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Editorial Column

by Dmitri Sribnyi

Dear visitors to our site,

We are launching a new project dedicated to Lend-Lease.

First of all, we will concentrate on Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union. However this doesn’t mean that other countries or recipients will be neglected.

We are starting with the publication of a number of historical documents, one of which addresses the Quantities of Lend-Lease Shipments. A summary of the report by the War Department during World War II, “Important Items Furnished to Foreign Governments”, will be published here, for the first time anywhere, on this site. Until now, a very limited number of researchers had access to this rare document. We are glad that we have an opportunity to publish it due to the kind assistance of Dr. Von Hardesty, a well-known historian and curator of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

We hope that this document will stimulate research activities and publications from historical community around the World.

We are planning to publish photographs of military equipment supplied via Lend-Lease. We hope that these photographs will be of interest to modelers and all those who are interested in military hardware.

We also hope that our readers will submit photographs from their family albums: many of their grandparents fought on Lend-Lease tanks, aircraft, and ships. We would welcome memoirs of veterans with their evaluation of the Lend-Lease weapons, equipment, and materiel.

We would like to create a site that will be not only an informational resource, but one that is academic in quality. We plan to publish scholarly papers, which will be peer-reviewed. We have established an editorial board to provide such reviews. At this time Dr. Von Hardesty from USA (the author of Red Phoenix) and Carl-Fredric Geust from Finland (the author of the Red Stars series of books) kindly agreed to participate in the board activities. We plan to invite other reputable historians to the editorial board. We are confident that in establishing an academic quality to the site we will be able to attract many interesting scholarly publications.

A few words about Lend-Lease to the USSR. This topic is debated on the pages of many different publications, including Internet sites. Many different opinions, often contradictory ones, are expressed. We think that it is impossible to look at the history of Lend-Lease in black and white colors: everything was much more complicated than this, and not every aspect of Lend-Lease could be measured in tons, dollars, or feet. Some of the questions requiring discussion and research include the following aspects:

How Lend-Lease influenced the technological culture of the recipient countries
The influence of Lend-Lease equipment on the changes in combat tactics (e.g. mass utilization of radios in aircraft)
Very little is known about “reverse” Lend-Lease; specifically, shipments of rare ores and other material from the USSR to the US
The influence of the combat and technical experience gained by the Red Army with Lend-Lease equipment on weapons design, manufacturing, and tactical development in the United States
Legal issues of using US equipment against Finland with whom the United States had diplomatic relations
When the number of airplanes supplied to the USSR is discussed, many publications compare this number with the total production of the aircraft in the Soviet Union. However, it should be noted that the total of almost 5000 Aircobras is comparable to the total production of 4560 Yak-3s, or 5661 Yak-7s (the list could be continued). This number, therefore, is equivalent to a large aircraft factory, one which would have been designed, constructed and supplied with manufacturing equipment and a trained workforce, as well as state-of-the art technologies.

We hope that our authors will raise these and other issues.

However, with Lend-Lease or without it, soldiers on the battlefields of WW2 decided the fate of the war, and we are grateful to them for everything they did for us.

We would gladly appreciate it if our readers take time to submit constructive suggestions on the structure, content, and design of our site.

Thank you and welcome!

Editorial staff


Ilya Grinberg
Dmitri Sribnyi

Editorial board

Carl-Fredrik Geust
James F. Gebhardt
Michael Suprun (Pomor State University of Archangel)
Valery Romanenko
Vladimir Kotelnikov
Von Hardesty (National Air and Space Museum)

This project is supported by

Buffalo State College,
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
and Niagara Aerospace Museum