British 30% of their war material. The U.S. mainly sent the USSR things
to aid mechanization, such as trucks, which allowed both countries to
fight a war of movement.
Dr. Kennedy was next asked if the United States, using the strategy
Dr. Kennedy had just outlined, had consciously taken the easy way out
in terms of using fewer combat units than their allies? Dr. Kennedy
responded by pointing to the geographic position of the U.S. - we were
protected from invasion, he said, and therefore did not have as immediate
a threat as Britain or the USSR. The American approach to World War
II was not cynical, he added, it was merely the least cost pathway to
victory and for this it was commendable. This statement was then met
with a follow up question: if the war had been finished earlier because
of greater American combat units being committed, would not fewer people
have died overall? Especially in terms of the Holocaust and the tremendous
Soviet losses, would not increased involvement by the United States
have saved lives? Dr. Kennedy answered that FDR did not willfully follow
a strategy intended to make the Soviets bear the brunt of the fighting.
Yet they did bear the brunt in the European theater, and this was an
unfortunate corollary to an American strategy that was the best course
for the United States to pursue.
After the questions, the lecture concluded and was followed by a brief