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SwanSong
January 18th, 2010, 06:59 AM
George Patton originally proposed this idea as he imagined that the Soviets would become enemies with the United States soon after the war.

Pros:
The Soviets didn't have a nuclear stockpile until 1950 and didn't have a competitive stockpile until the 1960's. We could have defeated Russia before they obtained nuclear weapons and before revolutionary China would get involved. The Allies could have prevented the entire cold war.

Cons:
The U.S. was in a mountain of debt, an invasion on the USSR would have made repairing Europe less of priority, there were many communist spies in the US, and if the invasion turned out to be a failure, all hope for the world would have been lost.
Either way, it would have been a decision that would completely change history and it is something worth thinking about.

Sigfried
January 18th, 2010, 07:24 AM
Sounds like a bad idea to me. Attacking Russia has always proven to be a bad move in the past. Its too big and too harsh to mount an easy invasion.

The only harm that really came from Russia was the wars in Vietnam and Korea, but in truth they were more emulating Russia than falling under its direct control.

cdubs
January 18th, 2010, 09:52 AM
I agree with the reasoning behind it but I am convinced the attack would have been a failure for these reasons.

They would have had a massive advantage because they were fighting in Russia. Maps were considered top secret in the USSR, so much so that the average Soviet soldier was never taught how to use one, and you would be going into a massive country with only a general idea of what lies ahead.
The difficulty of supplying an army large enough to attack Russia is immense considering the size of the country alone, and then you must take into account the harsh Russian winters and the 2 or 3 month long melting season where Russia's dirt roads become mud and are virtually impassable. The fact that the Russians had also just finished fighting a defensive campaign would also be to their advantage, as they would likely still have fortifications and first hand knowledge of the lay of the land.

Now we come to the armies themselves, where I am not so convinced that the Allies would have had an edge. The Allies relied heavily on massive amounts of close air support and artillery combined with overwhelming numerical superiority to defeat the Germans. The Allies likely would have had air superioity, though not in as dominant a fashion as they did over the Luftwaffe, but they would have been outgunned in terms of artillery by the Red Army, who had more mortars than every other combatant combined in WW2.
In armor, the Soviets would have held a decisive edge. In numbers they would have held a slight edge, but in quality the T-34-85, newly produced IS-2, and SU-152 "animal hunter" would have outgunned the Sherman tank which was the main tank of both the British and Americans.

I don't know if the Soviets would have been able to mount a counterattack and take Western Europe, but I don't think there was any chance an invasion of RUssia would have succeeded.

Squatch347
January 18th, 2010, 01:14 PM
The Red Army was on the verge of collapse at the end of WWII, hyperinflation dramatically over extended supply lines and a lack of general party control made the force barely able to sustain itself. If anyone has ever read "Panzer Battles" Von Mellenthin points out that it was wide spread belief in the German army that they would assist the allies in a drive on the soviets, his last job was planning resupply and movement operations in that effort. I think an allied invasion of Russia is certainly feasible, especially if you restrain it to the Ural mountains and liberation of eastern Europe.

However, in a larger picture sense the utter failure of the Soviet Union is a much better example of why Communism and Socialism are terrible ideas than a preemptive invasion.

Comtesse
January 18th, 2010, 06:38 PM
First, of all, we should ask this question -

Would the people approve? The citizens of the Allies countries were already extremely unpleased with the war. With such a high death toll, would the nation's leaders truly be capable of doing exactly what Hitler did and backstab them? Not only that, but the citizens of the nation would we rioting, protesting that this was insanity. Why would the Allies, who had lost millions, even think about invading Russia? Sure, they might have a chance to win. But at what cost? Another couple million people dead? Millions of more dollars for whatever scare amounts of fuel they had left? Also, unless Patton managed to create another one of his Blitzkriegs, it would be incredibly hard to make full headway into Russia - let alone the action taking a full headway into his supplies.

Furthermore, who would have wanted the world in more disarray? Even the Germans at that point were welcoming surrender.

DevilPup John
January 18th, 2010, 07:26 PM
Russia is a big country, with a lot of people.

While the military was in shambles, history proves that the Russians do not roll over easily. There are a lot of them, and they will band together to fight off a common enemy.

Regardless of the political state, or the lack of a nuclear stock pile, such an attempt would have been a waste of time, money, and more importantly lives. What good would knocking the Russians out do? Expand our debt? Get us involved in a country so filled with turmoil and strife that there was no hope of fixing it.

Beyond that... what nuclear stock pile did we have right after The Second World War? None. Sure, we had the tech, but it takes a good deal of time and money to build these.

Overall: waste of time, money, people, resources etc. It would have ended in a stalemate. How many invasions of Russia have been successful? It is not worth the time. They may have been sloppy, unorganized, and poor, but they were mean as hell, and fought like all hell to push the Germans all the way back. In all honesty, the Russians dealt with a lot more on the Eastern Front then we did on the Western, and we dealt with a lot more on the Eastern than the Western too... ironically. Not worth the time and resources.

Squatch347
January 18th, 2010, 10:40 PM
I disagree, a liberation of Eastern Europe and maybe even parts of Russia would have dramatically curtailed Soviet power and would have provided a fully modern Europe fifty years earlier.

Davidius
January 19th, 2010, 12:04 PM
There seems to be a pretty good case for invading Russia, but I agree with Comtesse's point that the public would broadly be against it.


However, in a larger picture sense the utter failure of the Soviet Union is a much better example of why Communism and Socialism are terrible ideas than a preemptive invasion.

That's true, but if you could prevent the half century of misery, would it not be preferable to invade?

Dr Gonzo
January 19th, 2010, 02:21 PM
If we had bent Japan to surrender before Germany, I think it probably would have happened. A great deal of the Soviet materiel was already in Europe, in close proximity to our armies. We could have fought them in Europe instead of Russia. But, we still had Japan to contend with.

Telex
January 19th, 2010, 02:38 PM
During the Cold War the USA lost about 350,000 casualties of war (from Wikipedia, rough estimates from Vietnam + Korean wars) . Germany lost about 3 million soldiers fighting on the Eastern Front.

It is true that the USSR was weakened, etc etc, but given the disparity I really doubt that the USA would have lost less than 350,000 casualties in an invasion. With that kind of math, it was a good idea not to invade.

(I admit this is an oversimplification.)

Gothik
January 19th, 2010, 10:12 PM
well the correct thing to do would have been to nuke russia into submission the same way they did Japan; problem is, ever since the "people" have had a say in anything; the government isnt allowed to get anything practical done.

in the end there has to be 1 nation in control of the planet. basically play risk with 4 other people and youll see what im talking about.

---------- Post added at 11:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:10 PM ----------


If we had bent Japan to surrender before Germany, I think it probably would have happened. A great deal of the Soviet materiel was already in Europe, in close proximity to our armies. We could have fought them in Europe instead of Russia. But, we still had Japan to contend with.

thats easily the most tactically disastrous idea i've heard in a while.

the enemy of my enemy is my friend....until said friend kills said enemy for me. im referring to americans fighting russians in europe while still having to deal with germans; Japan was and always will be just an island that poses no real threat to anyone. sure many allied soldiers died in the pacific. but the pacific war was also won in under half the time the european war was fought.

SwanSong
January 20th, 2010, 12:29 PM
First, of all, we should ask this question -

Would the people approve? The citizens of the Allies countries were already extremely unpleased with the war. With such a high death toll, would the nation's leaders truly be capable of doing exactly what Hitler did and backstab them?


Popular opinion shouldn't decide policy. Just because people "don't like" war doesn't mean it is not necessary.

Dr Gonzo
January 20th, 2010, 07:11 PM
thats easily the most tactically disastrous idea i've heard in a while.

the enemy of my enemy is my friend....until said friend kills said enemy for me. im referring to americans fighting russians in europe while still having to deal with germans; Japan was and always will be just an island that poses no real threat to anyone. sure many allied soldiers died in the pacific. but the pacific war was also won in under half the time the european war was fought.

Ah, another armchair general. This will be easy.

We were talking about taking on Russia AFTER the Germans... so, we wouldn't have had the Germans to worry about. After Hitler was gone, there was very little resistance among the Wehrmacht; a few SS companies had gone to ground to attempt a guerrilla action, but we stomped them out pretty quickly. There was no German Army to speak of two weeks after Hitler's death.

Japan was a threat to mainland Asia, having conquered Manchuria and some of Mongolia, but by that point in the war they were effectively out-maneuvered and over extended. It only took us half the time to take them out because it took us the first half of the war to get our manufacturing and industrial base turned to the war effort. By the time we started concentrating on the Pacific Theater with any real commitment, the victory in Europe was a foregone conclusion. The entire industrial power of the US had been unleashed.

However, if Japan had unconditionally surrendered before Germany, leaving us with no declared enemies, I don't see it as implausible in the least to think we would have struck at the Russians after German capitulation. If not a full-scale invasion of Mother Russia, at the very least Eastern Europe.

Gothik
January 21st, 2010, 04:36 PM
Ah, another armchair general. This will be easy.

o rly?

*ahem*

you make the mistake of assuming that an enemy who has not yet surrendered is beaten (the germans, ww1??lol??), if japan had indeed surrendered before the germans and the americans had engaged russia on euro soil...well i think its safe to say that little war would have cost both sides nothing but a body count.
Please tell me the point of fighting someone on someone elses ground? if the goal was to take russia, youd want to press them back into their own land quickly and force them to fall back on their age old tactics of burn and run. but having learned from napolean and hitlers mistakes, secured your supply lines while slowing yet steadily moving into their lands (much easier to just nuke them imo)

you mention an invasion of europe without a full scale invasion of russia; that would be awesome if the goal was to take europe i suppose. (im twisting your words on purpose!)

and as for the pacific war, though it really doesnt pertain to this argument; yes we spent half the time preparing and the other half fighting, that doesnt change the fact that the allies slaughtered thousands of japanese soldiers and crushed their military forces in just a few years. pearl harbour being the only time, and as close as the japanese got to american soil.

but back to the issue; a very strained american military was stationed in europe at the end of the war; to ask these men who just fought their way out of the fire that was normandy, into the frying pan of berlin, to even contemplate invading russia, or engaging russia in any would have been pure lunacy.

plus now you have to gain support from countries that have just endured 6 years of hell, to aid you in creating a possible 6 more? cause we all know that no 1 nation can or ever will take russia, i mean....it took an entire world just to stop germany! im sorry but any invasion or confrontation with russia at that point would have been disastrous.

the only tactically sound move would have been to nuke the living crap out of russia till they cried uncle louder than the japs.

and you would do well to offer your "armchair generals" a little bit more respect sir; reading a history textbook doesnt make you sun tzu.

Dr Gonzo
January 21st, 2010, 09:36 PM
o rly?

*ahem*

you make the mistake of assuming that an enemy who has not yet surrendered is beaten (the germans, ww1??lol??),

Uh... what the hell are you talking about? If Japan had surrendered before the Germans, they would have been beaten... And the Germans in WWI? It took them YEARS to reconstitute. They were beaten, for a loooooong time.


if japan had indeed surrendered before the germans and the americans had engaged russia on euro soil...well i think its safe to say that little war would have cost both sides nothing but a body count.

Based on what?



Please tell me the point of fighting someone on someone elses ground?

Because it wasn't Russia! That's the whole point! If the Russian Army (or a great part of it, anyway) was NOT IN RUSSIA, with it's harsh winters, long supply lines, and dug-in defensive nightmare positions for attackers to deal with, then fighting the Russian army somewhere other than Russia makes a ton of sense, doesn't it?


if the goal was to take russia, youd want to press them back into their own land quickly and force them to fall back on their age old tactics of burn and run.

Or beat them in Europe, and march into Russia at your leisure, during the next convenient summer. No burning. No running. Just a stroll (and the occasional peasantry with pitchforks to deal with).


but having learned from napolean and hitlers mistakes, secured your supply lines while slowing yet steadily moving into their lands (much easier to just nuke them imo)

Supply lines... IN THE WINTER. And nukes? A city or two, maybe. If it came to that. But honestly, even if we did "start" a war with Russia at that point, I don't think nukes would have been viable, not after using them on Japan. I think public opinion of the US would have drastically turned against us if we were to use nukes in a "war of aggression" (even if we somehow justified that war to the masses), or even on a second country. Bullies, indeed.


you mention an invasion of europe without a full scale invasion of russia; that would be awesome if the goal was to take europe i suppose. (im twisting your words on purpose!)

All of Europe, NOT united under the USSR. Most of their industrial base, natural resources, and population was and still is largely located in Eastern Europe. It would have marginalized Russia (and the Soviet Union) from the outset. And besides, Moscow is pretty close to Ukraine and Belarus.


and as for the pacific war, though it really doesnt pertain to this argument; yes we spent half the time preparing and the other half fighting, that doesnt change the fact that the allies slaughtered thousands of japanese soldiers and crushed their military forces in just a few years. pearl harbour being the only time, and as close as the japanese got to american soil.

You made the claim that the Japanese weren't really a threat, and attempted to justify that claim by stating that we finished them off so quickly, they must not have been a threat. I simply stated that we didn't pay as much attention to the Pacific in terms of manpower and materiel until late in the war, when our industrial might had already peaked. It's kind of like playing Command and Conquer or Star Craft - if you get your resources and industry up to such a point that the enemy simply cannot compete with what you are sending at them, then you've won... but the build-up takes time. We were fighting Germany long before all of our attentions were turned to the war effort, so naturally it took a bit longer (also considering that Germany had been doing it's own build up long before we even entered the war; we were playing catch up at first).

And you are quite simply wrong about the Japanese never getting closer than Pearl Harbor.

The first block on this Wiki entry covers Japanese attacks on the US and Canada. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attacks_on_North_America_during_World_War_II)

While not totally devastating, the tactics were essentially harassment, designed to distract us from other endeavors. Some succeeded in harming our shipping, while others incited panic on the West Coast.


but back to the issue; a very strained american military was stationed in europe at the end of the war; to ask these men who just fought their way out of the fire that was normandy, into the frying pan of berlin, to even contemplate invading russia, or engaging russia in any would have been pure lunacy.

Quite a few of those men went straight to the Pacific Theater after Germany's surrender. How is this different?


plus now you have to gain support from countries that have just endured 6 years of hell, to aid you in creating a possible 6 more?

Russia was originally on Germany's side, sort of. Would those abused by the Wehrmacht have cared? I don't know; I didn't live in Europe at the time. In fact, I didn't live at all then. But would the US have cared what Europe thought? I don't think we would have. We would have done what we thought we had to do.


cause we all know that no 1 nation can or ever will take russia,

Support?


i mean....it took an entire world just to stop germany!

Except for Italy, Japan, and at first Russia. And the non-involvement from the US for a number of years.


im sorry but any invasion or confrontation with russia at that point would have been disastrous.

Again, we had the numbers and materiel in theater already. I don't see where all this disaster would come from that you speak of. I'm not saying an invasion would have been a good idea, or a moral idea, or the right idea, but I don't think it would have been disastrous, and I do think it would have happened if Japan was already subdued.


the only tactically sound move would have been to nuke the living crap out of russia till they cried uncle louder than the japs.

Wouldn't have to, if you destroyed their army while it was in Europe. Give them the long supply lines and deny them their defensive positions and hostile terrain in their home territory, I don't think it would have come down to nukes.


and you would do well to offer your "armchair generals" a little bit more respect sir; reading a history textbook doesnt make you sun tzu.

First of all, I am in the process of quitting smoking; I am short tempered and medicated, so I apologize for the condescension. However, if you don't like the attitude, you should probably police yourself as well - "thats easily the most tactically disastrous idea i've heard in a while" wasn't exactly respectful either, per se. And I think it's pretty obvious I'm passably knowledgeable in WWII history; I am currently in the profession of Arms, so some of this "war" stuff has not only academic appeal to me, but also practical application. You could say I've done more than just glanced at a textbook.

I also use proper punctuation and capitalization. That goes a long way toward being taken more seriously.

cdubs
January 22nd, 2010, 07:22 AM
Gothik well the correct thing to do would have been to nuke russia into submission the same way they did Japan; problem is, ever since the "people" have had a say in anything; the government isnt allowed to get anything practical done.
The US's arsenal included only four nuclear weapons, two of which were used on Japan. As we didn't have nuclear ICBMs at this time, the delivery would have had to have been via strategic bomber. This bomber would have had to fly over hundreds of miles of Soviet controlled territory and through countless layers of air defense. Then, they would have to bomb a blacked out city who's exact location isn't known. Suffice to say, this was not a viable option.


Japan was and always will be just an island that poses no real threat to anyone.
The Far East disagrees.
http://www.fasttrackteaching.com/map16Japanese.html



but the pacific war was also won in under half the time the european war was fought.
The Pacific War began ( for America) when Pearl Harbor and the Philippines were attacked in the first two weeks of December of 1941, and ended in August of 1945. The War in Europe lasted from June of 1944 and ended 11 months later.


the only tactically sound move would have been to nuke the living crap out of russia till they cried uncle louder than the japs.
I hope you now know that this simply could not have happened.

Squatch347
January 27th, 2010, 11:27 AM
The US's arsenal included only four nuclear weapons, two of which were used on Japan. As we didn't have nuclear ICBMs at this time, the delivery would have had to have been via strategic bomber. This bomber would have had to fly over hundreds of miles of Soviet controlled territory and through countless layers of air defense. Actually just for accuracy's sake the Russian air defense system was virtually non-existent, they had only one type of non-us fighter that was a disaster and did not have the capacity to produce replacement parts for the US lent ones.

cdubs
January 27th, 2010, 12:08 PM
Actually just for accuracy's sake the Russian air defense system was virtually non-existent, they had only one type of non-us fighter that was a disaster and did not have the capacity to produce replacement parts for the US lent ones.

Yes, but the Soviets also had an entire branch of their armed forces dedicated to Air Defense, and having just warded off the bombings of the Luftwaffe they were likely experienced and well positioned.

It is unlikely that these AA gun emplacements would have advanced en masse because they were towed pieces and likely would not have been very helpful for an army that stressed constant advance regardless of losses; but also because according to Wiki six months after the Battle of Kursk the Russians had a 3:2 loss ratio in the air. Considering that in June of 1944 the Soviets had 14,700 aircraft in Europe and that the Germans had 4,600 ( a portion of which likely would have been in the West in anticipation of the imminent Allied invasion) it is not unreasonable to assume that the Russians had air superiority and would not have needed AA formations.

statistic on plane numbers
http://www.angelfire.com/ct/ww2europe/stats.html

Squatch347
January 27th, 2010, 06:29 PM
Yes, but the Soviets also had an entire branch of their armed forces dedicated to Air Defense, and having just warded off the bombings of the Luftwaffe they were likely experienced and well positioned. They didn't really fend of an attack from the Luftwaffe though, the Luftwaffe just ceased to exist. Their ADA was not of any kind that could reach a B-29 at altitude.

dunrich
January 16th, 2011, 08:43 AM
Defeating the Soviet Union and trying to occupy it after wards, are 2 different things I believe.

The occupation, would have been disasterous in my opinion. The land is just too large, and the people have attributes that would have made occupation very difficult.

manc
January 16th, 2011, 11:02 AM
Sounds like a bad idea to me. Attacking Russia has always proven to be a bad move in the past. Its too big and too harsh to mount an easy invasion.

The only harm that really came from Russia was the wars in Vietnam and Korea, but in truth they were more emulating Russia than falling under its direct control.

Yeah, Russia had little to do with causing those two wars. The Vietnam war was caused by the French mainly, and later by America.

Korea was caused by Japan and America.

---------- Post added at 08:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:54 PM ----------


I disagree, a liberation of Eastern Europe and maybe even parts of Russia would have dramatically curtailed Soviet power and would have provided a fully modern Europe fifty years earlier.
actually Russia's economy grew faster than America's in the 50s and 60s. America's economy was only slightly ahead, whereas before the revolution Americans earned 10 times as much as Russians, in the 60s it was reduced to a lead of only 25%. America was worried Russia would overtake. This is one reason for the cold war. It got worse in the Korean war, which America caused mainly. America forced Russia and China to get involved.

Also, Russia was not an enemy of the USA for 2 years after WW2.

FruitandNut
January 17th, 2011, 01:55 AM
IMHO, the 'Western Allies' could have beaten the Stalin Soviet forces. As has been pointed out, the Soviets were close to having their military fuse blow.

In simple industrial terms the US alone could outmatch Soviet capacity. The Western Allies plus others, also had a manpower potential that was greater than Soviet human resources. It is very probable that the USSR would have imploded, and that the thought of having to take on a holding and policing situation over vast distances would not have emerged.

BUT, most troops wanted to wind things up, they had seen enough of killing and destruction - also FDR had gone behind Churchill's back to Stalin and largely carved up the zones of postwar power and influence between them.

It is interesting that the Marshall Plan gave a great leg up to the likes of (West) Germany and Japan - the former major enemies - BUT when it came the the US major western ally, the UK; the day the war ended so did the aid, and the UK were on notice to payback war loans. While the former enemies were getting aid which helped them to rebuild their economies, the UK had to BOTH repay as well as rebuild. This situation was in effect orchestrated to shrink British influence, Uncle Sam not being in the mood to have any serious 'competition' when it came to the western diaspora of influence. The UK finished paying back the war loans just before the new milennium.

Squatch347
January 17th, 2011, 05:35 AM
actually Russia's economy grew faster than America's in the 50s and 60s. America's economy was only slightly ahead, whereas before the revolution Americans earned 10 times as much as Russians, in the 60s it was reduced to a lead of only 25%. America was worried Russia would overtake. This is one reason for the cold war. It got worse in the Korean war, which America caused mainly. America forced Russia and China to get involved.

Also, Russia was not an enemy of the USA for 2 years after WW2.

The Russian economy grew faster because it was coming from much smaller. If we consider it as percentage growth you are absolutely right. But a 3000% growth on a dollar is nothing when compared to 1% growth on $1B. Growth that was largely fueled by technology we had given them during the war.
And you have a funny definition of them not being enemies. They stole American military secrets, reverse engineered technology we gave them and shut down eastern Europe.

manc
January 20th, 2011, 05:33 AM
The Russian economy grew faster because it was coming from much smaller. If we consider it as percentage growth you are absolutely right. But a 3000% growth on a dollar is nothing when compared to 1% growth on $1B. Growth that was largely fueled by technology we had given them during the war.
Russia was devastated after WW2, they lost 20 million people. America was the only country NOT devastated. Russia lost 14% of its population, America lost 0.3%, not to put down the American soldiers who lost their lives, but it's a massive difference. America actually ended the war better off economically.

And yet within 15 years the Soviet Union had the first man in space. Oh, and Russia had the best tanks towards the end of the war.




And you have a funny definition of them not being enemies. They stole American military secrets, reverse engineered technology we gave them and shut down eastern Europe.

I will write about that in the FD, so I cant go into much detail here at the mo.

Always Smiling
January 21st, 2011, 09:27 AM
I don't think the west had the stomach for any more war when WW2 ended. Remember, when Germany first unleashed blitzkrieg on Europe the USA did not want anything to do with it. The populace had enough from WW1. It took the bombing of Pearl Harbor for America to wake up and get involved.
FDR knew they couldn't stay out, but the voters didn't. I think there would have been a huge backlash had the allies picked a fight with Russia, even if it might have been justified.

trippyhare
January 31st, 2011, 09:32 PM
To answer the question of "should the Allies have invaded Russia after WWII", you first have to quantify what the possible benefits would be, vs. the possible losses. Just as with using nuclear warheads on Japanese civilians, there is a Risk vs. Reward that has to be analyzed.

The risk is simple enough- the overwhelming bulk of the actual combat in WWII in the European theater was fought by the Soviets. Period. The rest of the Allies bombed German and German-controlled cities to ruins, and there was considerable fighting in North Africa and Italy, but these operations didn't effectively alter the course of the war- the Soviets did. Soviet strategy has always been centered around having superior numbers- the Red Army easily outmanned the Allies, their tanks were FAR superior to Allied tanks, and their offensive and defensive strategies centered around fighting seasons- the Red would hammer the Allies to pieces in the Summer, then let Winter foil any conceivable counterattack.

Let's not completely neglect the PR problem, too- people don't like war. Vietnam was a war we were WINNING, but the public perception of it was so terrible that it made Nixon- a man who obviously didn't care if people liked him- pull the hell out. The Vietcong were all but obliterated by 1968, and the NVA was only holding on thanks to someone else- namely, the Soviets- paying for everything. The U.S. won every single engagement, period. Yet, public opinion was so against the war that the U.S. effectively lost.

Let's also look at the PR of the occupied side- remember how the sectarian troubles in Iraq only started AFTER the Baathists were ousted? And how the Allied forces there had to cope with what amounted to a civil war- which let's face it, they didn't do very well? Yeah, imagine that same thing happening- in a country with a massively larger population, far more weapons, technology comparable to the very best the U.S. had to offer, all while citizens at home and in allied countries are holding Anti-Nam style bitterness.

That's the risk. Let's look at the Reward.

No Cold War. Ok... given that there was NO direct conflict between the Soviets and the States, that leaves the proxy wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and minor skirmishes in Latin America as the only real conflicts that resulted from the Soviet regime. These conflicts MAY have been avoided- which would, in turn, have potentially averted the present War on Terror. Without the Afghan war against the Soviets, it is possible that anti-American sentiment would not run so heavy in that region of the world.

However, there were positive outcomes of the Cold War era- not the least of which is the peaceful reintegration of Germany and the collapse of the Soviet Union and re-emergence of Democracy in former Soviet states, many of which transitioned without the violence that usually follows revolutions. Without the Soviets launching Sputnik, there would not have been a frantic and desperate effort by the States to further research pertaining to rocketry, astronomy, and information technology. The Arms Race was vital in developing technologies that inevitably crossed over into civilian use- not the least of which is the internet's predecessor.

No Cold War, no Internet. To put it bluntly.

Yes, there were close calls- like when Vasili Arkhipov decided not to launch nuclear missiles in retaliation for US depth charge barrages, or when Stanislav Petrov decided not to launch at a radar echo. Oh, and the ones everybody has heard of, like the Cuban Missile Crisis.

But some incredibly awesome stuff came out of the Cold War- like the eradication of smallpox at the behest of Dr. Viktor Zhdanov, Deputy Minister of Health for the USSR. Since smallpox has, historically, killed the hell out of more people than any other illness ever, that's a pretty sweet checkmark in the CON column for "Invade Russia".

So, let's review:

PRO INVASION:
-No Soviets, no Vietnam, possibly no War on Terror (or at least, it would have taken longer to set up).
-No Red China... though this is a CON too, since China's economic performance in recent years has provided innumerable ancillary benefits to the rest of the world
-No Cuban Missile Crisis (which didn't really do anything), no Mutually Assured Destruction (even though nothing happened)
-No insane anti-Communist sentiment, no Blacklists, no McCarthyism

CON:
-Smallpox
-No internet
-Soviets kicked the **** out of a massive military machine the Allies were too damn scared to really fight until two years of getting slaughtered by Soviets softened the Wermacht up a bit, so it stands to reason they'd be pretty good at kicking ass
-There'd still be the Iranians to sort out
-Much, if not all, of the technology that makes modern life so awesome is derived from technology originally used for military applications: without a threat large enough to warrant the absolutely ridiculous expense of bloated, runaway military spending, it is doubtful a persuasive enough argument could be made to justify the expense. Meaning- if there's nobody on Earth scary enough to warrant bombing, then there'd be no point in building bombers- let alone billion-dollar ultra-sneaky ones. Which further implies that, without the uncontrolled spending on research that led to technologies such as microprocessors and redundancy-networks, all the cool things we love now wouldn't exist.

My vote, then, is no- we, the Allies, should NOT have invaded Russia after WWII.

manc
January 31st, 2011, 11:49 PM
My vote, then, is no- we, the Allies, should NOT have invaded Russia after WWII.

Interesting post. There are a few bits I would take you up on, but I am half way through a formal debate (one to one) on the USSR, and I am in the middle of discussing the nature of the USSR so I cant talk about Vietnam etc at the moment. However if you want to follow the thread it is here

http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php/23042-Was-the-USSR-socialist

In this thread my position is that Stalinist USSR tried to stop revolutions around the world and wanted to be friends with America. America started the cold war.

trippyhare
February 1st, 2011, 09:13 AM
A fascinating point to argue, to be sure. How would Yugoslavia and its Non-Aligned allies fit in with this, I wonder?

manc
February 1st, 2011, 11:08 AM
You will have to read the thread, as it's still ongoing so I cant say too much, besides, its all there. I cant be arsed typing it all out again. Essentially, Stalin wanted Yugoslavia to be capitalist. He wanted King Peter restored. He had agreed it all with Churchill and Truman / Roosevelt. Read the thread, there's a good clear explanation of why Stalin's plan fell through. In fact Stalin was so annoyed he expelled Yugoslavia from the Comintern. He also tried to have Tito killed several times. He was well pissed off when Tito backed the communists in Greece.

trippyhare
February 3rd, 2011, 09:53 PM
Interesting conjecture, but a touch evasive. Why all the "I can't talk about it now" nonsense, eh? I mean, sure, laziness is a valid reason- but ffs, you could ctrl-c ctrl-v, too. I suppose *I* could be bothered to read a long, back-and-forth "debate" too, so the lazy card works both ways.

Eh, I don't particularly care either way- you have your own speculative opinion, and other people have a differing one.

manc
February 4th, 2011, 12:40 AM
It's not really a back and forth. I am doing 5 posts in total, so far I have done three. I have spent many hours writing it. I cant comment on the topic too much as the thread is ongoing. If you think that maybe 10 hours of research and writing is lazy, that's up to you. I can't paste it all here.

So far I have covered

why the revolution happened

why it degenerated

Stalin's zigzags - from a right wing position to ultra-left and back

the cold war

how eastern Europe was supposed to be capitalist but did not go according to plan

China and North Korea



Interesting conjecture, but a touch evasive. Why all the "I can't talk about it now" nonsense, eh? I mean, sure, laziness is a valid reason- but ffs, you could ctrl-c ctrl-v, too. I suppose *I* could be bothered to read a long, back-and-forth "debate" too, so the lazy card works both ways.

Eh, I don't particularly care either way- you have your own speculative opinion, and other people have a differing one.


Ok, here is some proof, evidence anyway


On September 21, 1944, Tito suddenly departed by plane to Moscow, among many subjects discussed, was how to coordinate the operations of the Red Army and the Partisans. Tito later published conversations with Stalin, and on this meeting following took place (one have to keep in mind that this is Tito’s version of the story, and there is no way of checking that version):

"Stalin began to assure me of the reinstate King Peter. The blood rushed to my head that he could advise us to do such thing. I composed myself and told him it was impossible, that the people would rebel, that in Yugoslavia the king personified treason, that he had fled and left his people in the midst of their struggle, that the Karageargevic dynasty was hated among the people for corruption and terror. Stalin was silent, and the said briefly: “You need not to restore him forever. Take him back temporarily, and then you can slip a knife into his back at a suitable moment.”
http://aboutandersen.com/romania/TitoStalin.pdf

more


During the War, Stalin established relations with the 'Royal government-in-exile' and promised the British that King Peter would be restored. In line with the promises made to the British, Stalin instructed Tito to form a Popular Front with bourgeois parties.
http://www.marxists.org/subject/stalinism/origins-future/ch2-1.htm

this must be verifiable. Anyway, Churchill said in his memoirs that he agreed to split 'predominance' over Yugoslavia 50-50 with Stalin

more


"MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT:

I believe you will be interested in the following report which we have just received from our representative, Mr. Bernard Yarrow:

"Saw King today, October 10. He related to me his conversation with Churchill on October 7, before latter's departure for Moscow. Churchill said that he is dissatisfied with Tito's continuous non-cooperation, and will find new ways to bring pressure to bear upon him. He assured the King that he will discuss with Marshal Stalin the whole situation and will seek Stalin's assistance to exert his influence over Tito with thought of forming a single government upon liberation of Belgrade."

26 October 1944"
https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol9no2/html/v09i2a07p_0001.htm


MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT:

... King Peter saw Churchill this afternoon. Herewith report as given me [Yarrow] by King. Stalin and Churchill discussed general Balkan situation. ... Yugoslavia military operations and administration upon liberation will be under joint British-Russian control.

... Stalin was not in principle against re-establishment of Monarchies in Balkans. He said, 'If a King can be more useful in waging war against enemy and maintaining stability after victory, he would prefer him to a makeshift Republic.' Specifically as to Peter Stalin said, 'He seems to be a young man who is close to his people.' But insisted that question of King's return be postponed until people express will by plebescite. Churchill added, 'When time comes I shall see to it that plebescite is conducted under British, Russian and American supervision.' Churchill smilingly said, 'I shall manage your campaign when time comes.'
same link

more from the CIA files (same link)

"According to Subasich, Stalin insisted on the free expression of popular opinion in Yugoslavia and expressed abhorrence of any Yugoslav "experiments" in Communism or Bolshevism."

Time in 1944 explains the problems:



Foreign News: New Power
Monday, Dec. 04, 1944

Scarcely a month had passed since the Red Army entered Belgrade. Sappers had removed 4,158 mines, 7,270 unexploded bombs, 76,298 live German shells, most of the hidden German soldiers. Partisan boys drilled in streets over which stretched banners emblazoned with new Yugoslavia's red star, Russia's hammer & sickle. Big pictures of Russia's Stalin, Yugoslavia's Tito stared side by side from every shop window. The grey-clad troops of the Red Army rolled ceaselessly toward the Hungarian front in U.S. Lend-Lease trucks. Overhead, Russian Stormoviks and Yaks roared.
Empty Symbol. At the gate of the Royal Palace, fierce, shabby Partisans mounted guard. But the palace was an empty symbol. Young King Peter, exiled in London, might never live there again. Boys & girls of the Serbian Anti-Fascist Youth Congress chanted: "We don't want Peter, we want Tito." Said Tito: "Old Balkan differences will never again appear in the Balkans."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,796967,00.html

In this wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_II_of_Yugoslavia) it explains that the Yugoslavian army had collapsed in the war and there were two rival resistance armies - one communist, the other royalist. But the royalists were believed by the British (King Peter was living in England in exile) to be collaborating with the Germans.

"Learning of the shift of allegiance from ULTRA intercepts, the Allies switched their support to the Partisans by November 1943, as their sources came to indicate an increasing relationship between the Germans and Mihailović. The Partisans soon gained recognition in Tehran as the Allied Yugoslav forces on the ground. In 1944 the Partisan commander, Marshal Josip Broz Tito was recognized as the Commander-in-Chief of all Yugoslav forces, and was appointed Prime Minister of a joint government."

The Partisans were the communist led forces, Mihailovic was leading the rival royalist forces.

Cantankerous
July 20th, 2011, 09:14 PM
We would have lost. Debt would have piled high, the American public would most likely hate the war and the Soviets would have kicked our butts.

estill
July 24th, 2011, 09:50 AM
In hindsight we can see that the Cold War was generally a positive conflict for the United States. The economy continued to grow and the US rose to international dominance and outlasted the Soviet Union. If it aint broke don't fix it.

Gherkin
July 29th, 2011, 02:09 PM
From a moral perspective, the answer is no. Wars must always be justified by defense.

pandion
July 29th, 2011, 10:08 PM
The question is moot.

Why bother?

theophilus
July 30th, 2011, 09:02 AM
From a moral perspective, the answer is no. Wars must always be justified by defense.The invasion could have been justified as being for the defense of the countries that were annexed or occupied by the Soviet Union.

franktrainjr
August 3rd, 2011, 12:34 PM
There is one simple thing that made the fighting on the eastern front so horrible. It is the same thing that would make an invasion of Russia by the allies a cake walk. The war in the west was a case of good guys vs. misled and bad guys. The soviet people HATED their government. During the opening moves of the war, before people realized how awful the germans were, they were greeted with cheers. Even the russians knew the U.S. and British were the good guys. As long as, from the start, the plan was to get rid of the communist and pull out, entire armies would have deserted to the allies in a heartbeat.

estill
August 3rd, 2011, 12:39 PM
There is one simple thing that made the fighting on the eastern front so horrible. It is the same thing that would make an invasion of Russia by the allies a cake walk. The war in the west was a case of good guys vs. misled and bad guys. The soviet people HATED their government. During the opening moves of the war, before people realized how awful the germans were, they were greeted with cheers. Even the russians knew the U.S. and British were the good guys. As long as, from the start, the plan was to get rid of the communist and pull out, entire armies would have deserted to the allies in a heartbeat.

I disagree. I think its an interesting idea but Soviet nationalism was at an all time high during WWII. Today the war is still known not as WWII but as "The Great Patriotic War." Also, Soviet propaganda by this point has made the West look really really bad to the Soviet people.

franktrainjr
August 4th, 2011, 09:41 AM
I disagree. I think its an interesting idea but Soviet nationalism was at an all time high during WWII. Today the war is still known not as WWII but as "The Great Patriotic War." Also, Soviet propaganda by this point has made the West look really really bad to the Soviet people.

The term 'Great Patriotic War' was coined by Stalin himself as propaganda. Also the U.S.S.R. wasn't just Russia, it was also composed of Georgians, Belorussians, Ukrainians, Baltic people, to name a few. While the russians were fanatic these people hated the Russians and they fought for the Germans in many cases, while most of the partisans in these areas wanted independence after the war. They were the main reason for the infamous 'not one step back' order. They would have undoubtedly fought with the allies. Admittedly, the Russians would have been torn, but if the allies made it clear from the get-go that they came as liberators, it would have been the russian people that would make the campain so easy, the same people that made it hell for the germans.

estill
August 4th, 2011, 06:48 PM
The term 'Great Patriotic War' was coined by Stalin himself as propaganda. Also the U.S.S.R. wasn't just Russia, it was also composed of Georgians, Belorussians, Ukrainians, Baltic people, to name a few. While the russians were fanatic these people hated the Russians and they fought for the Germans in many cases, while most of the partisans in these areas wanted independence after the war. They were the main reason for the infamous 'not one step back' order. They would have undoubtedly fought with the allies. Admittedly, the Russians would have been torn, but if the allies made it clear from the get-go that they came as liberators, it would have been the russian people that would make the campain so easy, the same people that made it hell for the germans.

Let me be clear. I was referencing your comment in which you stated that Soviets would turn against their government in droves. It might be very true that the fringes of the USSR were dissatisfied with their government but obviously the defections to the German side were not enough to turn the tide of the war. For that reason I don't think that we have any reason not to believe that the Russian Winter would have taken the same toll on Allied forces.

franktrainjr
August 5th, 2011, 01:42 AM
Let me be clear. I was referencing your comment in which you stated that Soviets would turn against their government in droves. It might be very true that the fringes of the USSR were dissatisfied with their government but obviously the defections to the German side were not enough to turn the tide of the war. For that reason I don't think that we have any reason not to believe that the Russian Winter would have taken the same toll on Allied forces.

Well the idea of the winter is a interesting one, although not quite as bad as it was for the germans for a number of reasons. First the germans always began their campaigns in russia in June or July. If the allies began in may they could have gotten a lot farther, if the soviet army collapsed on itself as the germans had hoped, and as i'm assuming it would have. Also the Germans had no winter equipment in 1941-1942, as you know due to the ideals of hiltler, the allies, not being crazy, would have avoided this mistake.

estill
August 5th, 2011, 07:09 AM
Well the idea of the winter is a interesting one, although not quite as bad as it was for the germans for a number of reasons. First the germans always began their campaigns in russia in June or July. If the allies began in may they could have gotten a lot farther, if the soviet army collapsed on itself as the germans had hoped, and as i'm assuming it would have. Also the Germans had no winter equipment in 1941-1942, as you know due to the ideals of hiltler, the allies, not being crazy, would have avoided this mistake.

Also, don't forget that the entire Red Army was already mobilized to the Western Front. Hitler was able to catch the Russians at least in part by surprise. The allies would have to face head on the largest Army in the world.

Gherkin
August 8th, 2011, 02:35 PM
The invasion could have been justified as being for the defense of the countries that were annexed or occupied by the Soviet Union.

Yes, justifications can always be made. Perhaps I must clarify, when I said defense, I meant self-defense.

theophilus
August 10th, 2011, 08:39 AM
Originally Posted by Theophilus
The invasion could have been justified as being for the defense of the countries that were annexed or occupied by the Soviet Union.
Yes, justifications can always be made. Perhaps I must clarify, when I said defense, I meant self-defense.Do you mean that it is always wrong to intervene to help another country protect itself against aggression?

ztgreen
September 30th, 2011, 09:53 AM
attacking russia would probably have been successful, seeing as the USSR was on the verge of collapse and may not have even been able to hold up for a few months after the war. this would have deterred communistic uprisings in China as the allied forces they worked with during the war would be controlling a large area near their border, and been able to invade or sends troops whenever necessary to preserve the American values of anti-communism. another good idea in this fight would have been taking over japan after the victory, and occupying the countries throughout the pacific until the allies had a decisive foothold in russia. all allied countries would have had to have been in on the fight, but it would've work in my eyes

futureboy
October 8th, 2011, 04:06 PM
Do you mean that it is always wrong to intervene to help another country protect itself against aggression?
although it's probably wrong to say it's "always wrong", there may be justification to say this because of the many situations where intervening to help another country gets pretty messy.
I know that in some countries occupied by Soviets, the locals were accused of being fascists for protecting themselves. I guess that to the Soviets, them not joining the union meant they were with the Nazis.

TJKNapoleon
December 1st, 2011, 10:10 PM
Interesting debate.

Although I agree the outcome of the Cold War was generally positive for the U.S., from the American perspective, it might have been better to finish things when there.

I don't think an invasion of Russia proper would have been necessary. The use of air power would have been enough to disable the disarrayed Soviet Army, and the Allies could have taken several months to prepare a campaign. The goal could have been to push the Russians back to their pre-war border, liberating Poland. A drive to that border probably would have been sufficient to topple puppet regimes being established throughout eastern Europe, and also encourage uprisings from the national groups within the USSR.

As far as the moral implications, I think the Russians could have whatever system they chose for themselves, but it did not give them the right to impose their brand of government upon all of eastern Europe.

Had Japan's capitulation been known, I think this would have been considered much more carefully.