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"Lend-Lease to Russia" Topic

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Brechtel19816 Jul 2023 4:10 a.m. PST

Has there been any discussion on Lend-Lease to Russia on the forums lately?

Brechtel19816 Jul 2023 2:22 p.m. PST

Doing a little research on the Western Allies support of Russia/Soviet Union during War II, the following numbers of material sent to them is significant. Overall, without that support it isn't likely that the Russians would have won.

In part, the allies sent 12,755 tanks, 22,206 aircraft, and 375,883 trucks. There is more and if anyone is interested, I'll look up the rest of the data.

microgeorge16 Jul 2023 4:14 p.m. PST

The trucks were vital to support the large-scale offensives in 1943-45. Would they have won without the Lend-Lease support? Yes, but it would have taken longer and cost a lot more lives.

SBminisguy16 Jul 2023 4:40 p.m. PST

Not to mention the several dozen frigates, minesweepers and landing craft the Soviets used to invade Sakhalin Island in 1945.

microgeorge16 Jul 2023 6:32 p.m. PST

375,883 trucks are a LOT of trucks.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2023 8:06 p.m. PST

One of the main things the Soviet Union got was food and materials to build other things. That's where they really needed help.


Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Inch High Guy17 Jul 2023 7:11 a.m. PST

Mike +1. Roughly half of their "consumables" (food, fuel, ammo, clothing, etc) were U.S.-supplied Lend-Lease. This is anecdotal, but I read an account from a German officer who said that one benefit of overrunning a Soviet position late in the war was capturing quantities of American cigarettes and SPAM.

If you're looking specifically for Lend-Lease aircraft, this is the most authoritative reference I've found: link

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2023 1:13 p.m. PST

Besides trucks, other absolutely critical and unglamorous things that were supplied in huge quantities were boots and radio sets. Railway engines were another "unsexy" war-winner that were delivered in significant numbers.

DBS30317 Jul 2023 3:43 p.m. PST

Even with armour, the Soviets valued British and US tanks a great deal. Although it is commonplace to assume the M4 was inferior to, say, the T-34/85, the big advantage that the M4 had was reliability, and if you look at exploitation units such as Guards Mech Corps late in the war, at least a couple of the best performing formations had M4s – they kept running long after T-34s had usually broken down on deep penetration operations.

Even the dear old Valentine was kept in production a year after the UK planned, because the Soviets thought it a very good "light" tank; it may have been slow, but it was highly reliable and it could keep up a constant speed whatever the terrain. They were still being used for front line reconnaissance in 1945, and there is even photographic evidence that one might have been the first Soviet tank to reach the Brandenburg Gate – quickly replaced by staged photos of more acceptable T-34s! It was certainly far, far better than horrid little T-60s and T-70s.

Also, a major but often forgotten delivery route was via Iraq and Iran, which is why there was often a lot of UK and US kit in service on the southern front.

Cuprum217 Jul 2023 8:42 p.m. PST

By December 1941, the GDP of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition (at that time the USSR + Great Britain) correlated with the GDP of Germany and its European allies as 1:1.

The GDP of the USSR in 1942, in turn, due to the occupation of large territories by Germany, decreased by about a third compared to the pre-war level, while out of 200 million people, about 78 million people remained in the territories occupied by the Germans and dropped out of the production process. On the territory occupied by the enemy, large production facilities and agricultural land remained. A significant part of Soviet industrial enterprises was evacuated to the East, but it took time and huge resources to put them back into operation.

Thus, in 1942, the USSR and Great Britain were inferior to Germany and its satellites both in terms of GDP (0.9: 1) and in terms of population (taking into account the losses of the USSR due to occupation).

Allied deliveries were not evenly distributed over time. The largest volumes of aid came to the USSR in 1944-45, when the outcome of the war was already clear.

Deliveries from the United States under lend-lease in aviation were: for front-line fighters, 16% of those produced by the Soviet aviation industry, for front-line bombers, 20% of those produced by the USSR aviation industry during the war years. If, however, we make a calculation for combat front-line aircraft, taking into account 4171 fighters received from Great Britain, then 17484 aircraft received under Lend-Lease from 77479 front-line fighters and bombers manufactured by Soviet industry will amount to 23%.

During the war years, 73,900 units of tank equipment were produced in the USSR. Thus, the share of allied assistance for tanks for the entire period of 1941-1945 amounted to 11.2% of the volume

The USSR received a significant number of cars from the United States and other allies: in the automobile fleet of the Red Army, there were 5.4% of imported cars in 1943, 19% in 1944, and 32.8% as of May 1, 1945 (58, 1% were Soviet-made cars and 9.1% were captured cars).

During the war years, 2,586 thousand tons of aviation gasoline were supplied from the USA, Great Britain and Canada under Lend-Lease and within the framework of Soviet orders. Aviation gasoline supplied by the allies amounted to about 46.7% of Soviet production in 1941-1945. Basically, this gasoline was used to refuel military equipment supplied by the allies, since Soviet technology used fuel with a lower octane rating, and such fuel was not produced in the USSR.

In the years 1941-1945, 10,923 thousand tons of motor gasoline were produced in the USSR, and 242.3 thousand tons were received from the USA under Lend-Lease, which amounted to 2.8% of the total Soviet production during the war.

Under Lend-Lease, 622.1 thousand tons of railway rails were delivered to the USSR. This is about 56.5% of the total production of railway rails in the USSR from mid-1941 to the end of 1945.

Well, and so on… You can list the share of Western aid for a very long time – it is very significant.


The USSR received assistance for 11 billion of those "old" dollars. "At today's exchange rate, this would amount to about $ 160 billion US dollars poured into the Soviet economy over 4 years, or an average of $ 40 billion a year. Is this a lot? Absolutely yes. But if we are talking about scale, and not about absolute figures, then this value must be considered in comparison, since scale is a relative indicator.In terms of investment, these figures are comparable to the assistance provided by the EU in the period 2002-2012 to little Greece – 310 billion euros for 10 years or 36 billion euros per year.And at the same time, Greece did not fight with anyone)))

So, for the main types of deliveries, the share of Lend-Lease products in the total volume of production and deliveries to the USSR, excluding pre-war reserves (this is important – if we add them, the share of allied deliveries will become much smaller – about 4%), does not exceed 28%.

Also, one should not forget that the main share of aid supplies from the allies came at a time when the turning point in the course of the war in favor of the USSR was already obvious. In the most difficult months – 1941, the share of foreign supplies (of the total supply during the war) was less than 1% of the total. In 1942 – 28%. And more than 71% in 1943-1945, when the Red Army was already conducting a large-scale offensive on all fronts.

Let's not forget that Great Britain received $31.4 USD billion in aid during the war, while the USSR received only $11.3 USD billion. The amount of British aid was three times greater than for the USSR. And that also says a lot.

The help of the allies was undoubtedly of great importance, and this help is remembered and appreciated in Russia. But I would not say that it was decisive. As well as would not belittle the role of the USSR in the defeat of the Nazis. If the USSR fell in 1941, and Germany would have received the former Soviet resources and the opportunity to go to Asia and act as a united front with the Japanese, what would the situation in the world look like? How many new allies would the Axis countries get?

Brechtel19818 Jul 2023 7:59 a.m. PST

An excellent reference for Lend-Lease to Russia in War II is:

-Russia's Life-Saver: Lend-Lease Aid to the USSR in World War II by Albert Weeks.

It is an excellent book of 173 pages full of data and useful information and comes to the conclusion that Russia would have lost if it wasn't for the aid of the western allies. And after the war was over, the USSR became the enemy and enslaved eastern Europe.

'When we entered the war, we were still a backward country in the industrial sense compared to Germany…Today [in 1963] some say the allies really didn't help us…But, listen, one cannot deny that the Americans shipped over to us material without which we could not have equipped our armies held in reserve or been able to continue the war…We did not have enough munitions, [and] how would we have been able to turn out all those tanks without the rolled steel sent to us by the Americans? To believe what they say [in the USSR] today, you'd think we has all this in abundance.!'-Marshal GK Zhukov.

'On the whole the following conclusion can be drawn: that without these Western shipments under Lend-Lease the Soviet Union not only would not have been able even to oppose the German invaders, since it could not itself produce sufficient quantities of arms and military equipment or adequate supplies of fuel and ammunition. The Soviet authorities were well aware of this dependency on Lend-Lease. Thus, Stalin told Harry Hopkins [FDR's emissary to Moscow in July 1941] that the USSR could not match Germany's might as an occupier of Europe and its resources.'-Boris Sokolov.

Cuprum218 Jul 2023 9:17 p.m. PST

People always tend to exaggerate or underestimate the significance of certain events. This is influenced by many personal factors … Their opinion is only worthy of taking note of it, but no more.

It is foolish to rely on the opinion of Marshal Zhukov, who at that moment was in disgrace with Soviet authorities and was ready to say anything to spite him … Can an army marshal have detailed information about the volume of deliveries and production? Is this his competence? No. Or then we will have to take as a standard the opinion of the industrialist and financier about the military talents of Marshal Zhukov)))

Boris Sokolov is a writer and publicist whose works on the theme of the Second World War have nothing to do with reality at all. This is just the opinion of an incompetent person whose incompetence is obvious.

As for the words of Stalin to Hopkins – what else should the leader of the warring country, whose army is suffering the greatest defeat at this moment, have to say? He needs weapons – a lot of weapons and other materials for war. And he will say anything to get them… Emotions. Forget about emotions…

Documents of that era, numbers and maps speak best of all. They don't know how to lie

Brechtel19819 Jul 2023 4:53 a.m. PST

That is why the appendices in the subject book referenced are so useful.

The bottom line is still that without Lend-Lease the Russians would have lost to the Germans.

Cuprum219 Jul 2023 5:27 a.m. PST

Nonsense. For the Russians, the most critical years were 1941 and 1942. In 1941, the Russian pre-war army was actually defeated, and the industry of the most developed western regions of the country was dismantled and taken to the East (accordingly, the production of weapons and other things sank very much). A very dangerous period – and practically no foreign aid. 1942 – the continuation of the German offensive and the threat of the loss of Caucasian oil (i.e., in general, the complete loss of fuel – Siberian oil and gas fields are not yet known). Again, huge defeats for the Red Army… Foreign aid is at a minimum level, as well as domestic production – the evacuated factories are just beginning to establish the production of weapons and supplies in a new place. The hardest period.
Since 1943, significant defeats of the Nazis began – Stalingrad, Kursk Bulge, etc. Russia forever intercepts the strategic initiative. From that moment on, the Germans only retreat. And only at this moment the help from the West becomes significant.
The Russians by this point had already turned the tide of the war in their favor. Without Western help, the war in the east could have been longer (a year, maybe two), and the losses could have been higher. But the outcome was already predetermined.
In the East, the backbone of the Nazis was broken by the Russians themselves, with minimal Western assistance.

sidley27 Jul 2023 2:51 p.m. PST

Cuprum seems to think Lend Lease in 1941 was inconsequential. It was certainly far less than in later years but its impact was significant. The biggest impact was during November and December 1941 in the battle of Moscow where at least 40% of the medium and heavy tanks used by Russia to defend Moscow were British Lend Lease vehicles.
As noted above Soviet tank production did not kick in until 1942 and the Russian tanks were the older vehicles so the British tanks although not up to the standards of the T34 or KV1 tanks they were available and did good service in 1941 defending Moscow. This is an interesting article link

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