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Old 05-10-2005, 07:00 AM   Lifetme Service Award Attended an OMGWTFKKWBBQ! Retired Administrator #16
Liam
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Whatever the argument, I find it more than a little ridiculous every time I'm told that the USA won the war in Europe. Flightfreak isnt wrong when he suggests that the USSR freed Belgium, but he isnt correct either. Soviet troops placed incredible pressure upon the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe due to their incredible rate of advance in 1944, forcing infantry, tanks, and fighter squadrons to be shifted to the Eastern Front. This amounts to a vast decrease in available defensive forces to counter the Allied invasion forces. The incredibly hard fought invasion would have been a whole lot more bloody, and would more than likely have been a failure in places, had the Russians not caused such a wide scale diversion of German military resources. The majority of Panzer V, VI, and VIb tanks, to which the western allies had no counter (aside from almost suidical flanking attacks by infantry - and contrary to popular belief, the much lauded bazooka rocket was nigh on useless against heavy tanks), went to fight the Russians, who had a counter in their upgunned T-34/85 and IS-1 or IS-2 heavy tanks. Imagine the destruction these tanks could have caused had they been in the west.

However, it was the American, British and Canadian (and dont forget the smaller groups - Australians, Free French/Dutch/Poles/Norwegians etc) who shed the blood in the west. As a citizen of one of these nations its easy for me to jump the gun and proclaim that the western allies won the battles in France, Belgium and Holland, but realistically, and rationally - we didnt do it on our own. Whether we like to admit it or not, the Soviet contribution and sacrifice of the Russian people played a very important role in the allied victory. Without them, I estimate the war would have dragged on for 2-3 more years, at a minimum. The invasion just would not have been possible with full German military resources pointed at England. The fate of the daylight B-17 raids would have been much different with the full force of the Fw-190 staffeln hacking away at them. The fate of the P-38, P-47, and P-51 pilots escorting the bombers would have been much different with the full force of the Bf-109 (and later, Me-262) staffeln bearing down on them. The 109 was shit? Tell that to the countless pilots who were shot down by it. Right up until wars end, the Bf-109 was faster, could climb quicker, and had heavier firepower than contemporary allied fighters - the only fighter to see wide service and outclass the 109 in every respect was the Spitfire F.MkXIV. And the Fw-190 was even more of a nightmare. As victors, we tend to forget just how deadly our former enemy's weapons of war were.

I'm available by PM if anyone wants to discuss the war further

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On topic:

There is a very fine line between patriotism and nationalism. One is great, one is overbearing. Often, patriotism is used by unscrupulous people as a veil for nationalism. Everyone knows this. Yes, some Americans are guilty of it. And yes, most of them arent. Its a bit rude and presumptuous to draw a stereotype based upon the actions of a minority.

Its just that its the borderline nationalistic Americans that tend to get the most airplay. I personally have no problem with what the Americans are doing, militarily, around the world. Its a noble goal that they are fighting for, and they deserve to be supported for it. Why should the people of the world wait sitting on their hands for something to get blown up in their homeland before they pull their heads out of the sand and realise that this is a global problem that needs global resources to combat?
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