Saturday, December 18, 2021

Why did the allies decide to attack North Africa rather than launch an attack on continental Europe?

 This MEME has been around for a long time.  The decision to take down Germany came almost immediately after Pearl Harbor.  Rather obviously though, it was not in USA interest for either the USSR or Germany to prosper in the long term, thus we have Truman's comment.

The real problem was that tooling up and delivering trained men and war material needed every month they had before D Day and D Day would not have happened had the USSR been finally defeated.

They really went when it was no longer possible for Germany to divert a corp or two from the East. to properly stop the allied buildup and onslaught.  Even then they had their moments.

In the interim it made excellent sense to shift emphasis to North Africa where Germany was strategically limited and the allies could use already raised and trained forces.  The bulk of those forces ultimately held down German forces in Italy and later provide a springboard for the invasion of Southern France.

Everyone knew the alliance with the USSR was one of convenience. it was actively betrayed the moment the fighting stopped.

Pavel Fekula

Why did the allies decide to attack North Africa rather than launch an attack on continental Europe?

The Western Allies’ strategy in World War II can be summed up by a quote from Harry S. Truman from the time:

“If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don't want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances.”

The US didn’t want a quick end to the war. They wanted the Soviets and Germans to kill as many of each other as possible to allow the US and UK to take Western Europe at the conclusion of the war with relatively light opposition. If the Western Allies had invaded sooner, they would have taken more casualties and helped the Soviets emerge from the war in a stronger position.

More than anything else, the fact that the Soviets took so many casualties in the war prevented them from driving the US and UK off the continent in the war’s aftermath.

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