ww2 facts, Lend-Lease

1. Lend-Lease is a U.S. aid bill during World War 2, the main purpose of which is to make use of America’s great productivity to aid other members of the Allies and to improve the combat capability of these countries. Throughout the period of World War 2, all aid supplies reached up to $ 50 billion. This is calculated based on the currency value in 1940. If adjusted for inflation, today the money worth up to $ 650 billion.

2. In all the countries of the Allies, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, France and China received the most aid. In the total $ 50 billion of goods and materials, Britain and Commonwealth members received more than 60%, the Soviet Union received 22%, France received 6% and China received about 3%. Although the UK received goods from the U.S., it also supplied a large number of aids to the Soviet Union, so the aids received actually by the Soviet Union were much higher than the proportion in the Lend-Lease. Because this bill was signed in March 1941, while the French government announced its withdrawal from the war as early as June 1940, so the aid offered to France was actually offered to the Free French movement led by Charles de Gaulle. China entered the war first. As early as in 1937 China and Japan had been engaged in a full-scale war, but the proportion of aid received was the lowest among the major countries of the Allies.

3. Assistance needed to be achieved through transportation. Aid offered to Britain was mainly achieved through the Atlantic sea lines. As the Allied navy controlled the Atlantic sea, a lot of materials could be supplied to support British. But there were a plenty of German submarines attacking merchant ships of the Allies in the lines. Later the Allied enhanced its anti-submarine capability, greatly reducing the losses caused due to submarine attacks. Aid to Free French could also be carried out by the same transport routes. And from the beginning to the end, Free French forces cooperated with the British troops to fight, so it was very easy to transmit materials. Aid to the Soviets was transported through three main channels. The main channel was transporting by the Pacific, representing 50% of the total aid to the Soviet Union. In addition, the proportion of aid to the Soviet Union through the Arctic accounted for 23%. The proportion of aid through the Persian Gulf to the Soviet Union accounted for 27%. In the three transportation routes, the most dangerous was the sea route through the Arctic, because this transport route could be attacked by the German army. Even so, 93% of the goods transported by this route arrived safely. The route through the Persian Gulf needed to pass through Persia. In order to ensure the smooth flow of this route, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union jointly invaded and occupied the country of Persia. The most secure transportation route with the largest transportation capacity was through the Pacific. Due to the cooperation relationship between the Soviet Union and Japan, aids to the Soviet Union could safely pass through the Pacific waters controlled by the Japanese. This behavior also blurred the distinction between the Allies and the Axis camps. As a member of the Axis, Japan indulged the Allies to transport goods within their own controlled area, largely leading to the failure of their alliance in the war in Europe. Eventually, the Allies, after defeating Germany, concentrated resources and quickly defeated the Japanese. Transportation of materials to China was the most difficult, because till 1941 China had lost all the coastal areas and materials could not be transported by sea. Transportation through southern neighbors was cut off because the Japanese quickly occupied the Southeast Asian region. Although vast areas of northern China could be used to transport goods, the Soviet Union participated in the Japanese blockade of China. Japan in return allowed aids to the Soviet Union from the Allies to pass through its controlled areas. That is to say, the main difficulty for the transportation to China resulted from the Soviet’s blockade. Throughout the period of World War 2, the transportation of materials to China mainly relied on a small amount of air transportation. And this air route was also extremely dangerous because it needed to cross Tibet. Elevation of the region was among the highest in the world. Ultimately, at least 500 transport planes crashed in the middle of the harsh terrain with 1,500 people killed. And only 650,000 tons of supplies were transported. Chinese military force not only could not be supplemented weapons, but also even the food was very scarce. A large number of Chinese troops were incapable of fighting because of hunger and lack of weapons.

4. The Soviet Union not only through the Lend-Lease obtained a lot of supplies from the United States, but also received the considerable amount of materials from the UK. For example, the Soviet Union received from the United States 11,400 aircrafts and 7,000 from the United Kingdom, totaling up to 18,400. Tanks received by the Soviet Union from the United States reached 7000 and 5000 from Britain, totaling up to more than 12,000. They also received 5000 armored vehicles, 400,000 trucks and jeeps, 5,000 anti-tank guns, and 1.75 million tons of grain obtained only from the United States, which were enough for a 4 million troop for four years.

5. The Lend-Lease Act enabled the Allies to make full use of its productivity and completely overwhelmed the production capacity of the Axis. After the United States entered the war, the productivity of the Allies at its peak was 5 times as big as the Axis. Ultimately, with strong strategic advantage, the Allies defeated their opponents.

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