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A few months ago, I wrote the following:

This is a series of polls that took place in France in 1945, 1994, and 2004, respectively, asking which nation was most responsible for the defeat of Germany. Right after France’s liberation, with American and British soldiers walking the streets, a solid majority of 57% nonetheless believed that it had been the Soviet Union. But by 2004, the situation had cardinally reversed itself, with 58% now crediting the Americans and only 20% – the Soviet Union. This even constituted a decline relative to 1994, despite the intervening decade having been one of the best ever for West-Russia relations. The fact that great bulk of German divisions and airpower were destroyed on the Eastern Front pales into insignificance besides the power of Cold War and just plain anti-Russian propaganda acting on the human biomasses over the course of two generations. …

I haven’t seen any similar polls from the US or Britain, but I very much doubt they would be substantially different.

Well, now we do have such polls, not only for the US and Britain but also for some other countries of interest like Germany and Finland, all thanks to two big recent polls by YouGov and ICM Research.

Updated with an additional IFOP poll for France, and some VCIOM polls on the topic that I dug up for Russia, I believe I have assembled what may be the most comprehensive graph on changing Western attitudes towards the Soviet victory in World War 2 anywhere on the Internet.

poll-ussr-usa-contributed-allied-victory-ww2

Differences between the polls from different organizations shouldn’t be overstressed. For instance, the wording differs quite a bit poll to poll. But the general picture is clear and depressing.

As we can see, the percentage of Frenchmen who believe that the Soviet Union made the greatest contribution to Allied victory in World War Two has declined continuously from 1945, reaching an asymptote around 20%-25% from the 1990s on. Germany and the UK aren’t quite as historically illiterate/brainwashed as France on this issue, but the gap isn’t anything to write home about. Well, okay, at least the UK is understandable on some level; they are voting patriotically. Otherwise, they are actually the only modern Western nation to rate the Soviet contribution at a marginally higher level than the American one. But the German responses are completely inexplicable, considering that 75%-80% of Axis manpower and aircraft losses accrued to the Soviets.

But I suppose that so far as modern Germans concerned, just like Westerners in general, the Eastern Front is a place of zerg rushes and Russian rapine, while the real course of the war was decided in North Africa, the Atlantic, and the beaches of Normandy.

The retired Wehrmacht generals and Hollywood did their jobs well.

Date Table/Sources

USSR USA Great Britain Other/Don’t Know
UK 2015 (ICM) 13% 16% 46% 25%
Germany 2015 (ICM) 17% 52% 4% 27%
France 2015 (ICM) 8% 61% 9% 22%
USA 2015 (YouGov) 11% 55% 7% 27%
UK 2015 (YouGov) 15% 14% 50% 21%
Sweden 2015 (YouGov) 16% 33% 22% 29%
Germany 2015 (YouGov) 27% 37% 7% 29%
France 2015 (YouGov) 15% 47% 14% 24%
Finland 2015 (YouGov) 24% 32% 13% 31%
France 2015 (IFOP) 23% 54% 18% 5%
France 2014 (IFOP) 23% 49% 18% 10%
Russia 2010 (VCIOM) 91% 3% 1% 5%
Russian 2009 (VCIOM) 87% 4% 2% 7%
France 2004 (IFOP) 20% 58% 16% 6%
Russian 2002 (VCIOM) 92% 2% 1% 5%
France 1994 (IFOP) 25% 49% 16% 10%
France 1945 (IFOP) 57% 20% 12% 11%

PS. The YouGov poll also included data for Denmark and Norway. I did not bother to include them because they have limited influence on international affairs and their results are similar to Sweden’s anyway.

 
• Category: History • Tags: Opinion Poll, Propaganda, World War II 
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  1. SFG says:

    It’s hardly surprising American movie directors would want to play up the American role, is it?

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  2. Sean C says:

    I think to answer this question we must put the Allied countries into 3 groups and consider that groups without the USA also receive zero material help from the USA. Could the UK and SU alone defeat Italy, Japan, and Germany? I would say No. Could the SU and USA defeat the Axis? I would say Yes. Could the UK and USA defeat the Axis? I would say Yes.

    From this I would speculate that without the USA’s help Germany and Italy take North Africa, and the Middle East. Germany cuts off all shipping to the UK and is not threatened by invasion in the West. Germany has access to oil and total air superiority in the East. Japan takes everything it wants in Asia stopping Australia, New Zealand, and India from giving any aid to the UK. Japan probably starts attacking the SU in the east now. Without the USA’s help the SU does not survive the reverse could not be said of the USA or UK.

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    • Replies: @rkka
    Sean,

    "I think to answer this question we must put the Allied countries into 3 groups and consider that groups without the USA also receive zero material help from the USA. Could the UK and SU alone defeat Italy, Japan, and Germany? I would say No. "

    David Glantz (Colonel, US Army, retired), the best historian of the German-Soviet war now writing in English, disagrees with you. He believes that with no Western involvement (not just the US, but the British Empire as well) in the war against Germany at all, the war in Europe would have lasted 12-18 months longer, and would have ended with the Soviet Army on the Atlantic beaches of France.

    As for Japan, I think the USSR and the British armed forces combined are more than a match for the armed forces of Imperial Japan, especially once the Soviets ramp up Pe-8 production and start bombing missions across the Sea of Japan escorted by Yak-9s.

    And Anatoly is correct, this is not the impression left by any of the propaganda arms of the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite & Punditocracy (AFPE&P), the Anglosphere mass media, the Anglosphere entertainment industry, or the Anglosphere academy.

    , @rkka
    Sean,

    "I think to answer this question we must put the Allied countries into 3 groups and consider that groups without the USA also receive zero material help from the USA. Could the UK and SU alone defeat Italy, Japan, and Germany? I would say No. "

    David Glantz (Colonel, US Army, retired), the best historian of the German-Soviet war now writing in English, disagrees with you. In the conclusion of his book "When Titans Clashed", he writes that with no Western involvement (not just the US, but the British Empire as well) in the war against Germany at all, the war in Europe would have lasted 12-18 months longer, and would have ended with the Soviet Army on the Atlantic beaches of France.

    As for Japan, I think the USSR and the British armed forces combined are more than a match for the armed forces of Imperial Japan, especially once the Soviets ramp up Pe-8 production and start bombing missions across the Sea of Japan escorted by Yak-9s.
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  3. jtgw says:

    For Germany, I’d imagine the relatively high responses in the USSR’s favor are from those educated in the former DDR, where they taught that the Soviets were primarily responsible for the victory. I’m not sure about Finland

    The UK results are touching but ridiculous. Unless you believe that the UK keeping resistance alive single-handedly from 1940-1 was crucial to eventual victory. I suppose one could make a case for that.

    If the US had stayed out of the war, do you think the USSR would still have defeated the Nazis? I note in much of your earlier discussion of the war, you hardly mention the Pacific theater and the fight with the Japanese. My understanding is the USSR didn’t engage with the Japanese until very late in the war, so there the bulk of fighting really was carried by the US and UK. If the US had somehow managed to avoid Pearl Harbor, giving Japan a freer hand, could that have given an edge to the Axis?

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  4. AG says:

    Like I said before, history for public is form of propaganda. Truth? What truth!!!

    This is just another proof that any subjective evaluation is depressingly inaccurate like Dunning-Krugger effect. In science, data through tests or experiments are only way to find the truth. Any thing based on public opinion is very questionable. Even expert opinions are not much better. Nobel prize? lol.

    If university admission is based on subjective evaluation or opinions, that university future is in trouble. Without test, you just can not figure who is smarter based on your own impression. Best way is to use test score or brain size to find out mental capacity objectively.

    Propaganda, sale value are all products of verbal manipulation through salemanship. Stupid mass are easily manipulated to believe the bids of salesman. Modern salesmen include politicians, ideologues, lawyers, journalists, ect.

    Scientists are the only people closer to the truth. But when they evaluate thing subjectively, they are no much better than stupid public.

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  5. rkka says:
    @Sean C
    I think to answer this question we must put the Allied countries into 3 groups and consider that groups without the USA also receive zero material help from the USA. Could the UK and SU alone defeat Italy, Japan, and Germany? I would say No. Could the SU and USA defeat the Axis? I would say Yes. Could the UK and USA defeat the Axis? I would say Yes.

    From this I would speculate that without the USA's help Germany and Italy take North Africa, and the Middle East. Germany cuts off all shipping to the UK and is not threatened by invasion in the West. Germany has access to oil and total air superiority in the East. Japan takes everything it wants in Asia stopping Australia, New Zealand, and India from giving any aid to the UK. Japan probably starts attacking the SU in the east now. Without the USA's help the SU does not survive the reverse could not be said of the USA or UK.

    Sean,

    “I think to answer this question we must put the Allied countries into 3 groups and consider that groups without the USA also receive zero material help from the USA. Could the UK and SU alone defeat Italy, Japan, and Germany? I would say No. ”

    David Glantz (Colonel, US Army, retired), the best historian of the German-Soviet war now writing in English, disagrees with you. He believes that with no Western involvement (not just the US, but the British Empire as well) in the war against Germany at all, the war in Europe would have lasted 12-18 months longer, and would have ended with the Soviet Army on the Atlantic beaches of France.

    As for Japan, I think the USSR and the British armed forces combined are more than a match for the armed forces of Imperial Japan, especially once the Soviets ramp up Pe-8 production and start bombing missions across the Sea of Japan escorted by Yak-9s.

    And Anatoly is correct, this is not the impression left by any of the propaganda arms of the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite & Punditocracy (AFPE&P), the Anglosphere mass media, the Anglosphere entertainment industry, or the Anglosphere academy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @colm
    David Glantz. The English-speaking Russian Apologist of Stalin's minions who would dream to be buried next to Chuikov at Volgograd.

    I take whatever he says with a huge grain of salt.
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  6. rkka says:
    @Sean C
    I think to answer this question we must put the Allied countries into 3 groups and consider that groups without the USA also receive zero material help from the USA. Could the UK and SU alone defeat Italy, Japan, and Germany? I would say No. Could the SU and USA defeat the Axis? I would say Yes. Could the UK and USA defeat the Axis? I would say Yes.

    From this I would speculate that without the USA's help Germany and Italy take North Africa, and the Middle East. Germany cuts off all shipping to the UK and is not threatened by invasion in the West. Germany has access to oil and total air superiority in the East. Japan takes everything it wants in Asia stopping Australia, New Zealand, and India from giving any aid to the UK. Japan probably starts attacking the SU in the east now. Without the USA's help the SU does not survive the reverse could not be said of the USA or UK.

    Sean,

    “I think to answer this question we must put the Allied countries into 3 groups and consider that groups without the USA also receive zero material help from the USA. Could the UK and SU alone defeat Italy, Japan, and Germany? I would say No. ”

    David Glantz (Colonel, US Army, retired), the best historian of the German-Soviet war now writing in English, disagrees with you. In the conclusion of his book “When Titans Clashed”, he writes that with no Western involvement (not just the US, but the British Empire as well) in the war against Germany at all, the war in Europe would have lasted 12-18 months longer, and would have ended with the Soviet Army on the Atlantic beaches of France.

    As for Japan, I think the USSR and the British armed forces combined are more than a match for the armed forces of Imperial Japan, especially once the Soviets ramp up Pe-8 production and start bombing missions across the Sea of Japan escorted by Yak-9s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean C
    rkka,

    I will just have to disagree. Without the USA the SU loses most of their army mobility and transportation, and a good portion of their fuel, industrial tools, air power, and some important raw materials. A mobile army is vastly more effective than one that is not. In reverse Germany gains industrial capacity, mobility, fuel, air power, manpower. Without the ability to go on the offense the SU starts to face better trained and armed German, Finns, Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and maybe even Vichy French forces as the war drags on. A second front by a well equipped Japanese force then becomes very difficult to deal with.
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  7. Some of those results are pretty bizarre. I can somewhat understand the British results and think many of those who answered “Great Britain” know that Britain’s relative importance declined during the later war years but nevertheless chose their answer for patriotic reasons and out of (justified) pride in Britain’s role in 1940/41.
    The German results are truly puzzling and depressing to me however. I’m only German on my mother’s side and my close German relatives are all dead now…but in the recollections of my late German grandfather the war against the Soviet Union was totally dominant, there was no question that it was the decisive part of the war. All of my German relatives who took part in the war fought (and died) on the Eastern Front. The western Allies only figured in those recollections via their air attacks and events at the very end of the war in 1945. Given that most of the Wehrmacht was used in the East these recollections must have been typical.
    So it’s very strange to me that most Germans nowadays seem to believe the US (which only fought German ground troops in late 1942) was the most important combatant. Apparently Germans are even more mindlessly americanized than I had assumed.

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    • Replies: @Immigrant from former USSR
    I feel deepest sorrow for all the loss of human life and material sacrifices of my former country, USSR. I am deeply sorry for the loss of life and live-hood of all the people during WW2.
    I think the contribution by USSR to the victory was decisive,
    whatever exclusive or non-exclusive meaning you want to attach to this adjective.

    But let us not forget the wast aggressive preparations by Stalin's USSR
    for the first strike upon fascist Germany, planned for July 1941
    (compare to June 22, 1941, day of Germany's actual first strike upon USSR.)
    The role of Germany, as planned by Stalin, was to become "Icebreaker of Revolution":
    for the countries of Europe to deplete each other's resources in their war,
    and after that, the weakened Germany had to be the "Icebreaker",
    which clears the way for the flotilla of Soviet troops,
    "liberating" the whole Europe from "capitalist oppression",
    see http://www.amazon.com/Icebreaker-WHO-STARTED-SECOND-WORLD-ebook/dp/B007WTZ372/

    I understand the extremely unpleasant taste of such words on the day of May 9,
    sacred day for all people of my generation in Russia.
    One of my uncles died on the front with Germans in 1942. My other uncle survived the blockade of Leningrad. Yet another uncle was arrested and shot in Leningrad in 1937;
    he was not a politician, but just electronics- and TV- inventor.

    I am not going to discuss modern day policies
    of Russia's or USA's governments and, as opposed to them, of governing elites.
    The history above does not does make
    one present day side better or on higher moral ground than the other side.

    , @Andrei Martyanov

    Some of those results are pretty bizarre.
     
    No, they are not. If you will ever buy (or check out from library), Ladilslas Farago's book Last Days Of Patton and open first page of this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Last-Days-Patton-Ladislas-Farago/dp/B004THUILG/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431208959&sr=1-5&keywords=Ladislas+Farago+Patton

    You could be surprised how (correctly) Farago (a former CIA operative) explains a dismal failure in aerly 1970s of Hollywood motion picture Patton with (my favorite) genius performance by George C. Scott. Germans simply never heard of the guy (and rightly so), unlike it was the case with Zhukov. "The majority of Germans simply didn't know why General Patton rated a film"(c). Neither do I (still, despite admiration for acting genius of Scott), nor most of serious military historians, which have to put in perspective the actions of a single US 3rd Army, against the background of Soviet-German carnage at Stalingrad, Kursk or annihilation of the whole Wehrmacht' Group Army Center in a couple of weeks of June-July 1944. The history of WW II in the West was both re-written and solzhentsified to the point of becoming...and you may have guessed it--a Hollywood show.

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  8. regarding the opinion of germans there might be some conflictive mechanisms. First West Germans were brought to fight at the Eastern front, because it was assumed there would be less fraternizing over there then in the neighbouring western european countries. Thus western german soldiers probably had the impression that the war was fought mainly at the eastern front. On the other side western european civilians had (good and bad) experiences with western allied soldiers, thus they might overestimate the importance of the western allied forces. For east germans it was the other way round. Then there the period after the war. While in western Germany there were strong incentives to identify with western european countries while in the former GDR there were strong incentives to identify with the Sowjet Union. In the end for people born after 1970 Tom Hanks and others probably had a stronger influence on their perception of the war than the real life stories of older relatives

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  9. Sean C says:
    @rkka
    Sean,

    "I think to answer this question we must put the Allied countries into 3 groups and consider that groups without the USA also receive zero material help from the USA. Could the UK and SU alone defeat Italy, Japan, and Germany? I would say No. "

    David Glantz (Colonel, US Army, retired), the best historian of the German-Soviet war now writing in English, disagrees with you. In the conclusion of his book "When Titans Clashed", he writes that with no Western involvement (not just the US, but the British Empire as well) in the war against Germany at all, the war in Europe would have lasted 12-18 months longer, and would have ended with the Soviet Army on the Atlantic beaches of France.

    As for Japan, I think the USSR and the British armed forces combined are more than a match for the armed forces of Imperial Japan, especially once the Soviets ramp up Pe-8 production and start bombing missions across the Sea of Japan escorted by Yak-9s.

    rkka,

    I will just have to disagree. Without the USA the SU loses most of their army mobility and transportation, and a good portion of their fuel, industrial tools, air power, and some important raw materials. A mobile army is vastly more effective than one that is not. In reverse Germany gains industrial capacity, mobility, fuel, air power, manpower. Without the ability to go on the offense the SU starts to face better trained and armed German, Finns, Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and maybe even Vichy French forces as the war drags on. A second front by a well equipped Japanese force then becomes very difficult to deal with.

    Read More
    • Replies: @rkka
    Sean,

    "I will just have to disagree. "

    That's certainly your right, as long as you have the facts to back it up.

    "Without the USA the SU loses most of their army mobility and transportation, and a good portion of their fuel, industrial tools, air power, and some important raw materials."

    None of which is irreplacable. It just takes longer and costs more.

    "A mobile army is vastly more effective than one that is not. In reverse Germany gains industrial capacity, mobility, fuel, air power, manpower."

    Not really. None of that was much of an an impediment to German military operations, until the Soviet Army took Ploiesti.

    "Without the ability to go on the offense the SU starts to face better trained and armed German, Finns, Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and maybe even Vichy French forces as the war drags on."

    They faced all of those, even small French SS units, and still won. And they did offensives before the US entry in the war.

    " A second front by a well equipped Japanese force then becomes very difficult to deal with."

    You're talking about the Japanese Army which the much-derided Soviet Army utterly trounced in 1939. Please. A rematch would have had no different outcome. The Imperial Japanese Army was never configured for the sort of high-intensity mechanized combat the Soviet Army could deal out.
    , @AP
    The Germans were stopped before any significant Lend Lease was being used by the Soviets. The war would just have been a longer slog as the Soviets would have had to supply themselves, resulting in longer lags between offensives. This would have meant the end for the Jews. But the Soviets would still have won. The real fruit of American participation was that western Europe was spared Soviet occupation - a very good thing for which western Europeans ought to be grateful.
    , @Daniel H
    >>Without the USA the SU loses most of their army mobility and transportation, and a good portion of their fuel, industrial tools, air power, and some important raw materials.

    What are the facts that demonstrate that the USA in any way substantially aided the Soviet Union with fuel, industrial tools, air power or raw materials? The USA provided the Soviet Union with some Studebaker and Ford trucks along with some textiles and foodstuff but this is a long way from asserting that the USA had any substantial impact upon transportation, supply and logistics in the war theater.

    As far as I know the facts are the Soviet Red Army defeated the German army using Soviet weapons, Soviet logistics, Soviet manpower, Soviet foodstuff, Soviet material and Soviet hydrocarbons. 90% of the war was fought on the eastern front. If the Soviet Union had capitulated in 1942-43 I don't think the USA and Britain could have defeated Germany, notwithstanding the same timeline for the development of the atomic bomb. If Germany had been the master of Europe in 1945 and the US dropped an atomic bomb on, say, Hamburg, within hours or days Britain would have had hundreds of poison gas equipped missiles rain down upon her cities, forcing her immediate withdrawal from the war or a coup d'etat. The Soviet Red Army was the necessary, if not sufficient, factor in defeating the German Army.

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  10. @German_reader
    Some of those results are pretty bizarre. I can somewhat understand the British results and think many of those who answered "Great Britain" know that Britain's relative importance declined during the later war years but nevertheless chose their answer for patriotic reasons and out of (justified) pride in Britain's role in 1940/41.
    The German results are truly puzzling and depressing to me however. I'm only German on my mother's side and my close German relatives are all dead now...but in the recollections of my late German grandfather the war against the Soviet Union was totally dominant, there was no question that it was the decisive part of the war. All of my German relatives who took part in the war fought (and died) on the Eastern Front. The western Allies only figured in those recollections via their air attacks and events at the very end of the war in 1945. Given that most of the Wehrmacht was used in the East these recollections must have been typical.
    So it's very strange to me that most Germans nowadays seem to believe the US (which only fought German ground troops in late 1942) was the most important combatant. Apparently Germans are even more mindlessly americanized than I had assumed.

    I feel deepest sorrow for all the loss of human life and material sacrifices of my former country, USSR. I am deeply sorry for the loss of life and live-hood of all the people during WW2.
    I think the contribution by USSR to the victory was decisive,
    whatever exclusive or non-exclusive meaning you want to attach to this adjective.

    But let us not forget the wast aggressive preparations by Stalin’s USSR
    for the first strike upon fascist Germany, planned for July 1941
    (compare to June 22, 1941, day of Germany’s actual first strike upon USSR.)
    The role of Germany, as planned by Stalin, was to become “Icebreaker of Revolution”:
    for the countries of Europe to deplete each other’s resources in their war,
    and after that, the weakened Germany had to be the “Icebreaker”,
    which clears the way for the flotilla of Soviet troops,
    “liberating” the whole Europe from “capitalist oppression”,
    see http://www.amazon.com/Icebreaker-WHO-STARTED-SECOND-WORLD-ebook/dp/B007WTZ372/

    I understand the extremely unpleasant taste of such words on the day of May 9,
    sacred day for all people of my generation in Russia.
    One of my uncles died on the front with Germans in 1942. My other uncle survived the blockade of Leningrad. Yet another uncle was arrested and shot in Leningrad in 1937;
    he was not a politician, but just electronics- and TV- inventor.

    I am not going to discuss modern day policies
    of Russia’s or USA’s governments and, as opposed to them, of governing elites.
    The history above does not does make
    one present day side better or on higher moral ground than the other side.

    Read More
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  11. rkka says:
    @Sean C
    rkka,

    I will just have to disagree. Without the USA the SU loses most of their army mobility and transportation, and a good portion of their fuel, industrial tools, air power, and some important raw materials. A mobile army is vastly more effective than one that is not. In reverse Germany gains industrial capacity, mobility, fuel, air power, manpower. Without the ability to go on the offense the SU starts to face better trained and armed German, Finns, Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and maybe even Vichy French forces as the war drags on. A second front by a well equipped Japanese force then becomes very difficult to deal with.

    Sean,

    “I will just have to disagree. ”

    That’s certainly your right, as long as you have the facts to back it up.

    “Without the USA the SU loses most of their army mobility and transportation, and a good portion of their fuel, industrial tools, air power, and some important raw materials.”

    None of which is irreplacable. It just takes longer and costs more.

    “A mobile army is vastly more effective than one that is not. In reverse Germany gains industrial capacity, mobility, fuel, air power, manpower.”

    Not really. None of that was much of an an impediment to German military operations, until the Soviet Army took Ploiesti.

    “Without the ability to go on the offense the SU starts to face better trained and armed German, Finns, Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and maybe even Vichy French forces as the war drags on.”

    They faced all of those, even small French SS units, and still won. And they did offensives before the US entry in the war.

    ” A second front by a well equipped Japanese force then becomes very difficult to deal with.”

    You’re talking about the Japanese Army which the much-derided Soviet Army utterly trounced in 1939. Please. A rematch would have had no different outcome. The Imperial Japanese Army was never configured for the sort of high-intensity mechanized combat the Soviet Army could deal out.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean C
    rkka,

    I think you fail to realize that America was helping the allies way before they entered into the war. Do you think the UK would be as effective on the sea and air without America's aid? What great Soviet victory are you talking about that happened before America's entry? First big successes happened in late 42 early 43. Those successes would not have happened without America's material aid to both the UK and SU. Without America's aid the UK would have become largely ineffective and more resources would have poured east. The Mediterranean would have been controlled by Germany and Italy allowing for better supply to the east.

    Despite your statement Germany was starved for oil all war and more oil from the ME would have allowed for a more mobile Germany army. Romanian oil was not enough.
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  12. George123 says:

    Rightly or wrongly, there is a sense that Russia on its own never could have defeated Germany – at most, pushed it back, and that factors like weather, mismanagement by Hitler, and vast disparities in numbers of soldiers and equipment, rather than Russian ability to fight, were the decisive factors.

    Conversely, the fight against Britain and America was more that between equally matched foes where one could have truly dominated the other, although Germany was clearly superior.

    The sense is, if you factor out Britain and America, then the worst that would have happened to Germany in Russia was retreat to some line probably still inside Russia. Russians never would have been able to enter, let alone conquer, Germany. And there is a good chance Germany would have succeeded in Russia.

    However, if you factor out Russia, the sense is America and Britain would probably have succeeded in defeating Germany, though it would have taken longer.

    That’s why, even though the fight in Russia accounted for more destruction of German armed forces, it seems to most people less crucial.

    I’m not defending this view, just laying it out there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Immigrant from former USSR
    Did you ever consider the question,
    whether Britain and France had a chance succeeding in defeating Germany,
    without America and Russia?
    Or, for example, without America, but with Russia?

    I am just asking, not trying to prove anything about my former country,
    under Stalin's dictatorship at the time.

    Re-phrasing the Sacred Source:
    "It is better to be wealthy and healthy, than to be poor and ill".

    Sure, it is better to be in the same company, with which America is, than without it.
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  13. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website

    Even US WW II academe, with the exception of historians of the scale of David Glantz or Johnathan House, has very perverted understanding of WW II. This, in large sense, is derived form US lack of any experience with Continental Warfare. Even none other than famous falsifier of Russian/Soviet history Richard Pipes had to concede in 1970s that realities and carnage of WW II in USSR were “simply beyond comprehension” of overwhelming majority of Americans. US elites ARE NOT conditioned by the realities of war. They simply have no point of reference.

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-bloodiest-battle.html

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  14. @George123
    Rightly or wrongly, there is a sense that Russia on its own never could have defeated Germany - at most, pushed it back, and that factors like weather, mismanagement by Hitler, and vast disparities in numbers of soldiers and equipment, rather than Russian ability to fight, were the decisive factors.

    Conversely, the fight against Britain and America was more that between equally matched foes where one could have truly dominated the other, although Germany was clearly superior.

    The sense is, if you factor out Britain and America, then the worst that would have happened to Germany in Russia was retreat to some line probably still inside Russia. Russians never would have been able to enter, let alone conquer, Germany. And there is a good chance Germany would have succeeded in Russia.

    However, if you factor out Russia, the sense is America and Britain would probably have succeeded in defeating Germany, though it would have taken longer.

    That's why, even though the fight in Russia accounted for more destruction of German armed forces, it seems to most people less crucial.

    I'm not defending this view, just laying it out there.

    Did you ever consider the question,
    whether Britain and France had a chance succeeding in defeating Germany,
    without America and Russia?
    Or, for example, without America, but with Russia?

    I am just asking, not trying to prove anything about my former country,
    under Stalin’s dictatorship at the time.

    Re-phrasing the Sacred Source:
    “It is better to be wealthy and healthy, than to be poor and ill”.

    Sure, it is better to be in the same company, with which America is, than without it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @George123
    No, Britain alone certainly could not have defeated Germany. Its highly questionable if it could have even retained its independence, although it did defeat Germany in the Battle of Britain despite numerous German advantages, which suggests creditable fighting abilities at least in some areas. Although even here, Polish pilots were considered the best.

    Yes, America was probably the decisive factor in defeating Germany, both as supplier to Russia, which was crucial, and as supplier of men and material on the Western front, and for invigorating that front with renewed fighting spirit - the Brits were very reluctant to do the invasion of Normandy.

    Without American supplies Russia would have been neutralized. America seems to be the decisive factor however you look at it, so it makes some sense, I suppose, that that's how its perceived.

    However, Russia deserves more recognition for its role than its commonly given in the West. Russian sacrifices were enormous.
    , @German_reader
    "Did you ever consider the question,
    whether Britain and France had a chance succeeding in defeating Germany,
    without America and Russia?"

    They should have had every chance, in fact the whole thing might have been over in 1939 if the French hat attacked in the west during the Polish war.
    1940 should never have happened the way it did, France's generals were stunningly incompetent.
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  15. Sid says:

    The USSR certainly did the lion’s share of the fighting against Nazi Germany. Nevertheless, it’s certainly debatable as to whether the USSR could have held out and kept the fight going without Western supplies, logistics and materiel. Stalin himself told the Western leaders that the USSR could not have sustained the fight without Lend-Lease. Sure, he may have been turning on the charm and sucking up to them, and he was certainly a deceiver, but that still says something.

    Without Western support, the USSR likely could have gotten as far as Stalingrad, but would have had immense difficulties following that up. Even following Stalingrad, Stalin sent out feelers to Hitler to see if they could strike a separate peace. Hitler didn’t pursue them, lost at Kursk and thus was doomed.

    In contrast, if the Germans had mounted a better defense in 1943, making it clear that prolonged war would have been a fruitless slog for the USSR, and had then signed a separate peace with Stalin, the Germans would indeed have mounted far more vigorous campaigns against Britain and America.

    Problem is, supremacy on the land wouldn’t have given them the advantage on land or sea. The West would have held those advantages against Germany, and I don’t see Germany being able to withstand America dropping the atomic bomb on German cities and armies.

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  16. Sean C says:
    @rkka
    Sean,

    "I will just have to disagree. "

    That's certainly your right, as long as you have the facts to back it up.

    "Without the USA the SU loses most of their army mobility and transportation, and a good portion of their fuel, industrial tools, air power, and some important raw materials."

    None of which is irreplacable. It just takes longer and costs more.

    "A mobile army is vastly more effective than one that is not. In reverse Germany gains industrial capacity, mobility, fuel, air power, manpower."

    Not really. None of that was much of an an impediment to German military operations, until the Soviet Army took Ploiesti.

    "Without the ability to go on the offense the SU starts to face better trained and armed German, Finns, Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and maybe even Vichy French forces as the war drags on."

    They faced all of those, even small French SS units, and still won. And they did offensives before the US entry in the war.

    " A second front by a well equipped Japanese force then becomes very difficult to deal with."

    You're talking about the Japanese Army which the much-derided Soviet Army utterly trounced in 1939. Please. A rematch would have had no different outcome. The Imperial Japanese Army was never configured for the sort of high-intensity mechanized combat the Soviet Army could deal out.

    rkka,

    I think you fail to realize that America was helping the allies way before they entered into the war. Do you think the UK would be as effective on the sea and air without America’s aid? What great Soviet victory are you talking about that happened before America’s entry? First big successes happened in late 42 early 43. Those successes would not have happened without America’s material aid to both the UK and SU. Without America’s aid the UK would have become largely ineffective and more resources would have poured east. The Mediterranean would have been controlled by Germany and Italy allowing for better supply to the east.

    Despite your statement Germany was starved for oil all war and more oil from the ME would have allowed for a more mobile Germany army. Romanian oil was not enough.

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  17. George123 says:
    @Immigrant from former USSR
    Did you ever consider the question,
    whether Britain and France had a chance succeeding in defeating Germany,
    without America and Russia?
    Or, for example, without America, but with Russia?

    I am just asking, not trying to prove anything about my former country,
    under Stalin's dictatorship at the time.

    Re-phrasing the Sacred Source:
    "It is better to be wealthy and healthy, than to be poor and ill".

    Sure, it is better to be in the same company, with which America is, than without it.

    No, Britain alone certainly could not have defeated Germany. Its highly questionable if it could have even retained its independence, although it did defeat Germany in the Battle of Britain despite numerous German advantages, which suggests creditable fighting abilities at least in some areas. Although even here, Polish pilots were considered the best.

    Yes, America was probably the decisive factor in defeating Germany, both as supplier to Russia, which was crucial, and as supplier of men and material on the Western front, and for invigorating that front with renewed fighting spirit – the Brits were very reluctant to do the invasion of Normandy.

    Without American supplies Russia would have been neutralized. America seems to be the decisive factor however you look at it, so it makes some sense, I suppose, that that’s how its perceived.

    However, Russia deserves more recognition for its role than its commonly given in the West. Russian sacrifices were enormous.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Immigrant from former USSR
    Thank you for your clear reply.
    I_f_f_U.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    Yes, America was probably the decisive factor in defeating Germany, both as supplier to Russia,
     
    No it was not:

    1. Open pages 143-146, Chapter "The Sinews of War: Industry and Lend-Lease". Volume: The Second World War: Europe And Mediterranean. Department Of History of United States Military Academy, West Point. Under Supervision of Series Editor General Griess. And begin reading, before repeating your propaganda.

    2. Open Colonel Glantz and House masterwork: "When Titans Clashed: How The Red Army Stopped Hitler".

    http://www.amazon.com/When-Titans-Clashed-Stopped-Studies/dp/0700608990/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1431210077&sr=8-4&keywords=David+Glantz

    Open Department "Contributions and Costs" and, again, read, read, study and study.

    You, evidently, have no idea about the subject you are trying to comment here but I have some news for you--Lend-Lease, while important, DID NOT win the war. But again, the explanation may require some excurse into the fundamentals and the realities of both War on the Eastern front and of the Soviet Union as a state--the job virtually NO American "scholar" (there are some very rare exceptions, of course) is capable of performing. But then again, what do those people on West Point or specialists in Soviet-German War accepted globally as best Western scholars on the issue know, right?

    , @Philip Owen
    Britain had the resources to defeat Germany. It simply had no army or air force in 1938. It needed time to build up its forces and bring in resources from the Empire. The Battle of Britain was not so close as painted at the time. The RAF had large reserves training in new techniques. The planes that were engaged were perhaps 24 hours from defeat but that wasn't the whole story. Heroic victory against the odds was the required story line.
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  18. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @German_reader
    Some of those results are pretty bizarre. I can somewhat understand the British results and think many of those who answered "Great Britain" know that Britain's relative importance declined during the later war years but nevertheless chose their answer for patriotic reasons and out of (justified) pride in Britain's role in 1940/41.
    The German results are truly puzzling and depressing to me however. I'm only German on my mother's side and my close German relatives are all dead now...but in the recollections of my late German grandfather the war against the Soviet Union was totally dominant, there was no question that it was the decisive part of the war. All of my German relatives who took part in the war fought (and died) on the Eastern Front. The western Allies only figured in those recollections via their air attacks and events at the very end of the war in 1945. Given that most of the Wehrmacht was used in the East these recollections must have been typical.
    So it's very strange to me that most Germans nowadays seem to believe the US (which only fought German ground troops in late 1942) was the most important combatant. Apparently Germans are even more mindlessly americanized than I had assumed.

    Some of those results are pretty bizarre.

    No, they are not. If you will ever buy (or check out from library), Ladilslas Farago’s book Last Days Of Patton and open first page of this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Last-Days-Patton-Ladislas-Farago/dp/B004THUILG/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431208959&sr=1-5&keywords=Ladislas+Farago+Patton

    You could be surprised how (correctly) Farago (a former CIA operative) explains a dismal failure in aerly 1970s of Hollywood motion picture Patton with (my favorite) genius performance by George C. Scott. Germans simply never heard of the guy (and rightly so), unlike it was the case with Zhukov. “The majority of Germans simply didn’t know why General Patton rated a film”(c). Neither do I (still, despite admiration for acting genius of Scott), nor most of serious military historians, which have to put in perspective the actions of a single US 3rd Army, against the background of Soviet-German carnage at Stalingrad, Kursk or annihilation of the whole Wehrmacht’ Group Army Center in a couple of weeks of June-July 1944. The history of WW II in the West was both re-written and solzhentsified to the point of becoming…and you may have guessed it–a Hollywood show.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    They did those things with American weapons , food, and ammunition. Ditto for the British. Let's not forget also the Nazi Soviet pact and the efforts of Nimitz, Halsey, and McArthur against the Japanese in the Pacific.
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  19. @George123
    No, Britain alone certainly could not have defeated Germany. Its highly questionable if it could have even retained its independence, although it did defeat Germany in the Battle of Britain despite numerous German advantages, which suggests creditable fighting abilities at least in some areas. Although even here, Polish pilots were considered the best.

    Yes, America was probably the decisive factor in defeating Germany, both as supplier to Russia, which was crucial, and as supplier of men and material on the Western front, and for invigorating that front with renewed fighting spirit - the Brits were very reluctant to do the invasion of Normandy.

    Without American supplies Russia would have been neutralized. America seems to be the decisive factor however you look at it, so it makes some sense, I suppose, that that's how its perceived.

    However, Russia deserves more recognition for its role than its commonly given in the West. Russian sacrifices were enormous.

    Thank you for your clear reply.
    I_f_f_U.

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  20. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @George123
    No, Britain alone certainly could not have defeated Germany. Its highly questionable if it could have even retained its independence, although it did defeat Germany in the Battle of Britain despite numerous German advantages, which suggests creditable fighting abilities at least in some areas. Although even here, Polish pilots were considered the best.

    Yes, America was probably the decisive factor in defeating Germany, both as supplier to Russia, which was crucial, and as supplier of men and material on the Western front, and for invigorating that front with renewed fighting spirit - the Brits were very reluctant to do the invasion of Normandy.

    Without American supplies Russia would have been neutralized. America seems to be the decisive factor however you look at it, so it makes some sense, I suppose, that that's how its perceived.

    However, Russia deserves more recognition for its role than its commonly given in the West. Russian sacrifices were enormous.

    Yes, America was probably the decisive factor in defeating Germany, both as supplier to Russia,

    No it was not:

    1. Open pages 143-146, Chapter “The Sinews of War: Industry and Lend-Lease”. Volume: The Second World War: Europe And Mediterranean. Department Of History of United States Military Academy, West Point. Under Supervision of Series Editor General Griess. And begin reading, before repeating your propaganda.

    2. Open Colonel Glantz and House masterwork: “When Titans Clashed: How The Red Army Stopped Hitler”.

    http://www.amazon.com/When-Titans-Clashed-Stopped-Studies/dp/0700608990/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1431210077&sr=8-4&keywords=David+Glantz

    Open Department “Contributions and Costs” and, again, read, read, study and study.

    You, evidently, have no idea about the subject you are trying to comment here but I have some news for you–Lend-Lease, while important, DID NOT win the war. But again, the explanation may require some excurse into the fundamentals and the realities of both War on the Eastern front and of the Soviet Union as a state–the job virtually NO American “scholar” (there are some very rare exceptions, of course) is capable of performing. But then again, what do those people on West Point or specialists in Soviet-German War accepted globally as best Western scholars on the issue know, right?

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  21. @Immigrant from former USSR
    Did you ever consider the question,
    whether Britain and France had a chance succeeding in defeating Germany,
    without America and Russia?
    Or, for example, without America, but with Russia?

    I am just asking, not trying to prove anything about my former country,
    under Stalin's dictatorship at the time.

    Re-phrasing the Sacred Source:
    "It is better to be wealthy and healthy, than to be poor and ill".

    Sure, it is better to be in the same company, with which America is, than without it.

    “Did you ever consider the question,
    whether Britain and France had a chance succeeding in defeating Germany,
    without America and Russia?”

    They should have had every chance, in fact the whole thing might have been over in 1939 if the French hat attacked in the west during the Polish war.
    1940 should never have happened the way it did, France’s generals were stunningly incompetent.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Immigrant from former USSR
    Thank you for your comment.
    , @AP

    in fact the whole thing might have been over in 1939 if the French hat attacked in the west during the Polish war.
     
    Possible but not likely - Germany's military was well-developed by then. Pilsudski wanted to invade Germany in 1933 and asked for French support, but the French refused to back him. This was the more likely lost opportunity.
    , @Immigrant from former USSR
    For a reader in German language, this edition may be of interest:
    Der Eisbrecher (Hitler in Stalins Kalkül); $ 19.87 + $ 3.99 S&H,
    http://www.amazon.com/Eisbrecher-Viktor-Suworow/dp/3932381459/
    At least my German-speaking colleague was very impressed.
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  22. @German_reader
    "Did you ever consider the question,
    whether Britain and France had a chance succeeding in defeating Germany,
    without America and Russia?"

    They should have had every chance, in fact the whole thing might have been over in 1939 if the French hat attacked in the west during the Polish war.
    1940 should never have happened the way it did, France's generals were stunningly incompetent.

    Thank you for your comment.

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  23. AP says:
    @Sean C
    rkka,

    I will just have to disagree. Without the USA the SU loses most of their army mobility and transportation, and a good portion of their fuel, industrial tools, air power, and some important raw materials. A mobile army is vastly more effective than one that is not. In reverse Germany gains industrial capacity, mobility, fuel, air power, manpower. Without the ability to go on the offense the SU starts to face better trained and armed German, Finns, Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and maybe even Vichy French forces as the war drags on. A second front by a well equipped Japanese force then becomes very difficult to deal with.

    The Germans were stopped before any significant Lend Lease was being used by the Soviets. The war would just have been a longer slog as the Soviets would have had to supply themselves, resulting in longer lags between offensives. This would have meant the end for the Jews. But the Soviets would still have won. The real fruit of American participation was that western Europe was spared Soviet occupation – a very good thing for which western Europeans ought to be grateful.

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  24. Daniel H says:
    @Sean C
    rkka,

    I will just have to disagree. Without the USA the SU loses most of their army mobility and transportation, and a good portion of their fuel, industrial tools, air power, and some important raw materials. A mobile army is vastly more effective than one that is not. In reverse Germany gains industrial capacity, mobility, fuel, air power, manpower. Without the ability to go on the offense the SU starts to face better trained and armed German, Finns, Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and maybe even Vichy French forces as the war drags on. A second front by a well equipped Japanese force then becomes very difficult to deal with.

    >>Without the USA the SU loses most of their army mobility and transportation, and a good portion of their fuel, industrial tools, air power, and some important raw materials.

    What are the facts that demonstrate that the USA in any way substantially aided the Soviet Union with fuel, industrial tools, air power or raw materials? The USA provided the Soviet Union with some Studebaker and Ford trucks along with some textiles and foodstuff but this is a long way from asserting that the USA had any substantial impact upon transportation, supply and logistics in the war theater.

    As far as I know the facts are the Soviet Red Army defeated the German army using Soviet weapons, Soviet logistics, Soviet manpower, Soviet foodstuff, Soviet material and Soviet hydrocarbons. 90% of the war was fought on the eastern front. If the Soviet Union had capitulated in 1942-43 I don’t think the USA and Britain could have defeated Germany, notwithstanding the same timeline for the development of the atomic bomb. If Germany had been the master of Europe in 1945 and the US dropped an atomic bomb on, say, Hamburg, within hours or days Britain would have had hundreds of poison gas equipped missiles rain down upon her cities, forcing her immediate withdrawal from the war or a coup d’etat. The Soviet Red Army was the necessary, if not sufficient, factor in defeating the German Army.

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    • Replies: @pseudoname
    From a review of "Khrushchev Remembers":

    "Quite a few Russian commentators suggest that it was the Soviet Union that was responsible for the defeat of Nazi Germany, and that the West’s contribution was minimal. In contrast, Khrushchev appreciates the crucial role of Lend Lease aid from the West. (pp. 225-226). In particular, the motorized vehicles provided via Lend Lease aid played a decisive role in making the Red Army maneuverable in its drive from Stalingrad to Berlin. Khrushchev expressed shame that, even so many years after the war, the Soviet military still had relied on American equipment for transport. (p. 226)."

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R3B59CGI01OMYJ/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0316831409&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books
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  25. Vendetta says:

    Soviet Union defeated Germany but the USA saved France and Western Europe from ending up under Communism. USA gets top credits for defeating Japan.

    With a Soviet defeat or no war on the Eastern Front, D-Day would have been in no way possible and World War II would have lasted until Germany was nuked into submission.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    Thanks for being the only one here beside me to mention the war in the Pacific.
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  26. AP says:
    @German_reader
    "Did you ever consider the question,
    whether Britain and France had a chance succeeding in defeating Germany,
    without America and Russia?"

    They should have had every chance, in fact the whole thing might have been over in 1939 if the French hat attacked in the west during the Polish war.
    1940 should never have happened the way it did, France's generals were stunningly incompetent.

    in fact the whole thing might have been over in 1939 if the French hat attacked in the west during the Polish war.

    Possible but not likely – Germany’s military was well-developed by then. Pilsudski wanted to invade Germany in 1933 and asked for French support, but the French refused to back him. This was the more likely lost opportunity.

    Read More
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  27. @Daniel H
    >>Without the USA the SU loses most of their army mobility and transportation, and a good portion of their fuel, industrial tools, air power, and some important raw materials.

    What are the facts that demonstrate that the USA in any way substantially aided the Soviet Union with fuel, industrial tools, air power or raw materials? The USA provided the Soviet Union with some Studebaker and Ford trucks along with some textiles and foodstuff but this is a long way from asserting that the USA had any substantial impact upon transportation, supply and logistics in the war theater.

    As far as I know the facts are the Soviet Red Army defeated the German army using Soviet weapons, Soviet logistics, Soviet manpower, Soviet foodstuff, Soviet material and Soviet hydrocarbons. 90% of the war was fought on the eastern front. If the Soviet Union had capitulated in 1942-43 I don't think the USA and Britain could have defeated Germany, notwithstanding the same timeline for the development of the atomic bomb. If Germany had been the master of Europe in 1945 and the US dropped an atomic bomb on, say, Hamburg, within hours or days Britain would have had hundreds of poison gas equipped missiles rain down upon her cities, forcing her immediate withdrawal from the war or a coup d'etat. The Soviet Red Army was the necessary, if not sufficient, factor in defeating the German Army.

    From a review of “Khrushchev Remembers”:

    “Quite a few Russian commentators suggest that it was the Soviet Union that was responsible for the defeat of Nazi Germany, and that the West’s contribution was minimal. In contrast, Khrushchev appreciates the crucial role of Lend Lease aid from the West. (pp. 225-226). In particular, the motorized vehicles provided via Lend Lease aid played a decisive role in making the Red Army maneuverable in its drive from Stalingrad to Berlin. Khrushchev expressed shame that, even so many years after the war, the Soviet military still had relied on American equipment for transport. (p. 226).”

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R3B59CGI01OMYJ/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0316831409&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

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  28. rkka says:

    Sean,

    “I think you fail to realize that America was helping the allies way before they entered into the war. ”

    Not in any way that seriously effected the Eastern Front.

    “Do you think the UK would be as effective on the sea and air without America’s aid?”

    No, but then the UK wasn’t on the Eastern Front.

    “What great Soviet victory are you talking about that happened before America’s entry? First big successes happened in late 42 early 43.”

    Nope. The Soviet Army was inflicting a casualty rate on the Wehrmacht that the Wehrmacht simply could not sustain, from 22 June 1941. I’ve got the war diary of Colonel-General Franz Halder, Chief of the German General Staff, and once he got over his initial euphoria, because the Soviet Army refused to collapse like he thought it would, he was gravely concerned about the extent of the Soviet mobilization, and the heavy casualties the Soviet Army was inflicting.

    And as for Soviet successes prior to 7 December 1941, there were several. Timoshenko rocked Army Group Center in July 1941, and kicked Panzer Group Kleist out of Rostov in November. Before then, nobody in the world had kicked a Panzer Group anywhere.

    And then there’s Zhukov slicing & dicing 2 divisions of the Imperial Japanese Army in August & September 1939. By comparison, 2 divisions of the IJA sufficed to take the Philippines from the US Army, and 2 divisions of the IJA took Malaya and captured 80,000 British Empire troops at Singapore.

    So don’t even try to tell me that the Soviet Army had no big successes until ’42 or ’43.

    ” Those successes would not have happened without America’s material aid to both the UK and SU.”

    Thoroughly disproven above.

    “Without America’s aid the UK would have become largely ineffective and more resources would have poured east. The Mediterranean would have been controlled by Germany and Italy allowing for better supply to the east.”

    Whut a laugh. British air & naval superiority on the Med was collossal. Mussolini refused any serious risk to Italian battleships for very good reasons. And British air and naval forces in the East had their very own fuel sources and refineries in theater, and so could be sustained on mostly local resources.

    “Despite your statement Germany was starved for oil all war and more oil from the ME would have allowed for a more mobile Germany army.”

    Dream on, lol!

    ” Romanian oil was not enough.”

    Indeed. The most fundamental problem the Axis had is they were trying to wage a war of engines of global scale with only 2% of the world’s natural oil.

    Think about that…

    Soviet oil production alone was about 11% of global oil production.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    "And then there’s Zhukov slicing & dicing 2 divisions of the Imperial Japanese Army in August & September 1939."

    The Russians would have had to deal with more of the IJA than 2 divisions were it not for Nimitz, Halsey, and McArthur, and the men under their command.

    Also, Nationalist China was an important Allied nation which helped to tie down Japanese troops and logistical resources and did so with American aid.

    Those who pose as advocates for fairness in assessing the war and the credit due to various nations for the Allied victory are hypocrites when they ignore the war in the Pacific. The war in Europe can no more be viewed in isolation from the war in the Pacific by a fair minded observer than can the Western Front be viewed in isolation from the Eastern front by such an observer.
    , @Hibernian
    "No, but then the UK wasn’t on the Eastern Front"

    If you're advocating for fairness in assessing the war, you have to realize that the effect of efforts on one front is noticed on the other front. When you tie down more of the enemy on one front, that helps your ally on the other front. It's elementary.
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  29. Hibernian says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Some of those results are pretty bizarre.
     
    No, they are not. If you will ever buy (or check out from library), Ladilslas Farago's book Last Days Of Patton and open first page of this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Last-Days-Patton-Ladislas-Farago/dp/B004THUILG/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431208959&sr=1-5&keywords=Ladislas+Farago+Patton

    You could be surprised how (correctly) Farago (a former CIA operative) explains a dismal failure in aerly 1970s of Hollywood motion picture Patton with (my favorite) genius performance by George C. Scott. Germans simply never heard of the guy (and rightly so), unlike it was the case with Zhukov. "The majority of Germans simply didn't know why General Patton rated a film"(c). Neither do I (still, despite admiration for acting genius of Scott), nor most of serious military historians, which have to put in perspective the actions of a single US 3rd Army, against the background of Soviet-German carnage at Stalingrad, Kursk or annihilation of the whole Wehrmacht' Group Army Center in a couple of weeks of June-July 1944. The history of WW II in the West was both re-written and solzhentsified to the point of becoming...and you may have guessed it--a Hollywood show.

    They did those things with American weapons , food, and ammunition. Ditto for the British. Let’s not forget also the Nazi Soviet pact and the efforts of Nimitz, Halsey, and McArthur against the Japanese in the Pacific.

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  30. Hibernian says:
    @Vendetta
    Soviet Union defeated Germany but the USA saved France and Western Europe from ending up under Communism. USA gets top credits for defeating Japan.

    With a Soviet defeat or no war on the Eastern Front, D-Day would have been in no way possible and World War II would have lasted until Germany was nuked into submission.

    Thanks for being the only one here beside me to mention the war in the Pacific.

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  31. Hibernian says:
    @rkka
    Sean,

    "I think you fail to realize that America was helping the allies way before they entered into the war. "

    Not in any way that seriously effected the Eastern Front.

    "Do you think the UK would be as effective on the sea and air without America’s aid?"

    No, but then the UK wasn't on the Eastern Front.

    "What great Soviet victory are you talking about that happened before America’s entry? First big successes happened in late 42 early 43."

    Nope. The Soviet Army was inflicting a casualty rate on the Wehrmacht that the Wehrmacht simply could not sustain, from 22 June 1941. I've got the war diary of Colonel-General Franz Halder, Chief of the German General Staff, and once he got over his initial euphoria, because the Soviet Army refused to collapse like he thought it would, he was gravely concerned about the extent of the Soviet mobilization, and the heavy casualties the Soviet Army was inflicting.

    And as for Soviet successes prior to 7 December 1941, there were several. Timoshenko rocked Army Group Center in July 1941, and kicked Panzer Group Kleist out of Rostov in November. Before then, nobody in the world had kicked a Panzer Group anywhere.

    And then there's Zhukov slicing & dicing 2 divisions of the Imperial Japanese Army in August & September 1939. By comparison, 2 divisions of the IJA sufficed to take the Philippines from the US Army, and 2 divisions of the IJA took Malaya and captured 80,000 British Empire troops at Singapore.

    So don't even try to tell me that the Soviet Army had no big successes until '42 or '43.

    " Those successes would not have happened without America’s material aid to both the UK and SU."

    Thoroughly disproven above.

    "Without America’s aid the UK would have become largely ineffective and more resources would have poured east. The Mediterranean would have been controlled by Germany and Italy allowing for better supply to the east."

    Whut a laugh. British air & naval superiority on the Med was collossal. Mussolini refused any serious risk to Italian battleships for very good reasons. And British air and naval forces in the East had their very own fuel sources and refineries in theater, and so could be sustained on mostly local resources.

    "Despite your statement Germany was starved for oil all war and more oil from the ME would have allowed for a more mobile Germany army."

    Dream on, lol!

    " Romanian oil was not enough."

    Indeed. The most fundamental problem the Axis had is they were trying to wage a war of engines of global scale with only 2% of the world's natural oil.

    Think about that...

    Soviet oil production alone was about 11% of global oil production.

    “And then there’s Zhukov slicing & dicing 2 divisions of the Imperial Japanese Army in August & September 1939.”

    The Russians would have had to deal with more of the IJA than 2 divisions were it not for Nimitz, Halsey, and McArthur, and the men under their command.

    Also, Nationalist China was an important Allied nation which helped to tie down Japanese troops and logistical resources and did so with American aid.

    Those who pose as advocates for fairness in assessing the war and the credit due to various nations for the Allied victory are hypocrites when they ignore the war in the Pacific. The war in Europe can no more be viewed in isolation from the war in the Pacific by a fair minded observer than can the Western Front be viewed in isolation from the Eastern front by such an observer.

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  32. Hibernian says:
    @rkka
    Sean,

    "I think you fail to realize that America was helping the allies way before they entered into the war. "

    Not in any way that seriously effected the Eastern Front.

    "Do you think the UK would be as effective on the sea and air without America’s aid?"

    No, but then the UK wasn't on the Eastern Front.

    "What great Soviet victory are you talking about that happened before America’s entry? First big successes happened in late 42 early 43."

    Nope. The Soviet Army was inflicting a casualty rate on the Wehrmacht that the Wehrmacht simply could not sustain, from 22 June 1941. I've got the war diary of Colonel-General Franz Halder, Chief of the German General Staff, and once he got over his initial euphoria, because the Soviet Army refused to collapse like he thought it would, he was gravely concerned about the extent of the Soviet mobilization, and the heavy casualties the Soviet Army was inflicting.

    And as for Soviet successes prior to 7 December 1941, there were several. Timoshenko rocked Army Group Center in July 1941, and kicked Panzer Group Kleist out of Rostov in November. Before then, nobody in the world had kicked a Panzer Group anywhere.

    And then there's Zhukov slicing & dicing 2 divisions of the Imperial Japanese Army in August & September 1939. By comparison, 2 divisions of the IJA sufficed to take the Philippines from the US Army, and 2 divisions of the IJA took Malaya and captured 80,000 British Empire troops at Singapore.

    So don't even try to tell me that the Soviet Army had no big successes until '42 or '43.

    " Those successes would not have happened without America’s material aid to both the UK and SU."

    Thoroughly disproven above.

    "Without America’s aid the UK would have become largely ineffective and more resources would have poured east. The Mediterranean would have been controlled by Germany and Italy allowing for better supply to the east."

    Whut a laugh. British air & naval superiority on the Med was collossal. Mussolini refused any serious risk to Italian battleships for very good reasons. And British air and naval forces in the East had their very own fuel sources and refineries in theater, and so could be sustained on mostly local resources.

    "Despite your statement Germany was starved for oil all war and more oil from the ME would have allowed for a more mobile Germany army."

    Dream on, lol!

    " Romanian oil was not enough."

    Indeed. The most fundamental problem the Axis had is they were trying to wage a war of engines of global scale with only 2% of the world's natural oil.

    Think about that...

    Soviet oil production alone was about 11% of global oil production.

    “No, but then the UK wasn’t on the Eastern Front”

    If you’re advocating for fairness in assessing the war, you have to realize that the effect of efforts on one front is noticed on the other front. When you tie down more of the enemy on one front, that helps your ally on the other front. It’s elementary.

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  33. Extending this polling further what percent of the public of these countries believe in astrology? How many think there might be extraterrestrials hiding amongst us? Clairvoyance? Half of the population is mentally average or below average and from general observation average seems to be pretty mediocre. Throw in a few points above mediocre and you’ve got a majority. Asking dumb people what they think is mostly a waste of time except for those who want to sell them something or for those whose job it is to advise political candidates on what to say so as to be able to bamboozle the public into thinking the candidate is on their side. As can be seen, Hollywood has been able to turn reality upside down in people’s minds in counties that have a reputation for being first world; these are considered the smarter western countries. This is also your average voter.

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  34. In my experience, the British especially seem to have trouble grasping that Germany was not seafaring nation (the notion that there are other kinds is counter-intuitive to them). The German Navy was never much to write home about, beating it was not exactly a great accomplishment. Its ground forces, on the other hand, at the beginning of WWII were the best in the world. It is this army that had to be defeated – on land, in Europe, in order to win the war against Germany. The Soviet Union was simply the only country that could supply the sort of military capable of accomplishing it. Its single biggest achievement was not even Stalingrad or Kursk, it was stopping the (until then brilliantly successful) Drang nach Osten and turning it into a war of attrition which Germany had no real chance of winning against the Allies. Once the Blitzkrieg failed, the best thing for the Germans was to pack up and go home. But of course, being Germans, they once again thought they could do it all. Germans always made great soldiers, but with something definitely lacking in the strategic thinking department.

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    • Replies: @SFG
    Bismarck was very good at strategic thinking--he picked just enough fights to build a stable country that excluded Prussia's principal rival (Austria).

    Hitler, well, that's another story. If I were him I would have grabbed only the German-speaking portions of other countries, declared Greater Germania, and focused on defending it.
    , @Vendetta
    Indeed, Great Britain was never at a serious risk of cross-channel invasion. German armed forces simply were not equipped for the task and the Royal Navy was too large a force to overcome - the Luftwaffe could have inflicted punishing losses but they'd have only had a day to stop the fleet from sailing from Scapa Flow into the Channel - too many ships and too little time.

    Amphibious invasion on that scale simply was not a part of the German doctrine - Hitler had never even wanted to fight a war with Britain. Germans did not have the shipping to pull off a mass invasion and sustain it, the Navy was nowhere near strong enough to provide an adequate escort, the Luftwaffe's dedicated anti-shipping elements were too small to make up for the shortfall, and the RN was Europe's best navy.

    Biggest accomplishments of the Kriegsmarine at war were the successful invasion of Norway (look at it on paper and there's no way that should have happened in the face of British-French naval superiority, not to mention the sinking of an aircraft carrier by Scharnhorst and Gneisenau) and the much unheralded evacuation of East Prussia in 1945.

    East Prussia puts the Dunkirk evacuation to shame any day. Something like three times the number of people moved a much a farther distance, with a much more dangerous enemy (total Allied air superiority, Soviet submarines, an advancing Red Army on land) and far fewer friendly warships available to provide cover.

    That one deserves a lot more celebration than it gets.
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  35. SFG says:
    @olivegreen
    In my experience, the British especially seem to have trouble grasping that Germany was not seafaring nation (the notion that there are other kinds is counter-intuitive to them). The German Navy was never much to write home about, beating it was not exactly a great accomplishment. Its ground forces, on the other hand, at the beginning of WWII were the best in the world. It is this army that had to be defeated - on land, in Europe, in order to win the war against Germany. The Soviet Union was simply the only country that could supply the sort of military capable of accomplishing it. Its single biggest achievement was not even Stalingrad or Kursk, it was stopping the (until then brilliantly successful) Drang nach Osten and turning it into a war of attrition which Germany had no real chance of winning against the Allies. Once the Blitzkrieg failed, the best thing for the Germans was to pack up and go home. But of course, being Germans, they once again thought they could do it all. Germans always made great soldiers, but with something definitely lacking in the strategic thinking department.

    Bismarck was very good at strategic thinking–he picked just enough fights to build a stable country that excluded Prussia’s principal rival (Austria).

    Hitler, well, that’s another story. If I were him I would have grabbed only the German-speaking portions of other countries, declared Greater Germania, and focused on defending it.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    That would have been the rational course of action...but Hitler was an ideologue, it was all or nothing for him.
    One counter-factual I find rather intriguing is the question whether Germany could have achieved success against the Soviet Union if German policies hadn't been fundamentally racist and genocidal but more along traditional lines (e.g. like the German occupation regimes during the 1st world war which were harsh but nothing like the Nazis' policies of deliberate mass murder). The Soviet regime seems to have been widely hated by many Soviet citizens before 1941, not just among national minorities targeted specifically by Stalinist repression, but also by many Russians. And even as it was, despite the Nazis' murderous occupation regimes there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration in the Soviet Union (most infamously the Vlasov army).
    Of course such speculations are ultimately useless (and German policy was the direct result of Nazi ideology so any counter-factual would presuppose a very different course of history in the 1930s) but I do wonder about that question.
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  36. Vendetta says:

    Think a part of the problem is that Soviet victories from the second half of the war like Operation Bagration are pretty much unknown in America (except for serious students of the Eastern Front). Everything post-Stalingrad, save for the battle of Kursk, becomes very murky and more or less a footnote to Stalingrad in our history textbooks – “and from that point on, Germany was on the defensive and slowly driven out of the conquered territories.”

    The Red Army’s resurgence as an effective campaigning force is rarely explained in full, leaving most Americans with the impression that it fought the whole war with human wave attacks and General Winter.

    There is also a big gap in most of our accounts of the air war in Europe between Act I, where the Luftwaffe is bombing Britain relentlessly and has the RAF outnumbered, and Act II, the strategic bombing offensive, where the Germans are now outnumbered 10:1 and devoted entirely to bomber interception.

    I was left wondering when I was first getting into World War II studies, what the Hell happened to the Luftwaffe between 1941 and 1943? The answer, of course, is that a great deal of it was committed to (and lost on) the Eastern Front – something that casual histories rarely refer to.

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  37. @SFG
    Bismarck was very good at strategic thinking--he picked just enough fights to build a stable country that excluded Prussia's principal rival (Austria).

    Hitler, well, that's another story. If I were him I would have grabbed only the German-speaking portions of other countries, declared Greater Germania, and focused on defending it.

    That would have been the rational course of action…but Hitler was an ideologue, it was all or nothing for him.
    One counter-factual I find rather intriguing is the question whether Germany could have achieved success against the Soviet Union if German policies hadn’t been fundamentally racist and genocidal but more along traditional lines (e.g. like the German occupation regimes during the 1st world war which were harsh but nothing like the Nazis’ policies of deliberate mass murder). The Soviet regime seems to have been widely hated by many Soviet citizens before 1941, not just among national minorities targeted specifically by Stalinist repression, but also by many Russians. And even as it was, despite the Nazis’ murderous occupation regimes there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration in the Soviet Union (most infamously the Vlasov army).
    Of course such speculations are ultimately useless (and German policy was the direct result of Nazi ideology so any counter-factual would presuppose a very different course of history in the 1930s) but I do wonder about that question.

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    • Replies: @Vendetta
    That is the one serious game-changer there might have been on the Eastern Front - the Ukrainians for sure could have provided hundreds of thousands more troops, which the Wehrmacht could have equipped with the enormous stocks of weapons they captured in the Barbarossa encirclements.
    , @anonymous1

    And even as it was, despite the Nazis’ murderous occupation regimes there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration in the Soviet Union (most infamously the Vlasov army).
     
    For more information on that subject check German historian Rolf-Dieter Muller's book 'An der Seite der Wehrmacht'. Couple chapters deal directly with that, probably surprising information to most people.
    , @AP
    As you wrote, if Hitler behaved like a statesman in Eastern Europe, he would not have been Hitler. But theoretically, if Germany fostered allied semi-puppet states who contributed to Germany's war effort (an allied Ukraine, Cossack Republics run by Shkuro and other exiled Whites), Germany likely would have won the war - or at least, pushed the Soviets to the Urals and forced peace. But Hitler was incapable of that.
    , @MarkinLA
    Once I was on a tour with a Austrian company. One guide was Austrian and another German. I mentioned that I saw a video about the German looting of art in Europe during WWII. They showed Hitler's admission paintings to art school. I said "The guy had talent, too bad nobody offed him in 1936. He would likely be a national hero". The just looked at me stunned. Then I said "Oh yeah, you guys aren't allowed to talk about those things".
    , @SFG
    A less racist Germany? Who knows...

    "In other news, the head of Greater Germania, Wilhelm Stresemann, a second-generation politician, countered the suggestions of the American President that the EU should be addressed in English rather than in German, the language spoken by most Europeans. He further suggested that the radioactive areas east of the Urals were of no concern to anyone at this point, and referred comment to his foreign minister, Heinrich Rathenau.
    "A retrospective of the well-known Osterreich landscape painter, Adolf Hitler, is on display at the Berlin Museum..."

    Alternate history is, of course, always a matter of speculation.
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  38. Vendetta says:
    @olivegreen
    In my experience, the British especially seem to have trouble grasping that Germany was not seafaring nation (the notion that there are other kinds is counter-intuitive to them). The German Navy was never much to write home about, beating it was not exactly a great accomplishment. Its ground forces, on the other hand, at the beginning of WWII were the best in the world. It is this army that had to be defeated - on land, in Europe, in order to win the war against Germany. The Soviet Union was simply the only country that could supply the sort of military capable of accomplishing it. Its single biggest achievement was not even Stalingrad or Kursk, it was stopping the (until then brilliantly successful) Drang nach Osten and turning it into a war of attrition which Germany had no real chance of winning against the Allies. Once the Blitzkrieg failed, the best thing for the Germans was to pack up and go home. But of course, being Germans, they once again thought they could do it all. Germans always made great soldiers, but with something definitely lacking in the strategic thinking department.

    Indeed, Great Britain was never at a serious risk of cross-channel invasion. German armed forces simply were not equipped for the task and the Royal Navy was too large a force to overcome – the Luftwaffe could have inflicted punishing losses but they’d have only had a day to stop the fleet from sailing from Scapa Flow into the Channel – too many ships and too little time.

    Amphibious invasion on that scale simply was not a part of the German doctrine – Hitler had never even wanted to fight a war with Britain. Germans did not have the shipping to pull off a mass invasion and sustain it, the Navy was nowhere near strong enough to provide an adequate escort, the Luftwaffe’s dedicated anti-shipping elements were too small to make up for the shortfall, and the RN was Europe’s best navy.

    Biggest accomplishments of the Kriegsmarine at war were the successful invasion of Norway (look at it on paper and there’s no way that should have happened in the face of British-French naval superiority, not to mention the sinking of an aircraft carrier by Scharnhorst and Gneisenau) and the much unheralded evacuation of East Prussia in 1945.

    East Prussia puts the Dunkirk evacuation to shame any day. Something like three times the number of people moved a much a farther distance, with a much more dangerous enemy (total Allied air superiority, Soviet submarines, an advancing Red Army on land) and far fewer friendly warships available to provide cover.

    That one deserves a lot more celebration than it gets.

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  39. Vendetta says:
    @German_reader
    That would have been the rational course of action...but Hitler was an ideologue, it was all or nothing for him.
    One counter-factual I find rather intriguing is the question whether Germany could have achieved success against the Soviet Union if German policies hadn't been fundamentally racist and genocidal but more along traditional lines (e.g. like the German occupation regimes during the 1st world war which were harsh but nothing like the Nazis' policies of deliberate mass murder). The Soviet regime seems to have been widely hated by many Soviet citizens before 1941, not just among national minorities targeted specifically by Stalinist repression, but also by many Russians. And even as it was, despite the Nazis' murderous occupation regimes there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration in the Soviet Union (most infamously the Vlasov army).
    Of course such speculations are ultimately useless (and German policy was the direct result of Nazi ideology so any counter-factual would presuppose a very different course of history in the 1930s) but I do wonder about that question.

    That is the one serious game-changer there might have been on the Eastern Front – the Ukrainians for sure could have provided hundreds of thousands more troops, which the Wehrmacht could have equipped with the enormous stocks of weapons they captured in the Barbarossa encirclements.

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  40. Vendetta says:

    The Soviets did contribute most to the German defeat, but the one thing to remember is that it was the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that allowed the Germans to conquer Europe. Hitler would not have moved on Britain and France if he did not have Russia’s noninterference guaranteed.

    Stalin could have contained Hitler if he’d formed a united front against German expansion with the British and French. Without Stalin, though, the Soviet Union might not have industrialized in time for the war.

    Best that could have happened for Soviet Russia would be Stalin dropping dead after the crash industrialization but before the Red Army purges. Just imagine how much better off Russia might be today if even half of those killed during the war lived on and had children.

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  41. I’m perfectly willing to grant that the Red Army did the lion’s share of heavy lifting in defeating Germany in WWII.

    But…. so what? The country they represented no longer exists.

    If the Russian republic doesn’t want to be the official successor state of the USSR then why try to take credit for a country that no longer exists?

    If the current Russian republic wants to be the successor state of the CCCP then it has to accept the blame for Soviet misdeeds before and after WWII (which pretty much nullify any gratitude the world owes it).

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    • Replies: @Vendetta
    Your legalistic stance on this issue is misplaced. The Russian Federation is the legal successor state to the Soviet Union (inherited its seat in UN, etc) and it's entirely irrelevant, anyway. They don't need some kind of legal claim in order to celebrate it.
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  42. Exhibit number 35 on why Russia shouldn’t expect respect or gratitude for WWII

    http://news.yahoo.com/putin-defends-notorious-nazi-soviet-pact-174156837.html

    and… isn’t there a massive rehabilitation of Stalin going on now in Russia?

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  43. @German_reader
    "Did you ever consider the question,
    whether Britain and France had a chance succeeding in defeating Germany,
    without America and Russia?"

    They should have had every chance, in fact the whole thing might have been over in 1939 if the French hat attacked in the west during the Polish war.
    1940 should never have happened the way it did, France's generals were stunningly incompetent.

    For a reader in German language, this edition may be of interest:
    Der Eisbrecher (Hitler in Stalins Kalkül); $ 19.87 + $ 3.99 S&H,

    http://www.amazon.com/Eisbrecher-Viktor-Suworow/dp/3932381459/

    At least my German-speaking colleague was very impressed.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    I've heard about Suvorov...if I'm not mistaken he claims Stalin planned an attack of his own for July 1941? I'm skeptical about that...though it may well be that Stalin intended something along those lines for 1942 or 1943 (who knows? In any case it seems Stalin had miscalculated and had believed in 1939 the war in the west would be like the 1st world war, so that Germany, France and Britain would bleed each other white and eventually give the Soviet Union a chance for intervention in favorable circumstances. The unexspected fall of France in a few weeks of course changed everything).
    But thanks for the recommendation.
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  44. @Immigrant from former USSR
    For a reader in German language, this edition may be of interest:
    Der Eisbrecher (Hitler in Stalins Kalkül); $ 19.87 + $ 3.99 S&H,
    http://www.amazon.com/Eisbrecher-Viktor-Suworow/dp/3932381459/
    At least my German-speaking colleague was very impressed.

    I’ve heard about Suvorov…if I’m not mistaken he claims Stalin planned an attack of his own for July 1941? I’m skeptical about that…though it may well be that Stalin intended something along those lines for 1942 or 1943 (who knows? In any case it seems Stalin had miscalculated and had believed in 1939 the war in the west would be like the 1st world war, so that Germany, France and Britain would bleed each other white and eventually give the Soviet Union a chance for intervention in favorable circumstances. The unexspected fall of France in a few weeks of course changed everything).
    But thanks for the recommendation.

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Hitler claimed, on 6 December 1941, that he had attacked the SU to forestall an attack on Germany.

    On 6 December 1941, he had no one to deceive. His troops were still winning near Moscow (the Siberians were arriving but not yet engaged). Pearl Harbour had not taken place. Germany and the SU had been preparing for war on each other for at least 4 years. Stalin spent 1938 trying to push Britain and France into fighting Hitler which they did in the end. Who first crossed the border is of tactical interest not strategic.
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  45. @German_reader
    That would have been the rational course of action...but Hitler was an ideologue, it was all or nothing for him.
    One counter-factual I find rather intriguing is the question whether Germany could have achieved success against the Soviet Union if German policies hadn't been fundamentally racist and genocidal but more along traditional lines (e.g. like the German occupation regimes during the 1st world war which were harsh but nothing like the Nazis' policies of deliberate mass murder). The Soviet regime seems to have been widely hated by many Soviet citizens before 1941, not just among national minorities targeted specifically by Stalinist repression, but also by many Russians. And even as it was, despite the Nazis' murderous occupation regimes there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration in the Soviet Union (most infamously the Vlasov army).
    Of course such speculations are ultimately useless (and German policy was the direct result of Nazi ideology so any counter-factual would presuppose a very different course of history in the 1930s) but I do wonder about that question.

    And even as it was, despite the Nazis’ murderous occupation regimes there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration in the Soviet Union (most infamously the Vlasov army).

    For more information on that subject check German historian Rolf-Dieter Muller’s book ‘An der Seite der Wehrmacht’. Couple chapters deal directly with that, probably surprising information to most people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    I think I've already got Müller's book on a list of books I intend to read when I have some time...but thanks for the recommendation. Müller is a fairly good historian as far as I can tell...and the subject is fascinating.
    , @Philip Owen
    When the back up invasion to Normandy hit the beaches of the South of France, they faced Osttruppen who immediately surrendered.
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  46. @anonymous1

    And even as it was, despite the Nazis’ murderous occupation regimes there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration in the Soviet Union (most infamously the Vlasov army).
     
    For more information on that subject check German historian Rolf-Dieter Muller's book 'An der Seite der Wehrmacht'. Couple chapters deal directly with that, probably surprising information to most people.

    I think I’ve already got Müller’s book on a list of books I intend to read when I have some time…but thanks for the recommendation. Müller is a fairly good historian as far as I can tell…and the subject is fascinating.

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  47. Vendetta says:
    @Cliff Arroyo
    I'm perfectly willing to grant that the Red Army did the lion's share of heavy lifting in defeating Germany in WWII.

    But.... so what? The country they represented no longer exists.

    If the Russian republic doesn't want to be the official successor state of the USSR then why try to take credit for a country that no longer exists?

    If the current Russian republic wants to be the successor state of the CCCP then it has to accept the blame for Soviet misdeeds before and after WWII (which pretty much nullify any gratitude the world owes it).

    Your legalistic stance on this issue is misplaced. The Russian Federation is the legal successor state to the Soviet Union (inherited its seat in UN, etc) and it’s entirely irrelevant, anyway. They don’t need some kind of legal claim in order to celebrate it.

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    • Replies: @Cliff Arroyo
    Oh, Russians should totally celebrate the victory to their hearts' content.

    They just shouldn't expect the rest of the world to find them totes amazeballs forever and ever, especially if they're going to do things like try to rehabilitate molotov-ribbentrop (and militarily invade their neighbors). The next thing you know Katyn will be rehabilitated as the generous Soviet state trying to spare Poland expensive military pensions.... (so much goodwill, and what gratitude do they get?)
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  48. AP says:
    @German_reader
    That would have been the rational course of action...but Hitler was an ideologue, it was all or nothing for him.
    One counter-factual I find rather intriguing is the question whether Germany could have achieved success against the Soviet Union if German policies hadn't been fundamentally racist and genocidal but more along traditional lines (e.g. like the German occupation regimes during the 1st world war which were harsh but nothing like the Nazis' policies of deliberate mass murder). The Soviet regime seems to have been widely hated by many Soviet citizens before 1941, not just among national minorities targeted specifically by Stalinist repression, but also by many Russians. And even as it was, despite the Nazis' murderous occupation regimes there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration in the Soviet Union (most infamously the Vlasov army).
    Of course such speculations are ultimately useless (and German policy was the direct result of Nazi ideology so any counter-factual would presuppose a very different course of history in the 1930s) but I do wonder about that question.

    As you wrote, if Hitler behaved like a statesman in Eastern Europe, he would not have been Hitler. But theoretically, if Germany fostered allied semi-puppet states who contributed to Germany’s war effort (an allied Ukraine, Cossack Republics run by Shkuro and other exiled Whites), Germany likely would have won the war – or at least, pushed the Soviets to the Urals and forced peace. But Hitler was incapable of that.

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  49. @Vendetta
    Your legalistic stance on this issue is misplaced. The Russian Federation is the legal successor state to the Soviet Union (inherited its seat in UN, etc) and it's entirely irrelevant, anyway. They don't need some kind of legal claim in order to celebrate it.

    Oh, Russians should totally celebrate the victory to their hearts’ content.

    They just shouldn’t expect the rest of the world to find them totes amazeballs forever and ever, especially if they’re going to do things like try to rehabilitate molotov-ribbentrop (and militarily invade their neighbors). The next thing you know Katyn will be rehabilitated as the generous Soviet state trying to spare Poland expensive military pensions…. (so much goodwill, and what gratitude do they get?)

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  50. MarkinLA says:
    @German_reader
    That would have been the rational course of action...but Hitler was an ideologue, it was all or nothing for him.
    One counter-factual I find rather intriguing is the question whether Germany could have achieved success against the Soviet Union if German policies hadn't been fundamentally racist and genocidal but more along traditional lines (e.g. like the German occupation regimes during the 1st world war which were harsh but nothing like the Nazis' policies of deliberate mass murder). The Soviet regime seems to have been widely hated by many Soviet citizens before 1941, not just among national minorities targeted specifically by Stalinist repression, but also by many Russians. And even as it was, despite the Nazis' murderous occupation regimes there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration in the Soviet Union (most infamously the Vlasov army).
    Of course such speculations are ultimately useless (and German policy was the direct result of Nazi ideology so any counter-factual would presuppose a very different course of history in the 1930s) but I do wonder about that question.

    Once I was on a tour with a Austrian company. One guide was Austrian and another German. I mentioned that I saw a video about the German looting of art in Europe during WWII. They showed Hitler’s admission paintings to art school. I said “The guy had talent, too bad nobody offed him in 1936. He would likely be a national hero”. The just looked at me stunned. Then I said “Oh yeah, you guys aren’t allowed to talk about those things”.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    "Oh yeah, you guys aren’t allowed to talk about those things"

    ? Don't really get your meaning here...but you may be right, if Hitler had been killed in the 1930s, say in 1938 after the Anschluss and Munich, (as Georg Elser almost managed to do in 1939, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Georg_Elser ) he might now be remembered as a national hero, tragically cut down on the cusp of success. Though on the other hand, in retrospect it's clear his policy aimed at war, so that might be a complicating factor. Like all counter-factuals difficult to tell what might have been.
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  51. @MarkinLA
    Once I was on a tour with a Austrian company. One guide was Austrian and another German. I mentioned that I saw a video about the German looting of art in Europe during WWII. They showed Hitler's admission paintings to art school. I said "The guy had talent, too bad nobody offed him in 1936. He would likely be a national hero". The just looked at me stunned. Then I said "Oh yeah, you guys aren't allowed to talk about those things".

    “Oh yeah, you guys aren’t allowed to talk about those things”

    ? Don’t really get your meaning here…but you may be right, if Hitler had been killed in the 1930s, say in 1938 after the Anschluss and Munich, (as Georg Elser almost managed to do in 1939, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Georg_Elser ) he might now be remembered as a national hero, tragically cut down on the cusp of success. Though on the other hand, in retrospect it’s clear his policy aimed at war, so that might be a complicating factor. Like all counter-factuals difficult to tell what might have been.

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    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir
    Had Hitler died naturally or been killed in 1938, I suspect there would today be a segment (at least) of the German population that viewed him in much the same way as a segment of the American population views Franklin Roosevelt - as the man who rescued his country from the Great Depression.

    Mussolini's Fascism, Hitler's Nazism, and Roosevelt's New Deal had many economic elements in common, and this was widely acknowledged before World War II - as may be seen in the many quotations from period sources in Wolfgang Schivelbusch's book "Three New Deals."

    Of the three countries, Germany's recovery was the most remarkable, having begun with the devastation of World War I and the Weimar Republic's subsequent disastrous inflation. The American recovery was much less robust than Germany's; here there was a recession within the depression in 1937, and by 1939, U.S. unemployment still stood between 18-19%.
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  52. SFG says:
    @German_reader
    That would have been the rational course of action...but Hitler was an ideologue, it was all or nothing for him.
    One counter-factual I find rather intriguing is the question whether Germany could have achieved success against the Soviet Union if German policies hadn't been fundamentally racist and genocidal but more along traditional lines (e.g. like the German occupation regimes during the 1st world war which were harsh but nothing like the Nazis' policies of deliberate mass murder). The Soviet regime seems to have been widely hated by many Soviet citizens before 1941, not just among national minorities targeted specifically by Stalinist repression, but also by many Russians. And even as it was, despite the Nazis' murderous occupation regimes there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration in the Soviet Union (most infamously the Vlasov army).
    Of course such speculations are ultimately useless (and German policy was the direct result of Nazi ideology so any counter-factual would presuppose a very different course of history in the 1930s) but I do wonder about that question.

    A less racist Germany? Who knows…

    “In other news, the head of Greater Germania, Wilhelm Stresemann, a second-generation politician, countered the suggestions of the American President that the EU should be addressed in English rather than in German, the language spoken by most Europeans. He further suggested that the radioactive areas east of the Urals were of no concern to anyone at this point, and referred comment to his foreign minister, Heinrich Rathenau.
    “A retrospective of the well-known Osterreich landscape painter, Adolf Hitler, is on display at the Berlin Museum…”

    Alternate history is, of course, always a matter of speculation.

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  53. Svigor says:

    Let me know when the masses start associating genocide with the left in general and the commies in particular, when “anti-racism” gets a bad name based on its association with communism the way “racism” gets one based on Nazism, when commie villains outnumber Nazi ones on the silver screen, when Stalin & company replace Hitler as the big bad, etc. Until then, consider this to be the world’s smallest violin playing just for the Reds *rubs thumb and forefinger together*

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  54. Dutch Boy says:

    Hitler refused to let the German Army go over to the strategic defensive once the blitzkrieg had been stymied. Had they done so, they might have bled the Red Army dry enough to prevent the subsequent rollback and defeat of the German forces.

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Probably Hitler realized that if he wouldn't obtain the decision with the first strike, he wouldn't get it ever. Impossible not to have had in mind the fate of Napoleon. The reality is that the Russians were better prepared than people care to admit.
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  55. Seraphim says:
    @Dutch Boy
    Hitler refused to let the German Army go over to the strategic defensive once the blitzkrieg had been stymied. Had they done so, they might have bled the Red Army dry enough to prevent the subsequent rollback and defeat of the German forces.

    Probably Hitler realized that if he wouldn’t obtain the decision with the first strike, he wouldn’t get it ever. Impossible not to have had in mind the fate of Napoleon. The reality is that the Russians were better prepared than people care to admit.

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  56. @German_reader
    "Oh yeah, you guys aren’t allowed to talk about those things"

    ? Don't really get your meaning here...but you may be right, if Hitler had been killed in the 1930s, say in 1938 after the Anschluss and Munich, (as Georg Elser almost managed to do in 1939, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Georg_Elser ) he might now be remembered as a national hero, tragically cut down on the cusp of success. Though on the other hand, in retrospect it's clear his policy aimed at war, so that might be a complicating factor. Like all counter-factuals difficult to tell what might have been.

    Had Hitler died naturally or been killed in 1938, I suspect there would today be a segment (at least) of the German population that viewed him in much the same way as a segment of the American population views Franklin Roosevelt – as the man who rescued his country from the Great Depression.

    Mussolini’s Fascism, Hitler’s Nazism, and Roosevelt’s New Deal had many economic elements in common, and this was widely acknowledged before World War II – as may be seen in the many quotations from period sources in Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s book “Three New Deals.”

    Of the three countries, Germany’s recovery was the most remarkable, having begun with the devastation of World War I and the Weimar Republic’s subsequent disastrous inflation. The American recovery was much less robust than Germany’s; here there was a recession within the depression in 1937, and by 1939, U.S. unemployment still stood between 18-19%.

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  57. @George123
    No, Britain alone certainly could not have defeated Germany. Its highly questionable if it could have even retained its independence, although it did defeat Germany in the Battle of Britain despite numerous German advantages, which suggests creditable fighting abilities at least in some areas. Although even here, Polish pilots were considered the best.

    Yes, America was probably the decisive factor in defeating Germany, both as supplier to Russia, which was crucial, and as supplier of men and material on the Western front, and for invigorating that front with renewed fighting spirit - the Brits were very reluctant to do the invasion of Normandy.

    Without American supplies Russia would have been neutralized. America seems to be the decisive factor however you look at it, so it makes some sense, I suppose, that that's how its perceived.

    However, Russia deserves more recognition for its role than its commonly given in the West. Russian sacrifices were enormous.

    Britain had the resources to defeat Germany. It simply had no army or air force in 1938. It needed time to build up its forces and bring in resources from the Empire. The Battle of Britain was not so close as painted at the time. The RAF had large reserves training in new techniques. The planes that were engaged were perhaps 24 hours from defeat but that wasn’t the whole story. Heroic victory against the odds was the required story line.

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  58. @German_reader
    I've heard about Suvorov...if I'm not mistaken he claims Stalin planned an attack of his own for July 1941? I'm skeptical about that...though it may well be that Stalin intended something along those lines for 1942 or 1943 (who knows? In any case it seems Stalin had miscalculated and had believed in 1939 the war in the west would be like the 1st world war, so that Germany, France and Britain would bleed each other white and eventually give the Soviet Union a chance for intervention in favorable circumstances. The unexspected fall of France in a few weeks of course changed everything).
    But thanks for the recommendation.

    Hitler claimed, on 6 December 1941, that he had attacked the SU to forestall an attack on Germany.

    On 6 December 1941, he had no one to deceive. His troops were still winning near Moscow (the Siberians were arriving but not yet engaged). Pearl Harbour had not taken place. Germany and the SU had been preparing for war on each other for at least 4 years. Stalin spent 1938 trying to push Britain and France into fighting Hitler which they did in the end. Who first crossed the border is of tactical interest not strategic.

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  59. @anonymous1

    And even as it was, despite the Nazis’ murderous occupation regimes there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration in the Soviet Union (most infamously the Vlasov army).
     
    For more information on that subject check German historian Rolf-Dieter Muller's book 'An der Seite der Wehrmacht'. Couple chapters deal directly with that, probably surprising information to most people.

    When the back up invasion to Normandy hit the beaches of the South of France, they faced Osttruppen who immediately surrendered.

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    • Replies: @colm
    And these ost were politely handed over by Clemente Attlee, and were exterminated.

    Thank you Britain!
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  60. “The Soviet Red Army was the necessary, if not sufficient, factor in defeating the German Army.” True. Hitler failed to win at the Battle of Britain. He started to lose at Stalingrad and El Alamein which in combination cut him off from plentiful oil. But until Kursk, Germany still had a fighting chance. Kursk would not have been possible without British intelligence which allowed the Red Army to concentrate its forces in the right place. Without Kursk, the Germans still wouldn’t have won but the Allied (yes British intelligence) victory at Kursk reduced the war by at least a year.

    The biggest point about Anatoly’s graphs is the Russian attitude to the other allies. Large mounds of dead bodies have little to do with strategy or victory. The Soviet Cult of Victory (NOT REMBRANCE) was the justification for the continuation of Communism. Dead bodies sanctified Soviet power. It continues to show in those graphs. The Russian denial of the other allies is the biggest story.

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  61. colm says:
    @rkka
    Sean,

    "I think to answer this question we must put the Allied countries into 3 groups and consider that groups without the USA also receive zero material help from the USA. Could the UK and SU alone defeat Italy, Japan, and Germany? I would say No. "

    David Glantz (Colonel, US Army, retired), the best historian of the German-Soviet war now writing in English, disagrees with you. He believes that with no Western involvement (not just the US, but the British Empire as well) in the war against Germany at all, the war in Europe would have lasted 12-18 months longer, and would have ended with the Soviet Army on the Atlantic beaches of France.

    As for Japan, I think the USSR and the British armed forces combined are more than a match for the armed forces of Imperial Japan, especially once the Soviets ramp up Pe-8 production and start bombing missions across the Sea of Japan escorted by Yak-9s.

    And Anatoly is correct, this is not the impression left by any of the propaganda arms of the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite & Punditocracy (AFPE&P), the Anglosphere mass media, the Anglosphere entertainment industry, or the Anglosphere academy.

    David Glantz. The English-speaking Russian Apologist of Stalin’s minions who would dream to be buried next to Chuikov at Volgograd.

    I take whatever he says with a huge grain of salt.

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  62. colm says:
    @Philip Owen
    When the back up invasion to Normandy hit the beaches of the South of France, they faced Osttruppen who immediately surrendered.

    And these ost were politely handed over by Clemente Attlee, and were exterminated.

    Thank you Britain!

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