Posted: Jan 05, 2013 6:53 pm
by Galactor
Varangian wrote:
It is easy for some to point at the Western allies and accuse them for being tardy

If you mean by tardy, "gutless", it is indeed easy because there is lashings of truth in it.

Britain & France should have waded into Germany soon after 6th March 1936 under the rightful action of defending the Versailles treaty and kept on going way past the Rhineland. They had the resources and the Germans were not ready for hostilities.

Varangian wrote: .. but that is to ignore a couple of historical facts. The US Army was a peacetime army in 1941 when Japan attacked in the Pacific and Germany declared war shortly afterwards. The US armed forces was only some 150,000 men (IIRC); by the end of the war, 16 million had served. Building an army - training soldiers and not least officers ("90 day wonders"), and collecting materiel ranging literally from needles to battleships - takes some time. To achieve it in such short time is impressive.

I am in general agreement with this as far as it concerns America. There is a cracking trilogy of WWII by Rick Atkinson, one volume of which, is devoted to the birth of the American army - An Army at Dawn - which concerns the military build up and the blooding of their forces in North Africa. (The final volume has yet to appear by the way - that concerns the European Western front).

Varangian wrote:
As for the British, a lot of heavy equipment (and plenty of personal equipment) had been lost when the BEF had to evacuate in 1940. Fighting the Battle of Britain and trying to keep the upper hand at sea took quite a bit of effort. In short, the Western allies were in no shape to mount an offensive on the European mainland in 1942.

If only they had stood up to Hitler ...