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  1. #61
    Sniffles
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    Nevertheless, even with the USSR considerable debate is made how much the Soviet success was because of American assistance via Lend Lease. This especially is true in regards to trucks supplied to the Red Army:
    Far more critical to the Soviet war effort was the supply of tactical vehicles, primarily from the United States. During the war, the Soviet Union produced only 343,624 cars and lorries due to the heavy commitment of major automobile factories like GAZ to armoured vehicle production. The USA alone provided the Soviets with 501,660 tactical wheeled and tracked vehicles, including 77,972 jeeps, 151,053 1-1/2-ton trucks, and 200,622 2-1/2-ton trucks. The aid was vital, not only because of the sheer quantity, but because of the quality. While Soviet auto*motive production concentrated almost exclusively on antiquated copies of American 1930 lorry designs, the vehicles provided under Lend-Lease were modern military designs with multiple powered axles and useful cross-country capability.

    http://ww2total.com/WW2/History/Prod...Lend-Lease.htm
    These trucks proved vital in the Red Army's advances across Eastern Europe and it's ability to out-manvuer the Wehrmacht in its "Deep Battle" Operations(the Red Army's counterpart to Blitzkrieg). David Glantz, one of the foremost authorities on the Eastern Front, has argued that American aid helped considerably in shortening the war. As he put it - "left to themselves, the Soviets might have taken 12 to 18 months longer to defeat the Wehrmacht."(source)

    There was also the massive supplies of food, and the famous legend of how enough SPAM was exported to feed every Red Army soldier several pounds per day.

  2. #62
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I kind of see the American and Soviet effort in WWII as symbiotic. I mean, on the flip side, I think we would have had a very hard time with Germany if they never attacked the USSR.
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  3. #63
    Sniffles
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    As far as we know how World War II played out - absolutely. If the Germans didn't attack Russia, the most likely scenario would've been Britain and America fighting Germany to a stalemate - a bloody one most probably. Although the issue can be raised whether Russia could've stayed out of the war entirely the longer it dragged on. We do know that Stalin was trying to delay war with Hitler by at least 2 more years.

  4. #64
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    You are correct, especially RE: France. Probably a lapse in judgement, stemming from my annoyance with people claiming France surrendered after putting up zero fight, even though, in terms of total population, French casualties were 4 times higher than America, and the extremely high World War I losses they felt (France alone contributed a full 25% of WWI deaths, despite being a fairly small nation) left the generation that fought in World War II effectively crippled in terms of young people or able military recruits (people of age to serve in WWI would obviously father WWII era soldiers).

    I think I erroneously and thoughtlessly transferred my defense of France in that pet peeve and exaggerated it in terms of real WWII importance.
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  5. #65
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    As far as we know how World War II played out - absolutely. If the Germans didn't attack Russia, the most likely scenario would've been Britain and America fighting Germany to a stalemate - a bloody one most probably. Although the issue can be raised whether Russia could've stayed out of the war entirely the longer it dragged on. We do know that Stalin was trying to delay war with Hitler by at least 2 more years.
    I think the only question in my mind in that scenario is, would the Germans have been stalemated at the English channel, or would they have been able to gain a foothold in the British Isles?

    The air campaign would have been even more brutal and drawn-out than it already was. Erich Hartmann would probably not have been quite the legendary ace in his Me-109 that he turned out to be on the eastern front, but with more men and materiel to devote to the war efforts in Europe and North Africa, the Allies may not have been able to establish air superiority. If that were the case, more of Erwin Rommel's armored units would have survived longer than they did.

    The Wehrmacht would have been better-prepared and better-equipped both for the Sicily campaign and for Normandy.

    Oooh. It would have been ugly.

  6. #66
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Awh Man! You where doing so well and all.
    It ought to be illegal. It's inflating the currency, which sucks the value out of everyone's wages and everyone's savings.

    I can't afford to lose any more buying power to higher prices for things like food, electricity, and gasoline. When that buying power is deliberately taken out of my pocket on a whim by an act of government, it's hard for me to differentiate that from outright theft.

  7. #67
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I think the only question in my mind in that scenario is, would the Germans have been stalemated at the English channel, or would they have been able to gain a foothold in the British Isles?

    The air campaign would have been even more brutal and drawn-out than it already was. Erich Hartmann would probably not have been quite the legendary ace in his Me-109 that he turned out to be on the eastern front, but with more men and materiel to devote to the war efforts in Europe and North Africa, the Allies may not have been able to establish air superiority. If that were the case, more of Erwin Rommel's armored units would have survived longer than they did.

    The Wehrmacht would have been better-prepared and better-equipped both for the Sicily campaign and for Normandy.

    Oooh. It would have been ugly.
    Yes that's quite possible, let's also remember the Battle of the Atlantic would've probably been a more messy affair too. However one potential factor does speak in the Allies favor though. With Russia out of the war, Hitler still has to keep a careful eye on his eastern flank - just to guard against the possibility that Stalin might stab him in the back. As I said before, the Soviets had a massive reorganization and buildup of military resources underway in 1941, and just within a year or two the Soviets would've been better prepared to face a German onslaught. So long story short, it was either Hitler was going to attack in 1941 or never at all. So let's say Hitler doesn't attack, he still has to devote considerable resources to protect against the Soviets, and as time goes by the Soviet gain more of the initiative. This creates a situation where the Allies could more severely weaken the Germans.

  8. #68
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    You are correct, especially RE: France. Probably a lapse in judgement, stemming from my annoyance with people claiming France surrendered after putting up zero fight, even though, in terms of total population, French casualties were 4 times higher than America, and the extremely high World War I losses they felt (France alone contributed a full 25% of WWI deaths, despite being a fairly small nation) left the generation that fought in World War II effectively crippled in terms of young people or able military recruits (people of age to serve in WWI would obviously father WWII era soldiers).

    I think I erroneously and thoughtlessly transferred my defense of France in that pet peeve and exaggerated it in terms of real WWII importance.
    There were also the deep political divisions that plagued the Third Republic as well, and these went back to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Concerning 1940, one thing that really needs to be stressed is that the rapid success of that campaign caught everybody by suprise - especially the Germans. Several historians have commented on this, and one of the more recent to do so is Karl-Heinz Frieser with his The Blitzkrieg Legend: The 1940 Campaign in the West.

    As he explains:
    "The 1940 blitzkrieg, thus, is in no way connected with the blitzkrieg strategy that Hitler is credited with. According to this theory, the major objective of world power or world rule allegedly was to be achieved no longer in a single total endeavor, as in World War I, but stage by stage, on the basis of a phased plan by fighting short blitzkriegs. However, at the time, Hitler had not planned any war against the Western powers - and certainly not a blitzkrieg. After all, the Wehrmacht was still being built up due to the Versailles Treaty and even its own general staff graded it as "not ready for war." Instead, it was Great Britain and France that declared war on Hitler after the German invasion of Poland. Thus, the dictator - as a result of his failed go-for-broke gambler's policy - had maneuvered the German Reich into a situation from which there was no way out. A war against the Western powers, with their superior strength, looked hardly winnable. Because time, in the long run, worked against Germany, there was really only the chance of starting out on a flight forward, putting all the money on one card, and overrunning the enemy by a surprise attack. But the German command shied away precisely from this kind of venturesome undertaking, mindful of the trauma of the Schlieffen plan that had failed during World War I. The campaign in the west thus was not a planned campaign of conquest. Instead, it was an operational act of despair to get out of a desperate strategic situation. What is called "blitzkrieg thinking" did not develop until AFTER (author has 'after' in italics) the campaign in the west. It was not the cause but rather the consequence of the victory. Something that, in May 1940, had come off successfully to everyone's surprise, was now to serve the implementation of Hitler's visions of conquest in the form of the secret of success."
    -pgs. 348-349
    - cited here

    It was more by accident rather than by design that France was knocked out of the war so quickly.

    The point made about Germany being in a desperate strategic situation and thus having time against itself in the long run is a key point to make, even as we speculate about Hitler not attacking Russia. Even if that doesn't happen, Germany is still in a desperate situation that could work against it in the long run.

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