Would Britain have won WWII without U.S., and USSR

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Posted by whipassmt (14117 posts) 7 months, 6 days ago

Poll: Would Britain have won WWII without U.S., and USSR (72 votes)

yes 4%
No Britain would have been defeated 75%
No. Churchill would've lost power and Britain would have eventually surrendered 6%
It would have been a stalemate, Britain would have survived but not had a decisive victory 11%
Britain would have outlasted the Nazis and the Nazi regime would have eventually collapsed internally 4%

So do you guys think Britain would have won the Second World War if the U.S. and the Soviet Union had not entered the war military. In this scenario I'm saying that the U.S. would still have been giving/selling weapons, supplies and ships to Britain (lend-lease for example), but not actually fighting.

Also remember back then Britain wasn't just the United Kingdom as we think of it now (a small island nation), it also included the Empire which would have given them a large supply of resources and manpower. Britain did have the channel to protect them from any invasion, and Germany did not have a strong navy, aside from U-boats which cut threaten Britain's maritime supply lines or any potential British invasion fleet. The British also sunk the French Navy after France surrendered to Germany so that the Germans wouldn't be able to seize those ships, and the British caused significant damage to the Italian Naval Fleet by launching a surprise attack at Taranto (after this, the Italians withdrew the surviving ships to the other side of Italy, essentially giving Britain control of the Eastern Mediterranean). Britain has historically been known for their strong navy, and might have had the best spies during World War II.

So Germany had a stronger land army and could draw on conscripts, volunteers, and resources from occupied territories, but Britain had naval superiority and the Empire (though they might have had to temporarily let Japan conquer some parts of the Empire in order to concentrate on the European front) from which they could get supplies and troops. One German weakness was their lack of oil, so Britain could've used that to their advantage.

If Britain had to stand alone I think the strategy they should've pursued would be to weaken the German airforce (namely by shooting them down when they came in to attack Britain, but also by air attacks and special forces raids on German airbases in Europe), keeping maritime supply lines open, and seeking to destroy the remnants of the Italian navy and the German navy.

#1 Edited by lamprey263 (24477 posts) -

No, most certainly not. Everybody needed everybody in that war. Britain needed the US and the US needed Britain. I read the US got a lot of valuable patents from the British in exchange for their aid, and those patents were put to good use developing technology to hunt down German U-boats that were dominating the open waters, that really opened up the supply lines. Britain also made for an essential staging site for US forces. Before the US even launched their major D-Day offensive in Europe, the Soviets were already advancing on Berlin. Hitler's big mistake on that end was that his generals had advised him to after defeats on the eastern front to build up a defensive reserve but Hitler insisted on trying to take more territory, and he depleted his forces on the eastern front, leaving it for the taking by the Soviets. German defeat at Stalingrad and Kursk and the breaking of the siege at Leningrad left the doors to Berlin wide open.

It would probably take a great deal of logistical analysis to really figure out how different scenarios play out. Britain and US took North Africa, attacked Italy before D-Day, not sure if that really made a huge difference in the long term of things. A year before the D-Day invasion the Soviets were already on their way to Berlin, Kursk and Stalingrad ended in 1943. Two years later Soviets would capture Berlin. Without the US or Soviets I'm sure Britain would have most certainly been captured, let's not entertain any notion they'd of single handedly taken out he Nazis. On the other hand, the Soviets probably stood a much better chance of defeating the Nazis without the help of the US or Britain; whether they could is arguable, but they'd have stood a much better chance.

#2 Edited by hoosier7 (3885 posts) -

No but who knows really there's too many variables. I do think with the lack of support D-Day would have at least been delayed much later and London and a lot of the defences along the south coast would have been flattened along with the Naval bases in Portsmouth. The Nazi's were well ahead in terms of missile technology and had developed long range missiles that could hit Britain from France. The V-2 bombers didn't require a static position to fire from and could be set up quickly so couldn't be bombed like the previous V-1 launch platforms which was significant enough that the Nazi generals felt they could have turned the war. Remove the USSR especially and the Germans looked set for an invasion of the British Isles.

There's a good documentary on it and the intelligence work leading up to D-Day.

#3 Posted by Master_Live (15118 posts) -

No.

#4 Posted by whipassmt (14117 posts) -

@lamprey263 said:

No, most certainly not. Everybody needed everybody in that war. Britain needed the US and the US needed Britain. I read the US got a lot of valuable patents from the British in exchange for their aid, and those patents were put to good use developing technology to hunt down German U-boats that were dominating the open waters. Britain also made for an essential staging site for US forces. Before the US even launched their major D-Day offensive in Europe, the Soviets were already advancing on Berlin. Hitler's big mistake on that end was that his generals had advised him to after defeats on the eastern front to build up a defensive reserve but Hitler insisted on trying to take more territory, and he depleted his forces on the eastern front, leaving it for the taking by the Soviets. German defeat at Stalingrad and Kursk and the breaking of the siege at Leningrad left the doors to Berlin wide open.

It would probably take a great deal of logistical analysis to really figure out how different scenarios play out. Britain and US took North Africa, attacked Italy before D-Day, not sure if that really made a huge difference in the long term of things. A year before the D-Day invasion the Soviets were already on their way to Berlin, Kursk and Stalingrad ended in 1943. Two years later Soviets would capture Berlin. Without the US or Soviets I'm sure Britain would have most certainly been captured, let's not entertain any notion they'd of single handedly taken out he Nazis. On the other hand, the Soviets probably stood a much better chance of defeating the Nazis without the help of the US or Britain; whether they could is arguable, but they'd have stood a much better chance.

In regards to the war in Italy, one book I read on the Italian Front viewed that front as being mostly a waste of time and lives. I think the author takes the view that the Allies should have just launched the Normandy campaign earlier without invading Italy.

I don't think the Soviets could have won the war without the U.S. or Britain giving them supplies (often at considerable risk to the U.S. and British sailors transporting these supplies). The U.S. in particular had a strong industrial capacity that was out of the range of enemy aircraft (the Soviets did also have some factories far enough away from the front, but this was more so later on in the war). The U.S. supplied the Soviets with weapons, ammo, food, boots and trucks (including trucks that the Soviets would use to transport Katyusha rockets).

#5 Posted by hoosier7 (3885 posts) -

@whipassmt: Have you watched the documentary with Jeremy Clarkson on the arctic convoys? There's some incredible stories in it.

#6 Posted by Stevo_the_gamer (43088 posts) -

The obvious answer is no.

#7 Edited by always_explicit (2973 posts) -

No, They simply didnt have the man power and resources to continue the fight without the support from allied forces. Whilst occupying great britain would have been a difficult task for the Germans I have no doubt after a long and drawn out war occupation would have been inevitable. The loss of USSR lives during that war was simply mind blowing. In terms of pure man power the contribution they made to that war is something very important to remember.

#8 Posted by jasean79 (2375 posts) -

Negative.

#9 Posted by whipassmt (14117 posts) -

@hoosier7 said:

@whipassmt: Have you watched the documentary with Jeremy Clarkson on the arctic convoys? There's some incredible stories in it.

Nope. But thanks for mentioning it.

#10 Edited by -TheSecondSign- (9199 posts) -

Weren't they already bombing the absolute shit out of Britain when we entered the war?

Like they had pretty much already lost?

#11 Edited by BranKetra (49073 posts) -

I always considered it common knowledge that the U.S. and Soviet Union altered how World War II was going so much that without us, the Axis Powers would have won. :|

#12 Posted by airshocker (30392 posts) -

Definitely not.

#13 Posted by whipassmt (14117 posts) -

@BranKetra said:

I always considered it common knowledge that the U.S. and Soviet Union altered how World War II was going so much that without us, the Axis Powers would have won. :|

But would they have won? Could Japan really have controlled China and the Phillipines? Then again the Axis Powers (and the Soviets) didn't really care about casualties the way Americans currently do.

#14 Posted by hoosier7 (3885 posts) -

@whipassmt said:

@hoosier7 said:

@whipassmt: Have you watched the documentary with Jeremy Clarkson on the arctic convoys? There's some incredible stories in it.

Nope. But thanks for mentioning it.

No problem, here it is.

#15 Edited by toast_burner (22043 posts) -

@-TheSecondSign- said:

Weren't they already bombing the absolute shit out of Britain when we entered the war?

Like they had pretty much already lost?

You aren't very educated are you? The Blitz ended in May 1941, America entered the war in December 1941.

How you could see the Blitz as a sign of Britian being defeated is a mystery.

#16 Posted by 35cent (920 posts) -

Probably not. None of the allied nations would have won the war on their own.

#17 Edited by BranKetra (49073 posts) -

@whipassmt said:

@BranKetra said:

I always considered it common knowledge that the U.S. and Soviet Union altered how World War II was going so much that without us, the Axis Powers would have won. :|

But would they have won? Could Japan really have controlled China and the Phillipines? Then again the Axis Powers (and the Soviets) didn't really care about casualties the way Americans currently do.

In formal terms, yes. China was being cut through by Japanese forces and before that its morale had been weakened in part by America and Imperial Japan imposing western culture along with insulting phrases such as "Sick Man of Asia" earlier in the past century. As far as sustainability after hypothetical declarations of surrender, maybe not. Hitler was committing genocide and it was not only upon Jews, so the Chinese might have been eventual victims of his vile plans. Events such as the invasion of Normandy and atoms being split in large masses over Nagasaki and Hiroshima unarguably changed World War II. The U.S. and the USSR were needed so much that the balance of world powers changed dramatically after that war because Europe was recovering from the blitzkrieg.

#18 Posted by gameofthering (10370 posts) -

I don't think anybody would've been able to win it on their own.

#19 Edited by Kevlar101 (6392 posts) -
@gameofthering said:

I don't think anybody would've been able to win it on their own.

Except for the Soviets.

They could have easily defeated the Axis on their own.

#20 Posted by Flubbbs (3320 posts) -

hell no.. Britain would of never had the man power or resources to invade mainland Europe without America. they would of fallen eventually

#21 Posted by Aljosa23 (25517 posts) -

Without the Americans? Yeah, probably. Without the Soviets? Nope, no way.

#22 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (16701 posts) -

Without the US, there would be no Lend-Lease. No source of war materiel, foodstuffs, raw material. The quantities required meant the use of merchant ships and they were disappearing fast because of the U-boat blockade. They probably would have disappeared if the US didn't start the liberty ship program.

Montgomery probably wouldn't have won at El Alamein without US hardware. His best tanks were a sizable number of US-made Grant and Sherman tanks along with jeeps, half tracks, and other hardware such as the Boston and Baltimore light bombers, Mitchell medium bombers, and P-40 Kitttyhawks.

#23 Posted by foxhound_fox (89457 posts) -

Britain wasn't the only allied nation fighting the Axis powers in the early part of the war.

But no, the Allied powers would not have won without either the US nor the USSR. The Japanese would have had control of the Pacific and Germany had control of Europe and Africa by the time they got involved.

I've heard a conspiracy theory that the US secretly instigated the attack on Pearl Harbor in order to have a reason to declare war on the Japanese (not that they planned the attack, just that they coaxed the Japanese into attacking). I wouldn't be surprised. If I were an American at the time, I would have wanted my country to go to war with Germany to fight for the freedoms I held and currently do hold in very high regard (even as a Canadian).

#24 Posted by The_Last_Ride (73023 posts) -

Nope, London was bombed to bits and they had nothing left

#25 Posted by byof_america (1408 posts) -

@hoosier7 said:

@whipassmt: Have you watched the documentary with Jeremy Clarkson on the arctic convoys? There's some incredible stories in it.

is it a funny documentary?

#26 Edited by killzowned24 (7345 posts) -

@jun_aka_pekto said:

Without the US, there would be no Lend-Lease. No source of war materiel, foodstuffs, raw material. The quantities required meant the use of merchant ships and they were disappearing fast because of the U-boat blockade. They probably would have disappeared if the US didn't start the liberty ship program.

Montgomery probably wouldn't have won at El Alamein without US hardware. His best tanks were a sizable number of US-made Grant and Sherman tanks along with jeeps, half tracks, and other hardware such as the Boston and Baltimore light bombers, Mitchell medium bombers, and P-40 Kitttyhawks.

The brits couldn't even manage to pay us back all the way until like 2004. LOL

#27 Posted by hoosier7 (3885 posts) -

@byof_america said:

@hoosier7 said:

@whipassmt: Have you watched the documentary with Jeremy Clarkson on the arctic convoys? There's some incredible stories in it.

is it a funny documentary?

No not really, he's actually really good with documentaries (should be a given though as Top Gear started without the comedy stuff) and has done a couple on various parts of WW2 focusing mainly on extraordinary stories, the comedian Al Murray has done a few too.

#28 Edited by uninspiredcup (9722 posts) -

Britain practically had to beg America help. America (being very heroic) was reluctant to do anything. It seems Russia was probably the main backbone who (eventually) ended up helping Britain.

#29 Edited by Barbariser (6747 posts) -

No, the Nazis had more manpower and industry, plus extremely good commanders. These factors are decisive when it comes to modern warfare. They also control Western and Central Europe, which is far more valuable in every relevant sense than the British Empire.

#30 Posted by sonicare (53536 posts) -

I dont know if Germany could have successfully invaded Britain. They didnt have the navy to do a cross channel invasion, but they could have isolated Britain.

#31 Edited by Toxic-Seahorse (4165 posts) -
@Kevlar101 said:
@gameofthering said:

I don't think anybody would've been able to win it on their own.

Except for the Soviets.

They could have easily defeated the Axis on their own.

Complete BS. Even with the rest of the Allies, the Soviet Union's victory wasn't anywhere near easy. They lost by far the most men in the war. You don't ever consider a war where you suffer the most casualties "easy."

As for the topic. The Allies don't win with the USSR. End of discussion. It doesn't matter if Britain has U.S. support or not, without the USSR Europe would have been lost to Nazi Germany.

#32 Posted by whipassmt (14117 posts) -

@Toxic-Seahorse said:
@Kevlar101 said:
@gameofthering said:

I don't think anybody would've been able to win it on their own.

Except for the Soviets.

They could have easily defeated the Axis on their own.

Complete BS. Even with the rest of the Allies, the Soviet Union's victory wasn't anywhere near easy. They lost by far the most men in the war. You don't ever consider a war where you suffer the most casualties "easy."

Plus the Soviets received a lot of their supplies from the U.S. and the U.K.

#33 Edited by AFBrat77 (24147 posts) -

@Kevlar101 said:
@gameofthering said:

I don't think anybody would've been able to win it on their own.

Except for the Soviets.

They could have easily defeated the Axis on their own.

No, Germans would have defeated Russians in a war on one front, but U.S./British fighting together would have defeated the Germans on the Western Front without help from the Russians. No single country would have defeated Germany alone.

Again, keep in mind the U.S. Lend Lease program that helped the Russians quite a bit. Without that as well, Russia would have lost.

#34 Posted by Kevlar101 (6392 posts) -

@AFBrat77: @whipassmt: @Toxic-Seahorse: Oh yeah, right, because the Soviets totally did not have over 3 million soldiers in the Red Army that they used to sweep across Western-Europe to kick Germany's ass with. By the time the Soviets got to Seelow, they outnumbered the German army 10 to fuckin' 1. Germany didn't stand a chance against the Soviets, and it would have been the same even if the Allies were not involved.

#35 Posted by byof_america (1408 posts) -

@hoosier7 said:

@byof_america said:

@hoosier7 said:

@whipassmt: Have you watched the documentary with Jeremy Clarkson on the arctic convoys? There's some incredible stories in it.

is it a funny documentary?

No not really, he's actually really good with documentaries (should be a given though as Top Gear started without the comedy stuff) and has done a couple on various parts of WW2 focusing mainly on extraordinary stories, the comedian Al Murray has done a few too.

Aww, my bad. Haven't seen any of the documentaries he's done and have only been watching Top Gear for about 5 years so I haven't seen his serious side yet.

#36 Edited by vfibsux (4212 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

Britain practically had to beg America help. America (being very heroic) was reluctant to do anything. It seems Russia was probably the main backbone who (eventually) ended up helping Britain.

Ummm...Russia helped Britain by Germany attacking it and creating a second front. Probably the biggest mistake Hitler made in the entire war. I doubt Russia just chooses to help Brit out of the goodness of their own heart. The U.S. was only reluctant to enter the war before Pearl Harbor was attacked, after that it was on.

But yea it is painful for America hating Euros to admit how much we affected the outcome of WW2....except those who still honor our deeds because they were directly affected by them.

#37 Edited by Barbariser (6747 posts) -

@AFBrat77 said:

@Kevlar101 said:
@gameofthering said:

I don't think anybody would've been able to win it on their own.

Except for the Soviets.

They could have easily defeated the Axis on their own.

No, Germans would have defeated Russians in a war on one front, but U.S./British fighting together would have defeated the Germans on the Western Front without help from the Russians. No single country would have defeated Germany alone.

Again, keep in mind the U.S. Lend Lease program that helped the Russians quite a bit. Without that as well, Russia would have lost.

That's patently absurd. There's no way they're even going to try a naval invasion of western Europe when the Nazis there have 3-4 times more manpower and resources to actually use against them.

#38 Edited by uninspiredcup (9722 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

@uninspiredcup said:

Britain practically had to beg America help. America (being very heroic) was reluctant to do anything. It seems Russia was probably the main backbone who (eventually) ended up helping Britain.

Ummm...Russia helped Britain by Germany attacking it and creating a second front. Probably the biggest mistake Hitler made in the entire war. I doubt Russia just chooses to help Brit out of the goodness of their own heart. The U.S. was only reluctant to enter the war before Pearl Harbor was attacked, after that it was on.

But yea it is painful for America hating Euros to admit how much we affected the outcome of WW2....except those who still honor our deeds because they were directly affected by them.

Starting out with "ummm" like somehow, I'm wrong or making false statements and then going on state, pretty much what I said makes no logical sense, At best, this is a reactionary "yay America" post.

Winston Churchill asked for help, multiple times. That's a fact.

#39 Posted by Toxic-Seahorse (4165 posts) -

@Kevlar101 said:

@AFBrat77: @whipassmt: @Toxic-Seahorse: Oh yeah, right, because the Soviets totally did not have over 3 million soldiers in the Red Army that they used to sweep across Western-Europe to kick Germany's ass with. By the time the Soviets got to Seelow, they outnumbered the German army 10 to fuckin' 1. Germany didn't stand a chance against the Soviets, and it would have been the same even if the Allies were not involved.

I was never doubting the fact that Russia could have won with the western front. I was simply pointing out that not only was it not "easy" WITH the western front, it would have been much more difficult without it. Yeah, the Soviet army had a ton of troops, but their death rate was ridiculous. When you're losing that many soldiers, you cannot call it "easy."

#40 Posted by Treflis (11601 posts) -

No, But I'm certain the british stubbornness would've kept them from surrendering until it would be absolutely critical and citizens were starving to death. But the eastern front and military aid from the US/Canada ensured Britain got some of the pressure off them and ensured they didn't need to surrender but rather gave them a chance to strike back along with their allies.

#41 Posted by StrifeDelivery (1693 posts) -

@AFBrat77 said:

@Kevlar101 said:
@gameofthering said:

I don't think anybody would've been able to win it on their own.

Except for the Soviets.

They could have easily defeated the Axis on their own.

No, Germans would have defeated Russians in a war on one front, but U.S./British fighting together would have defeated the Germans on the Western Front without help from the Russians. No single country would have defeated Germany alone.

Again, keep in mind the U.S. Lend Lease program that helped the Russians quite a bit. Without that as well, Russia would have lost.

I think this needs to be emphasized. Russia was able to make significant progress towards Western Europe because of Germany dealing with the Western Front and Russia gaining supplies from its allies. If we remove US and Britain from the equation, the manpower and the supplies, and had Russia v Germany, I'm going with Russia losing. Sure, Russia had the men at their disposal, but that was it really, disposable men. Men who were inadequately supplied and sometimes unarmed.

Now, if we're dealing with Britain v. Germany, again I may be edging towards a German victory, but a hard one. Germany were bombing civilian areas and at times avoiding industrial centers, which was a mistake. Also, crossing the channel and mounting an invasion is a serious affair. Eventually, Germany would have breached the land defenses, turning into a long battle of attrition.

#42 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (16701 posts) -

@StrifeDelivery said:

@AFBrat77 said:

@Kevlar101 said:
@gameofthering said:

I don't think anybody would've been able to win it on their own.

Except for the Soviets.

They could have easily defeated the Axis on their own.

No, Germans would have defeated Russians in a war on one front, but U.S./British fighting together would have defeated the Germans on the Western Front without help from the Russians. No single country would have defeated Germany alone.

Again, keep in mind the U.S. Lend Lease program that helped the Russians quite a bit. Without that as well, Russia would have lost.

I think this needs to be emphasized. Russia was able to make significant progress towards Western Europe because of Germany dealing with the Western Front and Russia gaining supplies from its allies. If we remove US and Britain from the equation, the manpower and the supplies, and had Russia v Germany, I'm going with Russia losing. Sure, Russia had the men at their disposal, but that was it really, disposable men. Men who were inadequately supplied and sometimes unarmed.

Now, if we're dealing with Britain v. Germany, again I may be edging towards a German victory, but a hard one. Germany were bombing civilian areas and at times avoiding industrial centers, which was a mistake. Also, crossing the channel and mounting an invasion is a serious affair. Eventually, Germany would have breached the land defenses, turning into a long battle of attrition.

I think Lend-Lease helped the Soviet Union to a point. It's main effectiveness was to replenish losses while Soviet factories ramped up after being relocated east of the Urals. The Russians collapsing totally would have been a bit far-fetched especially with massive forces still at the east (Siberia) and General Zhukov commanding them.

One thing that might have brought about a Soviet collapse is if the Germans stuck to the original plan of capturing the vital oil fields at the Caucasus. But, Hitler was obsessed with a city that bore Stalin's name and went for that instead.

One thing I like about Lend-Lease at the Soviet side is how the Soviets made better use of US hardware such as the P-39 which had a bad reputation among US pilots. You'll never see a US P-39 ace with these many kills. I'm impressed. ;)

#43 Posted by commander (8236 posts) -

I voted the last option, nazi regime would have collapsed eventually , it was not a humane regime and those never last.

but still, how long it would take for it to collapse is hard to say.

Whoever had this guy would have won the war

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Robert_Oppenheimer

#44 Posted by Master_Live (15118 posts) -

@evildead6789 said:

it was not a humane regime and those never last.

Is that so.

#45 Edited by bforrester420 (1718 posts) -

Britain was outnumbered and at a technological disadvantage. Being an island nation, their supply lines would have easily been cut off by the Germans and it would have only been a matter of time. Russia and England alone would have had a difficult time, as would England and the U.S without Russia.

#46 Edited by LJS9502_basic (151709 posts) -

No way for that to have been possible really.

#47 Edited by themajormayor (25918 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

Without the Americans? Yeah, probably. Without the Soviets? Nope, no way.

#48 Posted by DarkGamer007 (6032 posts) -

If the Nazi's hadn't invaded Russia, I don't know that the combined forces of the British and American armies could have stopped Germany. The Nazi forces lost a considerable amount of resources and manpower invading Russia, had to deal with a third army.

#49 Edited by LJS9502_basic (151709 posts) -

@themajormayor said:

@Aljosa23 said:

Without the Americans? Yeah, probably. Without the Soviets? Nope, no way.


Soviets needed US help...so no US help....no way.

#50 Posted by PcGamingRig (7112 posts) -

Obviously not. War was way too big for any single nation to win it on their own.