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 one or other dangerous Arctic convoy .
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 armored troop carriers during the war.
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 Russian 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 (but probably because of the better trained crews in Western style armies).
Far more critical to the Soviet war effort was the supply of tactical vehicles, primarily from the United States. During the war, Russia 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 Russians 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 Russia.
|Armored vehicles||supplied||lost on sea||arrived|
|US armored vehicles|
|M3 Lee||1,386||?||969 (?)|
|M4A2 Sherman||2,007||(M3+M4 total 417)||2,007 (?)|
|M4A2(76mm) Sherman||2,095||?||2,095 (?)|
|M31 ARV (tank recovery)||115||-||115|
|M15A1 MGMC (37-mm AA gun)||100||-||100|
|M17 MGMC (quad AA MG)||1,000||-||1,000|
|T48 tank destroyer (57-mm AT)||650||-||650|
|M3A1 Scout Car||3,340||228||3,112|
|US Universal Carrier T16||96||?||96 (?)|
|British armored vehicles|
|Valentine||2,394||320 (including Canadian)||2,074|
|Matilda Mk II||1,084||252||832|
|Universal Carrier||1,212||224 (including US and Canadian)||988|
|Canadian armoured vehicles|
|Universal Carrier||1,348||?||1,348 (?)|
Lend Lease AircraftsThe 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 Hurricans, which were flown in combat by RAF pilots in the autumn of 1941 and then handed over to the Russians (see picture on the right).
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 bombers (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.
Russian 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.
|US and British aircrafts||Total|
|Bell P-39 Airacobra||4,746|
|Bell P-63 Kingcobra||2,400|
|Douglas A-20 Boston||2,908|
|Curtiss Tomahawks, Kittyhawks||270|
|Spitfire Mk V||143|
|Spitfire Mk IX||1,188|
|Handley Page Hampden||46|