Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
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Gary
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by Gary » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:46 pm

Well if we assume Britain fell in 1940, were would Russia get theur arctic convoys to keep them supplied from?
Where would the USA launch an invasion of western Europe from? - the Azores?

Without the USA, Britain would lack the manpower and industrial might of Uncle Sam.

Without Russia, Fritz has no Eastern front to fight on and all those Soldiers will be free to fight eslewhere
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by RF » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:16 am

The Azores are neutral Portuguese territory so that option would not even be open to them. No the ''invasion of Europe'' would have to be an invasion of Britain, probably in western Scotland and then landings in west Cornwall. Key here is whether the Germans actually occupy Northern Ireland, or let De Valera have it, in which case it is neutral territory.
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by RF » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:20 am

Gary wrote: Without the USA, Britain would lack the manpower and industrial might of Uncle Sam.
But still has the resources of a global empire at its disposal - once fully mobilised of course.
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by RF » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:21 am

Gary wrote:Well if we assume Britain fell in 1940, were would Russia get theur arctic convoys to keep them supplied from?
Across the Bering Strait and also through the Persiam Gulf, as in WW2. A far from direct route but free from enemy interdiction.
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by Keith Enge » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:45 pm

RF's point is well taken. We think of Russia as being supplied via the Russian convoys to Murmansk and Archangel because that route got and gets the most PR. However, only about a quarter of the supplies went that way. Another quarter went to the Persian Gulf and then up from Iran. Fully half went to Vladivostok in US built ships crewed sometimes by the Russians and other times by US merchant crews. I've always considered it interesting that Japan was an ally of Germany and yet allowed the US to supply Russia, at war with Germany, without interfering with the shipping through the northern part of the Sea of Japan. Those 1938 and 1939 battles with Russia along the Mongolian border sure left a lasting impression on the Japanese high command, making them very reluctant to further upset Russia.

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by RF » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:19 am

Keith, Japan of course did not declare war on the USSR after the PH attack, as Hitler hoped they would by his declaration of war on the US. Moreover Japan had a non-aggression treaty in force with the USSR, and interdicting shipping involving Russian crews would be a violation of that treaty.
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by neil hilton » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:54 pm

RF wrote:
Gary wrote: Without the USA, Britain would lack the manpower and industrial might of Uncle Sam.
But still has the resources of a global empire at its disposal - once fully mobilised of course.
Manpower-wise Britain, theoretically, had greater manpower reserves than the USSR. India. If Britain could have mobilised properly there it could have fieled millions but India chose WW2 to really start clamouring for independence, incited by Ghandi. Fair enough. But the fact Ghandi used the war as an opportunity to sew dissention shows the 'Great Soul' had a mean streak.
Regarding the general issue here; US superfluous? No, without US help I think Britain could have eventually defeated either Germany or Japan individually but not together. US involvement was absolutely neccessary when Germany and Japan joined forces.
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by RF » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:07 pm

neil hilton wrote: but India chose WW2 to really start clamouring for independence, incited by Ghandi. Fair enough. But the fact Ghandi used the war as an opportunity to sew dissention shows the 'Great Soul' had a mean streak.
The moves for Indian indepedence really goes back to the 1920' s largely as a consequence of WW1 and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. WW2 certainly gave it a push and indeed some Indians chose to back the Germans and some the Japanese as a means to independence.
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by RF » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:11 pm

neil hilton wrote: Regarding the general issue here; US superfluous? No, without US help I think Britain could have eventually defeated either Germany or Japan individually but not together. US involvement was absolutely neccessary when Germany and Japan joined forces.
Britain could certainly have defeated Italy on its own. Having US support was essential for the British to get back into France. Without the US the Russians would have defeated Germany over a longer period, and the Iron Curtain would probably be on the Rhine or even further west.
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by RF » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:17 pm

neil hilton wrote: without US help I think Britain could have eventually defeated .... Japan individually ....
I don't really see how. The British could hold Malaya and Australia, but without the US the Japanese can concentrate on fighting Britain far more effectively, particulary if they held the Dutch East Indies. Britain had no bases or carrier force with which to put Japan itself under fire.
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by lwd » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:23 pm

RF wrote: ...Britain could certainly have defeated Italy on its own. Having US support was essential for the British to get back into France. Without the US the Russians would have defeated Germany over a longer period, and the Iron Curtain would probably be on the Rhine or even further west.
I'm not so sure about that. The Soviets were on their last legs in a number of ways by the time Berlin fell. Add more casualties and less supplies and slower movement on the Eastern front and I'm not sure they make it to Berlin. I think it very likely that they would retake most of the Soviet Union before they ran out of steam but not sure beyond that.
RF wrote: ... I don't really see how. The British could hold Malaya and Australia, but without the US the Japanese can concentrate on fighting Britain far more effectively, particulary if they held the Dutch East Indies. Britain had no bases or carrier force with which to put Japan itself under fire.
If Japan can't get fuel from the US then the British would have the time after Germany is defeated. Whether or not they would persue it is another question.

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by RF » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:16 am

If Japan has the Dutch oilfields they don't need oil from the US.
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by lwd » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:42 pm

RF wrote:If Japan has the Dutch oilfields they don't need oil from the US.
I'm not so sure of that. If we look at say: http://www.combinedfleet.com/guadoil1.htm
Next, let's examine Japan's situation with respect to petroleum production at this stage in the war. In the fourth quarter of 1942, Japanese oil production (which was almost entirely concentrated in her conquered territories, such as the Indies) was 1,194,000 tons. Of that, only 643,000 tons made it to Japan (which is where practically all the refineries were), the rest being either lost to attack, or consumed in the conquered territories. So roughly 214,000 tons of oil per month was making it to Japan. However, the Imperial Navy alone was consuming about 305,000 tons of heavy oil (in the form of fuel oil) per month by this stage in the war (Parillo, p. 237).
So even if all the oil produced makes it to Japan they are getting ~430,000 tons per month and the navy alone is using 305,000 tons. Given that the army needs some, as does industry, and to a lesser extent the civilian populace it doesn't look to me like Japan is getting enough at that point.

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by Bgile » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:29 pm

NM.

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:18 pm

lwd wrote: So even if all the oil produced makes it to Japan they are getting ~430,000 tons per month and the navy alone is using 305,000 tons. Given that the army needs some, as does industry, and to a lesser extent the civilian populace it doesn't look to me like Japan is getting enough at that point.

..... The next question to ask, however, is whether the IJN would be consuming that much fuel oil if it were NOT prosecuting a trans-Pacific war against the USA. Great Britain's ability to project power into the Pacific theater was very small in comparison to that of the US.

B

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