Help support TMP

"If the Soviets and the West went to war in 1945..." Topic

23 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Remember that you can Stifle members so that you don't have to read their posts.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Cold War (1946-1989) Message Board

Back to the WWII Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest

World War Two on the Land

Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset

War Games Rules: Infantry Actions

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Showcase Article

MEA Infantry Squad [BEvo]

The Editor snaps some photos of the pre-painted Middle Eastern infantry from Mongoose's new game, Battlefield Evolution.

Featured Workbench Article

Beowolf Paints 8th Army Shermans

Beowulf Fezian shows an easy and quick technique for British tanks in North Africa.

Featured Profile Article

First Look: Battlefront's Train Tracks

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian checks out some 10/15mm railroad tracks for wargaming.

Featured Book Review

1,046 hits since 29 Nov 2021
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2021 8:24 p.m. PST

… – who would have won?

YouTube link


Nine pound round30 Nov 2021 10:57 a.m. PST

Depends. The Allies drew down their forces in Europe very significantly between April and August, to support the demand to move forces to the Pacific. This meant the movement of many formations to the Pacific, and the withdrawal of personnel from many others to ensure they went at full strength. After August, the demobilization process moved pretty quickly. A lot would depend on what assumptions regarding this process you would factor into the game.

While it's tempting to think nuclear weapons would have decided things, there were so few that it's more a question of where and how they would be deployed to best support a larger national effort than a question of whether they could have compensated for a lack of troops.

The reality is that every one of the Allied populations was so war-weary at that point that nobody would have risked a fight. Britain was essentially bankrupt and Russia was devastated. The US had zero appetite for another major war.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2021 2:31 p.m. PST



Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2021 6:56 p.m. PST

There are a few games that try to simulate it. The ones I have tried seem to agree that it is a bloody slog, and while games aren't always the best source, I can't help but think it would not have been in anyone's best interest since all sides would be fighting over and through rubble amongst people stripped of hope and wishing it would just stop.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2021 7:08 p.m. PST

If the West starts to plan soon enough they move farther east during the war then they did historically. They don't send POWs to America, they keep them in Europe to act as troops when the next phase happens. Forces are not shipped to Japan as quickly and war production and the draft continue undiminished in 1944 and 1945. Aid to the Soviet Union, food & raw materials, is reduced and Red spies are sought out and arrested here at home. Peace feelers are sent out to Japan so perhaps an invasion can be avoided. Two atomic bombs a month could be stockpiled or used starting in August. Each one is a city to be destroyed. The B36 can hit almost anything in Russia.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Cuprum230 Nov 2021 7:56 p.m. PST

Operation Unthinkable. Why Western countries did not dare to attack the Soviet Union in 1945:


Perun Gromovnik30 Nov 2021 11:37 p.m. PST

If UK and US could do it they would but they couldnt so they didnt

In 1945 there were massive US Army demobilization demonstrations worldwide, even during WW2 british had serious man power shortages

Plan "Unthinkable" was just that, unthinkable plan

Cuprum230 Nov 2021 11:46 p.m. PST

Objectively, the United States was not seriously interested in such a war in the way that Britain was. It was more important for the USA that the USSR entered the war against Japan. After all, after the attack on the USSR, the Soviets and the Japanese with a high probability could join forces in the struggle against a common enemy. Not exactly allies, but "my enemy's enemy…"
A nuclear bomb appeared in the USSR in 1949 (when the B36 went into mass production), the Japanese were seriously working on biological weapons. Who knows how events could unfold.

Murvihill01 Dec 2021 5:01 a.m. PST

I love these threads where someone posits a 'what if' and instead of assuming conditions were such that the 'what if' was possible, people argue that it was impossible. Kind of defeats the purpose of a 'what if'.
Anyway, the war would hinge on whether the Allies could get a nuke to Moscow or not.

Nine pound round01 Dec 2021 6:22 a.m. PST

Some kinds of "what if" are seriously plausible; some are not. Some of the other commentators have done me the favor of highlighting the counter factuals that this raises, and their wild implausibility (as Cuprum points out in his comment about the US dropping the war against Japan to fight the Soviet Union) underscores the implausibility of the whole scenario.

War planning and gaming sometimes involves wildly improbable scenarios (e.g., the US 1930s-era "War Plan Red" for a conflict with the British Empire, which gets trotted out in the press for laughs every so often), and there's no reason not to read, discuss or game it. But it doesn't make it any more plausible as a historical contingency.

Cuprum201 Dec 2021 7:58 a.m. PST

Murvihill, Moscow is just one of many cities in Russia. As the Russian commander-in-chief Prince Kutuzov said in 1812: "With the loss of Moscow, Russia is not lost…"

donlowry01 Dec 2021 8:52 a.m. PST

I would think the most plausible way it might have started was not by deliberation of the leaders of either side, but by someone farther down the food chain getting over-eager -- Patton, for instance.

Nine pound round01 Dec 2021 11:42 a.m. PST

Paul Fussell was wrong about some things, but never more right than when he described the national mood among the Americans at that point- it was "GET IT DONE."

The arguments for fighting the Russians tended to come from individuals like Churchill or Patton, rather than major constituencies, because it was pretty hard at that point to get two people ina room who wanted more war.

That phenomenon, as much as the Bomb, was probably why the Cold War only ever heated up around the edges.

alexpainter03 Dec 2021 5:50 a.m. PST

The only real possibility of a war was that the russian attacked first, all the allies were too war weary, but:
A) Stalin wasn't so crazy, his country was VERY short on manpower, resources, and they needed to consolidate their grip on the new "liberated" territories;
B) With all the mess generated from the war it wasn't impossible that someone in the army/politburo could've catch the opportunity to eliminate Stalin & co. with a putch, expecially if there was the possibility of a military defeat, after all Russia was heavy dependant on some types of strategical materials (such as rubber) and their air force totally lacked strategical bombers.

Nine pound round03 Dec 2021 9:13 a.m. PST

Milovan Djilas quotes Stalin at the time as saying, "we'll give it about ten years, and then we'll have another go at it."

He was crazy- but not that crazy.

donlowry03 Dec 2021 10:18 a.m. PST

However, if a couple of belligerent battalion commanders (one Soviet and one Allied) had collided over who would occupy what, it might have escalated. Fortunately, it didn't.

Marcus Brutus03 Dec 2021 10:55 a.m. PST

The Americans were keen to have the Soviets enter the war against Japan in early 1945 but by the time of Potsdam and the summer of 45 much less. Truman was much less friendly towards the Soviets than Roosevelt and would have preferred the Soviets basically stay out in August of 1945. It is not hard to imagine scenarios where WWIII begins but I agree with others that it wasn't really in the interests of the Soviets or the Americans to start something. Still, I think the evidence is that Allies would have defeated the Soviets in 45-46. Their overwhelming air power is simply unstoppable.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2021 2:27 p.m. PST



Cuprum203 Dec 2021 8:50 p.m. PST

Nine pound round – I would like to familiarize myself with the original source, which was used by Milovan Djilas)))

donlowry – armed incidents between the USSR and the allies took place in reality.

# 1. On November 7, 1944, in the area of ​​the Yugoslav city of Niš, 27 Lightning american heavy fighters attacked a Soviet convoy of the 6th Guards Rifle Corps headquarters. As a result of the raid killed the corps commander, Lieutenant General G.P. Kotov.
To repel the attack, 9 Soviet fighters Yak-9 of the 866th Fighter Aviation Regiment were raised from a nearby airfield. They were also attacked by the Americans during the climb, despite the fact that Soviet fighters tried to show them their identification marks. Nevertheless, the Americans continued their attacks. Soviet fighters were forced to engage in aerial combat.
The Americans shot down two Soviet planes, two pilots were killed.
It was only when the Soviet fighters that had taken offshot down three Lightnings that the Americans stopped the attack and left.
The incident took place 50 kilometers from the front line.
In the tragedy near Nis, 34 Soviet servicemen were killed and 39 were wounded. 20 vehicles with cargo were burned. 2 American pilots were killed, another jumped out with a parachute, he was picked up by Soviet soldiers.

# 2. On March 18 1945, American "Flying Fortresses" and "Mustangs" appeared in the sky north of Kustrin, that is, in the zone of operation of the Soviet aviation, where the allies were not supposed to be. The Americans were pursued by German Me-109 and FV-190 fighters. This was noticed by the Soviet Yak-3. Soviet pilots quickly determined who was an ally and who was an enemy. The Yaks entered the battle and drove the Germans away, but were suddenly attacked by American fighters themselves.
Realizing that this was a misunderstanding, the Soviet pilots tried to leave, but the Americans continued to pursue them and shot down 6 Soviet planes. At the same time, two Yak pilots were killed, and one more was seriously wounded. The Soviet pilots did not return fire.
On March 19, General of the Army A.I. Antonov (Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army), sent an indignant letter to the head of the US military mission in the USSR, Major General John Dean, demanding that he investigate the incident caused by the American pilots.

# 3. On April 22, 1945, in the skies over Berlin, Soviet ace Ivan Kozhedub and his wingman Dmitry Nechaev met an American B-17 bomber attacked by two German fighters. Kozhedub drove the Germans away, but he himself was attacked by two Mustangs accompanying the Flying Fortress. Kozhedub shot down both Mustangs that attacked him. One of the American pilots survived and parachuted down to the location of the Soviet troops.

donlowry04 Dec 2021 8:39 a.m. PST

Thanks for that. Very interesting! Any incidents on the ground?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Dec 2021 10:50 a.m. PST

Have to be a lot…!


Nine pound round04 Dec 2021 4:24 p.m. PST

I remember my grandfather saying that when his division met the Soviets at Linz, the biggest issue wasn't hostility: it was that the Russians wanted Mickey Mouse watches, and were willing to trade a bottle of vodka for one. Consequently, the division's mobile post exchange sold out immediately, and everyone tried everything they could think of to find more.

It never sounded like the kind of situation that might have turned into a shooting war. Everyone was far too happy to be alive and done with it all.

Cuprum204 Dec 2021 6:16 p.m. PST

There are quite a few references in the memoirs of some kind of random shootings on the ground, but there is no official confirmation of these incidents. Either information about this was not reported through the official channels of the command, or it was just "frontline tales", which is not uncommon in narrative sources.
But there are a lot of confirmed stories about joint parties, drinking and celebration)))




Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.