Myth: Britain won World War II

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by grimmy, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Never said we did.

    The United Kingdom remained undefeated and came out triumphant in WW2. However, we didn't win WW2 alone.

    Taking this in the context of the battlefield 1939-1945 the Allies won and the Axis lost.

    Britain was the only country in Europe not conquered to stand against the Axis but she was not alone from day one as her Commonwealth stood by her as they did in the Great War.

    Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Commonwealth gave their lives freely to support Britain against Germany and Italy in those early days when everyone else around the world thought Germany was a "lay down misere" to control all of Europe and also defeat Britain.

    When the threat of invasion to Britain was thought to be over in 1940, these volunteers then when on to fight and die in all subsequent battles around the globe.

    Whatever Britain was seen to have lost in WW2, it was shared to some degree by her Commonwealth.

    Britain's may have been loss of Empire and a horrific debt but their heads were held high as were the countries of the Commonwealth.

    You may win the fight however no one really wins when you count the cost of freedom.

    A photo from Tobruk in October 1941

    L to R Polish - British - India - Australian - Czech.

    Tobruk Oct 1941 LtoR Pol_Brit_Ind_Aust_Czech.jpg
     
    James S and Za Rodinu like this.
  2. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Nominated for Post Of The Year 2011!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    And I would like to drink to that too !

    Ron:cheers:
     
  4. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    In the end ,German militarism failed because it failed to learn the lessons of the Great War.Hitler's economic greed for territory to the Urals, condemned the Germans to defeat again having to fight on two fronts.

    While in the dark days of 1940 to the end of 1941,Britain stood alone,it was the rallying of the Empire,accompanied by the overrun that kept Britain in the war.Hitler had a reluctance to invade the British Isles because his vision was one of the creation of the Great German Reich and he looked on the British people as fellow Aryans.

    Having said that,the dismantling of Hitler's empire was initiated by the Red Army with its continual adverse effect on German manpower.At least 250 Divisons went into the Soviet mincemeat machine and despite hugh Soviet losses,replacements presented little difficulty.
    So as regards Britain winning the war,this was done on by teamwork but one of the greatest strategies by the British was that WSC was determined to keep Russia in the war at all costs.

    The US entered the war on the side of the freedom loving peoples of the world.But in the end,wars are fought with one eye on economics and with a Nazi occupied Europe there was a danger that the balance of power would not be to US's liking and might have had an adverse effect on the economic power of the US.

    Once the US war economy got into its stride,Germany could not compete. Soon manpower levels on the German home front became critical,forcing the Germans to harness any labour it could get its hands on.So in the end, Germany ran out of military manpower and manpower to maintain its war economy.

    As the situation at the final whistle of the war,Stalin was determined to have buffer territory to separate Russia from Western Europe and that was enacted by the creation of the Soviet satellite states.The US had no support for the continuation of the Britsh Empire in the new world order.

    Victory over the Axis powers encouraged those who had contributed to final victory should be free of colonial status.
     
  5. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I confess, rather guiltily, to never having spent a lot of time discussing or analysing the whys & the wherefores of the defeat of Hitler and the Third Reich.

    This was probably due to the fact that at the end of the day I was just satisfied to see the bastards get their come-uppance!

    Like many others of my age group, I was very much involved in the conflict and my immediate and connected family were to suffer grievous losses before we were able to see what is now referred to as the "Final Victory"

    There were a myriad of reasons why this final victory was achieved and the list of those who contributed is too great to mention here.

    Suffice to say we all played our part, each according to his or her capabilities.

    Ron
     
    James S likes this.
  6. Stormbird

    Stormbird Restless

    I recently read "The Making of Modern Britain" by Andrew Marr:

    The Making of Modern Britain: From Queen Victoria to VE Day: Amazon.co.uk: Andrew Marr: Books

    For approximately 80 pages in section four "Through fire, a new country" 1939 - 1945, Marr gives a very informative impartial overview of the war, defining which moments were more critical, evaluating the efforts of other countries etc.

    Highly recommended and also providing an answer to the thread question.
     
  7. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    As a veteran once said to me; "We won the war because we are free, freedom is a most precious thing, almost more precious than life itself".
     
  8. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    I recently read "The Making of Modern Britain" by Andrew Marr:

    The Making of Modern Britain: From Queen Victoria to VE Day: Amazon.co.uk: Andrew Marr: Books

    For approximately 80 pages in section four "Through fire, a new country" 1939 - 1945, Marr gives a very informative impartial overview of the war, defining which moments were more critical, evaluating the efforts of other countries etc.

    Highly recommended and also providing an answer to the thread question.

    Hi Stormbird,

    Do we really have to buy the book?;)

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  9. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Britain had every right to celebrate VE and VJ days as a victorious nation in WW2. They helped achieve victory along with the other Allied Nations. One should never fail to recognise the achievements of Britain and the Commonwealth and their efforts to secure victory in WW2.
    Did they win WW2? Yes!
    Did they do it alone? No!!!
    Could they have done it alone? Again No! (Standing alone against an enemy and defeating them are two completely different tasks)
    Victory in WW2 was a joint Allied effort.

    and I am not a landlord although I have spoken to many of them in my time. ;)
     
    James S likes this.
  10. Tab

    Tab Senior Member

    Some of my uncles will be pleased to hear that there was little fighting between 1941/2 there are at least four them buried in North Africa, they must have have died laughing.
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    For what it's worth, I'm very happy to be living in 2010's Britain. Far worse places to live and less pleasant time periods.
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    Amen to that brother !
     
  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Did Britain win the war? Of course they did, just not by themselves. They were part of a coalition.
     
  13. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    Blimey.....This is new to me...I'm going to lie down now...I spend most of my life...boring I know...telling folk the Yanks had allies on ww2f. Now Slips doing similar here....He's my dad by the way.
     
  14. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Von Poop here plz someone has edited my post ??????

    Sorry Gage did not see you are a mod way change my post?????

    Didn't change it. Just accidentally pressed 'edit' instead of 'quote'.
    Thanks for the neg rep.
     
  15. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    Didn't change it. Just accidentally pressed 'edit' instead of 'quote'.
    Thanks for the neg rep.

    Sorry for the mix up did not like my idea post be edited with out someone telling me. And did not know you were admin. So I thought ahhhhh someone can and is editing post.
     
  16. Stormbird

    Stormbird Restless

    ...

    Do we really have to buy the book?
    ...


    Long answer: I think you ought to. It's both well researched and well written and also very easy to read. It provides a brilliant overview over key issues that shaped the United Kingdom for that crucial period of time. For us non-Brits it's a shortcut to a better understanding of Britain.

    (If you're in lack of cash or book-shelf space you can borrow my copy when I'm done - must admit I read the WW2 bit first...)

    Short answer: He is absolutely and convincingly in favour of the view that the Allies won the war. He even follows a few fascinating what-if trails.
     
  17. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Long answer: I think you ought to. It's both well researched and well written and also very easy to read. It provides a brilliant overview over key issues that shaped the United Kingdom for that crucial period of time. For us non-Brits it's a shortcut to a better understanding of Britain.

    (If you're in lack of cash or book-shelf space you can borrow my copy when I'm done - must admit I read the WW2 bit first...)

    Short answer: He is absolutely and convincingly in favour of the view that the Allies won the war. He even follows a few fascinating what-if trails.

    I have the book to read. Got good reviews.
     
  18. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hang on! You ask Tom. Ron or myself: Sapper.... who won the war? Good Lord I should have thought that was obvious... We did .All the Vets here will agree I am sure. We did it....... I know I did:) What about Old codgers the Vets here? We did on our own ..Did we not? Bloody sure we did:)
    Onward ever onward...
     
  19. RJL

    RJL Senior Member

    A photo from Tobruk in October 1941

    L to R Polish - British - India - Australian - Czech.

    View attachment 65668


    I'll drink to that Spidge.

    Exactly. Nobody won it on their own. It was an Allied Vctory. :salut:
     
  20. Stormbird

    Stormbird Restless

    Am I unnecessarily complicating matters if suggesting that we are actually talking about different books?
    :blush:
     

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