How much of the food sold to the Soviet Union to the West in the Great Patriotic

History 13/01/20 How food sold to the Soviet Union to the West in the Great Patriotic

When it comes to the consequences of the great Patriotic war for the Soviet Union, the imagination usually draws the city in ruins, ravaged by the invaders, the villages, empty schools, destroyed factories… But, fortunately, the war failed to completely stop the life and development of the country. Moreover, even in this difficult time, the Soviet Union did not forget about foreign trade – the main source of foreign exchange and essential goods.

the Transition to a war footing

In the first years of war the country was very hard. The Nazis seized much of the territory, enterprises, primarily in the military, urgently evacuated to the East, the workforce is not enough. All this, of course, affected the economy of the country. National income in 1941 compared with 1940, the last prewar year decreased by 8%. In 1942, this figure fell by 34%.

Gradual economic recovery began in 1943, but her fall in some industries, managed to stop even earlier – in the first place in industrial production, because it was required by the needs of the front. A radical change in this area began in the second half of 1942. It was then in full force began to operate 2 500 enterprises which were evacuated from the European part of the USSR. And in 1943, the factories of the defense industry produced two times more goods than in prewar 1940.

Turned out also to overcome acute shortage of raw materials, fuel and electricity. In 1942 he was commissioned in the Karaganda power plant, Kirovo-Chepetsk and Chelyabinsk CHP, and the total capacity built this year in the Eastern regions of the country the turbines amounted to 672 thousand kilowatts.

At the same time, difficulties persist in ensuring the army and the civil population with food. Stock in the form taken from the West regions of the USSR 2.4 million head of cattle, 5.1 million sheep and goats, farm machinery and grain by 1943, for the most part have been exhausted. At this point a huge help steel product supplies under lend-lease from the United States and the United Kingdom.

War is war, and trade on schedule

Despite all the hardships, the Soviet Union did not forget about foreign trade. In 1941 its volume, according to the statistical collection “Foreign trade of the USSR 1918-1966 he” was 456,2 million. In 1942, the figure dropped almost by half – to of 247.5 million, and the minimum turnover was recorded in 1943 – a total of 239.9 million rubles. Although in the next year, the situation began to improve, the volume of foreign trade reached 313,7 million rubles, in 1945 – 561,5 million

it is Clear that the lion’s share was accounted for by imports. In 1941 it amounted to 277,7 million roubles, in 1942 – in 181.8, in 1943 – 173,1, in 1944 – 198,8, in 1945 – 259,7. Overseas Union exported goods 178.5 million, with 65.7 million, 66.8 mln, USD 114.9 million or 301.8 million rubles in 1941-1945-x, respectively, given the “peaceful” half of 1941 and 1945.

Slightly different figures are given in the Handbook of foreign trade operations during the period of 1941-1945, which was presented to the Minister of foreign trade Anastas Mikoyan.

According to the document, the total export volume during this period is estimated at 2.43 billion rubles. From June to December 1941, the Soviet Union sold goods to 164 million, in 1942 – on 398,9 in 1943 – 373. Already in 1944 the figure had risen to 655 million rubles, but only for the first eight months of 1945 it was exported products for 839,6 million And of course, according to their articles of export in the first and second half of the war are two completely different things.

most of all, at first, sold precious metals, forest products industry, building materials, chemical products, tobacco, raw materials of animal origin, and furs. Even in the most difficult years of the war were delivered abroad food: 225 million rubles in 1941, to 39.2 million in 1942 and to 45.4 million in 1943. The most popular products being wheat, flour, sugar, vodka and wine-vodka products.

For comparison, in 1944 food products were exported to 113,9 million rubles in the first eight months of 1945, for 127,3 million At the same time increased the share of deliveries of cereals, caviar, even more were sold abroad, sugar and flour. But at the same time, in the last years of the war a multiple of increased exports of metal ores, motor vehicles and tractors, industrial equipment, petroleum products, medicines, perfumery, seeds.

Major trading partners of the USSR in this period were the US and the UK: there were exported products in total and 236,7 and 946.1 million, respectively.

Actively built cooperation with Eastern neighbours. Throughout the war, the Soviet Union traded with Iran (434,5 million rubles), Mongolia (324 million) and Xinjiang (47,7 million rubles).

But the West began to export goods from the USSR only in 1944 and 1945. That is logical – speech on trade with the occupied, and fascist countries simply could not be.

Ivan Resepi

© Russian Seven

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