I recently read the book 1945 by Newt Gingrich and Harry Turtledove, where the premise is that Hitler got injured, and his advisers chose to wait to attack Russia until winning on the western front, meanwhile the US fought and defeated Japan without ever getting involved in the war in Europe (due to various political issues that are mentioned in the book). Because of this, the Nazis won the war, and now control almost all of Europe, excepting Britain. What I'm asking is are there any indicators of what would've happened without US involvement (which was far from guaranteed in the first place)?

What were the actual U.S. contributions to the Allies in World War II, and how did they compare with the hypothesized U.S. contributions in the 1945 book that featured a the Nazis getting a "Cold War" (rather than total domination) against the United States. Note that I'm not asking for speculation, rather for historical facts of any kind that might shed light on the subject.

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    You might find that this gets closed as off topic as it's about alternate history. It seems to me you might get the results you are looking for by looking at/asking about the reasons stated for wanting the US to join; finding out about what was needed might just tell you what might have happened otherwise. – Kobunite Aug 20 '14 at 12:42
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    ...which cannot really be answered except by rank speculation on our users' part. Alternate history questions almost always get closed here. I could see where a question asking about the soundness of particular bits of reasoning in that book might stay open, but even that would probably be a close call. – T.E.D. Aug 20 '14 at 13:42
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    Quoting Newt Gingrich in the context of historical scholarship is like inviting Will Farrell to give a speech at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. – Tyler Durden Aug 20 '14 at 14:04
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    There's something i want to get off my chest: i don't think the invasion of Russia was the determining factor. It still was a very stupid and stubborn decision but i think the Germans could have succeeded in Russia if it weren't for the Italians. Involuntarily, the Italians saved the day, because they were so incompetent in the Balkans and Greece, that they failed to handle their mare nostrum ambitions themselves and Germany had to withdraw a great deal of force from the eastern front to aid its allies. – Matthaeus Aug 20 '14 at 15:32
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is a request for a comparison to a non-historical counterfactual. – Samuel Russell Aug 20 '14 at 23:02

The U.S. contributions to World War II fell under three broad categories:

  1. Lend Lease Aid to key Allies such as Britain, the Soviet Union and China.
  2. Fighting Germany's allies, Japan and Italy
  3. Introduction of U.S. air and ground forces into western Europe.

In the 1945 book, the main U.S. contribution to the war was the defeat of Japan (with China becoming a "third world" power aligned neither with the United States nor Nazi Germany). That was basically a minimum condition for American survival.

The hypothesis from my unpublished World War II book "Axis Overstretch" is that the Axis win if they ever obtain control of 50% or more of the world's industrial capacity. According to Paul Kennedy's "Imperial Overstretch," North and South America had just under 45% of the world's industrial capacity in the 1940s. Add Australia, Japan and the latter's holdings in the ASEAN nations of Southeast Asia, and you get just over 50% for the U.S.-led bloc.

The 1945 book presupposed the failure of American Lend Lease aid and the resulting inability of America to protect Britain and the Soviet Union. In the "real" war, American Lend Lease aid approximated the total Axis output, thereby giving America's allies a meaningful preponderance of material against the Axis, which was enough for them to survive.

The introduction of American military forces in western Europe was the "icing on the cake," that sealed the fate of Nazi Germany. Even without this, the more pressing need was to ensure the survival of Britain and the Soviet Union, and the defeat of Japan. Britain and the Soviet Union had a bare preponderance of strength against Nazi Germany alone (the danger of U.S. non-intervention was that Japan would tip the balance in Germany's favor). Throw in U.S. power and the "bare preponderance" of Allied power in Europe becomes overwhelming.

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  • In the real war, the Soviets also massively outproduced the Axis block on their own, ignoring Lend Lease. – Oldcat Nov 19 '14 at 2:03
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    @Oldcat: The Soviet Union outproduced Germamy 2 to 1 in weaponry with 2/3 the industrial capacity. But one reason was the large amount of Lend Lease RAW materials (aluminum, oil, cotton), rather than weaponry. – Tom Au Nov 19 '14 at 2:38

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