Lend-lease through Vladivostok?
Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:30 PM
Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:10 PM
Wars are rarely fought in black and white, but in infinite shades of grey
(Poppy is occasionaly correct, or so I hear)
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.
Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:06 PM
Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:11 PM
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.
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.
Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:27 PM
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...
Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:03 AM
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.
"Where is the hunter when the reindeer has its hoof in a pool of lava?" - Russian Proverb, Bartalamyeh Fyodorevitch
Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:34 AM
Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:44 AM
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.
look where Vladivostock is on a map.
.... Japanese never ventured that far north in force.
Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:24 AM
Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:32 PM
Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:07 PM
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.
Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.
"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."
A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.
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