Who won the war?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Jenisch, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #1 Jenisch, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
    To understand better what I want to discuss, I will recommend read the text of the first post on this link: Who Won the Second World War? - The Education Forum

    While the author uses a perhaps good logic to put the Soviet participation about the others, do you guys agree with him?

    Personally, I think WORLD War II was war more complex. The British historian he mentioned that was angry and mentioned the 56 divisions in France, didn't provided a strong argumentation in the Western Allies favour in my view. Factors like those divions, together with the British naval blockade, the German need of built U-boats, the Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union and the bombing campaign were surely much more impactant.

    I can't see the Soviets as the sole or more important element behind the Allied victory in WWII, despite their enormous contribution. I already tried to subscribe to that view, and couldn't maintein it. I always started to considerate what the Germans could have done, what the Germans could have employed in the East if there was no West, and couldn't maintein the view. Coincidence or not, exactly the same argument of many who argue about the Soviet superior importance use to justify it, just with the Eastern Front, of course. I can't understand how a front can be put above the others in a war were all was interconnected. And I don't think this is even a matter of opinion, but fact.

    What are your opinions?
     
  2. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #2 DonL, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
    @ Jenisch

    I absolutely agree.

    I have my doubts that the Soviet participation was better then the others!

    Let us abstract some things!

    1. How would the Red Arrmy/Airforce perform without one single peace of lend lease and technology transfer of communikations, radio technology, aircraft-, aircraftengine-technology, trucks/lory's and so on.....?
    2. How much help had the Red Army from the bad infrastructur (railways, roads) and the climatical conditions of their own country in a modern mobile war?
    3. How would the Red Arrmy/Airforce perform, if the germans would not attack at 21.6.1941 (only defend) and the Red Army/Airforce must attack on their own without lend lease and technology transfer (1941,42,43,44)?

    Answer this question with your knowledge and sum them up and I think the answer is clear!
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The Soviet Union conquered and occupied most of Europe for the next 45 years. However Stalin couldn't have done it without massive assistance from Britain and the USA. World Wars are a team sport.
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Who won the war? The allies. That's it, plain and simple. I have grown tired of one group or another claiming that "they" or "we" won WWII. That's a load of crap. America couldn't have done it alone, Britain and the commonwealth nations couldn't have done it alone. The USSR could not have done it alone either. Without the massive amount of men, material and mutual assistance, it would have, at the very least, been a hell of a lot harder.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Eric. Without the Lend-Lease support from the UK US I'm not sure the USSR could have held out. IMO the massive losses in manpower was more Stalins fault with his officer purges then anything.
     
  6. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    That's what I also think.

    I compare the USSR and the Western Allies as two soldiers that provided mutual support to each other. One of them (the USSR) eliminated more enemies, but if wasn't for his friend giving it cover, a less numerous enemy could have shot it from the back and all his "superior" effort would be useless. A teamwork therefore.
     
  7. marshall

    marshall Member

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    The author of the article from the first post, Norman Davies, is not claiming that the Soviets won the war all by themselfs. I think that he would agree with the statement that it was more complex matter and I believe that's why he wrote the book Europe at War 1939-1945 No Simple Victory. I can recommend this book to everybody as in my opinion it's a very good book. At close to 700 pages (at least Polish edition) it's not short but it's a good read.
     
  8. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #8 Jenisch, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
    From the article:

    He practically said that were the Soviets who won the war with this.

    In my view, it's hard to say the Americans arrived too late, because the US was:

    *Fighting Imperial Japan, which it's Army was a well know proponent of an invasion of the Soviet Union

    *Maintening Britain in the war

    *By maintening Britain in the war, it meant the German naval blockade would continue, and this would continue to hurt badly the Reich's economy, and consequentely it's ability to wage war

    *Britain and the US meant the Italians could never help Hitler with great numbers in Russia, since their focus was in Africa and Mediterranean

    *The Western Allies, together with the Japanese neutrality towards the Soviets, meant they could receive the Lend-Lease and all maritime trade

    His logic desconsiderates all those factors, and many others, that were supporting the efforts in the East for both sides. It was the Italians taking considerable British and American resources in the Mediterranean to let Hitler fight in the East, the Japanese taking Allied resources in the Pacific, and the Western Allies not allowing Hitler to fully deploy his strenght against the Soviets that allowed the Eastern Front to exist like it was.

    What I said above practically says that I agree with his view, but unlike him, I considerate the collective effort as vital, since in my view it was a true World War, and thefore was not mainly about the "big picture" like he does. It's a matter of the angle one wants to see the war.
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Agreed. This is a topic though that is debated over and over and over. National pride will ensure that there is no end to it.
     
  10. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #10 Jenisch, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
    Yeah.

    In my country, there are a lot of USSR apologists in the humanities. In the rest of the world this is similar? If yes, perhaps is the reason why we see so much pro-Soviet stuff today.
     
  11. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I disagree I believe the Axis powers won , they were destroyed and had to construct new whereas the the allies had the manufacturing but it was all aged and getting close to being out of date ( the rust belt in the US). The Axis powers also had no responsabilities in the new order post WW2 although many of the problems the victors had to deal with are a direct result of actions in WW2 by axis powers.
     
  12. Just Schmidt

    Just Schmidt Member

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    #12 Just Schmidt, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
    I agree that the article dosn't claim much wich actually conflicts with most comments to this thread.

    Also his point of departure is Churchills claim that Great Britain won the war, a claim that (even if it is somewhat carricated) I doubt anyone here would support. Certainly he (Davies) does not absolve the USSR of anything.

    In terms of sheer fighting and killing axis soldiers the soviets certainly took the greatest share, as events unfolded. They undoubtedly wouldn't have performed as well without outside help, whithout this assistance the western allies themselves would have been obliged to fight a longer and harder campaign in Europe. Consider the resources the Germans could have channelled into aircraft, rocket weapons and submarines if Stalin had meekly accepted a peace on the lines of Brest-Litowsk in say summer 42 (not that Hitler would have been likely to make such a peace until long after the tide turned, if even then).

    However, in terms of actual gain and prestige, in the long run the USA proved to be the winner.

    PS: I forgot to mention that I grew up being given the expression that the Danish resistence movement won the war...
     
  13. marshall

    marshall Member

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    No it don't mean that the Soviets won the war alone.
     
  14. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #14 Jenisch, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
    I considerate the war was won by the joint efforts of the main Allied nations. Since it was a global conflict, such efforts were interconnected. So, hardly a front was "on it's own" to say it was really more or less important.

    This is true to some extend in my view. As I said above, the Soviets could effectively only obtain such feats due to the external help from their allies (not only Lend-Lease, their overall contributions). Many historians today want to put the Soviets as the bright red star of the war, but they present this info like if the Soviets managed everything alone.

    The casualities the Soviets inflicted in the Germans are also not the best argument to justify a superior importance of them to me, too. The Luftwaffe for example, relatively few men, but if present with full strength could have avoided massive casualities for the Germans, and perhaps give them the victory in East. Why the Luftwaffe couldn't do this? Most of it was employed and lost in the West during the war, and as the war progressed, the lack of fuel by the Anglo-American naval blockade and bombing, cost it the adequate training of it's pilots. If the LW could be fully deployed in the East since the beginning, and likely in incread numbers if there was only the East, not to mention it's quality (all Fw 190s in the East, for example), perhaps the situation would become unsustainable for the Red Air Force.

    Yeah. I notice a hypocrisy from some people about this. They usually mention how the West would face difficulties without the Soviets, only to not remember how the Soviets would face even more difficulties without the West. The Grand Alliance was judge critical for both sides.

    I agree with this.
     
  15. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #15 Jenisch, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
    Ok.

    I think the problem of the "dominant role" mention is that it sparks many misconceptions in the people, particularly out of the history circle. If the Soviets inflicted 8 from each 10 casualities of the German Army, then this meant they could have likely won the war alone and the West played a secondary role. The only thing we obtain with this is a "Stalingrad" in place of the D-Day here in the West. Say that the Western Allies were secondary beligerantes is not correct. A secondary beligerant was my country, that despite the fact it sent troops for the Allies in Italy and their contribution, didn't influenced the final outcome. With the Western Allies, the HIStory is different.
     
  16. marshall

    marshall Member

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    Jenisch you agree that the Soviets didn't win the war alone,

    I agree that the Soviets didn't win the war alone,

    probably most members of these forum will agree that the Soviets didn't win the war alone,

    not much to discuss here.


    And btw if you think that Davies is pro soviet read his book I mentioned earlier, after reading it I doubt you will be calling him like that.
     
  17. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #17 Jenisch, Jan 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
    The question is not this, it's the Allied effort as a whole being critical to the victory. See David Glantz for example. Yesterday, I read a paper from him where he told that without Allied help, the Soviets would *likely* defeat Hitler at maximum in 18 months, with the difference they would arrive at the English Channel. He desconsiderates the naval blockade, the extremely expensive U-boat construction, the bombing, as well as the Lend-Lease (which as with the other things, would have a cumulative effect and probably would be more relevant in this scenario). Being able to trade with more neutral countries, the Germans would be in a much better position to at least stop Stalin. I can imagine all the Luftwaffe the East, all the Fw 190s, great number of Hs 129s and more advanced aircraft such as jets, all focused in the Soviets. Thousands of Tiger and Panthers tanks with well trained crews due to foreign oil, thousands more of 88mm's, much more trucks, better railways, etc.

    It would be possible for the Soviets won? Yes, I would not rule out this possibility. BUT, I don't think it would be *likely*. While Glantz and Davies don't say the Soviets won the war alone, they claim they did most of the work, and don't considerate the vital support (not only LL, all I talked above) the Western Allies provided to Stalin. I considerate this support as critical, as important as the battles in the Eastern Front, because all was interconnected. In my view, the Soviets must have their achivements recognized, just they don't should be considerated as part of an individual, but rather collective effort.
     
  18. marshall

    marshall Member

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    I'm sorry but I don't know work of David Glantz so I won't be commenting it.

    I agree that the victory was a team effort, and I agree with a view that most of the fighting was on the eastern front, actually around 3/4 of whole world war 2 took place there, so it's hard not to say that the Soviets did most of the fighting.

    You say that it would be hard for the USSR to win with Germany alone and I agree with that in fact very hard, but ask yourself how hard it would be for the Western Allies to win with Germany without the USSR? I would say it would be almost impossible...
     
  19. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    At 8.8 to 10.7 million Soviet military deaths, more than ALL the other allies combined, it's hard to belittle the USSR's contribution.

    Matter of fact if you take the higher figure of 10.7 million, it comes close to more deaths than all other combatants combined, axis and allied.
     
  20. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #20 Jenisch, Jan 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
    Ground war, yes. What I don't agree is when people, and even the Russian government, like to praise that the Soviets acted almost independently. Everything they managed was achived in the joint effort. So, it's correct and very valid for the Ex-Soviet peoples praise themselfs for their achivements, but not forgoting it was part of an interconnected mutinational effort. While the West must understand the Soviet contribution as well.

    It would depends in my view. Stalin would be supporting Germany with food and raw materials? Germany would conquer the USSR? In the two cases, specially in the later, certainly would be very difficult. Otherwise, Nazi Germany could be destroyed. Hitler seized much resources in the East. If didn't, the blockade and the Allied bombing, together with landings in occupied Europe probably would deal with it.

    You also need to considerate that the possibility of the Western Allies defeat Nazi Germany alone is not very different than from the Soviets. Even because it's not only victory or defeat, there's also the drawn possibility. And the British proved themselfs capable of repulse the German agression in 1940.
     
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