PE_Sushi said:S ! all
Very interesting thread indeed.
Here’s what I read about some parts of lend lease to the USSR (will quote my sources later, haven’t got them at hand yet).
Lend leased armored vehicules and airplanes were not significant, more or less 10-15 % of Soviet production. In addition, lend leased aircrafts and tanks were not significantly better or better at all that their Russian counterparts, except for some aircrafts at the begining of lend lease program.
BUT, lend lease was very significant in at least 2 domains (+ other domains which I don’t know about, so I don’t say that these were the only 2 domains) :
- Motorized transport : this was a huge flaw of societ army, which was poorly motorized at the begining of Barbarossa and Soviet production alone could not rise in this domain because weapons were the priority. In this domain, the vehicules supplied thru lend lease equal in numbers the whole soviet production !!
- Radios. One Russian tank out of ten was equipped with radio of poor quality, aircraft were also poorly equipped. US supplied many many radios to the soviets, and these were way better than Soviet radios.
So at least in the motorized transport area we can say that lend lease was very very important, both in impact on operations and in relative numbers also (when compared to indigenous production)
of course, it didn’t changed the outcome of the war : just check the numbers or pure soviet tanks or aircraft produced, germans were far behind and eventualy had to be crushed . Russians won with Russian tactics, Russian hardware and, most of all, Russian manpower.
Well y'see I think it did change the outcome of the war. The 2 types of aid you mentioned, along with locomotives, were absolutely critical to the Red Army's ability to fight. Without trucks and locomotives it would have been very difficult for the Red Army to mobilize properly. It would have been next to impossible to move the necessary amounts of supplies to one location, meaning no big massive Soviet offensives of the manner they mounted in 43/44. For example, without locomotives and trucks supplied by Lend-Lease, the Soviet Motorized Rifle Divisions would have been largely trudging it on foot, as most of the horses had either been killed or eaten.
Without radios, it would have been very difficult for their armored units to function effectively. It was hard enough for the Red Army Tank Divisions to fight their panzer equivalents at the best of times never mind being without an effective way to coordinate and respond to local changes quickly enough as only radio communication could have achieved.
It's true that Russians won largely with Russian hardware and manpower but never forgot they learned their tactics the hard way from the Wehrmacht. And even then they lacked the tactical skill and finesse of their German opponents, instead relying on brute force to power past the Germans. Zhukov was a great Marshall for the Soviet Union, but he was no Guderian or Manstein. Everything he learned he copied from his enemies.