I take issue with Gregory Clark’s blanket statement in his Aug. 22 article, “How WWII could have ended,” that “anyone who believes the Western powers did much to bring about that defeat [of Nazi Germany] has been watching too many Normandy documentaries and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ films.”
As much of Clark’s article consists of various imagined scenarios, I have one for him. Imagine that Britain had either been defeated and occupied, or had come to terms with Hitler in 1940. Germany would have controlled the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, all of the North African littoral, the Middle East and all its oil. Spain, Turkey and Iran would have fallen into the German camp, and there would have been an unmauled German air force and an extra million troops at Hitler’s disposal for the invasion of the Soviet Union.
Two of the three routes into Russia for lend-lease materials — the first from Britain and the second through Iran — would have been cut off. With the Soviet Union an easy target, it is highly likely the Japanese would have invaded in the east, and Stalin would have been unable to transfer 250,000 crack Siberian troops to the Moscow front as he did in December 1941. The United States would not have been able to leave the Atlantic campaign largely to the British and Canadian navies.
Most of the lend-lease materials were from the U.S., including raw materials, trucks, field telephone cables, boots and billions of cans of Spam. How could all of that, which made a great difference in Russia’s war effort, have been delivered?
It is absolutely true that the war for the Germans was largely the war in the east. The war could not have been won without the massive Russian effort. But it certainly could not have been won without Britain and the U.S. either.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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