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VarSity
11 Dec 07,, 17:50
11 December 1941:
Germany and Italy drop the B****** and declared war on the United States... bet they regretted that one!

Just thought I would wade in and ask, if Germany and Italy hadn’t declared war (just ignored their treaty with Japan) do you think the US would have got involved anyway?

This might have been asked before but I couldn’t resist bringing it up.

RamHammer
11 Dec 07,, 23:24
I don't think that they would have entered until they were attacked on Pearl Harbor. There was a lot of anti-war sentiments throughout the country, and they needed a good reason to go to war.

MKD
17 Dec 07,, 02:12
Great question varSity. I personally don't think the United States would have "officially" entered the European war without a prior declaration of war from Germany or Italy. There was a lot of anti-war sentiment in the US, but FDR had agreed to the Atlantic Charter with Churchill, extended lend-lease to Russia, and was stationing troops in Iceland. The culmination of the "undeclared war" in Europe was probably the Greer Incident in Sep 1941 when a German sub and a US detroyer traded fire in the North Atlantic. It probably would only be a matter of time before the US officially entered the European war, but Pearl Harbor combined with the Axis declaration of war certainly made it easier for FDR to jusify war to the US public.

Officer of Engineers
17 Dec 07,, 02:20
The Lend-Lease Act and the U-Boat Happy Times would have drawn the US in no matter what.

Dreadnought
17 Dec 07,, 18:51
From books that I have read it seems that after the British sunk the Bismarck (May 27th,1941) and Churchill informed the house (or Parliment, sorry) it seems that he pened a letter to the Admiralty the very next morning (May 28th,1941) about the whereabouts of the heavy cruiser Prince Eugen and its escape. He stated in this letter of the possible tracking of her and also the possibility of her running into a USN vessel or convoy and attacking the vessel bringing the U.S. into WWII much sooner then December 7th when Japan attacked Pearl. It wasn't the first time I have read about such letters from Churchill.

smilingassassin
18 Dec 07,, 00:17
Personally I think it was inevitable that the U.S. would square off against Germany. Japan probably would have found a way to convince the Germans to declare war as well, particularily after such a spectacular raid against Pearl Harbour.

zraver
18 Dec 07,, 05:11
Hitler and Mussolini made it easier for FDR to go Germany first. Without them declaring war on us we would have had to be dragged into after an American public is already focused on Japan. Germany's early declaration helped stopped this tight beam focus.

MKD
18 Dec 07,, 05:20
He stated in this letter of the possible tracking of her and also the possibility of her running into a USN vessel or convoy and attacking the vessel bringing the U.S. into WWII much sooner then December 7th when Japan attacked Pearl. It wasn't the first time I have read about such letters from Churchill.

Wouldn't doubt that Churchill would do this. I think he was the best strategist of World War II. It is no secret that he was pleased when Pearl Harbor occurred because he knew the US was now in the European war and this would lead to both a manpower and manufacturing infusion into the British war effort.

It was also the British chiefs that stated the Red Army was the only organization capable of defeating Hitler and the Nazis.

Gotta hand it to the Brits, they have been very good strategists through the years.

Officer of Engineers
18 Dec 07,, 08:30
Hitler and Mussolini made it easier for FDR to go Germany first. Without them declaring war on us we would have had to be dragged into after an American public is already focused on Japan. Germany's early declaration helped stopped this tight beam focus.Would not the 2nd Happy Times done that? After all, it was a far worst disaster than Pearl. And if the Kreigsmarine not done the 2nd Happy Times, could they have afforded all those convoys reaching the UK?

zraver
18 Dec 07,, 09:10
Would not the 2nd Happy Times done that? After all, it was a far worst disaster than Pearl. And if the Kreigsmarine not done the 2nd Happy Times, could they have afforded all those convoys reaching the UK?


With Hitler taking a more conservative approach towards the US I doubt Donitz and Raider would have been allowed off theUS Eastern Seaboard or in the Caribbean.

Officer of Engineers
18 Dec 07,, 09:29
Could they have allowed those convoys to get through then?

zraver
18 Dec 07,, 14:03
its not like they had much choice. But if he lets the US get focused on Japan an d even if it only buys him a year so that the entire allied time table is pushed back then he comes out ahead. With a Japan focus I don't think FDR/Truman could justify nuking Berlin ahead of Japan.

glyn
18 Dec 07,, 14:10
its not like they had much choice. But if he lets the US get focused on Japan an d even if it only buys him a year so that the entire allied time table is pushed back then he comes out ahead. With a Japan focus I don't think FDR/Truman could justify nuking Berlin ahead of Japan.

But neither the US President nor the UK Prime Minister knew that the atomic bombs would be ready before the end of the war - or even if they would work.

zraver
18 Dec 07,, 15:40
But neither the US President nor the UK Prime Minister knew that the atomic bombs would be ready before the end of the war - or even if they would work.

Very true- but they were working on it. Until and unless the Soviets break into Poland and discover a concentration camp I don't think Mr. and Ms. John Q Public will be worried about Europe if they are fixated on Tojo. FDR historically had opposition to the Germany first policy because Germany didn't attack us: Japan did. if Hitler takes a less agressive approach this pressure only mounts in the early months after Pearl Harbor.

bugs
18 Dec 07,, 17:55
Could Hitler postpone the war declaration until may 1942 ? By May 1st, the japanese took the Philippines, Burma, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies and the batlle of the Coral Sea would cost the Us Navy one carrier and another one damaged.

Dreadnought
18 Dec 07,, 19:01
Could Hitler postpone the war declaration until may 1942 ? By May 1st, the japanese took the Philippines, Burma, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies and the batlle of the Coral Sea would cost the Us Navy one carrier and another one damaged.

IMO it would not have mattered. The U.S. was already eyeing Germany as a definate threat. Wether Hitler declared war upon the U.S. at a later date or not the U.S. was already in an industrial explosion after Dec 7,1941.

Coral Sea was a tacticle victory for Japan but she also lost 1) Light Carrier (Shoho) and seriously damaged 1) Heavy carrier Shokaku. Where as the U.S. lost the Lexington and damaged Yorktown and lost 1) DD Sims.

One important point to the battle was that now the Japanese knew the U.S. was in the area Port Moresby invasion was thwarted which helped the New Guinea campaign and the supply lines to Austrailia were kept open.

The second point was Japan was denied the use of two of her newest carriers on the eve of battle (Shokaku & Zuikaku) that could have ended up at Midway and help them turn the tide of the battle.

Yorktown reappeared off Midway after extensive around the clock repairs at Pearl in nearly record time. A tribute to the men that repaired her at Pearl.
By the time of Midway's battle we were well schooled in damage repair.

Albany Rifles
18 Dec 07,, 20:22
..though undeclared, the US Navy was in a de facto war against the Kriegsmarine by the fall of 1941. With the Reuben James sinking it was only a matter of time before the Germans would attack another US escort...and they HAD to sicne if they played hands off the convoys would have gotten through much easier.