects? To give an idea just how costly the program was, by some estimates the V2 program cost easily as much or more than the entire Apollo Program did, adjusted for inflation.

[Edited 2015-05-24 19:56:16]
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 3:03 am

Quoting pvjin (Reply 3):
I always wonder what would have happened had United States not interfered in WW1. I think Germany would have won or at least it wouldn't have lost the war so badly, we wouldn't know who Adolf Hitler was and Europe would have several million more Jews living in it.

Good point. I just finished reading "Dead Wake," by Erik Larson regarding the sinking of "Lusitania," (100 years ago this month) and Wilson really, REALLY did not want the US embroiled in the conflict. A lot of people think the sinking was what got the US into the war, but, in fact, the US didn't even declare war on Germany until 23 months later. The mistake the Germans made with the US was attacking neutral shipping without warning and basically saying, "we told you so."
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 3:18 am

Quoting fxramper (Reply 4):
What if Truman has dropped the bomb on Berlin?

The atomic bomb haven't been detonated by the time Germany called it quits, but even if it had been developed by June 1945 I doubt our Allies would have allow it.

Just finished an interesting read: "D-Day Through German Eyes", has interviews with German soldiers that were assigned to the Atlantic Wall.
 
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 3:28 am

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 5):
The fuel issue cannot be underestimate, the allies went after the Bulgarian oil fields and the German refining system (including synthetics) with a passion.

Yeah at Ploesti as well.

Main thing I don't see people talking about are the human resources. What good are 1600 additional tanks if you don't have trained good crews? Same for fighter planes. They were running out of manpower and even an additional amount of steel on the ground or in the air would not have made much of a difference.

By the end of the war, they were using children and old men to defend Berlin. You only have so many men.
 
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 3:52 am

Quoting pvjin (Reply 3):
I always wonder what would have happened had United States not interfered in WW1.
Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 6):
Germany caused US intervention in WWI and they gave the world Hitler. Maybe had Germany's neighbors had not been so easy to topple things would have been different.

In fairness to my father (who was born in February 1900, and therefore called up just in time for the 1918 'final offensive') I have to say that the military effect of US entry into WW1 was minimal only. It was the French and British (probably in that order) that stopped the 1918 German 'final offensive' and forced the German surrender in November 1918. The inexperienced Americans (led by their equally-inexperienced generals) suffered dreadful casualties by indulging in the sort of infantry frontal attacks which the British and French had abandoned long since.

As it happens, my father's age 'went with the century' and he was duly called up in early 1918 and served in the final offensive that decided the war ('London Irish Rifles'). He told me how grateful he was that, by that stage, the British and French had pretty well abandoned frontal assaults and were relying on massive artillery bombardments which largely killed the German frontline troops before they attacked.

He also told me, that, to his astonishment, nearby newly-arrived US forces carried out a lot of the sort of (largely fatal) headlong bayonet charges that the more-experienced British and French armies had pretty well abandoned by that time.

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

As it happened, he was of course only 39 in 1939. But as luck would have it, by that time he was a noted tropical medicine researcher, so he only had to join the 'Home Guard,' not the frontline British Army.

[Edited 2015-05-24 21:02:54]
 
910A
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 4:03 am

Much the same, my grandfather (WWII) was flying for PanAm and one day they came to work and they were 1Lt in the Army Air Corps. He had a pretty easy time, flying VIP's across the Atlantic, got to play golf with King George..ate well..
 
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 9:59 am

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 10):
Main thing I don't see people talking about are the human resources. What good are 1600 additional tanks if you don't have trained good crews? Same for fighter planes. They were running out of manpower and even an additional amount of steel on the ground or in the air would not have made much of a difference.

By the end of the war, they were using children and old men to defend Berlin. You only have so many men.

Finally, some one else sees it as I do!

I'm sick of all these big headed Americans telling me "We won WWI and WWII and saved your hides". (Note: I'm not calling ALL Americans big headed. Just those that really DO believe the US single handedly won the two wars).

Truth is, although the flood of US hardware and men shortened WWII, it wasn't actually necessary to defeat Germany.
The Russians were doing a good enough job as is. And Britain, with her empire as it was back then, was regrouping, gathering new armies. She was getting stronger as Germany grew weaker.
And, once the time was right, would have eventually invaded and defeated Germany alongside the Russians.

In the battle of Britain, we proved we were a match for all that Germany could throw at us from the air.
For example: after the Blitz, Bomber command stepped up their game and were bombing Germany during the night with Lancasters. Rightly or wrongly, they were wreaking utter destruction on Germany. People forget that a single Lancaster could carry more bombs than the entire weight of one B-17 and needed less crew than the latter. The Lancaster was a bomber only a fool would dismiss. Sure, it was poorly armed, but it dropped a world of pain on its targets. And thanks to Canadian factories... we were building more than were getting shot down.

So, together with an effective night bombing campaign and the gathering masses of empire armies. Britain would have eventually defeated Germany. Sure, it would have taken longer, perhaps a year or two more. But the job would have been done all the same.
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mmo
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 10:13 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 13):

Finally, some one else sees it as I do!

I'm sick of all these big headed Americans telling me "We won WWI and WWII and saved your hides". (Note: I'm not calling ALL Americans big headed. Just those that really DO believe the US single handedly won the two wars).

Two wars, no. WWII, yes. I suggest you go back and do some reading about just how desperate the UK was for the lend lease program and the gradual introduction of US forces into the convoy system. The simple fact is, the US was fighting a two ocean war, while the UK was fighting perhaps a 1.5 ocean war.
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 10:40 am

Calm down People ... Don't you know that it was Norway that won the war ?  


"The Norwegian Shipping and Trade Mission (Nortraship) was established in London in April 1940 to administer the Norwegian merchant fleet outside German-controlled areas. Nortraship operated some 1,000 vessels and was the largest shipping company in the world. It is credited for giving a major contribution to the Allied war effort.

The British politician Philip Noel-Baker, Baron Noel-Baker, commented after the war that "The first great defeat for Hitler was the battle of Britain. It was a turning point in history. If we had not had the Norwegian fleet of tankers on our side, we should not have had the aviation spirit to put our Hawker Hurricanes and our Spitfires into the sky. Without the Norwegian merchant fleet, Britain and the allies would have lost the war
"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nortraship
 
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 10:49 am

Quoting MMO (Reply 14):

I know all about that.
Only sheer arrogance can suggest that supplying hardware to the UK means the US single handedly won WWII.

I find the US' position at the beginning of WWII to be nothing more than that of a profiteering opportunist.
It doesn't matter which way you cut it, the US only offered help in return for money, that is until they were attacked themselves.

I suggest you read up on the Canadian efforts. Canada answered the call earlier and far more honourably. She declared war on Germany right behind Britain and without mention of remuneration or compensation contributed men and machinery from the beginning. Their convoys helped the UK just as much as the US' profiteering Lend/Lease agreement. And this from a nation with a population of just 11 Million.

Perhaps also read up on The Norwegian Shipping and Trade Mission. Norway's tankers helped keep the RAF flying. Her Cargo ships helped feed the nation. Yet, I do not see Norway claiming they won WWII.

Also, I suggest you also read up on BritishCanadianAustralian involvement in the Pacific theatre. We too, were fighting a two ocean war.
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NAV30
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 11:18 am

Quoting MMO (Reply 14):
The simple fact is, the US was fighting a two ocean war, while the UK was fighting perhaps a 1.5 ocean war.

I'm afraid that that is an over-simplification. The United States did not enter the War to save Britain and its Commonwealth - it only got involved in the shooting war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Had that not happened, Britain might have had to do the whole job of defeating Germany on its own, supported only by the British Commonwealth?

[Edited 2015-05-25 04:24:31]
 
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 11:51 am

Quoting MMO (Reply 14):
I suggest you go back and do some reading about just how desperate the UK was for the lend lease program and the gradual introduction of US forces into the convoy system. The simple fact is, the US was fighting a two ocean war, while the UK was fighting perhaps a 1.5 ocean war.

The Lend-Lease program was paid for. Every last pennny was paid, in fact the last payments took place in my lifetime (and I'm only 21). It wasn't an act out of the goodness of their hearts, it was an easy way of making money off someone who needed the stuff.

Also the UK was fighting more than a 2 ocean war. Atlantic, Pacific, a little Indian, Mediterranean (sea).
 
mmo
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 1:02 pm

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 17):

I'm afraid that that is an over-simplification. The United States did not enter the War to save Britain and its Commonwealth - it only got involved in the shooting war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

I suggest you might want to revisit history 101!!! Adolph Hitler declared war on the US and that led to the US's entry in the Atlantic side of things. Since early 1941, US forces had been shot at while performing convoy duty. So, it was just a matter of time before the US entered the Atlantic side. Hitler just accelerated the process.


Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 18):
The Lend-Lease program was paid for. Every last pennny was paid, in fact the last payments took place in my lifetime (and I'm only 21). It wasn't an act out of the goodness of their hearts, it was an easy way of making money off someone who needed the stuff

Whoa......Please tell me where I said it wasn't paid for! I think you might want to re-read what I posted and then calm down and stop trying to twist what I wrote.

Quoting garpd (Reply 16):
I find the US' position at the beginning of WWII to be nothing more than that of a profiteering opportunist.
It doesn't matter which way you cut it, the US only offered help in return for money, that is until they were attacked themselves

Oh where to start. First of all, the administration was really hamstrung on what it could do in the way of offering assistance. The Isolationists were beating their drums about getting sucked into the Atlantic conflict. As I wrote previously, the US didn't charge for the convoy escort it provided and it didn't flinch when blood of US Navy sailors was shed for the UK. Yes the lend lease provided an innovative way of providing weapons to the UK while not bankrupting the UK (which it was at the end of WWII).

Quoting garpd (Reply 16):
I suggest you read up on the Canadian efforts. Canada answered the call earlier and far more honourably. She declared war on Germany right behind Britain and without mention of remuneration or compensation contributed men and machinery from the beginning. Their convoys helped the UK just as much as the US' profiteering Lend/Lease agreement. And this from a nation with a population of just 11 Million.

I suggest you might want to check Canada's status with respect to the UK! They had no choice!!

Quoting garpd (Reply 16):
Also, I suggest you also read up on BritishCanadianAustralian involvement in the Pacific theatre. We too, were fighting a two ocean war.

The UK was not fighting a two ocean war. After Jan 1942, the UK had basically nothing left in the Pacific. Where was the UK for Guadalcanal, Guam, Saipan, Midway, Coral Sea, Java Sea? It was only in early 1945 did the UK have any forces in the Pacific. Granted the Australians fought hard in New Guinea but the US had the overwhelming majority of forces there. The whole campaign regarding Port Moresby, Wewak was primarily a USAAF/USN operation. The Bismark Sea operation was a overwhelming US operation.

Quoting garpd (Reply 16):
Perhaps also read up on The Norwegian Shipping and Trade Mission. Norway's tankers helped keep the RAF flying. Her Cargo ships helped feed the nation. Yet, I do not see Norway claiming they won WWII


Finally, show me where the OFFICIAL US POLICY has been ever to imply/state or otherwise convey the position the US single handedly won WWII? It is not there...you might be talking about revionists or individual authors, but I dare you to find an official reference!
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 1:33 pm

Quoting garpd (Reply 16):


I know all about that.
Only sheer arrogance can suggest that supplying hardware to the UK means the US single handedly won WWII.

I find the US' position at the beginning of WWII to be nothing more than that of a profiteering opportunist.
It doesn't matter which way you cut it, the US only offered help in return for money, that is until they were attacked themselves.

I suggest you read up on the Canadian efforts. Canada answered the call earlier and far more honourably. She declared war on Germany right behind Britain and without mention of remuneration or compensation contributed men and machinery from the beginning. Their convoys helped the UK just as much as the US' profiteering Lend/Lease agreement. And this from a nation with a population of just 11 Million.

Perhaps also read up on The Norwegian Shipping and Trade Mission. Norway's tankers helped keep the RAF flying. Her Cargo ships helped feed the nation. Yet, I do not see Norway claiming they won WWII.

Also, I suggest you also read up on BritishCanadianAustralian involvement in the Pacific theatre. We too, were fighting a two ocean war.


I think next time we'll just stay home and see how it works out for you, Jeeze.   

The fact is we all won the war. We all defeated a tyrant. No amount of history revisionism by you or whoever you are ranting over will change that.
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 1:40 pm

Quoting MMO (Reply 19):
I suggest you might want to check Canada's status with respect to the UK! They had no choice!!

Of course they had a choice - did the UK force Ireland to join WW2? What a bizzare comment. Just because the countries had close ties doesn't mean a gun was being held to them to join, it was all done willingly. It was "the right thing to do".
 
NAV30
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 1:42 pm

Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 18):
Also the UK was fighting more than a 2 ocean war. Atlantic, Pacific, a little Indian, Mediterranean (sea).

Not just British, either. In 1940/41 the 'Axis' (Germans and Italians) were hell-bent on capturing the Suez Canal, which would more or less have given them control of the whole Mediterranean and most of the rest of the Middle East. They were prevented from doing this by what probably remains the most 'multi-national' military force that has ever been assembled:-

"Following the failure of Operation Battleaxe, Archibald Wavell was relieved of command and replaced by Claude Auchinleck. The Western Desert Force was reinforced with a second corps, XXX Corps, with the two corps forming the Eighth Army. Eighth Army was made up of army forces from the Commonwealth nations, including the British Army, the Australian Army, the British Indian Army, the New Zealand Army, the South African Army, and the Sudan Defence Force. There was also a brigade of Free French under Marie-Pierre Koenig. The new formation launched a new offensive, Operation Crusader, in November 1941. After a see-saw battle, the garrison at Tobruk was relieved and the Axis forces were forced to fall back. By January 1942, the front line was again at El Agheila.

"After receiving supplies and reinforcements from Tripoli, the Axis again attacked, defeating the Allies at Gazala in June and capturing Tobruk. The Axis forces drove the Eighth Army back over the Egyptian border, but their advance was stopped in July only 90 mi (140 km) from Alexandria in the First Battle of El Alamein."


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

Arguably that was the true 'turning-point' of World War Two.

It's interesting - to me, anyway - that the Japanese and the United States can both be said to have entered WW2 in force AFTER the 'crisis point' at which the 'Axis' (Germany and Italy) had been forced on to the defensive, after which they never really regained the initiative?

PS - Looking at recent posts, I'd better say, though, that I consider any suggestion that the USA entered WW2 for financial gain utterly ludicrous - and offensive.......

[Edited 2015-05-25 06:56:31]
 
mmo
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 2:12 pm

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 21):
Of course they had a choice - did the UK force Ireland to join WW2? What a bizzare comment. Just because the countries had close ties doesn't mean a gun was being held to them to join, it was all done willingly. It was "the right thing to do".

There have been many books written about the covert force used by the UK with respect to the Republic of Ireland in trying to get the ROI to join the Allies. If you are naïve enough to believe a gun was not held to their head, then I have some lovely ocean front property in Arizona I'd love to see you.
And by the way, the Republic of Ireland did not join the allies they were officially neutral. So the point to your post eludes me!
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kaitak
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 3:33 pm

One of the big "what ifs" about WW2 is what might have happened if the Germans took Moscow ... and I think they were pretty close to have been able to do so.

No resistance, no co-ordination, no leadership ... the Russians could have been scattered. Without Moscow and the Russian leadership, the Germans should have been able to complete their conquest of Russia, at least as far east as the Urals.

Am I correct in thinking that AH himself prevented this from happening, due to his diverting strength elsewhere?

It probably would not have prevented the Germans losing, BUT it would have made the war in the West a hell of a lot longer and without Rokossovsky and Zhukov invading from the east and making life rather difficult for the Germans, they would have been able to focus all of their attention on the western front.
 
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 4:04 pm

Quoting MMO (Reply 19):
Whoa......Please tell me where I said it wasn't paid for! I think you might want to re-read what I posted and then calm down and stop trying to twist what I wrote.

If a shopkeeper sells me a drink of water that I use to save someone's life, I'd still be the saviour for giving him the water. I can agree that the USA played a key role in helping win the war. But Lend-Lease was not what saved the UK, it was 20 miles of water, radar and some very brave men in Spitfires and Hurricanes.

Quoting garpd (Reply 16):
I know all about that.
Only sheer arrogance can suggest that supplying hardware to the UK means the US single handedly won WWII.

   This!
 
mmo
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 5:01 pm

Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 25):
But Lend-Lease was not what saved the UK, it was 20 miles of water, radar and some very brave men in Spitfires and Hurricanes

Your logic or lack of is just inspiring! Not to downplay the Battle of Britain, but that is not what saved the UK! Was it a pivotal battle, of course but in and of itself it did ensure the Allies or as you would like to have it , the UK won WW II ! In reality it took a combined effort from many nations. However, in my opinion, had the US not gotten involved in the Atlantic conflict the landscape we see today would be very different.
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MrHMSH
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 5:14 pm

Quoting MMO (Reply 26):
Your logic or lack of is just inspiring! Not to downplay the Battle of Britain, but that is not what saved the UK! Was it a pivotal battle, of course but in and of itself it did ensure the Allies or as you would like to have it , the UK won WW II ! In reality it took a combined effort from many nations. However, in my opinion, had the US not gotten involved in the Atlantic conflict the landscape we see today would be very different.

You just downplayed the Battle of Britain. Well done on devaluing a huge turning point, which *was* what saved the UK. I'll now ask what you would expect the USA to do if the UK falls or becomes neutral/compliant to Germany. No lend-lease, no D-Day, and Europe becomes either Soviet or Nazi dominated. Champagne for all!

Anyway, 'saving the UK' and 'winning the war' are 2 different things. The UK was saved like I said by water, radar and brave men from the Commonwealth, Poland, Czechoslovakia etc. The war in Europe was won by the USSR who did most of the damage.
 
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Mon May 25, 2015 5:56 pm

Quoting MMO (Reply 23):
And by the way, the Republic of Ireland did not join the allies they were officially neutral. So the point to your post eludes me!

That's exactly my point   Ireland is right next to the UK and it wasn't forced to join the war, and neither was Canada. There was an anti-war movement in Canada but it was extremely small and mostly limited to Quebec, there was overwhelming public support for the war effort.
 
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 1:05 am

Quoting MMO (Reply 14):
while the UK was fighting perhaps a 1.5 ocean war.

Thank you for diminishing my great uncle's 3 years of hell as a Japanese prisoner of war to a 0.5 rating, after the fall of Singapore.
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 1:53 am

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 21):
Of course they had a choice - did the UK force Ireland to join WW2? What a bizzare comment. Just because the countries had close ties doesn't mean a gun was being held to them to join, it was all done willingly. It was "the right thing to do".

"They had no choice" is probably pretty strong language, but the fact that they are a Commonwealth country was a pretty big part of their early entry. It's a tough sell to deny that and say they were completely independent in joining the war right away.

Conversely, the US is a former colony of the UK that violently separated from the UK. Even though the US and UK had favorable relations at that time, it was still just "favorable relations" and not some more fundamental connection like being a Commonwealth country.

Furthermore, the US was in a period of isolationism coming out of the Depression. The people of the US themselves were wary of being involved in another "European" war.

This is pretty basic stuff. Canada and the US, while geographically connected, had plenty reason to take different paths in 1939.

Quoting garpd (Reply 13):
Truth is, although the flood of US hardware and men shortened WWII, it wasn't actually necessary to defeat Germany.
The Russians were doing a good enough job as is. And Britain, with her empire as it was back then, was regrouping, gathering new armies. She was getting stronger as Germany grew weaker.
And, once the time was right, would have eventually invaded and defeated Germany alongside the Russians.

Take a stab at when the non-US Allies could've performed a cross-channel invasion. The US alone provided over 60% of the men and material involved in D-Day. To have a similarly-sized invasion involving all the Allies but the US likely would've taken literally years more to prepare, by which time the Soviets could've potentially been in Berlin, and you'd have a Russia-dominated Europe. It might've been a moot point for the non-US Allies to invade.... for the sake of defeating Germany.

The US did not "win" World War II alone; anyone who thinks that is crazy. But the amount of men and material the US produced has to be given great weight in any discussion. The Soviet Union sustained enormous amounts of losses and defeated the most Germans of any of the Allied nations. The UK and a few other nations suffered the longest of any nations in the war. As someone else said, ALL of the Allies won the war. The US just happened to be one of the largest providers of men and materiel. And because the US ended up providing the most men and material of any of the Western allies (where "Western" basically means any country not named the Soviet Union) on both fronts by the last couple years of the war (substantially so in the Pacific and to a smaller margin in the EMEA theater), us Americans occasionally get a bit uppity and take more credit than we really deserve.
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MrHMSH
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 2:14 am

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 30):
The US alone provided over 60% of the men and material involved in D-Day.

It wasn't that much. About 50% manpower, but more than 50% of the naval power came from the Commonwealth, and a lot of others from places like Norway. Aircraft I'm not certain about, but you can bet that the RAF would have been a huge player here.
 
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cjg225
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 2:31 am

Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 31):
It wasn't that much. About 50% manpower, but more than 50% of the naval power came from the Commonwealth, and a lot of others from places like Norway. Aircraft I'm not certain about, but you can bet that the RAF would have been a huge player here.

On reviewing some sources I have handy, I do concede it's closer to 50% than 60%. I think I may have gotten D-Day itself confused with the ratio of American men/material by the end of the war in Europe.

However, by "material," I also mean that which was American-supplied, not necessarily American-used.

For example, I've seen the argument that the Brits and others who landed on Gold/Sword/Juno had more landing craft, but a lot of those landing craft (which make up the biggest chunk of the 5,000+ "ship" armada that was brought to bear on Normandy) were American-made even if they were serving the Brits and Commonwealth troops. The Brits/Commonwealth troops were using a lot of American-made equipment (mostly above the individual person level) at this point in the war, some of which they used "stock" and some of which they modified to varying degrees to suit their own needs. Not to say that most of their equipment (again, above the individual level) was American, but a pretty substantial portion was.

Again, though, this is not to say the US "won" the war. All the Allies did. I just took issue with the "the war would've taken longer without the US" comment because of how "wow, you think so?" it is. If the Brits or any large Commonwealth country hadn't participated (instead of the US, in this line of thinking) it would've taken a lot longer, too.  stirthepot 

[Edited 2015-05-25 19:43:02]
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YVRLTN
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 2:47 am

Fact is Russia and the other Allies all worked together to defeat a common enemy and it required the efforts of each and every one to achieve victory, but the Russians end objective was always less than honorable.

I am not saying the French & British (and others) were entirely clean as they were no doubt trying to avoid being forced into losing their colonies, but you can argue Stalin and the USSR achieved what Hitler failed to do, just from different ends of the political spectrum.

I doubt anyone envisioned the Cold War and decades of the Iron Curtain even after the division of Berlin in 1945, you can debate if the USA had aspiration to become a world superpower in 1945, but IMO in the latter stages of the war the USA were pretty interested in having their influence over the Russians as well as defeating Japan. Roosevelt didnt just go to Yalta for a photoshoot.
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EA CO AS
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 8:15 am

Quoting fxramper (Reply 4):
What if Truman has dropped the bomb on Berlin?

Wouldn't have happened, even if the weapon had been ready prior to the defeat of the Nazis.

To quote a movie about a nuclear exchange between the U.S. and Soviet Union, "You do not kill the enemy's leaders - you know that, they know that, someone's gotta be there to turn it off!"
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 9:48 am

Quoting tommy1808 (Thread starter):
If Japan had won the battle of Coral Sea, than the Australians and Kiwi's would have withdrawn their troops from Africa granting Rommel his obsession of the 'infinite oil of Iraq.'

Australai did withdraw it's troops from the European theatre. NZ did not, and I suggest they wouldn't have even if Japan had won the Coral Sea Battle.

Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 2):
Really if it weren't for America, you'd be speaking German right now.

Yeah right, Germany would not have been able to invade Great Britian, the Royal Navy were too strong in the Channel, the Home Fleet had the German Fleet bottled up in Norwegian Fjords and in Kiel. Any invasion fleet would have been sunk well before it reached land.

Quoting garpd (Reply 13):
In the battle of Britain, we proved we were a match for all that Germany could throw at us from the air.

Won by a New Zealander I might add, Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park, the best fighter commander in WW2, who also went on to defend Malta, which was crucial in the Middle Eastern Campaign.

Quoting garpd (Reply 16):
I suggest you read up on the Canadian efforts. Canada answered the call earlier and far more honourably. She declared war on Germany right behind Britain and without mention of remuneration or compensation contributed men and machinery from the beginning.

NZ went willingly.

Quote:
In contrast to its entry to the First World War, New Zealand acted in its own right by formally declaring war on Germany on 3 September (unlike Australia, which held that the King's declaration, as in 1914, extended to all his Dominions). From time to time it is suggested, somewhat disingenuously, that New Zealand entered the war even before Britain because its time zone in September 1939 was ten and a half hours ahead of British Summer Time.

I believe NZ called up more men per capita than any other Allied country in WW2.

Quoting MMO (Reply 26):
but that is not what saved the UK!

I think you'll find winning the BOB along with having a massive naval advantage in the Channel is what kept the Germans out of the UK and saved them.
 
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garpd
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 9:59 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 35):
Won by a New Zealander I might add, Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park, the best fighter commander in WW2, who also went on to defend Malta, which was crucial in the Middle Eastern Campaign.

You'll get no argument from me there!

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 35):
NZ went willingly.

Something the UK public have not forgotten.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 35):
I think you'll find winning the BOB along with having a massive naval advantage in the Channel is what kept the Germans out of the UK and saved them.

Folks forget the Britain still had the largest navy in the world up to the end of WWII.
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Bongodog1964
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 10:11 am

Quoting MMO (Reply 19):
The UK was not fighting a two ocean war.

You seem to be under the misapprehension that there are only two oceans:

UK forces were heavily involved in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans throughout the War, and the Indian for much of it. You are however right in that the UK involvement in the Pacific only really commenced in 1945.
 
mmo
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 11:29 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 37):
You seem to be under the misapprehension that there are only two oceans:

No I am not. Typically the general theaters in WWII are known as the Atlantic and Pacific. From that point they are further broken down into areas of responsibility (SWP, Med, North Atlantic, etc.) Both British and American forces operated in the Med, and Indian Ocean as well as the South Atlantic. The pacific, which covers a much greater area was primarily US domain with the Dutch and Australia providing some support. After the fall of Java, the ABDA pretty much disappeared and the UK was left out of any action until late in the war. But that had more to do with politics and colonialism than anything else.
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NAV30
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 11:50 am

Quoting MMO (Reply 38):
The pacific, which covers a much greater area was primarily US domain with the Dutch and Australia providing some support.

I guess most people know that the British and Commonwealth forces who eventually drove the Japanese out of the jungles of Burma and Malaya were later called 'The Forgotten Army.' Looks like it's STILL forgotten!  

Not blaming you, MMO, those guys never got 'a lot of publicity.' I know more about it because I had an uncle and a cousin who fought there. But I hope you find this article interesting and informative:-

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...hting-Japanese-Burmese-jungle.html

[Edited 2015-05-26 04:59:31]
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 1:27 pm

1) Except for the last few months of the war, all Canadian soldiers serving overseas were volunteers. The use of Canadian conscripts was restricted to home defence (they were called "Zombies" by the volunteers).

2) The US had the advantage of having a home front out of range of Axis bombers. Additionally the USA are a big country with plenty of resources.

3) In 1941 most Soviet arsenals, military depots and armament factories were located in the western USSR, in parts which
were overrun quickly by the Germans. By 1943 the factories relocated behind the Urals mountains started geting into gear and less and less supplies from the West were needed (though they still had some items where they had problrms, e.g. wirelesssts or trucks). Additionally, for all his faults, Stalin was capable to learn from mistakes. During the Red Army reform of 1943 he cut the powers of the political commissars and let the military professionals do their job.
This was quite different from Hitler, who saw himself as a military genius and constantly interfered with military operations.

Jan
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bunumuring
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Tue May 26, 2015 1:33 pm

Wasn't there a movie out a while ago about an alternate ending to WW2? I cant remember it's name...
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
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NAV30
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Thu May 28, 2015 11:40 am

My earliest memories, at age five, living in the London suburbs, include air raid sirens, blackouts, and bomb shelters. But I'll never forget one particular day, 8th. May 1945 - known as 'VE' (Victory in Europe) Day; and the street parties that followed:-

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=1945+end+of+WW2+street+parties&biw=1075&bih=517&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ovpmVYe1KYf88QX5xoCoAg&ved=0CBwQsAQ&dpr=1.25

For a while it really was like a 'new world'.............

PS - if the link doesn't work, just google '1945 WW2 victory street parties' and you should get plenty of pictures..........

[Edited 2015-05-28 04:48:55]
 
LMP737
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sat May 30, 2015 12:54 am

Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 2):
The United States of America entered the war in late 1941, effectively 1942. You can debate whether WWII started in 1937 between Japan and China or in 1939 with the invasion of Poland, but let's stick with 1939 for now. That's over 2 years of no American involvement in the war. Britain was under threat in 1940, and can you really say that the USA saved Britain here when they had a few (

The what if's are endless that's for sure. What if Britain had caved in and not stood it's ground? Hitler would have been able to free up most of his army and resources meant to fight the British and thrown them at the USSR. Wonder how things would have turned out then?
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NAV30
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sat May 30, 2015 4:43 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 43):
Hitler would have been able to free up most of his army and other resources, needed to fight the British Commonwealth, and thrown them at the USSR.

That's pretty well what Hitler did, LMP737.  

We have to remember that the man was raving mad, as far as anyone can tell. By mid-1941, Britain and the Commonwealth had prevented Hitler from invading Britain and also prevented him from capturing the Suez Canal. The RAF (possessing much more powerful bomber aircraft) was well-started on the task of destroying German industry, and the Royal Navy had just about sunk or 'bottled up' the whole Nazi navy. Effectively, by that time, Germany was on the defensive, already facing an increasing bomber offensive, and no longer had the capacity to invade Britain.

In those circumstances, Hitler invading Russia was nothing short of madness........ From that moment on, if not before, an Allied victory was just about certain.

[Edited 2015-05-29 22:12:53]
 
L-188
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sat May 30, 2015 5:38 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 35):
Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 2):Really if it weren't for America, you'd be speaking German right now.
Yeah right, Germany would not have been able to invade Great Britian, the Royal Navy were too strong in the Channel, the Home Fleet had the German Fleet bottled up in Norwegian Fjords and in Kiel. Any invasion fleet would have been sunk well before it reached land.

KiwiRob, you do realize that was a Kevin Kline line from the movie, "A Fish Called Wanda"

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 41):
Wasn't there a movie out a while ago about an alternate ending to WW2? I cant remember it's name...
Cheers,
Bunumuring.

I think there was a Star Trek TOS episode where an alien race tried to emulate Nazi Germany.

Frankly I think they need to make a movie where you send a Nimitz class aircraft carrier back in time and have it fight off the Pearl Harbor attackers......oh wait...that's been done.

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 17):
I'm afraid that that is an over-simplification. The United States did not enter the War to save Britain and its Commonwealth - it only got involved in the shooting war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941

A point that everybody forgets the US didn't declare war on Germany, the Germans did it on Dec 8th to support their Jap allies.

Quoting kaitak (Reply 24):
No resistance, no co-ordination, no leadership ... the Russians could have been scattered. Without Moscow and the Russian leadership, the Germans should have been able to complete their conquest of Russia, at least as far east as the Urals.

I don't think so, They would have shifted their leadership farther east,

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 29):
Thank you for diminishing my great uncle's 3 years of hell as a Japanese prisoner of war to a 0.5 rating, after the fall of Singapore.

Now there is a gentleman who truly spent three years seeing the worst in humanity.

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 30):
Furthermore, the US was in a period of isolationism coming out of the Depression. The people of the US themselves were wary of being involved in another "European" war.

One thing that also needs to be considered is that a significant portion of the population of the US was one generation removed from the old world. That fact alone played into a lot of the politics of going to war. Don't believe me, look up the US funeral services to the victims of the Hindenburg disaster.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 43):
What if Britain had caved in and not stood it's ground?



Actually that possibility lead to the tender to develop the B-36 bomber. The USAAC was worried about loosing Britain to the Germans so they wanted a bomber that could hit Germany from the US.
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L-188
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sat May 30, 2015 5:43 am

Back to the original subject. What would have happened if Hitler hadn't blow the non-aggression pack with Stalin?

I don't think that GB would have been able to stand up against the manpower and firepower he send to Russia.

The other thing to consider is if the Luftwaffe hadn't focused on tactical airpower and had developed heavy bombers that could have viable hit all of Britain. We talk about the fact that the Soviet factories where relocated out of German Bomber range, but we don't really talk about how the north of Britain and Scotland and their factories were also out of Range of the Germans.
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NAV30
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sat May 30, 2015 6:38 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 46):
we don't really talk about how the north of Britain and Scotland and their factories were also out of Range of the Germans.

Actually they weren't, L-188; bases in France, Denmark, and Norway meant that they were well able to bomb just about any part of Britain, with extra tanks if necessary. But they never designed and produced the sort of aeroplanes which would have been necessary to do major damage (like the four-engine bombers that Britain developed, carrying up to ten TONS of bombs). Their aircraft were twin-engined, and basically designed to carry only much lighter bombs; their original role having been 'army cooperation,' not bombing whole cities. And they weren't designed to fly and bomb accurately at night. A lot of German airmen got killed flying light bombers that couldn't carry 'decent' bombloads - though I speak as one who still recalls having some of them land nearby!

By comparison, the much larger bombs which British Lancasters and Halifaxes could carry caused dreadful damage (and huge loss of life) in German cities, later in the War.

[Edited 2015-05-29 23:48:20]
 
mmo
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sat May 30, 2015 6:56 am

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 29):
Thank you for diminishing my great uncle's 3 years of hell as a Japanese prisoner of war to a 0.5 rating, after the fall of Singapore.

Oh, that's right, costal fortifications that had gun emplacements that only fired out to sea, overwhelmed by a much smaller Japanese force on bicycles...should I continue? Look at the US forces in the Philippines at the time.

I didn't do that, look to the UK war cabinet at the time. My father spent 3 years flying B-25s all across the SWP, so I don't need a lecture from anyone about sacrifice during wartime. I spent over 20 years on active duty and in the Guard and I have had people shooting at me so direct your anger at someone else.
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RE: World War II: The "what If" Thread.....

Sat May 30, 2015 6:57 am

Had germany invaded UK, I would speak German and Japanese, my sense of humour wouldn't be the same and Greece/Ireland/Portugal/Spain/Italy wouldn't have been bailed out as they would already have been under german rule.

Certainly Israel would not exist if there had been any other outcome to the world wars.
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