Did we have to bail them out of these wars or not?
WWI is easy. France never fell. She and Britain exhausted Germany.
They would have won without US intervention, so the answer is a simple
no. The US did not bail out France in WWI.
WWII is one heck of a 'what-if.' Military history is something of a
pet hobby of mine, and we are as geeky as anybody else who is
passionate about a hobby. We've thrown around many scenarios and
there's no major consensus. There are several ideas pulling at each
Did the US go to war to save Europe from the Nazis, or did we go to
war to save the US from Japan? The latter is more prevalent. Look at
where we started fighting first, and it wasn't Normandy. Even when we
went to Europe, we went to North Africa first, where the British were
beating Rommel on their own. Not by much, but the pendulum was in
their favour. If you do a bit of digging, you'll find that Stalin
applied extreme pressure on the US to open up a second front, i.e. a
European front very early, in order to take the Germans off his back.
This pressure was a very major factor in deciding to invade Sicily
before France; to move German troops away from the Russian front, to
After the Fall of France, de Gaulle and his Free French continued to
act as allies against the Axis. There were also many instances of the
French resistance attacking German occupation forces as well as Vichy
forces. Could France have recovered from the German occupation on her
own, or with the sole help of the BEF? That's a tough question but
the answer is probably not. I won't bore you with crap about a
British blockade of Axis Europe and the Soviets sapping Germany year
It is not a simple question to ask if the US bailed out France in
WWII. Clearly, we liberated them from German occupation, but we
weren't alone, and that brings up complicated idea number 2. Could
the US have invaded Europe without Britain to stage from? The
consensus there is probably not. So now we MUST include Britain in
the role of liberators of France, for without their titanic struggle
(I won't bore you with the Battle of the Atlantic) there would be no
American liberation army. As for D-day itself, you realise that the
US only had 2 beaches. The Brits had 2 and Canada the other. Without
them, the American beaches would have been swallowed up by Rommel's
defence and counterattack.
I've already wandered too far and I apologise. It is not a simple
topic for me to discuss without some details slipping in :-). The
bottom line is that the French liberation of WWII was a cooperative
deal between the US and the UK and her Commonwealth, done to liberate
not just France, but all peoples from enslavement. Did we help? Hell
yes. Did they appreciate it? Hell yes.
What more should I say?