What if Soviets and the West had clashed in 1945? Who'd win that hypothetical World War 3?

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Description
This video is sponsored by Call of War, a free to play multiplayer strategy game:
Click here to get an amazing New Player Pack, only available for the next 30 days!

This video analyses the balance of military power in 1945, right after WW2 ended. Had a new world war broken out then, would the Soviets or the Western Allies fare better? Geography, production, population, technology as well as military power taken into account.

Image elements used in the thumbnail:

Winston Churchill by British Government / Public domain

C-47s at Tempelhof Airport Berlin 1948 by U.S. Air Force / Public domain

B-29 Superfortress by U.S. Air Force / Public domain

💬 Comments on the video

American has something. Untouched infrastructure. The russian factories and cities were flat while Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, etc were pumping out all munitions

Author — Chief Beef


Why they haven’t made a movie about this scenario is beyond me.

Author — Jon Raybon


The West would've won fairly easily, the Soviets had been extremely wa r exhausted after the Germans campaign invading the Soviet Union and they had already experienced 14 million losses 📉 compared to the west of 4 million

Author — Dank Express


Can't see a winning outcome for the Soviet in this scenario. Provided that the USSR manage to push all Allies forces out of Europe (which is unlikely), they haven't the resources to invade Britain, let alone the US. If they cannot invade the UK and the US, they cannot win. The Allies can just sit back in their bases in Britain, North Africa and Iran to bomb the daylight out of Soviet troops and industries. After some time there would probably be an opening for a naval invasion of the Russian Far East, or a push from Iran towards the Cacausus. Once enough Soviet troops moved from Europe, the Allies may launch a naval invasion. Eventually, the combined powers of the Allies will see Soviet troops pushed back to its border. However, both sides would likely sign a treaty (because of the huge causualties suffered, the Allies won't want to push far into the USSR) which likely will see the USSR's influence in Eastern Europe diminish.

Author — Kiet Nguyen Anh


Who loses? Europe

Look at the comments to laugh at brycly's dumb takes

Author — EmilyK


Largest Aircraft Carrier in WW2 was...

USS England

Author — W M


Even without the nuclear bombs, I would still give the edge to the Western allies due to superior air power.

Author — northern light


What this analysis is missing is the impact of the East Central European nations: Poles, Ukrainians, the Baltic nations, and others. In an event of a West vs USSR war, most likely, they would have risen against the soviets on a massive scale right behind their front lines. These nations hated the soviets and were still fighting them off in underground wars. If a war broke out they would have attacked the soviet rear, supply lines, and such. The front, most likely, would have collapsed quickly.

Author — Like No Other


The Soviet supply was massively vulnerable.
The Western supply wasn't.
Game over

Author — Lee Price


USSR: what do you mean your bombers can go 6x as far as German ones and reach the urals?

Author — SmeatPlays


I don't think that this would have been considered world war 3. Rather, it would simply have been a continuation of world war 2.

Author — Joe Smith


My grandfather was a 1st sergeant(German was his first language) at Battle of the Bulge and was wounded. After he recovered in Britain he was put to interrogating German prisoners and he said "every single one asked when he would be given his American Uniform and guns to go fight the Soviets." Every single one asked him that, so they expected to fight the Soviets and they wanted to do it.

Author — Kyle Lassiter


Over the long term Allies win. Allies provided 10% of Soviet food, fighter aircraft, trucks, railroad engines, 50 % of rolled steel and explosives and 100% of rubber (tires). Plus 10 -20% of German Army could have been reconstituted relatively quickly. Plus Allies had ability to attack in far east with 10 to 20 divisions and the sea lift to move them. Allies would have air superiority, total control of the sea. Atomic bombs plus poison gas already in Europe. So it would have been the Soviets against the whole world.

Author — Little Bob


US had over 100 nukes by the late 40s Soviets were just finishing their 1st and by 1951 would only have 5, this would have never happened, and if MacArthur had his way both the Chinese and the Soviets would have found out the hard way.

Author — Clarkké Peterson


I once was told a story by someone whos dad was a tanker during the cold war and everyday they would do tank drills along the border of east and west Germany and the Russians would shadow them. They were told that if a war ever were to start theyre estimated to survive not much longer than 24 hours becasue the Russians tanks (t64s) were thought to be superior to the M1 Abrams Becasue the T62s had an autoloading feature so they could put out 5 shells to the Abrams 1 shell. This wad proven false during desert storm when the Abrams destroyed the Russian tanks.

Author — Griffin _


A well balanced "what if?". The only issues I have, is that the narrator underplays the importance of both the allied air superiority. Which would have had an enormous effect in either scenario. And the industrial potential of the allies, which would have been far greater than the soviets.

Author — David Wormell


"Ah shit, here we go again." - Poland

Author — The Japanese Mujahideen


Imagine ending a war just to have your former allies declare war on u

Author — Alejándrø Flores


The Russians would have little to no ability to interdict Western industrial capacity or logistics. Strategically, this puts them on the defensive. However, tip of the spear they had more experience moving and coordinating large formations. Russia would have to try to force the Allies out of continental Europe quickly. Russia beat Germany when their airforces approached parity or when they had the superiority. They would not have this advantage against the West. Additionally, Russia relied heavily on American equipment for logistics, both road and rail. While this would still be available at the start of hostilities, spare parts would no longer be. Russian airpower was very good at low altitudes, but superior numbers from the west would cancel each other. High altitude, long range air warfare would favour the west. Without a very quick victory, Russia would be defeated by economics, food production issues, and the eventual loss of oil production, either from conventional or nuclear attack.

Author — Kevin W


You have forgotten how lend lease specialized the Soviet economy. They were able to manufacture the tanks, planes and small arms they had due to not having to manufacture trucks and other support vehicles. The red army moved on Studabaker trucks and received the spair parts as well. Without that supply they could not replace damaged or worn vehicles. In short order they would have been back to foot infantry. Tanks can't carry supplies or troops. What about the farm equipment they received. That would have been the same problem. They had a shorter supply line but their supply line was vulnerable while the Allies was not. The alliies proved that they could create ports on any coast and supply large armies from them. The Soviets would be in danger of flanking invasions all along the Atlantic and Baltic coasts. Not to mention the black sea. Patton proved the viability of such operations in Sicily and the alliies landings in southern France. The Soviets would have had numerical superiority but that is an illusion as the Germans proved all through the war. The Soviets were repeatedly beaten by smaller German forces and did not really learn from the lessons. Their response was not to give their troops more flexibility but to centralize the command structure and use barely trained troops to assault German positions. They were battle hardened but would not be able to react to reverses below the brigade or division level. Their officers did not fare think for themselves and left to their own without the threat of a second front they.would have been smashed by the Germans. Had Hitler waited even 1year to attack the Soviets would not be any better prepared and probably would have lost Moscow in the initial invasion of 1942. Lend lease would not help them quick enough and the Germans would have better gear for the cold. I think you minimize the effect to morale having Moscow fall to an atomic weapon. The Allies had bombers with the range to hit Moscow from German bases and the fighters to defend them. Without knowing how many bombs the US had would put them in the same position as the Japanese. As was proved in the Gulf War the fear of Atomic and Nuclear weapons would cause large numbers of Soviet troops to surrender. Just one Moab bomb cause thousands of troops to surrender simply because they thought it was nuclear.

Author — Jason Douglass