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Nickdfresh
01-13-2007, 08:09 AM
I apologize is the article has previously been posted here. If it is a dupe, please close.

Who won World War II?
By Konstantin Rozhnov
BBCRussian.com (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4508901.stm)

The Nazi regime collapsed in May 1945, squeezed ever more tightly between two fronts - the Soviet Union on one side and the Western Allies on the other.

But which of these fronts was the most important?

Soviet troops and equipment at Seelower Hoehen
Allied aid to the Soviet Union, from food to lorries, played a vital role
Throughout the Cold War, and ever since, each side has tended to see its own contribution as decisive.

"In the West, for some time... public opinion has taken the view that the Soviet Union played a secondary role," says the Russian historian Valentin Falin.

On the other hand, opinion polls show that two-thirds of Russians think the Soviet Union could have defeated Hitler without the Allies' help, and half think the West underestimates the Soviet contribution.

Ribbentrop's view

Richard Overy, professor of contemporary history at King's College London, notes that after the war, Hitler's foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop listed three main reasons for Germany's defeat:

* Unexpectedly stubborn resistance from the Soviet Union
* The large-scale supply of arms and equipment from the US to the Soviet Union, under the lend-lease agreement
* The success of the Western Allies in the struggle for air supremacy.


Because Britain and the US had to invade Europe by sea they have a sense of 'liberating' a German-conquered Europe
Professor Richard Overy,
King's College London
Mr Overy says that for decades Soviet historians underplayed the significance of US and UK lend-lease in the Soviet Union's success, but that Russia has recently shown just appreciation.

Mr Falin, however, says Russians never forgot the help they received from their allies.

"You ask any Soviet person, whether he remembers what a Dodge or a Willis is!" he says.

"The Americans supplied us with 450,000 lorries. Of course, in the final stages of the war this significantly increased our armed forces' mobility, decreased our losses and brought us, perhaps, greater success than if we had not such help."

Bombers

Mr Overy accepts that the Western powers played a smaller role on the battlefield itself than the Soviet forces but says their bombing campaigns made a huge contribution.

German POWs at Stalingrad
POWs at Stalingrad: Most German losses were on the eastern front
"Bombing diverted a lot of manpower and military equipment from the front in Russia, while it restricted the expansion of the German war economy," he says.

He also agrees that the West still only has a weak understanding of the Soviet Union's role.

"Because Britain and the US had to invade Europe by sea they have more of a sense of 'liberating' a German-conquered Europe," he says.

Second front

Mr Falin, meanwhile, argues that the war could have been brought to an end more quickly if the second front, in France, had been opened before 1944.

"How many millions of people would have remained alive?" he asks.

"Many death camps reached full power precisely in the second half of 1943 and in 1944."

Mr Overy says that the West has a view of the war as a global conflict, because of its fight against Japan, for example, whereas the Soviet view is of a "national crusade to repel the invader".

Mr Falin cites figures suggesting that German forces suffered 93% of their casualties on the Soviet front and argues that this shows the Soviet contribution was decisive.

But he adds that every single US, UK, Canadian or other Allied soldier who died "made a big, important and necessary contribution to the victory, which was a shared victory".

Do you agree or disagree with the views expressed in this article? Please send us your opinions using the form below.

Your comments (from bloggers):

[i]Technically the Red Army defeated Nazi Germany. Eisenhower halted the Western allies and allowed Zhukov and Konev to commit the Coup de Gras by taking Berlin. However, no single nation can claim credit, victory very much belonged to all the Allied forces.
Paul Ellison, Frome

We all seem to forget that Soviet Russia was instrumental, together with Nazi Germany, in starting the Second World War, attacking Poland in September 1939. Russian and German forces even held joint victory parades in Polish towns. Russia was allied with Nazi Germany, and Russia only joined the fight again Germany after Germany attacked Russia in 1941. In Russian history, the war only started in 1941.
Voytek, Sydney, Australia

Russian boys won the war! It is considered politically incorrect in Western countries to admit that Russians did anything good. These days they pay tribute to Nazis in Baltic countries, not to those who opposed them.
Sergey, Volgograd, Russia

World War 2 belongs to history now. Who won it is not all that important, but how to prevent another one and eradicate Hitler-like leaders from this planet.
Patrick Atta-Larbi Sakyi, Belgorod, Russia

We won! That's all it matters! The Nazi regime collapsed and we got rid of a terrible monster. We should be celebrating and thanking our veterans for their sacrifice. I thank you!
Leonardo Calcagno, Montreal, Quebec

I think the problem is more 'mass culture' issue than history. When you watch a Western movie about WWII you can't say even what side Russians fought on. This is a disgrace. And don't forget USSR also fought Japan twice - in 1938/39 (which nearly destroyed the elite Kwangtung army) and in 1945.
Stefan Kirov, Knoxville, TN, USA

I don't think you can be so crass as to try and to claim one victor. Too many lives were lost, on all sides, and too many emotional scars left open for anybody to claim to be an absolute winner. Everybody loses with war, it isn't a particularly nice thing to have to engage in and it certainly can't be trivialised by arguing about who made the biggest contribution. Let's not talk about beating Germany, because so many had to sacrifice their lives who should never have had to, and the same on the Allied side.
Jennifer Hynes, Plymouth, UK

I'm really not sure what all the fuss is about. You can argue either side until you're blue in the face and you'll never change the other side's mind. If the US had never entered the war would the Soviets have been defeated? There's a good chance that the government would have fallen, but there would probably always be successful insurgent groups. If the Germans hadn't invaded the Soviets would they have been able to defeat Britain? Again, quite probably. But if we're asking if questions. How would the world be if the powers that were would have used a little logic and stopped Hitler before he could trump all of Europe?
Nathan Hatch, Farmington, UT, USA

The political climate in the US during the post-war period was such that it was very difficult to admit that the USSR had done anything right since its inception. In the past couple of decades, we've begun to have an appreciation for what they (the Russians) went through. I don't think this was intentional on anyone's part. It's obviously easier, if you're writing a history, to go to source material in your own language and in your own country. It's time to recognise that all the Allies made significant contributions. No one of us could have won WWII by ourselves.
Pat O'Brien, Sutton Coldfield

The outcome of WWII is what it is. Trying to determine whose contribution was greater is nonsense. If and buts cannot replace the facts that it was an Allied effort that lead to the downfall of the Nazis period.
Richard, Houston, USA

If the Germans had won the Battle of Britain it would have been all over. If it wasn't for us standing alone while our Allies declared neutrality we wouldn't be having this argument. We worked as a team to get the job done and in the end that is all that matters. But could you imagine the 18-32yr olds of today willingly getting on a boat and being told we are entering German occupied France and your job is to storm the machine gun firing German troops from the beaches and accepting it as the right thing to do? Come on - we're the generation that thinks it's too much trouble to vote!
IH, West London, UK

Cont'd

Nickdfresh
01-13-2007, 08:10 AM
The Germans assumed Russia would fall instantly. They underestimated the power of the Russians' patriotism and their genuine desire to do everything possible to stop Germany. Even with Allied assistance, many Russians were fighting with minimal equipment and often little food. That they still refused to back down and continued to fight with all they had until the end makes all the Russian soldiers heroes.
Rebecca, Philadelphia, USA

Without a doubt, the Soviet Union bore the brunt of World War II, wearing down Germany's war machine in a savage war of attrition. There can, however, be no talk of a "decisive" contribution. Why argue whether D-Day was more important than Stalingrad? Every nation, every man and every woman played their part, and great events were often decided by the heroism and sacrifice just a few men.
Michael Ryan, Berlin, Germany

I wish to commend the British spirit for holding off Germany in the Battle of Britain. Had they fallen, there was no way the US could have crossed the Atlantic to help fight the Germans in Europe. The US contribution ought not to be diminished either by many Brits. The US fought a two-front war on opposite ends of the earth and had to cross the two biggest oceans in order to achieve this goal. Lastly, I wish to commend all the countries who contributed towards the defeat of Nazi Germany and Japan in the Pacific (the forgotten war by Europeans).
Frank, Colorado, US

Stalingrad, not Normandy, was the decisive battle of WWII, and the turning point when the German army was forced to retreat. The West, foreseeing the Cold War, was more then happy to see the Russians fight it out with the Germans from a safe distance. The only reason why D-Day happened when it did is because they realized that the whole European continent would be liberated by the Soviets rendering their role irrelevant.
Lazar, Toronto, Canada

Without the Russian Front, Germany would have turned the beaches of Europe into an impenetrable fortress. But without the Allies in his back, Hitler would have sent all his forces to the East and the Russians would have had a hard time stopping him. The truth is that the invasion took place when it was already clear that Germany was collapsing on the Eastern Front.

But it is also true that without all the war materials pouring from USA and Britain the Red Army would have suffered a whole lot more casualties, and many a battle would have been lost. The USSR should receive more credit from the Allies than it used to. But it is time that all the nations understood that alone they couldn't have stopped Hitler. It is their union that defeated the Nazis, a victory over the enemy of mankind.
Peter Peychinov, Essen, Germany

All of my grandparents who were still alive in June 1941 fought the Germans. There are places in Russia that lost most of their population during the war. While the value of human life is lower, and readiness for a sacrifice, involuntary and voluntary, more pronounced in Russia, it does not diminish the fact that Eastern Front was a decisive battle. German officers, who were disciplined, were sent to the Eastern Front, since over there the rules were particularly brutal. I always admired British for taking a stand against the Nazis early on. Their bravery inspired others.
Alexander Gutkin, New Orleans, USA

As one who served in the conflict in Europe, all who joined forces to stem the tide of the horrid Nazi regime played their part in its defeat.
Ernest Dudley, Brooklyn, Canada

Obviously the credit for destroying the Nazi rule goes to both Western Allies and Soviet Union. Even though one could argue that Germany, with Hitler's insane policies, never had any real opportunity to win the war. However, we should also not forget that even though Soviet Union was attacked by the Nazis, she also went out as an aggressor. First splitting Eastern Europe with Germany and then invading the nations unwilling to fall to Stalin's dictatorship.
Jorma, Helsinki, Finland

In reading the comments posted here you get to see the very important role each party in the conflict. Without Britain remaining free there would have been no allied landing in France. Where would the staging area have been, Iceland? Without the United States the enormous amounts of equipment needed by all allied powers would not have been there. The Soviets benefited greatly from the West tying down about one million German troops in Italy. But once the Germans were stalled outside Moscow in 1941 they had arguably lost the war. I'm not the only one to see it that way either.
Jeff Aula, Detroit, MI, USA

I contend that if there had been an invasion of France a year earlier, it might have lost the war for the Allies rather than win it. This was a major undertaking, and had to be successful, otherwise the losses would have meant that no other such landings could have been attempted for a very long time. This would have given Hitler the time to relocate his resources towards the Russian Front and perhaps win that battle, and with that strengthened, he would have had an excellent bargaining position with the Allies. The raid on Dieppe showed that the Allies were not ready in 1943, and thank God they waited until they were ready.
William Ferguson, Detroit, MI, USA

The biggest loser in the war was Britain, who lost her empire, foreign assets and was still paying for the cost of the war (mostly to the USA) decades later. The Soviets had the highest casualties, both civilian and military, but won a moral victory despite their leaders incompetence. The Americans were the real winners, they came out of the Great Depression with a stable/growing economy, made loads of money and still claim the moral high ground to this day. However, I believe that Britain should take the 'winners medal' as it took almost two years before the USA and the USSR declared war on Germany. Therefore without Britain's heroic lone stand we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
Dan, Sheffield, England

It has been unacceptable, within the context of the North American and European propaganda models that determine our media content, for the significant Soviet contribution to the German defeat to be given due consideration. Personally I doubt if that will change any time soon, particularly since drawing attention to US and UK support for the genocidal dictatorship of Stalin during the war years is not something Western politicians are likely to want to do.
Peter Burgess, The Hague, The Netherlands

The Allied bombing campaigns, or any other activity, could have occurred without the German army grinding itself out upon 20m Russians. If Germany had stuck to the terms of the treaty set out before the war, it could have brought everything to bear against the Western front, making it very difficult, if not impossible for Britain, the US, and the other Allied powers to break through successfully at any point. While the West did supply the USSR, it was Russian boys dying by the score.
Thomas Jefferies, Pittsburgh, USA

I would love to see a more diverse approach to such views. It seems that on topic of WWII there is an overwhelming support for the Western view but very little consideration/analysis of Russian (Soviet Union) point of view. The least we can do is to truly consider both sides.
Lena Boyeva, NYC, USA

We are often guilty of looking at historic events from our own perspective, but in this case it was most definitely a joint effort. Imagine a "what if" scenario if Germany had never invaded the Soviet Union. With the supplies of raw materials from Russia and without the distraction of a second front, the Germans could have made Europe an impenetrable fortress and Allied hopes of liberating Europe would have floundered on the beaches of Normandy.

Alternatively, if Britain had reached a peace with Germany and the West remained out of the war then the likelihood is Germany would have made it to Moscow and the Soviet Union would have fallen. Its clear that only together squeezing Germany from both sides could the allies achieve victory.
Craig Barr, Lytham St Annes, England

It is high time the Western allies gave the Red Army its due. They did indeed do most of the on-ground fighting against Germany. With them holding down and wearing down in the east, Germany didn't have the resources to repel the sea-borne invasions in the West. This also permitted the other allies to allocate resources for a full-scale operation against Japan, which is also often mistakenly thought of as a side show.
Richard Herndon, Houston, TX, USA

The Americans lost 300,000 in WWII. We British lost 600,000. The Russians lost 17-20 million. I don't have any doubt who made the greatest contribution to the defeat of Nazism.
Steve, Sheffield, UK

If we had lost the Battle of Britain at the beginning of the war there would have been no western front and no supply routes to Russia. Consequently, the above arguments would have been made irrelevant. Whilst we could not win the war, by not losing at this early stage this battle was the most important factor.
Steven Miles, Nazeing, Essex

Who cares who contributed the most? The point is that ordinary people worked together to overcome a tyrannical foe that brought death, fear and misery to countless millions of people. Let's just be thankful to everyone, dead or alive, who played their part.
Stephen Tucker, Glasgow, Scotland

Why can't both sides just admit they couldn't have won without the other? Without the eastern front millions more German soldiers would have been waiting in France on D-Day. Without the essential supplies the Russians could have held their ground, but could not have pushed onwards into Germany. It was a joint effort... be proud of your co-operation!
Nathan Hobbs, Luton, UK

Nickdfresh
01-13-2007, 08:11 AM
Last page:


The critical point of the war was the Nazi failure to invade Russia early enough in 1941. If they had captured the main cities (Moscow, Leningrad) before winter set in, they could have held out forever. Once they became marooned in the Russian countryside and Russia was unbroken it only became a matter of when, not if, they would lose. The poor tactics, leadership and equipment of Britain, France and the USSR at the start had given an exaggerated view of Germany's power.

By the start of 1942 everyone realised death was preferable to surrender to the Nazis, so Hitler was doomed. Had the USA not had two wars to fight (Japan and Germany) the Nazis would have been destroyed much earlier. Though hardly a paper tiger, Nazi power is greatly overestimated. It succeeded at the start because its enemies were caught on the hop, a lesson which fed the arms race of the Cold War.
Des, Dublin, Ireland

Gen. Sandworm
01-13-2007, 09:12 AM
Second front

Mr Falin, meanwhile, argues that the war could have been brought to an end more quickly if the second front, in France, had been opened before 1944.

"How many millions of people would have remained alive?" he asks.

"Many death camps reached full power precisely in the second half of 1943 and in 1944."

Mr Overy says that the West has a view of the war as a global conflict, because of its fight against Japan, for example, whereas the Soviet view is of a "national crusade to repel the invader".

Cont'd

While Mr Falin is right but I think this is impossible. The Brits and the Canadians learned the hard way at Dieppe in 42 and that a invasion of France was going to have to be extremly well thought out. 1500 Germans repelled 6000+ allied attackers. From this Allied Forces relised that they would have to wait on the American production effort to make an invasion go thru.

Even thou allied forces opened a second front in 43 they realized that Italy was not the "soft underbelly" that Churchill had suggested. But this was the proper discision because of the change in Italian support for the war.

In so far as production you have to remember that America (and UK commonwealth forces as much as possible) was fighting on all fronts in the world and could not solely focus on Europe alone (even thou alot of attention was being paid to that theater) Japan did post a serious threat if not dealt with promptly.

So IMO it was impossible for Allied forces to open a properly planned invasion of France prior to 1944. And even on D-day things could have gone horriblely wrong and the invasion would have been disasterous to the Allied War Effort.

And totally disagree that the USSR could have one the war completly on it's own. Or a one on one duel between Hitler and Stalin. Coz that would be just about everyone left. ;)

I think Mr. Falin is right in suggesting that the Western Forces to a more Global approach.........they had too.

Chevan
01-13-2007, 11:41 AM
I have no ideas why Nickdfresh had begin this provocation thread, but i fully agreedable with you Gen. Sandworm.
I think rather pointless question "who won ww2" then historical becouse it's absolutly clear not any one country could win the world war. Just union of coalition. So our ally Union had won the WW2.
Another interesting theme is what was the victims for the victory of each state. for instance USSR lost about half of industry resources as the resault of German occupation and about 10 million of civil population as the resault of german genocide.
This is absolutly no any doubth on which from the battles were the most bloody and unhuman. Estern front was the entire hell for the soldiers of both sides.
If for instanse allies pilot was captured the germans he still had a good chance to survive , but if you are soviet POW - in 60% cases you'll die.
I think only japanse atrosities in China could be compared with germans execution "actions" in the East.

P.S. Valentin Falin is former soviet diplomat, he work in the USSR ambassador in the western germany in 1950-60yy. He wrote the excellent books "Second front" and "Conflicts in the Kremlin" are very fascinating.

Cheers.

redcoat
01-13-2007, 02:32 PM
Who won WW2 ?

Well, all my history books state that a group of nations called the Allies did, and I see no reason to argue with it. :cool:

Egorka
01-13-2007, 04:07 PM
Hello,

Coalition won the war. Of course when we describe the roles of our countries we run in to argument.

I do not know, am I supposed to present my oppinion about htis matter in this thread? Because I am a bit unsecure as this discussion might easily get ugly...

Best regards
Igor

Nickdfresh
01-13-2007, 09:53 PM
I have no ideas why Nickdfresh had begin this provocation thread...
Cheers.

What exactly do you find "provocative" about this thread?

Nickdfresh
01-13-2007, 09:55 PM
Hello,

Coalition won the war. Of course when we describe the roles of our countries we run in to argument.

I do not know, am I supposed to present my oppinion about htis matter in this thread? Because I am a bit unsecure as this discussion might easily get ugly...

Best regards
Igor


Why? Doesn't the article basically state that a 'coalition' won the War?

Why should discussion be ugly?

I discovered this article while researching, and wondered why it hadn't posted here...

Egorka
01-14-2007, 02:44 PM
It should not and does not have to be ugly. But from ny life experience I know that is what normally happenes.

I know about my self, that even though I try to be objective, I catch my self that I rather want to defeat my opponent in the discussion, rather than findd out the truth. It is easy to get emotional.

My oppinion is that we won together as coalition. But our roles were different. So depending on what "measurement units" one uses to measure the share in the Victory, our countries have different victory weight. (sorry for a little bit awkward way I express my self. English is not my mother tongue.)

Regards
Igor

1PUK
02-18-2007, 05:35 PM
Have to agree that the Allies won the war, but also have to say that the contribution of the Soviet people, soldiers and civilians, is underrated in the west.

Marek

Chevan
02-19-2007, 01:43 AM
Well thanks for the true , honest Marek.

Cojimar 1945
02-19-2007, 04:44 PM
The conflict known as World War II seems very bizarre. The axis just seem so incredibly evil and stupid that it is difficult to fathom where this enormous villainy came from. The actions of the axis powers clearly go against their own interests. I don't believe the Germans were guilty of such enormous crimes during the first world war.

When a countries actions lead inevitably towards defeat one wonders if they even want to win.

jaddik
02-27-2007, 03:50 AM
england and the u.s won the war thats what i think

Rising Sun
02-27-2007, 05:19 AM
Japan won the war, with America coming a close second. Britain came last. The rest were spread through the field.

Check out the pre-war grand strategies, economic aims, and relative positions of the main Allied and Axis participants.

Japan and America were to contest control of the Pacific and China. Neither got China but America won the Pacific. Japan wanted the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere to counter Western trade blocs and embargoes, and access to resources to fuel its industries. Japan had all that it wanted within three decades after the war and was prosperous beyond its wildest pre-war dreams. By the 1980's it was buying up American industrial plant that couldn't compete with Japan and putting American workers out of jobs. It's steadfastly refused to acknowledge its appalling war history in its internal education system and history books, with some slight modification over the past decade or so. Somehow it's converted itself into a victim because it got nuked and America is the bastard because it nuked Japan.

As for Britain, its pre-war aim was to preserve Britain and the Empire. It largely buggered itself in fighting Hitler alone for the first couple of years of the war, with the support of Empire forces, while running up phenomenal debts with America under Lend Lease. It completely buggered itself fighting the rest of the war in various theatres. It lost the Empire. Its people were worse off for years after the war than they were before it while the Americans, Australians and others returned more quickly to pre-war levels and then rapidly to prosperity which largely eluded the average Briton. Bomb sites remained for years. Britain, and its imperial forces primarily from Australian and Canada, fought the Nazis in Europe, the Balkans, and North Africa for a couple of years. Britain was all that stood against Hitler while the rest of the world sat on the fence. But for Britain's stout defence and attacks in those years, Germany would have won. So far as the war with Britain was concerned, it did. Compare post-war German prosperity with British prosperity. Britain, and its imperial forces, fought the longest fight, being the only nation constantly in the field from the German assault to the defeat of Japan. It nearly destroyed itself in the process, while Germany and Japan prospered.

Military victory is nice, but it doesn't mean anything if the victor ends up worse off than the vanquished.

Egorka
02-27-2007, 06:32 AM
Rising Sun,

you are right, Mr.Chirchil made a tragic mistake postponing the Western Front in Europe by getting involving into dwarf like operations in Africa and Italy. He though it would help him to keep the colonies. We know better now that it did not.

Firefly
02-27-2007, 03:15 PM
The conflict known as World War II seems very bizarre. The axis just seem so incredibly evil and stupid that it is difficult to fathom where this enormous villainy came from. The actions of the axis powers clearly go against their own interests. I don't believe the Germans were guilty of such enormous crimes during the first world war.

When a countries actions lead inevitably towards defeat one wonders if they even want to win.

Well put, probably the best post here I think.

Why on earth would the Nazis have bitten off so much more than they could chew on the dodgy economy that they had at the time?

Firefly
02-27-2007, 03:23 PM
Japan won the war, with America coming a close second. Britain came last. The rest were spread through the field.

Check out the pre-war grand strategies, economic aims, and relative positions of the main Allied and Axis participants.

Japan and America were to contest control of the Pacific and China. Neither got China but America won the Pacific. Japan wanted the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere to counter Western trade blocs and embargoes, and access to resources to fuel its industries. Japan had all that it wanted within three decades after the war and was prosperous beyond its wildest pre-war dreams. By the 1980's it was buying up American industrial plant that couldn't compete with Japan and putting American workers out of jobs. It's steadfastly refused to acknowledge its appalling war history in its internal education system and history books, with some slight modification over the past decade or so. Somehow it's converted itself into a victim because it got nuked and America is the bastard because it nuked Japan.

As for Britain, its pre-war aim was to preserve Britain and the Empire. It largely buggered itself in fighting Hitler alone for the first couple of years of the war, with the support of Empire forces, while running up phenomenal debts with America under Lend Lease. It completely buggered itself fighting the rest of the war in various theatres. It lost the Empire. Its people were worse off for years after the war than they were before it while the Americans, Australians and others returned more quickly to pre-war levels and then rapidly to prosperity which largely eluded the average Briton. Bomb sites remained for years. Britain, and its imperial forces primarily from Australian and Canada, fought the Nazis in Europe, the Balkans, and North Africa for a couple of years. Britain was all that stood against Hitler while the rest of the world sat on the fence. But for Britain's stout defence and attacks in those years, Germany would have won. So far as the war with Britain was concerned, it did. Compare post-war German prosperity with British prosperity. Britain, and its imperial forces, fought the longest fight, being the only nation constantly in the field from the German assault to the defeat of Japan. It nearly destroyed itself in the process, while Germany and Japan prospered.

Military victory is nice, but it doesn't mean anything if the victor ends up worse off than the vanquished.

So true, the UK never beneffited from the Marshall plan, indeed it is only in 2007 that the UK finally paid off its war debt to the US.

George Eller
02-27-2007, 03:34 PM
Japan won the war, with America coming a close second. Britain came last. The rest were spread through the field.

Check out the pre-war grand strategies, economic aims, and relative positions of the main Allied and Axis participants.

Japan and America were to contest control of the Pacific and China. Neither got China but America won the Pacific. Japan wanted the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere to counter Western trade blocs and embargoes, and access to resources to fuel its industries. Japan had all that it wanted within three decades after the war and was prosperous beyond its wildest pre-war dreams. By the 1980's it was buying up American industrial plant that couldn't compete with Japan and putting American workers out of jobs. It's steadfastly refused to acknowledge its appalling war history in its internal education system and history books, with some slight modification over the past decade or so. Somehow it's converted itself into a victim because it got nuked and America is the bastard because it nuked Japan.

As for Britain, its pre-war aim was to preserve Britain and the Empire. It largely buggered itself in fighting Hitler alone for the first couple of years of the war, with the support of Empire forces, while running up phenomenal debts with America under Lend Lease. It completely buggered itself fighting the rest of the war in various theatres. It lost the Empire. Its people were worse off for years after the war than they were before it while the Americans, Australians and others returned more quickly to pre-war levels and then rapidly to prosperity which largely eluded the average Briton. Bomb sites remained for years. Britain, and its imperial forces primarily from Australian and Canada, fought the Nazis in Europe, the Balkans, and North Africa for a couple of years. Britain was all that stood against Hitler while the rest of the world sat on the fence. But for Britain's stout defence and attacks in those years, Germany would have won. So far as the war with Britain was concerned, it did. Compare post-war German prosperity with British prosperity. Britain, and its imperial forces, fought the longest fight, being the only nation constantly in the field from the German assault to the defeat of Japan. It nearly destroyed itself in the process, while Germany and Japan prospered.

Military victory is nice, but it doesn't mean anything if the victor ends up worse off than the vanquished.
-

Although, I think the world would be a much darker place had the nazis and Imperial Japan won a military victory.

-

Rising Sun
02-27-2007, 04:53 PM
Why on earth would the Nazis have bitten off so much more than they could chew on the dodgy economy that they had at the time?

So far as the economic aspects go, and trying to summarise some complex issues in a few paragraphs, Japan and Germany had similar problems at the core of their economies, although Japan's were much worse as it had very little in the way of natural resources outside agriculture while it had rapidly expanding industries which needed more resources than the occupation of Manchuria could supply. Germany had more in the way of some natural resources, but it still needed to import a lot of critical materials which it couldn’t do for much of the war in the quantities required, thus contributing ‘ersatz’ to the world’s vocabulary as a derisive term with its attempts to make things with alternative materials.

Both Germany and Japan lacked direct access to oil, which was becoming increasingly necessary for civilian transport and industry, and critical for military purposes. It was the knowledge that Japan's oil reserve would be exhausted in a year after the West imposed oil embargoes that was one of the major factors which made Japan decide in mid-1941 that it had to go to war if the embargoes were not lifted. Hence the Japanese drive to the NEI (Indonesia) and Borneo for oil, with the added benefit that Borneo crude could be used unrefined for the IJN ships. Germany also needed oil, hence the drive for the Rumanian oilfields. One strategic aim of the Allies was to prevent Germany and Japan linking up in Iran and getting access to its oil, thereby depriving the Allies, primarily Britain from memory, of it and dramatically altering the relative capacities, notably naval, of the Axis powers. This was one of the reasons the Burma campaign was important, to prevent Japan getting to Iran.

Both Germany and Japan lacked direct access to rubber, which was becoming increasingly important for transport and other purposes, especially military purposes. The bulk of it came from Malaya, which was a British colony.

There were other resource issues which encouraged the Axis powers to go to war, along with a host of non-economic issues to do with arrogant nationalism and fascist ideologies and so on.

The measure of the economic changes wrought by the war in favour of the Axis powers is illustrated by a report by Gen Dwight Eisenhower shortly after Japan had conquered Malaya and the NEI in which he noted that Japan now controlled (I can’t recall the exact proportions) something like almost all of the world’s rubber resources and the bulk of its tin resources. Japan went in a few months from having no rubber and little tin to having more than it could use, while denying those resources to the Allies.

There were also other economic factors which contributed to the move to war in Japan and Germany which both had economies heavily dependent upon military production, such as Krupp in Germany and the major companies known as the zaibatsu in Japan. The analogy is with the post-war (and more so during the war) military-industrial complex in the US where a significant part of the economy is related to military production.

If Germany and Japan had achieved their economic aims, the war each fought would have been worthwhile. As things turned out it wasn’t, but in 1939 and 1941 respectively it looked to many leaders in both countries as if they could pull it off. It wasn’t impossible that they could have, if they had run the war differently.

Rising Sun
02-27-2007, 05:06 PM
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Although, I think the world would be a much darker place had the nazis and Imperial Japan won a military victory.

-

No question about that.

But if there was any justice in the world, Britain would have reaped the rewards of victory to an even greater extent than Japan and Germany reaped the rewards of defeat.

Although the the Marshall Plan was a much better way of avoiding another war than the crushing terms imposed on Germany after WWI (and with a lot less justification for punishing it and Japan than applied after WWII), the Plan's "rewarding bad behaviour" approach was nicely satirised in Leonard Wibberley's 1955 novel The Mouse That Roared, which is probably better known through the film version of the same name with Peter Sellers in the main role.


Tiny (3 miles by 5 miles) Grand Fenwick borders Switzerland and France in the Alps, and proudly retains a pre-industrial economy, dependent almost entirely on making Pinot Grand Fenwick wine. Wibberley places Grand Fenwick in a series of absurd situations, where it goes up against superpowers and wins. In The Mouse that Roared it declares war on the United States after US-produced "Grand Enwick" wine threatens to undermine their economy. Expecting to be dealt a crushing defeat (and then rebuild itself through the largess that the United States bestows on its vanquished enemies such as in the Marshall Plan) the tiny Duchy instead defeats the United States, purely by accident, by capturing the Q-bomb, a prototype doomsday device that could destroy the world if triggered.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mouse_That_Roared

Chevan
02-28-2007, 12:04 AM
Sory guys to interrupt your nice discussion .
I don't know who won the WW2 , but i know exactly who had a great profit of WW2.
The USA ;)
After the WW2 the gold reserve of state has increased from 14 000 to 21 000(!!!) tonns.
This was a direct resault of Lend lise. The practically all the gold of Britain, France and USSR aftre the war appeared in the USA and as it was already mentioned all lend lise
receivers was the deptors of USA till the recent time ( Russia is still).
I read a report of american athor ( i don't remember his mane) he wrote that US basket of goods increased in 2-3 times during the WW2. In compare Britain had a strong food limitation and USSR had a food shortage and even famine in some regions.
Just in the US , he wrote, some peoples could call the WW2 as GOOD WAR. Becouse they had a great personal profit.Only US had economic increase during the war.
While the Europeans killed each other America "made a money on its blood" he wrote.
Aftter the war enourmous money resources of the US ( which were given from the Europe for the weapon supplies) were partially invested back to the economy of western Europe.
And again the US firstly thought about personal profit - the Europe get the money but was the obligated to by only americans goods.
This the "rotation of money in nature" was extremely advantageous for the US.

Cheers.

Rising Sun
02-28-2007, 12:42 AM
Only US had economic increase during the war.


Australia didn't do too badly. Churchill complained that we were making profits from sending food, wool and so on to Britain during the war (although he didn't complain about the 20,000 rifles we sent before 1941 so that we were short a full division's worth of rifles when Japan attacked). Australia actually ended up with a Lend Lease credit because we accommodated and supplied the American forces here and supplied their bases in the SWPA with various items.

Chevan
02-28-2007, 02:39 AM
Yea Australia had a profit too.
I read that the 90% of food suppies for the US and UK armies in the Pathific was from Australian farms. Not bad bisiness if you are the monopolists IMO.
The prices were not market and thay had a great income.

Gen. Sandworm
02-28-2007, 06:18 AM
Sory guys to interrupt your nice discussion .
I don't know who won the WW2 , but i know exactly who had a great profit of WW2.
The USA ;)


Yes this is true..........however the allies needed the support of the US to win the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. It would have taken many more lives and time of the USSR and UK commonwealth to defeat them. Let us not forget that in 41 most Europeans were convinced that the Nazi's were going to win the war. You talk of profit.........like I said it is true it gave the boost the the US economy needed. But the main reason why is because our country was not on the front lines. There was never any threat of direct attack on the US. Only Naval power came close. So we didnt have to rebuild towns and aid displaced ppl. We just made war supplies and sold them. You can look at us as the cheat code for winning the war. (not that it was certain even with our involvement but it sure helped)

Sorry but this is a country that does look after is own concerns much like other countries. Dont confuse the US with UNICEF or the Peace Corp.....even thou we like to appear as these. ;)

Chevan
02-28-2007, 07:09 AM
Oh Gen are you american?
Sorry i didn't guess before.

Yes this is true..........however the allies needed the support of the US to win the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. It would have taken many more lives and time of the USSR and UK commonwealth to defeat them. Let us not forget that in 41 most Europeans were convinced that the Nazi's were going to win the war.

Tht's right , but don't forget that the most Europeans not only were convinced in the Nazi victory but also TOOK A ACTIVE PART in the german war mashine ( like a France,Italy , particulary Spain and ALL eastern Europe).
Well sure you right thou both USSR and Britain blaimed the US in the "getting profit" in the Lend lise , but ....... they both were taken a interest in the USA participation in the war on its side.And certainly Lend lise ( 60% got the Britain and about 22% - USSR) played a great role in the war.
But loking to the after war perspective i have to notice that if the USSR lost its human resources ( but a won the territory and influence) for the victory, Britain lost its Imperia and all the money and only the USA neither lost but also had a GREAT profit from the war.


You talk of profit.........like I said it is true it gave the boost the the US economy needed. But the main reason why is because our country was not on the front lines. There was never any threat of direct attack on the US. Only Naval power came close. So we didnt have to rebuild towns and aid displaced ppl. We just made war supplies and sold them. You can look at us as the cheat code for winning the war. (not that it was certain even with our involvement but it sure helped)

Sorry but this is a country that does look after is own concerns much like other countries. Dont confuse the US with UNICEF or the Peace Corp.....even thou we like to appear as these. ;)
That's right Gen during all the WW2 no one bomb falled down at the USA territory.
We could conclude the God helped the US ( by leading the Europe into the blood war) he get a good chance for the Americans ( right as it was after the WW1) To get a rise in the worl power.

Cheers.

Gen. Sandworm
02-28-2007, 07:30 AM
Oh Gen are you american?
Sorry i didn't guess before.


From the great state of Indiana........full of farm land and uh ....... farm land...and uh etc...

Well when you live in Europe for awhile you get used to not advertising it alot. Also your world view on things changes. ;)

Cojimar 1945
02-28-2007, 04:54 PM
One might argue that World War II did not truly end until the last of the evil powers the Soviet Union collapsed. There was hostility between the west and the USSR before the war and this conflict continued well into the 1980s.

Cojimar 1945
02-28-2007, 05:03 PM
attacking the United States is not justifiable based on the correlation of forces unless guerrilla tactics are being used.

Rising Sun
02-28-2007, 06:24 PM
One might argue that World War II did not truly end until the last of the evil powers the Soviet Union collapsed. There was hostility between the west and the USSR before the war and this conflict continued well into the 1980s.

The west wasn't fighting the USSR during WWII. Once Russia entered the war against Germany they were on the same side, even if, like every other Ally, they were pursuing their own interests.

Given the huge and costly contribution the Soviets made to the defeat of Germany and their significant contribution to victory against Japan by tying up substantial Japanese forces against their border from 1939, along with their crushing defeat of Japanese forces in Manchuria towards the end of the war against Japan, what happened after WWII can't be linked to what happened during it.

Strictly, the war between the USSR and Japan never ended. The USSR refused to sign the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco which formally ended the war, and didn't sign any peace treaty before the USSR collapsed so, in that sense, a peace treaty is now impossible. There were various negotiations between the parties http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/europe/russia/territory/edition92/period5.html and subsequent negotiations between Russia and Japan http://english.people.com.cn/english/200009/04/eng20000904_49674.html http://www.jamestown.org/edm/article.php?volume_id=407&issue_id=3533&article_id=2370497 but as far as I'm aware there still hasn't been a formal peace treaty.

Chevan
03-01-2007, 01:02 AM
Strictly, the war between the USSR and Japan never ended. The USSR refused to sign the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco which formally ended the war, and didn't sign any peace treaty before the USSR collapsed so, in that sense, a peace treaty is now impossible. There were various negotiations between the parties http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/europe/russia/territory/edition92/period5.html and subsequent negotiations between Russia and Japan http://english.people.com.cn/english/200009/04/eng20000904_49674.html http://www.jamestown.org/edm/article.php?volume_id=407&issue_id=3533&article_id=2370497 but as far as I'm aware there still hasn't been a formal peace treaty.
Yes this is true.
And USA played active role not to let this Soviet-Japane peace treaty during the Cold War.
http://www.rg.ru/2006/11/23/kurily.html


The conference, which was opened on 4 September, 1951, actually came only to the ceremony of the signing of peace treaty. Neither considerations nor corrections into that comprised by Washington and approved by London text of agreement was not allowed. In order to turn out this billet, was specially selected the composition of participants in the conference.
In essence were here represented the countries of pro-American orientation, even not not warred with Japan: 21 countries of Latin American continent(!!!), 7 European, 7 African states(!!!). Then the countries, which many years battled with the Japanese aggressors, were not at all allowed to the conference: neither China nor Mongolia nor PDRK nor Vietnam .
In the sign of protest refused to send in San Francisco their representatives India and Burma. With the requirements of reparations appeared Indonesia, Philippines, Holland.

After the beginning the Korean war where the USSR got the active participation. USA was ready to do everything to never let the Soviet -Japane agreement be signed.


After signing San -Francisco agreement in the political peace of Japan existed consensus of the fact that territorial claims to THE USSR should be limited only by the Khabomai islands and Shikotan.
This was fixed, for example, in the joint parliamentary resolution of all political parties of Japan on 31 July, 1952, with which agreed the government of those days. In the same resolution was posed the problem of returning Japan those also occupied with the United States of the island of Okinawa, Ogasavara and some others.

Khrushchev, naturally, connected transfer to the Japanese of two islands Soviet side specified by the preliminary condition: after THE USA will transmit to Japan Okinawa and other age-old Japanese territories, which are seized of USA.
For Japanese side it was very hard to entreat Khrushchev to exclude this point from the text of joint declaration. Then Americans willingly accompanied to nationalistic moods in Japan. In the U.S. State Department was invented and officially presented in the note to the government of Japan the devised historico- geographical formulation: Gov of THE USA arrived at the conclusion that Iturup island and Kunashir (together with The Khabomai islands and Shikotan, which are the part of Hokkaido) were always by the part of Japan they must on the validity be considered as belonging of Japane.
During August 1956 the Secretary of State OF THE USA John Dulles openly threatened Japanese government, that if it recognizes Soviet sovereignty above Kunashir and Iturup, then THE USA will forever preserve for themselves Okinawa and entire archipelago of Ruky.
This deadline situation was the direct resault of Cold war. But i don't think today the peace treaty impossible.
It' seems now we have the best chance to solve this problem forever.

Cheers.

Cojimar 1945
03-01-2007, 03:18 PM
The problem regarding the USSR and Japan was due to the USSR breaking its non-aggression pact with Japan by attacking the Japanese in August 1945 and occupying territoty that Japanese considered to be part of Japan.

The Japanese themselves had been quite aggressive so driving them out of territory they had invaded seems reasonable but the Japanese did not want to yield the Kurile Islands considering this to be their land.

The United States sadly does not seem to have protested the Soviet land-grabs much. However, cooperation with the USSR was viewed as having its benefits.

Egorka
03-07-2007, 02:49 PM
to Cojimar_1945:

The problem regarding the USSR and Japan was due to the USSR breaking its non-aggression pact with Japan by attacking the Japanese in August 1945 and occupying territoty that Japanese considered to be part of Japan.
I agree, that breaking the non-aggression pact is the tricky part in here and the Japanese may complain about it.

The statement regarding "occupation of territory" is more wrong than correct. At least no one else except Japan can complain. This is becasue the "land grab" was agreed upon by all of the Allies and was confirmed and signed in both Yalta and Potsdam conferences. So blame ALL of the Allies together then.


...but the Japanese did not want to yield the Kurile Islands considering this to be their land.
Sure they did not. Neither did not want Germany, but no one asked her. Why should they have asked Japan?

39mm
03-11-2007, 02:04 PM
The jews won the war. The White race lost.

32Bravo
03-11-2007, 02:33 PM
The jews won the war. The White race lost. - Ballocks!

Perhaps (and that is a huge perhaps) one day we will all come to realize that we are all a part of the Human Race, and that colour etc is merely environmental adaptation(Darwinism). Wars are fought for econiomic reasons. Perhaps some are better at handling their economies than others. The Jews were a displaced people forced into surviving by way of Usuary - financing credit - (Darwinism, again) - have you not read of Shylock and the 'Ghetto' in Venice? - so they became good at it, as anyone would in those circumstances. If anyone holds an advantage in any situation, he is a fool not to use that advantage to his own ends. That's just human nature - and I'm a fool! :D