The Instigator
UnitedRussia
Pro (for)
The Contender
Whistle
Con (against)

The USSR contributed more to the defeat of Germany and its European Allies than the Western Allies.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 12/19/2017 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 376 times Debate No: 105951
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

UnitedRussia

Pro

Structure:

Round 1 - Acceptance.
Round 2 - Opening arguments. List the reasons you are correct.
Round 3 - Responding arguments.
Round 4 - Responding arguments.

Definitions to know before accepting:

USSR - Union of Soviet Socialist Republic. Today, it consists of 15 countries.

Germany and its European Allies - Countries that include Germany, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Finland, Vichy France, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovakia and other minor nations or axis puppets.

Western Allies - These countries include the British Commonwealth, France, the United States, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Denmark, Norway, the free forces of Poland and other nations fighting alongside the Western Allies during WWII.

*Note: Do not accept this debate if you are not prepared to respect the definitions listed above.
Whistle

Con

I want to begin by acknowledging the sacrifice and hardship of the people of the Soviet Union. The number of Soviet loses are estimated around 20 million, more than 13,000 a day. The number of divisions and resources devoted to the eastern front are unquestionably higher than in the west. The territory lost and regained in the conflict also highlights the challenge and achievement of the Red Army.

The numbers are impressive. Stalin is often quoted as stating that quantity has its own quality. It is a statement that carries some truth. Yet I will argue that the sheer quantity is not the only factor in the defeat of Nazi forces, nor is it the most important.

The contributions of the allied forces to the destruction of Nazi Europe equal or exceed those of the Soviet Union. I await my opponent"s main argument, especially how contributions are measured and defined. There are additional factors to consider as well. Beyond direct combat and conquest with Nazi forces I will be looking at countries that supplied resources to various parties, countries whose inactions facilitated various sides, and events that distracted one side or the other.
Debate Round No. 1
UnitedRussia

Pro

As my opponent stated, the USSR suffered far greater losses than the west. However 20 million is not really the number you are looking for when describing them. Many modern historians agree that the USSR suffered 27 million military and civilian deaths if one was to include the deaths from war related famine. This does not include the tens of millions injured or left homeless by every town or city between Moscow and Poland being left in ruins by the war.

However this is irrelevant in such a debate. These are my arguments to support the resolution.

Location of Axis Soldiers Throughout WWII

In June, 1941 at the start of Operation Barbarossa there were approximately 4 million axis soldiers including 80% of the German Army. In 1942, 80% of German forces were still in the east. During 1943-45 this number dropped to approximately 60%. In addition, hundreds of thousands of soldiers from Romania, Hungary, Finland and Italy fought on the Eastern Front. As the war shifted in favor of the allies and Britain and America began to make progress in Africa and Europe more and more Germans were redeployed to face them. However the majority were still located in the east facing the Red Army. [1]


Casualties on the Eastern Front


Between September 1, 1939 and May, 1944, the German Wehrmacht suffered an estimated 80%of its deaths fighting the Soviet Union. Minor Axis nations such as Romania and Hungary suffered all of their losses on the Eastern Front while the Italians lost 150,000 men including dead, injured or captured soldiers.Almost half of all deaths during WWII occurred on the Eastern Front. [2]


Armored Losses on the Eastern Front


During WWII, Germany lost an estimated 33,000 tanks, assault guns and other armored vehicles on the Eastern Front which accounted for nearly 2/3 of total armored losses during the war. Tanks are expensive in terms of resource and production cost. Furthermore, Blitzkrieg was impossible without them. [3]

How the Soviets Contributed to the Success of the Western Allies


After the success of German operations throughout Europe, Britain was in a weak position. In 1942, Britain was forced to withdraw to El Alamein, where it successfully defeated Erwin Rommel. Often, people today do not realize that at the time a far greater threat loomed in the north. Germany was pushing for the oil fields of the Caucuses. Had Hitlersiezedthis area, he could then threaten British controlled oil in Iran, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle-East. The fall of these oil fields would put a major strain on the British economy and industry, forcing Britain to rely almost entirely on overseas shipments of oil, mainly from the United States. The loss of these oil fields and factories in the region would have greatly lowered Britain's industrial output including their ability to field tanks, planes and other motorized and mechanized vehicles since oil was required for these vehicles to run. Furthermore, Germany would have been able to dramatically reduce their own oil shortages, something they suffered greatly from later on in the war. British manpower would have to be redeployed to cover the new front. This however would almost certainly have failed to halt the Wehrmacht advance in time and the Germans may well have been able to push further and link up with Rommel in Egypt and perhaps even Japan in India.Howevera decisive Soviet victory at Stalingrad saved the day and this grave threat was never realized. [4]

The Normandy Landings were a huge success in 1944. The second front tied down an ever increasing number of German divisions and aircraft. But why were there so few German divisions in France at the time? How did the allies smash Fortress Europe with relatively few casualties? One may only find the answers to these questions on the other side of Europe. In 1944, "the Wehrmacht had 58 divisions in the west, of which only 11 were deployed against the D-Day landings. At the same time, however, the Germans deployed 228 divisions in the east. Thus, the Germans had almost four times as many troops facing the Soviets. And they had less than one-20th of that number in Normandy." Shortly after the beginning of Operation Overlord, the Red Army launched Operation Bagration, an offensive that completely shattered German Army Group Center and forced the Germans to redeploy 46 division to the eastern front, including some from France. [5]

Conclusion


These are the facts supporting the case for the USSR playing the decisive role in the defeat of Germany and its European Allies. While the USSR, without a doubt, fought off the bulk of the axis war machine, a lack of help from other nations may well have resulted in a Soviet defeat. Nevertheless, although aid from the Western Allies was significant, it was still relatively minor in comparison with the colossal events unfolding on the Soviet-German front throughout WWII.




Sources:

[1] David Glantz, When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler
[2] http://www.nytimes.com...
[3] Paul Winter, Defeating Hitler: Whitehall's Secret Report on Why Hitler Lost the War
[4] http://users.humboldt.edu...
[5] http://www.timescolonist.com...
Whistle

Con

I apologize for the delayed response. Lots of things going on for Christmas and Festivus. I will be brief in stating some arguments that I haven't had a chance to articulate more fully. My opponent can develop arguments against these points and I will post a more thorough argument in the third round.

Whether the Soviet Union suffered 15, 20, 25 or 30 million dead is not relevant to the defeat of the Nazi regime. The Soviet people certainly suffered far more than any other country. Suffering doesn't in and of itself bring victory. European Jews suffered more than any other group, but other than the Warsaw Ghetto uprising they did little to bring about the demise of Hitler.

Hitler lost because he was fighting a two front war. Had England sued for peace in 1940 or 1941, Hitler would have only had to wage a one front war when he attacked the Soviet Union. This is not insignificant, at the time the United Kingdom was defying Nazism, communist Stalin was still in a no-aggression pact and shipping trainloads of raw materials for the German war machine. Stalin essentially helped Hitler set the fire the burnt down the house of Europe, the change of heart was only due to being betrayed.

When the Wehrmacht was rolling across Soviet territory in the fall of 41, the destruction of the Red Army seemed certain. The Allies provided materials to aid the resistance.

In November of 1941 Stalin learned that the Japanese were to attack the Allies the Pacific and not the Soviet Far-east. This allowed Red Army reserves to be pulled from Siberia and sent to stop the Germans at the gates of Moscow, on Dec 6 1941. The subsequent counter Attack pushed the Germans back some.

Around this time, the Finns, who'd lost territory to Russia during the Winter War, stop advancing after they'd recovered the lost territory outside of Leningrad. Why? Probably because Churchill had threatened to treat them as an enemy if they over ran Leningrad or cut off supplies coming in through the port of Murmansk. Had the USSR never attacked them they probably wouldn't have aprticpated in operation Barbarossa, had the Allies not had the standing to get them to stop it is likely that Leningrad would have fallen along with the ports of Murmansk and Archangel. Lose those and the Soviets would have lost the war.

The following summer saw major battles to the south, Stalingrad and North Africa. Stalingrad is seen as the turning point in the war, while North Africa is portrayed as a distraction, yet they both consume limited materials and men. Had the Allies not been fighting, or had they lost, the campaign for the Caucausus would have been substantially different.

The ongoing bombing campaigns in the sky, the resistance in Yugoslavia, France, Greece and Norway tied down German troops and stressed supply lines. The invasions of Vichy France, Italy, and Normandy likewise were crucial. I should point out that the Allies took very concrete steps to prevent the Germans from developing an atomic bomb.

An atom bomb or two in the German hands would have brought all sides to the bargaining table.
Debate Round No. 2
UnitedRussia

Pro

Thank you Con for your response. We agree losses do not determine who contributed more. My statement at the beginning of round 2 was simply a response to your statement at the beginning of round 1. Now, let us get to the point.

While reading my opponents arguments, I noticed one very clear way in which his arguments and mine differed. Con lacks numbers and specific details. For example, pointing out that the west waged an extensive bombing campaign over Germany does not say much. Likewise, I don't believe that pointing out Germany was fighting a two front war is a very strong argument when you take into consideration that one front was where the overwhelming majority of German forces were located. Its like if two people vacuum a house and one person vacuums a single bedroom while the other vacuums the rest of the rooms. Obviously the job was not done by two people but it would not be an appropriate argument if the person doing one room claimed to have done as much as the other person.

An argument saying that the Soviet Union aided Germany with resources is also rather weak, considering it was Britain and France who arranged for Germany, Poland and Hungary to split Czechoslovakia between themselves. Czechoslovakia was a Soviet ally with many factories that were put to good use by the Nazis. Furthermore, was it not Vichy France that contributed a large number of troops and ships to the Fascist cause? In short, both sides were guilty of extensive collaboration with the Germans.

Con says this: "while North Africa is portrayed as a distraction, yet they both consume limited materials and men." He admits to North Africa being of limited importance and from what I understand, is basically saying that the "limited" amount of men Germany was forced to keep in Africa may have allowed the Germans to win on the Eastern Front had those troops been redeployed there. However this is not a good argument because as I pointed out in the previous round, when the war in Africa was happening, 80% of the German army was fighting the Soviets. Imagine if this 80% had been redeployed elsewhere. So at least four times as many Germans were fighting the Red Army and Con argues that it was Africa that may have saved Russia. This does not make much sense to me and I wish for my opponent to elaborate here.

Information on how close the Germans came to atomic bomb varies, as is the effectiveness of them during this time. Late in the war Germany lacked air supremacy throughout Europe and this is a must if you are about to drop an atomic bomb on a city. In short, Con only said: "I should point out that the Allies took very concrete steps to prevent the Germans from developing an atomic bomb. An atom bomb or two in the German hands would have brought all sides to the bargaining table." If you an air force lacks air supremacy then it cannot drop a nuclear bomb on a city. Anyway, according to research I'v done, it is unclear how close Germany came to a bomb. [1]

Conclusion: Con says Britain put political pressure on Finland, took unknown steps to prevent Germany from having a chance at developing an atomic bomb and held down a small number of German troops in Africa and Italy and a larger number in France, though by 1944 it was clear Germany's defeat was inevitable. He further states that an unknown number of Soviet troops were redeployed to Europe because the USSR did not have to fight a two front war.

In comparison, my strongest argument has been that some 80% of German deaths between 1939 and 1944 occurred fighting the Soviet Union. Personally, I feel this fact alone wins me the debate when stacked up against the information my opponent has provided so far. I made many other points concerning German tank losses and casualties suffered by Romania, Hungary and Italy on the Eastern Front. If this is not enough then the only reason the Invasions of Italy and Normandy were successes was simply because most of Germany's army was not there to stop them from happening.

Sources:

[1] http://www.spiegel.de...
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by UnitedRussia 7 months ago
UnitedRussia
Yeah, funny you say that because it was Britain and France who arranged for Czechoslovakia to be split up by Germany... Before and during the start of the war, the West didn't do much, except give the Germans land, like France, Belgium, Poland, you name it.
Posted by NorCaI 7 months ago
NorCaI
Before and during the start of the war, Russia didn't do much. Instead they gave the Germans land.
Posted by Whistle 7 months ago
Whistle
I wish I could debate this with you. If you look at my record I have began many debates, my opponents stop debating after one or two rounds. Let me know if you revise your requirements.
Posted by UnitedRussia 7 months ago
UnitedRussia
Horse, that's a rather one sided way of viewing it. My opponent can totally make a strong case for his position.
Posted by UnitedRussia 7 months ago
UnitedRussia
Only setting I said was my opponent had to have completed 3 debates.
Posted by Debating_Horse 7 months ago
Debating_Horse
Of course the Soviets took the Nazis down! Why should we believe otherwise?
Posted by Zidane 7 months ago
Zidane
What are your settings?
Posted by Zidane 7 months ago
Zidane
Too bad, seems like I can't accept this debate, it says something about criteria.
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