World War II in Ukraine:

Lend-Lease: Lifeline for the USSR

Andrew Gregorovich

Lend-Lease: Lifeline for the USSR

American, British and Canadian Lend-Lease made a significant difference in the progress of the Soviet armies against Hitler's armies. However, the USSR tried to keep this information limited and the role of Lend-Lease is generally not well known although it constituted about 15 per cent of the total equipment used by the USSR, particularly almost one-half million American trucks. It was said that the only thing that moved through the mud towards Germany were the Ukrainian T-34 tanks with their wide tracks and the American Studebaker trucks.

The USA supplied the USSR with 6,430 planes, 3,734 tanks, 104 ships and boats, 210,000 autos, 3,000 anti-aircraft guns, 245,000 field telephones, gasoline, aluminum, copper, zinc, steel and five million tons of food. This was enough to feed an army of 12 million every day of the war. Britain supplied 5,800 planes, 4,292 tanks, and 12 minesweepers. Canada supplied 1,188 tanks, 842 armoured cars, nearly one million shells, and 208,000 tons of wheat and flour. The USSR depended on American trucks for its mobility since 427,000 out of 665,000 motor vehicles (trucks and jeeps) at the end of the war were of western origin.

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Copyright © 1995 Andrew Gregorovich

Reprinted from FORUM Ukrainian Review No. 92, Spring 1995

since March 1st 1997