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Allied aid to the Russian war effort

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Mito, Sep 14, 2000.

  1. Mito

    Mito Member

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    I've always read about all the help Russian received during the war, which practically save her ass.

    This help consisted of what exactly? (tanks, ammunition, food, etc...)

    Thansk...
     
  2. Erich Hartmann

    Erich Hartmann Member

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    Off the top of my head, I do know that P-40s, P-39s, B-25s, and Sherman tanks were supplied to "the Bear". The bulk of this came thru their back door (alaska) to avoid having to go over the Nazi advance, and minimize u-boat fun. As to exact numbers of planes, tanks, ect., I dunno.
     
  3. Mito

    Mito Member

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    It seems that this aid was very discrete, because I've never seen a picture of Russians using a Sherman tank, or fighter planes (p39, p40, b-25, etc...)
     
  4. Erich Hartmann

    Erich Hartmann Member

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    I recall a number of Aircraft publications illustrating the afore-mentioned planes with a red star. A series of "booklets" are published by a company called Squadron/Signal Publications that does a wonderful job of covering a particular aircraft, and the different countries/ capacities in which they were used.
     
  5. Richard Murphy

    Richard Murphy Member

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    Mito,
    British Valentine, Matilda and Churchill Tanks were all supplied to the Russians, though they did not think highly of them as they were too slow, not suitable for cross country operations and under gunned compared to their Russian counter-parts. Most were used as training vehicles.
    Some front line units did use Shermans for a short while before they were either disolved (Due to losses.) or re-equipped with more up to date Soviet models.

    I know virtually all the production run of the American Air Cobra (P-39?) fighter were sent to Russia because the USAAF rejected them, prefering Mustangs and Thunderbolts. Also Mitchell bombers were sent from the US.

    Herr Hartmann is not correct in saying that most went via Alaska, considerable amounts were shipped from the USA to Archangel and Murmansk by sea via the UK and Iceland. If you need specific figures, I will try and find them for you, but it will take a while!

    Regards,

    Richard Murphy
    Bletchley
    England
     
  6. Erich Hartmann

    Erich Hartmann Member

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    Richard-
    Shipments via Iceland and the UK took the majority of the load? Thanks; Doubleday's "Illustrated Aircraft of WWII" was incorrect. Thanks. Yes, the Bell P-39 was the Air Cobra, but the USAAF deployed a significant number of the problematic planes to the Pacific theatre as well.
     
  7. MDF

    MDF recruit

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    Hello all,
    In U.S. dollars at that time, a total of $11,297,883,000 worth of goods was shipped to the Soviet Union. Included were 4,746 P-39 Airacobras, 2,400 Kingcobras, 195 P-47 Thunderbolts, 862 B-25 Mitchells & 700 C-47s. Also 1,383 M-3 Lee tanks were shipped to the USSR. This is not the entire list of items sent. Of everything sent it is known the Soviets enjoyed the eeps and trucks that helped put the Red Army on wheels. As for the P-39 the Russian ace Pokryshkin highly valued the Airacobra since he gained most of his 59 kills while flying the type. However, the Lee tanks were another story. They sufferred heavily at the Battle of Kursk and became known as "a grave for 7 brothers" to the Soviets.
    Regards,
    Mike
     
  8. johnsonm

    johnsonm recruit

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    A brigade of Matilda tanks entered combat in October 1941 in the 10th Army sector in front of Moscow, which completely surprised the Germans. As far as I can determine, this was the first formation with lend-lease tanks to enter combat.

    Almost 3800 Valentines were supplied, almost half of the total Valentine production. The Soviets repeatedly asked for this tank as a replacement for the failed T-50 infantry support tank program. Valentine tanks participated in many break-in, break through attacks from 1942 through the end of the war, opening up corredors for the T-34s. The Russians considered the Valentine a light tank. The Valentine was singled out by both UK and USSR users for its high reliability, which was remarkable considering both nation's tendency to overstate reliability problems in their equipment.

    The Russians disliked the Grants and Stuarts. The Grants because of the difficulty in using the sponson-mounted 75mm gun. They complained of ruining the tracks while constantly turning the tank to change firing positions. Both the Grant and Stuart were disliked because of their "sensitivity" to the quality of gasoline.

    They liked the diesel powered Shermans, whose 75mm gun was comparable to the longest 76mm gun used on a T-34-76. Unlike the British and Americans, they did not complain about its tendency to easily catch fire.

    The Russians received Churchill IIIs and IVs both with 6-pounder guns. They considered it a poor substitute for their heavys (KV and IS), even though the Churchill could climb steeper slopes and cross more difficiult obstacles than any other WWII tank.

    As for the Bell P-39 Aerocobra, the engine was located behind the pilot to make room for a long 37mm anti-tank gun in the nose. This aircraft was probably the best ground attack platform the Americans built early in the war, particularly against armored columns. The Russians appreciated this quality. The P-39s lack of effective air-to-air maneuverability was not the problem for the Soviets that it was for the USAAF.

    Hope these descriptions help.
     
  9. Peppy

    Peppy Idi Admin

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    You read that froma book or are you doing that from memory. I'm not asking to be rude, I'm just asking for a source.
     
  10. Mito

    Mito Member

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    What exactly does "lean-lease" mean?

    Did Russians authorities promise to pay back, or even return, whatever the US lend? (money, tanks, ammunition).

    Didn't the US bankers, or investors, or whotever, know that it was a "no-return investment"? I mean, no one was sure during those days that Germany would be defeated. In fact, Germany was quite powerful...
     
  11. Yankee

    Yankee Member

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    Nah, the US got in return Russian colonial possesions.

    In Return for our aid to the English in WW2 the US was given 50-100 leases on the Airbases on caribean islands (excellent for sub hunting) and use of the ports on those Island and also a number of God foresaken Islands in the middle of the Atlantic like Ascension Island which is still to this day a US airbase.

    The Russians probably gave use of some of their Islands in the Bering strait or Artic possesions i dont know the US was being fairly flexible at the time.
     
  12. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    For those interested in Lend-lease, one might check

    Jason Long's _Sinews of War_ at http://members.tripod.com/~Sturmvogel/WarEcon.html

    But be careful: It seems to me that some of his numbers are far off.

    maybe better:
    Greg Allen And Ralph Loewen: _Lend-Lease and its effect on the Eastern Front_ at http://www.wargamer.com/articles/lldocefx.asp

    As for paying back:

    I have no source, but IIRC, out of the $ 11 B given Lend-Lease, $ 8 B had been paid back during the war or shortly thereafter. The rest was paid off later.

    Soviets paid meanly with their gold and other valuable raw ore. In the 80-ies the HMS Edinburgh was found in the Nordic Sea off Murmansk. It carried one of the numerous Soviet gold payments.

    Personal remarks: I agree on the claim that the 4.5 million tons of food, the 1,000 locomotives and 407,000 trucks were the most important part of Lend-Lease. I don’t put too much emphasis on the tanks and aircraft given to them. I don’t agree that without L-L the Red Army wouldn’t have fought back the Wehrmacht.

    After all, L-L was the best life insurance for West Allied soldiers at all. Enabling The Red Army to kill off the Wehrmacht saved the lives of at least 3 million U.S./CW soldiers.

    Hope this helps
     
  13. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    The Russians recieved practically any useful thing you can imagine. Anything from Gas, to tires to B-17 Flying Forts, to radios, medicines-etc.

    My grandfather was a Captain of a ship that brought supplies into Murmansk and Arch Angel. I do not have his ships cargo book with me on hand, but I do remember some of the items that his ship brought to them. They were, GMC Truck tires, Aircraft Propellers, Artillery Shells, Crates of Colt .45s, medicines, grain, rice, coal, cotton, tin, Jeeps-etc.

    Before his ship was torpedoed, it had made several trips on the Murmansk run, I dont know how many elsewhere. The ship was torpedoed in November 1944 by U-181 commanded by Kapitan zur see Kurt Freiwald.
     
  14. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by C.Evans:
    The Russians recieved practically any useful thing you can imagine. Anything from Gas, to tires to B-17 Flying Forts, to radios, medicines-etc.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    B-17 ????

    The Sovs received B-17 by lend-lease?

    Never heard that before. Sources?
     
  15. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    The Russians recieved B-17s as lend lease. I do not know how many, but I know they did. My father was in the USAAF in WW2, and he was part of a crew that "ferried" B-17s to Russia.

    My father is the only source I can name from memory, but there are books(I cannot remember names of titles)that tell about such things, I have seen them in the public library.

    The only other evidence I have is the ships manifest log from my grandfathers ship, the SS Fort Lee. This tells you by date what they carried, which holds they were in, how much tonnage etc.

    The only other source I could quote would be from the surviving crewmen of U-181, the U-Boat responsible for sinking my grandfathers ship.

    Hope this helps.............................

    I might add, that I have a manifest log to my grandfathers other ship, the SS New London, I just dont recall if it had anything to do with WW2, its been years since I have looked at it.
     
  16. Ron

    Ron Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by C. Evens:
    I might add, that I have a manifest log to my grandfathers other ship, the SS New London, I just dont recall if it had anything to do with WW2, its been years since I have looked at it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Can you tell how your grandfather was rescued?

    <FONT COLOR="#ff0000" SIZE="1" FACE="Verdana, Arial">This message has been edited by Ron on 05 December 2000 at 07:41 PM</font>
     
  17. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    All my grandfathers crew survived the sinking, but only two were rescued. My grandfather was near death when he was rescued, the other man had died from exposure. I am uncertain at who rescued them or the rescue ships name. All I know for sure is that they were at sea for about 2-1/2 weeks. I dont know the name or type of ship that found him though.

    The stories I was told when I was much younger was something like: After the Germans torpedoed his ship and watched all the men get into boats. The U-Boat manovered towards the lead boat (My grandfathers) and they hailed the Captain.

    The Germans proceeded to ask what kind of cargo they were carrying, and their ships name, and destination. The first two questions were answered.

    Then the German Kapitan-Kurt Freiwald, offered any assistance they could-I.E. Food, Medicines-Blankets, and fresh water. Then the German Kapitan gave my grandfather a flare pistol (all my life I was told it was a P-08 Luger,( but I found out thetruth from the German Officer who actully handed it to him, hisself)this was an Officer named Dieter Hille. (I recently attended the U-181 vet reunion in Bad Camberg Germany) I found out many, many things.

    The second Watch Officer on U-181 "Otto Giese" wrote a book, and tells about their sighting, stalking, and sinking of the SS Fort Lee, in a book called: Shooting the War, by Otto Giese. I have a copy, and it IS, an excellent book. I suggest to anyone who wants to know what happened on U-Boats during the war, to read this book.
     
  18. Erich Hartmann

    Erich Hartmann Member

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    That is an AWESOME story. Anyone else have war stories from family members?
     
  19. Ron

    Ron Member

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    Yeah that is a very interesting story...i can't believe they wern't rescued for 2 &1/2 weeks! sheesh
    That is a great idea...does anyone else have relatives' stories?
    Or at least tell what and where some of your relatives were doing even if they didn't see combat.
    My grandfather was stationed at Pearl Harbor for the whole war as an MP. He was training for the invasion of Japan. Luckily there never was an invasion.
    Also a great uncle of mine was on the essex class carrier Randolf. And I believe was involved with the battle of the phillipean Sea and Okinawa. Also his ship was hit by one kamakaze.
     
  20. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Thanks Ron and Erich, for the kind words. I dont mind telling about what my relatives did in WW2. I hope to hear many more stories. Ron, your Grandfather and my Unclu might have served together. My Uncle was in the US Army's 80th I.D. commanded by General Simon Bolivar Buckner. I will start a new thread and tell about what he had to say.
     

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