Britain's completely underrated role in WWII

Sorry, it's under the title "Why WWII Matters" which doesn't relate to its topic. I don't know why:

Much appreciated.
 
So my initial post that the Soviets didn't build anything to help the western allies stands correct then?
Pretty much yes, they did provide a limited amount of raw materials under reverse lend lease, but enough weapons to arm and deploy a unit, no.
 
Dunno:


Look in the background as well...



Keep in mind when reading that website the authors bias.
Posted that link because I cant find the link to the PDF report any more....arhhhhhhhhhh :(
 
(...) Keep in mind when reading that website the authors bias.
The last three paragraphs are his, the preceding ones are a summary of a translation of a Soviet report on their visit to the UK where a T-34 and KV-1 were examined by British tank representatives. The description of what each thought of the other's tanks should be taken in the context of this being the first impression of the report writer having talked to a limited number of people for a short period of time. Parts of the report included rumours from people who would not be party to inside information, such as journalists.

I believe that in other reports the web site author mentions that the latest tank development information was routinely withheld from Soviet delegations, and they only were given information about tanks which were actually available for purchase. That isn't surprising from a security standpoint, but it should act as a reminder that the Soviets will only have had a part of the picture with regards to UK or US tanks at any point in time and would have had limited information about new developments.

I have been involved in the design and evaluation of industrial machinery on both sides of the table, and what was discussed there sounds completely routine. It is not uncommon for part of any evaluation to look at what would be involved in simply making a copy, whether under license or not. That however would have been one of several options that would ultimately go to the decision makers. This sort of information provides a very good benchmark for your own designs when you are evaluating production cost, size, performance, and other factors. It is considered to be bad engineering practice today to not do these sorts of competitive evaluations in a systematic and methodical fashion. That the original Soviet author of the report thought that this necessarily translated into genuine interest in actually manufacturing T-34s and KVs in the UK may reflect his own inexperience in business rather than anything he was directly told by UK representatives.

I think that by the time this meeting took place the UK was already working on what would ultimately be the Centurion. It would be interesting to find out if possible whether any of the information from this evaluation contributed to the design of that tank.
 
It seems to be popular to say that WWII was won by the United States and Russia, however...

1. Without Britain continuing the fight after the fall of France, all the forces that occupied Western Europe, from Norway to the Spanish border, the aircraft attacking Britain, and the naval forces attacking us, could have been used against the USSR in 1941. Would all those tanks, artillery pieces, aircraft, and millions of men (assuming only a minimal garrison was left) have overwhelmed the defenders?

2. Could the Soviets reorganise their production with aid via the Arctic Convoys?

3. There could have been no Normandy landings with Britain, as a staging post and safe haven for US and other forces, have safely made it across the Atlantic.

4. Could The US have successfully prosecuted a war in the Pacific had the Atlantic/European theatre been in enemy hands?
 
It seems to be popular to say that WWII was won by the United States and Russia, however...

1. Without Britain continuing the fight after the fall of France, all the forces that occupied Western Europe, from Norway to the Spanish border, the aircraft attacking Britain, and the naval forces attacking us, could have been used against the USSR in 1941. Would all those tanks, artillery pieces, aircraft, and millions of men (assuming only a minimal garrison was left) have overwhelmed the defenders?

2. Could the Soviets reorganise their production with aid via the Arctic Convoys?

3. There could have been no Normandy landings with Britain, as a staging post and safe haven for US and other forces, have safely made it across the Atlantic.

4. Could The US have successfully prosecuted a war in the Pacific had the Atlantic/European theatre been in enemy hands?
Barbarossa was delayed for several critical weeks by the Yugoslav/Greek campaign, at least partly due to British involvement.
 
(...) 3. There could have been no Normandy landings with Britain, as a staging post and safe haven for US and other forces, have safely made it across the Atlantic.
Would the US have even got involved in the war in Europe if Britain had already bowed out?

4. Could The US have successfully prosecuted a war in the Pacific had the Atlantic/European theatre been in enemy hands?
Would not things in south-east Asia have gone down a completely different path if the UK had bowed out of the war in Europe early? Here is one possible example:
  • France falls, the UK withdraws from France and signs a peace treaty with Germany.
  • Germany is no longer at war with the UK, and so global markets are now open to trade for them and they can import whatever is needed.
  • As a result, Germany is now under no time pressure to begin the war with the Soviet Union early in order to obtain resources (particularly oil), and can afford to wait a few years.
  • Germany signs new treaties with France and the Netherlands under which Japan, as an ally of Germany, is allowed to freely trade with and invest in French and Dutch Far East colonies, and are granted various other extraterritorial rights giving them fairly free rein in the area.
  • Japan can now obtain oil from the Dutch East Indies, and no longer needs to do a smash and grab to get around US oil sanctions.
  • With the cessation of hostilities, the UK cancels arms procurement contracts in the US, and while still increasing military expenditure (Germany is still potentially hostile after all) instead concentrates on building up arms production within the British Empire and Commonwealth. Without UK contracts and the US still at peace, the US arms industry does not get a head start in money and production.
  • Without allies other than China, the US is not willing to start a war on its own, instead concentrating on providing arms to China via whatever arrangements they can make with the UK via Burma.
  • Without a war time budget, the US military build up remains limited and focused on defensive measures.
  • When Germany and the Soviets do finally go to war, Germany are better prepared but so are the Soviets who have had time to complete their military reorganisation. Fighting is heavy and bloody, eventually grinding to a halt in a stalemate somewhere in Poland.
This scenario, one of many, doesn't mean that general war doesn't eventually happen, but it does show that we could be talking about a completely different starting point and path of development. Once you change one key event in history, you can't assume that subsequent events will remain the same. Britain remaining in the war is one of those key turning points in the history of the period, and everything happened after that could have been different should it have taken a different path.
 
Would the US have even got involved in the war in Europe if Britain had already bowed out?
I was thinking the exact same thing. Whether Britain had been defeated (unlikely) or made peace (likely) there would have been no reason for America to fight in a war which had already been concluded.

On the other hand, America would have made a fortune selling war supplies to the Germans after their invasion of Russia. As mentioned in another thread, Ford Motor Company was happy to do business with the Nazis.

Cheers,
Dan.
 

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