• What are your thoughts if UK and France committed to the defense of Finland and declared war on USSR. USSR turns to Germany and Italy for help.

    Set up:

    USSR becomes the 4th major member of the Axis Alliance.

    How do you think WWII would of played it this way?

    And then picture the same set up, however US this time stays completely neutral in the war.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Stalin wants to bring Finland back to Russia, would be a terrible mistake to push them ( Soviets and Axis) into a further relationship while Finland means nothing to the Allies. France really was not in the position to project an forward military posture as their people really were committed to defending France and only that. UK on the other hand may have a go at it but not after the result in Norway. If this was before that period, and with a different result, then they did have the means but not the will. Italy is a joke. they can’t even fight their neighbors let alone in any area that far from Italy.


  • I just read two interesting books on that subject, The Chamberlain Hitler collusion by Finkel and Leibovitz, and new book this year, Anatomy of a Campaign by John Kiszely, where he discuss the problems with an Allied declaration of war against Russia.

    Both Chamberlain and Churchill wanted war against both Hitler and Stalin. They had plans to both invade by land, through Norway and Sweden, and sail the Royal Navy into the Baltic Sea in Operation Catherine. But their military advisors, Pound and Ironside, both turned the ideas down. It would be Gallipoli all over again. And the Brits are not masters in skiing.

    It could have worked if Norway and Sweden quit being neutrals, and both joined the Allies. In that case Germany would be cut off from most of its iron ore, copper, nickel, and industrial imports from Scandinavia like high quality ball bearings, and Hydro products. That would put an end to the German war effort. And British Bombers taking off from airfields in Southern Sweden, leveling Berlin in spring 1940, Hitler would not be very popular. The Finns had basically stopped the Russians all alone, and with Allied help and supplies, who knows how deep into Russia they could go. And at this point, Italy was still neutral, and I hardly think they would join the losing side.

    But, as we know, Norway and Sweden would stay neutral, and there were no way the Brits could assault them without losing support from USA. UK also depended on the Norwegian merchant fleet, the number 3 largest in the world, and the largest in modern oil Tankers, they carried half of the oil the Allies used during the war. So there is a logical reason the UK and France never attacked strict neutral Norway and Sweden to help Finland.


  • Sweden was a strange nation during WWII anyways. Both sides of the conflict wanted to invade the nation but either didn’t as they knew Sweden would join the other.


  • Nothing special about Sweden, just your average European country. But, if you want to invade it you will have to cross the sea. And even if the southern part of Sweden is easy to take, all the resources and iron ore are up north in the mountains. So its not easy to steal that iron, so at some point both Hitler and Chamberlain figured they would be better off just doing trade with Sweden.

    If we look into the numbers, its a miracle they would even go for Norway. The first day, Germany was able to send 10 000 men on warships and 4000 men on transports, and 3500 airborne with gliders. Most of this ships were sunk the first days, and a lot of the planes shout down. After 2 months, Germany was able to transfer 120 000 men to Norway. That was enough to take little Norway, but Sweden was stronger with 320 000 men mobilized in april, and the twice in reserve if attacked, so I dont think Germany could take Sweden. UK and France were even worse, they had so few transports they had to use the Trannies for supply, and carry the infantry on deck of warships, and they managed to transfer 25 000 Brits, 5 000 Frenchmen and 5 000 Poles to Norway during a 2 months campaign. They had less than 4 000 men in the first wave, but no landing crafts, so I hardly doubt that an UK attack on Norway would succeed. Nor to continue that attack into Sweden, in case Germany did nothing. Russia was already stuck down in the marshes and swamps of Finland, so no action from them neither.

    I can hardly see any other way to play this scenario out than what actually happened in the real war, in our timeline. Of course it would have been cool if Churchill had managed to pull off Operation Catherine and sailed his Battleships into the Baltic Sea, so he could brag about a new Gallipoli disaster, and at the same time keep neutral USA out of the war for a long time. LOL

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @Narvik:

    Of course it would have been cool if Churchill had managed to pull off Operation Catherine and sailed his Battleships into the Baltic Sea, so he could brag about a new Gallipoli disaster, and at the same time keep neutral USA out of the war for a long time. LOL

    Churchill certainly had a habit of putting belligerence before common sense. However, his belief that Britain needed to discover its fighting spirit was correct and his leadership crucial in us doing so.

    Gallipoli is another matter though. There is a strong school of thought that the Gallipoli concept was exactly what we should have been doing rather than launching suicidal attack after suicidal attack on the western front. I remember reading a very persuasive book making this case. Of course there is another strong school of thought that would say otherwise - and they have the failure at Gallipoli on their side.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    The British landings at Gallipoli in WWI and the British landings in Norway in WWII were botched operations with uncomfortable similarities.  Both were advocated by Churchill; both reflected Churchill’s inclinations (which were also demonstrated in other places, such as Italy) to hit the enemy in distant secondary areas rather than head-on at the front; and both failed because they were improvised and poorly planned.  More specifically, they reflected the simplistic view that a successful amphibious landing on a hostile shore merely required Britain to send in its fleet and disembark its troops.  This may have worked fine back in the eighteenth century, against light or nonexistent opposition, but the concept was already looking questionable at the time of the Crimean War in the mid-19th century when relatively modern industrial-age weapons were becoming the norm, and it had become dangerously obsolescent in 1940, when air power had become a major factor in warfare.


  • @CWO:

    The British landings at Gallipoli in WWI and the British landings in Norway in WWII were botched operations with uncomfortable similarities.  Both were advocated by Churchill; both reflected Churchill’s inclinations (which were also demonstrated in other places, such as Italy) to hit the enemy in distant secondary areas rather than head-on at the front; and both failed because they were improvised and poorly planned.  More specifically, they reflected the simplistic view that a successful amphibious landing on a hostile shore merely required Britain to send in its fleet and disembark its troops.  This may have worked fine back in the eighteenth century, against light or nonexistent opposition, but the concept was already looking questionable at the time of the Crimean War in the mid-19th century when relatively modern industrial-age weapons were becoming the norm, and it had become dangerously obsolescent in 1940, when air power had become a major factor in warfare.

    I never understood the point of the allied landings in Norway anyways? Was it simply to just remove possible bombing threats against UK? Norway was always a weakness for Germany anyway and I am not surprised the allies never again invaded Norway after 40.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Caesar:

    I never understood the point of the allied landings in Norway anyways? Was it simply to just remove possible bombing threats against UK? Norway was always a weakness for Germany anyway and I am not surprised the allies never again invaded Norway after 40.

    The basic British motivation for occupying Norway was probably the same one they had for occupying Iceland: to get to it before the Germans did, in order to keep a potentially useful territory out of German hands.  In the case of Iceland, its possession was more useful to the Allies than it would have been to the Germans.  In the case of Norway, the reverse was probably true.  Norway was already useful to Germany as a source of iron ore, and later in the war (once the USSR was on the Allied side) Norway complicated Allied efforts to send convoys to Russia; I’m not sure it would have had equivalently great advantages to the Allies if Britain had managed to occupy it first.  (Norway also became an important component of the German nuclear weapons program, due to the heavy water supplied by the Norsk Hydro plant, but I don’t think Britain was initially aware of that potential angle.)  From Britain’s viewpoint, Norway was probably considered important enough to try seizing it from the Norwegians while it was still under Norwegian control, but not considered crucial enough to try to seize it from the Germans once the Germans were solidly established there.


  • @CWO:

    @Caesar:

    I never understood the point of the allied landings in Norway anyways? Was it simply to just remove possible bombing threats against UK? Norway was always a weakness for Germany anyway and I am not surprised the allies never again invaded Norway after 40.

    The basic British motivation for occupying Norway was probably the same one they had for occupying Iceland: to get to it before the Germans did, in order to keep a potentially useful territory out of German hands.  In the case of Iceland, its possession was more useful to the Allies than it would have been to the Germans.  In the case of Norway, the reverse was probably true.  Norway was already useful to Germany as a source of iron ore, and later in the war (once the USSR was on the Allied side) Norway complicated Allied efforts to send convoys to Russia; I’m not sure it would have had equivalently great advantages to the Allies if Britain had managed to occupy it first.  (Norway also became an important component of the German nuclear weapons program, due to the heavy water supplied by the Norsk Hydro plant, but I don’t think Britain was initially aware of that potential angle.)  From Britain’s viewpoint, Norway was probably considered important enough to try seizing it from the Norwegians while it was still under Norwegian control, but not considered crucial enough to try to seize it from the Germans once the Germans were solidly established there.

    Ah, yes. I always forget about Germany’s nuclear program and heavy water from Norway.


  • @Caesar:

    @CWO:

    The British landings at Gallipoli in WWI and the British landings in Norway in WWII were botched operations with uncomfortable similarities.  Both were advocated by Churchill; both reflected Churchill’s inclinations (which were also demonstrated in other places, such as Italy) to hit the enemy in distant secondary areas rather than head-on at the front; and both failed because they were improvised and poorly planned.  More specifically, they reflected the simplistic view that a successful amphibious landing on a hostile shore merely required Britain to send in its fleet and disembark its troops.  This may have worked fine back in the eighteenth century, against light or nonexistent opposition, but the concept was already looking questionable at the time of the Crimean War in the mid-19th century when relatively modern industrial-age weapons were becoming the norm, and it had become dangerously obsolescent in 1940, when air power had become a major factor in warfare.

    I never understood the point of the allied landings in Norway anyways? Was it simply to just remove possible bombing threats against UK? Norway was always a weakness for Germany anyway and I am not surprised the allies never again invaded Norway after 40.

    Because of a planned English/French invasion of Norway.  Norway itself was not a big deal, but it bordered Sweden and the Germans got most of their Iron Ore from Sweden.  The thought process is that if they could stop Swedish iron ore shipments to Germany than Germany would have to capitulate.  So instead of fighting a long protracted war against Germany they figured they could win a couple of quick wars against Norway and Sweden and end the war.  The Altmark incident showed that England had no intention of honoring Norway’s neutrality.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altmark_Incident

    And the quick response to the German invasion with the French and British own “rescue” attempt shows that they were planning the same thing.  Germany just beat them to the punch.  I think Germany should have let them invade to get Norway on their side, but either way the result would have been the same.  Norway was doomed one way or another.


  • I have wondered what would happen had the British and French used the battle plans for PLAN R-4. This plan called for the Allies to take Narvik and move east into Sweden.

    Would Norway and Sweden joined Germany? How would the U.S react to the Allies attacking neutral countries?


  • I don’t think the US would really care, we were very pro British and pro France thanks to WWI.


  • @ABWorsham:

    I have wondered what would happen had the British and French used the battle plans for PLAN R-4. This plan called for the Allies to take Narvik and move east into Sweden.

    Would Norway and Sweden joined Germany? How would the U.S react to the Allies attacking neutral countries?

    If UK had attacked Norway and Sweden, then in no doubt they would be forced to join Germany. There are no case in WWII, or WWI or any war between the Napoleon campaigns and today, where a neutral minor actually joins the aggressor that attack it. They always join the opposing side. And in that case, the 50 000 Allied troops would get railed back in the water pretty quick, even before any German troops had time to arrive. UK dont have specialized ski troops or mountain troops, or any equipment designed for winter warfare in mountains in the Arctic zone. Most of the 35 000 UK troops that actually landed in Narvik in april 1940 got frostbite and snowblind even before they would meet any German. How would that been different if UK attacked with R4 during the real winter, as planned ?

    How would USA react ?

    Interessting, I am just to begin reading Ian Kershaws book, The Decisions, about how Roosevelt was thinking in those day, come back to this later.
    But, USA did nothing when neutral Ethiopia was attacked, Spain was attacked, Tchekoslovakia, Austria and Poland were attacked, nothing when neutral Denmark and Norway, Belgium, Holland and France were attacked, or when Albania, Greece, Jugoslavia, Romania, Finland, the Baltic States, and a dusin other were attacked.

    Because they were not true and strict neutrals. But, and I cant stress this enough, if true and strict neutral Sweden had been attacked, either by UK or Germany, then we must assume that not only USA, but all the remaining of the true neutrals of the World, including Mongolia, all would have joined the war, against whoever attacked true neutral Sweden


  • The reason why the US didn’t complain at all was because we didn’t want to be in a war against our will and we wanted nothing to do with the League of Nation and in the case of Ethiopia as an example, they went to the League of Nation complain why they weren’t getting involved and even adding Italy with money during the war. I believe the US saw it simply as another European snatch and grab mission. Also with Spanish Civil War, I know several members of the US government supported the Loyalist in words but only because they were afraid of German/Italian victory would lead to Monroe Doctrine violation in South America.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Narvik:

    Because they were not true and strict neutrals. But, and I cant stress this enough, if true and strict neutral Sweden had been attacked, either by UK or Germany, then we must assume that not only USA, but all the remaining of the true neutrals of the World, including Mongolia, all would have joined the war, against whoever attacked true neutral Sweden

    Why wouldn’t they just have remained neutral?  Remember that the US was highly isolationist at the time and, basically, felt that the country should remain neutral unless it was directly attacked.  To give just one example, the US was very pro-China for many years, yet it didn’t declare war on Japan until after Pearl Harbor, even though Japan had invaded parts of China in 1931 and 1933, and had launched a full-blown war against China in 1937.  If Britain and France had declared war on Norway and Sweden in 1940, the US would have had to ask itself the question: Would it better serve our national intest to remain neutral in this matter, or would it better serve our national intest to ally ourselves with Nazi Germany and fight at Hitler’s side against the two countries with which we were allies in WWI?  I think that John Q. Public would have tended to go with the first option, and would have shrugged off the Anglo-French invasion of Norway and Sweden in the same way he had shrugged off the invasion of Poland, i.e. by taking the attitude “Let these damn-fool Europeans kill each other.  They mean nothing to us.  We have bigger domestic problems at home to worry about.”

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    @CWO:

    I think that John Q. Public would have tended to go with the first option, and would have shrugged off the Anglo-French invasion of Norway and Sweden in the same way he had shrugged off the invasion of Poland, i.e. by taking the attitude “Let these damn-fool Europeans kill each other.  They mean nothing to us.  We have bigger domestic problems at home to worry about.”

    Kind of still like this now.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17

    @Narvik:

    But, and I cant stress this enough, if true and strict neutral Sweden had been attacked, either by UK or Germany, then we must assume that not only USA, but all the remaining of the true neutrals of the World, including Mongolia, all would have joined the war, against whoever attacked true neutral Sweden

    LOL…… I rather think that this was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the A&A rules that, as we all know, are a highly accurate representation of the reality of World War II.  😄

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Herr:

    LOL…… I rather think that this was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the A&A rules that, as we all know, are a highly accurate representation of the reality of World War II.  😄

    To paraphrase Captain Renault, from the movie Casablanca, I am shocked – shocked! – by the insinuation that the A&A rules fall anywhere short of modeling with complete accuracy the realities of WWII.


  • I also remember the movie Casablanca had a Norwegian sailor in it, with a few good lines.

    Well, back to topic, I just finished the Roosevelt chapter in Fatal Choices by Ian Kersaw, and it turns out that the main reason that USA would stand back during the first years of WWII, was because they were not ready. In may 1940 when Germany attacked France, the US military outlays increased by 5 times, and Roosevelt also mobilized what he got. When the war started in 1939, USA only got 140 000 men, of this only 4 divisions was combat ready, with French artillery from WWI and English Brody helmets. But in the fall of 1941, Marshall told Roosevelt that the Army was ready, and from that on USA was ready to join. Some weeks later, they joined.


  • @Narvik:

    I also remember the movie Casablanca had a Norwegian sailor in it, with a few good lines.

    Well, back to topic, I just finished the Roosevelt chapter in Fatal Choices by Ian Kersaw, and it turns out that the main reason that USA would stand back during the first years of WWII, was because they were not ready. In may 1940 when Germany attacked France, the US military outlays increased by 5 times, and Roosevelt also mobilized what he got. When the war started in 1939, USA only got 140 000 men, of this only 4 divisions was combat ready, with French artillery from WWI and English Brody helmets. But in the fall of 1941, Marshall told Roosevelt that the Army was ready, and from that on USA was ready to join. Some weeks later, they joined.

    That’s kind of a bleak look at US EMS at the start of WWII, we were much better off than what you are explaining. The US at the start of German invasion of Poland was incredibly small for what we should have but that was because we were heavily dependent on Nation Guard and any unorganized militias that would spawn if we got invaded and the only reason for the peace draft was too boost numbers because the US figured it would of eventually get pulled in which we know it did.

  • 2021 '18 '17

    Another fact we must consider is that even after Pearl Harbor, clearly Japan and the USA were at war, but the USA did not then pre-emptively declare war on Germany, but waited for Hitler to honor his alliance.

    An alliance has a meaning, which is that the ally would come to the aid of the other nation if it were attacked.  This is why the alliances that created tripwires in WW1 and WW2 were so fraught, because in ww1 others declared war in a cascade fashion to honor their alliance, whereas, in WW2 Britain (and France) did not truly honor their promises to Poland and Czechoslovakia because they had no practical way of doing so (which implicates what one should consider when entering alliances in the first place).

    However, an alliance does not necessarily imply that the other nation (Germany) must declare war on the target of aggression from the other ally.    So Japan’s war on the US, as the aggressor, does not necessarily mean that Germany was legally required to declare war on the US.  However, it did so, to fully honor the Tripartite Pact’s concept of mutual assistance, in the goal of domination within each Axis’ Sphere of Influence.

    To sum up, the USA may not have declared war on Nazi Germany.  Seeing Japan as the conceptually easier and more important target, the US may have tried to take advantage of peace with Germany to defeat Japan singly, or force Germany’s hand in a later declaration.    Still, there were many incidents and moves (neutrality patrol) that stepped America towards open war with Germany, though these moves were still intentionally limited and equivocal.

    the USA commited at early conferences to defeat Germany first (KGF), 80/20 say, then proceeded to actually deploy 60-70% of its economic power to the war in the Pacific first.    The reasons are clear;  Japan was the more immediate threat, it had an extremely powerful and deep navy that could not be ignored in America’s key Sphere.

    I am not saying that war with Nazi Germany was not eventually inevitable, just that the USA may not have decided to declare war, and let Hitler do that dirty deed for them.


  • @taamvan:

    Another fact we must consider is that even after Pearl Harbor, clearly Japan and the USA were at war, but the USA did not then pre-emptively declare war on Germany, but waited for Hitler to honor his alliance.

    An alliance has a meaning, which is that the ally would come to the aid of the other nation if it were attacked.   This is why the alliances that created tripwires in WW1 and WW2 were so fraught, because in ww1 others declared war in a cascade fashion to honor their alliance, whereas, in WW2 Britain (and France) did not truly honor their promises to Poland and Czechoslovakia because they had no practical way of doing so (which implicates what one should consider when entering alliances in the first place).

    However, an alliance does not necessarily imply that the other nation (Germany) must declare war on the target of aggression from the other ally.    So Japan’s war on the US, as the aggressor, does not necessarily mean that Germany was legally required to declare war on the US.  However, it did so, to fully honor the Tripartite Pact’s concept of mutual assistance, in the goal of domination within each Axis’ Sphere of Influence.

    To sum up, the USA may not have declared war on Nazi Germany.   Seeing Japan as the conceptually easier and more important target, the US may have tried to take advantage of peace with Germany to defeat Japan singly, or force Germany’s hand in a later declaration.     Still, there were many incidents and moves (neutrality patrol) that stepped America towards open war with Germany, though these moves were still intentionally limited and equivocal.

    the USA commited at early conferences to defeat Germany first (KGF), 80/20 say, then proceeded to actually deploy 60-70% of its economic power to the war in the Pacific first.    The reasons are clear;   Japan was the more immediate threat, it had an extremely powerful and deep navy that could not be ignored in America’s key Sphere.

    I am not saying that war with Nazi Germany was not eventually inevitable, just that the USA may not have decided to declare war, and let Hitler do that dirty deed for them.

    I think Germany and Italy declaring war on US helped the allies in the end. I get the reasons for Germany and Italy doing that, make them come to us and we will kill them on the beaches. However if they didn’t do that, I am pretty sure US would go to war with Japan only and end up at the end of the war being technically co-belligerent.


  • There are so many “What if’s”
    like Italy took Greece with ease, and Hitler bombed Airfields, Radar stations, and Power Plants in Great Briton. Couple that with going farther into France as fast as possible and then to allow no Dunkirk to happen
    Or to go after Russia when planned instead of having to help Italy in Greece, they would have been at Moscow 6 weeks earlier, take 1/3 of the forces that went after Stalingrad and Leningrad and add them into the Army Group headed for Moscow, oh yea and listen to his Generals
    For Japan, Follow Yamamoto’s plan to use the 400 subs to bomb the Panama Canal and land at Pearl Harbor. Dont start the war in 41 but wait til 42
    Then there are the commercial Enigma machines that Polish were able to sneak out of their country and they were key in helping break German codes, along with bombing Bletchley Park.
    There are so many.
    Have fun


  • Well Germany and Italy changing targets from airfields in UK to bombing cities was a stupid movie. I am pretty sure anyone who knows anything about WWII will all agree that not destroying the allies at Dunkirk was a foolish movie. Basically the bulk of the UK army as there, UK would not recover if those boys were destroyed.

    Germany really didn’t have a choice going into Greece and Egypt. I mean they could of not and let the Italian army get destroyed but it would hurt the Axis cause in the end. Italy was basically a huge cancer in Hitler’s a$$, he would of been better off in the end destroying them or do what I did and actually assist them with technology and weapons.

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