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.
Gwynn Compton
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Post by Gwynn Compton » 22 Apr 2002 10:07

As I mentioned before, Kulik (I can't remember his position) removed all trucks from the Red Army motorized transport division in either 1939 or 1940, I no longer have Keegan's book at home, so I can't give the exact year. Kulik favoured animal transport, and thus created the Red Army's reliance on Lend Lease vehicles.

However with all websites, you must take the information there with caution, as a lecturer once said at university, "The curse of websites, while they allow anyone to post their views, is that they are not peer reviewed, and thus a lot of rubbish is out there which unsuspecting historians turn into 'fact' "

Darrin
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Post by Darrin » 22 Apr 2002 13:22

Gwynn Compton wrote:As I mentioned before, Kulik (I can't remember his position) removed all trucks from the Red Army motorized transport division in either 1939 or 1940, I no longer have Keegan's book at home, so I can't give the exact year. Kulik favoured animal transport, and thus created the Red Army's reliance on Lend Lease vehicles.

However with all websites, you must take the information there with caution, as a lecturer once said at university, "The curse of websites, while they allow anyone to post their views, is that they are not peer reviewed, and thus a lot of rubbish is out there which unsuspecting historians turn into 'fact' "



Anyone can publish a book nowadays saying anything. Books are no better by defalt than web sites. You need to examine everything critically and his sites and data is well sourced and matches other data for other sources that I have read.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Apr 2002 18:09

Gwynn Compton wrote:As I mentioned before, Kulik (I can't remember his position) removed all trucks from the Red Army motorized transport division in either 1939 or 1940, I no longer have Keegan's book at home, so I can't give the exact year. Kulik favoured animal transport, and thus created the Red Army's reliance on Lend Lease vehicles.

However with all websites, you must take the information there with caution, as a lecturer once said at university, "The curse of websites, while they allow anyone to post their views, is that they are not peer reviewed, and thus a lot of rubbish is out there which unsuspecting historians turn into 'fact' "
that is very weird conception considering the establishment of Soviet motorized formation -it was not up to Kulik to remove anything since that was the responsibility of General staff - consequently Shaposhnikov, Mertckov, or Zhuk0ov depending on the year.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Apr 2002 18:14

Darrin wrote: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.


1. you are not taking into the account pre-war stocks.
2. the explanation is not very satisfactory since the my numbers are based on the records of vehicle registrations and that would not be affected be losses.
3. all Soviet tracks were specifically redesigned for the Soviet roads therefore their off road ability was actually far better than the trucks they originated from
.4 "Rus" started to win resal victories in 1942 and eraly 1943 and LL

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Post by Darrin » 22 Apr 2002 21:20

You have your sources and beliefs and I have mine. I think LL trucks were incredibly important to the sov war effort. Many sov sorces even agree with me. The ger in Bevhours Stalingrad captured some US vehicles around stalingrad. Your 30% of sov park being LL only by may 45 doesn't match my understanding. Where did you get this number from? I will try to take a look sometime.

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Post by Gwynn Compton » 23 Apr 2002 04:14

Indeed Oleg merely dismisses our numbers, many coming from established historians, infact the figures that I quote from John Keegan I suspect come from John Erickson, perhaps the worlds greatest authority on the war in the East.

Aparantly though they are all wrong if we believe our friend here.

Oleg, for your information, the reference to Kulik's role in removing various parts of the Red Army

Kulik, head of ordnance, was a technological reactionary who opposed the distribution of automatic weapons to soldiers on the grounds that they were incapable of handling them and halted the production of anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns.


There's Kulik's position for you, Head of Ordnance, and now for the punch line...

Thus, at the important Kremlin conference of December 1940, he [Stalin] ridiculed his creature Kulik's advocacy of a return to large marching divisions of infantry supplied by animal transport, comparing him to the peasant who preferred the wooden plough to the tractor; nevertheless he permitted the disbandment of the mechanised transport department and starved the army of trucks (which, when the time came, would have to be supplied by Lend-Lease from Detroit)

-John Keegan, The Second World War

And now back to Lend-Lease itself

I've already used part of this passage, but I feel the need to expand on it now to drive home the importance of Lend Lease to the Soviet War effort

As soon as Germany declared war on the United States, on 11 December 1941, Lend-Lease shipments began to flow to Russia directly from America, via Vladivostok, Murmansk and the Persian Gulf.
These shipments were on an enormous scale. The Soviet Union became the beneficiary of an outpouring of aid; some of the donations, such as tanks, it did not need; some, such as aircraft, were needed - for Soviet aircraft were not of the first quality - but were not properly utilised. Although the Soviet forces preferred their own weapons, the other donotions procided 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]'; at the end of the war, the Soviet forces held 665,000 motor vehicles


Thus the total number of motor vehicles held by the Red Army and it's subsidaries (Red Air Force etc) was 665,000

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.


The American railroad industry supplied 2000 locomotives, 11,000 freight carriages and 540,000 tons of rails, with which the Russians laid a greater length of line than they had built between 1928 and 1939. American supplies of high-grade petroleum were essential to Russian production of aviation fuel, while three-quarters of Soviet consumption of copper in 1941-4 came from American sources


-All from John Keegan, The Second World War

And if we believe Oleg, this didn't help the Russians at all. I find that hard to believe. If we follow Keegan's figures, themselves from Erickson, the Red Army depended on Lend-Lease trucks, petroleum, rails and copper to help their war economy function.

In the past Oleg you have had some realiable facts to bring to us, however I'm sticking to these facts which seem to widely accepted. If you have a better source than this, please provide me with a copy and I'll review it.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 23 Apr 2002 06:15

Gwyn use your head: if total amount of LL vehicles supplied between 1941- and 1945 how in your opinion that number remained the same disregarding the year? Were there
427,000 westren trucks at Kursk, or during the same year when RKKA recaptured Ukraine? Kegan made mistake in regards to Copper also the railway thing is very dubious. You imply the between 1929 and 1939 USSR did not produce rails?

So according to your quote Stalin in 1940 ridiculed Kulik, how is it support your idea that in 1941 Soviet forces was devoiced of transport?

Also expaline to me how 2.5 of ammo (or whatever) moved by ZiS are more important than the same cargo moved by Studebaker

And if we believe Oleg, this didn't help the Russians at all.
and where exactly I said that?

as for the Sources yopu can start with Soviet Economy during WW II by Voznesenskiy

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Post by Caldric » 23 Apr 2002 07:47

Many sov sorces even agree with me.


Including Stalin and Zhukov, they both agree that it was perhaps the edge for victory over Germany. I will take Zhukov's word on it.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 23 Apr 2002 08:28

Caldric wrote:
Many sov sorces even agree with me.


Including Stalin and Zhukov, they both agree that it was perhaps the edge for victory over Germany. I will take Zhukov's word on it.
well zhukov also said that he had less tanks than Germans as of 06/22/41 are you going to take his word also? as for Satlin I specifiaclly posted what he said -it was quite the opposite to what you are saying

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Post by Darrin » 23 Apr 2002 08:51

While lend lease may not have had a huge impact overall esp during the defensive phase. There were several key areas where lend lease did make a huge difference esp during the off phase. The trucks and cars provided by lend lease was certainly one of them acording to any account I know of.

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Post by Gwynn Compton » 23 Apr 2002 11:39

Agreed, I have never seen any account to say that the Russians produced enough trucks to fully supply their armies, especially after Kulik's interference.

Oleg, I did not imply that the Soviet's did not lay rail lines, merely that through Lend Lease they were able to greatly expand that rail network (and obviously repair parts damaged by the Germans)

Did Keegan make a mistake with Copper? Did he make a mistake with Trucks? Tell me, this Voznesenskiy of yours, when did he live exactly? If he's a figure from the Soviet Union there's an interesting suggestion from John Keegan I think, though I may be mistaken whether he was the one who made it, about Stalin ordering that the contributions made by Lend Lease be played down, as to bolster the image of the "Great Patriotic War" being a Russian manufactured victory.

The only Voznesenskiy I can find on the internet is:
Chairmen of the State Planning Commission (under the Council of People's Commissars/Council of Ministers)
Nikolay Alekseyevich Voznesenskiy 8 Dec 1942 - 9 Jan 1948 (+1950, executed)


If this is your Voznesenskiy, I wouldn't believe a word he said, neither would I believe a word taken from Soviet reports. Perhaps the only reliable source on Lend Lease can be found from the ports where they were sent from, as opposed to Soviet accounts, which one suspects are more full of propaganda than anything else.

Keegan is a historian who has made few mistakes, and I'm some what skeptical of your claim that he has made a mistake here.

If anyone knows where John Erickson, Keegan's source, got his figures from it would be greatly appreciated, as I lack any of his works. But from what I know of John Erickson, he is even less likely to be wrong than Keegan.

So according to your quote Stalin in 1940 ridiculed Kulik, how is it support your idea that in 1941 Soviet forces was devoiced of transport?


Stalin may have ridiculed Kulik, but he still allowed Kulik to disband the motorized transport division, and as Keegan points out, this meant that the army was starved of trucks, and forced to rely on Lend Lease.

If you didn't realise, Stalin did a lot of odd things during his reign...

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Post by Darrin » 23 Apr 2002 12:36

A large number of trucks and horses were suposed to be taken from industry in rus in 1941. They did not have enough transport for both thier economy and army in 41. We already know that sov tanks were taken away form thier inf divs before war broke out. Even 15 tanks per 200 div would be 3000 tanks and was more than rus could spare esp as the number of div doubled durig the war. They wanted to conc all tanks in thier mech corps which they were expanding at an enourmours rate in 1941. Incresing tanks and mech corps meant more trucks were needed to haul inf, other weapons and supplies. In 1941 rus did not have enough trucks even by end of 42 their were mech corps that didn't have enough trucks to haul inf. Only by kursk do you see enough trucks in the mech corp to haul inf but they still were drastically limited on what else they could haul ATGs, arty, etc were only around in much more limited qualites then even thier TOE said they should. Even then most rus mech corp were tank corps with few inf. Very few were actually mech corp with higher numbers of inf than found in the tank div.

A shortage of trucks was definatly a huge problem which only got corrected during the last two years of the war.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 23 Apr 2002 16:55

Gwynn Compton wrote:Agreed, I have never seen any account to say that the Russians produced enough trucks to fully supply their armies, especially after Kulik's interference.

Oleg, I did not imply that the Soviet's did not lay rail lines, merely that through Lend Lease they were able to greatly expand that rail network (and obviously repair parts damaged by the Germans)

Did Keegan make a mistake with Copper? Did he make a mistake with Trucks? Tell me, this Voznesenskiy of yours, when did he live exactly? If he's a figure from the Soviet Union there's an interesting suggestion from John Keegan I think, though I may be mistaken whether he was the one who made it, about Stalin ordering that the contributions made by Lend Lease be played down, as to bolster the image of the "Great Patriotic War" being a Russian manufactured victory.

The only Voznesenskiy I can find on the internet is:
Chairmen of the State Planning Commission (under the Council of People's Commissars/Council of Ministers)
Nikolay Alekseyevich Voznesenskiy 8 Dec 1942 - 9 Jan 1948 (+1950, executed)


If this is your Voznesenskiy, I wouldn't believe a word he said, neither would I believe a word taken from Soviet reports. Perhaps the only reliable source on Lend Lease can be found from the ports where they were sent from, as opposed to Soviet accounts, which one suspects are more full of propaganda than anything else.

Keegan is a historian who has made few mistakes, and I'm some what skeptical of your claim that he has made a mistake here.

If anyone knows where John Erickson, Keegan's source, got his figures from it would be greatly appreciated, as I lack any of his works. But from what I know of John Erickson, he is even less likely to be wrong than Keegan.

So according to your quote Stalin in 1940 ridiculed Kulik, how is it support your idea that in 1941 Soviet forces was devoiced of transport?


Stalin may have ridiculed Kulik, but he still allowed Kulik to disband the motorized transport division, and as Keegan points out, this meant that the army was starved of trucks, and forced to rely on Lend Lease.

If you didn't realise, Stalin did a lot of odd things during his reign...

Here is idea for you - the data on Soviet production has to come form the Soviet reports since there is no other source on the Soviet production -if you don't believe it or you want to make number that will suit your theory best- that is of course you own business. Yes Kegan made a mistake in regards to copper, and yes he manipulated number of trucks, while giving the correct number for total LL supplied vehicles, he is trying to make you believe that at any given moment there these was number of foreign made vetches in the Soviet army. However in order for that to be so LL would have to sustain no loses whatsoever for the duration of the war. To say nothing that the number you give is the number that was supplied - 1945 included. Here is one more thing LL amounted to 50% of Soviet imports during the war – does Kegan say anything about that? Now lets see at what Kegan puts LL at 1941, 19421, and 1943 respectfully.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 23 Apr 2002 16:57

Darrin wrote:While lend lease may not have had a huge impact overall esp during the defensive phase. There were several key areas where lend lease did make a huge difference esp during the off phase. The trucks and cars provided by lend lease was certainly one of them acording to any account I know of.
too bad they fail to prove it. Tell me Darrin how LL trucks affected campging of 1941 or 1942.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 23 Apr 2002 17:00

Agreed, I have never seen any account to say that the Russians produced enough trucks to fully supply their armies, especially after Kulik's interference
Kulik was not in charge of Soviet automotive industry.
Kulik was not in charge of General Staff and therefore could not do anything about establishment of Soviet formations.

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