Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7510
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby RF » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:42 am

Not to mention Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Rhodesians, Indians and other native British Empire forces, along with the Free French. And Americans were involved in the fighting before the US was attacked at PH, including the Eagle squadron in Britain and the US volunteer pilots operating in China.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Seekanone
Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:37 pm

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Seekanone » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:01 am

Bgile, you are quite right, I overstated the case. Britain fought along from May 40 to June 41, without help from a major power but she was not alone. All of this brings out long held resentments between Anglos and Americans as to the actual share of the war burden while ignoring the overwhelming suffering of the Soviet Union. It is really immaterial to day who did what.

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby lwd » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:43 pm

Seekanone wrote:... Britain fought along from May 40 to June 41, without help from a major power but she was not alone. All of this brings out long held resentments between Anglos and Americans as to the actual share of the war burden

Does it? Perhaps to some.
while ignoring the overwhelming suffering of the Soviet Union.

Does it? Perhaps to some.
It is really immaterial to day who did what.

Not to one who seeks to understand what happened in the war and why.

Seekanone
Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:37 pm

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Seekanone » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:50 pm

Well, lwd, what happened in the war and why? Let me know so I can clue others in?
By the way, you are now on my ignore list. Your arrogant remarks can be quite insulting. To some, perhaps, to me absolutely. :kaput:

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby lwd » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:54 pm

Seekanone wrote:Well, lwd, what happened in the war and why?
Let me know so I can clue others in?

Why would I be seeking if knew?
By the way, you are now on my ignore list.

Why bother to ask a question if you are going to ignore the response?
Your arrogant remarks can be quite insulting. To some, perhaps, to me absolutely. :kaput:

And I find blanket statements that are demonstrably wrong to be irritating. I don't think my statement was all that arrogant and if you found it to be insulting I suggest that you need to look inside rather than outside for resolution to that.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Sun May 15, 2011 5:04 pm

I missed this one, ehrr... because some issues:

I've seen a number of posts in the last few years to the effect that US participation in WWII was superflous, and that the Commonwealth could have defeated the Axis by itself. They have themes centering on the superiority of anything British to anything US. For example, how much better a British fleet would have done at Midway.

What do you guys think? Could the US have just stayed out of WWII if the Japanese hadn't attacked Pearl Harbor?


Let's do a breakdown here:

1. In the general (overall) view not single allied country (power) could have defeated the germans alone. Not the soviets, not the british, not the US. The combination of the three was just as exact to defeat them.

2. The US defeated almost alone (we must consider the souteast Asia British operations as those of Sims, etc. and the Chinese contribution) the Japanese. It wasn't possible for the British Empire to have done in the Pacific what the US did.

3. The naval victory could have never been won without the US Navy.

Regards,
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Bgile » Sun May 15, 2011 7:44 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Let's do a breakdown here:

1. In the general (overall) view not single allied country (power) could have defeated the germans alone. Not the soviets, not the british, not the US. The combination of the three was just as exact to defeat them.

2. The US defeated almost alone (we must consider the souteast Asia British operations as those of Sims, etc. and the Chinese contribution) the Japanese. It wasn't possible for the British Empire to have done in the Pacific what the US did.

3. The naval victory could have never been won without the US Navy.

Regards,


Well, just to play devil's advocate ...

There is at least one major poster on the navweaps forum who believes:

1. British carrier aircraft were as good or better than US carrier aircraft.
2. British naval vessels in general were better than those of the USN, especially but not limited to their armored deck carriers.
3. The German navy was easy to bottle up and defeat and the British could have sent a fleet to the Pacific and defeated the Japanese with their superior ships.

And also Karl, you have stated that US (and British) efforts on the Western front were insignificant compared to those of the Russians. That leads one to imply that they were not necessary for the defeat of Germany.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Sun May 15, 2011 9:43 pm

Bgile:

Well, just to play devil's advocate ...

There is at least one major poster on the navweaps forum who believes:

1. British carrier aircraft were as good or better than US carrier aircraft.
2. British naval vessels in general were better than those of the USN, especially but not limited to their armored deck carriers.
3. The German navy was easy to bottle up and defeat and the British could have sent a fleet to the Pacific and defeated the Japanese with their superior ships.

And also Karl, you have stated that US (and British) efforts on the Western front were insignificant compared to those of the Russians. That leads one to imply that they were not necessary for the defeat of Germany.


Let me try to answer each point:

1. The British carrier aircraft were not only not as good as the US ones, also the US aircraft carrier doctrine was much better than everybody's else. The British carrier force could have never fought a battle as those in Coral Sea or Midway. If there any doubts this poster must read Tully and Parshall "Shattered Sword".

2. The naval vessels the British had were in some cases better than their US equivalents but not generally. Not only the US carriers were far superior but also the destroyer and some cruisers.

3. If it was so easy why is it that the British Navy was in need of USN cooperation in the early stages of the war, requesting loan lease ships? Why is it that still when the US entered the war the U boats were an incredible threat? Why is it that the Allies (US and Brits) need to have a full battleship fleet just in "wait" for the Tirpitz to come out? The British could have won the naval war against the Germans, yeah, sometime in 1954. By then the Japanese would have been conquering East Africa.

On my mis quoting: I have never said the US and British efforts were insignificant compared to the Soviets ones. I said they were INFERIOR, not insignificant. The western front was the strategic diversion the Soviets required to win the war and conquer Berlin. That is an historical fact. But even a diversion it was a huge enterprise and a great deal of an effort. Of course it was possible because the main German field army was fighting the ruskies and, if not for that, the western allies would have never got an oportunity to made it in Normandy. Just look at the armies fielded, the casualties and the outcome, but also where the Germans put their priorities.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby neil hilton » Tue May 17, 2011 1:01 pm

British carriers were designed to operate close to Europe and thus close to massive numbers of land based aircraft thus they were designed to be physically tough. American carriers were primarily designed to operate in the Pacific, far from land and thus only had to oppose smaller groups of aircraft (opposing CAGs). This IMO results in superior British carrier design, for example HMS Illustrious vs Fliegerkoprs X in the Med she took massive amounts of damage and still survived albeit barely.

Comparing British and American FAA aircraft. Swordfish vs Devastator, roughly equal. Dauntless vs Baracuda, roughly equal. Sea Hurricane vs Wildcat, roughly equal. Later American naval aircraft were superior, Hellcat, Corsair, Avenger, Helldiver (later design). Only at the very end of the war do the British get equal or arguably better with the Seafire, Sea Fury, Firefly etc.

Because the USN was operating mainly in the Pacific they put a lot of effort into RAS and logistics, this is what allowed them to fight right across the Pacific. The British didnt need to do this because their direction of movement was along the Chinese coast towards Japan and also they had refueling stops all over the world (a legacy of victorian imperialism).

The reason why the Tirpitz was countered by a whole battle division was to be absolutely sure if it did come out to play it went down. Superior Firepower Doctirne. It also meant the Tirpitz would also be unwilling to come out in the first place for fear of oblivion, which is what actually happened.
The U-boat war was a great threat to Britain and came close to starving Britain into submission, however there were never enough uboats to maintain a round the clock blockade and the British were gradually getting geared up building Corvettes and Sloops and researching new weapons and radar and sonar and long range patrol planes and code breaking etc (the US lend-lease ships were a stop gap). The US entrance into the war was actually a step back for the allies (the German second happy time). The uboat force had two main chances but just couldn't do it, after the initial shock at the start of the war the British and later the allies were always one step ahead which made allied victory fairly certain.
So 1954 for a RN victory over the Kriegsmarine is way overboard IMO, historically the uboat threat was all but over by late '43, without US help I think the British could have won by early '45. And after that began to build up for an invasion.

It is clear that German soldiers, man for man, were better than any in the world (generally speaking). They were more willing and motivated than any other nation to fight to the death if necessary and were overall better trained and tactically minded. The US infantry manual from ww2 states that US troops should only engage German troops when they have clearly superior numbers, this is why American divisions were usually very large.
Only in the later stages of the war did Soviet soldiers become this fanatical, British and US soldiers always had an eye for 'surviving the war'.
However, the reality of war is that fanaticism and 'esprit de corps' does not stop bullets or artillery from turning you into jam, so just saying that German troops are better ergo they win is wrong.

However I still believe US help was neccessary to win ww2, especially after Japan entered it. Britain could have handled either Germany or Japan individaully but no way both at the same time.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby lwd » Tue May 17, 2011 5:37 pm

neil hilton wrote:British carriers were designed to operate close to Europe and thus close to massive numbers of land based aircraft thus they were designed to be physically tough. American carriers were primarily designed to operate in the Pacific, far from land and thus only had to oppose smaller groups of aircraft (opposing CAGs). This IMO results in superior British carrier design, for example HMS Illustrious vs Fliegerkoprs X in the Med she took massive amounts of damage and still survived albeit barely.

I dissagree. Fliegerkoprs X had what about 260 aircraft? Of those how many would be operational at any one time? On the otherhand 4 CV's (Japanese or American) could put more planes in to the air indeed 3 could. In operations around land based air the problem wasn't as much that of being overwhelemed as constantly being subject to attack. The US chose to have bigger air groups and rely more on CAP for defence than armor for it's carriers. That said US carriers could prove very difficult to sink. Look at the damage that Hornet took for instance or several other US CVs took heavy damage but were repaired to close to new status while some of the British carriers never fully recovered from the damage they sustained.. I would argue that US design was clearly supperior for the Pacific and argueably supperior for the Atlantic.
Comparing British and American FAA aircraft. Swordfish vs Devastator, roughly equal. Dauntless vs Baracuda, roughly equal. Sea Hurricane vs Wildcat, roughly equal. Later American naval aircraft were superior, Hellcat, Corsair, Avenger, Helldiver (later design). Only at the very end of the war do the British get equal or arguably better with the Seafire, Sea Fury, Firefly etc.

Was the baracuda really as good a dive bomber as the Dauntless? Even if it was it didn't show up until 43 so fits in with the late war planes. If you are going to include some of those late war planes then you also need to look at the late war US planes as well such as the F7F and the F8F.
... It is clear that German soldiers, man for man, were better than any in the world (generally speaking). They were more willing and motivated than any other nation to fight to the death if necessary and were overall better trained and tactically minded. The US infantry manual from ww2 states that US troops should only engage German troops when they have clearly superior numbers, this is why American divisions were usually very large.

No that's not clear. German units especially small units tended to be better but not necessarily because Germans were better soldiers. The Germans had better doctrine not only their battle doctrine but their leadership and replacement doctrines were also supperior. Furthermore even if you are equal or even marginally suppior if you are winning and have supperior logistics and numbers there's no sense in risking extra casualties much less loosing battles by allowing the enemy a "fair fight". Superior firepower doctrine doesn't only apply at sea. I would be interested in a source for that manual by the way.
Only in the later stages of the war did Soviet soldiers become this fanatical, British and US soldiers always had an eye for 'surviving the war'.
However, the reality of war is that fanaticism and 'esprit de corps' does not stop bullets or artillery from turning you into jam, so just saying that German troops are better ergo they win is wrong.

Like wise saying that "fanatical" troops are better is also wrong.

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Bgile » Tue May 17, 2011 5:51 pm

neil hilton wrote: ... This IMO results in superior British carrier design, for example HMS Illustrious vs Fliegerkoprs X in the Med she took massive amounts of damage and still survived albeit barely. ...


This has been agued endlessly on navweaps forums. There are advantages to armored flight decks and there are tradoffs. The US and Japanese chose not to use them and the British did. That doesn't mean the British design was superior; it just means that it's flight deck was more resistant to damage, which is ONE aspect of a carrier design.

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Bgile » Tue May 17, 2011 5:55 pm

neil hilton wrote:It is clear that German soldiers, man for man, were better than any in the world (generally speaking). They were more willing and motivated than any other nation to fight to the death if necessary.


I think it is self evident that Japanese troops were more willing to fight to the death than German troops.

German troops didn't have to assault across beaches against prepared defenses. The closest they came to the conditions the USMC had to fight in was at Stalingrad, and they lost. The Marines had to fight in conditions like Stalingrad in almost every single battle they fought in.

Byron Angel
Senior Member
Posts: 747
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:06 am

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Byron Angel » Wed May 18, 2011 12:53 am

Dupuy's conclusions on the superior battlefield effectiveness of German soldiers against their opponents in the field paralleled those of van Creveld.

Considering that Dupuy was the only analyst to more or less accurately predict the outcome, duration, and respective casualty rates of Desert Storm, his analysis must be considered to hold some value.


Byron

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed May 18, 2011 1:34 am

Bgile:

German troops didn't have to assault across beaches against prepared defenses. The closest they came to the conditions the USMC had to fight in was at Stalingrad, and they lost. The Marines had to fight in conditions like Stalingrad in almost every single battle they fought in.


This statement is foolish in extreme. The Germans fought from 1939 until 1945 against several armies of several other countries. For example the invasion of France took a ratio of 1:1 basically and the Germans won. The Marines, which toughness and bravery is not discussed (because also I had an uncle at the Pacific and he was a brave SOB) generally stormed the beaches with all kind of possible support in an enviroment that made a US defeat very unlikely. The Germans not only fought in Stalingrad but in a house to house fight they took Kharkov TWICE against numerical superior troops; or Arnhem also in an almost 1:1 ratio against the bravest british warriors of the 1st Airborne Division.., and they won. The Germans fought against MILLIONS of russians for four years! How long the Marines fought for an island? Months each time after that the divisions were withdrawn to replenish and rest... something the germans never had as per complete units wihtdrawn to replenish 100% and rest. They were transfered, and for rest sent to fight the US troops that landed in Normandy (which fought less than a year until the russians conquered Berlin).
Now this is good: the German troops were encircled at Demiansk for MONTHS fighting 18 divisions of russians and finally broke up the trap and free themselves. Or you have Theodor Scherer at Cholm with 5000 germans encircled in Russia for months and making it out of the trap! For 107 days! THe US can only came up with Bastogne for 7 days and rescued by Patton.

What about the glorious Operation Cobra?

2547 US tanks vs. 190 German tanks

8 US infantry divisions (fresh) vs 2 German infantry divisions (depleted) and a parachute division (on name only)

And Kasserine? Good fighitng there, isn't it? 30,000 US troops vs 22,000 germans! And the Germans won!

And the same Operation Overlord? 1,452,000 allied troops vs. 380,000 Germans by July 23, 1944. By the end of the war 5.4 million allies vs 1 million Germans at the western front.

Of course the Marines were brave. They have been America bravest for a couple of centuries already. I have always said no American military branch has been as the marines. Period.

But man by man the Germans made greatest military feats than the US in WWII. Just take a look at the casualties!

Because it seems that you need some better historical instruction I can recommend you the following:

http://www.strom.clemson.edu/publicatio ... r41-45.pdf (this one for starters)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Scherer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demyansk_Pocket

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cobra

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Battle_of_Kharkov

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Battle_of_Kharkov

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Battle_of_Kharkov

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_France

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasserine_Pass

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Overlord

Give us a break with those US myths!
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed May 18, 2011 2:00 am

I forgot the Battle of Kursk, of course. When in History the US fielded 1,9 million men as the Russian did to stop 780,000 Germans? WHen the US ever fielded 5,128 tanks to stop 2,928 German tanks? When? When?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_kursk

Have the US ever lost in a battle, like the one in Kursk, 177 thousand men in 18 days as the russians did against the Germans?

What about Bagration? Have the US ever mounted and offensive as that against the Germans?

2,331,700 russians against 849,00 0 Germans? Have the US lost 180 thousand troops in order to break the Germans?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Bagration

We can go on and on and the only true statement is that the Germans were the best army with the best soldiers of WWII. Historical Fact!
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill


Return to “World War II”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests