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    America, not the Soviet Union, was the dominant victor in World War II

    By James Rogan,

    2024-05-18

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    Wars are won by the nation that can project the most lethal killing power at the fastest speed with the most accuracy. Wars are not won by sending waves of human “cannon fodder” against entrenched defensive positions. That economic power and technological superiority win wars was proved in World War II when the United States became the "arsenal of democracy."

    Last week, during Russia ’s Victory Day celebration for its role in defeating Nazi Germany, Vladimir Putin rolled out just one tank, a model T 34, which was the principal Soviet tank used in Stalin’s war against Germany. Putin was sending the message that Russia had been the most significant contributor to victory in Europe and that Russia’s military would win its war of aggression against Ukraine .

    Putin’s message is false. U.S. industrial might was the decisive factor in World War II and will be the critical force in maintaining the sovereignty of Ukraine.

    Just before the Empire of Japan launched its surprise attack against U.S. naval and military forces at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Admiral Yamamoto, Commander of Japanese naval forces, reputedly warned his senior officers that the attack would awaken the “sleeping giant” of U.S. industrial might. Yamamoto was right. The U.S. mobilized and projected its power across the globe, from Asia to Africa and finally into the heart of Europe. U.S. industry and its logistics train won World War II.

    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt mobilized American industry. 54 million men and women built the weapons, tanks, planes, and ships that made victory possible. FDR's administration also instituted the Manhattan Project which brought together the world’s greatest physicists to build the first atomic bomb.

    The statistics are clear . From 1941 through 1945, the U.S. by itself built 324,000 military aircraft, launched 6,771 large ships and supplied the militaries of the U.S., Great Britain and Russia with 1.5 million tanks, trucks and jeeps as well as 2.7 million machine guns and 250,000 pieces of artillery.  By 1944. the U.S. was producing 96,000 military aircraft, more than double the production of the Soviet Union which was producing only 40,000 aircraft. The U.S. produced significantly more tanks than the Soviet Union.

    Without U.S. military supplies, it is arguable that the Soviet Union could not have defeated Nazi Germany. America supplied Stalin’s military with 400,000 trucks, 2,000 train locomotives, more than 10,000 rail cars, and billions of dollars worth of warplanes, tanks, food and clothing. As Russian historian Anatoly Razumov said recently,  “American technology and supplies formed the base of Russia’s war effort.”

    It is important to remember that at the same time the U.S. was supplying the Soviet Union, it was the source of 25% of Great Britain’s munitions. Perhaps most importantly, the U.S. was the only country fighting a truly global war. The U.S. military defeated Nazi Germany, and it utterly destroyed the Empire of Japan. U.S. industry was truly awesome.

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    In addition to providing the materials of war that brought victory, U.S. scientists made major breakthroughs in aircraft design, including the B29 long-range bomber and the P51 Mustang, the best fighter aircraft produced in World War II. And of course, U.S. technological superiority was confirmed by the Manhattan Project where the U.S. developed the first atomic bomb. Originally, $6,000 was authorized for the Manhattan Project. Ultimately, $2 billion , $30 billion in today’s money, was spent developing the bomb that sealed victory.

    The American economy and U.S. technology proved decisive in winning World War II.

    James Rogan is a former U.S. foreign service officer who later worked in finance and law for 30 years. He writes a daily note .

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