British only contributed 4 to 5% in WW2

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by old_bloke, Nov 14, 2006.

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  1. The Second World War was purely decided by statistics then?
     
  2. I think we paid for about 75% of the war.... including all of the kit that saved the Russians from being crushed, and which enabled them to return to the field....
     
  3. Undoubtedly, Russia suffered horribly as a result of WWII.

    However, it was the UK that stood alone (with it's Empire) from September 1939 until July 1941. If the USSR had faced an unblunted force in 1941, with the chance of Uncle Adolf consolidating in the West, Joe Stalin would probably have met a different fate.

    We were all allies and we all stood together when it counted. But there was a time when Britain stood alone.
     
  4. At the time it should be noted that with Britain stood the Dominions and the Empire - not entirely alone by any means.
     
  5. Yes but spread mighty thinly around a large portion of the globe
     
  6. Britian is a small nation.
    As has been pointed out, post Dunkirk there was only one old Empire holding out doing it's Bit against the Nazi Horde.
    Britian is still paying cash for WW II, it cost an Empire and now surprisingly it's small well trained armed forces are The Choice for the worlds small scale wars.
    john
     
  7. In my view, WWII was won by (in no particular order): The US, UK, USSR, Australia, China (CCP and KMT), Free French forces, Norwegian commandos, the Canadians, Free Polish forces, New Zealand, Colonial troops (indian, algerian, etc), Brazilian pilots, Various resistance and guerilla groups (including but not limited to: The French Resistance, Norwegian Resistance, Dutch Resistance, Danish Resistance, Polish Resistance, Tito's Partisans, the Vietminh, Filipino Guerillas, Katchin and other Burmese tribesman, Ethiopian tribesman, Sicilian rebel guerillas, etc). This is all I can do off the top of my head, but the list continues I'm sure.

    Russia needed supplies that were shipped from America and Britain through the Arctic. The entire endeavor was dependent on the cooperation of these nations to defeat the Axis.
     
  8. I notivce that the article and many comments here refer exclusively to the Western theatres of Operations. I suspect China would disagree pretty strongly with the idea of Britain standing alone from 39 to 41 when they had already been in the conflict for a couple of years.

    Apart from a quick scrap before the event and a land grab when it was all over the USSR contributed nothing to the war with Japan. While the priority was agreed to be the war with Germany I'd have thought the resources committed to the Pacific must have been sizeable and not without importance.

    Out of interest does anyone know or have references to the realative commitments to the Western and Pacific areas by the Allies.
     
  9. Not half! Plus the US & UK/Commonwealth volunteers who were fighting with them
     
  10. off-topic

    Out of curiosity, how involved were commonwealth volunteers during the "Sino-Japanese War" (remember, WWII doesn't start until white people start dying :roll: )? I've read references to them when I've studied the AVG, but nothing specific (though the passing mentions were always very positive in nature). I know that regardless of the AVG, most of the Chinese Air Force was composed of foreigners, but I've never been able to find the specific details of the involvement of UK and Commonwealth contributions.
     
  11. I'm reading a biography of Mao at the moment which really questions how much the CCP actually fought the Japanese, as opposed to avoiding battle and waiting (like the Russians) for the last-minute land grab. Fascinating stuff.
     
  12. Isn't all this pretty obvious?

    We all knew that Stalingrad was the turning-point in the war, and that many more Russians were killed than any one else.

    We all knew that Stalin was a butcher and that millions died in the gulags.

    We also knew that the Atlantic convoys kept Russia supplied.

    Just another historian trying to flog his books with a "controversial" theory.
     
  13. If the UK had fallen, the US would not have been able to land materiel or troops in Europe; Russia would have had the full attention of the Wehrmacht and probably lost; there would have been no D Day so Europe would be under Nazi domination.
     
  14. The article fits in pretty well with Davies' existing historiography. He's known as a Poland expert and a Europhile and most of his work has deliberately set out to counter what he sees as existing bias among historians to the UK (something, IIRC, he'd quite happily see swallowed up in a US of Europe). Looks and smels like self-conscious revisionism from a presentist agenda.

    As pointed out above, he USSR had the manpower but needed the kit, from the USA via UK; the USA had the manpower and the kit and needed to get it onto continental Europe via the UK. Had the British Isles done nothing more than sit there I'd say we punched above our weight.

    As we all know, however, the UK did far more than just sit there. Churchill's defiance lent resolve to Roosevelt and his policy allies in the USA. In the Battle of Britain UK resolve showed that the Germans could be beaten in the air. In North Africa British resolve showed that the Germans could be beaten on land. In the Battle of the Atlantic...you get the picture.

    Wasn't it Napolean who said that in war moral is to physical what ten is to one? Spiritually, and probably materially too, I'd say Davies has under-counted the UK's contribution.