No Pearl Habor. When does America enter the war?

Last WWII hypothetical, I promise. For a while, at least.

In 1950 Churchill wrote;

  • "No American will think it wrong of me if I proclaim that to have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy. I could not foretell the course of events. I do not pretend to have measured accurately the martial might of Japan, but now at this very moment I knew the United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death. So we had won after all! … Hitler’s fate was sealed. Mussolini’s fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder. "*

Let’s say that during an Imperial Conference the Emperor’s verse has more of an effect on Nagano than it did in history. The Japanese rethink the entire attack, thinking more of the strategic disadvantages than their ‘decisive battle’ doctrine. Don’t argue, they just do.

So, Pearl Harbour remains unmolested in December 1941. Without the attack, when would Roosevelt be able to get America into the war? Would he even have been able to, having said in the 1940 campaign;*
“I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again; your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” *

Well, we would have lost one of the funniest lines in Animal House, that’s for sure.

Oh, the war. Is that what you’re asking about?

Probably when Japan invaded the Philippines, which were a US possession.

Hah! I forgot that that happened on Dec 8, 1941.

A whole day later than Pearl Harbor. Or was it the same day in the US, one day ahead in the Philippines?

Haaaaaaang on.

Adolf’s dumbass declaration of war against the USA in the wake of Pearl Harbor was the cause of the USA being at war with Germany. Pearl Harbor could have happened and Adolph could have said nothing. But could it; would Japan have attacked without assurances from Berlin that Germany would also join …

Say, that might be another thread - that’ll be your 4th on this subject area.

Somehow I just can’t see the US getting seriously huffy about that. After all, they had their hands full with Europe, or were about to. The US had more ties to the east (which was called The West) than the west (which was called The East).

Who by? Who were these mixed up Mofos?

No, promised this would be my last.

I don’t think Hitler would declare war in late 1941 without Pearl Harbour, although interestingly he did think that he would be at war with the US in 1942.

The US’s military’s impact on the European theater was fairly negligible until 1943, so I think we can assume things would have gone pretty much the way they actually did (we would have provided the same Lend-Lease aid to Russia and England that we did, with or without us actually being at war) until then.

Japan and Germany were only nominal allies (for much of the war, they didn’t even maintain mutual military liaisons) so what Japan did or didn’t do wouldn’t have much affected German war plans or actions.

Do we ever enter the war? Probably not. After Hitler gets his clock cleaned at Stalingrad, at some point the war in Russia becomes unwinnable. With America not a participant in the war, though, there is no credible threat to Fortress Europe–the British are merely an annoyance. There would be a Mediterranean sideshow, with the Italians losing badly to the British everywhere, just as in the actual timeline. The difference, though, would be that Italy would stay in the war.

The war in Russia drags on for decades, with neither side being able to land a knockout blow. Hitler bleeds occupied Europe white to support the war. German manpower reaches its limits, and pretty soon fourteen-year-old boys are fighting in the ruins of Moscow. American scientists develop the atomic bomb. We sell fifteen of them to Britain in return for Hong Kong and Singapore, which the Japanese have conquered anyway. Every major city in Germany dissolves in a giant fireball. America reluctantly accedes to the request of the exiled European governments to occupy Europe and restore order. Chancellor Eva Braun (lucky for her she was in Berchtesgaden) negotiates Germany’s ceasefire agreement with the US and Britain. The war with Russia continues. Japan consolidates its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. America gives England a good hard shove off the stage of history and the Cold War is now between the world’s two dominant powers, the US and Japan.

The Phillipines were a U.S. commonwealth, just like Hawaii. The Japanese attacked American army and naval installations, just like Hawaii. And, unlike Hawaii, the Japanese actually landed toops on the Phillipine Islands and forced the commander of the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (Douglas MacArthur) to withdraw.

So, yeah, I think the U.S. would have gotten seriously huffy about that, even without that Pearl Harbor thing.

This may be the only reasonable thing said in that entire post. Seriously, Chancellor Eva Braun? Modern all-out warfare going on for decades? Hell the Germans were having trouble replacing their losses before D-Day and you think they could have gone on another 20 years?

Not at the pace it had up to that point, but a stalemate, a war of attrition, without the pressure on the western front that in the actual timeline, was applied by the entrance of the US? Hell yes.

And I guess I have to inform you that “Chancellor Eva Braun” was tongue-in-cheek, though it is a good question just who would be in charge after the nuking of Germany’s fifteen largest cities.

This happens during the 1960’s?

Assuming Japan doesn’t attack the USA at all? Never. The USA just keep upping its aid to GB, increasing “patrol zones” and what-not. This, in itself might be enough to let the Allies win.

Of course its patrol zones were getting pretty warlike what with occupying Danish and Dutch territories, and actively shooting at every German sub they saw but not British destroyers. The US was already at war with Germany, just an undeclared one. It was going to continue to ratchet up until one side or the other actually got around to declaring it. Given the rate things were advancing, I can envision Roosevelt occupying French North Africa in '43 to “protect” the French neutrality pretty easily. At some point Hitler throws a fit and declares war. The US may end up in it later. But the war economy was humming along pretty well by the start of '42 anyway. And with the draft and the army expanding as fast as possible as it was, I don’t think they lose more than a year. The biggest difference in the European theater is maybe nukes come online while there are still German targets. Well that and millions more Germans, Soviets, Jews, and a whole lot more get killed during the extra time.

In the Pacific, the army and navy were preparing for an active war. They hoped to delay it till mid-'42 when they expected to be better prepared. MacArthur’s war plan for the Philippines expected and required another 6 months to train the Filipinos and called for a rough doubling of American troops and Air units, for example. So the Japanese either have to attack sooner, or should expect much less success. Long term it is hard to imagine the Japanese not attacking the US eventually. But if they did refrain, they probably won’t move against the European powers. China either comes to a negotiated settlement or just sputters out. Japan remains militant and nurses a grudge against the US. And likely starts that fight sometime in the '50s instead.

A misplaced OP. Again. If the Japanese don’t attack Pearl Harbor, they lose the war pretty damn quickly. There is still an extant US Pacific fleet unlike the actual timeline, and one which quite effectivly intercept and obstructs the Japanese. Going to war was a bad idea, attacking Pearl Harbor was not.

Which war? When does the US declare on Japan (or vice-versa), with no Pearl Habour attack? Attacking Pearl Harbour not a mistake, with the Enterprise, Lexington, and Saratoga absent (along with all the other consequences - which Yamamoto knew about - but hoped would be wrapped up within a few months, showing a grand misunderstanding of the US)? Hmmm…

  1. The decision to go to war in 1937 in China. as a result 1940 Japans strategic options were quite limited as a result, it was go to war in the north against the Russians (that did not turn out well) or in the South against the Western alliance or slowly starve.

  2. When the Japanese where undertaking their great victories of 1941 /42 where was the Pacific fleet? Do you think that the Pacific fleet would not have interfered had they not been sunk at Pearl? They most certainly would have.bAnd quite successfully to one would imagine. Of the three carriers absent, only the Enterprise would subsequently have any effect on the war (but damn what an effect) and secondly the Pacific fleet was unable to carry out grand offensives until 1944, Midway, Guadalcanal etc while great victories did not represent the kind of war winning success that the US needed. Imagine, with an extant US fleet attacking from the east the RN nothing hesitant as it was historically attacking from the West, what do you think the chances would be for Japan then? Not good at all. Attacking into with an extant US fleet would be suicide.

“Remember… !”


Instead the Japanese just Take over French Indo-china, and the various Dutch and British possessions, just like they did IRL. They just dont attack America .

The American possessions gained Japan nothing but headaches. It was mainly the Dutch oil they needed.

The tide of wars changes after the Soviet offensives in 1942. When the US sees that the war will eventually end with the Soviets in control of all of Europe we quickly come to the rescue of our staunch allies. So I’d say we enter the war in early 1943, about the time we were actually ready to participate effectively anyway. Then the Japanese might decide to try to grab the Dutch East Indies, thinking the US is distracted by the war in Europe.