Britain's completely underrated role in WWII

Some years ago on arrse a link was posted to a blog run by an Australian historian, and damn and blast I can’t find it now.

He opined that Britain and the empire could have defeated nazi Germany on their own since they were starting to get the upper hand, had the resources of the empire and the ordered equipment from the us was coming on stream.

The us’s entry diverted equipment meant for Britain which scuppered some of the plans.

It’s awhile since I read it so i probably haven’t got all the details correct, one of them be8ng whether Britain winning depended on whose side the soviets were on.
Sounds most interesting, hope you find it for us.
 
Some years ago on arrse a link was posted to a blog run by an Australian historian, and damn and blast I can’t find it now.

He opined that Britain and the empire could have defeated nazi Germany on their own since they were starting to get the upper hand, had the resources of the empire and the ordered equipment from the us was coming on stream.

The us’s entry diverted equipment meant for Britain which scuppered some of the plans.

It’s awhile since I read it so i probably haven’t got all the details correct, one of them be8ng whether Britain winning depended on whose side the soviets were on.
This one.

rethinking history: Could the Allies have won the war without the United States?

The comments after are also interesting and bring up some cheristed facts that can't be questioned by some.

He hasn't posted for some time now.
 
I like that. Plus it's worth reflecting that Germany didn't so much invade Russia because it was a plan that had been perfected.
That the plan hadn't been well thought out is evident from the fact that it failed.

It was really Brinkmanship caused by the fact that Communism led by the then faction had sworn to do pretty much the same in terms of expansion.
The invasion of the Soviet Union and its destruction was the raison d'etre for the war. The conquest of the east and the replacement of the Slav population with "Aryans" was the core ideological belief of the Nazis and the centre of their whole plan for the future of the German race. Hitler laid down this intention in writing in "Mein Kampf" in 1925 and there is no reason to believe that he had changed his mind about it later. In order for the Germans to not intend to invade the Soviet Union and destroy the Slavs as a people, Hitler would have had to stop being a Nazi and there was no sign of that happening.

The Question was When. Stalin played an absolute blinder in comparison but IMHO Finland was a flawed war at the wrong time. conducted as it was under the NS soviet pact (i.e Germany not interfering) Finland, I think persuaded Hitler it had to be as soon as possible.
Hitler had agreed that Finland was to be in the Soviet sphere of influence. Like the Baltic States, Finland had been part of the Russian Empire and the Soviets likely wanted it "back" in some form eventually. In the short term they also wanted to move the frontier away from Leningrad to make it more defensible, as they could foresee the upcoming war with Germany.

As for the German plans, they started preparations for the drive east as soon as it became apparent that Operation Sea Lion was not feasible.

See my previous post. Once war started, the Germans were cut off from world trade by sea and could not receive more raw materials. Their strategic stockpiles were being run down. They were getting some through trade with the Soviets, but not enough to stop the haemorrhage, only enough to slow it down. The clock was ticking and they had a finite time in which to either win the war in the east or sue for peace in the west with Britain. Waiting to see what would happen next was not an option for them.

In going to war in 1939 the Germans had cast the dice in a gamble to win big, but the dice fell against them.
 

smeg-head

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The problem Britain had at the end of WW2 was after the first General Election, they outed Churchill and his ilk and voted in a bunch of Trotskyites who immediately frittered away any money Britain had. Added to that was the new government was hand in glove with a strong trades union movement. All materials entering Britain came through the docks, controlled by a powerful union who could, quite easily bring the country to it knees. Add in the growing miners union and transport unions, and the die was cast. Years of weak governments and strong unions caused the problems with Britain's industry that we see now. As a country we produce very little.
 
This one.

rethinking history: Could the Allies have won the war without the United States?

The comments after are also interesting and bring up some cheristed facts that can't be questioned by some.

He hasn't posted for some time now.
I read this part of your link and it reminded me of some WWII German POW stories of life in Canada.
... German soldiers in the rubble of the Ruhr preferred to die than to be shipped to Canadian forests ...
Here's a couple of CBC videos where German POWs talk about what it was like for them in the camps in Canada. The forum software won't let me embed CBC videos, but if you open the web pages you can play the videos there.

The first one makes references to a case of a murder of a German POW by other POWs, but the main point of interest is a former German POW describes what life in a lumber camp was like for a German POW.
Canada’s posh PoW camps - CBC Archives

This one is a more straight forward interview of a former German POW who worked as a farm labourer in Canada.
German PoW returns to Canada after the war - CBC Archives

Both are well worth watching (you may or many not see some ads). They make a rather interesting contrast with the experiences of allied prisoners in German POW camps.

I happen to know someone who as a child worked with German POWs on a farm in southern Ontario. He said that the Germans seemed to be of two types. There were fanatical Nazis, and there were Germans who were not fans of the Nazis. The latter warned him to stay away from the Nazis. I suspect the murder referred to in the first video had something to do with conflict between the Nazis and non-Nazis, as there were problems with this in some POW camps.
 
Major Ivan Henderson, REME, I think. There were a few of the factories workers living in the plant and Henderson saw potential in what was to become the VW Beetle. He got an order for a few thousand beetles from the British Government of Occupation and the rest is history. I paid a visit to the Wolfsburg factory a few years ago and it is an amazing place bearing in mind it was built in the thirties . One thing I did note as I sipped a beer as I waited for my train was all the taxis at the rank outside the station were Skoda Superbs - not a VW in sight!
Major Ivan Hirst, REME. They named a road after him in Wolfsburg. Interesting bloke; here's the official VW biography:

https://www.volkswagenag.com/presence/konzern/documents/history/englisch/Heft4_EN.pdf

1552991242110.png
 
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Actually, public debts going as far back as the Napoleonic Wars, as well as WWI & II, were rolled into new debt instruments. Turkey paid of her last WWI reparation (to Deutsche Bank) in 2010; these debts originated in the 1870s.
Remarkably the questions like
- Who actually defeated Napoleon?
- What country did contribute the most in WW1 victory?
are not of great public interest while still discussion continues about the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Nobody would deny that contribution of US/UK/SU (contribution of each country) was significant though different in nature.
Would it be right using 'intellectual microscope' to try to estimate what contribution was more significant? I doubt that it would be right to compare millions of lost souls and millions of manufactured military hardware items. There are things in this World that hardly can be compared using calculated 'exchange rate'.
I hope everybody agrees that the contribution of the Soviet union was significant. For me it is enough.
And of course the contribution of the UK was significant. And the same is true in respect to the USA.
 
The problem Britain had at the end of WW2 was after the first General Election, they outed Churchill and his ilk and voted in a bunch of Trotskyites who immediately frittered away any money Britain had. Added to that was the new government was hand in glove with a strong trades union movement. All materials entering Britain came through the docks, controlled by a powerful union who could, quite easily bring the country to it knees. Add in the growing miners union and transport unions, and the die was cast. Years of weak governments and strong unions caused the problems with Britain's industry that we see now. As a country we produce very little.
And you can extrapolate that for every Labour government since, in some shape or form.
 

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And you can extrapolate that for every Labour government since, in some shape or form.
Yeah but frittering away Marshall Aid takes "Socialism eventually always runs out of someone else's money" to the extreme.
 
Tojo needs a word with you
Good point well made. But how much harder would it have been to prosecute the war against Japan if Hitler had achieved his goal of controlling pretty much the entire Western hemisphere with the exception of the Americas?

How much aid would have Nazi Germany given to Japan?
 
Can I cut 'n paste this on to an American site where 'we saved your asses' is a common theme?


I often write a less erudite version, and get called a Commie-loving pansy Brit.
You pinko Commie-loving pansy assed Brit.

Be careful because my fellow Americans won’t hold back on that forum you speak off.
 
That the plan hadn't been well thought out is evident from the fact that it failed.
it doesn't at all, he very nearly managed it and that is a non sequitur. Plenty of worse plans succeed more by accident.
The invasion of the Soviet Union and its destruction was the raison d'etre for the war.
No one's denying it. What is being denied is that the Communist leadership were determined to expand communism by what ever means and the Rosa Luxemburg fiasco.
proves it. I've said time and again that the North of Germany was detested by the NS because of their communistic tendencies. Berlin Hamburg, Bremen being cases in point.
Hitler had agreed that Finland was to be in the Soviet sphere of influence.
Nice try, what it was actually a case of was that Germany wouldn't interfere and it didn't It was actually part of the pact's understanding proving that Russia once again that Russia had expansionist tendencies. That's a slightly different nuance. And why would one have a concept of spheres of influence outside of Political ones.
 
You pinko Commie-loving pansy assed Brit.

Be careful because my fellow Americans won’t hold back on that forum you speak off.
Are these the Americans who insist they won the War of 1812. I'm waiting to be told by one of your more rabid types that they beat Napoleon and Charles I.
 

smeg-head

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And you can extrapolate that for every Labour government since, in some shape or form.
Thankfully, Saint Margaret of Grantham managed to club the unions back into the stone-age where they belong. One of the beauties of de-regulating previous government controlled industries, is the fragmentation of unionism and it's effect on the population.
 
Are these the Americans who insist they won the War of 1812. I'm waiting to be told by one of your more rabid types that they beat Napoleon and Charles I.
Anyway the Americans captured Mesopotamia and Babylon though not before Alexander the Great but after him.
 
it doesn't at all, he very nearly managed it and that is a non sequitur. Plenty of worse plans succeed more by accident.

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."
 

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