Why the US supplied lend-lease even buttons

History 21/01/20 Why the US supplied lend-lease even buttons

experts in the field of military history, members of search groups and just collectors of household items and uniforms of the great Patriotic war is well know that the buttons sewn to the uniforms of the soldiers of the red Army, from the outside was a picture familiar to us characters – star, the hammer and sickle, and their circulation in Latin sported the words “Chicago”. Nothing strange in this because the buttons were indeed produced in the United States and entered our country through the lend-lease.

What is the lend-lease?

lend-lease is the abbreviated name of the program under which the United States supplied to its allies during the Second world war equipment, ammunition, medical equipment, medicines, etc. the name comes from the words lend (give on loan) and lease (rent). The program was held in accordance with the “Law on the protection of the United States.” Lend-lease assumed several conditions. First, equipment, raw materials, ammunition, etc., lost and damaged during the fighting, was not subject to payment; second, all the goods that were supplied under lend-lease, remained in the war years and remained suitable for civilian use after the war, were paid on the basis of licenses issued by the U.S. government loans and third, unclaimed equipment and other materials at the end of hostilities at the request of the U.S. had to be returned to the States.

Recipients of goods in the framework of lend-lease was, in addition to the USSR, UK, France, China and other countries, for a total of more than ten. The total value of goods provided under the lend-lease countries allies, amounted to $ 50 billion. The share of the Soviet Union fell to 11.3 billion. The largest recipient of lend-lease was the UK – 31,4 billion.

the post-war payments to the Unitedabuse States is estimated at $ 7.8 billion. In particular, the Soviet Union returned 0.7 billion.

That was received under lend-lease to the USSR?

the Massive lend-lease to the USSR began in the autumn of 1943. Before that they were sporadic. Until October 1941, the lend-lease act, and even speech did not go: all the goods coming from the United States, our country was paying. U.S. Secretary of state E. Stettinius wrote about it this way: “Until the end of October the Russian continued to pay cash for everything we bought… since June 23, Amtorg (trade Agency of the USSR) has paid us $ 92 million; however, in reality Russia had in the same period of the goods supplied only 41 million dollars.” The supply disruptions are explained very simply: the Americans believed that by the beginning of August, the Soviet Union is defeated and all equipment and ammunition from the United States will pass Germany.

But in 1943, when it became clear that the Soviet victory was inevitable, the share of income of lend-lease increased. The USSR received from the USA more than 2 thousand locomotives, more than 11 thousand cars and 500 thousand cars, more than 12 thousand tanks, 18 thousand planes, 8, thousand anti-aircraft guns, 150 thousand units of small arms, 127 thousand tons of gunpowder, and gasoline, rails, aluminium, canned food, chocolate, shoes, blankets, and more.

Help was very significant, but not decisive for the victory. According to estimates by military historians, of the total number of deliveries to the front lend-lease made up only about five percent.

Why were the buttons?

the question Arises: if the weapons and equipment is more or less clear, why it was necessary to buy such a trifle as buttons?

the Buttons were stamped from non-ferrous metal, which at the enterprises of the USSR was solely for military purposes. At the same time the buttons need very, very much. On uniform (tunic, greatcoat, breeches, wadded trousers, quilted jacket) every soldier of the red Army was at least 30 buttons. For the entire period of the war were mobilized 29 574 900 people. And all served, taking into account those who were already in the ranks of the red army early in the war, 34 476 700 people. In total, to equip all soldiers were required to 1 billion 34 million 301 thousand buttons. Under lend-lease, our country has received 257 million 723 thousand 498 buttons with the inscription in Latin.

Olga Melnikova

© Russian Seven

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