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Thread: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

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    Default Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    By the late summer of 1941 the world watched, and waited, for what seemed like the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union. The Germans had penetrated deep into Russian territory and were on the doorsteps of the capital. The Red Army had lost millions of men, and tens of thousands of tanks and aircraft.
    Recovery looked impossible. The Nazis occupied the primary agricultural regions of the country, and had also overrun a large portion of Russia’s industrial zones. What factories remained were in pieces, and in transit to their new locations far behind the front lines.

    However, despite significant setbacks and incredible losses, the Russians did the impossible – they stopped the Germans. During the pivotal stage of the invasion, from October to December, the Red Army managed to recover enough to halt the German advance eastward. Not only was the defensive battle a resounding success, but the subsequent counter-attack that began in the first week of December around Moscow gave the Russians hope for the eventual defeat of the Nazis. The December offensive was eventually expanded to include the entire front, from Leningrad to Rostov, and ran into the late spring of 1942.

    Up until the end of that year, the Russians worked feverishly to re-establish their industrial capacity and recover from the devastating losses experienced in the opening stages of the German invasion. By June 1942, American Lend-Lease shipments were starting to roll into the Soviet Union. These much-needed supplies would go a long way to propping up the Russian war machine, and its impact has been widely debated both on these forums and in the historiography of the issue itself.

    One aspect of Lend-Lease that is quite often overlooked, and which gets very little attention here at TWC, is the First Moscow Protocol that technically ended in June 1942. Members here have often downplayed its role, if not ignored it altogether. Perhaps this is due to a lack of understanding, or an unwillingness to examine its impact on the early part of the war in the East. In any event, I will try to provide as objective an overview of it as possible.

    During the First Protocol the British were the primary providers of aid to the Russians for the only reason that the American economy was just beginning to find itself on a war footing. These early shipments were quite significant for the Russians as they struggled to make good the losses of 1941. While the early LL aid certainly didn’t “save” the Soviets, it did play a much more significant role than has been acknowledged.

    By the end of June 1941, the Russians had started requesting materiel from the British and Americans. They asked for 3000 fighter planes, 3000 bombers, anti-submarine sonar (ASDIC) as well as a massive quantity of raw material and other goods. Despite the requests, there was considerable resistance from within the US to the thought of supplying the Russians with any material at all – whether purchased through a cash and carry program, or via Lend Lease.

    The difficulty facing the British was meeting their own needs, while at the same time being the primary provider to the Soviets until the Americans could formally include Russia in the Lend Lease Act. It wasn’t until late September that the big 3 Allies were able start negotiations for a more detailed itinerary for the First Protocol, and it wouldn’t be until November when Russia was formally included in the LL program. It was eventually agreed to supply 200 planes and 250 tanks on a monthly basis, along with other equipment/resources vital to the Soviet war effort.

    According to Alexander Hill, the Russians were only able to produce 4649 “principle types (T34, KV series, and light tanks)” of tanks in the second half of 1941, and 11178 for the first six months of 1942. The British managed to deliver 1442 during this time. While the British vehicles were inferior to the T34, the Russians had been unable to produce the T34 in any appreciable numbers until after the end of the First Protocol, giving the British vehicles value that went beyond their technical characteristics.

    The Russians only managed to produce 2819 medium/heavy tanks from June until December (while total med/heavy AFV losses during the same time amounted to 3200, and pre-war stocks being around 1400), and these were supplemented by 361 medium/heavy British vehicles (with 466 total AFVs delivered).

    On December 1st, Red Army tank strength stood at 6347, with only about 1400 being medium or heavy. Thus, British Lend-Lease vehicles represented 25% of all available Russian medium/heavy tanks. The importance of Lend-Lease vehicles becomes even more evident when the situation in front of Moscow is examined in more detail. According to Soviet sources, the Red Army had a total of 670 tanks, of which 205 were medium or heavy. Of the integrated and Independent tanks units operating in the Battle for Moscow, Hill asserts that 30 – 40% of their medium/heavy tanks were of British origin!
    During the spring and early summer of 1942, tanks from the UK continued to play a valuable role in Soviet formations. While the ratio of LL to domestic vehicles steadily declined as Russian production began to kick in, LL vehicles still amounted to 16% of total available strength.

    Of even more importance to the USSR during the First Moscow Protocol were the deliveries of aircraft. According to Mark Harrison, the Russians produced a total of 16468 planes between June 1941 and June 1942. During the same period, the UK supplied 1323 fighter planes. On the surface, this appears to be of only minor importance, but if we take into consideration combat losses by the Red Air Force, these LL planes take on greater significance. Including pre-war stocks, and deliveries in 1941, the Russians had cycled almost 30000 planes through frontline service, resulting in losses of 18000 planes! The December 31st stock of fighter planes was only 7900 aircraft, including an approximate number of 700 LL fighters.

    Soviet Air Defence units (PVO) saw increasing numbers of LL supplied planes fill their orders of battle. The 6th Fighter Air Corps of Moscow had 15% of its compliment of aircraft supplied by LL for the defence of Moscow, and overall, by the end of 1942, LL planes made up 27.5% of PVO forces. Many air regiments in the far north had even higher proportions of LL planes, serving as the backbone for the aerial defence of Murmansk, Karelia and Archangel.

    To be conintued...next time I post, it'll be about materiel, resources, and other goods supplied by the British during the First Protocol. I'll also supply a complete list of all sources I've used (none of which include the internets...)
    Last edited by OTZ; October 09, 2007 at 06:08 PM.

  2. #2
    HansDuet's Avatar Tribunus
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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol

    Yes, United States saved Russia and after that defeated the evil nazis and then they saved the world from ungrateful USSR. We all are in dept for them! :usflag:
    (Very high sarcasm level)
    Now. Yes Lend-lease was important. But surely not comparable to 20 million dead Russians.
    All other WW2 discussions have ended in Lend-Lease, so this is first real Lend-lease thread. Great.


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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol

    the main reason why Russians suffered heavy losses was due to absolutely redculous strategic errors by the generals and higher govt, including Stalin.

    the entire air force was pretty much wiped out during the first days of the war. thanks to Stalin's "brilliant" placement of the airfields next to the borders.

    also, there seemed to be a huge paranoia of the Germans before the war, so the orders of "do not be open to any provocations" (i.e. try to keep the peace at all costs) were still at large. virtually any German advance could be interpreted as porovocation, so were a lot of hesitant commanders and officers - such were the rule of engagement. needless to say, German troops also knew what they were doing...

    the reason why Russians stopped the Germans at Moscow because by that time the country was already fully mobilized and geared up to fight the scumbags. Germans and their allies also suffered heavy losses...

    the Land Lease did help, but the war was not won due to it. it is like glorifying Nike Shoes and say that a certain basketball player is worthless without them. sure, the shoes help, but the player is the main actor .

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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol

    without lend lease though, the russia wouldnt have been able to move all those troops and supplies to the fronts, they would have had to switch their focus onto the production of things other then just guns and tanks and planes that were essential to the battlefield.

    case in point is that russia never developed an APC during the war, all troops were either rode on the backs of tanks or in open vulerable trucks.

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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    dude, my great grandpa's 49th infantry division marched ON FOOT from Iran to Stalingrad. please dont underestimate the abilities of Soviet peasantry .

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    Gelgoog's Avatar Jū kihei
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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    Quote Originally Posted by .Czar View Post
    dude, my great grandpa's 49th infantry division marched ON FOOT from Iran to Stalingrad. please dont underestimate the abilities of Soviet peasantry .
    yes but who would carry all the supplies to keep them in the field?

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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    the reason why Russians stopped the Germans at Moscow because by that time the country was already fully mobilized and geared up to fight
    QFT
    Germans underestimated the mobilization potential of USSR. They estimated about 6 mln new soldiers total, while Stalin managed to get 12 mln by the end of 1941. Besides, Germans counted on poor experience and inabilities of fresh commanding officers after Stalin wiped out the old ones.
    It is funny how at the end of the war some Germans were (and Hitler himself) saying "Why didn't we do the cleaning like Stalin in 1937? Now we are facing the consequences..."
    As to 30% of tanks under Moscow. It is a good number. It is just the thing that tanks are mostly useless in the defensive war, they are nothing but mobile artillery with zero visibility. They came in handy after December 5, though. So, did those 30% tanks saved Moscow? No. Artillery, antitank rifles, grenades and Molotov cocktails together with antitank ditches and tranches did. But those tanks had their share in the counteroffensive. Now need to find the % of LL tanks/planes after December 5. That would be nice.

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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    Quote Originally Posted by scheuch13 View Post
    yes but who would carry all the supplies to keep them in the field?
    I dont know, horses? what means of logistics do you think everybody used during WW1?

    oh, btw, horses do not necesserily need either roads or gasoline . just grass and water. Russia has plenty of both .

    what where zee germans up to? oh wait, same ****...
    Last edited by Panzerbear; October 09, 2007 at 08:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    It is just the thing that tanks are mostly useless in the defensive war, they are nothing but mobile artillery with zero visibility.
    LOL

    Tell that to von Manstein...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Battle_of_Kharkov

    It seems that you rely to much on static defense my friend instead of flexible defence combined with fast and powerfull counter attacks. Especialy the eastern front was one were flexible defense and counterattacks played a LARGE role. Stalingrad would have been a bitter defeat for the Red Army if not for the counterattack.

    Moscow may have been different but that was not because the terrain would not have been suited for a flexible defense or a counter attack would have been unfeasable but because the fall of Moscow would meant the loss of the single most important railroad hub cuting of larged parts of the front from any support. WW1 has shown already that the Russian army however proficient it may be (and trust me I have great respect for it) can not operate without a good supply system. You may not need oil for the horses but you need ammunition for the guns, food for the soldiers, clothes, spareparts and MUCH more even if you are going pursue a strategy/tactic of static defense.

    Regarding the Importance of LL I don't think that it was the main responsible factor for the stabilization of the front in late 1941. While the Red Army was at first overwhelmed by the Germans who made good use of the surprise element it's resistance had sufficently stiffened at least since Smolensk to give the Germans at least bloody nose and the success of the defense of Moscow can mainly be atributed to the Siberian reinforcements instead of LL.
    Last edited by SorelusImperion; October 09, 2007 at 08:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    Quote Originally Posted by SorelusImperion View Post
    WW1 has shown already that the Russian army however proficient it may be (and trust me I have great respect for it) can not operate without a good supply system. You may not need oil for the horses but you need ammunition for the guns, food for the soldiers, clothes, spareparts and MUCH more.
    the WW1 has shown how retarded it is to rush into the war to save allies from immediate crushing defeat, without any decent prior war preparations.

    France did manage to stay afloat, but at the expence of hundreds of thousands of Russian deaths... horses have nothing to do with the abilites of Russians to deliver supplies. the rest of the world relied on horses just as much in WW1 and did their logitics parts quite well.

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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    the WW1 has shown how retarded it is to rush into the war to save allies from immediate crushing defeat, without any decent prior war preparations
    Still you pulled of the Brussilov offensive. The Germans pissed their pants recognizing the stagering losses inflicted upon Austria and there are those who think that IF the Russian army would have gone on the offensive in the northern and central front segments it could have well ended the war in Russia's favour although that is open to speculation. Nevertheless I postulate that if some more capable officers like Brussilov would have been in charge instead of people like Kuropatkin the end result of WW1 would probably have been quite different.

    France did manage to stay afloat, but at the expence of hundreds of thousands of Russian deaths... horses have nothing to do with the abilites of Russians to deliver supplies. the rest of the world relied on horses just as much in WW1 and did their logitics parts quite well.
    Because their railway-network was much more advanced than the Russian one. Imperial Russia's problem was not the pre-war preperation in terms of equipment or training (in fact much of it's equipment was of such high quality that it was in use untill the 50's) but it's horrible infrastructure. Keep in mind the food riots. These were not the result of a bad harvest or something. There were large stockpiles of food just rotting away since the infrastructure could not handle it. Another factor would be the missing strategic reserve but while almost all nations had this problem as they underestimated the amount of ammunition they would need.

    I think I should also make more clear that 1941 Soviet Russia relying on horses for supply is mostly a "what if" situation in case Moscow would fall as many areas would have been simply cut of from the railroad network.
    Last edited by SorelusImperion; October 09, 2007 at 08:54 PM.
    Frederick II of Prussia: "All Religions are equal and good, if only the people that practice them are honest people; and if Turks and heathens came and wanted to live here in this country, we would build them mosques and churches."
    Norge: "Give me a break. Nothing would make you happier than to see the eagle replaced with a crescent."

    Ummon:"enforcing international law will require that the enforcers do not respect it"
    Olmstead v USA:"Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means-to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal-would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this court should resolutely set its face."








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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    Quote Originally Posted by SorelusImperion View Post
    I think I should also make more clear that 1941 Soviet Russia relying on horses for supply is mostly a "what if" situation in case Moscow would fall as many areas would have been simply cut of from the railroad network.
    Moscow was inded a very importaint rail road hub.

    but here is the map of Russian rail roads network.
    http://www.translogist.ru/maps/ru/map.asp
    the vast majority of this was also present during WW2 (since rail road was the main means of travel back then).

    as you can see, if Moscow is being cut off, there are other ways to transport supplies virtually anywhere. it would be a major pain to go around it, but oh well...

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    Shurup's Avatar Suguchi
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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    Tell that to von Manstein...
    LOL,
    I was referring to Moscow battle, amigo! I am pretty darn aware of counteroffense as a method of defense. In one of the topics I was arguing exactly the same.
    the success of the defense of Moscow can mainly be atributed to the Siberian reinforcements instead of LL.
    The Siberian share in the Moscow battle was 15%. This mistake is originated from Germans. They saw asian faces and decided they came from Siberia. In fact, most reinforcements came from Kazakhstan (Panfilov division) and Azerbajan.

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    Roman Clone's Avatar Centurio Primus Ordine
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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    Wow....... I knew the germans were kicking Russia's but they actually reached Moscow? That's a huge slap to the face.......

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    Shurup's Avatar Suguchi
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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    these were supplemented by 361 medium/heavy British vehicles
    Here Hill lies.

    According to this document these 361 tanks are composed of 216 Valentain (light tank) and 145 Matilda (medium tank). So there are no 361 heavy/medium tanks, just 145 medium tanks.
    So, if he is not a reliable source here, then I think he is very likely to be unreliable everywhere else.

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    Shurup's Avatar Suguchi
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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    I knew the germans were kicking Russia's but they actually reached Moscow?
    You will be surprised, but they also reached Leningrad, Voronezh, Stalingrad, Caucasus.
    That's a huge slap to the face.......
    Damn, I hate Napoleon

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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shurup View Post
    Here Hill lies.

    According to this document these 361 tanks are composed of 216 Valentain (light tank) and 145 Matilda (medium tank). So there are no 361 heavy/medium tanks, just 145 medium tanks.
    So, if he is not a reliable source here, then I think he is very likely to be unreliable everywhere else.
    The Valentine was calssified as a medium tank. I beleive most "cruisers/infantry" tanks were at the time.

    N.I. Biriukov, Military Commissar of the
    Main Auto-Armor Board of the Red Army calssified the Valentines as Medium, due to its armour level, armament, and speed, and issued them to units as such.

    As for Hill's credibilty, I would't really question it too much based on the "document" you've posted. He's quickly becoming an expert on Russian military affairs and is actaully well respected by his academic peers.

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    Perkele's Avatar Pili Prior
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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    Quote Originally Posted by OTZ View Post
    Many air regiments in the far north had even higher proportions of LL planes, serving as the backbone for the aerial defence of Murmansk, Karelia and Archangel.
    ...however these do not really matter all that much. The germans were never able to advance in Lapland, and the finns were not going to advance in Karelia. Meaning that air defence in the area was somewhere way down in the list of importance for Soviet Union.

    All that those air units really mattered for was the protection of lend lease convoys.

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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    Quote Originally Posted by Perkele View Post
    ...however these do not really matter all that much. The germans were never able to advance in Lapland,
    The Russians didn't know in advance that the Germans would be unable to overrun the Kola peninsula, which makes this statement...

    Meaning that air defence in the area was somewhere way down in the list of importance for Soviet Union.
    ...not quite accurate.

    The Soviets did attach considerable significance to the region, since Murmansk was the only year round port on the Northern Convoy route. Given the fact that the Aid from First Moscow Protocol would be coming almost entirely from the UK, Archangel and Murmansk were quite valuable to the Russians.

    From what I have read as well, the LL planes were more suited to the colder climate, while at the same time their use allowed the Russians to channel a lot of their more modern fighter-planes to more hard pressed Fronts.

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    Default Re: Lend-Lease to Russia: The First Moscow Protocol. June 1941- June 1942.

    I don't really agree with that. Do you have any numbers to back up this claim? The air forces in this area were not that big to make any big difference anywhere else.

    Furthermore are you claiming that those aircraft had a significant effect on the battles in Lapland?

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