Who had the edge if a war broke out between the U.S. and Soviets in 1945?


Mar 3, 2010
The Red army was huge. Think we could have stopped their armored hordes without using the bomb? I'm not so sure.
The only advantage the Soviet army would have if they attacked on the ground in Europe would be a million car traffic jam heading west. }:-)

Apart from that, fuck knows mate, I'll leave it to the experts.
Much of their army, I think about 1/3 was tied up on the Chinese border during the Sino/Soviet split.
I think it would have been a stalemate. As it was through the 90's the USSR was quantity over quality. Granted, what they made was high enough quality that if you put it into the hands of millions it worked out. But America and the UK both had sizable, battle hardened forces as well and also had the edge in tech and individual training. Again, toss up, but I think it would have been the west losing france again before stalling.
But America and the UK both had sizable, battle hardened forces as well and also had the edge in tech and individual training.

The USA & the UK had the edge in tech? Not in armor. Aircraft? Sure though the Soviets were apparently very close by then if not equal, Ships? Irrelevant.

I think militarily we wouldv'e had a decent chance of beating them back but defeating them without Germany's help? Doubtful IMO.
Timing would have been everything.

We always counted on time to move troops, planes, tanks, etc into Europe (REFORGER anyone). A short notice or bolt out of the blue attack would (IMO) have taken the Warsaw Pact forces to the English Channel in short order.
In 1945?

Consider that the last drive for Berlin tooks months to setup. The Red Army was at the end of it's logistical chain (one provided by America through the Lend Lease Act and Studebaker trucks). Logistically, the Soviets were doomed in 45.

Aircraft: Fighters and bombers were pretty good, the IL-2 especially, but I question the quality of their pilots. The effectiveness of their crews against the Nazis in 44-45 is due in large part to Germany fighitng the Eighth Air Force AND the Soviets at the same time. In short, the a/c were good but I question how the Soviets could hold up against the USAAF and RAF. Don't forget, we had the RAF dominating the night and the Eighth, Fifteeth, and Twentieth Air Forces capable of daytime attacks (the 20th's B-29's would do most of their at night as well, so the strategic campaign was truly a 24/7 operation). While many debate the effectiveness of strategic bombing against Germany, you can't do the same against Japan and at a minimum it ties down their AF. They can shoot down our bombers or our tac aircraft, but they wouldn't have enough to do both.

Navy: We'd crush theirs hands down, but the Naval component wouldn't matter nearly as much as it did for Germany and Japan. The subs would not come close to inflicting the damage done by U and I boats.

Army: They had more men and better armor. Shermans were improving but their guns and armor weren't the equal of T-34/ 85's and IS-3's. Oddly, we beat the Germans through quantity and not quality when it came to armored vehicles. (We'd later shift 180 degrees during the Cold War) They had more men but their command structure was broken. If you ever read about the drive to Berlin in the spring of 45 you'd see what I mean. So, their Army had better armor and more men, but leadership and logistics would really hold them back compared to the West.

Industry: The West, all day long and twice on Sunday. Yes, without the Soviets and their 20 million dead the odds of the West beating the Axis is long indeed, but the Soviets relied on us up to the final months of the war. In addition to the trucks mentioned earlier, their a/c industry really lagged behind and needed our Lend Lease P-39's/ -63's, B-25's, and A-20's to sustain them until they could catch up.

The Bomb: We had it, but consider that at VJ Day the US possessed approximately 0 functioning nukes. Yes, 0.....we'd expended all of them on Japan or in testing. As I recall, it took months to have enough material for another bomb. The bomb would play a role, but not the decisive role it would play in the Cold War.

Germany: We'd have to deal witht he stigma of joining sides with the very people we'd demonized since 1939 in order to beat the Soviets. Could we have done that?

The people: both countries were war weary in '45. The people were just tired and wanted it to be over.

My prediction: IF the West enlists former Wehrmacht members regardless of unit we could return the world map to the status quo antebellum in 1939. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland could be nations instead of puppets under the Iron Curtain. Beyond that we'd go a bridge too far. The Soviets couldn't push much further into Europe without a massive logistical undertaking that they weren't capable of.
In 1945.

I agree with FF assessment.

It would have been a stalemate. Russian's got there butts handed to them by the Germans even while Germany was fighting a two front war. Geographically Russia is so large it would have taken several years at best to take over there country in a ground campaign, if it was even possible? When you start looking at the supply logistics to maintain an attack over that great of territory and the amount of troops you would have needed as stay behinds to control the ground you have already taken. I don't think the US and the UK had the man power to accomplish the mission. Maybe if China attacked from there country and took some major ground but then your just trading one bad guy in Berlin for another another bad guy in eastern Russia. Would have been a mess any way you cut it.