Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
Volyn
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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Volyn » 04 Aug 2020 16:11

Michael Kenny wrote:
04 Aug 2020 16:10
Volyn wrote:
04 Aug 2020 16:02
All of this was tossed aside once Germany invaded the USSR, as the Allies seemingly dropped it with Stalin thereafter.
Conveniently ignored would be a better description. However that does not make it any more acceptable. The Soviet invasion of Poland was still an invasion.
Completely agree, but that is how they handled it.

Art
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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Art » 04 Aug 2020 17:29

A series of irrelevant messages with comments on personalities was removed.
Please, stay polite and keep on topic.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Sheldrake » 04 Aug 2020 18:09

Another reason can be found in the citation for the awards of the Distinguished Conduct Medal of Rifleman Siodney Yeowell captured at Calais on 26 May 1940. He escaped German captivity in early 1941`and surrendered to Soviet soldiers in Soviet occupied Poland in March 1941. Despite repeated demands to contact the British Embassy he was held a prisoner until May 1942, eleven months after the British and Soviets became co-beilligerants and several months after the formation of the UN Alliance.

Richard Anderson
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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Aug 2020 19:14

Yuri wrote:
03 Aug 2020 20:58
The story of the lack of interaction on the battlefield between the troops of the Red Army, on the one hand, and the Anglo-American allies, is not as simple as it may seem to some.Those who wish to study this topic thoroughly should begin at least on August 15, 1939.
On this day, the United States Ambassador delivered a personal oral message from the us President to Stalin.
Curious, but I can't seem to find any reference to such a contact in FRUS. The newly arrived ambassador made his preliminary contact with the Foreign Minister on 10 August I think it was, and formally presented his credentials the following day, but nothing in his cable to State said anything about any other contact. What do you base these remarks on?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Yuri
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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Yuri » 04 Aug 2020 20:03

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Aug 2020 19:14
Yuri wrote:
03 Aug 2020 20:58
The story of the lack of interaction on the battlefield between the troops of the Red Army, on the one hand, and the Anglo-American allies, is not as simple as it may seem to some.Those who wish to study this topic thoroughly should begin at least on August 15, 1939.
On this day, the United States Ambassador delivered a personal oral message from the us President to Stalin.
Curious, but I can't seem to find any reference to such a contact in FRUS. The newly arrived ambassador made his preliminary contact with the Foreign Minister on 10 August I think it was, and formally presented his credentials the following day, but nothing in his cable to State said anything about any other contact. What do you base these remarks on?
My apologies, not August 15 but August 16, 1939
Diary of com.Molotov V. M.
Reception of the American Ambassador Steingardt on August 16, 1939.
doc_1079.jpg
doc_1080.jpg
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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Aug 2020 05:39

Yuri wrote:
04 Aug 2020 20:03
My apologies, not August 15 but August 16, 1939
Diary of com.Molotov V. M.
Reception of the American Ambassador Steingardt on August 16, 1939.
Here is the Ambassador's (Steinhardt, you use the Russian "g" rather than the "h" I see...I was horribly confused the first time I saw reference to Adolf Gitler :D ) report of the meeting:

https://history.state.gov/historicaldoc ... 33-39/d590
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Yuri
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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Yuri » 05 Aug 2020 09:38

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Aug 2020 05:39
Yuri wrote:
04 Aug 2020 20:03
My apologies, not August 15 but August 16, 1939
Diary of com.Molotov V. M.
Reception of the American Ambassador Steingardt on August 16, 1939.
Here is the Ambassador's (Steinhardt, you use the Russian "g" rather than the "h" I see...I was horribly confused the first time I saw reference to Adolf Gitler :D ) report of the meeting:

https://history.state.gov/historicaldoc ... 33-39/d590
Alas, but there is nothing to be done, such is the Russian spelling and phonetics.

This is a different conversation, and the translator was the same Pavlov who translated the conversation between Stalin and Churchill, about which Golovanov spoke.

Perhaps the Ambassador did not transmit this conversation with Molotov to Washington because Roosevelt asked him to?
This conclusion can be made by taking into account the Ambassador's repeated reminder that Roosevelt wants to maintain complete confidentiality of contacts.
========
The DIARY of com. MOLOTOV V. M.

RECEPTION
American Ambassador Steinhardt
August 16, 1939

Steinhardt believes that Molotov received a report of a conversation with Roosevelt Uman. Molotov answers in the affirmative.
Then Steinhardt asks Molotov to keep secret what will be told to them today.
Roosevelt,- Steinhardt begins,- wanted everything he said to Umansky to be sufficiently clear and understandable. What he wants to tell Molotov today is a statement of Roosevelt's personal objective thoughts about the current international situation. Steinhardt emphasizes that the presentation of these thoughts is not an official statement of Roosevelt and once again reminds of the confidentiality of the conversation.
Steinhardt says that these views of Roosevelt are not an attempt to give advice and they are independent of the policies of any other country. Roosevelt is not in a position to accept responsibility or give assurances about the steps that Britain and France intend to take in connection with the negotiations with the USSR. After this introduction, Steinhardt goes on to set out the views of Roosevelt. In the event of a war in Europe and the far East and the possible victory of the Axis countries, the position of the USSR and the United States would certainly and immediately change. If the Axis countries won, the position of the USSR, due to its geographical proximity to Germany, would change more quickly than the position of the United States.


Steinhardt says that he appreciates Molotov's frankness. He asks to keep today's conversation a secret, since Molotov is obviously familiar with the American Congress, American Newspapers, and isolationists who are obstructing Roosevelt's work to maintain peace. Steinhardt asked not to divulge any letters of Roosevelt, which he will convey to Molotov. Molotov says that he knows the difficulties faced by Roosevelt in his work, and confirms his agreement with this request of the Ambassador.

Recorded By: V. Pavlov.
===================================

Richard Anderson
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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Aug 2020 15:41

Yuri wrote:
05 Aug 2020 09:38
Alas, but there is nothing to be done, such is the Russian spelling and phonetics.
Yes, I know. :D
This is a different conversation, and the translator was the same Pavlov who translated the conversation between Stalin and Churchill, about which Golovanov spoke.

Perhaps the Ambassador did not transmit this conversation with Molotov to Washington because Roosevelt asked him to?
This conclusion can be made by taking into account the Ambassador's repeated reminder that Roosevelt wants to maintain complete confidentiality of contacts.
Perhaps, but it remains odd that there seems to be no record of any sort of this communication on the American side?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Aug 2020 14:56

Hi Volyn,

As far as I can see from this thread, Stalin only broached the subject of British troops deploying in the USSR once, in September 1941. The USA was not in the war at the time.

It was done at a time when he was under extreme pressure and was done out of speration, not solidarity.

The British only ever had plans to meet a German attack that had already broken through the Caucasus, and then largely with Indian Army divisions

As you rightly point out, the UK had commitments all over the world, but only a small regular army to fulfil them. In September 1938 it could only field two divisions. There was no practical way for it to field an entire conscript army deep in Russia only three years later and maintain its position elsewhere.

It was a practical, not a political decision not to send troops. Politically it would have looked very good for the Western Allies to have had a direct hand in Soviet victories.

What would be the point of sending a token force like the Normandie-Nieman Squadron? Did the Soviet Union ask for one? The French had their own motives for creating the unit that the Anglo-Americans did not. I am sure the French had a fine time, but they were essentially a propaganda stunt for the Free French and Soviets and far too small to influence operations.

Fundamentally neither the USSR nor the Western Allies wanted this to happen.

The USSR was the only one to raise the subject and then only when absolutely desperate. For the USSR it would have represented a massive loss of face.

For the Allies it would have been a logistical nightmare to maintain a major force deep in the USSR and it would require diverting troops from other fronts.

This whole idea was a non-starter, the main obstacle to which was that Stalin didn't really want it.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by steve248 » 16 Aug 2020 09:01

I see UK National Archives has a file, WO 208/1797, entitled "Employment of British tank personnel in Russia", dated Feb-April 1942, which is probably about training Russians with British tanks. I vaguely recall that Britain supplied the USSR with some British tanks.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Ironmachine » 16 Aug 2020 09:35

steve248
steve248 wrote:I vaguely recall that Britain supplied the USSR with some British tanks.
"Some" is quite an understatement. The Soviet Union received about British 4,500 tanks in World War II:
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/ ... neral1.htm

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Sheldrake
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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Sheldrake » 16 Aug 2020 09:37

steve248 wrote:
16 Aug 2020 09:01
I see UK National Archives has a file, WO 208/1797, entitled "Employment of British tank personnel in Russia", dated Feb-April 1942, which is probably about training Russians with British tanks. I vaguely recall that Britain supplied the USSR with some British tanks.
The British supplied almost as many Lease Lend Valentines to the USSR as the US supplied M4
Around 700 Matilda and Valentine tanks arrived in time for the battle of Moscow in Dec 1941./
https://en.topwar.ru/26279-tanki-lend-l ... kacii.html
Russian comments on British kit.
http://www.tankarchives.ca/2013/09/lend ... ntine.html
http://www.tankarchives.ca/2013/05/lend ... chill.html

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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by steve248 » 16 Aug 2020 11:05

My vagueness was brought to life by the posts above. I do not aspire to find the military side of this topic of any interest. However, as British tanks were used in the battle for Moscow in Dec 1941 it stands to reason that other British army training personnel were in the USSR at this time and before. But not a fighting force.

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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Cantankerous » 22 Aug 2020 21:21

Did any members of communist organizations in the US and UK ever contemplate flocking to the USSR to provide aid to and join forces with the Red Army on the Eastern Front.

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Re: Why didn't the US or UK fight on the Eastern Front?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Aug 2020 00:01

Cantankerous wrote:
22 Aug 2020 21:21
Did any members of communist organizations ... with the Red Army on the Eastern Front.
I don't know about contemplate. There was a trickle of material from leftist organizations in the West. The America First philosophy and the mobilization of the US military that started in the autumn of 1940 brought that sort of effort closer to home. Folks sent care packages to their men mobilized with the National Guard in October 1940, or Navy reservists now aboard ship. Some Communist or Stalinist sympathizers did travel to the USSR. However many in the West were Trotskyists, Czarists, & similar exiles & there fore less welcome back n the USSR. It was easier to go to Canada and volunteer for service in the British or Dominion military forces.

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