Lend-Lease tanks and aircrafts

soviet flagLend-Lease tanks and aircrafts for Russia 1941-1945

P-63 Kingcobra lend-lease aircrafts for Russia

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 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.

M3 tanks on the railway near Murmansk

American M3 tanks on the railway near Murmansk after arriving in Northern Russia.

The first shipments of tanks were dispatched in 1941, amounting to 487 Matilda II, Valentines and Tetrarch tanks 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 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.

Valentine tanks in Iran during transit to Russia

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

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.


Lend-Lease Armoured Vehicles supplied to the Red Army 1941-1945
Armored vehicles supplied lost on sea arrived
US armored vehicles
M3A1 Stuart 1,676 443 1,233
M5 Stuart 5 - 5
M24 Chaffee 2 - 2
M3 Lee 1,386 ? 969 (?)
M4A2 Sherman 2,007 (M3+M4 total 417) 2,007 (?)
M4A2(76mm) Sherman 2,095 ? 2,095 (?)
M26 Pershing 1 - 1
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
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 (?)
US total 13,713 1,142 12,571
British armored vehicles
Valentine 2,394 320 (including 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 (including US and Canadian) 988
British total 5,042 839 4,203
Canadian armoured vehicles
Valentine 1,388 ? 1,388 (?)
Universal Carrier 1,348 ? 1,348 (?)
Canada total 2,736 ? 2,736
OVERALL 21,491 1,981 19,510

see also: Russian vs German tanks in WW2

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Lend Lease Aircrafts

British Hurricane pilots were playing football

British Hurricane pilots were playing football in the snow at Murmansk.

The 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 Hurricane fighters, 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.


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

  1. You spelled “Armoured” wrong it should be Armored, unless you’re British… in which case its still spelled wrong, because the Brits messed up their dictionary, but good job m8 I r8 8/8.

    • I think you will find that the English spelling was around long before the USA existed!

    • No only the USA spells it as “Armored” in the English-speaking world and beyond.
      It’s a French loan-word.

    • Only an American m…. could make such a mindless comment …’the Brits messed up their dictionary’

      • Some people are spelling Nazis and/or get all panty wadded over sentence structure. Don’t know why. I am about as American as one can be and I think either spelling of armored/armoured is just fine either way. Nor would I ever tell another country they had screwed up THEIR language except maybe in jest. When people start to get upset over spelling I think of reading the unedited Journals of Lewis and Clark. Lewis was the US President’s secretary and would often spell the same word 2 different ways in the same paragraph or page. If researched the amount of aid of all sorts sent to the USSR was stunning.

  2. Hey John I think you’ll find it’s the Americans that messed up their dictionaries. Seeing as the English language existed before the United States did I’ll take British English, thanks.

  3. This isn’t the place for a debate about British vs American spelling. Both are usually 100% readable by the other.

  4. The soviets got the license rights to the DC-3 before WW2, as well as the Japanese, and while admitting they produces a little over 2000, actually built at least a few thousand more.

  5. So much for the progressive lies that the Russians beat the Germans all by themselves. What isn’t included is that America give the red army about a years worth of food …. the rest of their provisions were from forage. Virtually none of the filibuster by the Russians came from Russia.

    • Russians never say that they fought alone. They always mention allie’s help during the ww2..On the contrary, Americans like to say that they saved the world without mentioning somebody else. Allies help was tremendous and helped to earn approximately 1.5 year of peace, but the main force in the land war was USSR. Period.

      • You’re wrong. I lived many years in the occupied territories of the Bolsheviks (Poland), I read many historical books published in the USSR, in which the authors wrote directly that the USSR was alone fighting with a coalition of “fascist” states, including the Home Army (Armia Krajowa). “Soviet historians” wrote how the great fascist Finland suddenly attacked the peaceful, small country of the world proletariat and Stalin. The aid of the Western states to Stalin’s empire was barely mentioned, sometimes bypassed by silence. In the Bolshevik books, the Polish Army was described as an ally of Hitler. The Bolsheviks have a short memory, they forgot how they had triggered the Second World War with Hitler. It’s a pity that this false propaganda in the historical books “cделано в СССР” has been removed from Polish libraries, it would be “funny”.

        • problem is that you lived in Poland. I had no idea about Poland because i never being in Poland but I do have idea about USSR where I was born and leave for 33 years. I don’t know about propaganda in Poland but I do know about propaganda in USSR. Official propaganda over there was always mentioning help of allies forces. Of, course, this help was diminished, but at least it was mentioned. Moreovere, Russian moviws shows American jeeps and studebeкеrs carring Russian missles Kaтюша.

        • Hey!
          What about your (Poland) joint invasion with Germany of Czechoslovakia in 1938? The country you partitioned afterwards with your ally – yes ally! Before Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, Poland has non-aggression treaty with Germany made much earlier, the one Soviets had.
          How many red-army soldier died and been killed in Polish POW-camps (Tuchola, Strzalkowo) from 1920-1922? Around 40 000 people.
          And talking about fascists, you were quite active in extermination of jews, ukrainians and other small nations, according to Josef Pulsidski. How was it called? Sanacja – ethnic cleansing.
          Now Poland has total memory loss about those facts.

    • Thanks for selling us shit during war; sitting back; dropping nukes on the Japanese civilians; and joining the European theater at the end of the war, just before USSR took Berlin. Didn’t even join the battle for Berlin.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwKPFT-RioU

      You’re welcome for having the greatest impact on the German army. Maybe if mainland US is invaded, we can sell you shit next time.

      • Soviet propanga always mentioned that USSR beat Germans with help of the USA and Britain. Always. Help from USA was tremendous but it started not from the beginning. As a matter of fact when Germans were near Moscow in October 1941, Stalin just met with American representative to discuss this help. Period. If USSR didn’t have American help it would fought another year or so, according to comment of Mr. Mikayan who was very close to Mr. Stalin all years from the 1917 to the 1953. Help was huge and loss of the soviets life’s were huge as well. So, every side gave as much as it can under their circumstances. Problem is today that a lot of times American propaganda says that Americans saves the world. Propagand fogot to add “together with Russians.”
        At the end of the soviet movie “Libearation” the people can read on the screen that Americans lost about 300000 people in this war. Soviets lost about 20 millions.
        Can you point to American movie which will introduce similar data?
        Thank you.

        • The loss of life was huge because Stalin and his generals did not care how many men died. There were disastrous offensives that cost half a million casualties that were swept under the rug until Glasnost. Then there were the 100,000 or so men executed to stiffen the resolve of the others, or for being taken prisoner. That is about the equivalent of nearly 10 Soviet divisions. When one knows that Joe Steel killed 20 million of his own countrymen to make collectivization happen, starving the Ukrainian and Russian kulaks to death, it makes you wonder if we were really fighting the right guy. Stalin’s pre- war, war and post war death count makes Hitler look like Mother Theresa. Stalin was having to deal with wars of independence in the Soviet occupied territories until the late 1950’s. One could say based on the events of the early 1990’s that the Warsaw Pact countries were not really allies of the Soviets as much as slave states.

          There is not doubt Hitler was a bad guy, but just comparing numbers Stalin was by far the worst of the two. Many Holocaust scholars believe that if Hitler had not started in on the Jews, that Stalin would have eventually, just like he did with the Polish Intelligentsia after the partition of Poland. I suggest you read, Bloodlands: the land between Hitler and Stalin. It gives a pretty horrific account of the mass murder on both the German and Soviet sides.

          • We are not talking about reasons for loses but we are talking about that soviets always mentioned participation of another allies and Americans do not mention at all.
            Why Russians had such loses is a completely different story and will be subject of another discussion if you are willing to participate in it.
            The only thing is that not you or myself have a full and complete information about that time, so both of us rely only on information we can read. But here is a catch for you: I was born and grew up in Odessa, USSR, so Russian language is my native one. I am reading about this war since I was a kid, also in my time almost anyone from previous generation took participation in this catastrophic event including my father ( Jew, Officer, communist – automatic death penalty if caught) who started to fight on June 24, 1941 (2 days after Hitler bombed USSR) and finished on May 9,1945 in Berlin. War stories were all over when I grew up, and stories about putting kulaks in prison were next to zero.
            Huge loses were due to mistakes of Stalin and generals. Nobody will take their mistakes from them. But…
            If you want to discuss it then be my guest. Thank you for your time.

          • We weren’t fighting the right guy. But, they guys who control America were fighting the right guy. And, because they control America, they made us fight their right guy for them. It’s all so simple, once you know about how money works and who controls it.

        • I lived in a country occupied by the Bolsheviks for almost 30 years. I do not remember the Bolshevik propaganda saying that the USSR defeated Germany with US and UK support. Moscow’s propaganda claimed that the Stalin state itself defeated the Nazis and their allies, while the assistance of Western states was small and insignificant. The Bolsheviks argued that the Americans and the British were doing their utmost to ensure that the Soviet Union could not easily defeat the Germans and that the Poles were helping Hitler. On the other hand, all data indicate that, without the help of Western states, Stalin’s empire would have fallen. It is worth to investigate the issue of the annual production of tanks in the USSR and the amount of losses incurred by RKKA during the following years of the war. It is also worth asking, why the USSR produced in 1931-1939 21322 tanks T-37, T-38, T-26, BT, T-28, T-35, as well as mass of other armaments? It is also worth asking who launched the second world war … It is worth asking whether the one who sets fire to the world can be considered a firefighter … It is worth to ask also how many of these 20 million killed Soviet citizens were murdered by the order of Stalin as ordered by Hitler, How many died because of the Soviet commanders’ incompetence.
          In conclusion I will say this: the gods of all countries, forbid the world against such “Liberators” as Stalin or Hitler. My family members were murdered by Nazis and Bolsheviks. Your entry smells of Soviet propaganda …
          Thank you for your attention

          • My family members were fighting against Nazi and some of them were killed on the battle fileds. I don’t know how my entry smells but I do know that the deal between Stalin and USA didn’t start until the end of 1941. So, the darkest days in Oct 41 when Germans were close to Moscow, soviets were fighting on their own and won!
            I don’t know how come you didn’t hear from soviet propaganda about economical help. Probably, because you didn’t want to hear it. Watch movie “liberation”. Over there foot soldiers eating canned meat and called it “2nd front”. This canned meat was part of American help.

        • Friend, Your “historical sciences” end in the Dniester and the Bug, where my “historical sciences” begin. I am a historian, I have studied many books. Soviet and Russian historical books diminish, sometimes bypassing Western aid during the Second World War. On the other hand, You are right, Americans often overlook the contribution of other nations to the victory over Hitler, but so do many nations …

          • How come you decide where is the end of my historical science? Secondary, your Poland was occupied by polish Bolsheviks and not by Russian s So, it was your’s own nation who run your own country. Third, to the best of my shorty knowledge, Stalin started war against Poland about 17 days after Hitler and his goal was to take bak western Ukraine and western Belorussia, land which was taken by your POLAND twenty years earlier. So, it was Polish people who occupied this land and knobody else. Nowadays, I am do hear voices to return this land back to Poland. Why? And also, if you are historian, could you, please provide explanation why such a peaceful Poland had in the thirties military plans to attack USSR? And I also want to give you an advice: no matter how many books you are reading there is always will be pieces of missing information. One of comments says that 100 000 were executed by Stalin. Another saying that Stalin killed 20 millions of kulaks! Where these numbers came from? Who counted these people? Who made this statistics? It is absolutely unknown. Loses of USSR were huge because initially about 7 millions of Germans crossed the borders and Russians simply wasn’t prepared for it. If each of 7 million will kill one Russian then automatically will be 7 million Russian corpses. Only absolutely blind person may say that Stalin did not care about his solgiers. Loses on poorly planned military operations were only because Russian generals were making mistakes. But they are human beings and all human beings are making mistakes including those who supervised Pearl Harbor, Dunker, and Bulge!!!!!!!

            Out of curiosity and only because one of comments says that if stalin was alive he would kill much more people then Hitler I also want to say “IF”.
            IF 7 millions Germans crossed the border of the USA or England then both coutries would give up in a matter of couple of weeks. Do not believe me? Then check out France. It had American and British support and …gave a shit in a two weeks.

      • Have you ever heard the phrase “you reap what you sow”?

        Russia earned everything that happened to it during ww2. They earned it in Finland and in Poland. Try to remember the Russian invasion of two sovereign nations when you complain about “going it alone”!

        • ^ Completely irrelevant, Jim. The Russian invasion of Finland and “Poland” has nothing to do with the effectiveness of Lend-Lease as it happened. Please try to keep your own personal insecurities to yourself.

          • American production defeated the Germans. Period. there is a reason the Germans were so careful about the US for as long as they were. They weren’t scared of anyone else and had no reason to be scared of anyone else they all got their asses handed to them. But they really would have lost in 1942 without the massive amounts of supplies they were given.

        • invasion in Finland and Poland are different things. War in Finland is not a Part of WW2. It is absolutely different wars. “invasion” in Poland was to get back just Ukrainian and Belorussian west lands which Russia lost 20 years earlier. Nobody today in Ukraine, Belorussia and Poland want to give this land back to Poland, because it was a proper move by USSR.

  6. Nice write-up on the Combat Effectiveness of the various combatants in WWII. I read the original Trevor Dupuy study which was somewhat more qualitative than later numbers I read. I cannot for the life of me recall what book I read it in. It gave numbers of CE of 3-1 on the Russian Front and a bit more even odds on the western. I want to read your numbers to digest the statistics a bit more. Do you have more recent citations of studies upon which you based your tables?

    On another point, I raise the ire of our Russian friends on the Quora forum (from which I have since been banned…lol) by pointing out, much as you have that the Soviets could not have won without the west. I made the same Identical points you do along with a few others.

    Your tables of Soviet tank, artillery, and transport production would have to all be scaled down due to the fact that Soviet industrial capacity would have been bled off to produce such things a locomotives, boots, wire, and all the sundry other things the US and Britain sent the Russians, not the least of which was food. Without the ability to focus on building tanks, planes, artillery and trucks how many fewer of each would they have produced. In the dark days of 41 and 42 US and British production filled the gap. How much farther might the Germans have gotten without Lend Lease equipment.

    Have a great day and keep up the good works.

  7. In the debate on aid, just remember the following reverse analogy. If my son has a drug problem and comes to me for money to help him buy food for his kids and to pay his rent, I am really enabling his drug habit. I am doing so, because ANY of MY money I give him will allow him to use HIS money to buy drugs. In the case of the Soviets and foreign aid it is the same case. ANY aid they received allowed them to use their limited and shrinking industrial capacity to manufacture other things that were critically needed. One commenter mentions canned meat as an example of the “token” aid given by the US. Well, starving soldiers don’t fight too well for long. Seems some of the Stalinist attitude took hold from teaching in school. A T-34 tank with no petrol, and a bootless, starving and freezing crew is called a practice target. As a wise man once said, Professionals talk logistics, amateurs talk strategy. In other words, an army moves on its stomach, boots, fuel tanks and truck tires. It has to get to the fighting to do any good. If the West had not caused Hitler to siphon off troops, air squadrons and sent supplies, the Soviets would not have triumphed.

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