British only contributed 4 to 5% in WW2

#3
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....
 
#4
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.
 
#5
At the time it should be noted that with Britain stood the Dominions and the Empire - not entirely alone by any means.
 
#7
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
 
#8
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.
 
#9
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.
 
#10
Futsukayoi said:
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.
Not half! Plus the US & UK/Commonwealth volunteers who were fighting with them
 
#11
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.
 
#12
Chief_Joseph said:
In my view, WWII was one by (in no particular order): The US, UK, USSR, Australia, China (CCP and KMT)
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.
 
#13
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.
 
#14
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.
 
#15
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.
 
#16
Britain may have only fielded 28 Divisions, but those Divisions were, in the main, deployed on operations for 2 years longer than most of the other allies. The manpower those 28 Divisions p*ssed away (and by default, needed substantial reinforcement) during that time, was huge. By late '44/early '45 the British Army was so desperately in need of blokes that we were getting rid of Divisions to redistribute the manpower.

To look at the issue in those simplistic terms is misleading and an insult.

Tw*t!
 
#17
LankyPullThrough said:
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. ..................Spiritually, and probably materially too, I'd say Davies has under-counted the UK's contribution.
I am always suspicious when someone brings political allegience into a review of a history book.

Davies does take a Euro centric view - its his angle based on looking at history from a polish perspective. If you want to sell a new book you need to say something new or different.

He has a point.

However much we admire and respect our own contributiuon to the Second World War, the War was decisded largely on the Eastern Front at the cost of Soviet lives. Where are the equivalents of the Somme and Ypres in the Second World War? - Russia.

The Americans provided a lot of kit for the Soviets, but not more than 10% of tanks or aircraft. Many of these were inferior to excellent Soviet tanks and good aircraft. The biggest resource was trucks. Without Lease lend the Sovists would still have won, but each of their offensives would have run out of steam earlier. Can anyone point to specific actions where lease lend kit was decisive in turning the balance?

Whether the Soviets would have won without the Western Allies posing a threat to Western Europe and engaging sizable forces in the mediteranena is more debatable. WW2 was won by an alliance of the Western Democracies with Stalin's Soviet Union. You can't say which was decisive. However we can, and should, acknowledge that the bulk of the cost of the war was bourne by the Soviet people.

If you don't beleive that cost and sacrifice matters in rememberance, what were you thinking about on Remembrance Sunday?
 
#18
jonny956 said:
Britain may have only fielded 28 Divisions, but those Divisions were, in the main, deployed on operations for 2 years longer than most of the other allies. The manpower those 28 Divisions p*ssed away (and by default, needed substantial reinforcement) during that time, was huge. By late '44/early '45 the British Army was so desperately in need of blokes that we were getting rid of Divisions to redistribute the manpower.
Not sure whether that isn't a bit of a simplisitc view.

1. Most of the British Divisions WEREN'T deployed on operations for two years longer than our allies.

- The 1939-40 BEF contained C 15 divisions which were on an active front for about one month and then out of action until June 1944. British Forces were in action in North West Europe for little more than one year.

- Around the equivalent of two British divisions were engaged from the end of 1940 in the Middle east, rising to around six by March 1943. The rest of the "British Troops" were recruited from the Empire and Commonwealth.

- The equivalent of a maximum of 3 British divisions were deployed in the Far East from December 1941.

2. The nature of warfare had changed. Britian made a massive commitment to waging air warfare against Germany. I think it was once calculated that around 1 million people were engaged in building Lancaster bombers.

3. There are some truths in statistics that speak for themselves.

Britian 1914-1918 750k war dead
Britian 1939-45 330k war dead.
Soviet Union 8 million military war dead.
 
#19
- The 1939-40 BEF contained C 15 divisions which were on an active front for about one month and then out of action until June 1944. British Forces were in action in North West Europe for little more than one year.
My father would have been highly amused at that comment. He came back from Dunkirk with his regiment and was soon back in action in North Africa, Egypt and Iraq in 42/43 and then on to Sicily and Monte Cassino.
 
#20
”Soviet Union 8 million military war dead.”

Point 1., how many killed by the Soviets and how many by the weather? Point 2. Churchill observed on Dunkerque; ”War is not won by evacuations”, it’s also very true that wars are not won by being dead.


”Can anyone point to specific actions where lease lend kit was decisive in turning the balance?”

Can anyone point out the weather had nothing to do it?

We were concerned with western Europe. Why, because we are western Europeans, it’s where we come from and where we live. Were we happy to see our enemies destroying each other, even encourage it? As they say, no point in having a dog and barking yourself.

Glad that Norman Davies has discovered the Second World War, even though he appears to have omitted the First in his evaluation? As to forking out 25 sobs for his ’pearls of wisdom’, think I’ll wait till it’s 25p at the local Boot next to Ambrose, etc.

The message to Stalin in 1945 was the same as to Hitler in 1940; ”Come over ‘ere if you think you’re ‘ard enough” John Taffy Patrick MacBull


No.9
 

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