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Was lend-lease essential in securing a Soviet victory?


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I believe that lend lease was more important than the mere percentages indicate.  The Soviets had the mst intense mobilization of any country and maintained that until 1944 when their production started to fall off.  At that point the workers were worn out and starving to death beyond coercion.  Food from the west was all that kept it going as much as it did since when one is as close to starvation then just 15% or 20% makes all the difference.

 

Of course Dodge trucks and railroad trains and trucks allowed many of the brilliant Soviet strategic and operational maneuvers while also allowing the speedy follow ups to their victories.   This was of immense importance in that the Soviet manpower reserves were beginning to fail.  Only the reoccupation of lands allowed the Soviets to sift out recruits to fill out the skeletal formations.  Any slower advances could have caused the Soviet advances to stall and allow more time for the Germans to react and shift formations from critical point to critical point.  Stalemate might have occurred.

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I believe that lend lease was more important than the mere percentages indicate.  The Soviets had the mst intense mobilization of any country and maintained that until 1944 when their production started to fall off.  At that point the workers were worn out and starving to death beyond coercion.  Food from the west was all that kept it going as much as it did since when one is as close to starvation then just 15% or 20% makes all the difference.

 

Of course Dodge trucks and railroad trains and trucks allowed many of the brilliant Soviet strategic and operational maneuvers while also allowing the speedy follow ups to their victories.   This was of immense importance in that the Soviet manpower reserves were beginning to fail.  Only the reoccupation of lands allowed the Soviets to sift out recruits to fill out the skeletal formations.  Any slower advances could have caused the Soviet advances to stall and allow more time for the Germans to react and shift formations from critical point to critical point.  Stalemate might have occurred.

 

Their was no chance of a stalemate on the eastern front when Bagration came around.

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When germans failed to conquer Moscow and later Stalingrad (Baku oil fields and the Volga) all was lost, there wasn't a thing they could do to stop the soviets from taking Berlin. Soviet resources where dwindling but so were german resources, faster and without hope.

 

Was lend lease essential? No, it helped a lot and with lend lease the soviets could achieve great successes like Bagration, but it was not essential. Without lend lease the soviets would have had a longer war but their victory was inevitable, no wunderwaffe and no strategic success would have made it, the huge weapons superiority and the huge strategic successes where in the past and they didn't ended with the soviet defeat.

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If their exploitation was limited by lack of a full logistical tail then the Germans would have had time to shift forces and that would have saved many soldiers and equipment.  Soviet follow up and subsequent assaults would have been delayed.  All the while the meat grinder would be working and working in the Germans favor as it did during virtually all the war.  The Soviet Union was almost bled white.  How would they have continued with one hand tied behind their back for the two years and more when lend lease no longer supplied the trucks and train rolling stock and the food to help feed their troops and their factory workers? 

 

The factory workers as it was were slowly failing, literally starving and the Soviet production miracle had subsided for the last year of the war at least.  It is hard to get Yosef Stalin tanks from dead men and women which is what was already on the horizon even with lend lease.  Just a few percent might have made all the difference.

 

Could Germany have won?  No.  The final location of the western allies could have moved many miles east by the end of the war though.  What if the western allies and the Soviets met on the Vistula in the end?

Edited by Michael Ivan
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According to table 6, when charged to the defense budget at current prices and taxes, items for Army use alone amounted to 31 billion rubles over 1942-45, and 10 per cent of all Army procurement at the peak in 1944; in that year imported products accounted for one quarter by value of the food and fuel consumed by the Army, and one eighth of Army equipment.

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Nonetheless, it seems that Allied aid to the USSR made possible the division of labour which won the war. Without it, everyone on the side of the Allies would have had a worse war.

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The timing and composition of aid are both seen as important to this analysis. The time factor was as follows. The inflow, slow at first, began the period of its peak rate in the second half of 1943. By then the Germans had already suffered three huge defeats on the eastern front, at Moscow, Stalingrad, and Kursk-Orel. The strategic offensive capacity of the Wehrmacht had in practice been eliminated. With the turn in the war's tide, a new phase was under way which determined the character of Allied victory and German defeat. But German troops were still deep inside Russia, and in the west Allied forces had only just won their first toehold on the continent of Europe in Sicily. The Battle of the Atlantic was still intense. The German war economy was intact, despite Allied bombing, and German war production was accelerating. Without a further rapid unravelling of the German position in the east it was easy to suppose that many years of fighting lay ahead. At the same time, the military feats of the Red Army had been purchased at huge cost in human life and equipment, while living and working conditions in the Russian interior were very poor and food supplies were even deteriorating.

 

The composition of Allied aid to Russia has been seen in this context as having made a disproportionate contribution. The Soviet Union produced its own firepower in World War II, but relied extensively on imported means of mobility. The particular material form which aid took reinforces this view. Imported firepower (mainly aircraft and tanks) was prominent in the first trickle of aid in 1941-42, but from 1943 onwards it was motor vehicles, high-grade fuels, communications equipment, industrial machinery, naval vessels, and concentrated and processed foodstuffs which predominated, all essential to the manoeuvrability and logistical supply of modern armies.

 

Why did the Soviet Union need this western aid? The explanation implicit in this approach stressed critical gaps and shortfalls in the technological and organization assets available to Soviet industry, usually in high-technology processes or the capacity to finish products where qualitative attributes were crucial. On the whole, in this view, the technical form of each block was its defining characteristic; there was little or no substitutability between high-grade and low-grade building blocks, and similarly between blocks of domestic and foreign resources. A lack of high-technology, high-quality equipment could not be counterbalanced by increasing the availability of low-grade goods and human services; since Soviet industry could not match the quality of flow products of American electrical and mechanical engineering and petrochemicals, foreign resources could not be replaced by domestic resources.

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/mharrison/public/lendlease.pdf

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This is from British Lend-Lease Aid and the Soviet War Effort, June 1941 - June 1942 by Alexander Hill, published in The Journal of Military History, Volume 71, Number 3, July 2007:

 

 

Whilst the Soviet Union had developed tanks far superior to those in service in Britain and the United States, and indeed of such effectiveness as to drive Germany to produce the overcomplicated Panther in response to the T-34 and KV-1, the Soviets not only did not have the planned quantities of these types, but were barely able to maintain force levels in the face of horrendous losses. According to Krivosheev, the Soviet Union lost 20,500 tanks between 22 June and 31 December 1941, of which 3,200 were either heavy or medium, with an initial stock of such types of 1,400. Only 5,600 tanks were received during the same period, of which, as noted above, only 3,200 were medium or heavy tanks including imports.48 By the end of 1941, out of 750 promised tanks, Britain had delivered 466, of which 259 were Valentines and 187 Matildas, the remainder apparently Tetrarch. Of these, 216 Valentines and 145 Matildas had been supplied to the Red Army.49 With total Red Army tank stocks, as of 31 December, consequently being in the region of 7,700 according to Krivosheev (or 6,347 on 1 December according to Suprun), of which only 1,400 were medium or heavy models, then British deliveries to date represented in the region of only 6.5 percent of total Red Army tank strength, but over 33 percent of medium and heavy tanks, with British vehicles actually in Red Army hands representing about 25 percent of medium and heavy tanks in service. ...

 

Whilst by late 1942 Soviet production made British tank supplies increasingly less significant, aircraft deliveries, the importance of which arguably exceeded that of tanks during the First Moscow Protocol period, remained significant into 1943. Soviet combat aircraft production from the end of June 1941 to the end of June 1942 was in the region of the figure of 16,468 aircraft given by Mark Harrison. By the end of June 1942 the United Kingdom had delivered 1,323 fighter aircraft, or about 8 percent of Soviet production from the start of the war. Given that Soviet combat aircraft losses for this period at best approached domestic supply, and were especially severe for the first six months of the war, then British deliveries alone are of some significance, particularly when taking into account the extremely high Soviet losses of the first weeks of the war, which depleted prewar stocks.

Edited by Duckman
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  • 4 years later...

Welcome to the resurrection of the dead!

On March 10, 2015 in this thread I posted what Premier Nikita Khrushchev's said about the absolute criticality of SPAM to Soviet Victory. I went on to say that he did this from the position of having been Stalin's personal STAVKA envoy to the Front commanders, so was then in an excellent position to understand the food situation for the Red Army. In glancing at comments for a Russian video in which the narrator drives a Panther tank, I found this also authoritative quote.

"Now they say that the allies never helped us, but it can't be denied that the Americans gave us so many goods without which we wouldn't have been able to form our reserves and continue the war. We didn’t have explosives, gunpowder. We didn’t have anything to charge our rifle cartridges with. The Americans really saved us with their gunpowder and explosives. And how much sheet steel they gave us! How could we have produced our tanks without American steel? But now they make it seem as if we had an abundance of all that. Without American trucks we wouldn’t have had anything to pull our artillery with." - Marshall of the Soviet Union (second in command to Stalin himself), Georgy Zhukov

There is also a quote I've seen where Stalin is demanding to know where his A-20s are and saying how vital they are to the war effort.

Regards,

John Kettler

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On 8/1/2019 at 6:56 AM, John Kettler said:

"Now they say that the allies never helped us, but it can't be denied that the Americans gave us so many goods without which we wouldn't have been able to form our reserves and continue the war. We didn’t have explosives, gunpowder. We didn’t have anything to charge our rifle cartridges with. The Americans really saved us with their gunpowder and explosives. And how much sheet steel they gave us! How could we have produced our tanks without American steel? But now they make it seem as if we had an abundance of all that. Without American trucks we wouldn’t have had anything to pull our artillery with." - Marshall of the Soviet Union (second in command to Stalin himself), Georgy Zhukov

I don't think that this quote is true. Zhukov is victim of many falsifications as most famous Soviet war leader. 

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Remember glasnost? 'Historical quotes' from back then were as much a tool of shaping public opinion as is the current hysterical ultra-nationalist nonsense being produced today. I recall during the Reagan administration there was a report that Brezhnev enjoyed reading 'cowboy novels'. The statement is absurd on its face but doddering old Reagan just ate it up, thought he'd found himself a new friend. 

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17 hours ago, John Kettler said:

glancing at comments for a Russian video in which the narrator drives a Panther tank, I found this also authoritative quote.

"Now they say that the allies never helped us, but it can't be denied that the Americans gave us so many goods without which we wouldn't have been able to form our reserves and continue the war. We didn’t have explosives, gunpowder. We didn’t have anything to charge our rifle cartridges with. The Americans really saved us with their gunpowder and explosives. And how much sheet steel they gave us! How could we have produced our tanks without American steel? But now they make it seem as if we had an abundance of all that. Without American trucks we wouldn’t have had anything to pull our artillery with." - Marshall of the Soviet Union (second in command to Stalin himself), Georgy Zhukov

 

I can find the quote above first used in 2016 here: https://www.gazeta.ru/science/2016/03/11_a_8115965.shtml

and something similar in gist:

'In a confidential interview with the wartime correspondent Konstantin Simonov, the Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov is quoted as saying:

"Today [1963] some say the Allies didn't really 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."

Albert L. Weeks The Other Side of Coexistence: An Analysis of Russian Foreign Policy, (New York, Pittman Publishing Corporation, 1974), p.94, quoted in Albert L. Weeks, Russia's Life-Saver: Lend-Lease Aid to the U.S.S.R. in World War II (New York: Lexington Books, 2010), 1'

Do you know the provenance of your YouTube comments quote ?

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Wicky,

Quora has the quote, together with a wealth of other material on the immense value of Lend-Lease to Russia. Thanks for unearthing what you did in response to what I found. Anyone interested in the US end of Lend-Lease or Lease-Lend should see what HyperWar has. It gets right down to how many bazookas we sent and how many rockets for it, broken out by type. The Diary of Major Jordan is a must read, too, for it details what the Soviets were not only stealing from us (things like entire blueprints for defense factories), but traitor Harry Hopkins was forcing us to let them pass unhindered through the very same means used to deliver Lend-Lease!  This included nuclear materials being sent over the outraged objections of General Groves, who ran the Manhattan Project.

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/4/2019 at 7:37 AM, John Kettler said:

The Diary of Major Jordan is a must read

Planes were arriving regularly from Moscow with unidentified Russians aboard. I would see them jump off planes, hop over fences, and run for taxicabs

Remarkable fantasy! Major Jordan mentions that the military airstrip he served at was secured by patrols. I just see this happening times and times again and no one asking any questions. I wonder was this major ever had a chance to see a shrink.

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On 8/4/2019 at 7:09 PM, MikeyD said:

While working on CMRT module uniform textures I learned Russian greatcoats were brown because they were getting their wool from British mills, coming to them in British uniform brown color.

By the way, how is going work on TO&E? Which variant is chosen for rifle battalions? I hope that 12.44 guards TO&E is ignored, as it was IRL until end of war.

Edited by DMS
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In winter in other titles you get an 'appearance' choice between 'greatcoat' or 'winter' uniforms in the editor. CMRT will be following the same practice. Russian greatcoats have shoulder boards so rank and arm of service are differentiated. The padded winter uniform doesn't which makes texturing them easier. The game has a third option, for fall and spring I think, of standard Russian uniform but with a rolled-up greatcoat draped across the body (often mistakenly called bed rolls).

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IMHO,

As our ally and with the fix in directly from traitor and agent of influence extraordinaire Harry Hopkins, the Russians were effectively untouchable. Major Jordan tried to stop the blatant espionage he saw, but was so outgunned he could barely have been said to be armed. Would be willing to bet the patrols were there to protect the base from intruders, not stop Russian strangers from leaving the base immediately after arrival. Indeed, the sentries might well have been told to leave such people alone, maybe even forget they ever saw them.

Regards,

John Kettler

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