The Instigator
TheRussian
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The Contender
LaughingRiddle
Con (against)
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The Soviet Union played the most decisive role in the defeat of Nazi Germany in WW2

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/19/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,104 times Debate No: 49469
Debate Rounds (5)
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TheRussian

Pro

I believe that none other than the Soviet Union played the greatest role in the defeat of Nazi Germany in WW2.
Please begin your argument.
LaughingRiddle

Con

I do believe the USSR was the #1 contributor to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Especially in terms of soldiers and lives.

However, I will argue CON based on the wording of the debate. The key word is Decisive;


de·ci·sive


diG2;sīsiv/


adjective



1.



settling an issue; producing a definite result.



If the USSR played the most decisive role then that would imply the USSR joining the war was what 'settled/decided' the outcome of WWII.

However, the USSR joining the war did not mean German defeat was automatic; thus the USSR going to war was not the decisive event of WWII.

In fact, through most of 1941 and even parts of 1942 the USSR seemed on the brink of collapse and defeat.

Arguably, the USSR would have collapsed or lost the war without the extreme Allied logistical and material support to Russia. Russia received $11 billion in war materials: over 400,000 jeeps and trucks critical to logistical supply; 12,000 armored vehicles (including 7,000 tanks); 11,400 aircraft and 1.75 million tons of food, and entire factories in order to produce more planes and tanks.

The UK delivered to the USSR 7,000 aircraft, 5,000 tanks, 5,000 anti-tank guns, and 15 million boots in total, 4 million tonnes of war materials including food and medical supplies were delivered.


http://en.wikipedia.org...

Many of these things allowed the USSR to focus its manpower on producing weapons and filling military units. Russia is famous for spending men under equipped men in to battle against the Germans as it was, without allied support the situation would have been much much worse and increased production needs would mean more manpower strains.

So while Russia may have contributed the most to defeating Nazi Germany, the decisive fact appears to be Allied Aid to Russia that was what meant Russia could eventually turn the tide and win the war. Without such aid Russia cannot have won the war the way it did, meaning Russia itself is not the decisive element.

What decided the was in Russia' favor was really the battle of the Atlantic, that ended with an allied victory and allowed massive material aid to Russia for the duration of the war.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Similarly, the UK is in the same boat. It is very possible had the battle of the atlantic been lost and the UK been effectively blockaded it too would have been defeated by Germany.

As the traditional wisdom goes, in the big picture Germany really lost because it could not realistically compete with the industrial output of the Allies. The US was the largest industrial power in the world and a critical part of that decisive allied advantage. As was Germany's failure to control the seas and blockade the allies and nullify said industrial advantage. This is what decided the war in the the long run.


Debate Round No. 1
TheRussian

Pro

LaughingRiddle, we meet again.
I believe that the USSR was the deciding factor, because if Hitler would have chosen to not invade the USSR, then the Allies may not have had the USSR's support. This would have meant destruction for most, if not all, of the Allies. The turning point of the the war is considered to be the Battle of Moscow (which was already taking place during October of 1941, however the United States engaged in the war only in December).
http://www.globalresearch.ca...

Also, serious war trade began between the Soviet Union and USA in 1942. This is after the Soviets parried the German thrust at Moscow and began pushing the Germans back towards Berlin.
http://2001-2009.state.gov...

Although I do agree that without the support of the Allies, it would have been much more difficult and losses would be greater, but the German war machine was already running out of fuel by the time they reached Moscow.
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...
LaughingRiddle

Con

"LaughingRiddle, we meet again."

Pleasure again my good Russian adversary.

"I believe that the USSR was the deciding factor, because if Hitler would have chosen to not invade the USSR, then the Allies may not have had the USSR's support."

This is possibly true. However, one of the main reasons for the USSR signing the Ribbentropp-Molotov agreement was because Stalin wished to postpone a war with Germany. Indicating the USSR was gearing up for war one way or another before Hitler ever invaded.

It is hard to imagine that Stalin, being paranoid, and a little fearful of Hitler/Germany would have not favored the Allies over a much bigger direct threat like Germany. When, and whether or not the USSR would have declared war on Germany had things been different would be be sheer speculation.

This would have meant destruction for most, if not all, of the Allies.

Hitler invaded the USSR on June 22 1941. By this time, Russia has played neutral in first 1 year and 9 months of WWII in Europe.

The allied countries of Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Poland, and Norway had already been lost to Germany.

Germany's attempt to defeat the last major allied resistance in Europe in 1940 came during the battle of Britain in the fall of 1940. Long before Russia entered the war, Germany had failed to secure the military conditions for a successful invasion of the UK and abandoned the notion.

Even had Germany not declared war on Russia the next year, there is no strong evidence that the UK would have been defeated. The Royal Navy had supreme control of the atlantic and english channel, and the Luftwaffe had failed to defeat the royal air force. More than that, the Luftwaffe suffered severe losses that would be felt for the the rest of the war.

It would seem that Russia not joining the war didn't mean the loss of anymore allies because by the time Russia joined all of the allies within Germany's reach were ALREADY lost...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The turning point of the the war is considered to be the Battle of Moscow (which was already taking place during October of 1941, however the United States engaged in the war only in December).

When the US joined the war is somewhat irrelevant since the US was providing supplies to Russia long before it entered the war. However, the US did provide valuable military contributions to the war effort. The US kicked germany out of N Africa and knocked Italy out of the war. Americans bombing campaigns would cripple the german war effort as well.

Many historians also consider the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk to be the decisive battles and turning points of the war.

There is valid arguments for all 3 battles, the battle of Moscow marked the farthest German advance on the Russian capital, but the Germans would generally win victories for many more months in 1942. The german army was very far from defeated after the battle of Moscow, in fact the battle ended not because of German defeat, but because at the end of October the legendary cold of the Russian winter froze the battlefield and the german offensive.

Stalingrad was the first decisive defeat to the German army, and marks their furthest advance east before the soviets turned the tide.

Kursk marks the crippling of the German army, and the initiative turns decisively to the SOviet for the remainder of the war.


Although I do agree that without the support of the Allies, it would have been much more difficult and losses would be greater, but the German war machine was already running out of fuel by the time they reached Moscow.

In 1941 German had not exhausted its fuel reserves, instead the German supply line had failed to keep up with the rapid advance and demand of the Front lines. Part of this was due to wether conditions, very muddy terrain, and the fact germany did not enjoy nearly so many motorized supply vehicles unlike the soviets who were provided 400,000 such vehicles by the US.

Even the UK's participation in the war was in many ways dependent on US aid. So without such aid it could have been russia completely alone against Germany, italy, and possibly even Japan.

Ultimate Victory without Russia

This topic reasons the possibility of a victory without the eastern front in WWII. It is ostly conjectures, but allows people to maybe get an idea of WWII without russia.

One thing that is certain, is that the russian lives scarified to defeat Germany would have had to be be sustained by a different country. THe most likely candidate is the US. However, since WWII ultimately turned out to be a long war of attrition where industrial power became important and the US had such an advantage it is not impossible that the US could have won the war, as it had both the prerequisite manpower and industrial capacity.

The main difficulty the US would face is the need for an amphibious invasion of a one front German occupied Europe. This is, however, possible provided the UK remained free.

The US strategy would have ended the war in 2 ways, both would mean a much longer WWII.

1. The US will focus on air superiority and industrial bombing of Germany from the UK. The US will push in the peripheries of Germany, such as N. Africa, Italy, Balkans, and Scandinavia in order to exhaust and strangle Germany. Germany itself would not be assaulted until it was surrounded, like Japan.

2. War would continue until the invention of the atomic bomb. Most sources show Germany did not place a particularly high importance on atomic weapons research, unlike the US and UK. It is very likely the western allies would have beaten germany to the bomb, and won the war.

To list the possibilities, victory is either not possible without russia (as it might have been impossible to russia to win without the allies) but without Russia the west, particularly the US, would have been guaranteed to suffer a much much higher % of casualties.

Victory is very Possible

There exist facts that make the possibly of a western allied victory without the USSR very persuasive.

A total of 2,124,352 of Germany's 3,904,103 military causalties were sustained in the Eastern front accoridng to wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org...


This means that 45%, almost half of Germany's losses, were inflicted by non-russian forces. Which raises the real possibility of a victory without the USSR.

The US had the industry and manpower to win such a war. And arguably a more effective strategy.

US industry was beyond German reach entirely, while the US and UK were able bomb the German industrial heartland.

Most of the Russian industrial heartland was lost to German in 1941, which made allied material support to Russia even more important. Maybe Russia could have won the war, but it is hard to see how they could have turned the tide without allied aid and the main industrial area of Russia lost to Germany.

While the US is safe and out of reach of Germany Russia has to bear the brunt of a german blitzkrieg. Arguably, the germans would much rather fight an enemy like Russia rather than an enemy they can't reach like the US. And they did end up choosing this.
Debate Round No. 2
TheRussian

Pro

"The main difficulty the US would face is the need for an amphibious invasion of a one front German occupied Europe. This is, however, possible provided the UK remained free."
D-Day has proved that an amphibious invasion is a very difficult operation. The Allies used a total of about 160, 000 soldiers, losing over 12, 000 while destroying only 4,000-9,000 Germans. This is not a good ratio (for Allies), yet it exists even with most armored vehicles, weaponry and soldiers at the Eastern front. If a war was not being fought on the Eastern front, an amphibious invasion would be nearly impossible. If it was successful, such a small amount of troops and armor would make it through the battle that the remaining units would have virtually lost their military capability. Of course, after the landings, the Allies would still have to supply resources and soldiers to continue pushing the Germans back.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

"This means that 45%, almost half of Germany's losses, were inflicted by non-russian forces. Which raises the real possibility of a victory without the USSR."
I have different information from a book I have called "The Russian Century" by Brian Moynahan. It states that Russians killed 7 times as many Germans as the Allies, along with another fact saying that 10 times more Germans surrendered to Allies as Russia.
Nevertheless, if 45% of Germany's losses were inflicted by non-Russian forces, then that can also be accounted for the difference in amount of German machinery operating on the Western vs. Eastern front. German tanks, artillery and Luftwaffe played an enormous role in their success (temporary) and were the driving force of the blitzkrieg.

By the time that Ally forces were on European soil, the Germans had only 26 divisions on the Western front (about 1 million troops) while having 214 divisions on the Eastern front. (The Allies outnumbered German forces on the Western front by 3.5 million).
http://en.wikipedia.org...
"The US strategy would have ended the war in 2 ways, both would mean a much longer WWII."
Although this would definitely have affected Germany, defending requires a smaller amount of troops and equipment, and as a result, the Allies would have suffered devastating losses trying to penetrate the German war machine (which would be concentrated on the Western front).

Also, although Japan did not play such a big role as Germany, do not forget it. Japan would also be a constant nuisance because (not needing to worry about fighting the USSR), Japan would be free to concentrate all of its war effort on eliminating the Allies.
LaughingRiddle

Con


"D-Day; The Allies used a total of about 160, 000 soldiers, losing over 12, 000 while destroying only 4,000-9,000 Germans. This is not a good ratio (for Allies)"

Agreed, it is not a good ratio. However, the USSR often suffered much worse ratios against the Germans in larger battles for all of 1941, and many large battles in 1942. This is part of how the USSR came to lose a total over 27 million people in WWII.

Not About D-day

The US/UK war against Germany should not be thought of in terms of D-day. Because it would be a requirement that Germany was strategically defeated before a D-day date would ever be set. Just as Germany was so defeated strategically when D-day happened in 1944; at that point it was clearly something of an inevitability. Similarly, Japan was strategically defeated before the theortical invasion of mainland Japan, Operation Overlord, that never occured. This is common US strategy.

The US/Uk would invade places like N. Africa, Italy, the Balkans, Denmark, and Norway to weaken Germany before a major invasion of France and continental Europe. They would also wage a very intensive and destrucive bombing campaign to cripple german Industry, and wipe out the German airforce.

The allies, with control of the sea, can threaten every border and outpost of Nazi Germany along the coast. If Germany defended france too much, the allies can take advantage by attacking a different place like Italy or the Balkans. The German army would be forced to be disperesed by such tactics, or focus in one place and be easier to surround. Therefore, Germany would not be at full strength in Europe during D-day, but would have suffered many years of strategic bombing campaigns and fighting battles on the peripheries of the Nazi German empire. The US would not rush into a big land war against a prepared Germany in France.

Example, German defenses against D-day were very spread out across the entire coast of France, Belgium, NE, and northern germany. While the amphibious invasion can concentrate its forces and fire power, the defenders will be spread out over a large area.

Also, with control of the skies the US/UK was at liberty to bomb bridges, logisitical targets, and german reinforcements as part of the invasion. They also drop paratroopers to further block German reinforcrements. Given the overwhelming advantage of initivative in such an invasion, and the heavy dominance in air and naval superiority the allies enjoyed, such an invasion would be a realistic possibility even without the eastern front of WWII.

Also, the US would not have to fight all the way from the middle of poland to moscow, then all way back to Berlin like the USSR to win. But Just from Normandy to Hamburg, since Germany was much more willing to surrender and negotiate with the western allies.

There is also the real possibilty the US would still have invented the atomic bomb in 1945 and forced a german surrender then.


"I have different information from a book called "The Russian Century" by Brian Moynahan. It states that Russians killed 7 times as many Germans as the Allies, another fact saying that 10 times more Germans surrendered to Allies as Russia."

Perhaps, I don't know how that book counts different categories. I used figures from wikipedia that come from the German HighCommands WWII sources for German soldiers KIA. Figures show 8 million Germans did surrender to the US alone.

Overall the US captured far more Germans than it killed in all theatres it fought, including N. Africa.

Utimately, the US also killed more Germans than Germans killed americans. The same is not true for Germans vs Ussr.


if 45% of Germany's losses were inflicted by non-Russian forces, then that can also be accounted for the difference in amount of German machinery operating on the Western vs. Eastern front. German tanks, artillery and Luftwaffe played an enormous role in their success"


True, but then why don't we need to account for all the German tanks, artillery, and planes that were NEVER built because the UK and US bombed the factories that built them? Or bombed resources or railways necessary in their production? US and UK navy also denied Gemrany resources from places like Norway and N. Africa over water.

The US would try and defeat the luftwaffe far before it engaged in a full land war, and the US probably could have certainly done this since it produced many many more planes than the Germans. German units on the western fronts would often only move at night because western allied air superiroty was so strong and such a threat. US aircraft production was so much higher than Germany's, and got good ratios, that it was destined to win the air war eventually.

German blitzkrieg with tanks relied on massed and concertated assaults with said tanks. These large grouping of tanks would have been very vulnerable to allied air power. German blitzkrieg tactics wtihout air superiorty would have been much less effective against the US than against Russia. And without stukas for support would not have been as effective on the ground.

Also, the western front terrain was not as favorable to blitzkrieg tactics as the flat open steppes of Russia.


Luftwaffe was defeated mostly by non-soviets

This point means alone the USSR would have faced a much stronger German airforce and suffered from stronger German air superiority and bombing, and that even without the USSR the allies would likely have been able to defeat Germany in the air.

German air losses before the invasion of Russia are regularly predicted to be around or over 5,000 aricraft. (3,300 in the battle of france in britain, others in norway, balkans, and poland) http://en.wikipedia.org...(1939–1945)

From June-Decemeber 1941, German lost a little over 2,000 aricraft compared to 21,000 Soviet. Such high soviet losses make allied mateiral support even more important for replacements. (same source)

In 1943, 60% of German airforce was located in the west. This % would rise towards the end of 43 and be higher in 44, and then in 45. (same source)

The German airforce receieved its catastrophic defeats in 44,45 against the west, because they could chase german planes into the heart of German from the UK. (once the P-51 arrived)


"Japan"

The US and UK agreed to a 'Germany First' strategy anyway. The reason they did so is because they did not really see Japan as such a threat. Germany would be defeated first according to US/UK strategy. http://en.wikipedia.org...

There are two reasons why Japan was never a serious threat to the US.

1: Even without the USSR, most of the Japanese land army was in China busy fighitng the Chinese nationalists. The Japanese army had inferior tactics and only obselete light tanks. Realistically, it could not even threaten the US with a land war due to these facts and distance.

2: In june 1942 the Jap navy was crippled in the battle of Midway that had nothing to do with the USSR. Early on, Japan lost the potential to be offensive against the US and could only defend what it had gained up until then.

Again, Allied supplies are very important here for Russia though. The US/UK also provided support to the chinese nationalist in terms of war material, tanks, and planes. Without which the Japanese could have finished subduing the Chinese who had lost 2 capitals to the Chinese already, and were forced to move to a third. The chinese communists were still a relatively minor force at this point too.

Meaning, without US aid and supplies the USSR wold have most of the Japanese land army based on its Eastern border with a much weaker, or even collapsed China. It is possible Japan would have invaded, as it did in 1904 during the Russo-Jap war.

The USSR could possibly face Germany, Italy, and Japan, being surrounded, and having lost its industrial heartland and several million soldiers to Germany in the very first months. WIthout allied Aid and contributions, it becomes very hard to see how the USSR might have won.
Debate Round No. 3
TheRussian

Pro

"They would also wage a very intensive and destrucive bombing campaign to cripple german Industry, and wipe out the German airforce."
Although I agree that Ally air-force was simply bigger in numbers and, arguably, more efficient, the Germans had advanced anti-air and flak guns. A lot of these guns could also be used against tanks and could easily out-range the Ally tanks.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.militaryfactory.com...
As a result of this technology, Allies would suffer heavy losses in air-raids on Germany.

"While the amphibious invasion can concentrate its forces and fire power, the defenders will be spread out over a large area."
Yet the Allies still lost significantly more men than the Germans.

"If Germany defended france too much, the allies can take advantage by attacking a different place like Italy or the Balkans."
Italy was also an ally of Germany, meaning there would be resistance if Italy were to be attacked (along with reinforcements from Romania). If the Allies were to break through that resistance, that would give the Nazis enough time to bring their own reinforcements to the region.

"since Germany was much more willing to surrender and negotiate with the western allies."
That is because they were pressured from the East by the USSR and would much rather be captured by Allies than Russians because of the way they would be treated. If the USSR would have not been pressuring them, the Germans would have no reason to negotiate or surrender.

"Utimately, the US also killed more Germans than Germans killed americans. The same is not true for Germans vs Ussr."
Don't forget that the US heavily outnumbered the Germans on the Western front, giving them a serious advantage.

I would also like to point out that the topic of debate is: "The Soviet Union played the MOST decisive role in the defeat of Nazi Germany in WW2".

most
m!3;st
determiner & pronoun
1.
superlative of many, much.
2.
greatest in amount or degree.
"they've had the most success"

The USSR had the greatest impact on the war. If any one of the other Allies was "absent", the remaining would not suffer such losses in comparison to if the USSR was absent.
LaughingRiddle

Con


"Although I agree that Ally air-force was simply bigger in numbers and, arguably, more efficient, the Germans had advanced anti-air flak guns. A lot of these guns could also be used against tanks and could easily out-range the Ally tanks."

Anti-air guns were used by tanks against all sides in certain situations. It was not that common though and was often out of desperation. Anti-air vs tanks does not seem to be a major topic. (athough without US air power, Germany could have build more tanks or anti tank guns instead of flaks)


"As a result of this technology(anti-air), Allies would suffer heavy losses in air-raids on Germany."

Flak gun fire was not very accurate and relied on mass fire to often hit targets by luck.

The allied startegic bomber campagin started in earnest in 1943. High Bomber losses in 1943 were high not from flak fire, but from German fighters. These raids still produced signifcant damage to the Germany. In 1943 no allied fighters had the combat range to escort bombers all the way into the heart of Germany.

However, these high losses would only last a year, with the introduction of the P-51 in Feb of 1944 the losses dropped and the allies gained strong air superiorty over Europe and Germany.(in addition to range the P-51 was also a superior fighter to German BF109s and Fw190s) The German luftwaffe would be hunted to extinction by the the long range P-51 that would not allow the luftwaffe to regroup or hide. The allies could still hope to achieve air superirorty over Germany without Russia by 1945.


http://en.wikipedia.org...

"Yet the Allies still lost significantly more men than the Germans."

The allies suffered losses of about 4:3 or 2:1 (allied;german) losses on D-day, as you said 12,000 allied and 6.000-9000 Germans.

But the soviets suffered much higher loss ratios and in larger battles, suchs as:

The Battle of Kiev (1941), 700,000 Soviet casualties to around 100,000 Germans, Ratio:7:1
Battle of Smolensk(1941) 300,000 captured, 100,000 dead soviets, mostly German tank losses(200 tanks)

Battle of Moscow (1941),"Therefore, total casualties between 30 September 1941, and 7 January 1942 (for Battle of moscow), are estimated to be between 174,000 and 248,000 for the Wehrmacht(Wehrmacht reports / Moscow estimate) and between 650,000 and 1,280,000 for the Red Army (Erickson / Moscow encyclopedia estimate).", quote from http://en.wikipedia.org...


The soviets also typially suffered higher casualties than the germans throughout 1942 and 1943.

"Italy" and other Axis Allies

Italian forces were losing against only the UK in N. Africa in 1940. Italy was a poorly trained, poorly equipped, poor morale army.

By 1943 the US had invaded italy and knocked it out of the war. Italy would then be in civil war. Germany did deploy units both to N. Afrika (famous Afrika Korps) and to Italy.

Extra German reinforcements probably could not save N. Africa, sicily, and S. Italy that were all indefensible due to Allied naval superiority. Italy would likely be knocked out by the loss of so much italian territory even if Germany could send more help than it did.

http://en.wikipedia.org...


Overall, this means the US was responsible for neutralizing Italy, and helping keep Japan off the USSRs back, each accomplished in 1943 and 1942 and would have probably been done even without the USSR. Without the US the USSR would (or could) have faced Germany, Italy, Japan, and all the minor Axis allies like Finland, Bulgaria, Romanica, and Hungary ALONE without the US. (since UK war effort was also critically dependent on American aid)

Most minor Axis allies would probably not have helped Germany against the US. Finland and Romania helped Germany largely because the Soviets took their territory in 1940. (winter war in finland, soviet annexation of Bessarabia from the Romanians)

Hungary supplied no troops to the Axis in the west in 1940, and there is no strong evidence they would have. The USSR would still exist even if it wasn't in the war and would be their dominant concern.

Spain conributed troops against the USSR, but not the US.

Thus the US could hope to isolate Germany.

"If the USSR would have not been pressuring them, the Germans would have no reason to negotiate or surrender."

That is partly true, but it doesnot change important facts and the bearing of those facts on the war.

First, the fact is Germans had a very different view and atitude towards the UK, and somewhat the US compared to the Soviets. The Germans respected both countries, and even wanted to be allies with them. In Mein Kampf Hitler says the UK and US are in fact Germany's natural allies. In addtion, after the fall of France Hitler offered the UK peace, which they rejected. The soviets were not only considered racially inferior, but were considered ideologically evil. This is part of why the war on the Eastern Front was so brutal.

This is important. It means that had the US not been at war, those 8 million germans that surrendered would probably have been much more likely to have fought the soviets to the death, making soviet victory more difficult and less likely.

Germany will also be at 100% industrial capcity because of no allied bombing, while the Russian industry will mostly be captured and lost. (and no allied supplies, planes, and tanks to help without US constirbutions)

While if the US and UK fight the war, once it starts defeating Germany Germans would be more likely to surrender, and Germany itself to negotiate a surrender. (especially with the Soviets they hate so much on their eastern border even if they weren't at war, Germans and Hitler considered the USSR the real enemy, mostly)

The difference is not that Germans would not surrender, they still would once they started losing, and even when not losing would be less likely to fight to the death. (there is also a lot of history of compassion between the German and allied armies in WWI, like the christmas day miracle)

Don't forget that the US heavily outnumbered the Germans on the Western front, giving them a serious advantage.

The Russians outnumbered the germans the entire war and suffered much worse losses. So numbers are no guarantee of succesful battles, or if they are to a limited degree. The US and Uk combined had much more manpower than Germany also, they could hope to win a war of attrition.

I would also like to point out that the topic of debate is: "The Soviet Union played the MOST decisive role in the defeat of Nazi Germany in WW2".

Most decisive is somewhat redundent, as the defintion of decisive already means, 'deciding or settling the issue,' which already implies it is more important than other factors, or in this case countries. Saying the USSR played 'the decisive role in defeating Germany' really has the same meaning and implications of saying 'the USSR played the most decisive role.'

The USSR had the greatest impact on the war. If any one of the other Allies was "absent", the remaining would not suffer such losses in comparison to if the USSR was absent.

Due to all the arguments I've listed, it becomes very hard, if not impossible, to see how the USSR might have won alone. The USSR would fight very alone against Germany and all its allies, surrounded, losing its industrial heartland, without considerable allied aid to make up for it, against a more focused gemmany, Germans coming to the very gates of moscow, and the German industry at maximum power.

The USSR without the US would have to overcome all these disadvantages. The USSR came very close to defeat as it was, had the Germans held stalingrad the outcome of the war could have changed completely. (germans would get oil, and cut the USSR in half)

THe US on the otherhand was impossible to 'defeat' for Germany and Japan because they could not defeat the US navy. Thus the US could not be defeated, but could possibly defeat Germany, and had the resources and strategy to do so.




Debate Round No. 4
TheRussian

Pro

"Anti-air vs tanks does not seem to be a major topic."
I agree, the Germans would not need to use flak guns against tanks because the Germans had many tanks of their own. The most produced and widely used tank by Western Allies was the M4 Sherman. Although it could handle earlier versions of the German machines, it was outmatched by the Panther, much more the Tiger.

"Flak gun fire was not very accurate and relied on mass fire to often hit targets by luck."
I agree, but the Germans definitely had enough guns to mass their fire, especially over large and important cities.
In fact, the Germans had over 15, 000 88mm flak guns. Without the USSR as a threat, all of THESE guns (along with many guns of other calibers) would be amassed on the Western front.
http://histclo.com...

"However, these high losses would only last a year, with the introduction of the P-51 in Feb of 1944 the losses dropped and the allies gained strong air superiorty over Europe and Germany.(in addition to range the P-51 was also a superior fighter to German BF109s and Fw190s)"
The P-51 was effectively countered by the German Me-262. The Me-262 was faster and better armed. Because the war ended in 1945, Germany did not have enough time to get the production of the Me-262 into full swing, but as you said earlier, without Russia, the war would be raging longer, giving Germans time to produce more of these incredible machines.

"The allies could still hope to achieve air superirorty over Germany without Russia by 1945."
Yes, they could hope, but don't forget that by 1945 the war would be going on for several years and significant damage would be done to Ally air forces, and of course the production of the Me-262 and its relatives would be increased.

"The soviets also typially suffered higher casualties than the germans throughout 1942 and 1943."
I agree, but if the USSR did not suffer these casualties, then another Ally would have to take this damage (atleast a significant portion of it). Not every country would be able to take this damage and walk away victorious.

"Overall, this means the US was responsible for neutralizing Italy, and helping keep Japan off the USSRs back"
Although the Allies would defeat Germany's smaller allies, it would nevertheless be resistance and a nuisance, costing the Allies people, armor and most importantly, time. Time that Germany would very effectively use. The US did help keep Japan off the USSR's back, but the opposite can be said as well. The USSR liberated Japan-occupied Manchuria which cost Japan troops and resources that could be used to battle the US.

"(there is also a lot of history of compassion between the German and allied armies in WWI, like the christmas day miracle)"
The Germans weren't as against the Russians as the Russians were against the Germans. Germany not only broke a peace treaty, but simply threatened "the Motherland" and the survival of the Russian race. The amount of hatred towards the Germans simply would not allow Soviet troops do something like the Christmas day miracle. The general mindset of a Russian soldier towards the Germans was: This person is on my land, killing my friends, bombing my family and home, starving my people and must be destroyed. Although the view of an average US soldier was probably not this extreme, I doubt the pride and anger of the US soldiers would let them show mercy. This, of course, I cannot predict, but that is my theory. That even if the Germans would be willing to go for a compromise, the Allies might want to just destroy Germany. At the same time, the attitude of people towards their opponent changes completely when that opponent encroaches on their land. When the Russians were getting close to Berlin and when the battle already got to Berlin, even regular civilians were armed with Panzerfausts and sent to do as much damage as possible. This is a desperate act, but it shows that once the opponent gets on your land, there is no compromise, you just want him destroyed. Therefore, it is possible that after all, if the Germans would be getting near defeat, that they would not compromise (esp. with a leader like Hitler) but instead would do all to give the enemy a very, very hard time.

"The Russians outnumbered the germans the entire war and suffered much worse losses"
I agree, but a lot of times, it so happened that because the Russian forces were spread thin, the Russians could not muster enough troops at a time. So in comparison, it's like if there are 50 German soldiers and a total of 100 Russian soldiers, but the Russian soldiers are spread thin which meant that the 50 German soldiers would only be facing 10 Russian soldiers at a time. This happened not always, but very often.

"Due to all the arguments I've listed, it becomes very hard, if not impossible, to see how the USSR might have won alone."
I think you have misunderstood me. What I am arguing , is that, for example, if the UK did not participate in the war, the rest of the Allies would have a harder time, yes, but not as hard of a time as if the USSR was not participating. If any Ally was absent, the rest of the Allies would not have as much trouble as if the USSR was absent.

I must admit, that your catch with my error in word choice was perfect. Thank you for the great debate, I appreciate debating with someone who definitely knows what they're talking about.
LaughingRiddle

Con

"M4 Sherman; it was outmatched by the Panther"

The M4 Sherman had thinner armor. It was, however, a very mobile and mechanically reliable tank.

The 75mm gun it was originally fitted with was a poor tank vs tank gun, however the British would begin mounting a much better 17 pounder gun, the 'firefly' varient in 1944, that could penerate German tank armor well.

Most importantly, close to 45,000 Shermans would be produced during WWII compared to only 6,000 Panthers.

While the shermans 1v1 were not as effective as the panther, their numbers gave them the ability to charge and overwhelm the enemy. Their only real weakness was armor.
http://en.wikipedia.org...


"Much more the Tiger."

Only 1,369 tigers and 492 Tiger IIs were produced. The Tiger was a heavy tank and outclassed the sherman considerdably in both gun and armor. Although 1,500 of the new Tiger IIs were ordered, wikipedia explicity states allied bombing severely disurpted production:

"1,500 Tiger IIs were ordered, but production was severely disrupted by Allied bombing.[23] Among others, five raids between 22 September and 7 October 1944 destroyed 95 percent of the floor area of the Henschel plant."

From:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

So the soviets would have to face many more German tanks without the US, both because more would be produced without allied bombing and none would have to be sent to N. Africa, Italy, and the western front.

Allied Counter to the Tigers:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The M26 pershing was the allied heavy tank and superior to the Tigers in most ways. It would reach front front lines late in the war, however since D-day would be delayed and the war would be longer it would be able to play a much bigger part. If D-day was delayed one year the M26 would be there for it.

Again, with allied air superiroirty Germany would have a much harder time using their tanks effecitvely against the allies than against the USSR.


"the Germans had over 15, 000 88mm flak guns."

It remains that bomber losses dropped considerably after 1943 once fighter cover had the range to support them. I've read books that state bomber losses dropped 75% with the introduction of the P-51. This suggests it was not flaks that were responsible for inflicting the majority of bomber losses.


Those 88 mms were probably more effecitve as artillery, anti tank guns, and tank guns.

"The P-51 was effectively countered by the German Me-262."

Me 262 was not so much a counter to the P-51, but to allied bombers. The Me 262's 20 mms were best against slow armored targets like bomers.

The Me 262 couldn't 'dog fight' P-51s either. While it was about 100 mph faster, it was far less manueverable and P-51s could escape it easily by turning if they saw it(it was loud, so they usually did). The Me 262s would typically use hit and run tactics against bombers avoiding the fighters.

Me 262 also suffered from slow acceleration, and could be vulenrable if it lost its speed. Allied fighters could aslo match the Me 262s speed close enough to shoot them down if they dived from above, giving them a speed boost.


"by 1945 the war would be going on for several years and significant damage would be done to Ally air forces, and of course the production of the Me-262 would be increased."

The most effective startegy used by the allies against the Me 262 and Luftwaffe was the 'rat catcher' strategy. It was because of this that ultimately defeat was inveitable for Germany against the US regardless of the Me-262.

Long range allied planes would fly over German airfields and shoot down aircraft as they were landing or taking off. Sometimes P-51s would shoot down several Me-262s as they landed or took off.

This is why the P-51 meant the death of the Luftwaffe, they could not hide or regroup and the allies could target them with a focused campaign when they were at their most vulnernable. In the meantime the bombings keep falling. Me 262 could go out to intercept, but everytime it did it ran the risk of being caught in in a vulnerable postion and shot down. 100s of Me-262s were shot down in this way.

http://www.ww2f.com...

"Although the Allies would defeat Germany's smaller allies, costing the Allies people, armor and most importantly, time. Time that Germany would very effectively use."

Time is on the side of the allies, paticularly the US. Every month that passes means the disparity betweens the # of weapons the US has compared to Germans grows in the US's favor. The US has resources and means to build much more, Germany not nearly so much.

German attempts to help their allies woud drain them of their much fewer resouces, deny them their allied support, and allow the US to threaten Germany itself from the south(Italy). Every extra front the US opens is fewer soldiers in France for an eventual D-day and liberation of France. (then free-french units added to the allies)

"The US did help keep Japan off the USSR's back, but the opposite can be said as well."

Not really, that happend so late in the war that it did not really affect any american efforts, and the pacific war was determined mostly by naval results.


"The Germans weren't as against the Russians as the Russians were against the Germans."

Arguably they were. Many Germans, espcially most in the army, were infleunced by Nazi ideology to see the Russians as sub-human, and under the control of an evil Jewish-bolshsevik conspiracy. The Nazis considered the USSR the ultimate evil.

"Allies might want to just destroy Germany."

Then that would leave a power vaccum for the USSR, which the allies did not want to see gain power.

Conclusion:

My arguement has sought to make it appear likely that the USSR would face defeat without other allies, paticularly the US, on which many allies depended on for aid. By doing so I hope to justifably take the postion that the USSR was not the 'decisive; settling the issue or deciding factor', country to the outcome of WWII. As the decisive country would imply it is the one whose particpation decides the outocme of the war over any other.

To summarize the problems confronting the USSR without the US:

-Lack of allies, without US aid UK and Chinese nationalist war efforts could crumble(freeing Japans armies), Italy would not be knocked out, USSR could possibly fight alone against a long list of Axis countries that surround it.

-No USSR aid from US, without american aid USSR logistics would be reduced to horse drawn transport instead of modern motorized trucks(400,000 studebakers), the importance of this is massive as it allowed sustained large scale operations(like those that let them win at Stalingrad). Aid also included millions of tons of food that would prevent starving, clothes, and 1000s of tanks and warplanes and materials critical to the Soviet war effort.

-Germany would not be strategically bombed, industrial output would be significantly higher and more German tanks, airplanes, guns for their war against the USSR.

-Stronger German airforce as its majority is not being defeated in the west. Stronger air support for the Werhamct. Higher Soviet air
losses.

-Soviets would still have to fight to the gates of Moscow, lose over 4 million military casualties from Jun-Dec 1941 (barbarossa), and would lose most of the Soviet industiral areas.

-Germany will fight to the death even more bitterly than it did. (no 8 million surrendering to the US for example)

US had the follow advantages over Germany;

-Naval superiority

-Eventual air superiority, able to drop millions of bombs on Germany, blunt use of german armor and deny air support & recon.

-Industry is 1,000s of miles away and out of reach of Axis.

-Much higher manpower and #1 world indsutrial output (that was shared with china, Ussr, UK, France & other allies)

-Atomic Bomb

-Allies (UK, Chinese, most of S. America joins WWII alongside the US)

-Less Enemies than USSR (no spain, finland etc), able to neutralize Italy(1944)

-Germans will fight a less desperate war, more likely to surrender than vs USSR.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by TheRussian 3 years ago
TheRussian
Indeed it has been fun!
Posted by TheRussian 3 years ago
TheRussian
The German Me-262 was jet as well.
Posted by LaughingRiddle 3 years ago
LaughingRiddle
Oh, something I forget, but wouldn't have fit anyway.

The Allies also had jet technology they could have used against Germany by the end of 1945.

The british in particular had built the Gloster Meteor in 1943, and introduced to the war in 1944. They would built over 3,600, twice as many as German Me-262s. In fact, the meteor entered production before the Me-262.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Later in 1945 the US introduced the P-80 shooting star, the first US jet in service.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by LaughingRiddle 3 years ago
LaughingRiddle
I only had 1 Character left when I posted round 5 O.o

Thank you to my opponent for a great debate. This is only done on the basis of the technicality of the wording and the opportunity to talk hypotheticals has been fun.
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