War IIif the United States had entered early into World War II: What if theUnited States had entered early into World War II? If they had joined forceswith Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany would any of the tragic events that occurredduring those years still be written in history? From Pearl Harbor andconcentration camps to communism and the Cold Warits feasible to believe thatsome, if not all, of these bumps in the road could have been anticipatedand prevented? -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Category:HistoryPaper Title:if the United States had entered early into World War IIText:What if the United States had entered early into World War II? If they hadjoined forces with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany would any of the tragic eventsthat occurred during those years still be written in history? From Pearl Harborand concentration camps to communism and the Cold Warits feasible to believethat some, if not all, of these bumps in the road could have beenanticipated and prevented? If only President Roosevelt had been more partial toHitler than to leaders of the USSR, France, and Britain, maybe history would bewritten differently. If Roosevelt had joined forces with Hitler, the UnitedStates could have prevented Hitler from attacking the USSR, and possibly avoidedthe attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
This could have led to less worldcommunism and possibly eliminated chances of a Cold War between the States andthe USSR for the forty years after World War II.Look back to the date of the war’s most massive encounter. It began on themorning of June 22, 1941, when slightly more than 3 million German troopsinvaded the USSR. Although German preparations had been visible for months andhad been talked about openly among the diplomats in Moscow, the Soviet forceswere taken by surprise. Stalin, his confidence in the country’s militarycapability shaken by the Finnish war, had refused to allow any counteractivityfor fear of provoking the Germans. Moreover, the Soviet military leadership hadconcluded that blitzkrieg, as it had been practiced in Poland and France, wouldnot be possible on the scale of a Soviet-German war; both sides wouldconsequently confine themselves for the first several weeks at least to sparringalong the frontier. The Soviet army had 2.
9 million troops on the western borderand outnumbered the Germans two to one in tanks and two or three to one inaircraft. Many of its tanks and aircraft were older types, but some of the tankswere far better to any the Germans had. Large numbers of the aircraft weredestroyed on the ground in the first day, however, and their tanks, like thoseof the French, were scattered among the infantry, where they could not beeffective against the German panzer groups. The infantry was first ordered tocounterattack, which was impossible, and then forbidden to retreat, whichensured their wholesale destruction or capture.For the invasion, the Germans had set up three army groups, designated asNorth, Center, and South, and aimed toward Leningrad, Moscow, and Kyiv. Hitlerand his generals had agreed that their main strategic problem was to lock theSoviet army in battle and defeat it before it could escape into the depths ofthe country.
They disagreed on how that could best be accomplished. Most of thegenerals believed that the Soviet regime would sacrifice everything to defendMoscow, the capital, the hub of the road and railroad networks, and thecountry’s main industrial center. To Hitler, the land and resources of theUkraine and the oil of the Caucasus were more important, and he wanted to seizeLeningrad as well. The result had been a compromisethe three thrusts, withthe one by Army Group Center toward Moscow the strongestthat temporarilysatisfied Hitler as well as the generals. War games had indicated a victory inabout ten weeks, which was significant because the Russian summer, the idealtime for fighting in the USSR, was short, and the Balkans operations had causeda three-week delay at the outset.The Russians were doing exactly what the German generals had wanted,sacrificing enormous numbers of troops and weapons to defend Moscow. Hitler,however, was not satisfied, and over the generals’ protests, he ordered ArmyGroup Center to divert the bulk of its armor to the north and south to help theother two-army groups, then stopping the advance toward Moscow. On September 8,Army Group North cut Leningrad’s land connections and, together with the Finnisharmy on the north, brought the city under siege.
On September 16, Army GroupSouth closed a gigantic encirclement east of Kyiv that brought in 665,000prisoners. Hitler then decided to resume the advance toward Moscow and orderedthe armor be returned to Army Group Center.(Carley 111)Meanwhile, a drastic undertaking was being launched. The Reich Security MainOfficean agency of the police and the Nazi Party guard, known as the SSdispatched3,000 men in special units to newly occupied Soviet territories to kill all Jewson the spot.
These mobile detachments, known as Einsatzgruppen, or actionsquads, were soon engaged in incessant shootings. The massacres usually tookplace in ditches or ravines near cities and towns. Occasionally, soldiers orlocal residents witnessed them. Before long, rumors of the killings were heardin several capitals of the world.This could be compared to the other killings of Jews in concentration campsthroughout Europe.
If FDR had been allied with Hitler, maybe he could haveinfluenced him to ignore the senseless killing of these innocent Jewish people.After a standstill of six weeks, Army Group Center resumed action on October2. Within two weeks, it completed three large encirclements and took 663,000prisoners. Then the fall rains set in, turning the unpaved Russian roads to mudand stopping the advance for the better part of a month.
In mid-November, the weather turned cold and the ground froze. Hitler facedthe choice of having the armies dig in where they were or sending them ahead,possibly to be overtaken by the winter. Wanting to finish the 1941 campaign withsome sort of a victory at Moscow, they chose to move ahead.(Carley 127)In the second half of November, Bock aimed two armored spearheads at Moscow.Just after the turn of the month, one of those was less than twenty miles away.The other, coming from the south, had about forty miles still to go. The panzerdivisions had often covered such distances in less than a day, but thetemperature was falling, snow was drifting on the roads, and neither the men northe machines were outfitted for extreme cold. On December 5 the generalscommanding the spearhead armies reported that they were stopped: The tanks andtrucks were freezing up, and the troops were losing their will to fight.
(Gerdes416)Stalin, who had stayed in Moscow, and his commander at the front, GeneralGeorgy Zhukov, had held back their reserves. Many of them were recent recruits,but some were hardened veterans from Siberia. All were dressed for winter. OnDecember 6 they counterattacked, and within a few days, the German spearheadswere rolling back and abandoning large numbers of vehicles and weapons, rendereduseless by the cold.On Stalin’s orders, the Moscow counterattack was quickly converted into acounteroffensive on the entire front. The Germans had not built any defenselines to the rear and could not dig in because the ground was frozen hard asconcrete. Some of the generals recommended retreating to Poland, but on December18 Hitler ordered the troops to stand fast wherever they were. Thereafter, theRussians chopped great chunks out of the German front, but enough of it survivedthe winter to maintain the siege of Leningrad, continue the threat to Moscow,and keep the western Ukraine in German hands.
(Keegan 208)The seeming imminence of a Soviet defeat in the summer and fall of 1941 hadcreated dilemmas for Japan and the U.S. The Japanese thought they then had thebest opportunity to seize the petroleum and other resources of Southeast Asiaand the adjacent islands; on the other hand, they knew they could not win thewar with the U.S. that would probably follow.
The U.S. government wanted to stopJapanese expansion but doubted whether the American people would be willing togo to war to do so. Moreover, the U.S. did not want to get mixed up in a warwith Japan while it faced the ghastly possibility of being alone in the worldwith Germany on top.
In the most immediately critical area of the war, the USSR, the initiativehad passed to the Germans again by summer 1942. The Soviet successes in thewinter had been followed by disasters in the spring. Setbacks south ofLeningrad, near Kharkiv, and in Crimea had cost well more than a half-millionmen in prisoners alone. The Germans had not sustained such massive losses, butthe fighting had been expensive for them too, especially since the Soviets hadthree times the human resources at their disposal. Moreover, Hitler’soverconfidence had led him into a colossal error. He had been so sure of victoryin 1941 that he had stopped most kinds of weapons and ammunition production forthe army and shifted the industries to work for the air force and navy, withwhich he proposed to finish off the British. He had resumed production for thearmy in January 1942, but the flow would not reach the front until late summer.
Soviet weapons output, on the other hand, after having dropped low in Novemberand December 1941, had increased steadily since the turn of the year, and theSoviet industrial base also was larger than the German.(Carley 155)Looking ahead to the summer, Hitler knew he could not again mount an all-out,three-pronged offensive. Some of the generals talked about waiting a year untilthe army could be rebuilt, but Hitler was determined to have the victory in1942. He had sufficient troops and weapons to bring the southern flank of theeastern front nearly to full strength, and he believed he could compel theSoviet command to sacrifice its main forces trying to defend the coalmines ofthe Donets Basin and the oil fields of the Caucasus.
The offensive began east of Kharkiv on June 28, and in less than four weeksthe armies had taken the Donets Basin and advanced east to the Don River. Thedistances covered were spectacular, but the numbers of enemy killed or capturedwere relatively small. Stalin and his generals had made the luckiest mistake ofthe war. Believing the Germans were going to aim a second, more powerful, attackon Moscow, they had held their reserves back and allowed the armies in the southto retreat.(Keegan 396)Hitler, emboldened by the ease and speed of the advance, altered his plan inthe last week of July. He had originally proposed to drive due east toStalingrad, seize a firm hold on the Volga River there, and only then send aforce south into the Caucasus. On July 23 he ordered two armies to continue theadvance toward Stalingrad and two to strike south across the lower Don and takethe oil fields at Maikop, Groznyy, and Baku.The Russians appeared to be heading toward disaster, as the German thrustinto the Caucasus covered 185 miles to Maikop by August 9.
Hitler’s strategy,however, presented a problem: Two forces moving away from each other could notbe sustained equally over the badly damaged railroads of the occupied territory.In the second half of August, he diverted more supplies to the attack towardStalingrad, and the march into the Caucasus slowed. Nevertheless, success seemedto be in sight when the Sixth Army and Fourth Panzer Army closed near theStalingrad suburbs on September 3.
(Gerdes 254)The USSR reached its low point in the war at the end of July 1942. Theretreat was almost out of hand, and the Germans were getting into position tostrike north along the Volga behind Moscow as well as into the Caucasus. On July28 Stalin issued his most famous order of the war, Not a step back! Whilethreatening Draconian punishments for slackers and defeatists, he relegatedcommunism to the background and called on the troops to fight a patrioticwar for Russia. Like Hitler, he had thus far conducted the war as he saw fit.
Inlate August he called on his two best military professionals, Zhukov, who hadorganized the Moscow counteroffensive in December 1941, and the army chief ofthe General Staff, General Aleksandr M. Vasilyevsky, to deal with the situationat Stalingrad. They proposed to wear the enemy down by locking its troops in abloody fight for the city while they assembled the means for acounterattack.(Keegan 312)The Axis was riding a high tide in midsummer 1942. Stalingrad and theCaucasus oil were seemingly within Hitler’s grasp, and Rommel was withinstriking distance of the Suez Canal. The Japanese had occupied Guadalcanal atthe southern end of the Solomons chain and were marching on Port Moresby. Withinthe next six months, however, the Axis had been stopped and turned back in theSoviet Union, North Africa, and the southwest Pacific.U.
S. Marines landed on Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942. Against a smallJapanese garrison, the landing was easy. Afterward nothing was easy. TheJapanese responded swiftly and violently by sea and by air. The outcome hingedon the Japanese navy’s ability to bring in reinforcements, which wassubstantial, and the U.S. Navy’s ability to keep the marines supplied, which wasat times in some doubt.
While the marines battled a determined foe in adebilitating tropical climate, between August 24 and November 30 the navy foughtsix major engagements in the waters surrounding the island. The losses in shipsand aircraft were heavy on both sides, but the Japanese were more seriously hurtbecause they could not afford to accept a war of attrition with the Americans.Their warships did not come out again after the end of November, and theAmericans declared the island secure on February 9, 1943. (Gerdes 230)On the eastern front the Germans’ advances to Stalingrad and into theCaucasus had added about 680 miles to their line. No German troops wereavailable to hold that extra distance, so Hitler had to use troops contributedby his allies.
Consequently, while Sixth and Fourth Panzer armies were tied downat Stalingrad in September and October 1942, they were flanked on the left andright by Romanian armies. An Italian and a Hungarian army were deployed fartherupstream on the Don River. Trial maneuvers had exposed serious weaknesses insome of the Axis’s armies.
On the morning of November 19, in snow and fog, Soviet armored spearheads hitthe Romanians west and south of Stalingrad. Their points met three days later atKalach on the Don River, encircling the Sixth Army, about half of the FourthPanzer Army, and a number of Romanian units. Hitler ordered the Sixth Armycommander, General Friedrich Paulus, to hold the pocket, promised him airsupply, and sent Manstein, by then a field marshal, to organize a relief. Theairlift failed to provide the 300 tons of supplies that Paulus needed each day,and Manstein’s relief operation was halted 34 miles short of the pocket in lateDecember. The Sixth Army was doomed if it did not attempt a breakout, whichHitler refused to permit.(Carley 141)The Russians pushed in on the pocket from three sides in January 1943, andPaulus surrendered on January 31. The battle cost Germany about 200,000 troops.
In the aftermath of Stalingrad, in part owing to the collapse of the Italian andHungarian armies, the Germans were forced to retreat from the Caucasus and backapproximately to the line from which they had started the 1942 summeroffensive.(Keegan 389)If the United States had entered early into World War II and joined forceswith Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, the tragic events that occurred during thoseyears would most likely be changed in history. Pearl Harbor would not haveoccurred because Japan would not have needed to provoke Congress to declare war.Concentration camps and genocide would have most likely been negotiated out ofthe battle plan because the United States would have had power over Hitlersdecisions. Communism in Russia may not have been a problem that lasted until the1980s if the U.S. had convinced Hitler to become an ally because the Russianleaders may have felt differently resulting in the division of the world betweenthe victorious powers of the war. If the United States leaders could haveconvinced Hitler not to attack the USSR, than most likely, the Cold War wouldnot have occurred during the forty years after the war between Russia and theU.
S. The alliance between the leaders of both countries began to dissolve in1944-1945, when the Russian leader Joseph Stalin, seeking Soviet security, usedthe Red Army to control much of Eastern Europe. U.S. President Harry S.
Trumanopposed Stalin’s policy and moved to unite Europe under American leadership.Mistrust grew as both sides broke wartime agreements. These events would nothave taken place if the U.S.
were an ally with Germany because The USSR wouldhave been allied with us as well for saving them from attack.If only President Roosevelt had been more partial to Hitler than to leadersof France and Britain, maybe history would be written differently. If Roosevelthad joined forces with Hitler, the United States could have prevented Hitlerfrom attacking the USSR, and possibly avoided the attack on Pearl Harbor inDecember 1941. This could have led to less world communism and possiblyeliminated chances of a Cold War between the States and the USSR for the fortyyears after World War II. U.S.
leaders during the war should, have taken thephilosophy, Make friends with the enemy, into consideration.works citedCarley, Michael J. The Alliance that never was and the Coming of World WarII. NewYork: Ivan R. Dee, Inc., 1999.Gerdes, Louise. The 1940s.
New York: Greenhaven Press, 2000.Keegan, John. The Second World War. New York: Penguin Books, 1990.-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-