U.S.S.R and Lend-Lease supplies?



  • Thought of this question while at work and decided it was worthy of discussion.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Hi Worsham.
    I think those three options you list would make survival very hard for the Russians.
    Having said that, they showed a remarkable resilience in WW2 coupled with Stalin’s lack of respect for his people and the losses his decisions incurred.
    The Stalingrad part of your equation would depend if The Russians let the Germans capture it, so as to trap them in the city after the Uranus and Saturn offensives designed to capitalise on Germany’s satellites’ weakness in anti-tank guns and Winter equipment.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    I don’t think that the Soviet Union would have held like it did. A lot of the supplies that came through Murmansk went directly to Leningrad, and that city was on the brink of collapse even with those supplies, so it probably would have fallen without them. The defense of Moscow relied heavily on troops arriving from Siberia, and those troops would not have been available if Japan would have tied them to fighting in the East. And a primary reason why Operation Uranus worked at all, was that the German Sixth Army itself was still busy fighting in Stalingrad. If that city would already have been taken, the Operation Uranus could have been parried.
    So I see the USSR losing Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad in such a scenario. The Red Army might have regrouped in Eastern Russia or even in Siberia, but to defeat the Germans as well as the Japanese from such a position seems next to impossible. And also, those vast resources of manpower would have been severely depleted with so much of the country in enemy hands. You can’t recruit from areas that you don’t have access to.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thanks HerrKaleun. Your observations are always good.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    One factor to consider is that, in addition to the Murmansk / Arkhangelsk gateway in the west and the Vladivostok gateway in the east, Lend-Lease also reached Russia via a third route: the Persian Corridor in the south.  Securing this route was one of the reasons the USSR and the UK invaded Iran in August 1941.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Corridor

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Soviet_invasion_of_Iran


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thanks Marc. Did not know that.
    Did you vote in this thread?  Wondered what your thoughts were. I voted, but was not sure I could say with certainty if it all added up to a Russian collapse.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    Thanks Marc. Did not know that. Did you vote in this thread?  Wondered what your thoughts were. I voted, but was not sure I could say with certainty if it all added up to a Russian collapse.

    I didn’t vote because I’m not in a sufficiently informed position to make up my mind about the scenario which ABWorsham describes.  The answer would depend on the degree to which Lend-Lease resources contributed to the Soviet war effort, and I’m not familiar enough with the subject to know if Lend-Lease was decisive for Russia or merely helpful.  A big part of the Soviet war effort rested on Russia’s own resources (like the factories they moved eastward to put them out of reach of the advancing Germans), with Lend-Lease supplementing this domestic production of equipment on a scale about which I don’t have any figures.

    It’s just occured to me that the “if the Germans captured Stalingrad” part of ABWorsham’s question would have an effect on the Persian Corridor route I mentioned.  The Stalingrad offensive was part of a German campaign to seize the Soviet oilfields in the Caucasus region, which lies astride the Persian Corridor route coming up from western Iran through Soviet Azerbaijan, so in this scenario the southern Lend-Lease route would probably have been cut off too.  I guess that an alternate route could have been taken from eastern Iran up through unoccupied Turkmenistan (the Germans never got further east than Stanlingrad), but this would have meant a considerable detour around the Caspian Sea, hence a longer and slower supply route for Lend-Lease.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    FOR THE RECORD.

    THE GERMANS CAPTURED STALINGRAD!

    And that was actually their undoing - the fact they wouldn’t leave.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thanks Garg. I love I when you write in big letters for me.
    Now I am over 40 I need reading glasses(only 1 strength) as well as my contact lens for short sightedness.

    Thank you Marc for your detailed reply.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    The Lend Lease was also sent to USSR via the middle east, supplies could be transferred from east of the Caspian Sea. But Japan taking Vladivostok would entail big problems as 50% of aid came to this port. Problem is Japan had no way of holding it versus the superior Soviet border forces as proven in 39’



  • @Imperious:

    The Lend Lease was also sent to USSR via the middle east, supplies could be transferred from east of the Caspian Sea. But Japan taking Vladivostok would entail big problems as 50% of aid came to this port. Problem is Japan had no way of holding it versus the superior Soviet border forces as proven in 39’

    What if Japan just blockaded that port and kept merchant vessels from entering or leaving?



  • How would the war have changed had Pacific Lend Lease convoys needed heavy protection, carriers, battleships and destroyers?

    Had the Germans held the Stalingrad and Caucasus Mountains, they could have harassed any supplies routes east of the Caspian Sea.

    From my readings on the subject the Red Army and Lend Lease materials, the addition of 300,000 heavy trucks and 400,000 jeeps had the largest impact on the war in the East. The Red Army also loved the P-39. Five out of the 10 highest scoring Soviets aces logged the majority of their kills in P-39s.


  • 2017 '16 '13 '12

    @ABWorsham:

    How would the war have changed had Pacific Lend Lease convoys needed heavy protection, carriers, battleships and destroyers?

    Had the Germans held the Stalingrad and Caucasus Mountains, they could have harassed any supplies routes east of the Caspian Sea.

    From my readings on the subject the Red Army and Lend Lease materials, the addition of 300,000 heavy trucks and 400,000 jeeps had the largest impact on the war in the East. The Red Army also loved the P-39. Five out of the 10 highest scoring Soviets aces logged the majority of their kills in P-39s.

    Germany was not prepared for a war of such immense scale with the Soviet Union.

    If you combine cutting the lend lease with other factors like shifting Germany’s industrial output to total war much earlier, then there might have been a chance of military success. But, as long as the Russians had a production, manpower and logistical advantages I don’t really see how they could have won.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    What if Japan just blockaded that port and kept merchant vessels from entering or leaving?

    The Soviets had this trick configured. The supplies arrived on Soviet ships both to and from. That means war would occur either way.



  • @Imperious:

    What if Japan just blockaded that port and kept merchant vessels from entering or leaving?

    The Soviets had this trick configured. The supplies arrived on Soviet ships both to and from. That means war would occur either way.

    Then again, if Japan did resume hostilities with Russia, it would of kept much of the soviet far eastern armies from returning to moscow in time for the german operation typhoon.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    But that depends on when Japan attacks. The Soviets would defeat Japan but need about 6 months, so timing it for July 41 would buy this time. But buy the time for whom? Japan had no intention of fighting Russia at all and taking a warm water port to help Germany at the peril of opening a new front is suicide. It would not solve her oil needs and gain her nothing but grief.



  • lendlease is overvalued, counted for a very small percentage of USSR production in WW2.

    The only way the axis could have won was to take baku, and the oil. I think at this point, caucasus produced more oil than the rest of europe combined. germany could never win as long as ussr had all this oil, while germany didn’t

    It is fairly commonly accepted that even if germany had been at peace with the allies (and not gotten trade and subsidies from the allies (maybe being blocked), they would still have lost against the russians, altho berlin would have fallen in 1947 (1946-1949) instead.



  • 1. Murmansk was a side show. Over 80% of Lend-Lease came through Iran. Not only was it a supply conduit, but we had huge truck factories built there. And, it wasthe trucks that really benefitted the Russians. They produced huge numbers of AFV’s themselves and their T-34’s were superior to our Valentines and Shermans.

    2. Japan lost a war to Russia in 1939. I see no reason they would sue for peace in 1939 and then launch a war in 1941. The main benefit of this route was not by shipping. It was the aircraft we gave the Russians. Since we were at war with Japan, we had huge air bases in Alaska. We would fly the planes there, paint on Russian insignias, and then Russian crews would fly them home.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Over 80% of Lend-Lease came through Iran.

    No it was about 23%

    And 25% from Murmansk/ Archangel

    The rest from the Pacific side. On Soviet transports


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    This discussion mainly focuses on lend-lease, and that was of course the question asked. But the premise given to arrive at a hypothetical situation, was:

    Had Murmansk been captured, Japan went to war with U.S.S.R and capture Vladivostok and the Germans captured Stalingrad, could the U.S.S.R survived without outside help?

    So we’re not just talking about a blockade to most of the land-lease supplies that would reach the Soviet Union. In this scenario, there’s also a Japanese force fighting the USSR in the east, the Germans would actually have captured Stalingrad (which they did not do in reality - they captured most of it but the fight in that city never stopped), and the with Murmansk in Axis hands, German and Finnish troops from the far north could have wheeled in to cut the supply lines that Leningrad so desperately needed.
    I think those strategic factors would be at least as important as the loss of the lend-lease supplies as such.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Herr:

    So we’re not just talking about a blockade to most of the land-lease supplies that would reach the Soviet Union. In this scenario, there’s also a Japanese force fighting the USSR in the east, the Germans would actually have captured Stalingrad (which they did not do in reality - they captured most of it but the fight in that city never stopped), and the with Murmansk in Axis hands, German and Finnish troops from the far north could have wheeled in to cut the supply lines that Leningrad so desperately needed. I think those strategic factors would be at least as important as the loss of the lend-lease supplies as such.

    And another way of framing the question would be to ask: how many variables (and which specific variables) would you need to change to set up a situation in which the USSR had no hope of winning?


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    Thanks for the maps IL, that’s some interesting information.



  • @Imperious:

    Great maps!!!


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