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Lend-Lease tanks and aircrafts

for Russia 1941-1945

Bell P-63 Kingcobra for Red Air Force
Bell's plant at Buffalo delivered well over 2,000 P-63 Kingcobra to Russia, where they stood up well to the harsh environment.

Lend Lease Tanks

The Red Army used extensive quantities of Lend-Lease tanks and other armoured vehicles from the USA, Great Britain and Canada. A total of 22,800 armoured vehicles were supplied to the Red Army during the war, of which 1,981 were lost at sea on the dangerous Arctic convoys. In total, Lend Lease armoured vehicles amounted to about 20 per cent of the total number of armoured vehicles manufactured by Russia in WW2. These shipments were the equivalent of 16 per cent of Soviet tank production, 12 per cent of self-propelled gun production, and all of Soviet armoured troop transporter production, because the Soviet Union did not produce armoured troop carriers during the war.
The first shipments of tanks were dispatched in 1941, amounting to 487 Matildas, Valentines and Tetrarchs from the UK and 182 M3A1 Stuart light tanks and M3 Lee medium tanks from the USA. In 1942, Britain provided a further 2,487 tanks and the USA 3,023 tanks. The first units equipped with Valentines and Matildas went into service in the Staraya Russa and Valdai areas in December 1941 and January 1942.
At the beginning of 1943, there were 1,023 Lend-Lease tanks in Soviet units although 6,179 had been received since 1941. In 1944 and 1945, with a major influx of American M4A2 Sherman medium tanks, some tank corps and mechanized corps were equipped entirely with this tank type. The M4A2 Sherman was not as brilliant a design as the T-34, but in post-war encounters between them in Korea and the Middle East, the US tank was invariably the victor despite the superiority of the T-34 on paper.

Far more critical to the Soviet war effort was the supply of tactical vehicles, primarily from the United States. During the war, the Soviet Union produced only 343,624 cars and lorries due to the heavy commitment of major automobile factories like GAZ to armoured vehicle production. The USA alone provided the Soviets with 501,660 tactical wheeled and tracked vehicles, including 77,972 jeeps, 151,053 1-1/2-ton trucks, and 200,622 2-1/2-ton trucks. The aid was vital, not only because of the sheer quantity, but because of the quality. While Soviet auto­motive production concentrated almost exclusively on antiquated copies of American 1930 lorry designs, the vehicles provided under Lend-Lease were modern military designs with multiple powered axles and useful cross-country capability.

In addition, 15,631 artillery guns and 131,633 sub-machine guns were supplied by the Allies to the Soviet Union.

Lend-Lease Armoured Vehicles supplied to the Red Army 1941-1945
Armoured vehicles supplied lost on sea arrived
US tanks
M3A1 Stuart 1,676 443 1,233
M5 Stuart 5 - 5
M24 Chaffee 2 - 2
M3 Lee 1,386 417 969 (?)
M4A2 Sherman 2,007 2,007 (?)
M4A2(76mm) Sherman 2,095 2,095 (?)
M26 Pershing 1 - 1
M31 ARV (tank recovery) 115 - 115
M15A1 MGMC (37mm AA) 100 - 100
M17 MGMC (quad machine-gun AA) 1,000 - 1,000
T48 tank destroyer (57mm gun) 650 - 650
M18 Hellcat 5 - 5
M10 Wolverine 52 - 52
M2-M9 Halftrack 1,178 54 1,124
M3A1 Scout Car 3,340 228 3,112
LVT 5 - 5
US Universal Carrier T16 96 ? 96 (?)
total 13,713 1,142 12,571
British tanks
Valentine 2,394 320 (includes Canadian) 2,074
Valentine Bridgelayer 25 - 25
Matilda Mk II 1,084 252 832
Churchill 301 43 258
Cromwell 6 - 6
Tetrarch 20 - 20
Universal Carrier 1,212 224 (includes US and Canadian) 988
total 5,042 839 4,203
Canadian tanks
Valentine 1,388 ? 1,388 (?)
Universal Carrier 1,348 ? 1,348 (?)
total 2,736 ? 2,736
OVERALL, TOTAL 21,491 1,981 19,510

Valentine tanks for Russia in Iran
Valentine Mk VIII tanks with 6pdr gun awaits unloading in Iran during transit to Russia.

Lend Lease Aircrafts

British Pilots of Hawker Hurricanes in RussiaThe disastrous course of the initial Russian response to the German invasion, and the resulting enormous losses suffered by the Red Air Force, made it necessary for the Allies to provide massive reinforcements until Soviet industry could produce modern aircraft in large quantities. The first foreign aeroplanes to arrive were two squadrons of Hawker Hurricanes, which were flown in combat by RAF pilots in the autumn of 1941 and then handed over to the Russians (see picture on the left: the British pilots were playing football in the snow at Murmansk).
Under the Lend-Lease act large numbers of American aircraft were assigned to Russia. A total of 14,833 US aircraft of all types were sent to Russia between 1942 and 1944.
Russian aircraft production 1942-1944 was 42,427 fighters and 11,797 bombersr
(additional 30,506 ground attack planes), which results that approximately 20 per cent of the fighters and 30 per cent of the bombers of the Red Air Force were American-built and approx. 10 per cent of the fighters were British-built.
Soviet aviation made full use of American and British aid throughout the war, in many cases using Western aircraft as the basis for new Russian designs. A number of American types, notably the Douglas C-47 Dakota and Boeing B-29 Superfortess, were simply copied without permission.

Lend-Lease aircrafts supplied to the Red Air Force 1942-1944
US aircrafts total British aircrafts total
Curtiss P-40 2,097 Curtiss Tomahawks, Kittyhawks 270
Bell P-39 Airacobra 4,746 Hawker Hurricane 2,952
Bell P-63 Kingcobra 2,400 Spitfire Mk V 143
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt 195 Spitfire Mk IX 1,188
B-25 Mitchell 862 Handley Page Hampden 46
Douglas A-20 Boston 2,908 Armstong Albemarle 14
total 13,208 total 4,613
OVERALL, TOTAL
17,821
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