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Old 02-05-2008, 01:14 AM
 
Location: CA
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I am wondering, what does everyone think would have happened had the U.S., in response to being attacked at Pearl Harbor, had gone to war with Japan exclusively?
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:12 AM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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The United States did in fact declare war only on Imperial Japan the day after the Pearl Harbor attack. However, Nazi Germany and Italy in turn declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941. Them having done that pretty much ruled out the prospect of a Japan/U.S. only war.

Truth is, on both sides of the Atlantic, it was believed that war between Nazi Germany and the United States was inevitable. The U.S. was actively involved in supplying/shipping much needed war materials to Britain and to some extent the Soviet Union by the time of Pearl Harbor. With ever increasing U-boat activity in the Atlantic, there was a very high likelihood that some incident between U.S. naval forces and a U-boat would trigger a war. However, President Roosevelt did not have enough public support at the time to pursue war with Germany, so until something did happen, he could do nothing more then wait.

Hitler believed that he would eventually have to deal with the United States militarily, but not until after he controlled Europe. He thought that he would best accomplish this with a defeat of the Soviet Union. And he was of the mind that he could still do this by no later then 1942. So the longer the U.S. stayed out, the better potentially it was for Germany.

The Tripartite Pact entered into by Germany, Italy, and Japan in 1940 was a military alliance/mutual assistance agreement, that only required the countries to come to each others defense in case they were attacked. Since Japan did the attacking, there was no requirement for Germany or Italy to do anything. So then why the war declaration by Germany and Italy against the U.S. in response to Pearl Harbor?

The best answer would probably be that Hitler believed that all of the United States resources and military assets would be focused in the Pacific, thus leaving him free to continue his European campaign without significant interference, so it was as good as time as any to now go to war against America. As no one really believed that the U.S. would recover and bring it's full military might to bear as quickly as it did, this was a fairly safe bet at the time. Secondly, Hitler may have hoped, or believed, that by going to war in support of Japan, the Japanese in turn would assist him by opening up a war front against the Soviets somewhere in the east.

Unfortunately for Hitler, this never came to pass. With the Japanese forces primarily focused on grabbing territory in the Pacific, this freed up large amounts of Soviet troops in Siberia and the Far East that had been stationed there to forestall a Japanese invasion. And these troops figured significantly in turning the tide against and eventually ensuring the defeat of Germany.

The bottomline is that the United States still would have fought against Germany. Pearl Harbor simply made it happen a bit faster then it might have otherwise.
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:41 AM
 
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Depends on if Lend Lease had remained intact or not. If so, England would have hung on by its fingernails, while Germany and the USSR would have ground each other to powder.

The United States, without having to worry about fighting in Europe, would have swept across the Pacific six months faster. At the same time, we probably would have invaded Japan with conventional forces, thereby leading to far higher casualties.

However, without American forces in Western Europe to hasten the Axis demise, it's most likely that German would have developed nuclear weapons, followed quickly by the British. Of course, given Hitler's highly centralized control of the Wehrmacht, I cannot imagine the German command structure surviving if a nuclear weapon were dropped on Berlin.
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:52 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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TonyT has it EXACTLY right.

It may surprise folks that Roosevelt did NOT declare war on Germany in his famous "Day of Imfamy" speech - only on Japan. We only declared war on Germany after Hitler declared war on the US.

Ken
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HypnoToad View Post
I am wondering, what does everyone think would have happened had the U.S., in response to being attacked at Pearl Harbor, had gone to war with Japan exclusively?
If Germany had not declared war on us, we could have concentrated solely on Japan. There was no other compelling reason to go to war with Germany. Europe has nothing that America "needs".
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:51 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKramar View Post
If Germany had not declared war on us, we could have concentrated solely on Japan. There was no other compelling reason to go to war with Germany. Europe has nothing that America "needs".
Uh... neither did Japan.

Ken
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:53 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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PS - In truth I think we would have gotten involved in Europe eventually anyway. War is messy and once it's starts rolling it tends to take on a life of it's own. Still, who knows for sure what would have happened. Certainly Hitler made a HUGE mistake declaring war on the US.

Ken
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordBalfor View Post
Uh... neither did Japan.

Ken
Still doesn't...however, Japan did attack U.S. interests. They used a MILITARY attack with the full support of that military's government.

That was the only compelling reason to go to war with Japan--they did attack our territory--if not one of our states.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:47 PM
 
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A couple of things in regards to various responses on this thread,US was actively involved in combat operations against Germany in the Atlantic since spring 1941,Destroyer Rueben James was lost to a U Boat on Haloween 1941 and Destroyer Kearney was torpedoed previously and only saved by incredible Damage Control (DC) efforts,secondly,those who do not understand the Allies and Japan were fighting an economic war to the death in SE Asia for the previous twenty years and that by our embargo of oil and scrap metal to Japan several months before Pearl Harbor we pretty much put the sons of Nippon on a path of submission to western demands (evacuate China) or war,the loss of "face" the former would incur made the latter inevitable
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
President Roosevelt did not have enough public support at the time to pursue war with Germany, so until something did happen, he could do nothing more then wait.
A little known fact is that many in the U.S didn't want to war Germany and we really shouldn't of. There was no conceivable reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
Hitler believed that he would eventually have to deal with the United States militarily, but not until after he controlled Europe.
Germany wanted to dominate Central Europe but I doubt Europe in general.

In fact, Germany went out of their way to try to garner peace with Britain, which Churchill continued to refuse. Germany didn't want to invade Western Europe but Britain and France declared war.

The invasions of Belgium were to by-pass France's defense and the invasion of Netherlands, Denmark and Norway were to pre-emp the British from blockading Swedish Iron ore which they had done in the First World War.

Britain & France still had massive colonies the world over, their behavior in the 2nd World War is a bit suspicious and hypocritical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
The best answer would probably be that Hitler believed that all of the United States resources and military assets would be focused in the Pacific, thus leaving him free to continue his European campaign without significant interference, so it was as good as time as any to now go to war against America.
Well, Hitler didn't want war with America, he believed that by declaring war Japan would invade the Soviet Union from the East thus causing the Soviets to shift resources to the East.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
And these troops figured significantly in turning the tide against and eventually ensuring the defeat of Germany.
Correct. The Soviets overwhelming destroyed the vast majority of the German military machine.

The war might have gone to a stalemate but Germany was forced to devote resources to the West because of the U.S invasion of France.

War between Russia and Germany was inevitable. Germany probably would of won if it wasn't for having to deal with Britain and France's hypocritical declarations of war. The Soviets had the population but Germany had far superior technology (the best in the world) and their soldiers would amongst the best educated and trained in the world. Furthermore, they were more ideologically connected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
The bottomline is that the United States still would have fought against Germany. Pearl Harbor simply made it happen a bit faster then it might have otherwise.
Maybe. But I doubt either country wanted war each other (Germany and the U.S), circumstances simply caused it to happen.

What was the slogan during the 1940s? Something about American's going to fight the "Jewish war"?
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