This thread is based on this YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25ACv_4Sj7Q), called Did the Soviets win WW2 due to US support? It’s a bit of a misleading title, since the video itself also delves into the British lend lease to the Soviets during the war.
You don’t have to watch the video (or the associated video that delves into the air force aspects), so for those who don’t watch, the key points are:
The timing of when, where and what was given is crucial to looking at this aspect of the war. Often people make the point that in raw tonnage the amount of supplies given to the Soviets was far less than they produced. However, you have to look at what was given and when, and what the impact was at different stages of the war. One point I’ve made in these sorts of threads in the past is that one crucial thing given the Soviets that had a major impact was logistics vehicles…trucks and jeeps. These made up the bulk of the Soviets logistic fleet, especially since those given the Soviets were far superior to those they were producing at home. In addition, the early supplies were more crucial than is generally known, since the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse in 41 through 42. They had been forced to move much of their production and had serious shortfalls and draw downs on their pre-war stocks, and the supplies coming in were what gave them time to get their production moved and back into use. The video also discusses, briefly, armored vehicles, especially British, that helped out immensely early on, before the T-34’s and KV-1’s really got into renewed production. It also talks about things like explosives that made up to 50%+ of the total for the Soviets between 41 and 45. He doesn’t really talk about food, clothing, miscellaneous accouterments and the like, which also had a major impact throughout the war, but crucially early on when the Soviets were on the ropes. Finally, the video makes the point that even Stalin admitted, privately and off the record, that western lend lease was crucial and without it the Soviets might not have survived.
The video doesn’t really come down on a final verdict, just points out that it was crucial. Myself, I think that there has been a lot of folks who, for various political reasons have overplayed both the US and Soviet roles in the war at different times, stating that this one or that was the most crucial or could have done it without the others. In the last 20 years I’ve heard a lot of folks talk about how the Soviets could have won without the support of the other allies, so that’s what I wanted to address, but my take is that each of the major allies absolutely needed the other 2 in order to win. I do think it’s resolved, however, that lend lease was absolutely vital and crucial to the Soviets during the war, and personally I feel that without it the Soviet Union would have either folded sometime in 42 or been on the defensive and just fighting to survive beyond the Ural mountains, far diminished and with most of their best territory in German hands.