Which pre-war USN are we referring to here....the one actually afloat on December 7, or the Two-Ocean Navy Act one? Because I thought it was accepted that there was something of a strategic pause for a good chunk of '43 because both sides had exhausted themselves somewhat by that point in time....especially in carriers (and for the Americans, cruisers). The Japanese never did replenish; we did, but because we started building a year and half before the war began.

What if we hadn't? How would that have affected the war in Europe, in the sense of having to juggle need for getting the fast carrier task forces built with the need for landing craft and ships...at the same time as needing escorts and CVEs to fight the U-boat menace. How much further would D-Day have been delayed (if any) if we didn't start building the fleet we did in 1940, but in January, 1942, and what would that have then meant for the Soviet advance into Germany--do they get further west before V-E day? Do we get into France at all? Are they delayed more by a last minute switch of troops from a quiet Western front with an intact Atlantic Wall (as Poland falls) so that it all falls out in the wash--we don't invade until latter part of 1944 or early '45, but France becomes a cakewalk with no hedgerow fighting, no Falaise pockets, and no Bulge.

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