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Post Would Britain Have Lost WWII without US/Soviet Help?
Created by John Eipper on 07/17/12 12:54 AM

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Would Britain Have Lost WWII without US/Soviet Help? (Nigel Jones, -UK, 07/17/12 12:54 am)

I know that Tor Guimaraes's contention that Britain would have lost the war against Nazi Germany without the "massive military power" of the US and USSR is received wisdom, but it has recently been questioned.

Despite the conquest of France in 1940, Germany was never in a position to invade Britain, as A) it did not have command of the seas, its small surface fleet having been badly depleted in the Norway campaign, and B) it did not have command of the skies, being defeated in the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940.

Although its Army was clearly inferior to the Wehrmacht, Britain's Royal Navy and Royal Air Force were demonstrably superior.

Apart from its own resources, Britain could also call on the military, manpower and other resources of its Empire/Commonwealth which were not negligible, amounting as it did to almost a quarter of the world. (Including such powers as Canada, Australasia, South Africa, India and smaller colonial countries in Africa and Asia.)

After Hitler's incredibly foolish decision to invade Russia in 1941, it was Britain that was supplying Russia with war materiel, not the other way around.

I agree that Britain alone could not have defeated Nazi Germany, but neither could Nazi Germany have subjugated Britain. Had the US and USSR not been forced into the war, a stalemate would have resulted. Churchill's incomparable contribution to the war was to keep Britain in the fight for the one vital year 1940/41 when the US and USSR were unwilling to take arms against Nazi Germany until they were finally forced to.

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  • Would Britain Have Lost WWII without US/Soviet Help? (Istvan Simon, USA 07/17/12 12:49 AM)
    I completely agree with Nigel Jones (July 16). I think his analysis is perfect. Britain alone would not have won the war against Hitler, but neither would have the Soviet Union. In fact without Britain and the United States, Hitler would have probably defeated Stalin.

    One thing common between Stalin and Hitler is that both were ruthless and foolishly squandered their resources. Hitler's imbecility at Stalingrad, in which he sacrificed an entire army rather than retreat, is the same imbecility that Stalin exhibited in the defense of Kiev, in which the Soviet Union lost 600,000 men.

    Hitler got close to defeating Great Britain, but it was not in the Battle of Britain and the Blitz, but in the Battle of the Atlantic. Great Britain is an island nation, like Japan. It depends on imports for survival. Hitler came close to defeating Britain when he decided with Admiral Donitz to sink unarmed merchant ships in the Atlantic with submarines.

    This is related to the revisionist view of Anthony D'Amato on Chamberlain (16 July), to which I will respond in a separate post.

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  • Would Britain Have Lost WWII without US/Soviet Help? (Anthony D`Amato, USA 07/17/12 12:55 AM)
    Nigel Jones has welcomely, though perhaps inadvertently, supported my claim, questioned by John Eipper, that Chamberlain made a greater contribution to saving Great Britain than did Churchill (16 July). Mr. Jones writes that Germany was not in a position to invade Britain after having been defeated in the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940. He adds, "Churchill's incomparable contribution to the war was to keep Britain in the fight for the one vital year 1940/41, when the US and USSR were unwilling to take arms against Nazi Germany until they were finally forced to."

    Substitute the name "Chamberlain" for "Churchill" in that quotation and you have the essence of my most recent post on this subject. For it was the extra year of aircraft production that Chamberlain won at Munich that enabled the RAF to win (barely) the air war of the summer of 1940.

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    • Battle of Britain (David Fleischer, Brazil 07/18/12 11:58 AM)
      Regarding the "Battle of Britain," the German Air Force concentrated its bombing against RAF airfields and suspected aircraft plants, so that during the last two days of the Battle of Britain the RAF had all of its available fighter planes in the air with no reserves left. At that point the German Air Force called it quits and halted the bombing raids. Churchill's famous quote was "Never so many owed their lives to so few" [the RAF pilots]. Regarding non-participation by the US, many young American pilots went to the UK and volunteered to join the RAF in the Battle of Britain. Also, we must remember the invention of radar that helped the RAF anticipate exactly when/where the German planes were approaching.

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