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Old 01-14-2013, 10:48 AM
 
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I think ovcatto has done an excellent job countering the ramblings going on here. It all really boils down to two salient points:

1. FDR recognized that the US and the Soviet Union were the new "powers that be". Churchill and the British were at best a minor contributory power in WW2. That in no way diminishes their bravery and sacrifice, but is just cold, hard fact. Around 15% of the western Allied combat forces were made up of British and Commonwealth troops. On the whole, the US and Soviet Union were far and away the armies waging the war. Churchill was upset at being minimized by FDR in the dealings, but Churchill was looking for an equal seat at the table when he brought the smallest contribution by far. I think this fact is what leads some to twist the situaiton as FDR being pro-communist/Stalin. I don't see that as the case, he was simply managing the situation as it was.

2. This whole idea of keeping the Soviets out of Eastern Europe is ludicrous. By the time the western Allies were finally taking Caen and beginning the Normandy breakout, the Soviets were in Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Prussia. The Soviets were at the gates of Warsaw and the German border was within their sights. There was nothing to "give" them. They had already taken what they wanted and no one was going to change that situation.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Iowa
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Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
2. This whole idea of keeping the Soviets out of Eastern Europe is ludicrous. By the time the western Allies were finally taking Caen and beginning the Normandy breakout, the Soviets were in Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Prussia. The Soviets were at the gates of Warsaw and the German border was within their sights. There was nothing to "give" them. They had already taken what they wanted and no one was going to change that situation.

Well, I'm sure you regret writing "Most historians agree LL affected the Soviet advance on the Eastern Front by no more than 12 to 18 months, and that it was not "decisive" to the outcome of the war" or something to that effect. You are one of the top posters on City Data, having won a prize for most informative poster. That bit of information shoots you turkeys down, ovcatto, markg, Nolefan. Stop trying to cover up or ignore the fact that no LL for Russia means they are several hundred miles behind the position they were in when Patton moved into Germany. FDR had control of LL aid to Russia and could have, and SHOULD HAVE cut that aid off to Russia at the beginning of the war.

I think Tony T is the most credible WW2 poster in this forum on WW2, and made good points in the Yalta thread. Djacques gives good input about Katyn Massacre and other things FDR was covering up, or looking the other way on with Stalin, and Escort Rider tells us why taking Berlin may not have been that difficult, but then gives ovcatta a kiss for his talking points, the faulty ones that completely ignore LL and how much control the president had in shaping the outcome of the war.

I think this review (not from a klan site like snowball's stuff) of "Russia's Life-Saver: Lend-Lease Aid to the U.S.S.R. in World War II" might prove to be a good read.

http://www.historynet.com/russias-li...ook-review.htm


There is plenty of evidence that LL pushed Russia ahead if you read more about LL aid to Russia from various sources. You Ostriches need to quit burying your heads in the sand, all the lib juice might run out and cause you to end up on some dinner table in Eastern Europe.

Last edited by mofford; 01-14-2013 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mofford View Post
Well, I'm sure you regret writing "Most historians agree LL affected the Soviet advance on the Eastern Front by no more than 12 to 18 months,
Simple question, if Roosevelt hadn't pushed for an invasion of northern Europe over every objection that Churchill could muster, what was there to stop Stalin from marching into Paris?
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mofford View Post
Well, I'm sure you regret writing "Most historians agree LL affected the Soviet advance on the Eastern Front by no more than 12 to 18 months, and that it was not "decisive" to the outcome of the war" or something to that effect. You are one of the top posters on City Data, having won a prize for most informative poster. That bit of information shoots you turkeys down, ovcatto, markg, Nolefan. Stop trying to cover up or ignore the fact that no LL for Russia means they are several hundred miles behind the position they were in when Patton moved into Germany. FDR had control of LL aid to Russia and could have, and SHOULD HAVE cut that aid off to Russia at the beginning of the war.
I don't regret saying it at all, it was the truth. The statement is also predicated on the situation in the beginning of 1944 post-Kursk. The main impact of the aid was in the form of mobilization which allowed the Soviets to make the rapid gains they made in 1944. To that end, I suppose you are correct. Had we stopped promised LL Aid to the Soviets, it would have slowed them down, but it would not have made a huge impact on the size of their armies or the territory they would have gained.

Even if we halve Soviet advances in 1944 they would have still been in Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and on the borders of Czechoslovakia, Romania and Hungary. What it would have done is place them outside of striking distance to Berlin in the 1945 timeframe. What I could theorize would happen is that as the US and western Allies roll up Germany and take Berlin, the Soviets end up meeting them at the German-Polish border sometime in 1945. Eastern Europe is still under Soviet domination.

Let's say it's not though. Let's say the US and western Allies meet the Soviets somewhere in Poland around the Molotov-Ribbentropp Line from 1939. What then? This whole line of discussion is still based on some fantasy involving the US going to war over Poland in 1945 and is based on a lot of after-the-fact knowledge and analysis.

Quote:
I think Tony T is the most credible WW2 poster in this forum on WW2, and made good points in the Yalta thread. Djacques gives good input about Katyn Massacre and other things FDR was covering up, or looking the other way on with Stalin, and Escort Rider tells us why taking Berlin may not have been that difficult, but then gives ovcatta a kiss for his talking points, the faulty ones that completely ignore LL and how much control the president had in shaping the outcome of the war.
I agree that TonyT is one of the forums best posters on the topic of WW2, I frequently bow to his knowledge as he has an amazing understanding of the behind-the-scenes decisions. However, not to put words in Tony's mouth, but he talked about what happened historically. He tends to avoid discussing alt-history unless it is about plans and contingencies actually considered at the time. I didn't take anything he said regarding the actual decision making as being an endorsement of your theories.

As for the rest, to what end? Recognition was a facing of reality. The Holodomor is something not fully known to the west at the time beyond there was a famine which was a rather common occurrence. Katyn Forest is now a hot topic about who knew what and when, but there was nothing conclusive known at the time other then a couple of American POW's reported that they believed the Soviets were responsible and the Polish government in exile told Churchill it was the Soviets. Operation Keelhaul was part of a larger swap of prisoners held by both sides.

You are basically putting forward the following notions:

1. The Soviet Union was "more evil" then Nazi Germany and represented the greater threat. With the benefit of hindsight, that could be argued to be the case, but was it the case from 1941-1945? No, it wasn't.

2. FDR was enamored with Stalin and communism so much that he engineered their ability to be so succesful post-war. This is the part of the theory that I question. Did FDR support Stalin and the Soviets in their role as our allies against Nazi Germany, yes. Was that support greater then or beyond that role, no.

My argument with the first notion is that it belies the reality that the US did not have any ability to effectively challenge the Soviets militarily in that time period. This argument has been proven again and again.

My argument with the second notion is that it ignores the reality of the situation. FDR recognized early on that the Soviet Union was going to emerge as a major power from this war and worked to establish good relations with them and often did so at British expense. He further recognized that the US and western Allies were limited in exactly how much they could force Stalin to do. Finally, perhaps, just perhaps, FDR saw the Soviets as being the key to ensuring the Allied victory over Germany and Japan, you know the countries we were actually at war with.

Quote:
I think this review (not from a klan site like snowball's stuff) of "Russia's Life-Saver: Lend-Lease Aid to the U.S.S.R. in World War II" might prove to be a good read.

Russia's Life-Saver: Lend-Lease Aid to the U.S.S.R. in World War II (Book Review)

There is plenty of evidence that LL pushed Russia ahead if you read more about LL aid to Russia from various sources. You Ostriches need to quit burying your heads in the sand, all the lib juice might run out and cause you to end up on some dinner table in Eastern Europe.
There are countless books written on the subject. David Glantz and Martin Van Creveld don't share the same opinion as the author you linked overall. It basically comes down to a matter of semantics between "critical" and "decisive". No one argues that LL Aid was important to the Soviets, primarily food and trucks. What they do argue is whether or not the LL Aid was "decisive" meaning, would the Soviets have lost the war without it. Most come to the conclusion that LL Aid was not "decisive" in determing the outcome of the war on the Eastern Front.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Even if we halve Soviet advances in 1944 they would have still been in Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and on the borders of Czechoslovakia, Romania and Hungary. What it would have done is place them outside of striking distance to Berlin in the 1945 timeframe. What I could theorize would happen is that as the US and western Allies roll up Germany and take Berlin, the Soviets end up meeting them at the German-Polish border sometime in 1945. Eastern Europe is still under Soviet domination.
A couple of things, some of which I have mentioned before.

There were two imperatives for aiding the Soviets during WWII, one was the fear that the Soviets would seek or win a separate peace with Germany (see George Keenan, "Russia and the West Under Lenin and Stalin p.368-369 ) and to bring the Soviets into the war against Japan. Recognizing that, Roosevelt was quite adept at insuring that Stalin didn't do the former while committing to the latter.

I don't think that I need to restate Stalin's mistrust of the west. The fact that the western Allies hadn't established a second front in western Europe only acted to reenforce that mistrust. So in stipulating to Mofford's argument that the U.S. and Roosevelt in particular should have reneged on their lend lease obligations coupled with Churchill's knuckle dragging over the second front, I cannot imagine how the west would have secured Stalin's cooperation on any level after defeating the 6th Army at Stalingrad or in the face of post Kursk advances.

Further, and this is a point which I don't know what I took me so long to advance, if Roosevelt was in anyway complicit in some global plot to ensure Soviet domination of central and eastern Europe, then for god's sake why would he have been as adamant to finally open a second front in north western europe?

Churchill was opposed to the Normandy invasion up to and including the day it took place, despite his public utterances to the contrary. If Churchill had is way, the invasion of northern europe would have gone through northern Italy an area that the allies found far more defensible than anything similar in the west. By the summer of 1944 allied forces were nowhere near breaking out of Northern Italy when forces were withdrawn in support of Operation Overlord. That being the case, a real second front wouldn't have opened in southern europe until the winter of 1945 at the earliest. But then what?

Unlike the plains of France and Belgium the western Allies would have been confronted by the southern Alps from Slovenia to southern France, hardly the terrain of rapid armored warfare. So what is the belief that even with restricted material of the west would the Soviets being doing? Even with a major push out through Northern Italy the Allies would have had to move through a narrow gap along the Austrian Slovenia border in an attempt to reach Hungry or Austria, geographical barriers that the Soviets would not have to contend with.

Anyway you slice it, without Roosevelt's insistance on honoring his pledge to Stalin to open a second front in western Europe, almost the entire continent was open for the Soviet's taking.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:07 PM
 
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Alot of good info and reading here. I will say one thing about the US thinking about the USSR taking eastern Europe. From what I have read the US was not even thinking about tangling with the USSR in Europe as the US limited the size of its armies combat troops as they felt they would need no more then 90 combat divisions. They originally planned for an army of 213 divisions if the USSR had fallen to Germany. But when they did not and they saw the USSR was fighting about 68% of the German army they scaled it way down figuring we did not need more then the 90 divisions. So I dont think at that time they were worring about going up against the USSR. But they did raise alot up non-divisional combat troops that were attached to many divisions which raised the number of combot troops alot. I mean like tank battalions , tank destroyer battalions , artillary units and many others. The total US cobat troops was around 3 million from what I have read but the toal army was 6 million in 1945 with the rest being mostly service troops and overhead.The divisional combat troops was about 1.3 million with the rest of the 3 million being non-divisional units attached to divisions. Many divions were over strenth also. Like some infatry division called for just under 15,000 men but alot were reinforced to about 20,000. I guess we have to rember also the US had to use alot of its manpower to build the largest navy in the world and the worlds largest air force. Again thanks for all the good reading. Ron
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:56 PM
 
13,591 posts, read 17,043,342 times
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Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
A couple of things, some of which I have mentioned before.

There were two imperatives for aiding the Soviets during WWII, one was the fear that the Soviets would seek or win a separate peace with Germany (see George Keenan, "Russia and the West Under Lenin and Stalin p.368-369 ) and to bring the Soviets into the war against Japan. Recognizing that, Roosevelt was quite adept at insuring that Stalin didn't do the former while committing to the latter.

I don't think that I need to restate Stalin's mistrust of the west. The fact that the western Allies hadn't established a second front in western Europe only acted to reenforce that mistrust. So in stipulating to Mofford's argument that the U.S. and Roosevelt in particular should have reneged on their lend lease obligations coupled with Churchill's knuckle dragging over the second front, I cannot imagine how the west would have secured Stalin's cooperation on any level after defeating the 6th Army at Stalingrad or in the face of post Kursk advances.

Further, and this is a point which I don't know what I took me so long to advance, if Roosevelt was in anyway complicit in some global plot to ensure Soviet domination of central and eastern Europe, then for god's sake why would he have been as adamant to finally open a second front in north western europe?

Churchill was opposed to the Normandy invasion up to and including the day it took place, despite his public utterances to the contrary. If Churchill had is way, the invasion of northern europe would have gone through northern Italy an area that the allies found far more defensible than anything similar in the west. By the summer of 1944 allied forces were nowhere near breaking out of Northern Italy when forces were withdrawn in support of Operation Overlord. That being the case, a real second front wouldn't have opened in southern europe until the winter of 1945 at the earliest. But then what?

Unlike the plains of France and Belgium the western Allies would have been confronted by the southern Alps from Slovenia to southern France, hardly the terrain of rapid armored warfare. So what is the belief that even with restricted material of the west would the Soviets being doing? Even with a major push out through Northern Italy the Allies would have had to move through a narrow gap along the Austrian Slovenia border in an attempt to reach Hungry or Austria, geographical barriers that the Soviets would not have to contend with.

Anyway you slice it, without Roosevelt's insistance on honoring his pledge to Stalin to open a second front in western Europe, almost the entire continent was open for the Soviet's taking.
Excellent points as always ovcatto.

...and no mofford, that's not the "regulars" stroking each others egos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 383man View Post
Alot of good info and reading here. I will say one thing about the US thinking about the USSR taking eastern Europe. From what I have read the US was not even thinking about tangling with the USSR in Europe as the US limited the size of its armies combat troops as they felt they would need no more then 90 combat divisions. They originally planned for an army of 213 divisions if the USSR had fallen to Germany. But when they did not and they saw the USSR was fighting about 68% of the German army they scaled it way down figuring we did not need more then the 90 divisions. So I dont think at that time they were worring about going up against the USSR. But they did raise alot up non-divisional combat troops that were attached to many divisions which raised the number of combot troops alot. I mean like tank battalions , tank destroyer battalions , artillary units and many others. The total US cobat troops was around 3 million from what I have read but the toal army was 6 million in 1945 with the rest being mostly service troops and overhead.The divisional combat troops was about 1.3 million with the rest of the 3 million being non-divisional units attached to divisions. Many divions were over strenth also. Like some infatry division called for just under 15,000 men but alot were reinforced to about 20,000. I guess we have to rember also the US had to use alot of its manpower to build the largest navy in the world and the worlds largest air force. Again thanks for all the good reading. Ron
This is an excellent book excerpt on the exact decision making process in changing from the "Plan Victory 1941" estimates of 213 divisions to what became the 90 division army that actually existed...

90-Division Gamble

You are correct that Soviet success played a role in it, in that early estimates were built on an assumed case of the US and Britain fighting Germany alone. However, there are a lot more nuances to it then that. The Army needed to balance needs between agriculture and industry relative to military service. To that end, as a percentage of the population, the US had a lower threshold then most any other nation in terms of mobilization. It had to accomodate the expanding air wings within that limited manpower. Further, the military had always been planning under the assumption of one big concentrated attack, for instance an invasion of France in 1943. The reality was that US units ended up being committed to periphery theaters and incurring large casualties that drained available man power.

Ultimately, the US fielded only around 90 divisions because that is all we could actually field and support while still maintaining the other service branches and the needs of agriculture and industry. The actual revised plan had called for 120-125 divisions, but these additional 30-35 divisions never were able to be formed do to the high casualty rates and need for replacements in 1944-1945.

The article also expands greatly about how the makeup of the army shifted to lighter, less motorized divisions between 1942 and 1943 as a direct result of limited shipping and port capacities. Essentially there were only so many motorized and armored divisions that could be supported and moved and the existing US strength in Europe in 1944 represented the extent of that ability. The US was also extremely limited in how many divisions could be moved into Continental Europe in any given month to expand their forces.

Overall, this excerpt which is posted on the history.army.mil site, so hardly some random utterances, paints a much starker picture of US capabilities then what some seem to believe.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Iowa
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Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Further, and this is a point which I don't know what I took me so long to advance, if Roosevelt was in anyway complicit in some global plot to ensure Soviet domination of central and eastern Europe, then for god's sake why would he have been as adamant to finally open a second front in north western europe?

Churchill was opposed to the Normandy invasion up to and including the day it took place, despite his public utterances to the contrary. If Churchill had is way, the invasion of northern europe would have gone through northern Italy an area that the allies found far more defensible than anything similar in the west. By the summer of 1944 allied forces were nowhere near breaking out of Northern Italy when forces were withdrawn in support of Operation Overlord. That being the case, a real second front wouldn't have opened in southern europe until the winter of 1945 at the earliest. But then what?

Unlike the plains of France and Belgium the western Allies would have been confronted by the southern Alps from Slovenia to southern France, hardly the terrain of rapid armored warfare. So what is the belief that even with restricted material of the west would the Soviets being doing? Even with a major push out through Northern Italy the Allies would have had to move through a narrow gap along the Austrian Slovenia border in an attempt to reach Hungry or Austria, geographical barriers that the Soviets would not have to contend with.

Anyway you slice it, without Roosevelt's insistance on honoring his pledge to Stalin to open a second front in western Europe, almost the entire continent was open for the Soviet's taking.
Stalin was going take all of Europe if we were not there to stop him, yes. But I am going under the presumption that Stalin was going take whatever FDR agreed to LET him take, and that Stalin did not wish to fight the other allies after the war, IF THEY WERE THERE TO OFFER UP RESISTANCE. In 1941, Stalin was not sure he could defeat Nazi Germany so he wanted us to open up a second front in Western Europe to help take the pressure off the Eastern Front. By 1944 I think he secretly wanted for us NOT to open a Western Front, but had to play it like he did. Otherwise it would make the other allies suspicious and more likely to speed up their game and move forward to check his moves, or the possibility we could negotiate with Hitler behind his back and try and change the game that way.

By 1944 Stalin knew he would take Berlin and Eastern Europe before the allies, so Normandy coming as late as it did, was nothing but a annoying realization that he could not take all of Europe. FDR was in Stalin's pocket, but he had to play it like he wasn't, and proceed with the Normandy Invasion. Had FDR played it like he didn't want to do Normandy or a serious land invasion as reccomended by Ike, then everyone would question FDR's action.....or inaction, in that case. At that point, Stalin knew Normandy was just going to make it easier for him to grab Eastern Europe, as it would make the Germans collapse faster on his end too.

You keep going under some assumption that we needed Stalin's cooperation, all we needed to get across to him was that we expected him to return to his perch after the war was over, and that we would be fighting Germany from the west front until they surrendered. Stalin was going to have to keep fighting Nazi Germany with or without our help, we didn't have to give him ANYTHING. In fact, the further into Russia Hiter went, the better it was for us on the Western Front, as Hitler had to put more men and materials in there to sustain that, making the west front easier for us.

Here are those FDR quotes about Stalin I posted in the Yalta Thread, that make me think FDR was blind to Stalin's horrors, and that FDR had a brain full of Communist Jibbery Goo that disabled his ability to protect and defend democracy like a normal president would, against Stalin's desires to spread communism.

In a 1943 statement summarizing his rationale for wartime relations with Stalin, FDR says:

"I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of a man. ... and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace".

Churchill wirtes FDR a letter early in 1945 pleading for a free Poland, FDR replies with this remark about his confidence in Stalin, saying that "Stalin's early priesthood training had entered into his nature of the way in which a Christian gentleman should behave."

Then six weeks before FDR's death, he states to congress about Yalta "I come from the Crimea with a firm belief that we have made a start on the road to a world of peace."

Because FDR was not able to judge Stalin's character for what it was, all of Eastern Europe was given away to him and millions had to suffer for 45 years.


As for your thoughts on Churchill and the Normandy Invasion, I offer this. This clash of two great titans that was going to happen SO CLOSE to his not so powerful home island of England, was not really in his/their best interests. He was looking out for his people, his island, his country. Churchill was smart, he knew if something went wrong with the invasion, that England was too close for comfort. A failure might unleash a tremendous backlash from Hitler, as he concentrated his troops in NW France to perhaps made an invasion of his own on England. This made Churchill **** his pants, so of course he tried to steer FDR away to ANOTHER invasion plan, cowardly as it may sound. But in the end, after he changed his pants, he endorsed the plan.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Default British versus American views of a cross-channel invasion

The way I look at it, the British were correct in opposing a premature cross-channel invasion (say, in 1943) which was favored by the Americans; The British reasoning was that it probably would have failed because Allied strength was not yet adequate for such a task. Therefore, the Allies started by nibbling around the edges in North Africa, which was probably a good thing as it allowed the green American forces their learning curve under conditions where they were not totally overwhelmed.

By the time of the actual Normandy invasion, Allied strength and experience were indeed adequate to the task, as the result proved. By that time, the size of the American commitment vis vis the British one had grown to the point where the Americans could naturally predominate in the decision-making process.

On a related point, and this may be semantic quibbling, I have long objected to the terminology of calling the landings in France a "second front". Since there was an active front in Italy, wouldn't it be more accurate to call Normandy the third front? It seems to me the traditional terminology denigrates the efforts and suffering of fairly large British and American forces in Italy which were engaged in difficult and bitter fighting and which tied down substantial numbers of German troops.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Then perhaps you would like to support your argument?

At the end of 1945 the Soviets had a force of 34,401,807 men (and women) at arms with more than 5 years of combat experience defeating, at the time the greatest military force every assembled. While on the other h and the U.S. Army in toto was a mear 8,300,000 the Soviet Union was the largest nation ever conceived two and a half times the size of the U.S, some 22,402,200 square kilometers. The Navy would have been totally useless, the logistics an utter nightmare. A formidable air force and vastly superior armor. And that doesn't even begin to deal with the fact that Stalin didn't have to deal with public opinion.

So, please. Make your case.
Uh; if my history is right, take Moscow and Russia goes down. The US had the A bomb; a few of those on the Russian cities, they'd give up.
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