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Operation Unthinkable: British plan against Soviet Union, did The Bomb save more lives? Login/Join 
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Operation Unthinkable was the name given to two related possible future war plans by the British Chiefs of Staff against the Soviet Union in 1945. The plans were never approved or implemented. The creation of the plans was ordered by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in May 1945 and developed by the British Armed Forces' Joint Planning Staff in May 1945 at the end of World War II in Europe.

One plan assumed a surprise attack on the Soviet forces stationed in Germany to "impose the will of the Western Allies" on the Soviets. "The will" was qualified as "a square deal for Poland", which probably meant enforcing the recently signed Yalta Agreement. The planners decided that without massive American help Britain would probably fail. The assessment, signed by the Chief of Army Staff on June 9, 1945, concluded: “It would be beyond our power to win a quick but limited success and we would be committed to a protracted war against heavy odds." The code name was now reused instead for a second plan, which was a defensive scenario in which the British were to defend against a Soviet drive towards the North Sea and the Atlantic following the withdrawal of the American forces from the Continent. At no time was either plan shared with the United States or anyone else. When the Labour Party came to power in the 1945 general election it ignored the draft plan.

The study became the first Cold War-era contingency plan for war with the Soviet Union. Both plans were highly secret and were not made public until 1998 - although a British spy for the Soviets, Guy Burgess, had passed on some details at the time.

Had the United States not developed the Atom bomb then the USA would have been compelled to drain down European forces to augment the Japanese invasion. Materials would have been diverted as well. Might Stalin have been emboldened to make further in-roads into Europe, feeling that the Allies couldn't sustain a two theatre war of attrition? The Atomic bomb preventing the draw down of forces in Western Europe may have saved lives here by averted conflict.

There are good signs, from Soviet defensive re-deployments as the war ended, that they were aware of this Operational plan, or at least of General Patton's rhetoric. A surprise and quick victory against the Soviets by the allies, ironically the plan that Hitler hoped for as well, would seem to have been decidedly less likely than some might believe today.




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Posts: 5274 | Location: District 12 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Don't Panic
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We are all very fortunate that those scenarios did not take place.
 
Posts: 13916 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: October 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by joel9507:
We are all very fortunate that those scenarios did not take place.


Are we, though?

If the Soviet Union had been thoroughly crushed following WWII, we likely wouldn’t have China and North Korea as they exist today. Millions died in China due to being propped up by the Soviet Union. Millions continue to suffer today in North Korea due to the Soviet Union. The Marxist ideas destroying our country today wouldn’t be around.


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Posts: 11577 | Location: Northeast Florida | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Edmond:
quote:
Originally posted by joel9507:
We are all very fortunate that those scenarios did not take place.


Are we, though?

If the Soviet Union had been thoroughly crushed following WWII, we likely wouldn’t have China and North Korea as they exist today. Millions died in China due to being propped up by the Soviet Union. Millions continue to suffer today in North Korea due to the Soviet Union. The Marxist ideas destroying our country today wouldn’t be around.


This assumes the Soviets would have lost. That was NOT a foregone conclusion.

The Sovs had the largest army in Europe, and would have given the other allies a VERY tough fight. . .



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Posts: 21267 | Location: Hobbiton, The Shire, Middle Earth | Registered: September 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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War is about logistics.

The US+UK+German+Allied armies against the USSR would have been tough, but not as difficult as one thinks. They’d have the benefit of detailed knowledge of terrain, local support (German/Polish), ammunition, air power, sea control, and areas to rest and refit that couldn’t be reached by the opposing army, while the Allied forces would be able to bomb with impunity any R&R areas.

Given 6-12 months, the French and other allied armies could be reconstituted and trained, adding further manpower to the issue.
 
Posts: 2024 | Location: S. FL | Registered: October 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just watched a movie on Netflix about this topic. Red Joan. A fact based story about Melitta Norwood, the "Granny Spy" who gave Brit Atomic secrets to Russia.


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Posts: 12113 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Don't Panic
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quote:
Originally posted by Edmond:
quote:
Originally posted by joel9507:
We are all very fortunate that those scenarios did not take place.


Are we, though?

If the Soviet Union had been thoroughly crushed following WWII, we likely wouldn’t have China and North Korea as they exist today. Millions died in China due to being propped up by the Soviet Union. Millions continue to suffer today in North Korea due to the Soviet Union. The Marxist ideas destroying our country today wouldn’t be around.

That right there is a giant 'if'. Wink

There wasn't any 'crushing' of the Soviet Army on the table in 1945. We were hard out of nukes (though the Russians didn't know that) and had gotten by in 1944-45 facing 30-45% of the German army. The Russians had paid the price but by 1945 they were facing the bulk of the German army and kicking ass. Our Navy could have blockaded Russia, but they would have laughed. Marines could have landed anywhere...and taken worthless territory. Arguably we could have won the air war outright. But we had strategically bad positioning - hard to trade space for time, starting in East Germany. For us, that is. Stalin had already accepted territorial losses in fighting the Germans, and all his strategic industry was out of reach in the Urals.

To assume we would have won...well, let's say it is just maybe possibly conceivable. Would have taken years, millions of American lives. A loss might have taken less time and fewer American lives, but then the falling dominoes wouldn't have been in East Asia, they'd have been all over Europe.

And, realize that Stalin had just stuck to his guns despite losing a few tens of millions of Russians, in battles that made D-Day look like an off day on the Russian front, while we had a democracy that was already weary of war, and would not have well endured the millions of casualties it would have taken.

And, for what? At the time it was essentially Soviet misbehavior in Poland. (China was still in the midst of their civil war.) I do not think the American electorate in 1945 cared enough for Poland to go to war for them again, and this time on the ground from the get-go, against the world's largest army.

Unless, of course the Russians attacked, which they were far to smart to do.
 
Posts: 13916 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: October 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Let me ask you this:

What if Germany had beaten the Russians? Would the world have been a better place?


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Posts: 11577 | Location: Northeast Florida | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Edmond:
Let me ask you this:

What if Germany had beaten the Russians? Would the world have been a better place?


Moot point. Germany could NEVER have defeated the USSR (just like Japan could never have defeated the US). . .

Sure, they took a LOT of Soviet territory and had stunning initial success, but they could never supply their forces so far from Germany. Even if they had taken Moscow, the Sovs would have inevitably taken back the territory and pushed on to Berlin. Germany lost the war the moment they attacked the USSR.



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Posts: 21267 | Location: Hobbiton, The Shire, Middle Earth | Registered: September 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Don't Panic
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quote:
Originally posted by Edmond:
Let me ask you this:

What if Germany had beaten the Russians? Would the world have been a better place?

Short answer is Hell No.

Long answer is, read "Mein Kampf" and "Hitler's Second Book" and get back to me about whether you think Hitler running Eurasia would have been better than Stalin running Russia.

In those books, Hitler laid out his intentions towards both the Europeans he planned to subjugate, and the Americans who he particularly hated but who he slotted for his 'third' war after tidying up Russia and England.

We dumped trucks, planes, tanks, supplies and weapons into Russia to keep them in the war. Best investment we ever made. Some of it made the Russian victory easier/possible but more than that, it kept Stalin from seriously thinking we might be double crossing him.

If Russia'd gone south, England would have been a pushover. No more Suez Canal, no more Mideastern oil, no more India, probably no more colonies at all after the oil had gone and the navy had to sit in port and Britain called everyone back to defend the Home Island.

Maybe England would have stuck in the war for a while, right up till the Germans had time to really ramp up the Luftwaffe and take over the British skies. Navy would have to flee once the Germans had air supremacy, at which point invasion would be possible. Cue Churchill steaming to Canada with his remaining ships.

But this is all hypothetical. Given what we now know about the relative strength of the German military/economy vs. that of the Soviets, a German loss was the only possible outcome. Unless Stalin lost his nerve at the immense human and economic costs of staying in the war, and threw in the towel. Thank goodness he didn't.
 
Posts: 13916 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: October 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by joel9507:
quote:
Originally posted by Edmond:
Let me ask you this:

What if Germany had beaten the Russians? Would the world have been a better place?

Short answer is Hell No.

Long answer is, read "Mein Kampf" and "Hitler's Second Book" and get back to me about whether you think Hitler running Eurasia would have been better than Stalin running Russia.

In those books, Hitler laid out his intentions towards both the Europeans he planned to subjugate, and the Americans who he particularly hated but who he slotted for his 'third' war after tidying up Russia and England.

We dumped trucks, planes, tanks, supplies and weapons into Russia to keep them in the war. Best investment we ever made. Some of it made the Russian victory easier/possible but more than that, it kept Stalin from seriously thinking we might be double crossing him.

If Russia'd gone south, England would have been a pushover. No more Suez Canal, no more Mideastern oil, no more India, probably no more colonies at all after the oil had gone and the navy had to sit in port and Britain called everyone back to defend the Home Island.

Maybe England would have stuck in the war for a while, right up till the Germans had time to really ramp up the Luftwaffe and take over the British skies. Navy would have to flee once the Germans had air supremacy, at which point invasion would be possible. Cue Churchill steaming to Canada with his remaining ships.

But this is all hypothetical. Given what we now know about the relative strength of the German military/economy vs. that of the Soviets, a German loss was the only possible outcome. Unless Stalin lost his nerve at the immense human and economic costs of staying in the war, and threw in the towel. Thank goodness he didn't.


Gee wizz… I find it amazing we(the western allies) could have done anything in that war worth a tinker’s damn by the way you brag up the commies and that pile Stalin. You realize we did fight in that one too and not just roll over and piss ourselves hoping ole’ Uncle Joe would save us.
 
Posts: 3396 | Registered: January 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The nuke did more than just take Japan out of the war quickly. Russia took notice and realized this wouldn't be a ground war slug-fest that they would have the upper hand in.
The real lucky moment for the allies was a few years earlier when Hitler decided to double cross the Russians resulting in a two front war for him, taking out millions of his troops and their equipment.
Had he just focused on the western allies with a much stronger military, things would have been a lot tougher. The Russians would have eventually gone to war with him but a lot of damage would have been done first.


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Originally posted by 357fuzz:

Gee wizz… I find it amazing we(the western allies) could have done anything in that war worth a tinker’s damn by the way you brag up the commies and that pile Stalin. You realize we did fight in that one too and not just roll over and piss ourselves hoping ole’ Uncle Joe would save us.


If you don't recognize the HUGE role the Soviet Army played in the European war, then you really need to read a history book or two.

The Sovs bled the Germans dry for YEARS before a single GI ever set foot on the continent. Were it not for the Red Army, US and Allied losses would have been at least double what they were.

Stalin was a horrible person (at least as bad as Hitler), but he was justifiably upset over allied hesitancy to open the second front in Europe. Soviets died by the thousands while the US and Brits built up their forces in Britain. The Brits did not even want to invade in 1944, but the US pretty much forced them to. There was a vald concern Stalin would make a separate peace, since the US and Brits were (seemingly) dragging their feet so much.



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Posts: 21267 | Location: Hobbiton, The Shire, Middle Earth | Registered: September 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have opened and even read a history book or two. I had a college professor that demanded I do that to get a minor in history. What nerve on that guy, right?

What I was trying to get at while, yes the Soviets did play a big part, they were not the whole in the defeat of Nazi Germany.
 
Posts: 3396 | Registered: January 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by 220-9er:

The real lucky moment for the allies was a few years earlier when Hitler decided to double cross the Russians resulting in a two front war for him, taking out millions of his troops and their equipment...


You have a misperception of what the truth is regarding WW2. I'd suggest you read Viktor Suvorvos work, and these other 2 as well, but Suvorovs first:

These 3 worthwhile books are different from the false conventional historical belief taught in American schools as truth, yet these significant works all seem to agree with each other.

1st) "Freedom Betrayed" by ex-President Herbert Hoover. Hoover saw that the Roosevelt administration was strangely working hard to get American into an unnecessary war via USSR agents embedded into the US government. He didn’t understand what was occurring but he knew it was horrifically wrong and traitorous on many levels. It was literally Hoover’s life's work to work uncovering the traitorous actions he and his team found and to document it. He realized that his angry emotional angry first draft was overly wrought and chose to refine it. Nothing was left in his book that was not double sourced, and he had a full time team working on gathering facts, reworking and re-editing the manuscript for years. It is interesting that if you do a copy - paste to the internet on most of the duplicitous characters he roots out as traitors or involved in traitorous activities, they are jewish. If you copy-paste and source anyone who is supportive of a traitorous persons actions or ignores them in a historical work, they are almost always also jewish.

2nd) Operation Snow". Former President Hoover focused on the many US government officials betrayals that caused the war in Europe and China falling to the communists. He had suspected something like what occurred in Operation Snow had occurred, but the facts did not come out until 1995 after the USSR fell and we got first hand accounts and documentation from Former Soviet NKVD agents that the USSR had a Jewish agent high up in the Roosevelt administration which the Russians had directed to get the US into war with Japan. That traitor, Harry Dexter White (original name Weiss) with a few other Soviet agents working in the US Government (in the early 50's there were over 20,000 US government workers fired for being "security risks") was wildly successful in his efforts as he literally brought about Pearl Harbor and the millions of deaths and horrors that followed. He was able to get the US into the war, and most importantly, there was no significant blame directed towards him or to any other jews. To this day, few Americans know the truth, the rest believing the lies that jewish dominated media enforces.

3rd) "The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II" by Viktor Suvorov. One of only 2 USSR GRU agents who defected to the west, Suvorov, a jew himself, explains in minute and factual detail why Germany had to attack USSR as a defensive move. At the end you'll say: "Ahaahaha! THAT EXPLAINS IT!"
 
Posts: 1740 | Registered: August 01, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 357fuzz:

Gee wizz… I find it amazing we(the western allies) could have done anything in that war worth a tinker’s damn by the way you brag up the commies and that pile Stalin. You realize we did fight in that one too and not just roll over and piss ourselves hoping ole’ Uncle Joe would save us.


Yeah, it's amazing how a few people here seem to think what wonderful guys the Russians were in WWII and how they won it all by themselves, meanwhile conveniently forgetting how they helped kick the whole thing off by helping the Germans conquer Poland back in Sept. 1939. The Poles suffered just as much under Russian rule as German rule. Try reading a book on the Katyn Forest and NKVD operations in Poland. Then those wonderful Ruskies attacked Finland in the Winter War, then occupied the sovereign countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and eyeballed Romania before being attacked by their former German ally. Maybe even remember the tens of millions killed by that nice guy Stalin in the purges and forced famines in the 1930's. Heck yeah, Stalin was so much better than the mean old Germans. I guess we're supposed to conveniently forget the war they helped start and everyone they killed and subjugated because they eventually fought against their former ally. Sounds like some people need to read some more books.

Here's a news flash, there were NO good guys on the Eastern Front in WWII.
Let's not forget that the Western Allies were fighting the Axis in North Africa and Italy long before D-day, so the poor Russians weren't on their own from June 1941 to June 1944 like some would like to portray. We also had to get all our stuff across a damn ocean first and beat the U-boats. The Russians didn't have to do this. Not to mention the fact that we were also fighting a whole other war in the Pacific and basically being the supply warehouse for every Allied nation. The Russians weren't fighting a two front war and they sure as hell weren't supplying anyone else. They did their part in fighting Germany, but so did everybody else, especially the US.


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Joseywales gets it^^^It goes even deeper than that.
 
Posts: 1740 | Registered: August 01, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Maybe Harry Truman had the right idea...

“If we see that Germany is winning the war, we ought to help Russia; and if that Russia is winning, we ought to help Germany, and in that way let them kill as many as possible.. . ” he said as a Senator in 1941.


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Posts: 7849 | Location: Arizona | Registered: August 17, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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IF the Allies were to pursue this strategy then the air cover and strategic bombing would have been fundamentally integral to victory, but as we have seen, could not secure victory by itself. A full on drive towards the Soviet Union's oil fields, without falling into distraction which partly doomed the German drive, I would see as the only means to hope for success. The presence of spies and double agents in the UK and US governments would preclude any true element of surprise.

Alternatively, going nuclear on Moscow, to decapitate the Soviet government would, I believe still most likely result in failure given a global backlash, including among both electorates and the galvanizing effect that I believe it would have had on the surviving Soviet populace. Essentially a vast swath of the planet would become ungovernable in insurrection, even if victory was consolidated/surrender achieved.

Were the Soviet brigades undefeatable? The lessons of the Winter War would say no. However, the logistical challenges and the public opinion management at home would favor highly the Soviet cause.

Look at the disaffection amongst the British populace and military/support staff in the wake of WWII, the bungled repatriation of deployed assets and the defeat that came to Churchill's reelection, for many reasons.

As challenging as the timeline we live in has been, the deaths, deprivations, etc, this may well be one of the better outcomes of the multiverse of contingencies.




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"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ChuckFinley:
However, the logistical challenges and the public opinion management at home would favor highly the Soviet cause.


It’s unimaginable to me that the Western Allies would have had the support of their populaces for war against the Soviet Union at the time.




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
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