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Did the Americans save our asses in WWII? watch

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    C'mon history buffs - I want to see whether this saying among Americans is technically true or not.
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    (Original post by Lady Comstock)
    C'mon history buffs - I want to see whether this saying among Americans is technically true or not.
    Britain did not rely on the Americans to win the Battle of Britain. We would probably have won the Battle of the Atlantic without American assistance. They were the only two existential threats to the UK during WWII. However, we would not have developed an independent atomic bomb more quickly than Germany and so it would have been a race between a negotiated peace with Nazi occupied Europe or mushroom clouds over London.

    That isn't what Americans who make these comments mean
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Britain did not rely on the Americans to win the Battle of Britain. We would probably have won the Battle of the Atlantic without American assistance. They were the only two existential threats to the UK during WWII. However, we would not have developed an independent atomic bomb more quickly than Germany and so it would have been a race between a negotiated peace with Nazi occupied Europe or mushroom clouds over London.

    That isn't what Americans who make these comments mean
    What about all the aid provided by the US?
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    Yes and no.

    It certainly made the war with Germany a lot easier, but if the USSR still entered the war, we would have either won in a much more longer war, or done a peace deal with nobody winning the war. We would have certainly lost to Japan though.

    We have to remember that 1) the Battle of Britain was won before the Americans entered the war 2) we would have still discovered the long range radar that saved our shipping convey asses in the Atlantic campaign 3) would have still discovered atomic bombs (we gave our ideas to the USA for the Manhattan project), but invented it much later 4) still broke the enigma code and know all about Germany's plans.

    The only way we could have lost is if the Germans did not attack Russia, and instead invaded Britain. We would have most certainly lost then if the Germans managed to secure a beachhead and about 30 miles of depth. Once they've got 30 miles of depth, they can bring in heavier equipment, tanks, artillery, airfields and masses of infantry and then we would be truly ****ed since we didn't have the numbers to repel an invasion until much later in the war.
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    (Original post by Louisb19)
    What about all the aid provided by the US?
    We paid for most of the supplies and we could have sweated the Empire to a much greater extent than we did.

    The real sweetheart deal was the 50 old destroyers swapped for naval basis the US neither wanted nor needed and that was important for the Battle of the Atlantic.
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    I dont think we owe our "freedoms" to Americans who only entered the war after they were personally attacked, and then only helped the UK after the war (and other nations) as they had no one to trade with, and they stood to make a profit any way from the loans
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    Nah, the Soviets did - 90% of Nazi Germany's military casualties were on the Eastern Front.
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    No. The Soviet's war of attrition with the Nazis gave them no hope. By 1943, all Western leaders knew the war was going to successful, but American intervention may have accelerated the process.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    However, we would not have developed an independent atomic bomb more quickly than Germany and so it would have been a race between a negotiated peace with Nazi occupied Europe or mushroom clouds over London.
    I don't think that is true; the British bomb programme was considerably more advanced than the German bomb programme throughout the war. In part that is because the German programme was a joke, but the British programme led the world until early 1943.

    The British conceptualised both the uranium and plutonium bombs and the means of producing them correctly. The Germans thought a uranium bomb was impossible to deliver because they miscalculated the critical mass, developed only the least efficient of the three methods for separating U235 (which essentially made a uranium bomb impossible anyway; the effort wouldn't have been worth it), and blew up their only attempt to build a plutonium-producing reactor in an industrial accident.

    The Germans basically gave up on the bomb in January 1942. They officially dissolved the military bomb project and handed it over to basic research, which then blew up its own reactor in June 1942. Since the Germans also incorrectly thought that a reactor couldn't be graphite moderated (the first US, USSR, and UK reactors were all graphite moderated) they had to use heavy water and this explosion destroyed all the heavy water in Germany. Note that America had done almost nothing in the war with Germany at this point.

    The British meanwhile already had industrial production of gasseous diffusion machines which were the best way by far to separate U235 and would have led to a uranium bomb production capacity. Things could have gone wrong producing a plutonium bomb both in production of plutonium and design of the bomb but once ICI was producing gasseous diffusion machines there was really little doubt that Britain would have the capacity to drop Little Boy-type devices within a few years.

    Now without the Americans that "few years" might have been more like five or ten than three, and ultimately I think neither Britain nor Germany would have developed a working weapon before 1947 or 1948, but to say the Germans were leading in this respect is not correct.

    I think what the Americans say is correct but they saved us from the Soviets rather than the Germans.
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    (Original post by AlwaysWatching)
    The only way we could have lost is if the Germans did not attack Russia, and instead invaded Britain. We would have most certainly lost then if the Germans managed to secure a beachhead and about 30 miles of depth. Once they've got 30 miles of depth, they can bring in heavier equipment, tanks, artillery, airfields and masses of infantry and then we would be truly ****ed since we didn't have the numbers to repel an invasion until much later in the war.
    If they had done that then yes, we would have lost, but I don't think they could do that. Their navy was irrelevant in comparison to ours, they never won decisively in the air, and they would have found it hard to supply even a totally unopposed invasion due to lack of any appropriate shipping.

    The British army in the British Isles was weak compared to the German army in France but it was extremely strong compared to a German landing force of a handful of light infantry divisions without tanks or artillery and with limited food and ammunition, which is what they planned because it was all they could deliver. Assuming it could have landed at all, to such a force Britain's few hundred tanks of mediocre design and WWI-style fortified lines would have been tremendous obstacles.

    The Germans didn't choose not to invade the UK to deal with the Russians first, they attacked Russia because there was nothing they could do about the UK for at least a few years.
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    (Original post by Lady Comstock)
    C'mon history buffs - I want to see whether this saying among Americans is technically true or not.
    You ask an interesting question. There is plenty of evidence that the USA provided the UK with lots of weaponry and, of course, from 1941, troops. It seems unlikely Britain could have won the war without US help, so maybe the Americans saved our arses.

    However, I have never seen any evidence that they either sent over large quantities of draught animals (horses or asses) or contributed to veterinary programmes that may have saved their lives in large numbers.

    In any event, while the Soviet (especially after Barbarossa) and German armies used horses (and possibly asses) for draught purposes in large numbers (about six million between them), the western allies were more mechanised and didn't use them much in Europe at all.

    So, no, I suspect the USA saved few, if any, British asses.
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    (Original post by Lady Comstock)
    C'mon history buffs - I want to see whether this saying among Americans is technically true or not.
    This is what I thought you looked like in real life when typing this post.

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    (Original post by Observatory)
    If they had done that then yes, we would have lost, but I don't think they could do that. Their navy was irrelevant in comparison to ours, they never won decisively in the air, and they would have found it hard to supply even a totally unopposed invasion due to lack of any appropriate shipping.

    The British army in the British Isles was weak compared to the German army in France but it was extremely strong compared to a German landing force of a handful of light infantry divisions without tanks or artillery and with limited food and ammunition, which is what they planned because it was all they could deliver. Assuming it could have landed at all, to such a force Britain's few hundred tanks of mediocre design and WWI-style fortified lines would have been tremendous obstacles.

    The Germans didn't choose not to invade the UK to deal with the Russians first, they attacked Russia because there was nothing they could do about the UK for at least a few years.
    I agree, thats why I said that unless they established a strong beachhead and rapidly reinforced it with heavier equipment, they would not have won. The vital hours are the channel crossing itself and the first hours and days of the initial landing. If they couldn't get pass the Royal Navy, or if they could but only with significant losses, then they wouldn't have a successful invasion.
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    (Original post by Lady Comstock)
    C'mon history buffs - I want to see whether this saying among Americans is technically true or not.
    I imagine that the British Empire may have been able to win a longer war (assuming Russia stayed out too in this instance) and in hindsight that may have been the best outcome for us.

    Unfortunately however that was not how the war went. Japan declared war on the British Empire and USA and Germany attacked the USSR. The truth of WW2 as it really happened was that the USA and USSR won WW2, we simply survived to a point where we were forced to disband the greatest empire that the world had ever seen and fade into second league status (Suez and Union with France was probably our best chance to counter that but we never went to war with the US over it).

    I suppose it depends how you define victory though. The fact that the UK came through the war and was still rich afterward is enough for some. Personally i view disbanding the empire in the manner we did as the second greatest crime we ever committed whether you believe the 'we couldn't afford it' or the more likely 'polite agreement with the US' view of things..
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    (Original post by AlwaysWatching)
    I agree, thats why I said that unless they established a strong beachhead and rapidly reinforced it with heavier equipment, they would not have won. The vital hours are the channel crossing itself and the first hours and days of the initial landing. If they couldn't get pass the Royal Navy, or if they could but only with significant losses, then they wouldn't have a successful invasion.
    The situaton is actually worse than that, because even if they land successfully with a large force (which they probably couldn't do) they then need to keep it supplied. Leaving aside the fact that they had no suitable transport for tanks or artillery, delivering a lot of heavy equipment of that type makes the supply situation worse. The Royal Navy could completely ignore the actual landings and still destroy the invasion just by attritioning the supply barges over a period of days. Once the barges are destroyed, the more troops the Germans have in the British Isles the more troops they lose. It's quite possible to imagine a German army simply starving to death between the GHQ Line and the South coast.

    The Germans need to not just land in the first few hours but actually break through all the Stop Lines and destroy the British army. To do that, though, they needed to land at least half a million troops, with transport and tanks, which is roughly what the German army asked for. The German navy said it could deliver 60,000 over a period of four days at which point the first men ashore will have started running out of food and ammunition, if they have not been defeated by a counterattack given that the entire force was only a fraction of the size of the British army let alone cut up into four slices.

    Basically for Sea Lion to work even as a wild gamble the Germans needed about ten times as much transport as they had and that would have taken a year or more to build, at which point the British Isles have a garrison of over two million and no realistic force the Germans can assemble can defeat it.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    I don't think that is true; the British bomb programme was considerably more advanced than the German bomb programme throughout the war. In part that is because the German programme was a joke, but the British programme led the world until early 1943.

    The British conceptualised both the uranium and plutonium bombs and the means of producing them correctly. The Germans thought a uranium bomb was impossible to deliver because they miscalculated the critical mass, developed only the least efficient of the three methods for separating U235 (which essentially made a uranium bomb impossible anyway; the effort wouldn't have been worth it), and blew up their only attempt to build a plutonium-producing reactor in an industrial accident.

    The Germans basically gave up on the bomb in January 1942. They officially dissolved the military bomb project and handed it over to basic research, which then blew up its own reactor in June 1942. Since the Germans also incorrectly thought that a reactor couldn't be graphite moderated (the first US, USSR, and UK reactors were all graphite moderated) they had to use heavy water and this explosion destroyed all the heavy water in Germany. Note that America had done almost nothing in the war with Germany at this point.

    The British meanwhile already had industrial production of gasseous diffusion machines which were the best way by far to separate U235 and would have led to a uranium bomb production capacity. Things could have gone wrong producing a plutonium bomb both in production of plutonium and design of the bomb but once ICI was producing gasseous diffusion machines there was really little doubt that Britain would have the capacity to drop Little Boy-type devices within a few years.

    Now without the Americans that "few years" might have been more like five or ten than three, and ultimately I think neither Britain nor Germany would have developed a working weapon before 1947 or 1948, but to say the Germans were leading in this respect is not correct.

    I think what the Americans say is correct but they saved us from the Soviets rather than the Germans.
    I disagree because what the Brits discovered when they saw the US facilities that this was a process dependent on resources rather than inspiration and that the American development programme was making much faster progress from a late start. With less ability to interdict German developments (with a smaller Bomber Command etc) the Germans would have made much more progress.

    They only saved us from an atomic threat from the Soviets and not a conventional one. The Soviet Army would not have continued rolling west after the defeat of Germany (assuming the USSR) was in the war at all. Wherever the Red Army stopped, buffer states were going to be created. I suspect it would be different in Iraq, Iran and India where it is likely that Stalin would have seen further expansion as in accordance with the historic ambitions of the Rus.
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    (Original post by Lady Comstock)
    C'mon history buffs - I want to see whether this saying among Americans is technically true or not.
    Yes. But not only Americans, also Soviets. Without the Soviets and Americans, Britain would speak German nowadays.

    The German military was far superior in numbers, technology and training.
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    (Original post by TheCondor_)
    Yes. But not only Americans, also Soviets. Without the Soviets and Americans, Britain would speak German nowadays.

    The German military was far superior in numbers, technology and training.
    Not sure your correct on the technology point. The Royal Navy was superior to that of Germany as was the Royal Air Force. German tanks were superior though.
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    (Original post by TheCondor_)
    Yes. But not only Americans, also Soviets. Without the Soviets and Americans, Britain would speak German nowadays
    Unlikely, the Nazis had little ideological territorial ambitions on Britain.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
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    Any American saying something so obnoxious better have fought or at least lived during WWII. That being said...Russia defended its own borders out of self preservation and any benefit to GB was consequential. The United States provided desperately needed assistance to Europe when there was an alternative choice. Have no doubt that self interest was their primary motivation. However, the difference is that Americans died on a foreign shore, during a war that they could have chosen to avoid. Attempting to dismiss the value of that contribution as irrelevant reeks of bitter insolence. Those who benefitted most directly from a profound sacrifice, owe their gratitude for that sacrifice. Americans may or may not have saved your asses. They certainly risked and paid with their own though.
 
 
 
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