Britain's completely underrated role in WWII

rampant

LE
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On a similar vein, I would have like to have met my great grandfather who was in the AusroHungarian army and apparently, according to my mother, fought inthe Balkans against the Turks and had tales tell.
If you're on Twitter you'll enjoy this account

Take a look at Pike Grey 1914-1918 (@PikeGrey1418): Pike Grey 1914-1918 (@PikeGrey1418) on Twitter
 

Fang_Farrier

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One thing the mainland UK was, for sure, was an unsinkable aircraft carrier moored just off the Northern French coast. It was a huge strategic blunder for Hitler not to take Britain, because especially once the US got into the war, the round the clock bombing of Germany and her allies, no matter what some claim, marked the inevitable destruction of German industry, and with that, the end of the war in Europe. Just the land based anti aircraft defense cost Germany the use of thousands of cannon and men it could have better used elsewhere.
They also failed to take Malta, which has oft been quoted as a fatal error in the North African campaign for the same unsinkable aircraft carrier type role
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
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Book Reviewer
You could just imagine the talk in the beer halls after WW2 finished. "If only that baldy schwine Mussolini didn't try and get above himself and invade Greece. It cud 'ave been different I tell ya."
Mussolini actually started with an invasion of France, but an interesting concept, what if Italy had remained neutral, no Greece or Balkan involvement and no North Africa either.
 
5.Was the Soviet union able to defeat Germany alone? It is an open question. Probably yes. But it is purely theoretical question.
How?

It would only be able to move at a snail's pace and with Japan knocking on its back door, fighting on two fronts with minimal equipment.
 
One thing the mainland UK was, for sure, was an unsinkable aircraft carrier moored just off the Northern French coast. It was a huge strategic blunder for Hitler not to take Britain, because especially once the US got into the war, the round the clock bombing of Germany and her allies, no matter what some claim, marked the inevitable destruction of German industry, and with that, the end of the war in Europe. Just the land based anti aircraft defense cost Germany the use of thousands of cannon and men it could have better used elsewhere.
It wasn't a "strategic blunder", it was a strategic impossibility. The Germans wanted to invade the UK but were not able to come up with any viable plan to do so. It was called "Operation Sea Lion".

There is at least one thread here devoted to this very subject. If you are interested I would suggest finding the thread and reading it.
 
On a similar vein, I would have like to have met my great grandfather who was in the AusroHungarian army and apparently, according to my mother, fought inthe Balkans against the Turks and had tales tell.
Well Grandad (English) was off fighting Johnny Turk In Messopatamia ostensibly. ( Grandad) German did both the Eastern and Western Fronts on rotation as a was the norm in the first lot. So both sides of my family did have a lot to talk about. Dad married Mum in 1950, called my Grandma "Duchess" the family got on famously. The English side hardly spoke to each other anyway and they are proving fascinating to research. Since I have the AhnenPass on the German side, their family trees are on the wall in front of me. In fact I have a potted history of the last hundred and fifty years in my records.
 
Fang_Farrier said:
Mussolini actually started with an invasion of France, but an interesting concept, what if Italy had remained neutral, no Greece or Balkan involvement and no North Africa either.

That's to assume that Italy didn't have any intentions, in fact their involvement started in 1935 with the Abyssinian campaign and WDF were laying mines between Cyrenaica and Egypt then since Libya was an Italian protectorate. And lets not forget something here, The French had been very active in North Africa 20 years earlier, so the Italians and the Spanish had some very warm words with the French over that. Indeed Germany had tried to thwart French ambitions with Tunisa. " Conquest of Morrocco". Mussolini carried out a classic backstab with France, because he knew he wouldn't have to fight them. Now there's something Counter intuitive about Hitler doing a deal with Vicchy and sidelining Benito
 

smeg-head

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Matching capabilities with our old doctrine of a set piece battle space and the higher ups unwillingness to ditch commitments, cost us heavily earlier in the war and contributed massively to our defeats. That said, if we weren't so unrealistic then we might well have caved and I suppose their is something to be said for a pig headed refusal to accept facts :)

Thanks to the russians and americans we were able to meet all our commitments later, but I am convinced the establishment still hadn't learned the lessons of those earlier defeats... As the Aegean calamity and our involvement in the greek civil war demonstrated.

To an extent, its a real problem in our democracy that our politicians make promises galore and then ask the services to improvise something and hope for the best. At some level, promises made by PMs and the foreign office should be properly floated past a war office first to ensure we can actually achieve the goals being set out.

The MOD is far too accomadating to its political masters.
 
Germany was not the ONLY enemy, the little yellow ******* who yelled Banzai and made it to India and the Philippines and took on China would beg to say you forgot the war in Asia
Also Italy, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary with quite a lot of tacit support from conquered european country’s, Arab nationalists and anybody else who wanted to take advantage.
 
That story has mixed together several different things, at least with respect to Canada. During WWII Canada set up a fund which the UK could use to buy whatever they needed in Canada. That included weapons, raw materials, food, etc. It started with $1 billion grant, no repayment required. When that ran out, it was topped up with a much larger zero interest loan ($2 billion dollars, if I recall correctly). At the end of the war the loan was simply written off, with no repayment required. So Britain ended the war with no war debt to Canada. That fund by the way was also open to other Commonwealth countries to buy war materials, not just Britain.

After the war, Canada extended another $1.2 billion loan to the UK in 1946. That was the loan the BBC article referred to as a "war debt" to Canada, whereas it was actually a post-war debt.

To put those numbers into perspective, Canada's GDP in 1939 was $5.6 billion, and had roughly doubled by 1945. I assume wartime inflation played a very large role in that apparent increase. In other words the aid was equivalent to a significant share of Canada's GDP, and was on top of Canada's own war spending.
Historical statistics of Canada: Section F: Gross National Product, the Capital Stock, and Productivity
ISTR being told by an elderly uncle who always held the Canadians in high regard, that as a country Canada managed to put more men into uniform, build more equipment and supply more money and raw materials than most mainly because it was the right thing to do.
 
Blah blah blah. Russia won the war. Blah blah blah.
How many fronts were you fighting on?
You do realise don't you, that these divisions that were 'held back' in the east to be used as a counter attacking force - such as the one against the germans at Stalingrad, were not a strategic reserve at all. They were stationed in the east because of the threat that the japanese posed to the USSR in Manchuria.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
ISTR being told by an elderly uncle who always held the Canadians in high regard, that as a country Canada managed to put more men into uniform, build more equipment and supply more money and raw materials than most mainly because it was the right thing to do.
See also Kiwis & Newfies
 
How the Soviet union would be able to defeat Germany? Was it possible without lean-lease supplied tanks, aircrafts?
It would be much more difficult task but not something unthinkable.
Previously I wrote that lend lease supplies were extremely important for the Soviet union, super important, nearly vitaly important but not critically important.
Lend-Lease tanks and aircrafts
A total of 22,800 armoured vehicles were delivered to the Red Army during World War II... this was 16 per cent of Russian main battle tanks, 12 per cent of Russian self-propelled gun carriages and tank destroyers, and 100 per cent of Russian infantry fighting vehicles, as Russia did not manufacture any armoured infantry fighting vehicles during the Second World War.
16% of tanks was a big number but not critically big to void the Red army its offensive potential completely.
A total of 14,833 US aircraft of all types were sent to Russia between 1942 and 1944... approximately 20 per cent of the fighters and 30 per cent of the bombers of the Red Air Force were American-built and approx. 10 per cent of the fighters were British-built.
The numbers of US/UK supplied aircrafts were big but not critically big.
At the same time
Of much more decisive importance for Russian warfare, however, were the deliveries of motor vehicles, especially from the United States. During the Second World War, Russia built only 343,624 cars and trucks, since the major automobile manufacturers, such as the GAZ factories, were used to manufacture armoured combat vehicles. The USA alone supplied the Russians with 501,660 tactical wheeled and tracked vehicles, including 77,972 Jeeps, 151,053 1.5 t trucks and 200,622 2.5 t trucks.
Without such huge number of high quality motor vehicles Soviet offensive operations would not be so swift and victorious. The Red army would have rely mainly on horses.
However, I believe that even with horses only the Soviet union would be able to defeat Germany.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
That also means no Italian army on the eastern front as well though.
I suspect volunteers would have been involved in the same way that the Spanish did, judging by the Germans Allies performance around Stalingrad Germany would have been better off without them!
 
How the Soviet union would be able to defeat Germany? Was it possible without lean-lease supplied tanks, aircrafts?
It would be much more difficult task but not something unthinkable.
Previously I wrote that lend lease supplies were extremely important for the Soviet union, super important, nearly vitaly important but not critically important.
Lend-Lease tanks and aircrafts

16% of tanks was a big number but not critically big to void the Red army its offensive potential completely.

The numbers of US/UK supplied aircrafts were big but not critically big.
At the same time

Without such huge number of high quality motor vehicles Soviet offensive operations would not be so swift and victorious. The Red army would have rely mainly on horses.
However, I believe that even with horses only the Soviet union would be able to defeat Germany.
I'll remind you of your answer.

5.Was the Soviet union able to defeat Germany alone? It is an open question. Probably yes. But it is purely theoretical question.
And the first thing you use is lend lease, so not alone atall. In the crucial year of 42 Russia lost 15k of tanks and produced 17k medium and heavy tanks. Without the help of others would it have made it to 43?

Moving by horse would have been slow and you would have been cut off from all combat supplies and encircled like in 41. How would you feed these horses? How would you have got POL to your tanks?

And I know that the Germans were also mostly moved by horses but they also had a very maneuverable tank arm supported by aircraft with much better communications. If Russia is fighting on its own then the Germans have no need to keep large fighter wings or division in the west.
 
How the Soviet union would be able to defeat Germany? Was it possible without lean-lease supplied tanks, aircrafts?
It would be much more difficult task but not something unthinkable.
Previously I wrote that lend lease supplies were extremely important for the Soviet union, super important, nearly vitaly important but not critically important.
Lend-Lease tanks and aircrafts

16% of tanks was a big number but not critically big to void the Red army its offensive potential completely.

The numbers of US/UK supplied aircrafts were big but not critically big.
At the same time

Without such huge number of high quality motor vehicles Soviet offensive operations would not be so swift and victorious. The Red army would have rely mainly on horses.
However, I believe that even with horses only the Soviet union would be able to defeat Germany.
Funny, when it came to the russian war effort, the soft vehicles were critical to the Offensive mobility of your deep battle, but the food donated was even more critical to maintain your armies.
 
Without such huge number of high quality motor vehicles Soviet offensive operations would not be so swift and victorious. The Red army would have rely mainly on horses.
However, I believe that even with horses only the Soviet union would be able to defeat Germany.
really, How long did it take.? And the red army did rely on horses a great deal. 5 Years almost the French were defeated faster than that in relative terms
 
The difference between Russian and Allied equipment was overhaul life; Allied aircraft were expected to last for hundreds of hours between major overhaul. Russian aircraft were subject to a unit-level decision after 45-50 hours of combat time, if they had wooden airframes (resin impregnated birch ply), to decide if they could be kept on in service or pushed aside for parting out. Allied airframes routinely achieved hundreds, if not thousands, of hours in service until they were scrapped, parted out or too badly damaged to repair. Russian radios were uniformly bad and Russian gear trains and clutches were junk.
 

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