Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Guardian on WWII: Get a Grip....on the Facts, please

The Taipei Times, Taiwan's best newspaper, recently published an article on from the Guardian on WWII. I wish some people would catch up to recent research....
In reality they needed each other. Soviet efforts required the flow of resources under the "Lend Lease" program. Weapons were few, and the Soviets regarded them as second-rate. But the supply of raw materials, food and communications equipment was essential. It allowed Soviet industry to concentrate on weapons to fight back with.
"Weapons were few?" Are we smokin' dope here? Hello.....the US supplied the Soviets with half of their aviation gas, and taught them how to make high octane gas. No high octane, no avgas. No avgas, no Russian victory in the East. That the Soviets regarded them as second-rate is a bit of postwar Communist legendizing. The reality is that the Soviets equipped several Guards armored units with US tanks (the 3rd Guards, for example), and several entire units were made up of US-issue equipment. The reality is that US equipment was widely admired in the Soviet Union. Lend-lease supplied most Soviet trucks and almost all USSR locomotives and most of its rolling stock. 40% of the food came from the US, along with nearly half of their explosives, most of their radios, communications wire, etc, etc, etc,. Tanks and aircraft equivalent to 10% of USSR production in those two categories were sent. Given this, the oft-fantasized clash between the US and the USSR in Germany in '45 would have resulted in a resounding USSR collapse, for they were completely dependent on the US to sustain their war effort.

Just thought I'd correct a few errors here.


Anonymous said...

Clyde Said:

And many pushed Roosevelt to pull back some on the support just to prepare for such a conflict, but both he and Truman were sucked into Stalin's reality distortion field. Stalin played them both so well in order to get that all important support.

Red A said...

Very informative post Michael.

US made Jeeps from Lend-Lease were even used by the North Koreans in the Korean War. Pretty rugged vehicles.

Now, maybe they used our tanks, too, but wasn't the T-34 far superior to anything we made?

Michael Turton said...

The rep of the T-34 was made by the T-34/85 model. The T-34/76 was a fine tank, but suffered from innumerable problems. Another factor in its rep was that it became the mainstream soviet tank only after '43, when its teething troubles were solved. Hence people forget that how much trouble it had in the first two years of the war. Not that it wasn't a better tank than the Germans had in '41-2!

This labor of love site on Soviet tanks has a fantastic discussion of development problems and drawbacks of the T-34/76


They used to have great page with an evaluation by US engineers of Soviet tanks given early in the war. Soviet machining, transmissions, etc, were all wildly inferior to US. The T-34/85's 85mm gun performed about as well as the US 76mm anti-tank gun at shorter ranges. In Korea US light tanks were creamed by the T-34/85, but they proved to be no match for Shermans.

Red A said...

I always thought the Shermans were outclassed by German and Russian tanks. I'll check out that site.