Dunkirk and the US

Hey guys - newbie here. Just watched Dunkirk last night (it's come to the UK pretty late, ironically) and I thought it was generally excellent. Just wondered how it landed if you're an American and not aware of the story as much as we are over here. What do you know of the evacuations generally, and has this changed your view of the early part of the war? 
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Comments

  • sean.raysean.ray Texas
    edited July 27
    I'm a US citizen, had never heard of this before the movie was announced. What a bunch of brave souls truly an inspiring story. And i've been thinking a lot about Churchhill's quote and I actually got it tattooed on my arm two weekends ago because I was thinking World War II early on was basically England versus Europe and Churchill saying we should go on to the end we shall fight on the beaches we shall fight on the landing grounds we shall never surrender. that's not just inspirational that's a way of life. Bravo to England, seriously, because when it comes down to it someone has to stop evil in this world and in 1939 to 45 evil was Adolf Hitler. someone has to stop him. who is going to stop him? Good men who stand up and say enough. British and American. So God bless those troops on that beach, on the channel, and in the air.
  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    edited July 27
    sean.ray said:

    I'm a US citizen, had never heard of this before the movie was announced. What a bunch of brave souls truly an inspiring story. And i've been thinking a lot about Churchhill's quote and I actually got it tattooed on my arm two weekends ago because I was thinking World War II early on was basically England versus Europe and Churchill saying we should go on to the end we shall fight on the beaches we shall fight on the landing grounds we shall never surrender. that's not just inspirational that's a way of life. Bravo to England, seriously, because when it comes down to it someone has to stop evil in this world and in 1939 to 45 evil was Adolf Hitler. someone has to stop him. who is going to stop him? Good men who stand up and say enough. British and American. So God bless those troops on that beach, on the channel, and in the air.

    Not to argue because I agree with you and appreciate your point of view on this...but Russia played a massive role (the biggest role - by far) so they deserve credit too.  And while its absolutely undeniable that the war couldn't have been won without America - hands down, the single most important event in the history of the war was America joining the allies - there were others there from day one who paid a heavy price.
    gguenotnstinson
  • About 80% of all German casualties took place in the Eastern front. Dan Carlin has a pretty good series of podcasts about that part of the war.
  • @CretanBull, you're absolutely correct. I didn't intend for my post to sound like I was giving every single glory to England. I know US, and Russia and Canada and France did a hell of a job, and they were a vital part to the victory. I just mean that it must have seemed impossible to defeat the Nazis with the stranglehold Hitler had on Europe, but they fought anyway. Because they had no choice. (And neither did America and Russia, just saying England didn't have an ocean or a shitload of snow covered nothing standing between them and the Nazis like America and Russia did.) and I'm American (US) btw, so God bless our struggle as well.
    CretanBull
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    I had heard the word before and if you made me, I could probably tell you that it had some significance to WWII through a lucky guess, but that's about it. I did take several history classes in college but haven't studied WWII specifically, but for a while there the History Channel had nothing but WWII shows on.
  • You mean the US didn't come save the day? Our history books say that the US saves everyone!
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    There's a saying I really like that sums up the allies pretty well.

    "The war was won with British intelligence, Russian blood and US steel."

    It really sums it up well. Without those 3 things it's a different story.

    I will say though that the US is the only ally to fight 2 wars. Everyone seems to forget that the US basically fought And defeated Japan by itself while still supporting 2 different fronts(France and Italy) in Europe. Yea the British were in the pacific but not at any significant level. The pacific theatre was won by the US.
    ghm3CretanBullFlashGordonA_Ron_Hubbardnstinson
  • sean.ray said:

    I'm a US citizen, had never heard of this before the movie was announced. What a bunch of brave souls truly an inspiring story. And i've been thinking a lot about Churchhill's quote and I actually got it tattooed on my arm two weekends ago because I was thinking World War II early on was basically England versus Europe and Churchill saying we should go on to the end we shall fight on the beaches we shall fight on the landing grounds we shall never surrender. that's not just inspirational that's a way of life. Bravo to England, seriously, because when it comes down to it someone has to stop evil in this world and in 1939 to 45 evil was Adolf Hitler. someone has to stop him. who is going to stop him? Good men who stand up and say enough. British and American. So God bless those troops on that beach, on the channel, and in the air.

    Not to argue because I agree with you and appreciate your point of view on this...but Russia played a massive role (the biggest role - by far) so they deserve credit too.  And while its absolutely undeniable that the war couldn't have been won without America - hands down, the single most important event in the history of the war was America joining the allies - there were others there from day one who paid a heavy price.
    @CretanBull I really don't think this is fair criticism here, this thread is specifically pointing to the early part of the war. Germany didn't invade Russia for a full year after the Dunkirk evacuation and perfect hindsight is very convenient here.

    Germany started bombing London only a few weeks after the evacuation, talk about dark times. There was no hostility with Russia yet, Germany essentially controlled all of Europe after very quickly defeating its only powerful opponents France and Britain, and the United States was basically like, "uh here take this lend-lease equipment and supplies, good luck." And even that didn't actually start until several months after Dunkirk. 

    So yeah I dunno, starting with the summer of 1940 London it had to be pretty goddamn terrifying, there was really no reason for hope, which makes their resolve all the more impressive to me.

    Oh and also, just cause:






  • Hatorian said:

    There's a saying I really like that sums up the allies pretty well.

    "The war was won with British intelligence, Russian blood and US steel."

    It really sums it up well. Without those 3 things it's a different story.

    I will say though that the US is the only ally to fight 2 wars. Everyone seems to forget that the US basically fought And defeated Japan by itself while still supporting 2 different fronts(France and Italy) in Europe. Yea the British were in the pacific but not at any significant level. The pacific theatre was won by the US.

    The USSR also fought Japan. They made the Kwangtung army of about 1 million soldiers surrender in one week of fighting, and Japanese cables from the period show that that had a bigger impact on their decision to surrender than the atomic bombs.

    http://apjjf.org/-Tsuyoshi-Hasegawa/2501/article.html

    The Japanese thought that they could have gotten more favorable terms for a surrender from the Soviets because they had a ton of land in east Asia to give away. Then the Soviets just took it. Of course, it's not either or, but a combination.
  • gguenot said:

    You mean the US didn't come save the day? Our history books say that the US saves everyone!

    A little late to the show, but made a world of difference!
  • ghm3 said:

    sean.ray said:

    I'm a US citizen, had never heard of this before the movie was announced. What a bunch of brave souls truly an inspiring story. And i've been thinking a lot about Churchhill's quote and I actually got it tattooed on my arm two weekends ago because I was thinking World War II early on was basically England versus Europe and Churchill saying we should go on to the end we shall fight on the beaches we shall fight on the landing grounds we shall never surrender. that's not just inspirational that's a way of life. Bravo to England, seriously, because when it comes down to it someone has to stop evil in this world and in 1939 to 45 evil was Adolf Hitler. someone has to stop him. who is going to stop him? Good men who stand up and say enough. British and American. So God bless those troops on that beach, on the channel, and in the air.

    Not to argue because I agree with you and appreciate your point of view on this...but Russia played a massive role (the biggest role - by far) so they deserve credit too.  And while its absolutely undeniable that the war couldn't have been won without America - hands down, the single most important event in the history of the war was America joining the allies - there were others there from day one who paid a heavy price.
    @CretanBull I really don't think this is fair criticism here, this thread is specifically pointing to the early part of the war. Germany didn't invade Russia for a full year after the Dunkirk evacuation and perfect hindsight is very convenient here.

    Germany started bombing London only a few weeks after the evacuation, talk about dark times. There was no hostility with Russia yet, Germany essentially controlled all of Europe after very quickly defeating its only powerful opponents France and Britain, and the United States was basically like, "uh here take this lend-lease equipment and supplies, good luck." And even that didn't actually start until several months after Dunkirk. 

    So yeah I dunno, starting with the summer of 1940 London it had to be pretty goddamn terrifying, there was really no reason for hope, which makes their resolve all the more impressive to me.

    Oh and also, just cause:








    My comment wasn't at all meant as a criticism, I was adding on to what Sean said - not arguing against it.  As for it being focused on the early part of the war, I should have highlighted it in my original reply but I was commenting on this section in particular:

    "...when it comes down to it someone has to stop evil in this world and in 1939 to 45 evil was Adolf Hitler. someone has to stop him. who is going to stop him? Good men who stand up and say enough. British and American." 

    I didn't think that it was his intention to suggest that it came down to the UK and America to stop Hitler, but was worried that impression might have been left.  In my original comment, I gave credit to the others that were there from day one ( Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa among others were all there from the start), added that Russia played a massive roll and that America ultimately changed the tide of the war when they joined (it was a stalemate at best, more honestly we were losing before America showed up).

    As for your other point about British resolve during the Battle of Britain that followed Dunkirk, I made the same point in the other Dunkirk thread - saying that the sense of unity that came out of Dunkirk played a huge roll in keeping people together and morale high during the bombings.



  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    gguenot said:

    You mean the US didn't come save the day? Our history books say that the US saves everyone!

    We're the best obviously

    image
    darwinfeeshygguenotvoodooratBrawnDummynstinson

  • image



    That gif really sums up America.

    Gaudy, proud, and predatory.

    gguenotakritenbrink

  • image



    That gif really sums up America.

    Gaudy, proud, and predatory.

    America: We have a rapists' wit
    akritenbrink
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Rapier's?  Raptor's?  
    akritenbrinknstinson
  • ThomasThomas North Carolina
    I think most Americans have a shared patriotism with allied nations like the UK, France, Canada, Aussies, etc.  I went to this with a few other vets and they all loved it.  I think the best part was it wasn't Hollywooded up and pumped full of fake drama.  It just shows how formidable the Germans were too, considering the Brits had arguably one of the most experienced militaries in the world.
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    I wonder how the Germans watch all these movies.
    Thomasnstinson
  • ThomasThomas North Carolina

    I wonder how the Germans watch all these movies.

    Anytime you run into their soldiers overseas, they tend to get really uncomfortable if you mention WW2.  Last time I saw someone make a joke the guy's response was something like "that was a very long time ago, we don't talk about that." in a deep German accent.
  • I wonder how the Germans watch all these movies.


    I've wondered about this a lot, and have spoken to many German's about this - not just their portrayal in movies but WWII in general.  In my experience, I've noticed that they carry an enormous sense of shame about it.  I obviously don't mean to suggest that they should have pride about unleashing Hitler on the world, but each time it comes up I'm surprised by the emotional burden that modern day Germans have over WWII.  I don't at all mean to say "hey, you guys went a little nutty, killed millions and attempted a genocide...no biggy!" but at some point, you have to realize that you're not entirely responsible for what your ancestor's did.  Never forget but maybe explore forgiving yourselves.

    That sense of collective guilt has played a part in modern day politics as well...Germany has let in a million Syrian refugees that they probably (almost certainly) can't accommodate all of, but given their past actions towards minorities they're still trying to make amends and show the world that they aren't who they once were.

    Conversely, and this is way more anecdotal because I haven't met nearly as many Japanese people (from Japan) that I have Germans, but I've never heard a Japanese person express any sort of war remorse.  Maybe the bombs wiped out any Pearl Harbour guilt, but they seem polar opposites to the Germans that I've encountered.


  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah

    Hatorian said:

    There's a saying I really like that sums up the allies pretty well.

    "The war was won with British intelligence, Russian blood and US steel."

    It really sums it up well. Without those 3 things it's a different story.

    I will say though that the US is the only ally to fight 2 wars. Everyone seems to forget that the US basically fought And defeated Japan by itself while still supporting 2 different fronts(France and Italy) in Europe. Yea the British were in the pacific but not at any significant level. The pacific theatre was won by the US.

    The USSR also fought Japan. They made the Kwangtung army of about 1 million soldiers surrender in one week of fighting, and Japanese cables from the period show that that had a bigger impact on their decision to surrender than the atomic bombs.

    http://apjjf.org/-Tsuyoshi-Hasegawa/2501/article.html

    The Japanese thought that they could have gotten more favorable terms for a surrender from the Soviets because they had a ton of land in east Asia to give away. Then the Soviets just took it. Of course, it's not either or, but a combination.
    Sorry mate. But saying the USSR who fought an 11 day battle in 1945 had any significant contribution is just wrong. That's like the equivalent of the US not showing up in Europe until 1945 when Britain and Russia were already in Germany and expecting to be hailed as heroes.

    Yea Russia started to position itself for war in the pacific and surely would have helped if Japan resisted. And yes or course Russia had a big part in Japan surrendering. But it was more from fear of future loss than what the Russians actually inflicted.
    nstinson
  • emnofseattleemnofseattle Mason County, Washington USA
    Hatorian said:

    There's a saying I really like that sums up the allies pretty well.

    "The war was won with British intelligence, Russian blood and US steel."

    It really sums it up well. Without those 3 things it's a different story.

    I will say though that the US is the only ally to fight 2 wars. Everyone seems to forget that the US basically fought And defeated Japan by itself while still supporting 2 different fronts(France and Italy) in Europe. Yea the British were in the pacific but not at any significant level. The pacific theatre was won by the US.

    I wouldn't go that far, the Australians had significant investment in the PTO, and in the early stages the colonial Dutch did as well. The Australians did a lot of heavy lifting in Papau New Guine and Malaysia. The pacific campaign also resulted in the Australians realigning foreign policy closer to the US then to Britain, years later Australia would be the only ally of ours to send ground troops to Vietnam in support of ours but that's another story.
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah

    Hatorian said:

    There's a saying I really like that sums up the allies pretty well.

    "The war was won with British intelligence, Russian blood and US steel."

    It really sums it up well. Without those 3 things it's a different story.

    I will say though that the US is the only ally to fight 2 wars. Everyone seems to forget that the US basically fought And defeated Japan by itself while still supporting 2 different fronts(France and Italy) in Europe. Yea the British were in the pacific but not at any significant level. The pacific theatre was won by the US.

    I wouldn't go that far, the Australians had significant investment in the PTO, and in the early stages the colonial Dutch did as well. The Australians did a lot of heavy lifting in Papau New Guine and Malaysia. The pacific campaign also resulted in the Australians realigning foreign policy closer to the US then to Britain, years later Australia would be the only ally of ours to send ground troops to Vietnam in support of ours but that's another story.
    Australia didn't fight 2 wars. Their major contribution was solely in the pacific.
  • Hatorian said:

    Hatorian said:

    There's a saying I really like that sums up the allies pretty well.

    "The war was won with British intelligence, Russian blood and US steel."

    It really sums it up well. Without those 3 things it's a different story.

    I will say though that the US is the only ally to fight 2 wars. Everyone seems to forget that the US basically fought And defeated Japan by itself while still supporting 2 different fronts(France and Italy) in Europe. Yea the British were in the pacific but not at any significant level. The pacific theatre was won by the US.

    The USSR also fought Japan. They made the Kwangtung army of about 1 million soldiers surrender in one week of fighting, and Japanese cables from the period show that that had a bigger impact on their decision to surrender than the atomic bombs.

    http://apjjf.org/-Tsuyoshi-Hasegawa/2501/article.html

    The Japanese thought that they could have gotten more favorable terms for a surrender from the Soviets because they had a ton of land in east Asia to give away. Then the Soviets just took it. Of course, it's not either or, but a combination.
    Sorry mate. But saying the USSR who fought an 11 day battle in 1945 had any significant contribution is just wrong. That's like the equivalent of the US not showing up in Europe until 1945 when Britain and Russia were already in Germany and expecting to be hailed as heroes.

    Yea Russia started to position itself for war in the pacific and surely would have helped if Japan resisted. And yes or course Russia had a big part in Japan surrendering. But it was more from fear of future loss than what the Russians actually inflicted.


    Perhaps read the link I posted? Or the award winning book by Hasegawa? In 1945 the Imperial Japanese Army had 5 million people. The Kwantung Army had a little over a million of those. So the Red Army defeated about 1/5 of the IJA. Consider that in the European theater about 1/5 of the German army was on the Western front. To dismiss that because of how quickly it went, as opposed to number of forces defeated, seems to be wrongheaded.

    Honestly, you really should read up on the history of WW2 before making these statements.

    Most of the major European powers had colonies in east Asian and were fighting the Japanese long before the US entered the war. The British Indian Army had over 2 million people fighting in 1945. The US was the major force in the Pacific, but people tend to forget that the Japanese were not just fighting in the Pacific, but Southeast Asia as well.
  • emnofseattleemnofseattle Mason County, Washington USA
    Hatorian said:

    Hatorian said:

    There's a saying I really like that sums up the allies pretty well.

    "The war was won with British intelligence, Russian blood and US steel."

    It really sums it up well. Without those 3 things it's a different story.

    I will say though that the US is the only ally to fight 2 wars. Everyone seems to forget that the US basically fought And defeated Japan by itself while still supporting 2 different fronts(France and Italy) in Europe. Yea the British were in the pacific but not at any significant level. The pacific theatre was won by the US.

    I wouldn't go that far, the Australians had significant investment in the PTO, and in the early stages the colonial Dutch did as well. The Australians did a lot of heavy lifting in Papau New Guine and Malaysia. The pacific campaign also resulted in the Australians realigning foreign policy closer to the US then to Britain, years later Australia would be the only ally of ours to send ground troops to Vietnam in support of ours but that's another story.
    Australia didn't fight 2 wars. Their major contribution was solely in the pacific.
    I was responding to the idea that the Pacific Theater was nearly all America, there were significant contributions by allies in that area.


  • emnofseattleemnofseattle Mason County, Washington USA

    I wonder how the Germans watch all these movies.


    I've wondered about this a lot, and have spoken to many German's about this - not just their portrayal in movies but WWII in general.  In my experience, I've noticed that they carry an enormous sense of shame about it.  I obviously don't mean to suggest that they should have pride about unleashing Hitler on the world, but each time it comes up I'm surprised by the emotional burden that modern day Germans have over WWII.  I don't at all mean to say "hey, you guys went a little nutty, killed millions and attempted a genocide...no biggy!" but at some point, you have to realize that you're not entirely responsible for what your ancestor's did.  Never forget but maybe explore forgiving yourselves.

    That sense of collective guilt has played a part in modern day politics as well...Germany has let in a million Syrian refugees that they probably (almost certainly) can't accommodate all of, but given their past actions towards minorities they're still trying to make amends and show the world that they aren't who they once were.

    Conversely, and this is way more anecdotal because I haven't met nearly as many Japanese people (from Japan) that I have Germans, but I've never heard a Japanese person express any sort of war remorse.  Maybe the bombs wiped out any Pearl Harbour guilt, but they seem polar opposites to the Germans that I've encountered.


    The Japanese have a huge cultural aversion to criticizing their own kind.

    And for years the ministry of education would reject textbooks for schools that referenced any Japanese war crimes. The Rape of Nanking was a topic that wouldn't be discussed in academia until the 1990s, until then if it was referenced at all it was explained away as propaganda.

    The US Historian Stephen Ambrose once wrote that Japanese history on World War Two as according to Japanese education could be summarized as "one day, for reasons we don't understand Americans started dropping atomic bombs on us"

  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah


    Hatorian said:

    Hatorian said:

    There's a saying I really like that sums up the allies pretty well.

    "The war was won with British intelligence, Russian blood and US steel."

    It really sums it up well. Without those 3 things it's a different story.

    I will say though that the US is the only ally to fight 2 wars. Everyone seems to forget that the US basically fought And defeated Japan by itself while still supporting 2 different fronts(France and Italy) in Europe. Yea the British were in the pacific but not at any significant level. The pacific theatre was won by the US.

    The USSR also fought Japan. They made the Kwangtung army of about 1 million soldiers surrender in one week of fighting, and Japanese cables from the period show that that had a bigger impact on their decision to surrender than the atomic bombs.

    http://apjjf.org/-Tsuyoshi-Hasegawa/2501/article.html

    The Japanese thought that they could have gotten more favorable terms for a surrender from the Soviets because they had a ton of land in east Asia to give away. Then the Soviets just took it. Of course, it's not either or, but a combination.
    Sorry mate. But saying the USSR who fought an 11 day battle in 1945 had any significant contribution is just wrong. That's like the equivalent of the US not showing up in Europe until 1945 when Britain and Russia were already in Germany and expecting to be hailed as heroes.

    Yea Russia started to position itself for war in the pacific and surely would have helped if Japan resisted. And yes or course Russia had a big part in Japan surrendering. But it was more from fear of future loss than what the Russians actually inflicted.


    Perhaps read the link I posted? Or the award winning book by Hasegawa? In 1945 the Imperial Japanese Army had 5 million people. The Kwantung Army had a little over a million of those. So the Red Army defeated about 1/5 of the IJA. Consider that in the European theater about 1/5 of the German army was on the Western front. To dismiss that because of how quickly it went, as opposed to number of forces defeated, seems to be wrongheaded.

    Honestly, you really should read up on the history of WW2 before making these statements.

    Most of the major European powers had colonies in east Asian and were fighting the Japanese long before the US entered the war. The British Indian Army had over 2 million people fighting in 1945. The US was the major force in the Pacific, but people tend to forget that the Japanese were not just fighting in the Pacific, but Southeast Asia as well.
    Agree to disagree
  • edited July 30
    There are many things where people can agree to disagree. There are some that are simply part of the historical record. The idea that only the US fought in the two fronts is a historical falsehood very easily verified.
    Just as one example: The British Empire undoubtedly fought in the European theater (I hope I don't have to post links about this on a Dunkirk thread). They also undoubtedly fought the Japanese. The Burma campaign, which lasted form January 1942 to the end of the war, involved over 1 million soldiers from the British empire, where they had nearly 100,000 casualties. They had another 85,000 casualties in the fall of Singapore. If that is not fighting in the same "two wars" that you claim the US was the only one to do, I don't know what is. Not to mention that the Brits fought in campaigns that the Americans never participated in, like the Eastern Africa campaign.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Campaign
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Singapore

    You are also objectively wrong about Australia. More Australians were killed in action against Germany than against Japan:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_casualties_of_World_War_II
    They had more casualties total against Japan, but that was because of disease and sickness.

    As for the Soviets, the size of the territory that the Soviets captured during their participation there was larger than the entire Western front in Europe:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Manchuria#Campaign
    And, of course, the only reason that the Soviets were quiet on that front was because of Khalkhin Gol. The Japanese attacked the Soviets long before they attacked the US, and were defeated by the Soviets long before they attacked the US. Their entire strategy changed because of that defeat, because originally their plans were to capture Siberia

    http://thediplomat.com/2012/08/the-forgotten-soviet-japanese-war-of-1939/?allpages=yes

    Now, we may agree to disagree if it was the A bomb or the invasion of Manchuria that was the biggest factor in the Japanese surrender. But the claim that the US was the only one to fight "two wars" is demonstrably false and not up to opinion, much like the fact that the Soviets had a major impact on Japanese decisions, long before they ever attacked the US.
    emnofseattle
  • emnofseattleemnofseattle Mason County, Washington USA

    There are many things where people can agree to disagree. There are some that are simply part of the historical record. The idea that only the US fought in the two fronts is a historical falsehood very easily verified.
    Just as one example: The British Empire undoubtedly fought in the European theater (I hope I don't have to post links about this on a Dunkirk thread). They also undoubtedly fought the Japanese. The Burma campaign, which lasted form January 1942 to the end of the war, involved over 1 million soldiers from the British empire, where they had nearly 100,000 casualties. They had another 85,000 casualties in the fall of Singapore. If that is not fighting in the same "two wars" that you claim the US was the only one to do, I don't know what is. Not to mention that the Brits fought in campaigns that the Americans never participated in, like the Eastern Africa campaign.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Campaign
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Singapore

    You are also objectively wrong about Australia. More Australians were killed in action against Germany than against Japan:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_casualties_of_World_War_II
    They had more casualties total against Japan, but that was because of disease and sickness.

    As for the Soviets, the size of the territory that the Soviets captured during their participation there was larger than the entire Western front in Europe:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Manchuria#Campaign
    And, of course, the only reason that the Soviets were quiet on that front was because of Khalkhin Gol. The Japanese attacked the Soviets long before they attacked the US, and were defeated by the Soviets long before they attacked the US. Their entire strategy changed because of that defeat, because originally their plans were to capture Siberia

    http://thediplomat.com/2012/08/the-forgotten-soviet-japanese-war-of-1939/?allpages=yes

    Now, we may agree to disagree if it was the A bomb or the invasion of Manchuria that was the biggest factor in the Japanese surrender. But the claim that the US was the only one to fight "two wars" is demonstrably false and not up to opinion, much like the fact that the Soviets had a major impact on Japanese decisions, long before they ever attacked the US.


    Exactly, as someone who's fairly well read in ww2 history I was stunned anyone would claim that the British and their commonwealth dominions didn't participate in the PTO in any significant manner. Yes the European theater got more attention from the Brits and their dominions because it posed an existential threat to their homeland, but they had significant participation in the PTO.

    And also the US prioritized Europe, and the reason we were able to take on the Pacific theater is the power of Royal Navy versus Germany's relative lack of naval power (other then submarines) allowed us to dedicate most of our navy to fighting Japan

  • emnofseattleemnofseattle Mason County, Washington USA
    Thomas said:

    I wonder how the Germans watch all these movies.

    Anytime you run into their soldiers overseas, they tend to get really uncomfortable if you mention WW2.  Last time I saw someone make a joke the guy's response was something like "that was a very long time ago, we don't talk about that." in a deep German accent.
    A friend of mine who's much older (he's now 60) joined NOAA as a much younger man and was a merchant oiler on a research vessel that did trips to the Antarctic via the Chilean coast, and so some time in the late 1970s his vessel stopped somewhere in Chile and he ran into a German (many Germans moved to Chile after the war, several war criminals were famously given sanctuary in Argentina, Chile didn't welcome war criminals but German military veterans were permitted to emigrate there) who had been U-boat commander. Apparently this guy was fairly open because my friend was describing all these stories he was told about sinking allied merchant vessels and seemed pretty unashamed about it.

    He also sold my friend some prewar German toys of German soldiers, throwing grenades and holding rifles and stuff.

    I get the feeling attitudes vary depending on who you ask. Although it seems from people I know who've met German veterans (I never have) they usually always qualify they were never in the SS before telling any stories
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah

    There are many things where people can agree to disagree. There are some that are simply part of the historical record. The idea that only the US fought in the two fronts is a historical falsehood very easily verified.
    Just as one example: The British Empire undoubtedly fought in the European theater (I hope I don't have to post links about this on a Dunkirk thread). They also undoubtedly fought the Japanese. The Burma campaign, which lasted form January 1942 to the end of the war, involved over 1 million soldiers from the British empire, where they had nearly 100,000 casualties. They had another 85,000 casualties in the fall of Singapore. If that is not fighting in the same "two wars" that you claim the US was the only one to do, I don't know what is. Not to mention that the Brits fought in campaigns that the Americans never participated in, like the Eastern Africa campaign.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Campaign
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Singapore

    You are also objectively wrong about Australia. More Australians were killed in action against Germany than against Japan:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_casualties_of_World_War_II
    They had more casualties total against Japan, but that was because of disease and sickness.

    As for the Soviets, the size of the territory that the Soviets captured during their participation there was larger than the entire Western front in Europe:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Manchuria#Campaign
    And, of course, the only reason that the Soviets were quiet on that front was because of Khalkhin Gol. The Japanese attacked the Soviets long before they attacked the US, and were defeated by the Soviets long before they attacked the US. Their entire strategy changed because of that defeat, because originally their plans were to capture Siberia

    http://thediplomat.com/2012/08/the-forgotten-soviet-japanese-war-of-1939/?allpages=yes

    Now, we may agree to disagree if it was the A bomb or the invasion of Manchuria that was the biggest factor in the Japanese surrender. But the claim that the US was
    the only one to fight "two wars" is demonstrably false and not up to opinion, much like the fact that the Soviets had a major impact on
    Japanese decisions, long before they ever attacked the US.

    Not sure where you got your numbers but more Australians died against Japan than Germany. Actually almost double. You might want to re-check your facts on that.

    Also 16million US soldiers served in 2 Theatres of war. That's the entire population of Australia. I know it's not Australia's fault the US is 10 times bigger but you can't put contributions on the same page.

    I'm going to continue to argue that the US fought in the pacific for 4 years and in Europe for 3. Russia didn't even engage Japan until 1945.

    So once again. The US contribution in terms of time, personnel and action outweighs any other ally when looking at 2 theatre wars.

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