What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by Stiltzkin » 05 Mar 2019 03:16

The abridged prognosis: Then there is a) a higher chance of collapse (and disintegration) in the 4th quarter of 1942 (comparable to 1917)
b) a bigger strain on the war industry (parts of the Soviet labour, including forced labour ran on american supplies, war diaries of these workers exist)
c) fewer Divisions fielded in 1944-45 (or overall less effective and less motorized)
d) and thus, casualties sustained in the summer offensives of 1944 would be even greater.

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by ljadw » 06 Mar 2019 07:06

Of course he did not : he would not say that the survivval of the civilians depended on private initiative, on good old capitalism .

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by Phaing » 07 Mar 2019 20:24

Stiltzkin wrote:
05 Mar 2019 03:16
The abridged prognosis: Then there is a) a higher chance of collapse (and disintegration) in the 4th quarter of 1942 (comparable to 1917)
b) a bigger strain on the war industry (parts of the Soviet labour, including forced labour ran on american supplies, war diaries of these workers exist)
c) fewer Divisions fielded in 1944-45 (or overall less effective and less motorized)
d) and thus, casualties sustained in the summer offensives of 1944 would be even greater.
I will agree to all of that.
Without the ability to move their armies forward and support them logistically, there would have been no successful Soviet offensives.

The benefit to the US alone could have been immeasurable; without restricting itself to 90-some Divisions, the US Army would have been able to rotate whole units out of the front and rehabilitate them.... instead of constantly feeding replacements in as individuals who were so often made cassualties before they had a chance to learn much.
The US Army would have had to fight longer and harder to win the war, but they would have been in a much better position to do so, and it would have happened much more quickly.

The problem is, the A-Bomb might not have been ready in time to prevent the bloody and ruinous mess that the invasion of Japan would have been.

So, a little of column A, and a little of Column B....

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 08 Mar 2019 00:29

Phaing wrote:
07 Mar 2019 20:24
Stiltzkin wrote:
05 Mar 2019 03:16
The abridged prognosis: Then there is a) a higher chance of collapse (and disintegration) in the 4th quarter of 1942 (comparable to 1917)
b) a bigger strain on the war industry (parts of the Soviet labour, including forced labour ran on american supplies, war diaries of these workers exist)
c) fewer Divisions fielded in 1944-45 (or overall less effective and less motorized)
d) and thus, casualties sustained in the summer offensives of 1944 would be even greater.
I will agree to all of that.
Without the ability to move their armies forward and support them logistically, there would have been no successful Soviet offensives.

The benefit to the US alone could have been immeasurable; without restricting itself to 90-some Divisions, the US Army would have been able to rotate whole units out of the front and rehabilitate them.... instead of constantly feeding replacements in as individuals who were so often made cassualties before they had a chance to learn much.
The US Army would have had to fight longer and harder to win the war, but they would have been in a much better position to do so, and it would have happened much more quickly.

The problem is, the A-Bomb might not have been ready in time to prevent the bloody and ruinous mess that the invasion of Japan would have been.

So, a little of column A, and a little of Column B....
The problem for the US military was that every division raised was going to be fighting halfway around the planet somewhere. That division had to be supplied and kept up to strength. With the exception of a few months in the ETO following D-Day, that problem was met in full. That for a few months in one theater of a global war, the US had problems maintaining their combat strength and took exceptional measures to meet their requirements is hardly something shattering.
For example, in mid 1944, US 90mm AA battalions were being reduced from 6 to 4 guns in a battery due to the introduction of the M2 90mm gun and SCR 584 radar and a new fire control system, along with VT fuzes. This made the reduced battery more effective than the previous 6 gun battery. The surplus troops were then converted to infantry as replacements.
The feeding of individual replacements into units was a mistake when those units were engaged in combat. But, that would be true of any army.
Had the US been fighting in the Americas, there's little doubt that the US Army could have raised anywhere from 50 to 100% more divisions than they did. There was also a need for garrisons worldwide and these easily drew sufficient troops to form at least a dozen plus divisions. Even separate tank and armored infantry battalions were sufficient to increase the number of armored divisions by 50%.

To invade Japan, the US had to move and supply dozens of divisions thousands of miles from home. No other nation on Earth then or now could match doing that.

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Mar 2019 00:46

T. A. Gardner wrote:
08 Mar 2019 00:29
The problem for the US military was that every division raised was going to be fighting halfway around the planet somewhere. That division had to be supplied and kept up to strength. With the exception of a few months in the ETO following D-Day, that problem was met in full. That for a few months in one theater of a global war, the US had problems maintaining their combat strength and took exceptional measures to meet their requirements is hardly something shattering.
Very true, but my problem with the post was the assumption that less Soviet forces equals more American forces? The "90-division gamble" was just that, a gamble forced on the War Department by manpower considerations.
For example, in mid 1944, US 90mm AA battalions were being reduced from 6 to 4 guns in a battery due to the introduction of the M2 90mm gun and SCR 584 radar and a new fire control system, along with VT fuzes. This made the reduced battery more effective than the previous 6 gun battery. The surplus troops were then converted to infantry as replacements.
Um, no, sorry, the 90mm AA Battery was always 4 pieces, with four batteries to the battalion for 16 pieces. That was true in the 1st and 2d Battalions of the CA AAA Regiments as originally organized as well as in the separate AAA 90mm Gun Battalions.
The feeding of individual replacements into units was a mistake when those units were engaged in combat. But, that would be true of any army.
It little matters if it was a mistake or not, since it was a requirement of the "90-division gamble". It is also a mistake that the U.S. Army continued to make into the 1980s and continues to make in a modified form (the notion that a troop is "plug and play").
Had the US been fighting in the Americas, there's little doubt that the US Army could have raised anywhere from 50 to 100% more divisions than they did. There was also a need for garrisons worldwide and these easily drew sufficient troops to form at least a dozen plus divisions. Even separate tank and armored infantry battalions were sufficient to increase the number of armored divisions by 50%.
Except the separate tank battalions weren't numerous enough to perform their primary function of supporting infantry divisions...and only a single separate armored infantry battalion was ever fully organized, trained, and deployed.
To invade Japan, the US had to move and supply dozens of divisions thousands of miles from home. No other nation on Earth then or now could match doing that.
I doubt of the US could do it now.
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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by BDV » 08 Mar 2019 15:43

If there is decreased assistance to Soviets from the US side, some of the shortfall would be made by increased British support/trade. The battles in the Arctic become more important and probably Soviet marines secure Svalbard, and a British airstrip and radar station is built there. The WAlly takeover of Madagascar may have to wait, or be done by US units.

Also with US support less forthcoming, expect RKKA to be more tentative in their early 1942 offensives, both due to shortage of manpower (needed to run the economy) and due to the need to stockpile materiel.
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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by ljadw » 08 Mar 2019 19:39

Stiltzkin wrote:
05 Mar 2019 03:16
The abridged prognosis: Then there is a) a higher chance of collapse (and disintegration) in the 4th quarter of 1942 (comparable to 1917)
b) a bigger strain on the war industry (parts of the Soviet labour, including forced labour ran on american supplies, war diaries of these workers exist)
c) fewer Divisions fielded in 1944-45 (or overall less effective and less motorized)
d) and thus, casualties sustained in the summer offensives of 1944 would be even greater.
c and d are unlikely and even if they happened, it would make no difference as the Soviet superiority was enormous .

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by Stiltzkin » 09 Mar 2019 05:37

c and d are unlikely and even if they happened, it would make no difference as the Soviet superiority was enormous
They had their last refill. C is not unlikely, Soviet industry could not even support their troops with an adequate amount of boots. Soviet casualties in midsummer 44 were also still insane.

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by Stiltzkin » 11 Mar 2019 20:33

Oh yeah and I forgot one (minor) thing: They would not be able to make T-34-85s. Kavalerchik made this point in his recent book (the Kharkov facilities where the only ones which could provide the tools).
To answer the OPs old question: The USSR survived without LL (the blow of Barbarossa), in 1941 (at least till December). LL is more relevant for the prolonged war, to keep the USSR in the fight. As mentioned, stopping the Wehrmacht and reaching Berlin are two different things.

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by History Learner » 12 Mar 2019 20:48

ljadw wrote:
04 Mar 2019 16:07
There is no proof that all the bread people in the non occupied parts of the SU were eating, came from the state .The Soviet state abdicated on June 22,and told people that thet had to care for themselves,while the government would care about the armed forces .In the occupied parts,the inhabitants did not receive food from the Germans, but,mostly,survived, because they took care of themselves . It was the same thing in the non occupied parts .
There are two possibilities . Only two .
1 The food the population received from the state was not sufficient to survive, and than,you have to explain how the SU survived .
OR
2 The food the population received from the state was sufficient,and than, the stories about the famines in the non occupied parts are inventions and there was no need for a black market .
The same situation existed in Western Europe and there also the truth was that those who were depending to survive on what the government promised them ( but failed to deliver ) ,did not survive .
Those who died were poor,old people,living in the cities and who were unable to produce their own food .
You also ignore that there was in the SU before the war a flourishing private food market,who became more important during the war .
1 has been my argument for some time and is explained thoroughly by Hunger and War; there was enough to prevent overwhelming starvation, yet there was still large scale deaths from it and the situation was extremely precarious.

For 2, which seems to be your position, what sources can you cite? Appealing to a "common wisdom" isn't a valid argument, as it borders on two logical fallacies.

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by ljadw » 13 Mar 2019 07:13

Stiltzkin wrote:
09 Mar 2019 05:37
c and d are unlikely and even if they happened, it would make no difference as the Soviet superiority was enormous
They had their last refill. C is not unlikely, Soviet industry could not even support their troops with an adequate amount of boots. Soviet casualties in midsummer 44 were also still insane.
The Soviets had enough boots : more than 30 million were available at the start of the war .This has already been discussed in the past .

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by Stiltzkin » 13 Mar 2019 16:21

The Soviets had enough boots : more than 30 million were available at the start of the war .This has already been discussed in the past .
Thats why they were importing them? Soviet stats are worth as much as toilet paper. Not to mention the massive amount of telephone lines and other gear which is usually overlooked. The inefficient field cultivation, harvesting and forced collectivizations which led to starvations. LL was a specially dedicated and target oriented aid, i.e. it was allocated towards special sectors which supported the war effort. Most of the studies which exist out there are just propaganda (such as the two cent theory) and usually compare wrong indicators.
Post war, the Soviets were salvaging all sorts of items from the occupied territories. One of them were shoes, from East Germany, Poland and the Baltics. I even talked to people who had to give them away. They were stripping apart entire factories.
By the way, 30 million shoes are not enough to support such a large army and the civilian sector simultaneously, especially if you have such a high attrition rate.

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Mar 2019 15:56

Stiltzkin wrote:
11 Mar 2019 20:33
...To answer the OPs old question: The USSR survived without LL (the blow of Barbarossa), in 1941 (at least till December). LL is more relevant for the prolonged war, to keep the USSR in the fight. As mentioned, stopping the Wehrmacht and reaching Berlin are two different things.
Agree 100% here. LL had less to do with stopping the Axos, and more to with driving the back. Without the LL of 1943-45 The Red Army offensives would have been violent affairs, but lacking the operational depth. With the smaller mobile forces the USSR could have formed on its own there would have been two choices 1. attack in depth on limited fronts, rather than the broad fronts of OTL. 2. Attack on the broad front, but in limited depth. While you may still kill three million German soldiers & gut the ground forces neither is likely to get the Red Army to Berlin in April 1945.


Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Mar 2019 00:46
...
Very true, but my problem with the post was the assumption that less Soviet forces equals more American forces? The "90-division gamble" was just that, a gamble forced on the War Department by manpower considerations. ...
Mr Anderson, did we not discuss once how the 90 division cap was less a gamble and more a trade off? Not just a trade off in manpower wishing the US Army: Ground forces for air forces or service forces, or a trade off for more naval forces, or industrial manpower? I seem to recall you drove the point at me...

Extending the idea one can argue there was a larger trade off, of fewer US ground combat formations for those manned by other nations, but equipped and sustained by the US. Aside from 96 divisions (the Marines need to be included here) there were from 1943- 1945:

France: six infantry, three armored (how much US support went into the Metropolitan divisions in 1945 I am unsure.)

Brazil: two infantry

China: three infantry in Burma (There may have been the equivalent of more in China proper, tho some might argue only those in Burma were at all effective.)

Italy: one infantry

USSR: six+ armored ?

I'm trying to be conservative in this guesstimate. It does look like in terms of the up front investment in equipment, and continuing logistics support the US was fielding perhaps 120 divisions, along with material equivalent to the corps & army level overhead. Possibly a lot more with a better count of the material used by the Red Army.

So, supplying offensive forces for the Red Army was part of this 'fill out US equipped formations with other nations soldiers'. It would take some summer crunching to figure out how much, but I suspect one can trade off LL to the Red Army to build substantial additional combat formations in the west.

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 15 Mar 2019 18:11

You might also note that US equipment like tanks and other vehicles, made up roughly a third of Commonwealth equipment. The Sherman tank by 1944 was being used in 32 regiments in British or Commonwealth service compared to 12 Churchill and 9 Cromwell as but one example. That would make maybe another 10 armored divisions, or so, equipped by the US.

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Re: What if......no Lend-Lease to the Soviets?

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 Mar 2019 00:23

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 Mar 2019 15:56
Mr Anderson, did we not discuss once how the 90 division cap was less a gamble and more a trade off? Not just a trade off in manpower wishing the US Army: Ground forces for air forces or service forces, or a trade off for more naval forces, or industrial manpower? I seem to recall you drove the point at me...
That's mighty formal Carl. :D

We may have discussed it before - I honestly don't recall - but you may have misunderstood me. The decision to reduce the troop basis down to 90 divisions is commonly referred to as the "90-division gamble", because that is what Maurice Matloff called his chapter discussing it in Command Decisions, but it was a gamble in retrospect only. There was no odds calculation by Marshall, the other Chiefs, or Roosevelt, but rather it was a choice forced on them by manpower realities. Otherwise it would have been the 141-division, then 139-division, then 100-division gambles, before it got to the 90-division one on 1 July 1943. Each staff study recommending a lowering in the number of divisions was generated by the manpower allocation to the War Department and then the division of that between AGF, ASF, and USAAF.
Extending the idea one can argue there was a larger trade off, of fewer US ground combat formations for those manned by other nations, but equipped and sustained by the US. Aside from 96 divisions (the Marines need to be included here) there were from 1943- 1945:
Part of the logic always was sustaining allies through Lend-Lease meant more manpower was required for industry, which drove the manpower available for the Services.

And as another aside, the six Marine divisions were drawn from Navy Department manpower allocations...and were not sustainable either, which is partly why they were deployed mostly seriatum.
France: six infantry, three armored (how much US support went into the Metropolitan divisions in 1945 I am unsure.)
Aside from some uniform items and small arms AFAIK most of the FFF and Metropolitan troops were armed and equipped through US Lend-Lease.

(snip)
I'm trying to be conservative in this guesstimate. It does look like in terms of the up front investment in equipment, and continuing logistics support the US was fielding perhaps 120 divisions, along with material equivalent to the corps & army level overhead. Possibly a lot more with a better count of the material used by the Red Army.
Indeed, but that was sustainment through arms, equipment, and consumables...not manpower.
So, supplying offensive forces for the Red Army was part of this 'fill out US equipped formations with other nations soldiers'. It would take some summer crunching to figure out how much, but I suspect one can trade off LL to the Red Army to build substantial additional combat formations in the west.
In a sense, yes, if the Lend-Lease sustainment requirement was eliminated, then the US theoretically would have been able to generate Wedemeyer's 215-division "Victory Plan"...except it was never a "plan", but rather a requirements study. However, given the reality of the poorly-managed US manpower effort - we were by far the least mobilized of the major belligerents - I have no doubt 215 divisions was still unrealistic as well.
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