Main America Wins The War Discussion

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05:32:57 AM Jun 25th 2013
edited by
Should the Valve multiplayer only game Day of Defeat: Source be added to the video games examples section?

It only portrays all-American (All the Allies voice commands/samples are in American accents) US army units versus Weirmacht German army soldiers. But as I said it's multiplayer only, so no stated narrative or plot/story bias and it seems to be focused on a specific part of the European WWII theatre, so I'm not certain if there's any bias going on. Its said that "The game's levels are based after real battles in the Allied campaigns in Italy, Sicily and France, such as the Falaise pocket or the beach landings of Operation Shingle at Anzio, as well as entirely fictional battles." But there's only ever American Allied troops. There were British Allies in the first Do D, but they weren't carried forward to Do D:S.
05:48:57 AM May 28th 2013
Several of the examples also seem to take issue with the subject matter of war movies. For instance, criticizing The Longest Day because it doesn't focus on the Eastern Front. Well, it's a movie about D-Day, not the Eastern Front! Does every WWII movie set in the West have to include a cutscene of Stalin or something?
10:06:54 PM Jun 18th 2014
Then surely we should delete them. Isn't this article just about films which give the misleading impression that the actions of a single force (and the country that fielded them) effectively won most of/the entire war?
12:11:07 PM Jun 12th 2012
edited by CPFMfan
I think the description should be rewritten, but I'm not exactly sure how to do it. It seems rather biased, focusing nearly entirely on how Americans think they won the war rather than the hubris of all nations involved, and seems to actually downplay how important American contributions were in an attempt to avert this trope. In addition to being the leaders and main presence in all theatres of war after their entrance (except the Eastern Front of course), and supplying huge amounts of materiel to their allies, Stalin himself said that the war would've been lost without American industrial capacity. Red Orchestra and Operation Darkness are also for some reason listed as aversions, even though they just swap out "America Wins The War" for "The Soviet Union Wins The War" and "Britain Wins The War" respectively.

Anyway, my point is that I think it should be rewritten so that it focuses on all nations rather than just the United States with a little note for every other country at the end.

Also, oddly enough, the first paragraph states "America Wins The War is a form of Hollywood History in which a story implies or outright states that the United States single-handedly won World War II", then proceeds to spend four paragraphs on American perceptions of the war and how wrong they are. But later in the article it states that this is not specifically an American trope, and then only spends three or so sentences on it. These seem to contradict each other and the laconic page.
02:44:30 PM Jun 12th 2012
If you're that focused on a rewrite, start a Trope Repair Shop. It sounds like it needs it if it's not America-only.
07:59:24 PM Oct 27th 2014
Just stumbled into the room. Did my PHD dissertation on what we remember when we remember Pearl Harbor. (Hint: John Ford)

The format is strange and new, and I am old and stoned, but television has been my passion for 50 years.

The American dominance of WWII tropes (am I using that correctly?) stems from logistical and economic dominance of America after WWII. We were about the only place that didn't get bombed to rubble. We had a massive manufacturing base, employing tens of thousands of skilled, well-paid workers. (Who just happened to be women.) Rationing created pent up demand. Everyone else was digging themselves out of the rubble. USSR was under Stalin's boot heel, China in a Civil war. Japan in ruins, Europe the same. Everyone else had better things to do, and only America could afford the luxury of making and viewing films.

Since the US Army had censored and printed every foot of film in American newsreels and movies (no tv) everything everyone remembers seeing was censored. but it was a group memory. And one based on shared emotion.

Am i in the right place?
11:06:55 PM Feb 20th 2012
Petition to include at least WWI? WWII's hardly the only place this has popped up, and in WWI it's close enough to be a near carbon copy of many of the disputes.
04:26:30 AM Jan 26th 2012
"Great Patriotic War" is no another name for the Second World War. Russians use this expression much like Americans speak about "War in the Pacific" (that was not separate war). Furthermore, USSR fought the Axis troops only during Great Patriotic War because between 23 August 1939 and 22 June 1941 USSR and Third Reich were _allies_.
11:36:07 PM Sep 3rd 2014
"GPW" is a soviet/russian name for a period since 1941-1945, when the country was actually at war.

It's taught like this at schools, and shown in movies. In fact, the term of "Second World War" is rarely used and 39-40 years are rarely mentioned. Not like this is good thing, of course - but it's surprisingly common. It's not "our country wins the war", it's "our country didn't care much about war until the war came to our country".
04:53:28 PM Jun 7th 2011
There is some Truth in Television in this trope. While US troops didn't win the war, US machines did a large part. Following Wilson's idea during WWI that America should be the "arsenal of democracy", FDR adopted a policy that America would focus on industrial production in an attempt to spend metal and machines instead of men. Considering that a large part of Allied shipping came to be carried in American Liberty ships, which had an extremely fast average production time of 27 days (although they once built an entire ship from scratch in FOUR days just to show off). By 1944, the American war production machine was building planes faster than the Axis could shoot them down (Henry Ford was producing a B-24 from raw materials EVERY 63 MINUTES). The British in North Africa and elsewhere often used American-made tanks and trucks, and by the war's end, the average Soviet soldier was eating American spam brought to him in an American-made truck.

The above post has some truth; the Allies got a major boost in terms of industrial ability when the US entered the war. Even in 1938, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WORST PART OF THE DEPRESSION, America produced over 3 million cars (one of the best indicators of industrial ability at the time.) Germany only managed 330,000, 10% of American production, and the Japanese only produced 36,000, a little more than 1%. When the war started, America had a lot of fallow industrial equipment and a displaced workforce. When the war started, all that industrial capability was put to use in the war industry, in a nation that already was outproducing most everyone. By the end of the war, America was home to 50% OF THE WORLD'S TOTAL INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION. Declaring war on the United States was single biggest mistake of the Axis.

Point of all that is, while US troops didn't win the war alone, American industrial production played an extremely significant part in keeping alive the war-fighting capabilities and US troops DID play a major role in many of the major offensive actions against the Axis. It's easy to see how a sort of Adaptation Distillation leads to the trope that the Americans won the war alone.

All facts (or at least most of them; all on industrial capabilities) are from Patrick Kennedy's Freedom from Fear: The American People During Depression and War: 1929-1945.
08:04:06 PM Aug 8th 2011
Support to Eliav, We didnt do it alone, but we turn the tide. The US took on the japanese fleet virtually alone, (british force later in the war and australian ships helped, but ours was the main force), we feed and supplied Britain, and we gave to USSR the equipment and supplies needed to fighter germany. if it wasnt for all the jeeps we gave them, chances are eastern europe would not have fallen so quickly. we also sent planes and crews into china to fight the japanese.

Long story short, we gave everyone what they needed to win the war, and sent our share of troops. no one did it alone but we deffinatally tipped the scale.
02:47:14 PM Oct 9th 2011
There's far less truth than you seem to think.

The Axis Powers in Europe were stopped massively by the USSR. The aid given to Britain helped it stave off the Wolf Packs, but the Soviet Union would have won by itself. Maybe the casualties would have been a few notches higher, but if the USA didn't intervene in the European Front - directly or otherwise - it would have lead to Soviets in Paris. That's all.

They "tipped the scales" in the Pacific, but not in Europe.
08:25:24 PM Nov 7th 2011
That's possible, but not truly definite. With the absolute whole German attention and warfighting capacity on the Eastern Front it's very likely that the Germans could have caused the Soviet counteroffensive to grind down to a halt, or even turned it back leading to a status quo ante bellum in Europe. Taking on a two-front war was Hitler's biggest mistake.
05:52:27 AM Nov 18th 2011

Look at the percentage of the German Army arrayed against the Soviets. Then look at the percentage they used against the Americans, keeping in mind that the "elite" units were largely saved for the Eastern Front.

The Allied push through Western Europe was a sideshow. When they landed in '44, the war was already lost for the Axis.
08:04:37 AM Aug 21st 2013
Please Doctor HD, do some actual research.

The idea that the Soviet Union could have won the European War alone is blatantly, wholly false. The dependence of the Soviet War effort on various resources sent by the Western Allies through the various convoy routes- and famously Western Allied trucks- isn't a matter of bias. It's a matter of public record that the Soviets began to admit even before they collapsed in 1989.

The idea that the US not intervening in Europe would have led the Soviets to Paris is just bad history. It ignores the fact that the Italian Empire was defeated almost exclusively by Western Allied forces. It ignores the fact that the Soviets had no real capability to fight a continent-spanning air war with the European Axis without the Western Allies taking up most of the task like they historically did.

It ignores the fact that 'directly contrary to your above assumption', many of the reasons the Soviets did so well was because Hitler transferred elite and well equipped (mechanized, armored, combined arms, Parachute, etc) units Westerward out of all proportion to the Western Fronts' size to the East's. Yes, the East still had vast amounts of elite and well equipped units, but they made up a far, far smaller percentage of the overall front with a lot of average of low quality units. Including a metric ton of Axis Allies from Eastern and Central Europe who could rarely preform well against the mid-late war Soviets (outside of the Finns).

It utterly ignores the fact that the Luftwaffe and other European Axis air forces *and* their navies were almost completely committed in the Western theaters, which skews the usual "ratio" arguments people love pulling out, and makes just looking at the German land commitment utterly nonsensical.

Western intervention in both Europe and the Pacific was decisive. It was likely even the deciding fact in the war as a whole. The idea that this can all be ignored and the Soviets could've reached Paris with a far smaller (on the whole) base and without dealing with the problems that were dealt with IOTL by others is insanity.
07:40:27 AM Dec 15th 2013
Turtler, your bias is off the charts, but I'm just going to point out the single most abhorrent bit: "It ignores the fact that the Soviets had no real capability to fight a continent-spanning air war with the European Axis without the Western Allies taking up most of the task like they historically did."

"Most of the task", that's just offensive. Most of the task, yet most of the german troops during the war fought in Russia (75%, methinks?). Most of the task, yet the countries with the most casualties were the USSR (by a large, large margin). Most of the task, yeah right.

The Russians would have done much worse without the western allies backing them up, yes. But to put it simply there was no way that the USSR was ever going to be in the losing side of that war.
12:04:04 PM Jan 3rd 2014
No, Phylos, YOUR bias is not only off the chart, it is incredibly obvious and Goes Directly Against What The Soviets Themselves Said. And while you say you were "just going to point out the single most abhorrent bit" (I suspect because you know you don't actually have enough knowledge to do that), I'm not going to be so generous. This entire reply is abhorrent, and I'm going to fillet it and analyze it for the benefit of anybody else who happens to be passing by.

""Most of the task", that's just offensive. Most of the task, yet most of the german troops during the war fought in Russia (75%, methinks?). Most of the task, yet the countries with the most casualties were the USSR (by a large, large margin). Most of the task, yeah right."

Firstly, let's cut to the most salient part of this. And in doing that, I want to Thank you for this. Because it proves to the world that you didn't actually READ the reply you're trying to write. Because if you had, you would have noticed something.

Let's see the part you're quoting, with added emphasis.

""It ignores the fact that the Soviets had no real capability to fight a continent-spanning AIR WAR with the European Axis without the Western Allies taking up most of the task like they historically did." "

You see, it was clearly referring to the AERIAL WAR. Which was undeniably Western Allied dominated to an overwhelming degree, to which the VVS arrived late and contributed far less. There is no credible source on the planet that denies this fact, and it is clear if you bothered to look what this was referring to.

Which means that all the rest of your prattling on this point is absolutely besides the point, since you're not even talking about the same thing this point is.

"The Russians would have done much worse without the western allies backing them up, yes. But to put it simply there was no way that the USSR was ever going to be in the losing side of that war."

The Soviets themselves disagreed. Which was the entire reason why Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad were fought over so bitterly, and why they were so concerned about the mounting casualties: if the European Axis could consolidate its' control over the European USSR, the Soviets would have been basically finished. And considering how the Reich came oh so very close to doing that in the first year of the war, that says something.

Even with the core parts of European Russia, the Soviets still faced demographic problems on their calenders, and suffered from a ton of resource shortages (that again, had to be partially alleviated by the Western Allies). Had the Imperial seat of Moscow, the Northern Lynchpin of Leningrad, or the Southern lynchpin of the Caucasus been occupied for any sizable amount of time, the results would have been devastating even with the resources and production facilities East of the Urals because- oddly enough- the Soviets would have been unable to deal with the sheer numbers of the Axis forces, much less a two pronged one from their old enemies on one side and even a partial Japanese commitment on the other.

These were things that deeply concerned them at the height of the war, and they damn well knew they could lose. There is absolutely no shame in that, or discrediting of the Soviet Union's contributions. The same way that acknowledging the *Fact* that the Western Allies dominated multiple other areas (the entire Pacific War, and the Aerial, Naval, and Resource areas) ignores the fact that the Soviets won the largest land war in human history.

But if you really find that offensive or inaccurate, That's Your Problem and your fault, nobody else's. So please read through what I wrote *clearly* before you try and make half-arsed counters, because you'll embarrass yourself less and you might learn something.
06:26:46 PM Jun 18th 2014
edited by
Hmm. I'm afraid Germany failed in the first year.

Their intent was to start and end a war with the USSR. They started one, but they did not inflict a killing blow.

1941 German population is 80 million, off the top of my head, with 1/4 being below 20. USSR population is 200 million, with 1/3 below 20. Percentage of of all German males aged 20-30 in the military was 85%. That is not a comfortable manpower reserve, but the Heer was confident they wouldn't need one. Reinforcement of panzer forces in the east seems to be less than 100 units for the period June-December 1941, which would explain where all the (2000 or so) shiny new panzers came from in time for 1942's Fall Blau.

  • German vs USSR modern panzer production 1941: 5.2k/c.4k
  • German vs USSR modern panzer production 1942: 9.2k/24.4k
  • German vs USSR modern aircraft production 1941: 11.8k/c.12k
  • German vs USSR modern aircraft production 1942: 15.4k/25.4k
  • German vs USSR modern artillery+mortar production 1941: 7k/71.1k

We can also add 500+ lend-lease tanks and aircaft in 1941, and an amount I do not know in 1942.

The important question is, of course, how much equipment the forces in question actually had prior to and including all this stuff. Luftwaffe in the east had 2k planes, Heer 3k panzer on 22/6/1941 is all I know.

That said, these figures are not promising. Germany managed to capture areas which had produced 85% of her 1940 aircraft production, and a similar proportion of other war material, but Barbarossa's initial focus on Belorussia meant all the modern and large-scale plants were evacuated even from west of the Dnepr (strategic breakthrough on the third week, area captured by end of first month)

To me these figures say that the blow Germany struck was not fatal. I am no expert on 1942 onwards, but I can ask some questions:

  • I question the Wehrmacht's ability to avoid Smolensk-, Kiev-, Taifun-, or Stalingrad-level losses and thereby increase the strength of her forces relative to the USSR given the respective levels of German and USSR production.
  • I question the Wehrmacht's ability to to make strategic breakthroughs at all after 1942. The deficiency of trucks (only 20% were produced domestically, the USSR counting upon lend-lease imports) would be important in the offense, but not so much in the defense when railway lines can be relied upon.
  • I question Germany's ability to supply large strategic breakthroughs of the kind she'd need to avoid taking Smolensk, Kiev, etc-type losses. Germany's continual losses in her motorised transport corps and fuel-supply insufficient to meet basic demands (Rumanian oil delivery 1.5 million tons annually and production of synthetic oil at 4 million tons, versus British usage [with smaller forces!] of 12 million tons) make me thing Kiev- and Zitadelle-operations would be all that were possible, and these would give the Soviets the time and space they needed to reform the front after each encirclement.
  • I question Germany's ability to supply the Luftwaffe if the other half of it were deployed in the east. With rail-transport only sufficing to meet 3/4 of the ground forces' calorific intake alone, and the rest (and the ammunition, fodder, fuel, spare parts, reinforcements) having to come by cart and truck the deployment of more Luftwaffe forces in the east would put even more strain on the non-rail supply network.
  • I question the Luftwaffe's contribution to the war even if it were deployed in the east. The production figures I found do not account for the way the USSR is focusing on anti-aeroplane 'planes ('fighters') whereas Germany is also building large numbers of 'bomber' aircraft that are designed to fight ground forces and are not good at fighting other 'planes.

In short, I do not think Germany (with what she produces in those years) has the resources to win a war with the USSR in 1941-43. After that I cannot say, but the issues I raised are enduring ones in this isolated Germany vs UK+USSR war we're considering.
06:45:43 AM Feb 9th 2015
edited by Zero85
USS Rs high tank production comes from the fact that the made little else. From Wikipedia: The United States gave to the Soviet Union from October 1, 1941 to May 31, 1945 the following: 427,284 trucks, 13,303 combat vehicles, 35,170 motorcycles, 2,328 ordnance service vehicles, 2,670,371 tons of petroleum products (gasoline and oil), 4,478,116 tons of foodstuffs (canned meats, sugar, flour, salt, etc.), 1,900 steam locomotives, 66 Diesel locomotives, 9,920 flat cars, 1,000 dump cars, 120 tank cars, and 35 heavy machinery cars. USSR made no locomotives of there own in that time and Katyusha rocket launsher is a Studebaker US 6 truck. There are probably more examples like this.

Add in British aid: Between June 1941 and May 1945 3,000+ Hurricanes were delivered to the USSR along with 4,000+ other aircraft, 5,218 tanks, 5,000+ anti-tank guns, 4,020 ambulances and trucks, 323 machinery trucks, 2,560 bren carriers, 1,721 motorcycles, £1.15bn worth of aircraft engines and 15 million pairs of boots in total 4 million tonnes of war materials including food and medical supplies were delivered.

If you go to production numbers:
  • Aiplanes total: US 324,000 to USS Rs 136,223 (and Germani 133,387 so close to the same but add in British aid and USSR comes of far better)
  • Tanks total: US 102,410 to USS Rs 106,025
  • Other vehicles (trucks and other non-combat): US 2,382,311 to USS Rs 197,100
It is the opinion of a few historians (non-US) that without aid USSR would have made if not peace then at least a long cease fire with Germany to buil up the transport needed to fight a long war. The best operational range for T-34 tank is 400km (not bad) but if you dont have fuel trucks for the tanks then you have expensive hunk of steel (no engine means no electricity and no moving the turret to aim the gun).
08:01:10 AM Feb 9th 2015
This is not a forum for discussing who contributed most to the defeat of Hitler. Take It to the Forums.
09:23:06 PM Aug 17th 2010
edited by Nerd42
I've heard of "Truth in Television" ... Is there "Truth in Tropes" too? Cause the USA did freaking win World War II! Artistic License - History.

Nobody said the US did it alone. I've listened to alot of what was on the radio back then and that's not what they were saying. They talked about the other countries involved too. But it's pretty obvious that the United States entering the war was a major, major turning point without which it's probable that the baddies would have won.

And it could be quite intelligently argued that World War II didn't begin until the United States entered the war - the key word being "World." It could be argued that it's not really a "World War" until both sides of the Atlantic are involved. The conflict certainly didn't start with the US directly involved, but one could say that the World War did.

And the Brits who criticize the US for not getting off their lazy asses until 1942 have a right to complain.
02:57:01 PM Oct 1st 2010
Please don't feed the trolls, so no one reply to this pathetic attempt at trolling.

Really, make some effort next time, will you?
04:10:34 PM Oct 1st 2010
You're a little late on that Vert, since that post is nearly a month and a half old. And I think the poster has a point, at least in regards to the fact that America's involvement was what eventually turned the tide in the war —though they far from won the war single handedly.
09:38:43 AM Jul 25th 2010
There are good reasons to say that World War 2 began in 1939. Within two weeks of the beginning of the invasion of Poland, governments on five continents declared war on Germany (the UK, France, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, and Canada) and naval actions before the year went out also involved the waters off a sixth, South America. The Sino-Japanese War on the other hand was a purely regional one that (apart from the war on the Soviet-Manchurian border from May to September 1939) only involved two nations until December 1941 (although more than two parties, as part of the time the Nationalist and Communist Chinese armies were also fighting each other). So you can plausibly argue that the conflict in Asia (and the Pacific) became "global" only after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Compare the situation with other major wars. The Seven Years War (1756-1763) has sometimes been described as a "first world war" because it was fought not only in Europe, but also in the Americas, India etc., but no one says it should be called the Nine Years War because the Anglo-French War in North America had already begun in 1754. Or look at the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) - the Spanish-Dutch part of that war had begun fifty years earlier, in 1568, but while both the Thirty Years War and the Eighty Years War were ended in the peace of Münster and Osnabrück, the Spanish-French war begun in 1635 as part of the Thirty Years War was only ended by the peace of the Pyrenees in 1659.
02:08:05 PM Apr 14th 2010
Just removed the following:

'On the other hand, everyone seems to forget that World War II was the most "world" of the World Wars, what with the massive war in the Pacific and East Asia. That one America really did win mostly on its own: while the Chinese did most of the dying, the key front was the grinding war in the Pacific, which despite British, British Empire, and Dutch assistance was primarily a US-Japan affair.'

The person who wrote this not only was Completely Missing the Point and Did Not Do The Research, but the phrase 'Chinese did most of the dying' is just so wrong, so damned wrong, THAT I ACTUALLY LOST MY COOL. Yes, I actually shouted that inside my head. Sorry about being uncivil, but there's a limit to how much I can tolerate. And this isn't the first time this sort of thing appears here too...
04:42:21 PM Apr 14th 2010
Well, the Chinese died in millions, while America lost a couple of hundred thousands altogether. Why did you lose your cool?
04:43:25 PM Apr 14th 2010
PS: Unless it was because of the grammar of the passage which was awful.
09:25:07 PM Apr 15th 2010
because of the fact that it was joking about genocide? I mean yeah sure I might make World War II jokes to myself but generally I don't post them.
10:31:46 AM Apr 16th 2010

Didn't get that part about your being upset, since it wasn't mentioned.

10:45:15 AM Apr 16th 2010
PS: And I didn't see it as a joke about genocide. Maybe I'm lacking in humour, but when fatalities are being counted, I tend to see nothing funny, even if it was meant as a joke. Hence my question.
03:23:19 PM Apr 17th 2010
As Charred Knight said, it seemed to me that the person that wrote that did so in a jocular manner... which is Berserker Button in this case, since it's the cherry on top of a particularly fowl tasting cake.
12:28:15 PM Apr 19th 2010
edited by Vert
Again, removed the following:

'Interestingly, the one front of the war—the Pacific—that usually gets overlooked by everybody's media in the West really was won mostly (mind you, mostly—the British and Dutch did a fair amount of fighting, and the theory only works if you regard the Sino-Japanese War as a separate front) by the United States. For the greatest naval war history has ever seen, the Pacific Theater World War II gets an incredibly small amount of attention in any media (except, of course, in Japan, which would rather forget the rather-less-honorable war on the Asian mainland...).'

It's better phrased, and avoids the 'jocalur' problem of before, but it's still wrong. The Pacific War receives a huge amount of attention in all kinds of media, precisely because of the fact that it was one of the theaters of war where the US was a major factor.

For example, take a look at this compared to this, 73 films vs 21 films... and that's just movies. Watch some television or documentaries and pretty the same thing happens. And the focus tends to be on the US, not other countries too.

Let me give you one VERY glaring example of that may spark a mini flame war, but it's worth pointing out: the invasion of Manchuria by the Soviets. Arguably the most successful operation of the whole war, the Soviets captured an area the size of europe and a grand total of 640,276 prisoners during that small campaign, much, much more than any other country, utterly devastating the Japanese mainland army and effectively crushing any hope of Japan keeping China.

It's a debatable question of how much this factored into the surrender of the Japan, but <only> because of the issue of whether or not the Japanese government realized the full extent of the disaster that befell them; many argue that it was, together with atomic bombings, the main cause of the Japanese surrender and, at the very least, it's reasonable to put forth this theory.

And here's the kicker: how many movies have you ever seen of this invasion? How many times have you ever heard of the mainstream media ever mention this invasion? Any media? None whatsoever, right? And this is ignoring all other battles and fronts of the pacific war... and other countries involved and whatnot.

So the point I'm trying to make is very simple: the Pacific Ocean front was not won solely won by the US, it's debatable whether or not it was even won by mainly due to US efforts and, <most certainly>, it is not, by any reasonable measure, underrepresented: if anything, given the total amount of casualties involved, it is vastly overrepresented.

So please, karstovich, stop making these edits. They're just plain wrong.
07:57:53 PM Aug 8th 2011
edited by Joesolo
i have to disagree with you on one point ", it's debatable whether or not it was even won by mainly due to US efforts and"

No, no its not. most of the American fleet was dlployed there. the only meaningful allied support was a small british force, which was helpful, and a number of australian vessals. But what defeated the Japanese navy was the American fleets. there were a good ten-twenty full sized carriers, numerous battle ships, then dozens of cruisers destroyers ect. and hundreds of other american vessals.

Now im not saying the other allies did nothing but the pacific was mainly a American vs Japanese affair.
07:54:37 AM Aug 21st 2013
Sorry Vert, but it seems to me like you're the one more guilty of missing the point. The thing you came to gripe about deserves a lot of griping because it is dubiously and probably offensively phrased, but it's clsoer to being true than a LOT of the arguments you put forward here.

I am someone who always tries to give the Manchurian Strategic Offensive it's just dues and who is always ready to say that the Soviet Union ended any prospect of continuing the Sino-Japanese land war by doing in a few months what the Chinese had failed to do for years. But calling it the most successful operation of the war is BUMPKISS.

"captured an area the size of europe" I keep seeing this quote get thrown out, especially regarding Manchuria in general. But at best it's debatable, and the total amount of area the Soviets seized was less than those taken by Germany from 1939 to 1940.

"and a grand total of 640,276 prisoners during that small campaign, much, much more than any other country,"

Uh, false. Patently, patently false, as shown by events like the much-shortcharged North African campaign (which captured well in excessive of that number), Sicily, the Ruhr, and Burma. Heck, even if we're just talking about the Pacific War, the number of Japanese POW taken by the Western Allies was well in excess of those captured by the Soviets in their interventions in the war. This is pretty clearly attested to by the records.

"utterly devastating the Japanese mainland army and effectively crushing any hope of Japan keeping China."

A: The Japanese had already devastated their mainland army by a series of massive transfers to the Pacific and Burmese Wars between 1941 and 1943 (when they actually still had shipping capacity worth a damn), stripping essentially any units with serious military capability South, where sooner or later they were unceremoniously destroyed by the Western Allies. What the Soviets knocked over was essentially a dead husk of low-grade garrison troops who couldn't even keep up with the Chinese and Korean guerrillas.

B: The Japanese High Command had already more or less given up on the CEA and other forces on that side of mainland Asia. The British Commonwealth had already effectively destroyed the Japanese military on the other side in Burma, and the combined Western Allied fleets had destroyed the IJN, meaning that the Japanese were focusing all efforts on defending the Home Islands. They'd already abandoned all hope of holding China, and it was just a question of how long the garrison armies could hold out as a sort of "happy surprise."

This does not mean that the Soviets did not obtain a spectacular victory or render a very great service, but they were effectively killing a dead man. An invalided dead man.

"It's a debatable question of how much this factored into the surrender of the Japan, but <only> because of the issue of whether or not the Japanese government realized the full extent of the disaster that befell them; many argue that it was, together with atomic bombings, the main cause of the Japanese surrender and, at the very least, it's reasonable to put forth this theory."

This is so headdesky I don't even know where to start. Like I said before (and the Japanese records said themselves): they had effectively abandoned all their armies on mainland Asia. They had removed them from the equation, and whatever happened to them was irrelevant in the considerations of the Imperial cabinet because they were focusing on the Home Islands. So they might not have understood the scope of the disaster, but they had stopped understanding the scope of the Chinese land war long ago and so wouldn't have particularly cared about it.

The main influence this had on Japan's decision to surrender was because the Soviets then posed the threat of using the ground they had captured to interrupt the defenses of the Home Island and effectively threaten them with a second invading force. That's literally all there was. Had the Soviets stopped completely after their victory rather than make it obvious they were going to try for at least Hokkaido, it would have made absolutely no impression on the Japanese cabinet. And even then, Soviet capability to operate in the Home Islands was wholly dependent on Western Allied naval and air support, meaning that the A-Bomb and the massive force assembled for Downfall were the main reason. These subjects have been gone over for years. They've been matters of public record for nearly as long as that, and acknowledging them in no way means downplaying the actual participation and contributions of the Soviet Union.

It just means not overplaying them, or downplaying the actual ones of others. So no, it isn't really that reasonable to put forward that theory if one has studied the Japanese government and the war.

"And here's the kicker: how many movies have you ever seen of this invasion? How many times have you ever heard of the mainstream media ever mention this invasion? Any media? None whatsoever, right? And this is ignoring all other battles and fronts of the pacific war... and other countries involved and whatnot. "

While your overall point in this case is true, a point of order is that it does pop up in a few places, mainly war games (like Steel Panthers: World at War, which features several scenarios about it). Mainly because it was- frankly- somewhat strategically irrelevant outside of the Chinese land war and so phenomenally unbalanced it's half ungameable. But yes, the point is understandable.

"So the point I'm trying to make is very simple: the Pacific Ocean front was not won solely won by the US,"


"it's debatable whether or not it was even won by mainly due to US efforts"

Hardly. My Grandfather (a veteran of that front) made damn sure to hammer in the importance of acknowledging our allies, and I try to give everybody their due. But the simple fact is that looking at the OO Bs and production ability of the British Commonwealth, the Dutch, and the handful of wayward French, the naval, aerial, and amphibious intervention of the US was absolutely decisive in defeating Japan. It would've taken years without the US's assistance for the other Western Allies to build up a force capable of challenging and defeating the Japanese forces. I'm not even going to talk about the Chinese or the Soviet in the least, because their abilities in the theater were absolutely miniscule in comparison.

"and, <most certainly>, it is not, by any reasonable measure, underrepresented: if anything, given the total amount of casualties involved, it is vastly overrepresented."

By any reasonable measure, you are absolutely guilty of underrespresenting it here. If you bothered to actually calculate the casualties involved, the sources of the Japanese casualties break down something like this:

1. The Chinese get slightly less than half in spite of taking the overwhelming majority of Allied casualties in the Pacific War.

2. Of the remainder, the main island hopping drive (Mac Arthur, Nimitz, ANZA Cs, etc) claims something like 30%.

3. The Commonwealth-led war in the Southeastern Asian mainland (mainly Burma) claims something like 20%.

4. Everything else comes from all other causes, including the Soviet-Japanese conflicts.

Yes, it is an extremely rough measure largely calculated by Japanese Deaths, but it's still essentially accurate. And it certainly shows that the representation of the Pacific War- while not ideal- is far from totally skewed or unjustified. Especially in comparison to one exceedingly late entry by the Soviets.

"So please, karstovich, stop making these edits. They're just plain wrong."

For the record, I am not karstovich. However, I must say that what I have seen from you is frankly just as plain wrong- if not moreso in spite of karstovich's offensiveness- as his. I beg that you do some actual research on the subject before going off like this.
07:51:52 AM Dec 15th 2013
Turtler, purposefully missing the point with unashamed bias again (although being a descendant of a veteran kind of explains it... not at all excuses it... actually makes your positions on it even more of offensive and more of an example of this trope). Methinks the point Vert was clearly trying to make is that, proportionally, what the Soviets did in Manchuria was the best operation... since they did it in two days.
12:23:29 PM Jan 3rd 2014
phylos, I find it ironic that you are shameless and gullible enough to accuse *me* of "purposely missing the point with unashamed bias" when you were the one who made an incompetent response that *showed* you didn't read or understand the point I was making. The fact that you compound it by shooting yourself and Vert in the foot *again* just emphasizes it.

"Methinks the point Vert was clearly trying to make is that, proportionally, what the Soviets did in Manchuria was the best operation... since they did it in two days. "

If that is the case, then both Vert and- especially and more likely- You are both ignorant and flat out wrong. And apparently have absolutely no idea of how the Manchurian Strategic Offensive (the proper name for it) went.

Let me list the ways:

A: It assumes that "the best operation" (even "proportionally") is purely defined by time alone. Rather than- say- dealing with other factors, like the quality and quantity of the forces involved, ease of conflict, and what have you.

B: It ignores that the "Soviets did in Manchuria" was only part of the picture, because their invasion- even more impressively- included regions like Northern Korea and the Southern part of Sakhalin.

C: It ignores the very basic fact that *no, they did not do it in two days.* The entire operation lasted for around half a month even in just doing mop up in Manchuria after the collapse of organized resistance. For somebody who is explicitly supposed to be lionizing the Soviets and their admittedly amazing victory, this just undersocres how you know absolutely nothing much about it.

D: It ignores the context it was being discussed in- namely, what made Japan surrender- and the fact that for all the impressive features of the Manchurian offensive, it basically did jack all to Japan's central war effort. Had it happened in 1942 or 1943 that would have been different, but by 1945 Japan had lost all real contact with the Asian mainland, had leached pretty much every good quality soldier or equipment out to try and stem the Western Allied onslaught, and had written off everybody else for lost in their efforts to defend the Home Islands.

So no phylos, you simply do not understand what you are talking about. And unlike your pseudo-politeness and condescension about my family history, I will be blunt:

There is No explanation and No Excuse for your ignorant, offensive conduct here. The fact that you seek to mythologize the Soviet War effort above what it actually is just makes your playing of this trope more blatant and more offensive, especially to the actual memory of what the Soviets did and did not accomplish.

So begone.

  • For those who did not notice above, see his above post. In which he cherrypicked a paragraph specifically relating to the Western-Dominated *air war* from a larger and more hollistic reply of mine. At which point he promptly forgot or ignored the fact that it was explicitly referencing the Air War (which no sane person denies was led and dominated by the Western Allies) and went onto an irrelevant ramble about the whole "75% of German troops killed by the Soviets" figure, which is a reference to the land war rather than what I was dealing with.
09:55:45 PM Jun 18th 2014
I've only skimmed this one, but I dare say Turtler seems closer to the mark.

Continued possession of Chinese territories was a bargaining tool, as was continued resistance. But with all supply to those forces cut off, liberating the territories in China-proper was not going to be too difficult.

Manchuria would've been trickier as the region continued to produce ammunition and had decent stockpiles, but the region could not be held once Japan itself had fallen and the Allies were free to focus upon it.

In the event, of course, the Soviets took it in a couple of weeks and - as you said- we're poised to take Hokkaido while the bulk of Japanese forces and their limited supply stocks were concentrated on southern Kyushu and around the capital.

On a final note I'd be careful about using the term 'casualties' instead of 'irrecoverable losses'. One can come up with very different figures if one uses the former and not the latter. For example, I think I remember that less than 300,000 IJA troops died, missing, or were captured in China (including the c.20,000 who stayed on to fight for Yan Xishan as mercenaries). Yet many times that number were merely wounded, and I do believe less than a quarter of their wounded died of their wounds. Confusing one for the other can, as some idiot Russian historian has done lately, mean you can inflate the numbers of 'dead' people by up to 200%. Which as far as margins of error go, is just ridiculous.
03:36:56 AM Mar 9th 2010
In paragraph 6 of the article I do agree with most of it, but is it not a bit of a sweeping statement saying America's WW2 aid is 'never' mentioned or appreciated? Both sets of my grandparents informed me that without that aid they (Britain) would have been up the creek. And its hard not to mention or forget anyway, as the british people have been paying the WW2 aid debt back up until very recently. The acclaimed documentary series 'The World at War' pulls no punches in regards to showing the whole truth about all aspects of the War.
05:08:03 AM Apr 10th 2010
Trev-MUN: If it weren't for the fact that the trope is all about sweeping statements when it comes to various national self-perceptions concerning WW2, I might have agreed.

Besides, I've seen a lot of examples of British tropers, over time, attempting to assert that the United States did nothing to help the United Kingdom until the last minute, but thoroughly exploited the nation while doing so. (Oh, and that Bush's ancestors and the whole U.S. government were all Nazi sympathizers or something.)

Britain Wins The War might not have its own article, but it's definitely just as common as the American Stock Phrase "we bailed your ass out in WW2."
06:09:13 PM May 18th 2010
edited by TrevMUN
Case in point, I just removed this edit from a troper named Blurgle:

16/May/10 at 09:22 PM by Blurgle
[...] (Of course, American shows will never mention that Lend-Lease was literally a loan; every penny had to be paid back, with interest. Given how desperately broke the UK was after the war (plus the miracle of compound interest), it took fifty years.) [...]

... Which is a lovely combination of The Theme Park Version and Did Not Do The Research, all designed to downplay the fact that Brits are every bit as capable of their own "We Won The War" displays as everyone else. After all, we can't have the Americans look like they have a shred of decency, now can we? Nope! We've got to make sure any instance of them helping out another country is framed in heartless exploitation, just short of wanton pillaging!

Here's the truth behind Blurgle's Critical Research Failure: The United States had, to support Britain and other countries, enacted a number of programs that were, over time, increasingly less about business and more about keeping those countries in the fight.

Initially, Britain had been paying for supplies and war materiel from the United States via "Cash and Carry," something that was mandated by America's Neutrality Acts imposed in the 1930s before Nazi Germany began making its moves. Under Cash and Carry, Britain had to pay for the supplies with their equivalent price in gold.

In 1940, the United States sent 50 destroyers to the British and Canadian navies in exchange for the right to build naval and air bases in seven or nine areas in the American continents in what is known as the Destroyers for Bases Agreement.

By March 1941, Cash and Carry was replaced with the Lend-Lease Act, which gave the President the power to "sell, transfer title to, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of" supplies and war materiel to other governments if the President felt it was in the best interest of national security. This system wasn't just extended to the British, but also to the French, China, the Soviet Union and other allied nations.

So if Lend-Lease wasn't even a loan, then what was Blurgle talking about? He might have been talking about the Anglo-American loan that came shortly before the war's end; in the same month of Japan's surrender (September 1945), the U.S. government terminated the Lend-Lease program. Britain still had need of the materiel that was in transit to the country at the time, especially since much of its economy had been retooled for war, and the goods being sent out by the Lend-Lease program in its latter years were mostly logistical.

The Anglo American loan was meant to pay for the remaining supplies. The agreement allowed Britain to purchase the supplies at 10% of their value, for which the British would remit payment over 50 years with a 2% interest. That's right, 2% interest. It didn't take very long for going market interest rates to dwarf that number. At the conclusion of payment in 2006, British parliament members considered the loan "very advantageous" for the British.

Of course, Blurgle would be loath to mention something like this if he even knew about it. After all, we can't mention any details that would mitigate an attempt to vilify the Americans as filthy capitalists, now can we? Thankfully, those details are so numerous that anyone willing to do a little research will realize the truth.

And we're not even considering the Marshall Plan that came after all this, aren't we?
10:04:18 PM Jun 18th 2014
Surely he was just pointing out that the USA's agreements weren't so generous as to destroy their own economy in the process (as a poorer country like, say, Brazil would've if they'd tried), and that these were not without strings attached?

I'm given to understand that the 'Shell' corporation was given to the USA as payment, among other things, and the USA did use its position to insist upon the dismantling of Britain's empire. Said insistence seems to have manifested itself in an unwillingness to fund the support of said empire, which lead to early independence for India+Pakistan and all the suffering that caused.

It was all in a good cause, yes, but let's not claim they weren't getting stuff (however little) out of it or playing politics.
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