America Won World War II
aka: America Wins The War
"We saved your ass in Vietnam!"
Homer Simpson to some British citizens, The Simpsons, "The Regina Monologues"

America Won World War II is a form of Hollywood History in which a story implies or outright states that the United States single-handedly won World War II. Sometimes, it's unintentional; the viewpoint or focus is simply too narrow for the audience to be reminded of the bigger picture. Other times, though, it's a blatant example of Hollywood History.

When this trope is in play the efforts and contributions of the other Allies are downplayed. Egregiously, the Soviet-German war is considered a sideshow - if it's even mentioned at all. Approximately 80% of the deployable Germany Army was engaged against the Soviets on three/four Fronts in 1941-1942, dropping down to "merely" 60% in 1943-1945 when the partisan war (in the occupied USSR, Balkans, and elsewhere) intensified and Anglo-Americans opened up a fourth land Front, making it by far the largest land combat theater of the war (though most of the Navy and at least half the air force was engaged against the Western Allies). The Germans lost about 80% of their total dead and wounded there. On the other hand, prisoner numbers before the final collapse of German forces in April 1945 and surrender upon the 7th of May were oddly balanced, with the Western Allies taking 1.3 million police+paramilitaries+soldiers before April 1945 and the Soviets only taking 2 million. Thereafter the numbers were swelled by the last combat troops and the bulk of the Army logistics troops, Policemen, Paramilitaries, Luftwaffe, and Kriegsmarine personnel (many of whom fled West) for totals of 6.6 versus 2.2 million.

Often it is portrayed as if the only other Allied nation-state that actually did anything to fight Germany was the UK, which (after the Poles and French got their asses handed to them) kept the hopeless fight alive until the USA joined in and saved the day. The non-European Allies have it even worse. When was the last time you saw an American film about the Sino-Japanese War, or Filipino guerillas? All these oversights are at least partly a result of the Cold War making American educators and filmmakers cautious to glorify the Soviet Union or China (especially Maoist China), since this kind of stuff was virtually illegal in the United States lest one be put on the Hollywood blacklist. Producers and directors even got in trouble for making films that portrayed the Soviet and Chinese communists favorably as part of the war effort later during the anti-communist fervor.

In particularly nasty cases, films based on actual WWII events will be warped to make the most prominent characters into US soldiers—see Steve McQueen in The Great Escape and, perhaps most infamously, the film U571. It will occasionally even be said that WWII only began on December 7, 1941, when the United States entered the war. Other factually wrong but more playful revisionisms are for example the Americans killing Hitler in Inglourious Basterds.

The D-Day landings are another good example. Many American-made productions will focus solely on Omaha Beach, the most heavily fortified of the four landing sites as well as the best-defended—both facts which Allied intelligence failed to realize prior to the operation. The carnage that ensued is a favourite among producers, since it emphasizes the sacrifice Americans made during the war—but doing so gives the impression that Omaha Beach was the decisive turning point that led to the Allied victory in Europe, rather than the dual blows by the Soviets at Stalingrad and Kursk a year earlier. The focus on Omaha Beach is also partially because Saving Private Ryan did it, other games/movies/TV shows want to replicate its success, and because it's more exciting to show a strongly opposed landing than an unopposed one — not that the other landings were exactly unopposed (for instance, Canadian troops landing at Juno Beach on that day faced opposition almost as formidable, with a full-blown tank battle raging right on the beach, but punched through quickly and made better progress towards their objectives in spite of itnote ), but still.

Cases of this trope are not limited to the European Theater. Most films featuring the Pacific theater only focus on the naval and air battles fought by the U.S., appearing as though they were the sole force fighting in the Pacific. In reality Chinese, Soviet, Indian, British, and Australian forces played significant roles against overwhelming forces in atrocious conditions, and many other countries contributed as well. Indeed, the brutally violent war in China is probably the most ignored battlefront of the war. This neglect is strange given that it was the longest conflict (starting in 1937) and believed to be the second-bloodiest theater of war in human history after the Eastern European theater.

It may not be strictly American trope. The British may exaggerate their role in the war as well, with an additional jab that the Americans were not only late to the party but also stole all the credit, and additionally only joined in when they knew who was going to win (technically true as the Americans knew the allies would win if America joined them in the war). Though the US joined the war in Europe after the European armies had been defeated and were being mopped up in many places by the Axis Powers. Russia also gets this to an extent (despite doing most of the fighting); there, you'll find claims that WWII lasted from June 22, 1941 to May 9, 1945 — when this was actually just the duration of the war between the USSR and Germany.note  Which, ironically, sells the Soviet Union short, because their successful campaigns against Japan in 1939 and late 1945 aren't included in that time frame. Even the specific belief that America was the most important nation in defeating Germany isn't a purely American trope- polling has showed most Western and Northern Europeans countries (including Germany itself) think that the USA did the most to defeat Germany in the Second World War, with the notable exception of the UK itself, whose people of course believes it did the most, to every other polled country's disagreement (except Norway). Likely because of this trope; American movies and shows dominate the global entertainment market, and of course American filmmakers usually prefer to make movies about American soldiers and battles.

Some see this general 'limited scope' thing as extending to the "official" date of the war's beginning, September 1st, 1939, the date of Germany's invasion of Poland. Most, however, accept that the moniker of 'World War' denotes merely the geography of a war (the British Empire alone spanned three continents at the time), rather than implying the conflict wasn't 'serious' or something (the Japan of the time, and many Japanese ultranationalists since, call it 'The China Incident'). Though bloody and horrific in its own rightnote , the war that Chiang Kai-Shek's Guomindang waged against Imperial Japan wasn't part of the 'World War' until the Imperial Navy lashed out to take Malaya and the Philippines.note 

None of this is meant to diminish the contribution that single country made to winning World War II, of course. The Soviet Union may have constituted the lead presence on the Northern, Central/Belarussian, and Southern/Ukrainian/Caucasus Fronts and suffered 26 million casualties (including 11 million dead in combat or of wounds but not including 3.3 million POW dead in German captivity) but the Chinese Nationalists fought on at least three Fronts and suffered at least 6 million casualties (including at least 3 million dead), the USA fought on at least two Fronts at all times and suffered 0.9 million casualties (including 407,000 dead) and the British fought the entire war on at least one Front and suffered 0.9 million casualties as well (including 443,000 dead). In casual conversation Stalin opined that without American food, radios, rare materials, and the fourth Front it was conceivable that the Soviets might actually have lost! Khrushchev agreed in his memoirs, if only to exaggerate the extent to which Stalin's decisions imperiled the country's survival. note  None of the anti-Axis powers won the war all by their lonesome; everyone had their part, and the USA's was certainly highly significant and among the top two efforts most significant to the eventual outcome of the war in Europe, and without a doubt number one in the Pacific.note 

Lastly, winning a war means nothing unless one also "wins the peace", as was the case in Vienna in 1815 and infamously not at Versailles in 1918. In the aftermath of World War II, the USA and Britain and the USSR all deserve recognition for demarking and respecting crystal-clear 'spheres of influence' that kept the peace despite the outbreak of the Yugoslavian, Greek, and Chinese civil wars. When the CCP gained the upper hand in the Chinese Civil War, and the USA began to see the USSR as a threat, the USA also began to funnel a great deal of money into reconstructing Western European economiesnote  so that they could sustain larger militaries and thus avoid the need for committing US troops to Western Europe in its defense. The membership of the USSR and USA in the United Nations also gave it a lot more clout than its predecessor the League of Nations.

On the flip side, this trope might be known as "Nazis Fight Alone." In media about the European Theater, only German soldiers will serve as the antagonists. A possible but still very rare exception would be North Africa, where the Italians made up a good portion of the troops fighting there. Hungarians, Slovaks, Romanians, Bulgarians, Finns, and the various foreign units of the SS are almost entirely absent, despite their sizable presence on the Eastern Front. A variation (admittedly somewhat closer to the truth) is to have units from various countries under German command but only depict Germans proper as real threats while others as laughably ineffectual comic relief.

See also America Saves the Day, of which this is a sub-trope, and Hollywood History, of which that is a sub-trope.

Note: This trope specifically deals with World War II. It does not apply to any other war, particularly modern conflicts.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: Set in WWII. America's plan to defeat Germany? All the other Allies support him while he wins the war. "I'm the Hero!"
    • Hetalia lampshades, but mostly averts this trope. China, England, France, Russia and America are all members of the Allies, and spend more time discussing with each other than actually fighting the Axis. Canada also appears - well, sometimes. On the side of the Axis, we see not only Germany, but also Italy and Japan, even though Germany trains them and Italy is not so helpful in battle. Bulgaria also makes a brief appearance, and so does Prussia. The only fight that is actually shown is China beating up Japan and Germany with a wok. Might be a reason why Hetalia is not banned in China.

  • Sgt. Rock and his 1960s spin-off series The Losers had one small team of US commandos pretty much holding up the Allied war effort.
    • But generally averted in the other major DC Universe WWII "team" series, Blackhawk, about a multinational squadron of pilots where the leader is Polish (although sometimes he is a first-generation American of Polish descent). Even the American members of the team are generally immigrants or refugees from other countries.
  • As did Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. At least Fury's team actually had a (stereotypical) British soldier on it.
  • Averted in Atomic Robo, where of the five issues dealing with the titular robot's exploits against Nazi super-science, three of them has him teamed up with British agents (including one extremely badass and nigh-unintelligible Scotsman).
  • Given a head nod in The Punisher: Civil War, when Frank is having a tense disagreement over tactics with Captain America.
    Cap: My ways stopped Hitler, boy.
    Frank: No sir, the Russians stopped Hitler.
  • British comics set in World War 2 tended to concentrate on the Desert War up until El Alamein, the last major battle won by the British and Empire forces without the involvement of American troops.
  • The Boys:
    • Invoked as part of Frenchie's back story. An American on holiday in France draws ire when he claims the US liberated France single-handedly, going so far as to call the French cowards. Frenchie is less than impressed with him since said American can't even name the divisions and commanders of the real American soldiers but is content to live in reflected glory of their sacrifices.
    • Also averted when fighting Stormfront. Billy (English), Mother's Milk (American) and Frenchie (...French) are whaling on Stormfront (a Nazi super), but he's still standing. Then Billy, very much aware of the parallels of the current situation, asks Stormfront about the guys who reached Berlin first... Hello, Vas.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Subverted in Worldwar: War of Equals. America's military is considered the biggest threat to Race domination of Earth and they provide assistance to Mexico, Iraq, and Australia. However, many operations in the American homeland succeed with the help of Canadian forces and they help fight The Race's advance in the north west United States.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • U571, which Americanized the story of the British capture of U-110 and her all-important Enigma machine. In real life, most of the captured machines were acquired by the British and the original breaking of the code was done by the Polish (the first captured Enigma being literally found at the Warsaw Post Office in a parcel addressed to the German Embassy). U-571 herself was never captured. When the film was released in the UK it had to have a disclaimer added at the start stating that it was in no way based on real events. Ironically, the filmmakers could have avoided all this by basing the movie on the U.S. Navy's even more dramatic capture of U-505, making this film a trifecta of America Won World War II, Artistic License – History and Artistic License – Ships.
  • Dieppe: A major plot point is the eagerness of the British high command and the Canadian forces in the UK to get into battle "before the Americans," a phrase repeated several times in dialogue.
  • Averted in Enemy at the Gates, an American film about a Soviet sniper in the battle of Stalingrad... in which Americans played no part. Granted, director/producer/writer Jean-Jacques Annaud is French, but Mandalay Pictures produced the movie, and Paramount Pictures distributed it.
  • Churchill The Hollywood Years parodies this. It suggests that Winston Churchill was a tough as nails American G.I. (Christian Slater) who won WWII and romanced then-Princess Elizabeth. The Churchill history is familiar with? The film says he was in fact an actor called Roy Bubbles. The irony of this is compounded by the fact that Churchill's mother was American. Never mind that the Real Life Winston Churchill had a remarkable political and military career already long before WWII broke out. The Brits didn't pick just any nobody for Prime Minister in 1940.
  • Ernst Thälmann: Führer Seiner Klasse is a notable case in that it's an East German film made in 1955, showing the Soviets singlehandedly winning the war- so many shots of T-34s racing dramatically across snow and plains. The British only show up as bombers overhead, depicted as lights in the sky. Granted, this is actually pretty accurate in terms of the numbers on the eastern vs. western fronts, but it was done here to show the Russian Communists rescuing their German comrades from evil fascists and capitalists. Bit more complicated in reality.
  • Saving Private Ryan was criticized for this in the UK, since the sole reference in the movie to any non-American involvement in the battle was a brief exchange on how "overrated" General Montgomery was. Of course, like its successor, Band of Brothers, the narrative maintains a narrow focus on a small unit who might not have encountered foreign Allied soldiers during their mission and might have actually espoused this opinion (Field Marshal Montgomery being not-very-popular with a large segment of the American military).
    • Despite his good publicity, Montgomery made some major mistakes in his conduct of the Northwest Europe campaign (failing to secure the Scheldt Estuary being one of them). A particularly touchy issue is his conduct during the Battle of the Bulge, when the press misquoted him at a press conference taking credit for saving the Americans. While he had indeed been given operational control of U.S. armies on the northern side of the Bulge, some of his comments were interpreted as a slight against the top U.S. commanders in the ETO while others, praising the Americans, were ignored by the media. The fact he had a press conference at all drove the wedge between himself and Eisenhower deeper.
  • Pretty much averted in the film The Great Raid about the Raid at Cabanatuan, wherein the US 6th Rangers, with help from Filipino guerrillas and American Alamo Scouts, rescued a group of American POWs in the Philippines from a Japanese prison camp. The film showed just how critical the local forces were to the rescue by showing the guerrillas holding back Japanese reinforcements at an important choke point and providing hundreds of carabao carts to quickly transport the weakened and diseased American POWs.
  • Largely averted in The Longest Day. It includes dramatic portrayals of British, Free French, and Resistance troops as well as an even-handed portrayal of the Germans. Memorable for its portrayal of German officers:
    Blumentritt: (as a sarcastic response to the message, that the Führer is asleep, and therefore unable to give permission to deploy vital Panzer reserves to Normandy) This is history. We are living an historical moment. We are going to lose the war because our glorious Führer has taken a sleeping pill and is not to be awakened. Sometimes I wonder which side God is on.
    • The film does tend to focus on the American sectors, especially Omaha beach (with some justification, given the intensity of the fighting and the numbers of Americans vs. other Allies involved on June 6, 1944).
    • It is one of several major Hollywood movies focusing on the Western front very much to the exclusion of developments on the Eastern front, which presents an incomplete picture even for 1944, when the crushing Soviet summer offensive was coordinated with the Normandy landing.
    • The Canadians, who were responsible for one of the five landing beaches (and had an airborne battalion with the 6th British Airborne), are mentioned in passing in dialogue, and the only view of Juno Beach is from the air while the Germans are strafing it.
  • The 1945 Errol Flynn film Objective, Burma! caused a minor uproar in the UK for supposedly suggesting that British involvement in the Burmese campaign was minimal, when in fact the Indian Army had (under British leadership and with the aid of some ethnically British units) been the primary combatants in the campaign. Churchill himself was said to have been incensed by the film, and it was denounced in the Times. Warner Bros. withdrew the film from circulation in the UK, and it did not appear there until 1952.
    • Interestingly author/screenwriter George MacDonald Fraser, who had been an infantryman in Burma during the war, said in his book Hollywood History that he rather liked ''Objective, Burma!' and that at least American troops had fought in that theater. Even if the vast majority of the "American" troops on that front were, in fact, on-loan from Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek.
  • In It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Fresno entrepreneur J. Russell Finch invokes this while arguing with British Army officer Lt. Col. J. Algernon Hawthorne. It proves to be something of a Berserk Button for the latter.
    Finch: As far as I'm concerned, the whole British race is practically finished. If it hadn't been for Lend-Lease, if we hadn't kept your whole country afloat by giving you billions that you never even said "Thank you" for, the whole phony outfit would've sunk under the Atlantic years ago... What are you stopping for?
    Hawthorne: Get Out of this machine.
  • Averted in the 1961 adaptation of The Guns of Navarone. The team consisted of an American (Mallory), two Brits (Franklin and Miller), two Greeks (Stavros and Pappadimos) and one person of unknown nationality ("Butcher" Brown, played by Welshman Stanley Baker).
    • Actually zigzagged, as in the book Mallory was from New Zealand (and based on the real world George Mallory, a Brit who died in 1924 while trying to conquer the Everest) and Miller was the American. The film kind of falls in this trope as it has the higher-ranking character switched to American.
  • The (People's Republic of) Chinese equivalent appears in Ip Man, which is set during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The concluding captions mention China's defeat of Japan without mentioning the Guomindang or the international Allied forces that had pushed Imperial Japan back and blockaded the Home Islands in preparation for an amphibious invasion. In reality, the Guomindang and their warlord allies acted as a huge punching bag, losing battle after battle until the United States, Britain, and later the Soviet Union entered the conflict. The importance of US Lend-lease - which was critical to propping the Guomindang with things like massive loans and anti-tank weaponry - also goes unmentioned, naturally.
    • It also completely skips the part where the real Master Ip didn't like the communists any better than he liked the Japanese, which is why he left Mao's domain in 1947 for British-controlled Hong Kong, where he trained a promising young man named Bruce.
  • The 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger movie, of all places, makes it a point of him having a Multinational Team backing him up, and that the program that helped give him his powers was a joint Anglo-American operation. However, you won't find any mention of the Soviet Union save amidst the sea of flags in the end credits.
  • This trope is blatantly invoked in Iron Sky, when the President of the U.S. defends her nation's claim to the Helium-3 deposits on the moon by saying that America won World War II and saved the world (albeit with tiny contributions here and there by her allies)... She even goes so far as to base this historic "fact" on Hollywood war movies which "never lie". Played for Laughs, of course.
  • Thoroughly averted in Patton, despite what some would have you believe. Yes, the film focuses on the deeds of George S. Patton throughout World War II, but Patton does not single-handedly curb stomp the Nazis. His rivalry with British general Bernard Law Montgomery features prominently, and he expresses frustration when resources are diverted to important British operations rather than his own. He is just as much upset by the Soviets conquering Berlin and being the ones to force Nazi Germany to surrender.
    • Early in the film, Patton boasts that America had never experienced defeat while addressing his troops. Historian Shelby Foote in Ken Burns' The Civil War series pointed out the irony of this, given that Patton's grandfather had been a Confederate officer and certainly lost a war of his own.
  • On the whole averted in German movies about the war, a lot of which focus on the Eastern Front. Here the battles of Stalingrad and Berlin are particular favourites, maybe in part because with their intense house-to-house fighting they are easier to recreate than e. g. the battle of Kursk, the greatest tank battle in history.
  • Subverted in Inglourious Basterds: the trailers suggested that the movie would be about a bunch of US special forces guys killing Germans in occupied Europe, but the main plot of the film is about the cat-and-mouse game between a vengeful Jewish French woman and a Magnificent Bastard Austrian SS man (mostly in subtitled French and German) and the US special forces guys are the comic relief B-plot.
  • "We cannot win it (the war) without the Americans!" Says Churchill in Into the Storm (2009) (the Churchill biopic). Despite this, the movie actually subverts this: the Americans are shown as worthy allies, but the British (and to a lesser extent the Russians) are shown as just as responsible, if not more so, for the ultimate victory.
  • Fortress focuses on a B-17 crew in the 99th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 12th Air Force flying out of North Africa in 1943. Despite the narrow focus, this gets averted when every mission briefing includes a mention of RAF bombers hitting high-risk targets too. No mention of the Russians, but it's justified because they were only slightly more relevant than the Japanese in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.
  • Hitler's Madman: Karel helpfully tells the townsfolk that millions of men "in England and America" are joining up to fight Hitler. That business on the Eastern Front was no big deal, apparently.
  • The "World War II began on December 7, 1941" portion of the trope was actively averted by the US War Department's own Why We Fight series of orientation films done during the war. In the first of the series, Prelude to War, the narrator explicitly names September 18, 1931, as the date that the war began, with the Japanese invasion and eventual seizure as a puppet state of Manchuria after a minor railway-bombing incident.

  • This trope is pretty much the entire justification for Tom Brokaw to write The Greatest Generation, a book about the brilliance of Americans born in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Sergei Lukyanenko mocks this attitude in the book Day Watch where an American soldier (a Light Other) in Prague talks about how they liberated the place from the Germans. Earlier in the same book, Las is described as wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a Red Army-man bayoneting a Wehrmacht soldier and the text "Remember who really won the War!"
    • Las was in "Twilight (Dusk) Watch", and (in the original Russian version, at least) he wears t-shirt with a picture of Russian paratrooper knifing "negro in American uniform". And the text was something like "We can help to recall who won the Second World War".
  • Averted in The Guns of Navarone. It was about an Allied commando team, consisting of a New Zealander, an American, a Greek, a Scot, and another Brit. They were sent on their mission by the British army, to destroy enemy guns threatening British ships, that were on their way to rescue British soldiers. The blurb on the movie tie-in edition said something along the lines of "They had to succeed where the entire U.S. Navy had failed!" This story is based on the SAS attack lead by Paddy Mayne against the guns at Sicily prior to Allied invasion of the Island.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Spoofed in a 2006 The Daily Show. Jon Stewart comments that the Iraq War has "gone on longer than WW2"; Englishman John Oliver corrects him that WW2 was going on for 2 years longer than the US involvement. Though Stewart wasn't correct until 2009, John Oliver wasn't historically correct either if the Sino-Japanese angle, considered a separate war in European countries, is factored in (which would place the start at July 1937).
  • Explored in the episodes of Foyle's War which focus on the American entry into the war; whilst the American soldiers who appear are treated largely sympathetically, there's a certain amount of realistic tension between them and the British characters, many of whom take the attitude that they took their time to get involved and now seem to be taking over everything since they got here - and the American 'we're here to save the day' attitude doesn't entirely help matters or endear them.
  • Friends: Invoked in the fourth series finale when Ross and Emily's parents are arguing over paying the costs of the wedding.
    Mr. Geller: All right! Fine, but I just want to say, I'm not paying for your wine cellar, you thieving, would-be-speaking-German-if-it-weren't-for-us, cheap little man!
  • In Star Trek: Enterprise there is an alternate timeline where Lenin was assassinated, so quite naturally Germany didn't much bother with Russia and instead invaded the United States.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series. "The City On The Edge Of Forever". Due to pacifist movement USA did not enter WW II, and Hitler won precisely because of it, causing humanity to be enslaved and never reaching the stars.
  • Justified in the Ken Burns documentary, The War, as its format was specifically created to show, compare, and contrast WWII's impacts on 4 American towns and people from them. Since obviously few if any people from those towns would have been with the British, Russian or any other military, by default it focuses on the American parts of the war (although the British and Russians do get the occasional narrator-said nod).
  • In the Dad's Army episode "My British Buddy", the Walmington Home Guard are infuriated by the arrival of American troops whose attitude is that they're going to succeed where the British have failed. Matters aren't helped by the fact that the first thing the American soldiers do when they get there is try and steal the British soldiers' girlfriends, and then act very entitled and hard-done-by when they find they can't get a good drink. It all ends in a fistfight.
    • Warden Hodges' comments didn't help the situation any either - mockingly saying that the US had joined the war quickly this time, "Two and a half years instead of three!"
  • For a long, long, time, the definitive TV-documentary history of World War II was the British-made The World At War, which condensed WW2 into twenty-six hours of TV narrative. Scrupulous care was taken to make this as objective as possible, to allow the American and Russian involvements to be related accurately and in context. The last thing the makers wanted was half a year of British triumphalism. American TV has since commissioned its own version of TWAW. And whaddya know, the British and Russian aspects have been pared back to invisibility, as second-rate allies of a triumphant world-leading USA...
  • Whenever the French were mentioned in front of Raymond's dad, his automatic response was "Pulled their ass out of two world wars!"
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch featured an uptight and Ambiguously Gay British host getting into a snit with Mickey Rooney, played by Dana Carvey. As they traded barbs, Mickey sneered at the host: "All I know is we hauled your butt out of two world wars!"
  • Band of Brothers is a bit of an interesting example, as it focuses on American soldiers in the war, but most of the main cast are played by British actors. Foreign allies do show up in the series, though not necessarily in a positive light.
    • In Market Garden, the British armor support is shown to be completely ineffective, forcing Easy Company to retreat (In the book, Ambrose not-so-subtly implies that Operation Market Garden was doomed to fail and that Patton's plan for crossing the Rhine would have been far more effective - a longtime debate in military history circles, with those historians more familiar with the American archival and memoir material favouring to favour Patton and those more familiar with the British tending to favour Monty).
    • Easy is tasked with rescuing a number of British soldiers trapped behind enemy lines, though both sides do get along very well after the success of the mission. The British troops are survivors of the disaster at Arnhem, and assemble seemingly out of nowhere in near-total darkness with impeccable discipline when signaled, leaving the men of Easy visibly impressed with their fieldcraft.
    • The engineers during the rescue mission are Canadians (Truth in Television).
    • When Easy Company is advancing on Eagle's Nest, they are specifically ordered to get there before the French do.
    • Generally, Band of Brothers averts this trope. For instance, the epilogue to the Operation Market Garden episode points out that the British suffered far worse casualties at Arnhem than the 101st. Similarly, the British tank support does cover Easy's retreat in that episode, and the only reason the British tanks do badly is because their orders force them to "avoid unnecessary destruction of property" which would have allowed them to ambush the German tanks, rather than be ambushed.
  • The Pacific:
    • In real life, the show earned some minor controversy in Australia after the TV station that aired the show advertised it as the 'fight for Australia', despite Australia doing well enough on its own against the Japanese Army.
    • In the show itself, J.P. Morgan causes a fight with some Australia troops by disrespecting the Australians (who weren't particularly respectful themselves) and claiming that the USA was saving them from having 'chopsticks up their ass'. Both sides actually had a point, as the Australians had stopped the Japanese cold in the hellish Kokoda Trail campaign in the Owen Stanley Mountains of New Guinea. Guadalcanal was a Japanese attempt to bypass the AIF in New Guinea and cut off Australia from the USA, with conditions every bit as nightmarish, and with the ground combat being an entirely American endeavor.
  • The Rat Patrol was licensed in the UK but taken off air due to the volume of complaints received about its exaggeration of the American involvement in what had been primarily a UK and Commonwealth theatre.
  • The British attitude towards this trope is mocked in Doctor Who, "The Day of The Doctor" - the justification UNIT gives for keeping Jack's time machine locked away from the Americans is, "Americans with the ability to change history? You've seen their movies."
  • Horrible Histories, being a British Edutainment series, reminds us constantly that the "Britain wins the war" variant (often taught to British children) is just as untrue as the American version. For instance, the RAF Pilots introduce us to their Eastern European members and go out of their way to mention that "some of our bravest men were Polish and Czech", and a sketch taking place in a trench in World War I features a British soldier trying to find the British unit he's assigned to, but instead meeting French-Canadian, Australian, and South African soldiers (with extremely silly accents) fighting as part of the British Army.
  • Created specifically to defy this trope is a 1978 documentary about the Eastern European theatre by Air Time International, aptly named The Unknown War.

  • Averted by the Swedish Power Metal group Sabaton, which sings almost exclusively about military history. Of their many WWII songs, several are devoted to other nations involved in the conflict:
    • USSR: "Panzerkampf" describes the Battle of Kursk, the largest tank battle in history between the Wehrmacht and the Red Army. "Stalingrad" deals with the meat grinder that was the Soviet defense of Stalingrad. "Attero Dominatus" is the Battle of Berlin from the Soviet perspective.
    • Poland: "40:1" describes the heroic but ultimately doomed defense of the village of Wizima by an incredibly outnumbered group of dug-in Polish soldiers, while "Uprising" is about the Warsaw Uprising by the Polish Resistance in 1944 (which failed because it was timed to coincide with the expected arrival of the Red Army, only Stalin ordered them to hold off, seemingly intending that the Poles and Nazis exhaust each other to make his later absorption of Poland into the Soviet sphere of influence easier).
    • The Art of War devotes two songs here besides "40:1" and "Panzerkampf". "Union (Slopes of St. Benedict)" doesn't mention any nation specifically but the main thrust of the song is that the liberation of Nazi-occupied Europe (in this case Italy) was a multinational effort, while "Talvisota" is about the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union which prompted Barbarossa to begin with.note 
    • Coat of Arms has four examples. The opening title track deals with the Greco-Italian War, while "Aces in Exile" is about the many foreign pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain (the choruses name-drop storied Polish, Czechoslovak, and Canadian squadrons). "Saboteurs" is about an operation by the Norwegian Resistance to sabotage part of the German nuclear program, and "White Death" visits Finland again to tell the story of Simo Häyhä.

  • Averted in the Call of Duty series, in which you change your player character every once in a while so that you can see the war from several Allied perspectives; one mission concerns an American paratrooper, then you're a British commando in a few other missions, then a Russian grunt, etc. Of course, you rarely hear of what else is going on as you are fighting.
    • Big Red One plays it straight however, putting you in the boots of an American soldier for almost the entire game.
    • World at War has an interesting aversion of the inverse "Germany fights alone", as it's a shooter that includes the Pacific theatre, but is not solely focused on it (you still switch from there to the Soviets fighting in eastern Europe every couple missions). At the same time though, it still plays this trope straight in that the American Marines are the only Allied forces seen in that theatre.
  • Company of Heroes plays it straight in the first game. The main campaign for the game follows the US Army from D-Day onwards.
    • The expansion campaign Opposing Fronts has one campaign as the German Army as they steamroll the British airborne during Operation Market Garden.
    • The sequel is on the Eastern Front for the first time, following the Russians during the Stalingrad campaign.
  • The Medal of Honor series, despite focusing on an American OSS operative for most of the games, generally acknowledges the contributions of other countries to the war.
    • Played straight, however, in Medal of Honor: Airborne, where each mission ends with a debriefing voice-over from the commanding officer. After a relatively minor skirmish in Italy in early 1943, he proclaims "the war has begun", and after a very over-the-top raid on a flak tower in early 1945 he says that the war is over and effectively gives the Airborne itself full credit in his speech. The British are mentioned in passing in one mission, Operation Market Garden - fascinatingly, in contrast to the earlier MoH: Frontline, it is presented as a great victory in spite of the fact it's actually the Allies' most notorious bungle. It's also an example of the reverse angle (as in the Axis consisting entirely of Germans), as despite half the game taking place in Italy you only fight Italian blackshirts in the first half of the first level - where they are much dumber than the German soldiersnote  and only use German weapons.
  • Operation Darkness mixes this trope up a bit, by instead using Britain Wins The War. Both the plot of the game and its brief historical asides emphasize the British contribution to the war effort in the same way this trope does for the US. The funny thing? It's a Japanese game.
  • Averted - probably - in Command & Conquer: Red Alert. As per Hitler's Time-Travel Exemption Act, this version of WWII is quite different, with a Soviet invasion of Europe being countered by Allies led by a German supreme commander and aided by technology developed by Albert Einstein, while Word of God is that America didn't directly join the war until the Soviets were already losing. That said, the Allied armory includes what look like Abrams tanks and M16 rifles (in the 1950's), but it's unclear whether this is due to an extensive lend-lease campaign by the United States and the result of alternate history shenanigans, or simply because the game reuses a lot of assets from the original Command & Conquer.
    • Outright inverted in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, as the United States grudgingly have to ask for help to the European Allies. The French President is stereotypically uppity. The backstory makes it a bit of a mess, however, in that the whole reason the game is Red Dawn as an RTS is because Premier Romanov blames America for his country's loss of the Great World War II - rather than, you know, Germany or Greece, for doing the actual ass-kicking, he blames the guys who gave them a couple tanks to do the ass-kicking with. It is also possible he blames the USA because, only joining the last war towards the end and therefore not having their manpower exhausted by slogging through much of Europe, they ended up handling a lot of the occupation duties.
    • And averted again in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. The viewpoint for the Allied Campaign is mostly from the British, and while the USA do contribute heavily to the Allied army, the paranoid U.S. President Ackerman isn't willing to cooperate with the Soviets, whether or not they're fighting the Rising Sun together. In the Imperial Campaign it turns out the President is an android spy.
  • Averted in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater with the Cobra Unit, which while led by an American (and apparently a hugely patriotic one) contains at least two Russians and three people of unknown origin (all that's said is that they're from the Allied Nations). According to the game, they all but won WWII by themselves.
  • Averted in the Resistance series. The Chimera have pretty much steamrolled over all of Europe and Asia, with all attempts at an American intervention getting annihilated in short order. In the sequel, they begin their invasion of the United States...and steamroll over them too. It's only the Super Soldier main character and his pals that achieve anything even resembling success.
  • The Wolfenstein series is about American soldier B.J. Blazkowicz taking on the Nazis all by himself.
    • Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory allows you to play as one of two sides: one is Nazi Germany, guess who the other is? Considering you know how the war turns out the implication is a given. In this specific case, however, it's probably less an intentional use of this trope, and more paralleling the singleplayer games.
    • The 2009 Wolfenstein can be said to subvert this. While you are still American One-Man Army B.J. Blazkowicz, the assistance of the German resistance is necessary and invaluable to your success, which also nicely averts the common All Germans Are Nazis trope that appears so often in Nazi-based FPSs.
    • This is continued in Wolfenstein: The New Order, where while all-American Badass B.J. gets the most done, he wouldn't be nearly as effective if he didn't have the help of the same resistance movement, still primarily made up of Germans, to make sure he's in the right place to do his thing. Not to mention that the game is more or less a direct inversion, with America - and for that matter, everyone who isn't Germany - losing the war.
  • Averted in the IL-2 Sturmovik series of WWII combat flight sims. The US is an important aerial power there, but the focus is more on their struggles in the Pacific theatre instead of the Western European front. They're certainly not winning single-handedly all the time, either. The British, Australian, Soviet and Dutch air forces play an equal role in the Pacific (British pilots attacking Okinawa from Royal Navy aircraft carriers, Soviets fighting in Manchuria and the Dutch defending their colonial turf in Indonesia) and often join US forces on various missions. In a humorous inversion, the Brits are sometimes even in command of certain US Army/Navy Air Corps squadrons.
    • And this is a notable example because it is played straight in many, many combat flight simulators, where the focus is overwhelmingly on the European Western front and/or the battles between Japan and the US.
      • To be fair to the Western Allies, the Germans did commit most of their air strength against the British and Americans and suffered their heaviest air losses against them. The air battles of Western Europe and the Pacific dwarfed those of the Eastern front, and German aircraft became increasingly rare in Russian skies as more and more were pulled back to counter the American bombing campaign against Germany. The Soviets would not have enjoyed getting the full attention of the Luftwaffe.
    • Considering that the Il-2 series were developed in Russia, the series' even-handed coverage (including its ready acknowledgment of the importance of British- and American-built Lend-Lease aircraft that were used alongside Soviet types in the Soviet Air Force) also counts as an aversion of The Soviet Union Wins the War.
  • Averted in Red Orchestra and its sequel: they focus entirely on the conflict between Germany and Russia. To an extent this is also averted in the mods that add other Allied factions; for example, the only D-Day battle present in Darkest Hour is the Canadian's Juno Beach.
  • Averted in the original Day of Defeat by Valve Software, which featured both American and British armies fighting against Nazi Germany, albeit with a much more limited weapon selection for the British. Played straight in the sequel, which features only the United States versus Nazi Germany.
    • Day of Infamy, meant to be a further-updated successor to Day of Defeat, somewhat averts this by re-adding the Commonwealth as one of two factions that can fight the Germans, with units added after Early Access allowing for said Commonwealth to consist of British, Canadian, Scottish, Australian, etc. troops. However, there is still the fact that the Wehrmacht is the only Axis faction in the game.
  • Averted with Silent Storm, given that it was developed by a Russian company, where you assemble a Multinational Team when playing for either the Allies or the Axis. Then again, the focus fairly quickly moves away from the war into Spy Fiction territory (including Powered Armor and Frickin' Laser Beams).

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Justice League episode, "The Savage Time," the immortal supervillain, Vandal Savage, manages to send a laptop full of technical information for superweapons to himself during World War II. There was also a video recording message telling himself what to do with the info, such as usurp Hitler and a specific warning to ready the Third Reich for a massive US/UK/Canada seaborne invasion of Normandy on June 6th, 1944. While the success of Operation Overlord in 1944 was definitely very bad news for Germany, why no mention of the Soviet Union's offensive at the same time in the East?
    • The Soviet invasion, while a threat, was an obvious one that the Germans saw coming, given how the eastern front was going. The sudden invasion of Normandy was a surprise, hence why its warning was so crucial, whereas anyone could tell the Soviet's were attacking.
  • Spoofed in the Monkey Dust sketch Hollywood Pictures Presents: The Diary of Anne Frank, along with a slew of other Hollywood clichés. The sketch ends with Anne Frank's all-American boyfriend Johnny killing a room full of Nazis with an American flag, then sucker-punching Hitler with a cry of "This one's for President Churchill!"
    • Several other spoofs appear also, one set in the 'Camelot' era where everyone has American accents, and then 'They all come home' which is a parody of Black Hawk Down lampooning various American military cliches.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Parodied indirectly in "Lisa's Wedding"; in an episode set 20 Minutes into the Future, Moe tells Lisa's British fiance that "We saved your ass in World War II." The fiance replies "Well, we saved your [America's] arse in World War III", and Moe concedes the point.
    • "Bart-Mangled Banner", which is mainly a Take That! episode aimed at misguided patriotism, plays with it. The Simpsons are rescued from the sea by a boat captained by a xenophobic Frenchman, who acknowledges his unjustified hatred of the Americans by admitting they were the (not a, the) country which saved France from the Germans - twice.
    • In "The Regina Monologues" Homer, as usual, handles this in his usual way when visiting London:
      Homer Simpson: We're big shot tourists from everyone's favorite country, the USA. We saved your ass in Vietnam and shared our prostitutes with Hugh Grant!
    • This last day of the school year exchange in "Kamp Krusty":
      Teacher: [when the bells ring] Wait a minute! You didn't learn how World War II ended!
      [The class waits expectantly.]
      Teacher: We won!
      Class: [running out of the building, cheering] Yay! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Alternative Title(s): America Wins The War