” If Pearl Harbour hadn't happened, when would America have entered WW2, if at all?
An interesting question indeed. I believe it would have been doubtful the US would have entered the war without the attack on Pearl, or some similar outrage in view of the isolationist sentiment in the American public and US Congress.
Many American don’t know that Germany was already at war with us even though it was undeclared. German U-boats sank the USS Ruben James and although Germany claimed it was a mistake neither sides took action to stop it from happening again. The US Navy added more ships to the Atlantic and Germany put in more U-Boats.
So the sinking of US merchant ships and naval ships during the convoys to England prior to Pearl Harbor did not rise to the level that would have brought US into the war.
Without our timely intervention I suspect that Germany would have succeeded in taking Moscow. Prior to the U.S. entry Hitler did not fear an invasion by the British and therefore would have used the divisions tied down in Europe by our entry to good effect on the eastern front.
After a protracted, and probably losing, battle to keep the sea-lanes open Britain probably would have been forced to sue for peace and become, at the very least, a Finland to Germany.
Japan would have probably stopped at Indonesia and then turn it’s attention to pacifying China. Even if Japan attacked the Philippines, I doubt that would have been enough to provoke us. The attack on Pearl harbor was very nearly called off because the risk to the Japanese Navy was deemed too high.
The U.S. would probably have gotten into A war if not THE war when a Mexican army, supported by a victorious Germany, tried to reclaim land annexed by the U.S. in the 1800s. Given the state of the U.S. military prior to Pearl Harbor I am not sure we could have withstood an attack on our southern border although we probably could have built up quickly to regain “our” land since government spending for military began to pick up in 1941 prior to Pearl harbor.
During the 1930s, the US military ranked 65th in the world. It had only a handful of soldiers; and in the famous 1937 war games held in Louisiana, soldiers went out in the field with broom handles instead of rifles, while the word "Tank" was painted on the sides of trucks (to simulate armor). This was the era of the Great Depression, and available government funds were being spent on domestic programs rather than building up the military.
While the Mexican scenario might be a little too far fetch I suspect that Japan would have begun making trouble in South America that MIGHT have gotten us involved, especially if SA countries requested our support under the provisions of the Monroe doctrine.
The world would surely have been a different place if Pearl Harbor hadn’t happened.