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What if USSR didn't receive the land lease help?

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  • What if USSR didn't receive the land lease help?

    Many russian patriots firmly believe that the "land lease" help was insignificant and they would have beaten the nazis without it just the same.
    How would have the war unfolded if the russians didn't get that help or started receiving it.. let's say an year later?
    If you believe, you receive.
    If you doubt, you go without.

  • #2
    This is 'patriot' meaning 'deluded'. The help they got was anything but insignificant. We lost thousands of men, some quite horribly, at least one of whom was family (my great-uncle who went down on a petrol tanker in winter- burn or drown?- great choice)

    This is an account from one veteran:
    "In 1941, I was sent up to Scotland to Scapa Flow to join the 'Onslaught', a destroyer, and I thought, well, this is fine, I love the sea anyway, and I thought nobody would ever catch us in the 'Onslaught' because we moved so fast. We could do about 40 knots - and that's going some! Then we were called to join the Russian Convoys, guarding the cargo ships which were taking supplies to the Russians.

    The only thing I can say about the Russian convoys is that I don't seem to be frightened any more of my religion because I've been to hell and back and I know what it's like. People have to go up there to know what it's like. When you start talking about it and describing conditions, they say - 'he's shooting one hell of a line' you know, but that's not true. It's all absolutely gospel true.

    It used to get so cold on board ship. The temperature would fall to about minus 30 degrees and it used to freeze everything up - even the oil supplying the galley fire.

    We had two chefs who cooked for us. With the ship movement as well - rolling and climbing over 30 ft waves - it was impossible to cook so the only hot thing we were able to have were tins of soup. We'd open up 6 or 12 tins and put them in a bucket and take them down to the boiler room and put the steam jet on them, just like Antoniazzi (an Italian café in Aberystwyth.). It was the only way of getting anything warm.

    The thirteenth of September (1942) I think it was, there were about 40 ships in the convey and we had the biggest hiding we ever got up there. We lost a quarter of the convoy in about 15 minutes in air attacks and submarine attacks. They were torpedoeing about 80 at a time. There was no hope in hell we could do anything about it. The Germans were flying so low, you could literally see the fellow driving the aeroplane.

    Of course, the guns in the escort were all depressing and so the shots were coming quite near you as well. As I said, we lost quarter of the convoy in 15 minutes and that really is terrible to see - ships going down, especially with chaps in the water as well which is just on freezing. You just had to watch them drown. There was no way of picking them all up.

    We picked about three or four up but that was about all. They had ropes around their shoulders and they couldn't sort of move their arms and grab the pole. It really was pathetic, it really was. Oh dear, when I think of it sometimes, it's a bit disturbing but there we are, I get on with it...

    We saw one called the Mary Luckenbach. She was a huge tanker carrying petrol and ammunition to Russia and she was torpedoed. There was a bloody big bang and a big pall of smoke. There wasn't anything left of her. It was something you can't forget. I was a fatalist. I thought, if anything hits us, I hope to God it hits right where I am.

    There were eight of us destroyers in the flotilla, all beginning with 'O'. The fellow who led us was on the Onslow. We were also involved in the Battle of the North Cape, again protecting a convoy.

    The fellow who led us and who was in command of the 17th flotilla we were in, Captain Sir Richard Sherbrooke, was awarded the VC - and of course, you don't get the VC for nowt, do you? He was on the bridge and he lost an eye. He was a brave bloke. You like to read about these brave chaps but you don't think it's going to happen to you.

    The combined mileage of the flotilla during the Russian Convoys was over a million miles. We went through tremendous seas. You'd be going up, climbing up and you'd get half over the top and then you'd crash down into the wave, into the trough all the time. The biggest waves were about 30-40ft high.

    From Scappa Flow, we'd go to Iceland where we'd top up with oil, on to Bear Island, then the North Cape and round the corner to Murmansk. In the winter time, it would be dark all the time. In the summer, you could read Beano at 2 o'clock in the morning - it was light all the time.

    In the winter, we had to come down further south because of the ice cap. We had to hug the North Cape where the Germans were but in the summer time the ice cap would go back so we had more mileage and more room to turn the corner and get into Murmansk. I was on the Russian convoys nearly to the end of the war.

    When we had a couple of days boiler clean or whatever they used to call it, I used to come back to Borth and you wouldn't know there was a war on. It was that quiet and peaceful. Even the blackout wasn't strictly adhered to. As long as the lights were off on the road where the fella used to walk up and down, all the lights were on in the back, in the back yard."
    That said I DO think Russia would have ultimately have beaten the nazis, but it would have cost millions more Russians (the food they got from the US kept plenty of Russians alive) and the advance on Moscow would have been far slower without all those 6x6 trucks. I think the fact that the 'Stalin Organ' rocket system was manned by NKVD troops and mounted on US trucks says much about the relative quality of Russian and US trucks.

    Comment


    • #3
      The idea of "insignificant" aid is often grounded in that the delivery of weapons came in significant number after the Germans lost the early battles of 1941/42. It does not recognize the important deliverys of chemicals, critical alloys and metals, and a few other specialty items in 1941 & 1942. Neither does it consider the transportation; autos, railroad equipment, ships, and aircraft.

      Delaying Lend Lease a year means the those initial delivers of vital chemicals and other specialty materials are not available to Soviet factories in 1942. That would affect production of ammunition, fuel, and high performance machinery such as ordinance or motors. So the 'hardware side of Soviet combat capability in 1942 and part of 1943 would be reduced. They would still have the people and the same improvements in training or combat skill.

      This question has been asked many other times in several different ways on ACG and elsewhere. it invariablly comes back to the important industrial materials sent to the USSR in 1941-1942.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by leopold View Post
        Many russian patriots firmly believe that the "land lease" help was insignificant and they would have beaten the nazis without it just the same.
        Strawman statements are a really nice way of starting a discussion. Would you be so kind to impart more of your superiour knowledge about the Russian opinion on this issue?

        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg

        The idea of "insignificant" aid is often grounded in that the delivery of weapons came in significant number after the Germans lost the early battles of 1941/42. It does not recognize the important deliverys of chemicals, critical alloys and metals, and a few other specialty items in 1941 & 1942. Neither does it consider the transportation; autos, railroad equipment, ships, and aircraft.
        As far as I can remember, the Lend Lease agreement was signed on Novemnber 7, 1941 and the first shipments arrived in December. I have rather strong doubts that whatever chemicals were delivered by that date could've affected the military production rates.

        Originally posted by peter_sym

        That said I DO think Russia would have ultimately have beaten the nazis, but it would have cost millions more Russians
        This sums it up quite well.

        advance on Moscow would have been far slower without all those 6x6 trucks. I think the fact that the 'Stalin Organ' rocket system was manned by NKVD troops and mounted on US trucks says much about the relative quality of Russian and US trucks.
        Katyusha rockets were mounted on regular ZIS-6 trucks in the beginning of the war, and were shrouded in a thick veil of secrecy, being a new and top secret weapon. Hence the name "Guards mortars" - just to confuse the enemy. I don't remember them being manned by the NKVD, but they surely were provided with increased security and every truck was rigged with explosives just not to let the Germans get hold of it. They were first used on July 14, 1941 - a few months before Lend-Lease supplies started arriving to the SU. Studebacker was a more powerful and overall better truck than ZIS in practically all respects, but it's not possible to say it was completely indispensable.
        Last edited by ShAA; 08 Sep 09, 11:59.
        www.histours.ru

        Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by peter_sym View Post
          That said I DO think Russia would have ultimately have beaten the nazis, but it would have cost millions more Russians
          But a couple million more would be insignificant to Stalin.

          (Insert Katyn, Gulag, vodka, bear, Russian Mafia statement here.)
          Кто там?
          Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
          Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

          Comment


          • #6
            How many times do we have to re-hash this topic?

            Transportation - trucks especially - were the main benefit of lend-lease, and as these figures show (which I have posted elsewhere) even lend-lease trucks were a minor component of the Soviet truck fleet and only made their impact felt later in the war after the Soviets had already broken the back of the German Army.

            From the Journal of Slavic Military Studies.

            Lend Lease trucks in Soviet Service

            January 1, 1942
            Domestic built trucks in Soviet Army: 317,100
            % total of Soviet truck fleet: 99.6%
            Lend Lease trucks: 0
            % total of Soviet truck fleet: 0%
            Total trucks: 318,500 (captured Axis trucks = 1,400/0.4%)

            January 1, 1943
            Domestic built trucks in Soviet Army: 378,800
            % total of Soviet truck fleet: 93.7% [corrected]
            Lend Lease trucks: 22,000
            % total of Soviet truck fleet: 5.4%
            Total trucks: 404,500 (captured Axis trucks = 3,700/0.9%)

            January 1, 1944
            Domestic built trucks in Soviet Army: 387,000
            % total of Soviet truck fleet: 77.9%
            Lend Lease trucks: 94,100
            % total of Soviet truck fleet: 19.0%
            Total trucks: 496,000 (captured Axis trucks = 14,900/3.9%)

            January 1, 1945
            Domestic built trucks in Soviet Army: 395,200
            % total of Soviet truck fleet: 63.6%
            Lend Lease trucks: 191,300
            % total of Soviet truck fleet: 30.4%
            Total trucks: 621,200 (captured Axis trucks = 34,700/6.0%)

            May 1, 1945
            Domestic built trucks in Soviet Army: 385,700
            % total of Soviet truck fleet: 58.1%
            Lend Lease trucks: 218,100
            % total of Soviet truck fleet: 32.8%
            Total trucks: 664,400 (captured Axis trucks = 60,600/9.1%)

            Thus, during the most crucial period of the war in the East, 1941-1943 - when the contest was being decided - the Soviet Union itself provided the vast majority of the trucks that were employed by the Soviet Army. Even in January 1944, the Soviet Union still provided over 80.0% of the truck fleet used by the Soviet Army - when one factors in German acquisitions. It is only in the later half of 1944 and onwards that one can claim the a significant importance for lend lease vehicles, although even in January 1945, Soviet and German trucks still constituted 70% of the Soviet truck fleet.
            Food - another component of lend-lease - has already been shown by Egorka - citing statistical studies - to have been a minor benefit at most for the Soviet population.
            http://egorka-datskij.livejournal.com/1328.html

            Incidentally, my father served on convoy duty in the North Atlantic - including the Murmansk run. He had no qualms in stating that the Soviets won the war against the Germans fair and square through their own efforts, and despite the tonnage figures quoted regarding lend-lease, these figures were a drop in the bucket in regards over-all effect in the balance of forces on the Eastern Front.
            Last edited by Skoblin; 08 Sep 09, 12:54.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ShAA View Post
              Strawman statements are a really nice way of starting a discussion. Would you be so kind to impart more of your superiour knowledge about the Russian opinion on this issue?
              Obviously a 'expert'. I'm unsure if you caught the joke in the name "strawman"



              Originally posted by ShAA View Post
              As far as I can remember, the Lend Lease agreement was signed on Novemnber 7, 1941 and the first shipments arrived in December. I have rather strong doubts that whatever chemicals were delivered by that date could've affected the military production rates.
              Agree in the short run. I was not seperateting any cash purchases/deliveries before November, and considering the effect on production through 1942. I understand the battles of 1941 & early 1942 were fought largely with the material at hand.

              On a different but related subject. Some books mention German machine tools & other industrial items traded to the USSR during 1940. Details are never provided with these remarks. Do you have idea what these items may have been, what quantities there may have been, and what sort of use they were put to?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                Obviously a 'expert'. I'm unsure if you caught the joke in the name "strawman"
                Ah yes, I've been promoted to the title of the Duke of Bad Pun recently

                Agree in the short run. I was not seperateting any cash purchases/deliveries before November, and considering the effect on production through 1942. I understand the battles of 1941 & early 1942 were fought largely with the material at hand.

                On a different but related subject. Some books mention German machine tools & other industrial items traded to the USSR during 1940. Details are never provided with these remarks. Do you have idea what these items may have been, what quantities there may have been, and what sort of use they were put to?
                Here are two very detailed articles on this subject, but they are in Russian:
                http://history.machaon.ru/all/number...vel/index.html

                http://www.specnaz.ru/article/?705
                Last edited by ShAA; 08 Sep 09, 13:26.
                www.histours.ru

                Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by skoblin View Post
                  How many times do we have to re-hash this topic?

                  Transportation - trucks especially - were the main benefit of lend-lease, and as these figures show (which I have posted elsewhere) even lend-lease trucks were a minor component of the Soviet truck fleet and only made their impact felt later in the war after the Soviets had already broken the back of the German Army.

                  From the Journal of Slavic Military Studies.

                  Food - another component of lend-lease - has already been shown by Egorka - citing statistical studies - to have been a minor benefit at most for the Soviet population.
                  http://egorka-datskij.livejournal.com/1328.html

                  Incidentally, my father served on convoy duty in the North Atlantic - including the Murmansk run. He had no qualms in stating that the Soviets won the war against the Germans fair and square through their own efforts, and despite the tonnage figures quoted regarding lend-lease, these figures were a drop in the bucket in regards over-all effect in the balance of forces on the Eastern Front.
                  The importance of trucks for the Red Army had been exagerated in the West,because British and USA armies were full motorised :from Amvas Website:june 1941:trucks:200000,horses :5OOOOO ;december 1941:235000,horses:1287000;may 1942:270000-1275000 ;november 1942:274000-1050000 ;july 1943:300000-935000 ;january 1944:321000-897000 ;june 1944:33000 -931000 ;january 1945:379000 -1054000 . Mosttransport (even aircraft )happened by railway . An other point:Russian oilproduction diminished by 40 % during the war .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                    Strawman statements are a really nice way of starting a discussion. Would you be so kind to impart more of your superiour knowledge about the Russian opinion on this issue?
                    I would't call it a "superior knowledge" it's just my impression after talking to some russian old folks which happen to be veterans from the WWII as well as discussions on the inet.
                    Also the main reason of the russian ability to turn the war tide that is always mentioned is the evacuation of their industry to the Ural not the help they got from the Allies. (both British and Americans)
                    So I was wondering to what extend is that true... that is .. after all russians DID lose a lot of their industry as well as farming during Barbarossa.
                    If you believe, you receive.
                    If you doubt, you go without.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                      The idea of "insignificant" aid is often grounded in that the delivery of weapons came in significant number after the Germans lost the early battles of 1941/42. It does not recognize the important deliverys of chemicals, critical alloys and metals, and a few other specialty items in 1941 & 1942. Neither does it consider the transportation; autos, railroad equipment, ships, and aircraft.

                      Delaying Lend Lease a year means the those initial delivers of vital chemicals and other specialty materials are not available to Soviet factories in 1942. That would affect production of ammunition, fuel, and high performance machinery such as ordinance or motors. So the 'hardware side of Soviet combat capability in 1942 and part of 1943 would be reduced. They would still have the people and the same improvements in training or combat skill.

                      This question has been asked many other times in several different ways on ACG and elsewhere. it invariablly comes back to the important industrial materials sent to the USSR in 1941-1942.
                      Whatever was delivered in 1941/42 (and relatively speaking, almost nothing arrived in 1941, and very little for at least the first half of 1942) was indeed not significant in the overall scheme of things. The proportion of Soviet needs supplied by Lend-Lease did increase exponentially with time but did not become truly significant until 1943 at the earliest. By this time, the tide of war in the East had already turned irrevocably against the Nazis. Where Lend-Lease DID play a significant role was in helping the Soviets to roll the Germans back to Berlin.

                      Time and again, this rears its head. Folks just do not want to let go of cherished myths. In the West, we have traditionally liked to flatter ourselves that our Lend-Lease aid was significant in turning the tide. It was not. However, it was very significant, and increasingly so, in accelerating the speed with which the tide was forced to retreat. Hence, we can be proud that an even worse bloodbath (and the one that happened historically was bad enough) was avoided.
                      "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                      Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                        Ah yes, I've been promoted to the title of the Duke of Bad Pun recently



                        Here are two very detailed articles on this subject, but they are in Russian:
                        http://history.machaon.ru/all/number...vel/index.html

                        http://www.specnaz.ru/article/?705
                        Ouch. I'll place those on my desk here, right under the German and French documents to be translated

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by leopold View Post
                          I would't call it a "superior knowledge" it's just my impression after talking to some russian old folks which happen to be veterans from the WWII as well as discussions on the inet.
                          Haha, if I believed people on web forums represented real opinions of their respective countries I would become a racist worse than Hitler. As for the veterans, they are entitled to their opinions and from the human point of view they should be resected - Wehrmacht lost most of its soldiers in the East and they were the ones who spilled blood for this.

                          Also the main reason of the russian ability to turn the war tide that is always mentioned is the evacuation of their industry to the Ural not the help they got from the Allies. (both British and Americans)
                          So I was wondering to what extend is that true... that is .. after all russians DID lose a lot of their industry as well as farming during Barbarossa.
                          In fact the evacuation of industry was one of the most successful undertakings of the Soviet government in the first months of the war. Most of them were evacuated in accordance to special plans made in the 1920-1930ies. Surely, many factories were lost, but the overwhelming majority of vital industries were moved to the Urals, where in most cases they were deployed on the grounds that had been prepared before the war.
                          www.histours.ru

                          Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Stryker 19K30 View Post
                            But a couple million more would be insignificant to Stalin.

                            (Insert Katyn, Gulag, vodka, bear, Russian Mafia statement here.)
                            I agree. But not so insignificant to the millions who would have died or their families.

                            1 death a tragedy a million a statistic???

                            Allied losses actually getting this aid to Russia are equally 'insignificant' compared to 20M dead but very, very significant if its your family member freezing or burning off the Nordkapp in winter.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wonder what the Russians would be saying if Lend-Lease had been denied?

                              I expect there would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the "millions" of Russians who died needlessly due to the failure of the West to provide much needed help. This would, of course be backed up with many statistics and commentary.

                              Whether or not the aid was significant in the grand scheme of things, the Lend-Lease program was proof of the West's commitment to Russia that we were "in this together" to the end. It may not have made a great deal of difference, but as they say, "It was the thought that counted"!

                              On the other hand, WE thought it was significant! It was significant to US and we thought it was appreciated.

                              Perhaps, we were wrong?

                              Comment

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