The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov


Reference work entry

Lend-Lease – a form of international economic relations, which took place from 1941. It meant the system of renting or leasing military equipment, weapons, ammunition, strategic raw materials, food, and various goods and services from one country to other allied countries. In March 1941, the US Congress passed the Lend-Lease law (Lend-Lease Act), which gave the president the right to assist any country whose defense is recognized vital for the USA. During World War II, the USA, Canada, and the UK were given leases to their allies in the anti-Hitler coalition. For these purposes, the US Congress allocated US$ 7 billion. The route of vessels carrying lend-lease cargoes ran along the ridge of the Aleutian Islands through the Bering Sea to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy. The vessels entered the Sea of Okhotsk from the ocean through the First Kuril Strait. The main points of acceptance and storage of cargoes from the USA were Vladivostok, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Magadan (Nagaev Bay), Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, and others. The average ship journey time was 18–20 days. The US-owned vessels were not involved in carrying lend-lease cargoes across the Pacific. The first voyage across the Pacific with the American cargo for the USSR was made in June 1941. Approaches to Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy during the war were mined, so arriving ships had to go into the military port pilot service points for navigation plans. These points were located in the bays of Akomten (40 km from Petropavlovsk) and Valentina (200 km from Vladivostok).

At the beginning of the operation of the Pacific route, lend-lease goods were transported only by surviving Soviet transport ships, as well as ships transferred to the USSR under the L.L. agreement, which were not new US vessels. In 1942, for the carriage of L.L. goods from the USA, the USSR Navy Commissariat provided 40 vessels. In 1943, the FESCO fleet was replenished under the L.L. agreement by fifty new US Liberty-type bulkers and tankers. Totally, up to 150 vessels were received. The maximum number of vessels participating in the Pacific L.L. traffic was about 300. There were no convoys. Vessels with L.L. cargoes mainly sailed from ports on the west coast of the USA. In all, 8,244,000 t of L.L. cargoes was transported across the Pacific Ocean from the USA to the Far East ports of the USSR. The Pacific Fleet due to receipt of ships from the Allies for the period of the Great Patriotic War formed two divisions and a separate detachment of patrol boats (26 of the MO-1 type) and five units of torpedo boats (32 boats of the A-1 type).

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