THREE YEARS OF LEND-LEASE

Excerpts from President Roosevelt’s report on the economic operations that have given our allies the things they need to beat the enemy

lend-lease statisticsSince the beginning of the lend-lease program on Mar. 11, 1941, we have sent a total of more than 30,000 planes, about 25,000 tanks, and over 800,000 other military motor vehicles to the forces of our allies.

Over 23,000 of the planes, over 23,000 of the tanks, and almost 550,000 of the other motor vehicles went under lend-lease. The others were paid in cash by our allies.

Over half of all lend-lease aid has consisted of fighting equipment—planes, tanks, guns, ships, bombs and other finished munitions. The other supplies transferred under lend-lease—the industrial materials and products and the food—have been just as essential in the fighting.

The balance of lend-lease aid consists of services; the cost of shipping the supplies and ferrying the planes to battlefronts around the world; servicing and repairing damaged allied men-of-war and merchant ships; factories built in the U.S. with lend-lease funds to produce lend-lease equipment, and the cost of such other services as the allied pilot-training program.

What we have spent on lend-lease has been only 14 cents of every dollar spent by the U.S. for war purposes. The other 86 cents of each war dollar have been used by our own fighting men and our war production.



THE UNITED KINGDOM

In three years of lend-lease operations we have shipped to the United Kingdom over 7 billion dollars worth of lend-lease supplies. Sixty percent of them were shipped in the past year-between Mar. 1, 1943 and Mar. 1, 1944.

Britain’s Lancasters and Halifaxes and most of her fighters are produced in her own factories, but RAF Mitchell and Douglass A-20 bombers, RAF Thunderbolts and Mustangs and other American-made fighters and bombers flown by allied pilots are daily joining with the USAAF in attacking German invasion defenses.

At sea, additional thousands of lend-lease carrier-based fighter planes and dive bombers and long-range patrol bombers have helped to knock out the U-boat offensive and bring 99 out of every ships in convoys safe to port.

Over a billion dollars worth of ordnance and ammunition and almost a billion dollars worth of tanks and other military motor vehicles have been shipped to the United Kingdom under lend-lease—three quarters of the in the past year.

The export figures show not quite $200,000,000 worth of watercraft sent to the United Kingdom. That is the cost of landing barges, PT boats and other fighting raft small enough to be sipped aboard cargo vessels.

We have shipped 5,750,000 tons of steel and over 500,000 tons of other metals. These metals have come out of British factories fabricated into millions of additional tons of material that Britain could otherwise not have produced.

We have shipped hundreds of thousands of tons of explosives to be made into the bombs that the RAF drops on Berlin.

Shipments of food and other agricultural products to the United Kingdom have also been of vital importance to British war Production and British fighting power.

REVERSE LEND-LEASE AID

By the first of this year, the dollar value of goods, services and facilities provided by the United Kingdom to the U.S. Army, Navy and the Air Forces and to our Merchant Marine had totaled $1,526,170,000.

One-third of all the supplies and equipment currently required for our very great forces in the United Kingdom are provided by the United Kingdom and are provided under reverse lend-lease without payment by us.



THE SOVIET UNION

The United States has sent to the Soviet Union since the beginning of the lend-lease program almost 4 ¾ billion dollars worth of war supplies. Two-thirds of that among was shipped in the 12 months between Mar. 1, 1943 and Mar. 1, 1944.

Up to Mar. 1, 1944, we sent to Russia 8,8000 planes, more than we had sent under lend-lease to any other military theater. These included light and medium bombers, pursuit planes and transport planes. In the first 60 days of 1944 alone we sent more than 1,000 combat planes. The Soviet Air Force has shown a preference for Airacobra P-39 fighters, Douglas A-20 attack bombers and B-25 Mitchell medium, and many Russian flyers have made outstanding combat records flying these planes against the Nazis. The Russians are now also getting Thunderbolt P-47s.

Mobile equipment sent to the Soviet Union from the U.S. includes over 190,000 military trucks, 36,000 jeeps, 5,200 tanks and tank destroyers, and 30,000 other military motor vehicles.

Shipments of industrial materials and products from the U.S. have been of important assistance to the Soviet’s own production. We have sent, for example, 1,450,000 tons of steel,  420,000 tons of aluminum, copper, nickel, zinc, brass and other nonferrous metals, 200,000 tons of explosives and almost $200,000,000 of machine tools.

In addition to almost 7,000,000 pairs of Red Army boots, we have sent 35,000 tons of leather for production in Soviet factories of additional army boot, together with almost 30,000,000 yards of woolen cloth and 60,000,000 yards of cotton cloth for Soviet Army uniforms.

Lend-lease shipments of food to maintain Soviet Army rations totaled 2,600,000 tons up to Mar. 1, 1944. To help increase Russia’s production of her own foods, we gave also shipped almost 13,000 tons of seeds.



THE PACIFIC AND FAR EAST THEATERS

Almost 2 billion dollars or lend-lease war supplies have been shipped to the Pacific and Far East theaters for the war against Japan.

Approximately three-fifths of these supplies have consisted of fighting equipment for the Australian, New Zealand, Chinese, Dutch, British and Indian army, air, and naval forces fighting beside the U.S. forces.

Almost all the remaining shipments have consisted of industrial materials and products for the production of fighting equipment, food and strategic raw materials in Australia, New Zealand and India.

Lend-lease equipment has had an important role in the Burma campaign this year. The Chinese 22d and 38th Divisions, which include a Chinese tank corps, have made up a major part of the forces under Gen. Stilwell that have advanced down the Hukawng and Mogaung valleys, killed thousands of Japanese, retaken 7,500 square miles and are now halfway to the Chinese frontier. These divisions were trained and equipped in India under lend-lease.

To the south, airborne British jungle veterans have been cutting Japanese communication lines, while other British and Indian troops have fought back a Japanese counterthrust in the Kohima-Imphal area. These forces are also making use of lend-lease arms, in addition to equipment produced in India and Britain.

In the air over Burma the RAF and Indian Air Force are using American as well as British planes in combined operations with the USAAF.

From the northeastern Indian province of Assam runs the air line which has been our only direct connection with China since the Burma Road was cut two years ago.

Day in and day out, great numbers of transport planes make the trip. The monthly tonnage of supplies carried into China each month over the Hump is now 15 times what it was a year ago, and our shipments are increasing.

The great majority of lend-lease shipments to the India-China theater have, of necessity, so far gone only as far as India and Burma.

Reverse lend-lease aid furnished to the U.S. in India up to Mar. 1, 1944, totaled almost $150,000,000. Petroleum products, including aviation gasoline from the British refinery at Abadan (Iran) for the USAAF in India, make up a large part of the total.



AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

To supplement the equipment furnished from British and Australian war production, the U.S. has shipped them under lend-lease almost $200,000,000 worth of tanks and other military motor vehicles.

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST AND MEDITERRANEAN

Seventy-five percent of all lend-lease shipments for the war in the Mediterranean-African-Middle East theater has consisted of fighting equipment.

Over $300,000,000 worth of equipment and supplies have been consigned to the American commanding general in the field for lend-lease transfer to the French forces, in addition to lend-lease shipments made directly from the U.S.

SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRIES

Up to Mar. 1, 1944, actual lend-lease shipments to the other American republics have had a total value of less than $136,000,000, while lend-lease transfers in the same period totaled $169,000,000. Thus was less than 1 percent of lend-lease exports to all areas. Two-thirds of these military supplies went to Brazil.



 For Further Reading Check Out:

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II


Soviet Lend-Lease Fighter Aces of World War 2




For Related Articles See:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Past and Present WWII History Posts