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View Full Version : WW2 - Who really won it?


jonathan7
12-16-2008, 03:38 PM
Split from; http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?p=2567152&posted=1#post2567152 -- j7

This is actually something that can be successfully argued. Britain lacked the resources needed to actually challenge the Nazis for control of Europe. They needed the United States to provide the strength necessary to turn it into a two-front war.

Partially right; Britain couldn't of won on her own, however the U.S. didn't win the war in Europe; Russia did.

GarfieldJL
12-16-2008, 03:45 PM
Partially right; Britain couldn't of won on her own, however the U.S. didn't win the war in Europe; Russia did.

Actually Russia couldn't win on its' own either, nor even with the help of the British. When the United States and the UK stormed the Beaches of Normandy, it opened a second front forcing the Germans to have to split their forces in two and prevented the Germans from simply focusing on the Eastern front.

You're also neglecting that during this time, the Japanese were also on a rampage, it was Japan's blunder in attacking Pearl Harbor that turned the tide of the war. The United States was a sleeping giant, and the Japanese managed to not only wake that giant up, but make the giant very angry (a good analogy would the the Hulk).

jonathan7
12-16-2008, 03:50 PM
Actually Russia couldn't win on its' own either, nor even with the help of the British. When the United States and the UK stormed the Beaches of Normandy, it opened a second front forcing the Germans to have to split their forces in two and prevented the Germans from simply focusing on the Eastern front.

Have you seen the casualty figures for where the German troops died? While the Russians were desperate for a second front to be opened, the War in the east had already turned against the Nazi's before Normandy (i.e. Stalingrad and Kursk).

GarfieldJL
12-16-2008, 03:58 PM
Have you seen the casualty figures for where the German troops died? While the Russians were desperate for a second front to be opened, the War in the east had already turned against the Nazi's before Normandy (i.e. Stalingrad and Kursk).

Have you seen the casualty figures for the Russians? They were just as staggering as those for the Germans. Fact is that the Germans could have countered and held the Russians, but the needed the resources from Western Europe and the arrival of the Americans and the British made it so the Western front couldn't spare any resources and even then the Americans and British were beating the Germans in Western Europe.

jonathan7
12-16-2008, 04:01 PM
Have you seen the casualty figures for the Russians? They were just as staggering as those for the Germans. Fact is that the Germans could have countered and held the Russians, but the needed the resources from Western Europe and the arrival of the Americans and the British made it so the Western front couldn't spare any resources and even then the Americans and British were beating the Germans in Western Europe.

Yeah, I'm well aware of the casulaty figures - its precisely because Stalin couldn't care less how many troops were thrown at the Nazi's that the Soviets were such a formidable enemy (along with the weather). I again repeat the fact you seemed to of missed the war in the east had turned by spring 1943 - long before D-day.

GarfieldJL
12-16-2008, 04:07 PM
Yeah, I'm well aware of the casulaty figures - its precisely because Stalin couldn't care less how many troops were thrown at the Nazi's that the Soviets were such a formidable enemy (along with the weather). I again repeat the fact you seemed to of missed the war in the east had turned by spring 1943 - long before D-day.

The Russians were forcing the Germans out of their territory, but the thing is, that the Russians would have ended up with a similar problem the Germans did, supplies or lack thereof. Further the Germans could have reinforced and while it wasn't a two-front war.

jonathan7
12-16-2008, 04:15 PM
The Russians were forcing the Germans out of their territory, but the thing is, that the Russians would have ended up with a similar problem the Germans did, supplies or lack thereof. Further the Germans could have reinforced and while it wasn't a two-front war.

My general points was this with regards the War in Europe; the Russians played the major part; while the UK and the U.S. did their bit, I do think the Russians bore the brunt of the Nazi war machine.

GarfieldJL
12-16-2008, 04:18 PM
My general points was this with regards the War in Europe; the Russians played the major part; while the UK and the U.S. did their bit, I do think the Russians bore the brunt of the Nazi war machine.

The Russians did bear the brunt of the Nazi war machine, however the Russians also caused part of the problem to begin with, and they suffered a lot of the damage because Stalin had killed off all his best commanders.

Seriously, the US and UK, particularly the United States were the ones that turned the tide. The Russian advance on the Eastern front would have eventually stalled out.

jrrtoken
12-16-2008, 04:22 PM
The Russians did bear the brunt of the Nazi war machine, however the Russians also caused part of the problem to begin with, and they suffered a lot of damage because Stalin had killed off all his best commanders.They're the ones who got to Berlin, liberated several concentration camps, and turned the tide of the war on the eastern front. Note that they were invaded by the Nazis, but due to a harsh winter and a quite massive army, they pushed the Nazis out of Russia, out of Poland, and eventually toppled Berlin. That's quite a feat in itself.

GarfieldJL
12-16-2008, 04:25 PM
They're the ones who got to Berlin, liberated several concentration camps, and turned the tide of the war on the eastern front. Note that they were invaded by the Nazis, but due to a harsh winter and a quite massive army, they pushed the Nazis out of Russia, out of Poland, and eventually toppled Berlin. That's quite a feat in itself.

You're not looking at the entire picture though. The Germans couldn't send over their forces from the Western Front, which would theoretically have included some of their best tank commanders because the United States and Britain opened a second front.

The Russians wouldn't have gotten as far as they had if not for the second front, because the Germans couldn't fight on two fronts.

Furthermore, Americans liberated Concentration Camps too.

mimartin
12-16-2008, 04:26 PM
My general points was this with regards the War in Europe; the Russians played the major part; while the UK and the U.S. did their bit, I do think the Russians bore the brunt of the Nazi war machine. I'd agree with that, but I don't believe the Russians won the war. They defended their soil and were able to advance into Germany due to the two fronts.

I'm even unsure if I would say the Allies won the war, over saying that Germany lost the war. Opening two fronts is never the way to go. Funny countries learned nothing from history even today.

Id say America was just as important to the War effort in Europe as the Russians although I not taking about the troops. American industry was instrumental in helping supply Great Britain and the Russians.

jonathan7
12-16-2008, 04:38 PM
Id say America was just as important to the War effort in Europe as the Russians although I not taking about the troops. American industry was instrumental in helping supply Great Britain and the Russians.

That's something I'd agree with :xp:

Astor
12-16-2008, 04:38 PM
While the Allied Forces defeated the Axis powers, I don't think anyone actually won the war.

72 million people dead in total, with most of Europe, Eurasia and China in ruins from fighting, it would make for a pretty hollow victory if people claimed it as such.

EDIT: Regarding the Allied Casualties, here's a piechart with a breakdown:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/WorldWarII-MilitaryDeaths-Allies-Piechart.png

GarfieldJL
12-16-2008, 04:44 PM
The number of Soviet deaths is largely due to gross incompetitence on the part of the Soviet Commanders and lack of supplies.

CommanderQ
12-16-2008, 04:47 PM
Well, this thread poses a very good question. I believe that the Allied Powers could've only won together, for if they were seperate, well, alot of us would be speaking German or Japanese right now{or Italian for that matter:D} I say this mostly because, Britain couldn't hold back the German storm, but held on barely during the Battle for Britain, however, no serious advances were made until the massive industrial power of America came in. Russia had a large army, yes, but didn't have the industry in the beginning of the war to even arm their troops! During the first months of the Battle of Stalingrad, there was only 1 rifle, for every 5 men! Russia would have definately been defeated had supplies from America and Britain not made it there to feed Russia's armies and arm its soldiers. It was a very large surplus indeed. The Russians did have the winter on that side, but like all things, winter would've ended eventually, and the German army would've marched freely once more, but thanks to the supplies sent to Russia, Russia held out, and began a counter-offensive.

Britain, beaten in Europe, holding on to its country through heavy bombing, fought bravely on the sands of Africa, and with the help of its empire, the islands of the Pacific. But in Africa, Rommel ruled the desert with his tactics, the British did have "Monty" to help them, but without the American support and invasion of Morocco in 1943, Britain may not have been able to defeat the Axis forces in Africa. But together, the British and Americans won, at a high price for both. They wouldn't have won seperately.

The Pacific, British forces have been pushed back on many islands, Japanese destroyers and battleships are kings of the Pacific, the Royal Navy wasn't doing its best, bu it was doing well. Pearl Harbor happened, and America joined the fray, adding a sizeable and more modern fleet to the battle. Together, once again, the Allies won. Russia even helped {actually, they only fought for some ought three days or more in 1945, then the Atom bombs fell}

So, D-day, now Germany is fighting on three fronts, the south in Italy, the East in Russia, and now the west, in France. Germany outnumbers the Allies in the west and south, 4-1, Russia, however, outnumbers te Germans 10-1 {okay, maybe a tad of exaggeration on Russian military power} So the Germans divert more troops to the east, but cannot keep the Allies from advancing. This was a combined effort, had Italy and France not been invaded, Germany could've dedicated all its extra resources to the advance in Russia, end game for them, but that didn't happen.

So, in the end, combined forces of the three major Allied powers destroyed the Third Reich and the the Empire of Japan. Berlin was taken by the Russians, this ended the war, but it doesn't mean that Russia won it for everyone. Without Allied powers to supply them and divert Axis forces elsewhere, the story would've been different.


Therefore, I say, that the war ended in a combined effort towards a common enemy.

jonathan7
12-16-2008, 04:50 PM
say this mostly because, Britain couldn't hold back the German storm, but held on barely during the Battle for Britain, however, no serious advances were made until the massive industrial power of America came in.

I'd dispute this simply because the military analysts have observed that even with aerial superiority the Navy would still of stopped a Nazi invasion of the UK; this of course was academic as the RAF kicked Nazi ass - Battle of Britain wasn't that close :xp:

GarfieldJL
12-16-2008, 04:53 PM
I'd dispute this simply because the military analysts have observed that even with aerial superiority the Navy would still of stopped a Nazi invasion of the UK; this of course was academic as the RAF kicked Nazi ass - Battle of Britain wasn't that close :xp:

Yeah that part was rendered academic, but the British couldn't invade Western Europe.

CommanderQ
12-16-2008, 04:58 PM
I'd dispute this simply because the military analysts have observed that even with aerial superiority the Navy would still of stopped a Nazi invasion of the UK; this of course was academic as the RAF kicked Nazi ass - Battle of Britain wasn't that close :xp:

True, sorry about that. The British Ground forces were severly crippled after the evacuation of Dunkirk. The British Airforce however, was still outnumbered greatly. Nearly 600 aircraft versus the German 1200 fighters. Then the bombers increases that number. Still, the Germans made many tactical errors, therefore ending with unneccesary losses. The British Air Force had managed to defeat the most powerful {in number} air force in the world, mostly by outsmarting the beast, and using every advantage given.

Which I'm quite glad and thankful they did, because had Operation Sea Lion commenced after the destruction of the RAF, well, things could've only gotten worse.

Astor
12-16-2008, 05:09 PM
I'd dispute this simply because the military analysts have observed that even with aerial superiority the Navy would still of stopped a Nazi invasion of the UK; this of course was academic as the RAF kicked Nazi ass - Battle of Britain wasn't that close

I saw a documentary the other day about the Battle of Britain, which analysed the tactics and capabilities of both the RAF and the Luftwaffe.

The Luftwaffe had the advantage - their planes (Messerschmidt) could turn and dive faster (the Spitfire had to roll into a dive to prevent a stall).

Also, the 'Victory V' formation used by the RAF was very hard to maintain, and near impossible in a combat situation, whereas Luftwaffe tactics (2 plans in a loose formation) was more versatile.

I hate to say it, but we were lucky.

EDIT:

True, sorry about that. The British Ground forces were severly crippled after the evacuation of Dunkirk.

The army wasn't crippled. It lost a lot of equipment, but the Navy, as well as the fleet of little ships managed to evacuate 338,000 men - a very large portion of the armed forces at the time (only 230,000 were British, but the rest formed many 'Free NameofyourCountryHere' Companies). That was one of the biggest mistakes by the Germans, by delaying their assault on the beach, which would allow the BEF time to evacuate.

Q
12-16-2008, 05:58 PM
I hate to say it, but we were lucky.
I disagree. You Brits had several advantages that offset the German numerical superiority:

You had RADAR and the defense system that the RAF developed to use it. This can't be stressed enough. It was a huge advantage of the war-winning type.

You had the home field advantage. If a British pilot bailed out safely he could get right back into the fight as long as a new mount was available. German aircrews who safely bailed out became POWs.

The Messerschmitt was a fine fighter but it lacked the range necessary to stay over Britain for any length of time before it ran out of fuel. Both the Hurricane and the Spitfire were more maneuverable.

Yes, the V-formation was outdated and inferior to the "Finger Four," but RAF pilots caught on pretty quickly and it ceased to be an issue before long.

The Germans dispersed their effort by bombing cities like London instead of concentrating on destroying the RAF, which should have been their primary objective.

You guys won that fight fair and square. There was no luck involved, IMO. The British victory in the Battle of Britain gave hope to people everywhere because it showed for the first time in the war that the Nazi war machine could be defeated. Don't be afraid to take credit when it's due. ;)

CommanderQ
12-16-2008, 06:06 PM
EDIT:



The army wasn't crippled. It lost a lot of equipment, but the Navy, as well as the fleet of little ships managed to evacuate 338,000 men - a very large portion of the armed forces at the time (only 230,000 were British, but the rest formed many 'Free NameofyourCountryHere' Companies). That was one of the biggest mistakes by the Germans, by delaying their assault on the beach, which would allow the BEF time to evacuate.

Well, it's equipment was stripped from it, yes, putting them in no condition to fight a modernized German army that was superior in size and technology{I mean in comparison to the fact that the British army was unarmed mostly after Dunkirk. German forces weren't very very technologically advanced at this point in the war, numbers and tactics however stilled stayed with them}.

Still, it was a strike to morale, being struck from Europe, but the evacuation recovered some of that, and definately filled Allied troops with a great resolve. Then began the Battle of Britain.

vanir
12-17-2008, 12:25 AM
Without context virtually any broad statements can be levelled and debated. The only way to fully appreciate the historical details of this shocking conflict however is to rely wherever possible on primary source reference material, and debate those.

There are a wealth of very generalised recordings from the Soviets of the period, it is sketchy but does provide some of the atmosphere from the Russian side. Most concise record keeping was performed by the Wehrmacht, which is also handy because naturally a nation would be loath to admit defeat, so the diary entries of General Halder, Chief of Staff OKW and field command Staff Chiefs, are both plentiful and generally celebrated by the academic community. Also paper records of production details and surviving veteran interviews are well worth researching.

I personally, categorically state the United States played no significant role in the defeat of Germany whatsoever. The question was never in doubt from 1942 according to Oberkommando des Heeres, der Luftwaffe und der Kreigsmarine, even the majority of Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. The Soviets considered the question irrelevent and had gained the upper hand from November 1942. The west became aware of this state of affairs by early 1943. The entire Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front was thrown into full retreat from Kursk. A variety of sources claim the concern among US Staff Chiefs was Soviet control of Western Europe, following an inevitable German defeat, in meetings held in early-1943. The general consensus among historians is that Normandy proceeded for these reasons alone.
Operation Torch was another matter, concerning Italy and control of the Mediterranean more than Germany directly. In any case the war was already over for Germany and these efforts did nothing to quicken the invasion of Berlin by the Soviets.

The greatest role played by US lend lease equipment was in the Caucasus (Kuban peninsula) early 1943 and Crimea in 1944. The vast majority of Soviet equipment used in the march to Germany was made in the Urals, all front line combat equipment was Soviet made with the sole exception of Airacobras used in small numbers among Guards air divisions, who also used the Yak-3 from 1944 and the La-5/7. Guards air divisions were more experienced combatants and these were relatively difficult aircraft to fly. The vast majority of regular fighter divisions used the Yak-9 which was based on a trainer and was very easy to fly. US trucks were mostly used by the Ukranian and North Caucasus Fronts (non-Russians, like Cossack, Kyrgh and Georgian field divisions, and of course liberated Ukranians). These caused tremendous problems for JG52 whom were charged with the German rearguard defence in this sector. At times Soviet infantry advanced on forward airfields so quickly Luftwaffe mechanics had to be bundled into the rear fuselage storage area of BF-109Gs and flown out to escape capture (Erich Hartmann describes this graphically).

Most of the US equipment which was used during the major Soviet drive from the second half of 1943 went from the Kuban, to the Crimea, to the southern Ukraine, to Rumania, to Hungary (where they got caught up in the last German counterattack in the East at Lake Balaton), to Czechoslovakia and by then the B'elorussian Fronts in the north had slammed through Poland, had a rest and annihilated Berlin. So no, even American equipment played no direct part in the defeat of Germany. In fact German troops in Prague were the very last to surrender, it was believed for a time they would not (England had similar concerns for Norwegian forces which were in fact surprisingly well equipped).

CommanderQ
12-17-2008, 12:40 AM
Russian Forces did have a sizeable advantage with their numbers, however, in the beginning stages of the war, supplies were very hard to come by. The Russian industries needed a bit of a jump start with supplies, the Western Allies provided it, and the Red Army had life breathed into it's industries, beginning a massive juggernuat effect. I know that by the Offensive of the Uder river outside Berlin, Russian forces had so much ammunition that they could target individual soldiers, with ANTI-TANK rounds{strong chance of not missing}. Due to Hitler's over confidence in his spring offensive, Germany's army was definately caught unprepared for the harsh Russian Winters, weakening morale and causng poor judgement on many high officer's cases, and the German Generals should never have let Hitler take direct control of the Armed Forces, hence, many numerous and unneeded defeats: Stalingrad, Kursk, the Moscow offensive {Russia's winter contributed to that one}, and practically every major defeat following back to the Siege of Berlin. Hitler was not a tactician, though the Fieldmarshals of the Third Reich could do nothing to stop his crazy tactics. I think it was Fieldmarshal Friedrich Von Paulus who said, "Who orders to hold to the last drop of blood? Only a mad man would order that!" {I think it was Paulus, or at least he said a similar saying, it could've been an officer under his command}

Now, in the meanings of Airpower, Russia reigned supreme in numbers. That and their aircraft were extremely armored {however not very manueverable}, the Yak-9 was referred to as "the flying tank," because of its thick armor and {later upgraded} cannons.

I would still think the war a combined effort, for even if Russia didn't need Allied supplys, the Italian Offensive and Normandy Offensive helped greatly in the easing of Russia's advances. Had it only been a one front battle for Germany, the Eastern front would've been a very harsh one indeed.

vanir
12-17-2008, 12:53 AM
Now, in the meanings of Airpower, Russia reigned supreme in numbers. That and their aircraft were extremely armored {however not very manueverable}, the Yak-9 was referred to as "the flying tank," because of its thick armor and {later upgraded} cannons.

Oops, you confused the Yak with the Ilyushin IL2 "Sturmovik" (attack-bomber). The Yak was universally regarded as among the most manoeuvrable aircraft of the war, the Yak-3 in particular is considered the most manoeuvrable fighter aircraft in history. In general all Soviet fighter planes (MiG, LaGG, etc.) had amazing turning radius. What they often had was very poor engine development.
The Luftwaffe gave an official release during 1944 for all pilots to avoid combats with "Yak fighters lacking an oil cooler under the nose" (ie. Yak-3 and Yak-9U models), at altitudes below 4000 metres. From the beginning of the war the standard doctrine was to avoid turning engagements and to use energy tactics against all Soviet fighters.
Manoeuvrability is what they had ;)

I would still think the war a combined effort, for even if Russia didn't need Allied supplys, the Italian Offensive and Normandy Offensive helped greatly in the easing of Russia's advances. Had it only been a one front battle for Germany, the Eastern front would've been a very harsh one indeed.
Naturally as my assertions are so based, I should ask then your reference material for this claim. Sorry, but concession have little place in strict academics :)

CommanderQ
12-17-2008, 01:02 AM
I merely read a history book. That's about it, the name however, I sadly do not remember. But I do recall Stalin making several comments to Churchill and Roosevelt on the need of their participation in combat. Of course, this was also discussed at Yalta, which formed the three-prong stike, from the West, from the South, and obviously, from the East. Through many conferences with Allied leaders, these plans were created and executed, to great effect.

Oh, and thanks for the correction on the Sturmovik, I have a tendency to get the yak and the IL2 confused, my bad. You bring up very good points, and I understand the need for reference material, I'll try to keep up with you there.

EDIT:

When I explained what I thought would've happened had the Normandy and Italian and Sicilian invasions not happened, that was merely opinion. Many History buffs on this subject have many different opinions on what would've happened. So, I really couldn't give a source on that. The thing is, is that we don't know what would've happened. We only know what did. I was just expressing an opinion, sorry about the misunderstanding there.

vanir
12-17-2008, 01:16 AM
Oh no, I quite appreciate every opinion and those I might contradict as much as those which may agree with me. I think all minds have equal value in considerations that are involved in arriving at celebrated understanding. It is a harsh truth that science can be brutal, but the human factor is freedom of expression. It is necessary to appreciate yours ;) How could I even consider myself intelligent otherwise (all thread contributions are valuable, always, no lie, and teach me on a daily basis many things I am glad for).

Yar-El
12-17-2008, 08:47 AM
Split from; http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?p=2567152&posted=1#post2567152 -- j7

Partially right; Britain couldn't of won on her own, however the U.S. didn't win the war in Europe; Russia did.
Cutting to the main question - Who won World War 2?

We all did. We all had to stand together; thus, we were able to overthrow the Nazis. U.S. involvement helped to rally demoralized nations. It was an injection of hope and motivation. Not one nation stood by itself. It was all or none.

GarfieldJL
12-17-2008, 11:05 AM
The United States had a fully operational industrial capacity that was effectively out of range of any air attack by the Axis Powers. We quite simply had inexhaustible resources to throw at the situation.

The British quite simply could have held Britain because of air superiority, but they couldn't open a second front, they lacked long range fighters and bombers that the Americans ended up building.