Allied war production particularly Great Britain

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Volunteer, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Volunteer

    Volunteer New Member

    Can someone tell me what war materials Great Britain produced before the United States began sending aid?
    Particularly weapons from small arms, ships, tanks, aircraft.
    Could Great Britain have made it without U.S. aid?


  2. sniper

    sniper Active Member

    Hi James,

    Welcome to the forum. I don't think we would of won the war without the material help but as we had already stopped the invasion that Hitler had planned by beating the Luffewaffe during the Battle of Britain. After that the Germans would never of been strong enough to beat us. If he had launched the invasion he would of lost a lot of troops and would not of got any further north than a few miles off the beach. Our Navy was waiting and would of cut off the invasion force as the German navy was no way strong enough to fend them off.
    It was down to the material aid that we were able to go on the offensive and attack Italy after beating the Afrika Korps and the Italian army in the desert of North Africa.
    We were able to produce everything we needed to defend our country but as with every country we could not produce enough of the raw materials such as iron ore and food stuffs, which even now no country can do. We had oil and fuel due to the oil fields in North Africa. We were able to produce ships faster than the Germans could sink them as the ship builders started to use a new way of building ships faster.

  3. Volunteer

    Volunteer New Member

    Hi sniper, thanks for the welcome!:hi:

  4. Volunteer

    Volunteer New Member

    Can you tell me how much war material (ships, tanks, planes(all types), Britain produced compared to the other allied nations?

  5. themanikin

    themanikin New Member

    well by wars end america had produced twice as much as russia and almost 15 times as much as british forces but america was idealy placed and had all the resources handy. and the numbers may be slightly misleading as america was in full production of b29s and aircraft carriers by wars end which ton for ton boosted our numbers substantialy
  6. sniper

    sniper Active Member

    Plus your factories weren't being bombed for most of the war. With your country being a lot bigger and with more natural resources than we had we probably made as much as you pound for pound.
  7. joshtheboss

    joshtheboss New Member

    Hey there. Great first post, very interesting.

    Haha, funny, but very true..
  8. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    While I don't know the whole picture (I know the British got tons of support from the U.S. in both raw material and finished goods), the British were using American built Sherman tanks extensively. Sherman first arrived in North Africa campaign against Rommel's African corps.

    Later in the water during Normandy, there were lots of British upgraded Sherman called Firefly. It is basically a Sherman armed with a 17-pounder gun. Standard Sherman tanks were totally no match for German Tiger and Panther tanks, but a 17-pounder gun armed Sherman can knock out a Tiger and Panther from long range. Although only 1 in 4 Sherman were a Firefly during Normandy, German tanks were targeting Firefly first because their 17-pounder guns were such threat.
  9. aghart

    aghart Former Tank Commander Moderator

    The UK built most of it's own equipment at the start of the war. All our warships, aircraft , tanks, artillery pieces, small arms and vehicles were british built. After the huge losses in France in 1940, replacing lost kit and supplying an increasingly large British and Empire war machine, from an industrial base that could not expand, which was being attacked from the air, and was required to import almost all of it's raw materials via the U Boat threatened sea lanes, was an impossible task. Thompson sub machine guns & Catalina flying boats were probably the first items we bought off the shelf. The creation of the huge heavy bomber fleet for the RAF consumed a huge amount of time, materials and manpower, resulting in the virtual abandonment of medium bomber development. We recieved Mitchell and Boston aircraft to compensate for the limited number of Wellington bombers being built.
    We depended entirely on the USA for transport aircraft, and while the British forces in Europe were equipped with a high percentage of British equipment ( Typhoon strike planes, Cromwell & Churchill tanks) the British forces fighting the Japanese had a much higher percentage of american equipment.

    Without the USA, both it's industrial strength and it's manpower resources, the war would have been lost.
  10. Imagine how different early WW2, or even WW1 would have been if the USA had brought its industrial and military strength to the party early rather than late?
  11. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    Well. .. . .. actually, US military production was a secondary factor in winning WWII.

    The war can be seen as series of 'Production Battles' with the Germans and Japanese failing to win every important battle. They were doomed from the outset because their enemies out produced them during each phase.

    The battle for the occupation of Britain was lost because the British 1937 war production plan was far more developed than that of Germany. The arguement is cogently made in the HMSO official history, 'The British War Economy'

    The British focused there attention on aircraft production and were out producing Germany by at least 2 to 1 in the early phase of the battle of Britian and 3 to 1 in the later phase. In 1941 Britian was building more aircraft than Germany, Italy and Japan combined and more than either the USSR and the USA. Same is true of tank and artillery production.

    In the second phase, from 1941 Russia outproduced Germany in the production of tanks and in the final phase the USA overwhelmed Germany with its massive output - however than massive output was not effectively employed on the battlefield till 1942 - 1943, after the crucial battles had been fought.

    German expansion was stopped by superior British and Soviet production capacity, it was defeated by USA production.

    Many studies have been made of the battle of Britain, which is a good example. The Germans lost because they could not keep pace with British production, which outpaced them by a factor of 2 to 3 to one.

    Germany switched to a war economy in late 1942, but by that time USA production was overwhelming.

    The generally held picture of US production coming to the aid of the UK is false - the British defeated the German air force and held them in Middle East and in the Naval war largely on there own production capacity, with little help from the USA.
  12. Brian S

    Brian S New Member

    It wasn't all one way; as I recall there was a full Wing of U.S.A.F. based at Duxford.

    They were flying Spitfire Vs.
  13. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    If you refer to the first volume of the History of the Army Air Force in WWII you find that in 1940 both the British and the USAAF considered all the American aircraft in service obselete and unsuitable for frontline service. The sole exception was the B17, which continued in service though it was obselete in 1943 (the Mosquito had the same range, carried the same bomb load and flew 150 mph faster)

    All USAAF units were re-equipped with British fighters, usually the Spitfire, Hurricane, on deployment to the UK and North Africa They were still using the Bristol Beaufighter in 1945. It was not till late 1943 and 1944 that the USAAF began to re-equip with American designed aircraft - notablly the P51

    Essentially, (and its made clear in the official US government history) the USAAF in Europe was equipped and to a large extent trained by the RAF.

    US aid to Britain was vital - as it was to the USSR, but it was in the form raw materials that it was most appreciated. US military equipment was considered obsolete by both the British and the Russians until quite late in the war. The British made notable modifications to second-rate US equipment to produce superb weapons - notably the P51 with its Rolls Royce engine and the Sherman Firefly with its high velocity British gun.
  14. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    A further point of interest was that when they produced designs for the atomic bomb it was proposed that a special group of the USAAF be equipped and trained with the British Lancaster because at that the time of the initial design no US aircraft was capable of lifting it.
  15. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    The B29's that actually dropped the bomb still had to be fitted with a Lancaster bomb dropping mechanism because the USAAF did have the capability to drop anything that big.
  16. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    At the start of the US war in 1941 the US also had no ships specifically designed for convoy escort work, or aircraft trained in anti-submarine work. 50 ships were transferred to the US along with an anti-submarine fleet air arm squadron for the defence of the US East Coast.

    British ships also ran convoys through the Caribbean for the US navy because of lack of USN ships capable of the work.

    This British also sent HMS Victorious (aka USS Robin) to operate in the Pacific during the Solomons campaign when the USN was down to one fleet carrier.

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