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What did Russian soldiers think about Lend-Lease Equipment and Weapons?

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  • What did Russian soldiers think about Lend-Lease Equipment and Weapons?

    Were they pleased or displeased?I know that they liked the P-39 but not the Spitfire.And that they called the M-3 Grant the "coffin for seven brothers".

  • #2
    Displeased? Displeased with food, clothing, medical supplies, fuel, weapons, ammo, infrastructure, shipping, money?
    Last edited by amvas; 22 Sep 10, 23:38.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by SgtSaunders View Post
      Were they pleased or displeased?I know that they liked the P-39 but not the Spitfire.And that they called the M-3 Grant the "coffin for seven brothers".
      More pleased.
      As for tanks, I can say they were displeased only with M3.
      the other AFVs were enough modern until Germans modified their tanks.

      Spitfires were received in a negligible amounts, so hardly any negative opinion could be widely spread. As far as I can remember, the only one disadvantage was a small caliber of its machine-guns.

      The most positive emotions caused food, trucks and jeeps..

      regards
      Alex
      If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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      • #4
        Originally posted by skiplc View Post
        Displeased? Displeased with food, clothing, medical supplies, fuel, weapons, ammo, infrastructure, shipping, money?

        With money Americans were pleased mostly
        If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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        • #5
          they wanted Second Front.

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          • #6
            Early American tanks ran on gasoline and had a tendency to brew up when hit, the Soviets didn't care too much for that.

            They were fond of the P-39 for its tank killing armament, and the 2 1/2 ton truck. I believe they also recieved some M-2 .50 machine guns that they then copied and produced on their own.
            "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
            Groucho Marx

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            • #7
              The Red Army had its own .50 caliber machinegun already, the DShK 12.7mm: didn't need to copy the Browning M2.
              Among the tanks, Dmitrii Loza has recounted how well the tankers themselves thought of the M4 Sherman, and that opinion must have been shared by the high command, because they equipped 3 out of 9 Guards Mechanized Corps entirely with Shermans by the war's end: 1st Guards Mech actually turned in its T-34-85s to re-equip with Shermans at the end of 1944. The British Valentine was kept in production after the British Army stopped using it, to supply the Red Army. Valentine Mk VIII or Mk IX (with 57mm guns) show up in many Soviet reconnaissance units late in the war, even when the parent armored unit has Soviet tanks.
              The best comment on the early American tanks I ever heard was from a Soviet official discussing the Lend Lease equipment with the American Lend Lease representatives, when he said about the M3 Stuart light tank:
              " It is a very nice tank, but it can't fight."
              -Which, considering that the M3 was originally built as a cavalry reconnaissance tank, is exactly accurate!
              Another piece of Lend Lease combat equipment that shows up everywhere is the M151 half-track mounting 4 .50 caliber machineguns as a light SP antiaircraft weapon. These also show up in many armored units that are otherwise equipped with Soviet vehicles, simply because the Soviet industry was not producing self-propelled antiaircraft weapons in any quantity.
              Among the aircraft, I understand that one of the major problems with the Spitfire was that it looked too much like a German model to the Soviet antiaircraft gunners. In the Kuban, where some Spitfire Mk Vs were deployed, I read where they had to use "special paint schemes" to try to make them obviously Soviet, and still could not keep friendly gunners from shooting at them.
              An on-going problem with American aircraft supplied under Lend Lease was that the US engines were designed to run on high-octane aviation gasoline (100 octane) which wasn't manufactured anywhere in the world except in the USA. The best aviation fuel in Europe was about 90 - 94 octane (in Germany) and the bulk of Soviet fuel was below 90 octane. This resulted in the aircraft operating well below their optimum performance until octane-enhancing additives and high-octane gasoline was also supplied through Lend Lease.
              Among the less glamorous but extremely valuable Lend Lease items were several hundred thousand tons of tinned meat and other rations which provided high protein, high fat winter rations, thousands of meters of cloth for uniforms, and millions of pairs of army boots. A large portion of the Red Army fought with Soviet weapons but wore American material uniforms and ate American food by 1945! This, in turn, allowed Soviet industry to concentrate on the basic guns, artillery, tanks and ammunition (for which the Allies also provided hundreds of thousands of tons of chemicals and explosives) with which to win the war.
              Perhaps among the most appreciated Lend Lease items were the ones not provided officially. Factory workers in the US plants would 'add' items to tanks and equipment being shipped to the USSR. Loza recounted how the Shermans they received frequently had bottles of alcohol or food hidden in ammunition storage boxes or stuffed down the barrel of the main gun! Not war-winning, perhaps, but symbols of solidarity at the most basic, human level in a war so frequently very inhuman.

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              • #8
                I have also read that they liked U.S. field phone wire.......it was waterproof and their's wasn't.

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                • #9
                  I had a book called "The Secret History of WWII". It was a catalog of the messages between Stalin, FDR, and Churchill. In it, there was a specific message from Stalin to FDR complaining about the gasoline powered tanks.

                  By 1944, US tanks were running on diesel, so that problem was resolved.
                  "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
                  Groucho Marx

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                  • #10
                    I remember a documentary on Walter Cronkite, where in an interview he reflected on covering the 2nd World War. Towards the end, or during the period of victory celebrations he met a Russian counterpart who could not praise enough the Americans for Lend-Leese Willy's Jeep. He thought it was one of the greatest things since sliced bread.

                    He had another encounter with that Russian many years later...and history had changed. Now the Russian said how terrible it was of the Americans to steal an original Soviet design like the jeep.

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                    • #11
                      I love it when I look through pics and see the rare shots of Russians with American M2 .50-cals, or Thompson M1s. I saw both those pics in a library book I had checked out.
                      I'm sorry I don't remember the exact title, but I bet if I try and spell the author's name for Panther_34/85, he might be able to list off the books he has by this author so I can identify it and maybe find a copy in his home library.

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                      • #12
                        The popularity of lend-lease items went way down when sitting by the fire; with a full belly; in good health.

                        We apologize for sending all that useless junk.
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                        • #13
                          I can't see why the russians didn't like the spitfire they were some of the best aircraft in ww2.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by highlander1 View Post
                            I can't see why the russians didn't like the spitfire they were some of the best aircraft in ww2.
                            Maybe because most of the air war in the East was conducted at low levels and they wanted something a bit more rugged to soak up ground fire. I'm only guessing though.
                            Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                            That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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                            • #15
                              Here's a quote from the commentary to the book of Stettinius E.R. Jr. "Lend-Lease: Weapon For Victory".

                              Thus, V.M. Berezhkov writes that "the armaments and other materiel, which were solemnly promised by the Western Allies, did not arrive to the Soviet Union in time and even when they arrived, they were much smaller than the promised quantities. In their quality these armaments did not match the requirements of the Front, they were of obsolete types or even defective".

                              For example, according to Berezhkov, the British supplied obsolete Hurricane airplanes, eschewing deliveries of the newest Spitfire fighters. Berezhkov mentions the low quality of US and British war materiel discussed by Stalin with GOP leader Wendell Wilky. In the presence of US and British ambassadors Stalin asked: "Why are the British and US governments supplying the Soviet Union with low quality materiel?"

                              And he elaborated, that he was speaking first of all about the deliveries of P-40 airplanes instead of more advanced Aircobras and that the British are supplying absolutely worthless Hurricanes which were significantly worse than German planes. Where was an incident, Stalin noted, when the Americans were going to supply 150 Aircobras to the Soviet Union, but the British interfered and left them to themselves.

                              - The Soviet people are perfectly well aware that both Americans and Brits have equal or even better quality planes than the German types, but for unknown reasons some of them are not supplied to the Soviet Union.

                              The American Ambassador Admiral Standley had no information on this, and the British Ambassador Archibald Clark Kerr admitted that he was aware of the Aircobra affair but started making excuses of their sending to another location by stating that these 150 machines would be "much more useful to the Allied cause in British hands rather than them getting sent to the Soviet Union"
                              www.histours.ru

                              Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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