I don’t have any particular comments on the game-play side of these proposals, but here are a few thoughts on the historical context.
Throughout the war, the Soviet Union operated with a great degree of independence from its western Allies. <<
Quite true, and also true with regard to some of other combattants. Japan, for instance, waged its war in the Asia-Pacific region in a way that was largely independent of the European war being waged by Germany and Italy. Similarly, the war in the Asia-Pacific region in general was dominated on the Allied side by the US, and in the Central Pacific in particular it was entirely a US show.
U.S. and British equipment on Soviet soil was often controlled by Russians troops. <<
The phrasing here is a bit ambiguous. It’s true that the Soviets were deliberately given lots of equipment by the Anglo-Americans, and that the Soviets then made use of this equipment, but the sentence seems to imply something different, as is evident from the part of the proposed house rule which says:
This is simulated in the game as follows: end & Lease: After his noncombat movement phase, the Soviet player checks for any allied units that are currently in territories that contain a Soviet home industrial complex. He may choose to replace these units with the Soviet equivalent. Although the Soviet player should discuss this maneuver with his Allies, he doesnâ€t have to. Even if the Soviet player moves these units to allied territories, they remain Soviet units for the remainder of the game. Note: Of course, allied infantrymen were not brain-washed into becoming Russians but, rather, Allied equipment and weapons were used to equip Russian soldiers. <<
In other words, what’s implied here (reinforced by the “often” part of the earlier sentence) is that it was a common occurence in WWII for Anglo-American combat units (not simply equipment that’s been packed up in crates for shipment) to enter Soviet territory as the result of tactical or operational maneuvers (not just as part of logistical shipments), that the equipment of these units was then seized by the Soviets for their own use, and that the Soviets could do this even if the Allied units in question didn’t agree. The only WWII situations I can think of that in any way resemble the scenario being described were a few cases in which American B-29s which had bombed Japan and couldn’t make it back to American-controlled territory due to battle damage flew onward to the Soviet Union, where the planes were impounded and the crews were – for reasons about which I’m not sure – interned. (To add insult to injury, the Soviets later reversed-engineered these planes to produce a bomber of their own, the Tupolev Tu-4.)
Lend-Lease didn’t involve the Soviets seizing anything. Lend-Lease involved the Americans and the British sending the Soviets (via routes such as the Murmansk convoys and the Persian Corridor) shipments of war materiel. These shipments were intended right from the start to be for Soviet use, so the Soviets would have had no reason to seize these shipments on arrival (just as the British would have had no reason to seize the materials that the Americans were shipping to the UK via the trans-Atlantic convoys). As for Anglo-American combat units ending up on Soviet territory as the result of tactical or operational maneuvers, I can’t think of any examples of this happening other than the B-29 examples I mentioned. The only place where the Soviet and Anglo-American armies ended up meeting face-to-face was along the Elbe in 1945…and that was in Germany, not Russia.
Stalinist Xenophobia: Besides from â€œLend & Leaseâ€, no Allied units can ever be based in any territory controlled by the U.S.S.R., nor may they traverse Soviet territory or airspace. <<
As mentioned above, it’s correct that the western Allies generally kept out of Soviet territory (and vice-versa), but it had nothing to do with Stalinist Xenophobia (through there was certainly a lot of that present). It was simply because neither side had any particular reason to enter each other’s territory (since each side had its hands full handling its own particular operational theatres) and because the Axis was in control of the territory between the Western Front and the Eastern Front.
Bolshevization of liberated areas: Any allied territory liberated by the Soviet Union is considered Soviet territory. The only way for such territory to revert to control of the original owner is if it is retaken by an Axis power and then re-liberated by the western allies. <<
This fits pretty well with what actually happened in Eastern Europe in 1944 and 1945, when that region came into the orbit of the USSR. One exception, however, is that in the months which followed the German surrender the Allies armies redistributed themselves to the predetermined lines of occupation that had been negotiated by their political leaders. The lines of military control where their armies had ended up in May 1945 didn’t quite match the predetermined plan, so for example – if my recollection is correct – the Soviets pulled out of Austria (and allowed the Americans to walk in) and the Americans pulled out of the Leipzig region (and allowed the Soviets to walk in).