Originally Posted by perseus
These two paragraphs seem contradictory. If Churchill sent say the KGV battleships along with the Rodney and Nelson and modern carriers to the Indian ocean (any others would be a liability), to be sunk by a Japanese fleet in 1942, wouldn't this have gained some sort of parity in the Atlantic, in terms of overall quality if not numbers? The only other battleships left for the RN were of WW1 vintage, the best being the Hood and Warspite.
Taking the second paragraph alone it appears that you think that the UK couldn't have relied on the US for supplies by themselves. If this was the case then it wouldn't have been necessary to destroy the British fleet but merely to gain control of the Indian ocean irrespective of Churchills whims, and this was surely within the capacity of the Japanese if they concentrated their forces in this direction.
They are perhaps contradictory had Germany actually possessed a surface fleet worth mentioning but the reality is that it didn't, a sizable proportion of its destroyers were sitting at the bottom of Norwegian Fjords and the few capital ships it had were in hiding or dry dock repairing at the end of 1941.
Basically Britain could have sent 75% of the Royal Navy to the far east and still out numbered the Kriegsmarine's surface fleet.
If I remember rightly for Operation Sealion Germany could muster roughly 50 ships to support the invasion while the Royal Navy had 300+ ships within 24 hours of the invasion beaches to counter an invasion.
While I have little doubt that the USA could have supplied all of Britain's war time needs only having one supplier makes the job of the Uboat commanders a damn sight easier and without the direct involvement of the USA I suspect the British Merchant Marine would have unable replace the losses in sufficient numbers.
Here ya go I am sure you will see the disparity in numbers:
Royal Navy 1941... http://www.naval-history.net/xDKWW2-4101-26RNHome.htm
Kriegsmarine (total for WW2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Kriegsmarine_ships
As I see it in this scenario the only help Germany could have provided Japan was in tying up British and Commonwealth forces in North Africa, in terms of gaining superiority over the Royal Navy though they had no chance.