Lend-Lease is literally translated, as renting, lending. This program was adopted in the United States during the Second World War. With the help of Lend-Lease, America’s allies received weapons, military and civilian goods. The role of Lend-Lease in the successes of the Soviet army is assessed in different ways. Marshal Zhukov in his memoirs estimated the number of American equipment delivered in 4% of all the warring.
Nevertheless, veterans well remember that the famous ace Pokryshkin fought on the “Aerocobre”, and Studebakers massively traveled on the roads in those years. American stew was popular with the soldiers. Immediately after the end of World War II, the Cold War began. The Lend-Lease program began to be perceived in a different way. The former allies quickly became opponents. Even today, Lend-Lease is covered with numerous myths that are lower and will be considered.
The Lend-Lease program began at the height of the war.
The Lend-Lease-based “Law on the Protection of the United States” was adopted by the Congress on March 11, There has not yet been a Pearl Harbor, nor an attack by Germany on the Soviet Union. Literally June 24, 1941, the Americans offered to help us. But then Roosevelt, without having the consent of the Congress, sent the goods as if to England. In fact, they were the northern routes in the USSR.
Lend-Lease – America’s assistance to the Soviet Union.
Initially, the program provided for the supply of equipment to the countries of the British Empire and China. But in November 1941, Lend-Lease officially extended to the Soviet Union, which was in a difficult situation. In total, the program delivered $ 50 billion worth of supplies, 11.3 billion of which directly went to the USSR. Most of the aid, worth 31.4 billion, went to the UK.
Lend-Lease – supplies of equipment by the Americans to the Allies.
The delivery of equipment was also in the opposite direction. The cost of reverse Lend-Lease amounted to 7.8 billion, most, 6.8 billion sent to America, England and the countries of its Commonwealth. The USSR had a small reverse land-liz.
Lend-Lease assumed free assistance.
In the law itself it was assumed that payment was not subject to a technique that was destroyed or lost in the course of hostilities. The remaining property or was to be returned back to America, or paid on the basis of long-term interest-free loans. The British paid off finally only in late 2006, and France granted America trade preferences.
Deliveries for Lend-Lease in the USSR went through the Far East.
There were several routes of supply of machinery. None of them was considered safe. About half of the cargo passed through the Pacific route. After entering the Second World War America, transportation could only be carried out under the Soviet flag. Then Japan has not yet fought against the USSR. The route from America to the ports of the Far East took up to 20 days because of checks by the Japanese, who controlled the unfrozen straits. About a quarter of the goods were transported along the Trans-Iranian route, the first deliveries began in 1941. After the occupation of Iran by the British, the ports of the Persian Gulf and the railway were modernized. Over the Caspian, cargo was transported by the Soviet military flotilla, until the end of 1942, fighting off attacks by German aviation. By sea from the United States to Iran, the cargo went for about one and a half months. In Iran itself, General Motors even built several automobile plants. These enterprises gave the Soviet Union more than 184 thousand cars. The fastest, but also the most dangerous route was the Arctic. In 1941, it carried out about 40% of supplies. However, German aircraft and submarines destroyed up to 15% of cargo. But transport to Murmansk reached two weeks. A few shipments were also made through the Black Sea, already in 1945. There were also two air routes. One plane flew through Alaska and Siberia, and on the other – through the south of the Atlantic, Africa and the Persian Gulf.
Germans drowned most of the Arctic convoys.
It is even believed that the road to transportation by the Arctic route was deadly. This route the Germans really attacked more often than others. But in 1941, out of 64 vessels, only one was sunk. 1942 became the heaviest of 256 ships did not reach the destination point 63. Drowned every fourth ship. But then the situation improved dramatically. In 1943, 4 out of 112 ships sank, in 1944 – 7 out of 284, and in 1945 – 6 out of 95.
The Soviet Union did not pay for lend-lease.
As already mentioned, the Americans delivered goods worth $ 10.8 billion to the USSR. After the war, negotiations began to establish the final amount of debt. Most of the equipment was destroyed in combat. The Americans insisted on the payment of 1.3 billion dollars. The Soviet Union at the talks in 1948 agreed to pay only 170 million. In 1951, Americans reduced the amount to 800 million, and the USSR agreed to pay already 300. Only in 1972 it was possible to reach an agreement on the procedure for paying off debt for Lend-Lease. The Soviet Union undertook to pay up to 2001 $ 722 million. The first payments began, but because of the tension in the relationship, everything stopped again. Already after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia took over its debts, including lend-lease. In August 2006, all debts to the governments of other countries were repaid, including for supplies during the Second World War. Thus, the USSR and Russia paid only about 6% of the cost of deliveries, although during the repayment period, prices increased by more than 10 times.
Land-liz for the USSR are planes and cars.
The supply chain was very wide. Thanks to the help of the Allies, it was possible to cover the most vulnerable places in the industry of the Soviet Union. There were not enough positions, and something was not done at all. Lend-Lease supplied tanks, cars, motorcycles, tractors, small arms, explosives, wagons and locomotives, ships, torpedoes, engines, metals and petroleum products, chemicals, cotton, leather, shoes, blankets and alcohol. And can you forget about the famous American stew?
The Soviet Union paid gold for Lend-Lease.
This myth is very popular. In fact, our country paid gold for gold, but for pre-lend-lease. It’s about the goods that were purchased outside the Lend-Lease program. As evidence of the myth lead the history of the ship “Edinburgh”, sunk with 5.5 tons of gold on board. It is believed that this was just the payment to the ally. However, the Lend-Lease contract itself provided for a deferred payment. “Edinburgh” also carried payment for armaments, placed above the stipulated list, but never reached America. Even in the war years, the Soviet Union received insurance compensation in the amount of 32% of the value of gold from the British. The whole cargo was estimated at $ 100 million, which is incommensurate with the cost of the entire Lend-Lease of 10 billion. And in 1981, the British were able to raise almost all gold, two-thirds of the cargo was returned to the Soviet Union. Not only that gold was not a payment for Lend-Lease, so the USSR got it back, in the form of insurance and refund.
Lend-Lease supplies in the USSR did not play an important role in the victory over Germany.
In the years of the Cold War, it was embarrassing to recognize the role of the Allies in the victory of the Soviet Union in their own Great Patriotic War, not World War II. So there was a figure of 4%. This is how much in the opinion of Soviet historians made Lend-Lease in the country’s total production during the war years. In fact, we should not talk about the total volume, but specific positions. Allies carried in the USSR exactly what our country desperately needed. For example, about 40% of all aviation gasoline was supplied from outside. For this time, twice more cars were delivered than produced in the USSR. 80% of the rails in the country appeared due to lend-lease. The allied diesel locomotives put almost 2000, and the USSR produced only 800.The ratio of freight cars was even more impressive – 11 to 1 in favor of foreign ones. The Allies brought half of the Soviet explosives, provided the Soviet army with communications through cable, radio stations, locators. The main armament, tanks and aircraft, received respectively 12.5 and 22.2 thousand. American Studebakers carried artillery, were the base for the famous “Katyusha.” Do not underestimate this help. Could the Soviet Union do without it? Probably, could. The industry would be reoriented to other tasks, there would be a deficit and the army would weaken. The victory would be given even more difficult price. AI Mikoyan, who was engaged in foreign trade and the work of seven people’s commissariats during the war, highly assessed the role of Lend-Lease. In his opinion, this decision did not solve the outcome of the war, but it would have taken another year and a half to fight without it.
America paid the UK live money for the transportation of soldiers across the ocean.
The United States did not pay a cent for these services, they were counted in the reverse Lend-Lease. It is noteworthy that even luxury ocean liners, such as Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, were engaged in transportation of soldiers.
America supplied oil to different countries, including Canada.
Neither Canada nor any other country received American oil. All this, according to the Lend-Lease program, went to the Soviet Union. The USSR received in 1942 0.7% of the total product produced in America, the peak was in 1943 – 4.2%.
Because of the supply of meat on Lend-Lease in America itself, it was not enough.
In 1945, the United States supplied the Allies only 1.1% of all produced beef and 1.3% of veal. These figures give an approximate understanding of the ratio of the volume of supplies to the produced.
Deliveries for Lend-Lease have caused a lack of food in America.
In 1944, the country’s population got 80% of all food produced. 13% got the army, 6% went under the Lend-Lease program. Another 1% was sold. The production of food in 1944 by a third exceeded the level of 1935-1939. The shortage of food in the country was apparent, due to rising incomes and increased consumption by the army. For example, soldiers consume three times more meat.
America paid England for emergency landing of its aircraft.
The UK did not take payment for the emergency landing of Allied aircraft, nor real money, nor in return Lend-Lease.
The United States carried out Lend-Lease supplies to Europe and Asia.
Deliveries of goods to South America accounted for about 1% of all aid to the Allies. At the first stage of the war, the invasion of this continent looked real. The US made deliveries to protect against the aggressors. American equipment helped Brazilian sailors and pilots destroy German submarines. Brazilian soldiers fought along with the Americans in Italy. Mexicans also sent their aircraft to fight in southeast Asia.
американ With the help of Lend-Lease, the Americans reclaimed obsolete equipment.
After the start of deliveries, Stalin began to criticize the characteristics of the supplied aircraft and tanks. Among the imported equipment there were really unsuccessful samples. Some of them Americans really tried to attach over the order. But in general, such claims were a form of pressure on the allies. The Lend-Lease agreement provided for the right of the receiving party to choose and specify the type of equipment required. If the Red Army thought tanks and planes were bad – why did they order them then? At the American “Aerocobra” and “Spitfires” Soviet aces shot down dozens of German aircraft. The results of testing the equipment with the signatures of Soviet specialists are now available on the network. And irrelevant weapons for the Allies could perfectly show themselves on the Eastern Front. If over Europe it was required to intercept high-altitude bombers from fighter jets, and to make long flights over the Pacific Ocean, then on the Soviet-German front it was necessary to intercept the storm troopers or their cover at low altitudes.Unpopular from the Americans “Aerocobra” proved to be a good solution for Soviet aviation.
In the Soviet era, Lend-Lease was preferred not to be mentioned.
There is a lot of Soviet literature in which Lend-Lease is repeatedly mentioned. Even in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia there is an article on this topic. True, depending on the foreign policy situation, the edition has slightly adjusted the section. The share of foreign equipment has deliberately decreased.
Without the Lend-Lease the Soviet Union would not have won the battle near Moscow and Stalingrad.
These victories were won mainly by Soviet weapons. Several English tanks appeared on the battlefield, but this action was of a political nature – Stalin wanted to show the allies that their equipment was being used for its intended purpose. At the end of 1941, the Red Army had only 2% of imported weapons. And for its use, special training was needed. First in Kazan, and then in Gorky centers for training people appeared. But in the spring of 1942, imported tanks began to be actively used. But at the decisive moment of the Battle of Stalingrad, they were already knocked out, and without having had a decisive influence on the outcome of the strategic battle. Since 1943, the share of imported tanks in the army has steadily decreased. A similar situation has developed with aviation. The first imported aircraft appeared in the North. Only in 1942-1943 they began to play a prominent role in the battles.