Lend Lease us and other Allies

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by the_boy_syrup, Oct 30, 2011.

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  1. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Quick question on Lend Lease in WW2.

    I know our colonial cousins supplied us and many others under Lend Lease and we offered them access to certain things we had in a reprocipical deal (such as Spitfires, airbases etc)
    However my question is this we paid our final £42 million in 2006 and Ed Bals thanked the yanks
    IIRC the Soviets defaulted and refused to pay. Gorbachev made a payment in about 1989 as a gesture of peace between the U.S.S.R AND the U.S.A.

    We however equipped units such as the Polish Army with Shermans and Jeeps that we bought under Lend Lease
    We also equpped other units from many nations

    Did we recieve anything back off them or did we pay for the lot?
  2. As I understand it "Lend Lease" principally refers to an American Government Act. So it was the U.S. Lend Lease Act of 1940 or 1941. That was the legal authority for the US to loan or ship out equipment, Destroyers, supplies etc.
  3. I'm not sure that you'll find an answer. We had a huge LL thread on here some time ago, and I don't recall that there were any links to any sort of academic work or government reports that provided a detailed accounting for LL and war loans.

    There were many LL agreements between the allied nations - even New Zealand LL being given to the USA.

    As a general principle, the USA claimed retained ownership of all US-donated LL equipment, presumably including anything passed onto allied nations by UK. Many aspects of LL are not clear, however. E.g. USA built 1 million Lee Enfield No4 rifles and included these under LL, despite the fact that the rifles were a UK sovereign design and were paid for in cash.
  4. The other side of the coin is that we the Brits freely gave ideas and technological data and experimental items to the americans for them to progress research and development. cavity magnetron for example.
  5. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    In theory everything LL remaining in 1945 had to be either paid for or shipped back to the US. In practice the US didn't want or need a lot of what was left (there must have been huge surpluses still pouring out of their factories). We didn't want the cost or logisitic difficulties involved in sending stuff back, and in any case we were disastrously short of ships for which the priority was to repatriate PoWs, internees and time-expired servicemen back home and Oz & NZ bods back from UK etc etc. One result was that the British Pacific Fleet shovelled large numbers of US LL aircraft over the side into the ocean and also, for instance, brand new engines still in their crates. Stopping the supply chain in some cases was almost impossible and ammunition was being freighted into Italy only to be put in landing craft, taken out to sea and ditched. In the case of the aircraft, when Korea blew up we had to go war in our socks as usual and sent HMS Triumph up from Hong Kong with Seafires, whereas we had been as far as possible replacing these with US Corsairs because of the Seafire's proven inadequacy as a carrier aircraft. We had to go back cap-in-hand to the US to buy (for instance) Avengers. (But the main reason the FAA's British aircraft were crap was the All Fools' Day decision of 1918 to start up the RAF).

    As to technology, the Mustang with its original Allison engine was a flop until that was replaced by Packard-built Merlins (and the Mustang was still doing a good job in Korea).

    Congress jacked in LL pretty much as soon as the war was over and called in the debt, which fitted in nicely with the US war aim of bankrupting Britain and destroying the British (and other) Empires so as to open their markets to US business (which has been calling the tune since 1776).

    Starving odds and sods in Africa are the beneficiearies of this, and the US policy of 'decolonisation' came home to roost in Vietnam no mean tune. But who would ever expect Americans to understand the world outside their shores.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Worse than that - the Gas Turbine. GE would not be building jets now, were it not for that decision.
  7. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Attlee gave our jet engine info to the Soviets so that they could build the Mig 15 that was used against us in Korea.
  8. Most of the first Batch of Remington Made M1903's Springfields from 1941 were marked and sent to NZ.