General Question

Rarebear's avatar

What do you think would have happened had the United States not intervened in Europe in the two World Wars?

Asked by Rarebear (25159points) March 3rd, 2017

The answers to this question will gauge a follow up question I want to ask.

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22 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Two words: Soviet Union.

Sneki95's avatar

We’d manage. No offense, but US significance in the world wars was so big we barely mention you. (at least in this corner of Europe)
edit: US is mentioned, but only its deal with Japan. US involvement in Europe was never mentioned here.

ragingloli's avatar

In both cases, the outcome was already decided before you decided to join and steal all the credit.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, we had to respond to Japan. They attacked us.

I think we turned the tide of the second war, so basically, if Hitler had won, he’d have all of Europe at his command. I don’t know that we could have withstood an attack by every country in Europe that was controlled by Hitler.

Rarebear's avatar

@ragingloli You think that in World War 2 the United States was irrelevant to the outcome?

Rarebear's avatar

Same question to @Sneki95

ragingloli's avatar

@Rarebear
That much is obvious. The Soviets just crushed the Wehrmacht, and rolled into Germany like an unstoppable tidal wave.

gorillapaws's avatar

Interesting question.

I’m not a historian, but If I had to guess, had we not intervened in WW1 the conflict may have just been prolonged into a slow and miserable trench war stalemate. It may have even hit the point where a treaty was signed that was much more equatable than the Treaty of Versailles, thus not creating the economic conditions that lead to the rise of Hitler. There might never have been a WW2, or if there was, it might have been radically different.

If we assume WW1 occurred as it did, but that the US didn’t intervene in WW2, I think it’s possible that the allies could have lost. There was a lot of support for the Brits via trade even before the US officially joined the war. I’m not sure how the 2 front thing would have worked out in the end though. If Hitler could have pulverized England quickly then he could have focused all of his efforts towards Russia. That still would have been an ugly situation for the Germans. It’s a violation of one of the classic blunders.

One thing that’s undeniable is that the holocaust would have been much worse.

kritiper's avatar

The war of attrition that was taking place before the US entered the First World War would have continued until Germany would have had to give up. The war would have continued fort 2 or 3 more years.
If the US hadn’t entered WWII, the Germans would have dominated Russia enough to drive them down, but at a high cost to both sides. Basically, a stalemate, with Germany holding the high hand. Once they could refit and rearm, and reman enough, they would have finally overrun Britain, and then turned their attention towards the US. Another war of attrition would have taken place, with many more thousand or millions killed, the war would have dragged on for up to 10 years further, and that doesn’t take into consideration either side developing atomic weapons, which I think the US would have first since they thought of it’s development in a more probable light than the Germans did. Eventually, the US would have overcome all odds, since it’s resources were so vast. The final death toll of the war, both military and civilian, would probably have exceeded 150 million.

Cruiser's avatar

if the United States did not enter the First World War, the most likely result would have been a major economic recession in the US; a war that dragged on for another year or more ending in German defeat and humiliation. A totalitarian regime would seize power in the ruins of Germany and we would have had continued political instability throughout the world.

If we did not sell arms and munitions to the British, they would have been pissed at the US, Russia would basically fight and win the war against Germany, liberating most of Western Europe in the process and then gain control of Western Europe , Japan would conquer China and control most of Asia. and the US would control the Americas. Russia and Japan would not be inclined to trade with the US in peace time and with no major trading partners, the US would be a self sustaining isolationist country. Our economy would be a fraction of what it is today.

Rarebear's avatar

@ragingloli I see your point now. I agree.

Rarebear's avatar

@Cruiser Interesting answer. I agree with this too, especially your comments about the economy.

flutherother's avatar

If the Americans hadn’t got involved in the First World War it might have dragged on a bit longer but I think the end result would have been the same. In World War Two American industrial output and military commitment was vital in making the D-Day landings possible and in pushing Hitler back to his bunker in Berlin.

Without American involvement Britain would have faced Nazi occupied Europe alone and it is unlikely we could have survived for long. As Churchill put it the whole world would have sunk into the abyss of a new Dark Age.

Zaku's avatar

Any time you propose re-resolving a historical situation with new possibilities, many different things could happen. However, my general guesses, based on having read a few histories, and played several simulation games, is:

WW1: The war would have lasted longer, perhaps long enough for the influenza epidemic to hit, which killed more people than the war did, and so I imagine would reduce everyone’s will to fight even further, and result in a peace treaty. Eventually there would have been an armistice, probably still going the way it did, but perhaps not as soon or as strongly negotiated. If the treaty terms were more favorable to the Germans, Hitler would have had less resentment with which to fuel support for his platform, and WW2 might not have occurred.

WW2: Without the US in the war, Japan would have dominated China and be in a position to start campaigning into the eastern USSR and possibly intervene in other places as well. That could depend on whether the US was still a potential check or not. Germany would not have had nearly as much to worry about from Britain in Europe and Africa without the Americans, which could have allowed them to engage the USSR differently. With no US Lend Lease support for the USSR, their army would have had less equipment. I think a German defeat of the USSR would have been possible but by no means certain.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Canada would have stepped up more.

Cruiser's avatar

Actually @Zaku The Spanish Flu was made even more deadly because of WWI as infected troops were transported across the globe where this relatively new ability to cross the oceans with ease allowed the novel virus to infect millions in an unbefore seen spread. The Spanish Flue struck in 1918 in the waning days of WWI and decimated troops on both sides of the firing line.

zenvelo's avatar

Germany would have focused on Russia, and not crossed the channel. They would have ended up in a stalemate somewhere between Poland and Stalingrad.

Europe would have ended up pretty much as it was in 1942. With the war going on in the Pacific, lend lease for Russia would have dried up. The US would have driven Japan back to the home islands, and that would be it.

But in all that speculation is ignoring that Britain would have asked for greater US involvement in Europe as part of fighting against the Axis incursions towards Australia, and the fall of Singapore and Hong Kong. The US wouldn’t have been able to stay solely in the Pacific for long.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, since we had to address Japan, how would Germany have viewed America in light of her troops and ships being occupied with that? I mean, we almost had no choice.

kritiper's avatar

The Germans weren’t really able to comprehend the vast resources of the United States. There were German POW’s who came here and were kept in POW camps in Oklahoma. It took three days by rail to get there and the POW’s were absolutely amazed at how big the country was. They had NO idea!
It’s possible that neither Germany or Japan could fathom that the United States could actually fight a war on two fronts when they couldn’t.

milantwo's avatar

I would’t live in netherlands

ramus's avatar

if The us had not intervened with japan dont you think that another greater war could have broken out in Asia And mind you there was strong English presence in Asia at that time ,
Also the war stopped practically immediately after US dropped the atom bomb .
Us interference may or may not have affected the result in europe but they definitely saved England from being run over by the INA and the Japan in India and Myanmar or Burma ,
England was sucessful in supressing the INA of Bose only due to US reinforcements
If US had not entered here is what would have happened

Japan would have conquered most of india , pakistan,afghanistan, myanmar,indonesiia,china,russia’s western part, phillipines, And much more

England would have lost plenty of its major bases and they would have spent more time trying to quell this again resulting in a setback .

And who is to say that they would stop there . from pakistan they could enter turkey or iran and enter the main battlefield Maybe greece or italy or they could barge into russia from the back

Well ..this is my first post so..please be kind

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