Could The Allies Have Defeated Russia After World War II?

Credit for this post goes to Joe Freeman.

Soviet MiG 31 Foxhound

The Russians had excellent ground attack aircraft, (Sturmovik series) and their fighters were not to be despised up to around 15,000 feet. However after that... their fighters were definitely inferior in performance (climb, maneuver, and speed) to several of the US and UK designs . I’m thinking specifically of the P51, P47, and P-38 J and later models. The US had spent 3 years in high speed development of air superiority fighters with long range, high altitude performance, and considerable ground attack capability as well. The Russians were also deficient compared to the US/UK in heavy bomber (4 engine long range).

Messerschmitt Me 262

The Germans also led the world at that time in the development of jet fighters. Their main problem was lack of alloys for the engines, lack of fuel and lack of manufacturing facilities. Transferring this knowledge base, and German personnel to US production facilities would, within 6 months to a year have created an almost insurmountable performance gap in the air for the Russians to deal with, especially if the planes were properly employed.

What this would have meant was strategic and tactical air supremacy for the Allies against the Russians. With an altitude, speed and range advantage for the fighters, they would not have generally needed to get into furballs below 15,000 feet. They would have consistently had the altitude advantage and ability to make diving hit-run and return attacks much as the LP38s were able to do against the more nimble Zero in the Pacific.

The Allies ability to send 1000 plane raids out at varying altitudes, including high altitudes escorted by long range fighters would have made it quite difficult for the Soviets to use massed ground and armour attacks as they did against the Germans in the latter two years of the war. Moreover, the Soviet ability to interdict massive long range bomber raids against their cities, railways, and manufacturing centers would not have been very effective, especially if the B-29s were used. Carpet bombing against massed Russian formations of armor or pak-fronts would have shattered these formations. Rearming the Germans, Ukrainians, and Balts, and equipping them with tanks, sufficient trucks and towed artillery to form mechanized divisions and adding these formations to the Western troops under an umbrella of air superiority and eventually air supremacy would have meant defeat for the Russians. It should be remembered that although the Sherman tank was inferior to the T-34, the upgunned Sherman with the HV 76mm tube was not so inferior and the US definitely had the ability to outproduce the Russians by the end of the war, an advantage that would have increased as the long range heavy bomber fleets interdicted logistics and smashed production centers even east of the Urals.

This does not consider new tank designs such as the M26 with the high velocity 90 mm tube, or the adaption of the German 88 high velocity tube to British or American designs, not to mention the ability of the US to manufacture the German Panther tank in quantity.

German Panther tanks

Also Russia had transferred troops and equipment to the far east, and these would have been vulnerable to the same air attacks that were smashing the Japanese cities.

The US and the Soviet Union both had competent armor generals by the end of WWII, but it should be remembered that the Soviets had incurred in excess of 25 million casualties by that time, whereas the British and Americans had nowhere near that number of casualties. The Germans had suffered about 5.5 million casualties, but their problem was not so much man power as lack of equipment, fuel, etc.

Who knows what the French would have done or not done at the time, but I assume nothing other than that Britain and the US would have had access to airfields in France, and Germany, and later, forward operating bases in Poland, Belarus, the Baltics, the Balkans, etc.

A great deal of Russia is open country, and air superiority, not to mention supremacy in open country, means a tremendous edge over the side that does not have air cover for its tanks and artillery and troops.

Finally, the US had atomic bombs. The Russians did not, and it would have been quite possible to prevent their development of such weapons at that time.

Im not saying that it would have been easy, or fun, but Patton was correct in one way. It would have been less expensive to have disposed of the OTHER architect of World War II, Stalin, at that time, rather than the ensuing 50 years of Cold War, war by proxy, and subversion, arms races, etc.

Not to mention the Russians after 20 years have again emerged as a threat to Europe, the US, and the world in general.

Top image via Wikimedia Commons

Second image By U.S. Air Force [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Third image Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H26258 [CC-BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.


  • Vale: How might things be different if the US and others had defeated Russia after WW2?
  • Imhotep: Interesting take.. I agree it could have been done.
    However, the political will was not there. The most recent analog would be the Obama election. The first black president was elected mostly because everyone was sick of the Arab wars. Weather they were corrector not won’t be known for decades.
    I am not sure that we could have extended the Marshal plan to the Russian sor not. Having been married to a Russian and traveled across the country several times I am doubtful that anything would influence them away from some form of dictatorship.

Add Your Own Comment:

By clicking 'Submit' you agree to the Site Terms
By entering this site you declare you read and agreed to its Terms, Rules & Privacy and you understand that your use of the site's content is made at your own risk and responsibility.
Copyright © 2006 - 2017 War History Fans