From: Bedfordshire UK
This is really interesting.
Checking the great repository of all accurate and unbiased human knowledge, Wiki, I find that American deliveries to the Soviet Union can be divided into several phases, two of which predate Dec 1941:
- "pre Lend-lease" 22 June 1941 to 30 September 1941 (paid for in gold)
- first protocol period from 1 October 1941 to 30 June 1942 (signed 1 October 1941)
Also, I see that the Persian Corridor wasn't operational until mid-1942.
Now the Pacific route would have been wide open before Dec 1941. But I've seen no information about American ships being in the Arctic convoys prior to Dec 1941. I doubt there were any American merchant ships sailing in Royal Navy commanded convoys prior to US entry. Certainly the US Navy was conducting an undeclared war in the Atlantic in 1941. But I don't know and would be very curious to know.
The effect of a British surrender on aid to Russia is that initially there is no aid, as Britain is supplying a significant part of the aid and is delivering all of it.
The US does not have the means to deliver aid alone, without, at minimum, British co-operation, so it would depend on the details of any armistice, or peace, agreement between Britain and Germany and how much of the Commonwealth decides to go it alone.
Before any meaningful deliveries can resume, the US has to either, build up sufficient force in the Atlantic to resume the Arctic Convoys, or land forces in the the Near East to take over Iran and open a land route.
Instead of the the first US contribution to amphibious operations being in North Africa against Vichy France, it might have had to be in the Persian Gulf, possibly against Vichy Britain. Just think of the logistical and practical difficulties involved in such an operation without friendly bases nearby.
Again it would depend on the position of the Commonwealth, South Africa, or India, for base facilities enroute and the Commonwealth forces already in the Middle East, but potentially cut off from their source of supply.
Had Britain surrendered in !940, would Roosevelt have had to ease up on the policy toward Japan, risking war in the Pacific would have been made all of the above impossible and left the US to face the Axis alone. The response could be that the 'bomb' would have solved everything. However, the 'bomb' was the result of the heat of war, where anything goes, no price too high, but a US retreating into isolationism may no have gone to that extreme, for a cause already lost.
Much of the attention in WW2 is absorbed by events from 1944 onward, but the early war period is intensely interesting and had the potential for world-changing what-if scenarios.
"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me