Home » Find out who the French believe contributed most to the defeat of Germany in World War 2…it might annoy you

Find out who the French believe contributed most to the defeat of Germany in World War 2…it might annoy you

Celebrations are taking place across the UK and France this week to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The Normandy Landings on June 6, 1944, started the campaign to liberate Europe and defeat Germany to end the Second World War.


The invasion saw troops from the United Kingdom, Canada and the US land on the coastline of Normandy, France.

During the war, three great Allied partners- Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union- formed a Grand Alliance to fight for freedom.

A May 2024 poll shows only 10 per cent of French participants believe the United Kingdom contributed most to the war effort

YouGov

But as soon as the war ended debate began over who played the most important part in the victory over Hitler.

A May 2024 poll by YouGov found that people in France believe the United States and the Soviet Union contributed more to defeating Germany in WW2 than Great Britain.

Among the French public, 47 per cent believe that the United States did more than any other country to defeat the Nazis, compared to 17 per cent for the Soviet Union.

Only 10 per cent of French participants believe the United Kingdom contributed most to the war effort.

The French public’s opinion on Britain’s contribution to the war effort has not changed since the end of the war.

Didier Mallard

Among the French public, 47 per cent believe that the United States did more than any other country to defeat the Nazis

Getty

In 1945, 12 per cent thought the UK played the largest role and almost 80 years later, 10 per cent still say the same thing.

However, today the French think differently about who contributed the most to the war effort than shortly after the victory in Europe.

An IFOP poll from May 1945 found that 57 per cent of French people thought the Soviet Union were the key player and only 20 per cent credited the Americans.

YouGov Poll

Polls show in 1945 the French believed it was the Soviet Union that played the largest role in the war

YouGov

Those from the United States and Germany also believe that the Americans saved Europe with 34 per cent of Germans and 59 per cent of Americans hailing the US army.

However, Britons are more confident in their efforts in the war with 39 per cent believing they deserve the lion’s share of the credit.

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The Red Army

The USSR is credited for three-quarters of the total 4.7 million German military killed by the Allied forces during the war

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A further 20 per cent believe the United States deserve the credit while 15 per cent point to the Soviet Union.

In truth, all three allies were crucial to ensure a victory in Europe.

Had the British not survived Hitler’s onslaught in 1940, the war would have taken a very different approach. The nation also played key roles in North Africa and the Mediterranean.

The Soviet Union also suffered great losses during the war with as many as 30 million Soviets estimated to have died between 1941 and the war’s end.

The USSR is also credited for three-quarters of the total 4.7 million German military killed by the Allied forces during the war.

But American industrial power proved crucial to the war effort with US factories churning out more aeroplanes, tanks, ships and shells than the UK and the USSR combined.

World War II was a truly global war with some 70 nations taking part in the conflict fighting in Europe, Asia, and Africa as well as on the high seas.