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Lend-lease through Vladivostok?


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#1 grunt49

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:30 PM

Just an off the wall question, brought up by a comment in a book I've been reading. Russia didn't declare war on Japan until the very end. Was any Lend-Lease material sent to Russia across the Pacific to the port of Vladivostok in Russian or neutral ships?

#2 belasar

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:10 PM

Aircraft did cross from Alaska to eastern Russia, and I believe at least some Russian Flagged vessals did make the journey also.
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#3 brndirt1

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:02 PM

Just an off the wall question, brought up by a comment in a book I've been reading. Russia didn't declare war on Japan until the very end. Was any Lend-Lease material sent to Russia across the Pacific to the port of Vladivostok in Russian or neutral ships?


Here is a visual of the amount sent by that route, and a quick link to all L/L routes and material. If I recall (without re-reading the link) just under 47% of all Soviet L/L arrived at Vladivostok from the USA.

Goto:

http://www.o5m6.de/Routes.html



Posted Image
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#4 DaveBj

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:06 PM

I did a quick google combining "Vladivostok" and "Lend-Lease" and saw several references that said about half of U.S. Lend-Lease materials to the Soviet Union went via Vladivostok. Of course, that would have ended after 12/7/1941.

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#5 DaveBj

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:11 PM

As a side note, one of the Doolittle Raid crews landed their B-25 bomber at an airfield near Vladivostok and were interned. They escaped some months later and made it back to the U.S.

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#6 brndirt1

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:12 PM

I did a quick google combining "Vladivostok" and "Lend-Lease" and saw several references that said about half of U.S. Lend-Lease materials to the Soviet Union went via Vladivostok. Of course, that would have ended after 12/7/1941.

DaveBj


Explain this "would have ended after 12/7/41" ? ?

The Lend/Lease program existed and was in place and functioning for months before "Pearl Harbor", and the USSR was included onto the list in 06/23/41 when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, and the first shipment was received by the USSR in (I believe) November of 1941.

The last of the L/L shipments were allowed to continue to the USSR if they were "in transit" at the signing of the surrender documents in Sept of 1945, but those which had not been shipped were held on the docks and never shipped pending "financial" agreements between Truman and Stalin.

There was no "break" in shipments to the USSR from its first lawful inclusion in L/L until the end of the war.
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#7 George Patton

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:27 PM

Maybe he was thinking that the Japanese military would have posed a serious enough threat to the Alaska-Vladivostok supply route that the Americans shut it down? With the exception of the Attu/Kiska landings, the Japanese never ventured that far north in force.

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#8 brndirt1

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:53 PM

Maybe he was thinking that the Japanese military would have posed a serious enough threat to the Alaska-Vladivostok supply route that the Americans shut it down? With the exception of the Attu/Kiska landings, the Japanese never ventured that far north in force.


He might have been thinking that, but the truth is the shipping into the eastern ports of the USSR never halted, ceased, or slowed. Look at the expanded maps on my link. The Soviet and neutral flag ships were skirting, and infringing on Japanese "waters". Some times by only a few KM, but sometimes it is astounding that the Japanese didn't interfere with the shipping. Of course both the Soviets and the Americans were very cautious about "what" was shipped in that link, you won't find "tanks, guns, small arms, planes, or explosives" in the manifests. Mostly it will be food stuffs, sheet steel, aluminium ingots, copper wire, radio equipment, and later locomotive and rail stock. Not really "war" material, but still...
Happy Trails,
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#9 Marmat

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:03 AM

Historically it was Japanese initiative that led to the Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact, not the other way around, and this before the German attack, and their own against the Western Powers. The Japanese had bogged down in China, war with the West was on the horizon, the last thing they needed was a 2 front war. It was in the best interest of both Japan and the Soviets to remain neutral.

The Pacific to Vladivostok route was maintained by the Soviets themselves, it was neutral shipping and required no escort. Some 940 Soviet and Soviet Leased ships (including some 125 from the Western Allies, sailing under the hammer and sickle) routinely sailed unescorted from the west coast of North America, across the Pacific and between the Japanese held Kurile Islands and the La Perouse Straits dividing Japanese southern Sakhalin and the main Japanese Island of Hokkaido, to Vladivostok. At their narrowest point, the La Perouse Straits are only about as wide as the English Channel, actually much narrower than Tsushima, and were easily monitored by the Japanese themselves, using both sea and air patrol, and there were minefields to dissuade Allied subs from entering the area.

This route, which overall carried the bulk of the supplies to support the Soviets, well over half over the course of the war, handled what could be termed civilian or non-military, non-weapon type supplies. In theory at least under the terms of their neutrality, no military weapons could be carried. This was why the Arctic route i.e. Archangel/Murmansk route remained so important early on and why there was need for the Persian route; to carry military cargoes, aircraft were flown across the Bering Sea.

Also, the Soviets did not wholly trust the Japanese, and still maintained a sizable Soviet Army of the Far East, of some 40 Div. even before it was reinforced under Vasilevsky after Germany was defeated, and which threatened Japanese Manchukuo and other Chinese possessions. By not honouring the Pact with the Soviets, the Japanese risked all this, plus the reopening of the Sino-Soviet RR supply route through Mongolia which the Pact kept closed, and US bomber attacks on the Japanese Home Islands from bases in the Soviet Far East, something the US had pressed the Soviets for, for a very long time. In compensation, the Japanese gain nothing by breaching the Pact.

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#10 DaveBj

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:34 AM

I was thinking U.S.-flagged ships; for some reason, Soviet- and neutral-flagged ships didn't enter my mind. D'oh! Lend-Lease is not one of my areas of expertise (not that I actually have any areas of expertise), so I can say I learned something today. That makes it a profitable day :D

DaveBj

#11 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:44 AM

Always found fascinatinating that LL was allowed through what were Japanese controlled waters, to get there the ships had to cross the main Japanese Island chain (I don't think they did pass North of Sakhalin and Southern Sakhalin was Japanese controlled).
The Japanese also did very little to help with German attempts to interfere with the traffic, it would have been prettty easy to put a few subs in claiming they were German ones, any "legal" escorts need to fly the red banner and that's much harder to do than with merchants. The loss of Thor at Yokohama has always looked a bit suspicious to me.
IMO not blocking LL was a major axis strategic mistake, the USSR didn't have the troops to spare for a second front either.
The "axis" aliance was really separate wars, collaboration was not great, partly due to ideology, "supermen" have no equal allies, and partly to geaography, the Japanese had an abundance of rubber but no way to send it to it's partners.
Germans sent some technology samples by sub but IIRC that was all.

.... Japanese never ventured that far north in force.

look where Vladivostock is on a map.
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#12 scipio

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:18 AM

Attached File  Lendleaseshipments.jpg   112.62KB   10 downloads
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#13 scipio

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:24 AM

For some reason best known to itself my map did not come out full size - click on it and you will see as others have said that the majority of Lend Lease Aid from the US to USSR went via the Pacific - but this was strictly non-military.

#14 Carronade

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:32 PM

Ironically the biggest danger to Lend-Lease shipping in Japanese waters was American submarines, four of which sank a total of five Russian-flagged ships.

#15 grunt49

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:07 PM

Thanks for the information and the links. Given the location of Vladivostok I'd always assumed it was effectively blocked off from shipping from the US. Interesting stuff.

#16 Fred Wilson

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:25 AM

FIRST PICTURES: ALASKA-RUSSIA SKY ROUTE [ETC.]

- National Archives and Records Administration 1945 - ARC 39043, LI 208-UN-136 - DVD Copied by J. Williams.

Series: Motion Picture Films from "United News" Newsreels, compiled 1942 - 1945.

Part 1, many fighter airplanes in Alaska, a lend-lease shipment, are inspected and flown away by Russians.

 

From: https://www.youtube....blicResourceOrg

 


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http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

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