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Very long range potash

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  • Very long range potash

    Potash was vital for Britain to expand her war time food production. The Soviet Union had some of the best supplies and up until Barbarossa had been supplying the stuff to Germany. Thereafter it went to Britain. Mined in the Urals it went on the trans Siberian railway to Vladivostok then in Soviet ships (which could pass unmolested by the Japanese) across the Pacific to North America, then by rail across to the Atlantic and finally across the Atlantic to Britain. Does anyone know of any other circumlocutions of equal or greater length to deliver strategic materials?
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

  • #2
    Originally posted by MarkV View Post
    Potash was vital for Britain to expand her war time food production. The Soviet Union had some of the best supplies and up until Barbarossa had been supplying the stuff to Germany. Thereafter it went to Britain. Mined in the Urals it went on the trans Siberian railway to Vladivostok then in Soviet ships (which could pass unmolested by the Japanese) across the Pacific to North America, then by rail across to the Atlantic and finally across the Atlantic to Britain. Does anyone know of any other circumlocutions of equal or greater length to deliver strategic materials?

    That has to be the longest journey of strategic materials in WW2 that I know of.
    Funnily enough the UK actually has massive deposits of Potash.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodsmith_Mine

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Gooner View Post


      That has to be the longest journey of strategic materials in WW2 that I know of.
      Funnily enough the UK actually has massive deposits of Potash.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodsmith_Mine
      Although not available in 1941-45. One reason for the long trip was that a lot of Lend Lease goods were taking the trans Pacific route to Russia which meant that the Soviets had lots of spare capacity going in he opposite direction and it made sense to use it
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MarkV View Post
        Potash was vital for Britain to expand her war time food production. The Soviet Union had some of the best supplies and up until Barbarossa had been supplying the stuff to Germany. Thereafter it went to Britain. Mined in the Urals it went on the trans Siberian railway to Vladivostok then in Soviet ships (which could pass unmolested by the Japanese) across the Pacific to North America, then by rail across to the Atlantic and finally across the Atlantic to Britain. Does anyone know of any other circumlocutions of equal or greater length to deliver strategic materials?
        I'm curious as to your source for this info, because the USSR wasn't a major producer or exporter of potash before WWII? Britain's largest pre-WWII source of potash was ... Germany, which accounted for close to 2/3's of the global supply of potash at the time. With the onset of hostilities, the German sources were gone, fortunately France accounted for 15-20% of global supplies of potash, a reserve of several thousand tonnes of French potash were stockpiled in Britain before those sources, and phosphates from North Africa, dried up with the French Armistice. Britain subsequently turned to increased purchases from Palestine, and substantial imports from Spain to make up the shortfall; to add to those sources, some potash would indeed find its way to Britain from the USSR, starting in 1941, but they weren't substantial. Phosphates would come from the US, specifically Florida.
        "I am Groot"
        - Groot

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Marmat View Post

          I'm curious as to your source for this info, because the USSR wasn't a major producer or exporter of potash before WWII? Britain's largest pre-WWII source of potash was ... Germany, which accounted for close to 2/3's of the global supply of potash at the time. With the onset of hostilities, the German sources were gone, fortunately France accounted for 15-20% of global supplies of potash, a reserve of several thousand tonnes of French potash were stockpiled in Britain before those sources, and phosphates from North Africa, dried up with the French Armistice. Britain subsequently turned to increased purchases from Palestine, and substantial imports from Spain to make up the shortfall; to add to those sources, some potash would indeed find its way to Britain from the USSR, starting in 1941, but they weren't substantial. Phosphates would come from the US, specifically Florida.
          Lizzie Collingham, The Taste of War World War Two and the Battle for Food, Penguin, London, 2011
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MarkV View Post

            Lizzie Collingham, The Taste of War World War Two and the Battle for Food, Penguin, London, 2011
            Thank you! Decent book about food production in WWII, not so good when it comes to raw materials or shipping, and there's nothing in it that supports the comment "The Soviet Union had some of the best supplies and up until Barbarossa had been supplying the stuff to Germany."?
            "I am Groot"
            - Groot

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Marmat View Post

              Thank you! Decent book about food production in WWII, not so good when it comes to raw materials or shipping, and there's nothing in it that supports the comment "The Soviet Union had some of the best supplies and up until Barbarossa had been supplying the stuff to Germany."?
              No for that you need to go to The Devils Alliance which covers the various trade deals done following the Molotov -Ribbentrop agreement
              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MarkV View Post

                No for that you need to go to The Devils Alliance which covers the various trade deals done following the Molotov -Ribbentrop agreement
                So, are you saying that, "The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941", by Roger Moorhouse, was the source for your comment re: potash?

                "The Soviet Union had some of the best supplies and up until Barbarossa had been supplying the stuff to Germany."?
                Would you find it odd that the word "potash" doesn't appear anywhere in my copy of that book? Wrong book perhaps?

                Would you also find it odd that included in the trade deals worked out for the exchange of Soviet raw materials for German finished goods, was a stiplation including Soviet potash from east of the Urals (very long range potash) to be sent to Germany, while prewar Germany supplied almost 2/3's of the global supply of potash i.e. 60-66%, including most of Britain's needs, while the USSR accounted for a mere 7-8% of global supplies? It doesn't make sense, does it?
                "I am Groot"
                - Groot

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Marmat View Post

                  So, are you saying that, "The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941", by Roger Moorhouse, was the source for your comment re: potash?



                  Would you find it odd that the word "potash" doesn't appear anywhere in my copy of that book? Wrong book perhaps?

                  Would you also find it odd that included in the trade deals worked out for the exchange of Soviet raw materials for German finished goods, was a stiplation including Soviet potash from east of the Urals (very long range potash) to be sent to Germany, while prewar Germany supplied almost 2/3's of the global supply of potash i.e. 60-66%, including most of Britain's needs, while the USSR accounted for a mere 7-8% of global supplies? It doesn't make sense, does it?
                  Being from Saskatchewan, I feel beholden to add my two cents....q
                  Britain has large reserves of potash, but they are in relatively deep, undulating beds. The difficulty pre war was competing with surface supplies, such as the dead sea and Utah lakes, which supplied a depressed 1930's market at low cost.
                  deep mines are interesting, when |I was eighteen, as a rotary Borer assistant, we shut down the ventilation briefly when changing broken bits. the temperature jumped quickly to 135 degrees Fahrenheit….
                  The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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