Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

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

Postby Bgile » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:22 pm

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?

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby frontkampfer » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:52 am

I don't think that the US could have avoided being drawn into the war. If not for Pearl Harbor it would have been something else. As for the US participation being superfluous, I too have noticed the views you mentioned. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Mine is US involvement tipped the war effort in the west whether people agree or not!
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Keith Enge » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:42 am

You could make the argument that British participation was superfluous; the Russians beat the Germans and the US beat the Japanese. Meanwhile, the British were involved with the Mediterranean sideshow while trying to get enough merchant ships across the Atlantic to avoid starving.

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Tiornu » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:02 am

No, I don't think I could make that argument.
Isn't anyone who considers US participation superfluous also going to prove impervious to reason? I don't see much developing from this except a scratchy-clawy cat fight.

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19kilo
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby 19kilo » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:44 am

I think the German participation in WW2 was superfluous. :lol:

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Tiornu » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:31 pm

Good one!

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Djoser » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:37 am

19kilo wrote:I think the German participation in WW2 was superfluous. :lol:


:clap:

Good one!

Not to knock the UK--actually I am a huge fan of the RN--but I doubt they could have made it without the USA. The USA was probably all that kept the UK from going under even before Pearl Harbor. Not speaking from a purely military viewpoint; they won the most important battle (BoB) on their own, of course. But without LendLease; American food and industrial production backing them up? It would have been way, way closer than I care to think about. I certainly cannot imagine the UK by itself mounting a cross-Channel invasion, and if they had to defend the Empire in the far east against Japan as well? Not likely to win by themselves, no.

Bgile wrote:For example, how much better a British fleet would have done at Midway.


The battle of Midway was so close run as it was! Any number of things could easily have dramatically changed the outcome. A US victory was by no means preordained. And without the Japanese code being broken? :silenced:

Without knocking the RN, I know which commander's bridge I'd want to be standing on, in a RN/IJN Midway confrontation. That choice is very easy to make.

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Bgile » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:44 pm

I don't think the North Atlantic supply route was conditional on the USA being in the war, since it predated it.

I do think it's likely that the British army was exhausted both physically and mentally after so many years of war and might have had trouble sustaining end of war offensives on it's own. Hard to say though, since we now have soldiers with more combat experience than most of those in WWII.

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby lwd » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:10 pm

Bgile wrote:I don't think the North Atlantic supply route was conditional on the USA being in the war, since it predated it.
....

The US may not have been officially at war prior to 7 Dec but was pretty clearly participating in it much to the benefit of the British.

As for the British being surprerflous. If Britian wasn't in I doubt the US would be either.

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Bgile » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:58 pm

lwd wrote:
Bgile wrote:I don't think the North Atlantic supply route was conditional on the USA being in the war, since it predated it.
....

The US may not have been officially at war prior to 7 Dec but was pretty clearly participating in it much to the benefit of the British.

As for the British being surprerflous. If Britian wasn't in I doubt the US would be either.


Did someone say the British were superfluous? My comment was directed at the possibility of them slogging their way through the Pacific Islands and Germany.

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Gary
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Gary » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:02 pm

I dont think Britain, Russia or the USA could have succeeded in WW2 without each other.
No single nation could have defeated the Axis
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby lwd » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:10 pm

Gary wrote:I dont think Britain, Russia or the USA could have succeeded in WW2 without each other.
No single nation could have defeated the Axis

That's going a bit far from what I can see. With all three in the war it was almost impossible for the Axis to win and the allies to loose. But the Soviets stopped the Germans before the west had much impact on that. Even earlier how was Germany going to defeat Britain or visa versa? If it's the axis vs one of the allies the matter is up in the air as far as I can tell although depending on which ally it is the probability may shift one way or the other. Against any two the odds shift to the allies and if the US is one of the two then the odds become long for the axis unless they can take out the other within the first year or so of the US entry.

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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby RF » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:56 pm

Asking whether the US participation in WW2 was superfluous, and asking if the US could have remained out of WW2 without the attack on PH are two entirely different questions.

To the first question, US involvement was decisive to the end result, and not superfluous.

To the second question I would say unlikely. The record is that both Mexico and Brazil were pushed into war without PH, by German attacks on their shipping. So I would expect some incident would give Roosevelt and Congress the excuse to intervene.
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby Bgile » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:29 pm

The guy on the navweaps board who made this argument said RN CVs were superior due to their armored decks and not as many would be lost. In fact, almost none. Also, that UK aircraft were superior in that they were more flexible, ie some combination of DB, fighter, TB in one aircraft. He argued that the US effort involve huge overkill and wasn't required.

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RF
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Re: Was US participation in WWII superfluous?

Postby RF » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:35 pm

Bgile wrote:The guy on the navweaps board who made this argument ........


I'm just waiting for Karl to chime in on this one.
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