How much did Soviet aero-production depend on Lend-Lease?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    Looking at comparative GDP numbers the Soviet Union reached a low of about half of Germany alone (not including Austria) and staged a small recovery in 1943 before seriously recovering in 1944 and then dropping down again in 1945.
    Military production during World War II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    My question is given that Soviet military output in all categories was growing in 1941-45, including aero-sector production, how much was that increase attributable to Lend-Lease from 1942-45 given that their economy was taking a major hit due to the invasion?
    Lend-Lease to the Soviets was 1/3rd of what the British/Commonwealth got, but their output numbers were higher (I know, a function of smaller aircraft compared to British strategic bombers):
    Lend-Lease - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Lend-Lease - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Given this huge contribution on top of production numbers in the USSR (also a function of Allied industrial equipment and raw materials) it is also surprising that the Soviets had fewer people in industrial production than Germany, so that seems to indicate that Allied contributions helped across the board to enable that. Where would Soviet production have been without LL from 1941 on?
     
  2. SpicyJuan11

    SpicyJuan11 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Luxemburg
    Now I may be fully wrong, but I was under the impression that lend-lease fuel (especially in the early years) was very critical for the VVS in the early year(s) and that without it, the VVS would be grounded in 1942.
     
  3. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    High octane avgas was important later in the war, but the Soviets had a fair bit of their own lower octane avgas throughout AFAIK.
     
  4. SpicyJuan11

    SpicyJuan11 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Luxemburg
    Yeah idk, I thought this was discussed in the AHF, but I can't remember which thread.
     
  5. Balljoint

    Balljoint Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
  6. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,780
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    A lot of things slop over and you have to be very careful you are comparing apples to apples.

    Like this one. "80% of all canned meat....Canned meat accounted for less then 10% of Soviet army food rations." and the reply "i see. for a force of at least 2,500, 000, if it only ate 10% of its rations from LL meat, i guess would have starved pretty fast. good catch there!"

    A soldier might get only 8-10 ounces of meat/fish/fat per day and around 2lbs of bread/grain/cereal products. Like many armies, the bulk of the soldiers rations were bread or 'cereal/grain'. Of course trying to stay healthy on a vegetarian diet while living a soldiers life on the Eastern Front takes a bit of doing. Take 80 percent of the canned meat/fish away and the soldier won't starve, he still has the Bread/grain/cereal and vegetables but his "meat" ration is now down to 2-3 ounces a day. Want to try long marches (hundreds of miles) after several months of a low protein diet and while on a low protein diet?

    I know we are talking about aviation but it is all to easy to blow off some contributions. Lend-lease supplied 53% of the Russian copper needs/used. Copper being used for electric motors (electric flaps/landing gear), telephone and telegraph wire, Electric motors for factory machinery, Alloy with Zinc for brass or tin for Bronze for cartridge cases and bearings/bushings, etc. The Russian production may have been enough for some areas of use but without lend lease to just produce less of everything or give up on certain things? Some aluminium uses small amounts of copper.
    The ripple effect can cover quite a few things. The Soviets may have provided a fair amount of their own oil/gasoline feed stocks but could they supply the Tetraethyl lead to boost the normal feed stock up to 95 octane?
     
  7. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    Also the British alone provided over 1 Billion Pounds worth of aircraft engines. T-34 engines used a lot of aluminum, so they would suffer a lot without US aluminum. They were stuck at 8 million tons of steel a year, so the 2.3 million tons provided a pretty important aid for the Soviets considering that they were high quality forgings that the Soviets couldn't make themselves. And of course the radios, communications equipment, and radar provided via LL.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    A whole bunch.

    For starters, Soviet munition plants were largely constructed with USA machine tools and prefabricated components under the supervision of American engineers.

    As for production itself, USA (and Canada) supplied all sorts of critical components such as ball bearings and industrial chemicals. Not to mention about half of steel and most of aluminum. This is obvious when you read Korean War era USA evaluation of captured T-34/85 and see American supplied components incorporated in this late WWII Soviet built equipment.
     
  9. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,811
    Likes Received:
    181
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    like dave said it wasnt so much the planes, guns, and ammo but the machinery, raw materials, and other items that they got as well. one of the most important things they received was studebaker trucks....without good logistics you can only fight for so long..even if you have 5 times the rescourses as your enemy. if you cant put them into play when and where you need them they are nullified.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area

    Half the steel? I saw 2.3 million tons via LL total, while the Soviets made 8 million in 1943, their low ebb.
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,780
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    here is an interesting website, Complete List of Lend Lease to Russia including atomic materials

    It may not be 100% accurate but gives a good idea of the total amount of "stuff". Please note that some of the stuff makes little sense war wise (151 gal of wood floor polish?) but other things cover a wide area. "Iron, Steel and Allied products" cover about 95 separate items/classes not including railroad rail, Spikes, joint plats, frogs, switches, etc AND not including railroad and locomotive wheels, tyres and axles. leaves a lot of room for selective "accounting". Something of note is the over 12,000tons of welding rod/wire to go with the 4,689 welding sets.

    Something else of note is the 558,766 gals. of "Ethyl Fluid". IF this is the Tetraethyl lead for aviation fuel it is a substantial boost for the Russians. Since it is used at about 1cc per 1000cc of fuel. (3-4 cc per US gallon or about 1cc per liter. Again, IF, this was Tetraethyl lead it was enough for around 6.6 million tons of Av gas. The Russians may well have been able to produce small quantities of Tetraethyl lead on their own, but without enough of it you can forget 95 octane gas in ant quantity. The Russians would have been using 70-80 octane gas.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Might that also possibly be referring to prestone coolant/antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol)?
     
  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,780
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    Probably not as Ethylene Glycol shows up twice. once at 43,319,367 gals and once at 3,174,020 gals. also Ethyl acetate, Ethyl ether, Ethylene chlorhydrene and Ethylene dibromide are all listed separately.
     
  14. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Tamago no Chie
    Location:
    Tamago no Chie, (B'ham, UK)
    The Ethylene Chlorydrene sounds to me like a very useful and even more dangerous cleaning/de-greasing agent than Trico-ethanol ('Trike'), or for a chemical for usage in making, separating or catalysing other chemicals related to plastics or oil based products.
     
  15. Koopernic

    Koopernic Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    28
    #15 Koopernic, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
    There are other alternatives to TEL. The British handed the Soviets a tin based formula that was easier to make.

    Here is what TEL achieves for firstly catalytically cracked reformate (developed in the US) and for straight run naphtha distillate of 96 and 72 RON respectively. This is more or less what the Germans were getting out of their hydrogenation plants.

    For..........Catalytic Reformate..............Straight Run Naphtha.
    TEL
    g/l...........RON....................................RON
    0.0...........96.00..................................72
    0.1...........98.00..................................79
    0.2...........99.00..................................83
    0.3...........100.00.................................85
    0.4...........101.00.................................87
    0.5...........101.50.................................88
    0.6...........102.00.................................89
    0.7...........102.50.................................89.5
    0.8...........102.75.................................90<>

    You can see why 87 octane was a standard fuel.


    In the 1930s the Germans used an effective anti knock agent called Iron pentacarbonyl at 0.5%. It had some disadvantages such as forming Iron whiskers (requiring frequent spark plug cleaning) and could degrade in sunlight it was effective.

    It should be noted that although I.G.Farben obtained a licence to manufacture TEL from the US that it was a negotiated swap that transferred the know how and licence for production of buna-n and buna-s synthetic rubbed to the US (via Standard Oil, ie Rockefeller/Esso)
     
    • Bacon Bacon x 1
  16. Koopernic

    Koopernic Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    28
    As a thought experiment one should imagine the degree of lend lease supplied to the Soviets being supplied to the Germans instead.

    The fuel and trucks would have greatly alleviated a range of German supply problems, food and machine tools as well. 400,000 jeeps and trucks plus 2.5 million tons of gasoline would transform German logistics. The 3000 Hurricanes, especially the model with 4 Hispano guns were an excellent ground attack aircraft (so long as nothing stupid like a deep penetration high altitude raid was attempted in them) while a Churchill tank in 1942 was possibly the most heavily armoured of the time. The 75mm gun was reasonably powerful (it was a bored out from the powerful 57mm/6 pounder barrel adapted to the US 75mm round)

    Anecdotally the Soviet Union was underdeveloped in the sense that it was industrialised in a few big cities but still agrarian in much of the rest.

    I am no great respecter of the achievements of communism, economic retardation is always the inevitable result and the prevalence of Russian Hookers in places like Dubai and Bahrain lets you know what it really does to Society. The propaganda around the achievements of 5 year economic plans that are generally swallowed hook line and sinker by far too many sympathetic western academic historians have left a misleading impression that Communism in the Soviet Union had some redeeming postives, some advantage, some progress. Communism and in general socialism is judged not by what it achieves but by what it promises, a propaganda coupe if there ever was one. The Russian's, a talented people, would have been better of with out it.


    The Tsar had to go, even if just for his incompetence in starting WW1 against advice of his generals (see McKeekin's the Russian origins of WW1, the Tsar had his troops attacking and skirmishing with Austrian forces during the period before mobilisation thus making mobilisation and war inevitable) western 'allies' didn't believe the Austrians but it was true.

    The genocides of Ukrainians, Tartars and several other ethnic groups severely disrupted economic development in the SU. (communists and left-socialist generally achieve genocides which are hidden under linguistic and propagandistic artifice that vilifies the victims in some way as insane, cruel or right wing, or say capitalistic class i.e. any kind of 'exploitive class' label)

    The result is that the SU was severely industrially retarded by communism. They even managed to create famines in what was the food basket of Europe. If the SU had a retarded industrial capacity to manufacture a full range of ordinance it is a result of the leadership there: the country should have been as wealthy as the USA.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Bacon Bacon x 1
  17. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    What relevance does this rant have to do with the topic at hand? It will be pretty tough to discuss WW2 aviation if every thread devolves into the merits or not, of the political underpinnings of each WW2 participant.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Bacon Bacon x 1
  18. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,344
    Likes Received:
    409
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Motor Mechanic
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Could have been the base stock for Vodka production :lol:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I'll certainly give you that Soviet Communism was flawed with Lenin's revolution founding government alone, but it got much worse under Stalin ... for 3 decades until Khrushchev finally started to un-do the horrible mess that had been created. (even then it was way too far gone to expect a recovery in any reasonable timescale, especially after the polarization of the cold war was well under way -plus, attempts to dispense with Trofim Lysenko's agriculture policies ended up failing as well, and similar attempted reforms throughout industry ended up bogged down by the existing bureacracy and doctrine -and general incompetence)

    What the USSR needed was GOOD, progressive leadership to replace Lenin in the first place, someone (or an entire administration) that could recognize the flawed aspects of the initial Maxist-derived dictatorship and worked towards reforming the government and civil/military planning system to be actually rational. (if they'd had planning committees and leadership with people actually skilled/competent in their fields and social reform focusing on improving overall quality of education in all fields -to maintain/improve the overall level of capability in the country, and transcend the largely peasant based mass populace, then modernization of Russia should have been very practical) Granted, the end result might not have been what Marx or Lenin would have considered 'communism' ... but it would probably fit in with what popular culture considers 'socialism' today. (all of the 'progressive' politicians in America in the early 1900s would be considered such as well)


    Anyway, if you want to apply all this to some real relevance to the topic of the thread: HAD the USSR (or totally different alternative replacement for the Russian Empire) progressed into a system run by well-educated, competent, practical, politically charismatic/influential (ie not 'weak' in the public eyes) leaders without the hateful paranoia of Stalin (to put it lightly), they likely wouldn't have NEEDED lend-lease support in the same sense as was historically the case and would not only have fared better industrially, but had a far more effective and productive agricultural revolution as well. (more food, more fuel, more efficient workers and soldiers -not to mention more capable, versatile and competent technicians and skilled laborers due to improved education -and more unskilled laborers able to be trained in skilled positions if/when the demand increased)

    Also no purges forcing skilled, talented scientists and engineers (and politicians) into exile, work camps, or having them outright executed. And many of the engineers who already did make progress historically, would be more production and less restricted by a crippled manufacturing infrastructure with poor quality control.


    More competent engineering also could have chosen more efficient engineering solution to industrialization as well.


    Much of this was true for nearly ever European Leader during WWI, it was a combined mess of botched pre-war politics and diplomacy as well as miscommunication (the root cause of so many conflicts in history) ... not to get into greater specifics. (Bismark, of course, saw it coming decades earlier, but went largely unheeded)

    I'd even include President Wilson in those partially at fault as, while some of his ideals would indeed have avoided further conflict (including the 14 points), his policies of isolationism and non-intervention prevented the US from exerting influence before and during most of the war, while his idealism with lack of effective, forceful diplomacy meant he had relatively little impact on the terms of the armistice and subsequent treaty. (he was the wrong person for the job ... at least that that time; Roosevelt seems just about perfect ... had be been elected in 1912 -Wilson may have been more effective in the 1920s in avoiding or at least better moderating the market crash and depression, but then so would have Roosevelt's policies and his better ability to implement them)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Koopernic

    Koopernic Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    28
    #20 Koopernic, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
    Further to my post on the effects of TEL and the improvements it may have made to Soviet Aviation Gasoline.

    A simple distillation might yield a gasoline of RON 72 though this varied with the crude oil used. The introduction of catalytic cracking in the USA (the Houdry Process) doubled the amount of gasoline produced and moreover the cracked product had a much higher grade.

    According to this we site:
    The Wizard of Octane: Eugène Houdry?s miraculous catalyst turned nearly worthless sludge into precious high-octane gasoline and helped the Allies win World War II. TIM PALUCKA / Invention Technology v.20, n.3, Winter 2005 1oct04

    "Pew, who was six feet tall, "big and quick and abrupt, given to shooting his words out in perfunctory outbursts" (said the reporter), made a startling announcement. A unit at the company's plant in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, was refining 15,000 barrels of petroleum feedstock a day to produce gasoline with octane numbers between 77 and 81. This was scarcely credible: At the time, most refineries turned out 60-octane gasoline, which they boosted to 72 or so by adding tetraethyl lead." This is from a press release.

    So we can say that catalytic cracking in 1938 could produce gasoline whose TEL free rating was around RON 82 which was at least 10 points above that produced from straight distillation and thermal cracking. This seems to have been enough to produce a mass production 100 octane gasoline, probably in part by also by fractioning the superior fractions.

    The relatively low power rating of Soviet Radials such as the Ash 72 and 82 compared to Allied and German radials might in part be attributed to inferior fuel. There are other important factors: bearing technology and perhaps other matters (eg the Germans had started using vacuum caste parts for the BMW801)

    A 'googleing" of Soviet Aviation Gasoline doesn't yield much information. It seems the best Soviet Fuel was perhaps equivalent to German C3 grade and matured in a similar way.

    The specifications likely were
    GOST 1012 B.91/115 green
    GOST 1012 B.95/130 yellow
    The above two appear to be the Soviet Indigenous grades used and developed in WW2. These are both now obsolete grades. British crews serving Hurricanes set up to protect the port of Murmansk complained of having to make do with mere 87 octane but perhaps it may have been 91/115 they were dealing with, a grade equal to early German C3 and better than the German B4 grade (87 octane). Much of the imported avgas may have been allied grade fuel for allied aircraft.
    GOST 1012 B.100/130
    Clearly analogous to allied 100/130
    GOST 5761 BA.115/160 orange
    Not sure what this was used for, likely for getting a heavy bomber of the ground.

    https://books.google.com.au/books?i...&q=Russian military Aviation gasoline&f=false

    Likely more than TEL was needed to make these grades, the Soviets may have had their own technology, they may even have had German technology exchanged during the period of Soviet-German pact but they seem to have had help setting up processes such as catalytic cracking from the US, a tremendous gift.

    There is information on the Soviet Oil Industry Here. It suggest the SU could make 87 octane (called B78, I suggest a typo). It also gives the grades of lend lease aviation gasoline suggesting that much of the 91 and 95 octane gasoline the SU used was US in origin.
    Oil of Russia : www.oilru.com : No. 2, 2011 / A HIGH-OCTANE WEAPON FOR VICTORY

    The above site suggests that the over 75% of fuel produced in 1941 was only 77 octane and a tiny fraction 87 octane. That the USA supplied 4 catalytic cracking plants.

    One interesting factoid is that Daimler Benz set up a truck factory in Minsk during their occupation of the city. It wasn't all scorched earth.
     
Loading...

Share This Page