aid, clothes, FDR, food, food Aid, food rationing, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Germany, Khrushchev, Lend-Lease, military equipment, Nazi Germany, Putin, Russia, Russian debt, Stalin, supplies, toys, US AID, US aid to Russia, US aid to the Soviet Union, USSR, Victory Gardens, wartime aid, World War II
The US Should Demand Russia Pay the Balance of Over $170 Billion and Demand Interest, as well. This is in April 2022 dollars.
This support to the USSR was over a period of less than four years, because the Soviet Union was allied with Nazi Germany until June of 1941, and Victory in Europe Day was early May 1945.
The US Government requested that the USSR pay back a mere 11.5%, but only got the equivalent of approximately 1.5%, with no interest, many decades later.
In April 2022 dollars, US lend lease averages out to over $50 billion per year to the USSR-Russia, a country who hated the United States, and still hates the United States. It even included an entire tire factory.
This is aid to the USSR, only, and excludes aid to the UK and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the US had food rationing and Victory Gardens to help the war effort.
$1 in Jan. 1942 had the purchasing power of $18.41 in April 2022. Therefore, it would be around $208 Billion today. So, on average, over $50 Billion per year. https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm “From 1941 through 1945, the U.S. sent $11.3 billion, or $180 billion in 2016 dollars, in goods and services to the Soviets”. The estimate given of $180 million in 2016 is $216 million today (using June 2016). https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm
The USSR eventually agreed to pay around half of the $1.3 billion requested ($722 million). The $1.3 billion requested was only 11.5% of the original amount. It had so devalued by the time that they paid it, that they only paid the value of around 1.5%. In 1972 the USSR paid $48 million: June 1942 $48 million was worth $122.8 million in 1972. So, they paid only around 39% on that part of what was paid (i.e. 6% of what was paid). Russia paid $674 million in 1993. $674 million in 1942 was worth $5,970.9 million ($5.9 billion) in 1993 only about 11% of its original value. https://web.archive.org/web/20220420103014/https://www.rbth.com/defence/2016/03/14/lend-lease-how-american-supplies-aided-the-ussr-in-its-darkest-hour_575559
The following article has some interesting pictures which are under copyright, but may be seen at the link: https://share.america.gov/america-sent-equipment-to-soviet-union-in-world-war-ii/
“America sent gear to the USSR to help win World War II
By Lauren Monsen –
Apr 29, 2020
Even before the United States entered World War II in December 1941, America was sending arms and equipment to the Soviet Union to help it defeat the Nazi invasion.
Although in August 1939 the Soviet Union and Germany had signed a nonaggression treaty, Germany’s June 1941 invasion of the USSR brought their alliance to an end, forcing the Soviets to confront the Nazis as enemies. President Franklin D. Roosevelt convinced Congress the U.S. should provide military aid to nations “vital to the defense of the United States.”
“We cannot, and we will not, tell [them] that they must surrender, merely because of present inability to pay for the weapons which we know they must have.”
Under the Lend-Lease Act, enacted nine months before the U.S. entered the war, Washington dispatched war supplies to Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union. While the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. disagreed in other areas, the threat Hitler posed to the world brought them to a common objective.
Technically, the U.S. lent these materials. As Roosevelt told cost-conscious Americans: “Suppose my neighbor’s home catches fire. … If he can take my garden hose and connect it up with his hydrant I may help him to put out his fire. Now, what do I do? I don’t say to him before that operation, ‘Neighbor, my garden hose cost me $15; you have got to pay me $15 for it.’ I don’t want $15 — I want my garden hose back. In other words, if you lend certain munitions, and munitions come back after the war, you are all right.”
Ultimately, the U.S. did not seek or expect much in the way of monetary repayment. Some wartime debts were later settled at a greatly reduced rate, but Lend-Lease was mostly a grant by the United States, the nation Roosevelt called the “arsenal of democracy” to its partners against Nazism and fascism.
Equipping the Red Army
After Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941, America sent the first convoys with goods to the Soviet Union by August.
The scope of the aid is detailed by Russia Beyond, an online publication of Russia’s state newspaper (Rossiyskaya Gazeta), and also by many historians, including U.S. policy analyst Albert L. Weeks in his 2004 book Russia’s Life-Saver: Lend-Lease Aid to the USSR in World War II.
In the final tally, America sent its Russian ally the following military equipment:
* 400,000 jeeps and trucks
* 14,000 airplanes
* 8,000 tractors
* 13,000 tanks
And these supplies:
* More than 1.5 million blankets
* 15 million pairs of army boots
* 107,000 tons of cotton
* 2.7 million tons of petroleum products (to fuel airplanes, trucks, and tanks)
* 4.5 million tons of food
Americans also sent guns, ammunition, explosives, copper, steel, aluminum, medicine, field radios, radar tools, books and other items.
The U.S. even transported an entire Ford Company tire factory, which made tires for military vehicles, to the Soviet Union.
From 1941 through 1945, the U.S. sent $11.3 billion, or $180 billion in 2016 dollars, in goods and services to the Soviets”.
[$1 in January 1942 is $18.41 April 2022, which would then be $208 billion; $180 billion in 2016 is $216 billion today.]
“The difference it made
In a November 1941 letter to Roosevelt, Soviet Premier Josef Stalin wrote:
“Your decision, Mr. President, to give the Soviet Union an interest-free credit of $1 billion in the form of materiel supplies and raw materials has been accepted by the Soviet government with heartfelt gratitude as urgent aid to the Soviet Union in its enormous and difficult fight against the common enemy — bloodthirsty Hitlerism.”
At a dinner toast with Allied leaders during the Tehran Conference in December 1943, Stalin added: “The United States … is a country of machines. Without the use of those machines through Lend-Lease, we would lose this war.”
Nikita Khrushchev, who led the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, agreed with Stalin’s assessment. In his memoirs, Khrushchev described how Stalin stressed the value of Lend-Lease aid: “He stated bluntly that if the United States had not helped us, we would not have won the war.”
Unearthing a forgotten story
The former Museum of the Allies and Lend-Lease, in Moscow, offered physical evidence of America’s contributions to the Soviet war effort.
When the museum opened in 2004, the son of Soviet Marshal K.K. Rokossovsky donated his father’s American-made World War II Willys jeep. The museum displayed the still-operational vehicle and even took it on occasional driving trips. The museum also showcased a unique collection of uniform buttons carrying Soviet symbols on the front and stamped “Made in Chicago” on the back.
The museum is no longer active, but its former director, Nikolai Borodin, remains dedicated to publicizing the Lend-Lease story. In addition to military aid, he says, the U.S. sent food, clothes and toys to Russian civilians.
Under Lend-Lease, “whatever was asked for was received,” he says.
In his May 9, 2005, remarks at a Moscow parade honoring the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory against Nazi Germany, Russian President Vladimir Putin honored Russian sacrifices — the U.S.S.R. suffered more casualties than any other force engaged in the war — and acknowledged Allied help in winning World War II.
Putin noted that “61 nations and almost 80 percent of the world’s population” were affected by the war in some way, and Allied help was integral to defeating Hitler.
“Dear friends, we never divided the victory into ours and someone else’s,” Putin said. “We will always remember the assistance from the Allies: the United States of America, Great Britain, France and other nations of the anti-Hitler coalition, [plus] German and Italian anti-fascists.”
Decades earlier, addressing the U.K. House of Commons shortly after Roosevelt’s death in April 1945, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill hailed the late president for ensuring the delivery of U.S. aid to the Allies during the largest armed conflict in human history.
Roosevelt, Churchill said, “devised the extraordinary measure of assistance called Lend-Lease, which will stand forth as the most unselfish and unsordid financial act of any country in all history.”
American leaders, for their part, were well satisfied that the Lend-Lease program helped achieve their objective: the defeat of Hitler.
Russia claims to have repaid the debt. Clearly this is false. If you bought a new Ford for around $1,000 in the 1940s and paid no interest and failed to pay until 50 years later, neither the car dealership, nor the bank, would consider that you paid. Furthermore, you couldn’t buy much of a used car for $1,000 in 1993. Here are the prices of cars in the 1940s: https://www.thepeoplehistory.com/40scars.html And, in the 1990s: https://www.thepeoplehistory.com/90scars.html
This post was first drafted in May, which is why it is in April 2022 $. While we strive to be accurate, always double check our arithmetic and anyone else’s, if you need it for a purpose other than general interest.
The point is that Russia owes the US big time! And, this isn’t the only unpaid aid that we’ve given them.