US/UK lend-lease to Stalin

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
Pumpkin
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US/UK lend-lease to Stalin

Post by Pumpkin » 19 Apr 2002 15:31

I'm surprised to find some data on the amount of support Stalin recieved from US and UK. Does anyone here have good data on how much was actually shipped to Soviet?

Some indications of the amounts of aid to the communists from the democrats:
18.700 airplanes
78.000 Jeeps
351.700 trucks (!!!)

Adding to this, a substantial percentage of the food, tools and metals that Stalin had at his disposal during the war. It's called "lend-lease", but Soviet never payd for it, did they?

In a wider context, I ask myself what the democraties ever did to help liberate the millions oppressed by Soviet? On balance, the democraties seem to have helped Soviet much more than trying to oppose it. Reagans militarism and hi-tech boycott, lame and late, was enough to bring the Soviet economy to a halt, helping it's oppressed population to revolt. If only such action had been taken earlier, directly after the war (or even better, directly after the revolution). It seems as if Soviet (or any communist state) never achieved autarki, but was always dependant on aid from capitalistic economies, something they always recieved!

Some links with lend-lease data:
http://www.battlefield.ru/library/lend/intro.html
http://members.tripod.com/~Sturmvogel/SovLendLease.html

And other interesting articles on war economy at:
http://members.tripod.com/~Sturmvogel/WarEcon.html

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Post by Gwynn Compton » 20 Apr 2002 07:52

From what I understand, it was through a series of near miracles that the revolution didn't crumble in the years immediately following it.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 20 Apr 2002 13:52

Pumpkin wrote:
I'm surprised to find some data on the amount of support Stalin recieved from US and UK. Does anyone here have good data on how much was actually shipped to Soviet?


I believe it totaled about 10-15% of the Soviet wartime production, but I’m not sure. Your numbers are not accurate. Only about 14-15000 airplanes were sent, about 200,000 trucks (a third of the trucks were sent in crates and were assembled in Soviet factories).

It's called "lend-lease", but Soviet never payd for it, did they?


But they did pay for it.

Pumpkin you seem to think that LL was the main factor behind the Soviet success in the East. I think it wasn’t. Sure it did help, but not decisively. It shortened the war, but not its outcome. However, the forces the Allies tied down in the West could have changed something, but that’s another topic (Germany vs. USSR, 1-on-1) .

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Post by Pumpkin » 20 Apr 2002 17:44

Your numbers are not accurate


Well, Victor, it's hard to argue since I wasn't there then, counting it all :) But did you check the weblinks I provided above? They refer to: "Accounting for War: Soviet Production, Employment and the Defense Burden, 1940-1945" by Mark Harrison, 1996. Do you have better sources?

    Copper, aluminium, rubber/tires and aviation fuel from LL was as big as Soviet's own production during the war.

    The entire railway system depended on lend lease rails and wagons.

    1/3 of Soviet tires, suger and explosives, just to mention a few items.

A Swedish economic historian, Samuelsson, has written (only in Swedish I think) about Soviet economy. He argues that LL was necessary for a Soviet offensive. They didn't have the necessary logistics capacity without the 350 000 LL trucks and the LL railway equpiment. The lend-lease therefor was focused on building an offensive Soviet army.

The main point of Samuelssons book, however, is that Soviet always, since the revolution, was thoroughly militarized, much more so than western expert thought during the cold war. Almost all industries were built as weapons factories, not optimized for the civilian goods they produced in peace-time. In the 70s, Soviet had the capacity to produce 70 000 tanks a year in case of a mobilization! An example, kitchen equipment was manufactured from aluminium instead of cheaper metals, because those factories had the capacity to manufacture parts for airplanes, rockets and ammunition and therefor were equiped only with tools to deal with aluminium. Thus, the economic failure of the Soviet Union to some part can be explained by these heavy investments in this expensive military industrial reserve capacity, rather than only bad planning.

So, yes, Soviets quick military recovery already until the winter of 1941/42 surely can be explained by the huge military industrial reserve capacity. However, the logistics obviously depended entirely on LL.

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Post by Pumpkin » 20 Apr 2002 17:47

Oh yes, did they actually pay for it? I thought that, insofar the whole lend-lease debt wasn't written off, Soviet couldn't pay before 1948, and didn't want to afterwards.

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Post by Gwynn Compton » 21 Apr 2002 05:34

In my opinion Lend Lease was crucial to the Soviet's ability to carry the war on. While not quite as important in stopping Barbarossa before Moscow, it did help. By Operation Blue, it was becoming a dependence for the Red Army, and the Soviet populace. Without the tons of aid coming from the West, especially the trucks and railways, with which the Red Army would still be walking like the majority of the German infantry.

But American vehicles - especially Ford, Willys and Studebaker trucks and jeeps - and food, whether the millions of tons of wheat in white sacks stamped with the American eagle and cans of Spam or corned beef from Chicago, made a huge, yet unacknowledged, difference to the Soviet Union's ability to resist.

-Antony Beevor, Stalingrad

Although the Soviet forces preferred their own weapon, the other donations provided the Soviet Union with a high proportion not only of its war-industrial requirements but also of its means to fight. 'Just imagine', Nikita Khrushchev later remarked, 'how we would have advanced from Stalingrad to Berlin without [American transport] them.' ; at the end of the war, the Soviet forces held 665,000 motor vehicles, of which 427,000 were Western, most of them American and a high proportion the magnificent 2 1/2 ton Dodge trucks, which effectively carried everything the Red Army needed in the field. American infustry also supplied 13 million Soviet Soldiers with their winter boots, American agriculture 5 million tons of food, sufficient to provide each Soviet soldier with half a pound of concentrated rations every day of the war. The American railroad industry supplied 2000 locomotives, 11,000 freight carriages and 540,000 tons of rails, with which the Russains laid a greater length of line than they had builty between 1928 and 1939. American supplies of high-grade petroleum were essentially to Russian production of aviation fuel, while three-quarters of Soviet consumption of copper in 1941-4 came from American sources.
Wartime Russia survived and fought on American aid.

-John Keegan, The Second World War

Imagine how different the war would have been without these contributions, could the Red Army survived the war without Lend Lease? It is doubtful it could have maintained its war effort without these contributions.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 21 Apr 2002 06:08

Pumpkin, just go to the onwar.com forum and look in the archives for discusions on LL, if you really want to learn more.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 21 Apr 2002 08:34

Gwynn Compton wrote:In my opinion Lend Lease was crucial to the Soviet's ability to carry the war on. While not quite as important in stopping Barbarossa before Moscow, it did help. By Operation Blue, it was becoming a dependence for the Red Army, and the Soviet populace. Without the tons of aid coming from the West, especially the trucks and railways, with which the Red Army would still be walking like the majority of the German infantry.

But American vehicles - especially Ford, Willys and Studebaker trucks and jeeps - and food, whether the millions of tons of wheat in white sacks stamped with the American eagle and cans of Spam or corned beef from Chicago, made a huge, yet unacknowledged, difference to the Soviet Union's ability to resist.

-Antony Beevor, Stalingrad

Although the Soviet forces preferred their own weapon, the other donations provided the Soviet Union with a high proportion not only of its war-industrial requirements but also of its means to fight. 'Just imagine', Nikita Khrushchev later remarked, 'how we would have advanced from Stalingrad to Berlin without [American transport] them.' ; at the end of the war, the Soviet forces held 665,000 motor vehicles, of which 427,000 were Western, most of them American and a high proportion the magnificent 2 1/2 ton Dodge trucks, which effectively carried everything the Red Army needed in the field. American infustry also supplied 13 million Soviet Soldiers with their winter boots, American agriculture 5 million tons of food, sufficient to provide each Soviet soldier with half a pound of concentrated rations every day of the war. The American railroad industry supplied 2000 locomotives, 11,000 freight carriages and 540,000 tons of rails, with which the Russains laid a greater length of line than they had builty between 1928 and 1939. American supplies of high-grade petroleum were essentially to Russian production of aviation fuel, while three-quarters of Soviet consumption of copper in 1941-4 came from American sources.
Wartime Russia survived and fought on American aid.

-John Keegan, The Second World War

Imagine how different the war would have been without these contributions, could the Red Army survived the war without Lend Lease? It is doubtful it could have maintained its war effort without these contributions.


The first quote is very arguable considering the fact that convoys stopped in 1942 for a considerable while after PQ-17 disaster and also by taking into consideration general statistics for LL in 1942. The second quote is simply manipulation of the numbers they give the total number of vehicles supplied via LL and make you think that at any given moment that was the number of LL in the Soviet park. The fact is that LL vehicles never amounted to more than 30% of Soviet park

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Post by Gwynn Compton » 21 Apr 2002 10:50

PQ-17 however, as far as I know, didn't effect American supplies to Russia, it did however halt British Lend Lease. Important difference there.

Also my second quote, you'll notice, numbers the total motorized transport for the Red Army, not just that of Lend Lease. Of the total number, 2/3 were of western origin, leaving 1/3 of Soviet manufacture.

The Soviet Union, as I've pointed out on this thread, or another related one, thanks to Kulik, had lost it's motorized transport when he had it withdrawn. Stalin compared him to the peasent who prefers the horse and plow to the tractor, but still allowed it to happen. Thus when war erupted, the Soviet Union was dependent on Lend Lease to provide them with trucks.

Both Keegan and Beevor draw the conclusion that both Britain and the Soviet Union depended on Lend Lease. Keegan also notes that Soviet Propaganda played down the role of Lend Lease in keeping the Soviet Union afloat during the war.

The truth is that Soviet Authorities wanted the populace to believe that it was a Soviet engineered victory, when as much as anything it depended on the workers in the United States as much as it did on the Red Army soldiers on the front.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 21 Apr 2002 13:03

Gwyn Compton wrote:
'Just imagine', Nikita Khrushchev later remarked, 'how we would have advanced from Stalingrad to Berlin without [American transport] them.' ; at the end of the war, the Soviet forces held 665,000 motor vehicles, of which 427,000 were Western, most of them American and a high proportion the magnificent 2 1/2 ton Dodge trucks, which effectively carried everything the Red Army needed in the field.


I wouldn’t give to much credit to what Khrushchev said.
If one would calculate the number of trucks you gave it would mean that the 64% of the Soviet truck park was of Western origin!!! Be serious. The biggest percentage I know of was 32.8% in May 45. Btw, in 43 5.4% and in 44 19% of the trucks were of western origin. Note that a large part of these trucks were assembled in the SU.

American infustry also supplied 13 million Soviet Soldiers with their winter boots, American agriculture 5 million tons of food, sufficient to provide each Soviet soldier with half a pound of concentrated rations every day of the war.


Do you know that Soviet production of leather footwear between 1941-45 was about 400 million pairs? That would make the American deliveries 3.25%.
The food was more welcomed, especially by the civilian economy.

2000 locomotives, 11,000 freight carriages and 540,000 tons of rails


This was also important, because it allowed the Soviet economy to focus on weapons. They had the production capacity.

American supplies of high-grade petroleum were essentially to Russian production of aviation fuel, while three-quarters of Soviet consumption of copper in 1941-4 came from American sources.


The high-grade petroleum was needed especially by Western made aircraft, not Soviet.
Copper: 308,726 tons of ore and 69,400 tons of copper. The SU produced 709,000 tons of copper. Where is the 75%?

Conclusion (again :D ): the SU could have survived without LL (which actually happened, since most of the supplies came after 1942). IMO it would have also won the war, although it would have taken much, much longer (Glantz says 18 months) and many more lives (on both sides).

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Post by Pumpkin » 21 Apr 2002 15:08

Thanks everybody for the discussion and references!

In my opinion, lend-lease supplies that arrived too late to be of real importance in the war, is even more questionable from a moral point of view, since its only function then was to assist Stalin's post-war terror.

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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 21 Apr 2002 20:08

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Last edited by Oleg Grigoryev on 21 Apr 2002 20:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 21 Apr 2002 20:09

Gwynn Compton wrote:PQ-17 however, as far as I know, didn't effect American supplies to Russia, it did however halt British Lend Lease. Important difference there.

Also my second quote, you'll notice, numbers the total motorized transport for the Red Army, not just that of Lend Lease. Of the total number, 2/3 were of western origin, leaving 1/3 of Soviet manufacture.

The Soviet Union, as I've pointed out on this thread, or another related one, thanks to Kulik, had lost it's motorized transport when he had it withdrawn. Stalin compared him to the peasent who prefers the horse and plow to the tractor, but still allowed it to happen. Thus when war erupted, the Soviet Union was dependent on Lend Lease to provide them with trucks.


Both Keegan and Beevor draw the conclusion that both Britain and the Soviet Union depended on Lend Lease. Keegan also notes that Soviet Propaganda played down the role of Lend Lease in keeping the Soviet Union afloat during the war.

The truth is that Soviet Authorities wanted the populace to believe that it was a Soviet engineered victory, when as much as anything it depended on the workers in the United States as much as it did on the Red Army soldiers on the front.

I' am sorry but numbers on the tr4ansport are erroneous I posted thm several times on these forum http://thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/viewt ... c&start=25

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Post by Gwynn Compton » 21 Apr 2002 23:37

If anything this now makes me wonder where Keegan and Beevor have drawn their sources from, as both are reliable sources on the War, interesting.

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Post by Darrin » 22 Apr 2002 07:37

This lend lease data is from the website above. I will try to keep to truck info in this post but I may continue with others in the future.

Rus produced around 280,000 trucks during 4 years. Lend lease provided about 410,000 more for a total of 690,000. About 60% of this total is provided by lend leasse. Think of this as increasing the number of new trucks available to rus to a total 2.5 times higher than they were able to make themselves during the whole war. But if we look at lend lease as mainly coming in the last two years of the war and comparig that with rus prod during these years then on avg LL acouted for over a 4 times increse in tot numbers of new trucks than rus was able to make itself. 200 t LL+ 60 t rus= 260 t tot/year.

The rus trucks made during the war were older 30s design that had no cross coutry performance. The LL trucks did have good cross county performance and were very important becouse of this. Rus did assemble a large number (third?) of LL trucks which were shipped in boxes.

In Jasons website he gives one posible explanation for why the sov park even in may 45 was only 30% LL trucks. The more modern cross country LL trucks would be sent to the front. To equip and supply the front line forces esp mobile forces. At the front its loss rate to enemy action would be high reducing its actual % around in 45. Obviously the trucks were very crucial because they were used and lost during thhe war. A 30% LL park compared to 60% rus is a 50% increse in tot vechicles avilable compared tot base rus numbers.

Another explanation is that many older rus trucks were made before the war. Even in 41 many rus trucks that were in the mil in emergency were in civ duties. And during the war rus needed large amounts of trucks to keep her economy going. The older rus trucks with no cross coutry ability and older manufacture were more prone to break down. This trucks were HIGHLY unsuitable to fwd deployment. Even for hauling supplies from raillines to fwd troops over rough, muddy, snowy paths would be too much to ask. Many of these older home service trucks probably spent more time in repair and maintence then actually hauling things around. If you looked at op numbers in 45 it might be more like 100% of 30% LL and 50% of 60% rus. The number of op trucks might actually be almost equal.

EVERY account of the war always mentions how LL trucks were important even glantz. So at first glance the 30% figure above appears to mean one thing but in reality it does not mean that. In the latter stages of the war LL trucks allowed rus to increse the tot number of new trucks entering the war by over 4 times. No coincidence that rus only started winning real victorys after trucks and other LL numbers started ariving in numbers during the last two years of the war.

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