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World War II: Germany vs Britain (minus USA)

This is a discussion on World War II: Germany vs Britain (minus USA) within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Often watching those History and Discovery channel programs about German Military's victories over other European powers makes me wonder if ...


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Old October 15th, 2006   #1
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Arrow World War II: Germany vs Britain (minus USA)

Often watching those History and Discovery channel programs about German Military's victories over other European powers makes me wonder if Germany would have defeated Britain had US not intervened? German scientists came up with some amazing new inventions such as the Jet engine and the V2 which, although the Germans could not utilise properly, would have given them huge advantage over Britain if the war had gone on a little longer.

So whats ur opinion?


Any stats on the British and Gemrna Military from World War II would be interesting. I googled but didnt find anything.
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Old October 15th, 2006   #2
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Often watching those History and Discovery channel programs about German Military's victories over other European powers makes me wonder if Germany would have defeated Britain had US not intervened? German scientists came up with some amazing new inventions such as the Jet engine and the V2 which, although the Germans could not utilise properly, would have given them huge advantage over Britain if the war had gone on a little longer.

So whats ur opinion?


Any stats on the British and Gemrna Military from World War II would be interesting. I googled but didnt find anything.
Germany couldn't have defeated Britain, but Britain couldn't have defeated Germany either. Britain won the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the Atlantic, at the critical phase both without much American support. They also won the North Africa campaign before American support became much of an issue.

But there is no way Britain could have conducted a cross-channel invasion on the scale of Overlord alone.

But another thing you have to remember is that Russia was the single biggest absorber of German forces by a long way. The level of force the Germans deployed in the West would have just been whatever was required to counter British forces. If the British applied more pressure, the Germans would pull a few more divisions from the East and transfer to the West. So you probably will still have ended up with the East and West Allies arriving in Germany together, because Germany would adjust its troop levels to bolster whichever side was being more heavily pressed. As the Russians closed on Berlin, eventually German troop levels in France would have fallen to a level where the British could invade.

I'm deliberately avoiding the whole "Russia would have collapsed without the US" argument.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #3
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Britian Vs Germany

By the end of 1942 British industrial output was greater than Germany in regards to the production of armaments. In the English Channel alone the UK had 30 plus destroyers to Germany’s nine. Our strategic bomber forces were also increasing exponentially crewed by Commonwealth man-power, which eventually would have led to the deployment of an atomic weapon (technology transfer form the US).

Incidentally Britain invented the jet engine (Sir Frank Whittle), Germany managed to get a copy of the plans from the UK patent office prior to the outbreak of hostilities.

Russia destroyed 3/4's of all German Army Divisions committed during WWII
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Old October 16th, 2006   #4
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Germany couldn't have defeated Britain, but Britain couldn't have defeated Germany either. Britain won the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the Atlantic, at the critical phase both without much American support. They also won the North Africa campaign before American support became much of an issue.

But there is no way Britain could have conducted a cross-channel invasion on the scale of Overlord alone.

But another thing you have to remember is that Russia was the single biggest absorber of German forces by a long way. The level of force the Germans deployed in the West would have just been whatever was required to counter British forces. If the British applied more pressure, the Germans would pull a few more divisions from the East and transfer to the West. So you probably will still have ended up with the East and West Allies arriving in Germany together, because Germany would adjust its troop levels to bolster whichever side was being more heavily pressed. As the Russians closed on Berlin, eventually German troop levels in France would have fallen to a level where the British could invade.

I'm deliberately avoiding the whole "Russia would have collapsed without the US" argument.
Agreed. the only way Germany could have defeated the UK is if the russian question was resolved, diplomatically or militarily. Germany could only defeat brittan through a sucsessfull commerce campaign. To achieve this the major part of German industrial output and R&D had to be focused on strangling the sea lanes. This they could not do with a two million man red army on their doorstep. And lets face it a german invasion of brittan was never going to happen, battle of brittan or not. The royal navy had a 8 to 1 advantage in capital ships, even more in cruisers, destroyers and pt boats. Even with air superiority, the luftwaffe hadn't done too well at sinking shipping of Dunquerke. As long as the russians were undefeated, brittan would stand.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #5
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By the end of 1942 British industrial output was greater than Germany in regards to the production of armaments.
That's because Germany didn't start to set itself on a war economy footing until Speer mobilised it starting in 1943. German war production peaked in mid-1944 IIRC, even in spite of the British and American bombing campaign.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #6
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That's because Germany didn't start to set itself on a war economy footing until Speer mobilised it starting in 1943. German war production peaked in mid-1944 IIRC, even in spite of the British and American bombing campaign.
Yes, and it was then much higher than British production. We couldn't have maintained our peak production level (which was in 1943) much longer. We were living off credit, having exhausted our foreign reserves. We allowed production to tail off because we couldn't afford to maintain it, and to release more manpower for the armed forces. We were able to do that because we could get US weapons on favourable terms. The USSR also benefited from the supply of materials from us (mostly our older kit, & only possible because we had US supplies) & the USA.

If the USA had remained neutral (really neutral, not supplying the UK & USSR with gifts & on favourable credit terms), both the British & Soviet forces would have been weaker, & the Germans would have been stronger. The outcome of the war would not have been a foregone conclusion.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #7
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The biggest part of WW2 outcome was that things didn't work for the Germans favour, since their leader was stupid in tactics.(thats a fair assesment)
The German U boats were instrumental in strangling Britain, we can say without cracking the Enigma code, they might have done even more damage to Supply. The U boats controlled the Atlantic more then the British Navy ever could, as it could not match it.
Could Britain have surrendered if no supplies had gotten through, Churchill would most definately have told them to get stuffed, but others may have gone against him if it meant the survival of britain.
Speer made the war last an extra 2 years, and if he had more supplies, he might of made it last another 5 more, just no man power to use it
The US "aid" was a major saviour and if as swerve said, the USA had of remaind Swiss on the subject, the brits would have been weaker. But no matter what, with Churchill running the show, there would never have been the very notion of surrender, to the end may have been the fate of England.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #8
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The biggest part of WW2 outcome was that things didn't work for the Germans favour, since their leader was stupid in tactics.(thats a fair assesment)
The German U boats were instrumental in strangling Britain, we can say without cracking the Enigma code, they might have done even more damage to Supply.
But the USA had nothing to do with the cracking of Enigma (don't believe Hollywood), so that wouldn't have been affected by the USA being neutral.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #9
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If the US had not gotten involved Britain would have fallen after a stiff resistance. It is simply a matter of attrition. UK did not have enough material and manpower to withstand the whole resources of Fortress Europe.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #10
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Oh common there aint any two ways about it.Had US not intervened Britain would have been beaten by the Germans all hands down.Infact WW-II left Britain in such a bad shape their win was more like one of those consolation prizes.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #11
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If Hitler had been smart enough to keep the USSR out of the war he probably would have won.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #12
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In this question there are many different scenarios you must take into account.

1. Would the U.S. remain neutral, and what kind of neutrality would this be. The likelihood of the U.S. not supplying goods in unlikely since the U.S. by then was a close friend of the U.K. Don't forget Winston Churchill was good friends of Roosevelt, and he was also an American citizen with his mother being from the U.S. So the political situation was vastly different from the World War I.

2. Would Germany invade the Soviet Union? Hitler's stupid idea really saved Britain at the cost of millions of Soviets lives. Barbarossa caused a vast an important shift of materials to another part of Europe. The invasion effectively damaged the ability of Western Europe Luftwaffe units to attack and protect their other assets in Europe.

3. Would have Hitler taken the advice to produce only U-boats instead of a surface fleet. Many Admirals in the Nazi navy wanted as many U-boats to built as possible, but Hitler still wanted a large surface fleet which shifted away from production of the much deadlier U-boat.

4. What if the Luftwaffe had actually produced a good and effective heavy bomber? Many in the Luftwaffe believed in only the effectiveness of medium bombers in combat. This assumption was proven wrong during the Battle of Britain. Had Germany put more an effort in developing a better long range bomber then their horrible Grief, they could have struck at the heart of British industrial production.

5. What if Hitler had made Jet technology a priority? If Hitler had made this the largest priority for the Luftwaffe, when Germany attempted to invade the U.K. they would probably have air superoity in the bag, plus bombers that could outrun a Spitfire.


What would the be the conclusion of this event.

1. Great Britain would fall because of the destruction of its industrial base not only from submarine warfare, but a more effective Luftwaffee with jet aircraft and long range bombers.

2. Great Britain would be invaded, but losses by Germany would be so high they would withdrawal from the island. In many ways if Germany had actually tried to invade the U.K., they would have face a similar situation if the U.S. had tried to invade Japan. I would think Britain would fight to last to throw fascists from their homeland. In this process the U.K. losses would be so high it would effectively take them out of the war, and Britain would go the peace table wanting some kind of peace and willing to agree to Germany's terms.

3. Great Britain, would repel the initial invasion and Germany would probably try to form some type of peace treaty on British terms to end hostilities on the western front.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #13
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And don't forget that the Battle of Britain was a very close thing. If the Germany wouldn't have stopped to attack the airfields and concentrated on attacking the London and other cities than the RAF would have collapsed. It operated near total collaps till the Germans changed their strategy.

But I really think the key is the Sovjet Union. If Hitler had not attacked them (Many scientists don't think that the SU would have attacked Germany otherwise) Germany would have been able to concentrate most of its ressources and troops in the west, especially enforcing the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain and the troops supporting Italy in Africa.
I am sure that without any support from the US, a lost Battle of Britain which left a shattered RAF, no chance of invading the channel coast, more German troops facing them in Africa and a real bad air threat for their land based industry and RN the UK would have agreed to a peace treaty which was the goal of Hitler.

I am glad that this is just hypotetical.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #14
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Agree with most of what was said.
Interesting is the point that Germany achieved many of its early war goals, without going to full war production. That says something about their material and training, as well as tactics.
What would happen if Hitler delayed the beginning of WWII by 2 or 3 years, say in 1942, with the Jets and other weapons entering service, despite errors with strategy, and the US factor, perhaps he would achieve his aim, total European domination, without a long war and campaigns to eventually undermine Germany army and industry.
As for Russia, if he had finished first the western front, taking out UK, even with invasion with great losses, in 2-3 years, he could then take on USSR, and probably win. War on 2 or 3 fronts is what did them.
An if not for the Japanese perhaps US entry in the war could have been avoided, or at least delayed.
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Old October 16th, 2006   #15
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If the US had not gotten involved Britain would have fallen after a stiff resistance. It is simply a matter of attrition. UK did not have enough material and manpower to withstand the whole resources of Fortress Europe.
You've already partly answered this.

Firstly, the UK never faced Fortress Europe alone. There were also India (which could have contributed more, if the British governments attitude had been different), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, several West Indian territories, much of Africa . . . plus countries which weren't colonies or dominions but tied in by British economic interests. The contribution of that lot was immense, both in manpower & materials.

Secondly, the USSR.

.pt, you forget that there were a number of different armament cycles. The UK & France were more heavily armed & spending more than Germany until 1933, then Germany increased military spending & production very rapidly, then France & the UK started building up. In 1939, Germany produced slightly more aircraft than the UK, much less than the UK & France. In 1940, the UK alone produced 50% more than Germany. France alone produced more tanks in the first 6 months of 1940 than Germany & its occupied territories (e.g. Czechoslovakia), & was increasing production faster.

Last edited by swerve; October 16th, 2006 at 04:03 PM.
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