Lend lease museum in Russia Moscow


Like a bloody steamroller the War befell on Europe.Even civilian casualties were enormous. However, the evening June 22, 1941 saw British Prime Minister Churchill to announce his decision to make any available contribution to Russia’s struggle against Nazi Germany. During the Second World War on March 11, 1941 the USA passed the Lend-Lease Act, which allowed President Roosevelt to let on lease materials to any country fighting against fascism. The supply was effected through Iran, Far East and through the northern sea convoys. Destroyed under the fire of the Nazi ships, submarines, bomber forces transports were buried deep in Arctic Ocean. The first convoy had come from Great Britain on August 31, 1941 even before the operation of the Lend-Lease Act was applied to the Soviet Union. British tanks “Valentine” and “Matilda”, American all-terrain vehicles, fuels and lubricants indispensable for imported machines and of course ammunition were immediately dispatched to the army in the field. Then in winter of 1941 more than 50% tanks taking part in the Battle of Moscow were British. Having suffered great losses at the beginning of the war our country were engaged in hard defensive actions with perfectly armed and experienced enemy which enslaved almost the whole Western and Central Europe. US and British aid was priceless for the Soviet Union which had lost industrial areas occupied by Nazi forces. But if the technical characteristics of soviet tanks were similar and even superior to those of their rivals’ and allies’ tanks, some up-to-date soviet arms could not be used at full capacity without the imported machines and equipement. Famous “Katushas” BM-13 became mobile and genuinely fierce weapon being fabricated with American triaxial trucks’ chassis “Studebaker” which had four-wheel drive. The war brought about innumerable sorrows to all warring nations including Germans. This nation suffered tremendous losses having assumed the main strike of Nazi Germany which main mission was not only to gain victory but to destroy our country and most of its population. Nevertheless, the demonic idea of absolute superiority of German nation over the others threatening with a catastrophe to the mankind vanished with the leaders of the Third Reich No family in our country managed to escape the atrocities of war. On the battlefield or at home front which was not actually a rear. Not only soviet people worked but lived on-site in the frozen workshops, in the open air, in the fields with no tractors or trucks left, without self-indulgence, selflessly, wholeheartedly, sacrificing everything for the sake of the victory “Everything for the front, everything for the victory”, – these are not just beautiful words, but a motto of the nation united in front of the mortal threat, proved its right to be the Great Power. Bread Quotas: civil servants, family members, children – 125 gramm (0,28 lbs) Remember the war however far away and dim Lend-lease – one of the brightest heroic pages of the Second World War history. Communist historians tried not to mention the Lend-lease, but the truth cannot be hidden as “Katushas” on “Studebakers” and squadrons of “Airacobras” cannot be removed from the newsreels and photo documents from the battlefront. Even the great Russian pilot Alexander Pokryshkin agreed to take his photos only with his “Aerocobra” on the background People were also willing to help the Soviet Union in the war against fascism. Relief funds received everything that ordinary people could offer: voluntary donations, modest savings, donor blood. Despite the enormous losses our nation destroyed best Wehrmacht divisions and the Banner of Victory was raised above the Reichstag in the spring wind. As if this wind revived the heart beat of millions of the young and the old tormented by the cruelest war in human history. In the meantime Nazi banners were thrown on the Red Square poured with warm summer rain. Dozens of millions of lives were taken by this war, dozens of millions of children were not born, never heard the birds singing and never saw the sun. Dozens of millions of grandchildren never came to this world, never saw their grandparents graves and never swore to honor and keep the memory of the fallen heroes. And at long last when the political commitment of the Second World War coverage was overcome, the museum named “Allies and the Lend-lease” was founded. It is situated in the school #1262, on Jitnaya street, 6, in Moscow The exhibits are classified by topic and are situated in the glass cases. In the center of the big hall there is marshal Rokossovsky’s car “Willis” given to the museum by his grandson. Near the car there “Harley Davidson” and “BCA” motorcycles which also were used during the war and a rescuing air inflatable boat as well. The walls are covered with the wartime posters, there are mannequins in the authentic soldiers’ and officers’ uniform with weapons of war under the banners of Anti-Hitler coalition countries. There are also rare documents and photos on the Lend-Lease on the walls. The most valuable exhibit is the wreck of American aircraft “Airacobra” shot down by fascists above Kolsky Peninsula. There is also a certain exposition devoted to General Maxim Chibisov – the commander of the secret division ferrying hydroplanes and amphibians “Catalina”. The Museum opened on June 22, 2004 on the anniversary of Nazi Germany attack against the Soviet Union. Every year on the anniversary the museum is full of veterans and students listen to their stories about the War and life in general in the assembly hall. War veterans are always welcome visitors of the museum. They examine new exhibits with great attention. And surprisingly the number of exhibits doesn’t run out year-over-year. Major General Igor Lebedev is a frequent visitor at the museum. Being a great storyteller, PHD, he graduated from engineering faculty of The Jukovsky Air force Academy, took part in the Battle of Stalingrad and was sent to the United States until the end of the war where he worked in an aircraft commission which dispatched planes to the Soviet Union. In October 2006 the museum was visited by Grigoriy Gagarin who had served during the wartime in US Air Force and had worked as a translating tutor with soviet pilots from Colonel Chibisov’s group. USAF Major General Georgiy Jukov as well as Major General Igor Lebedev and now duke Grigoriy Gagarin are the trustees of the museum “Allies and the Lend-lease” The exposition is expanding with new and sometimes quite unexpected exhibits. Recently the director of the museum Nikolay Borodin found a jar for cocoa. This jar was found at Izmaylovsky “Vernisage” and it was decorated with the portraits of Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin and Chiang Kai-shek – the leaders of countries fighting against Berlin-Tokyo axis. The museum is open for everyone who is interested not only in the Second World War history but in the relationships between allies as well. And however the place is not large enough, it will continue to be the school museum with the students as main visitors and the History itself as a teacher.

7 thoughts on “Lend lease museum in Russia Moscow

  1. "Light" readers of the period have yet to learn it took the co-operation of all 3 of the major allies to win the war against Germany in WWII: the Brits, who resisted Hitler as central Europe fell; American to provided *critical* aid to the Brits and Russia after she'd been invaded; and the combined forces of all 3 to finish the fighting (as America also fought another war in the Pacific). Excellent museum, excellent post. Thank you Russian WWII Vets for your sacrifice !! Signed: an American

  2. Я не думал,что американцы вообще задумывались во время войны о том, что происходило в России.
    I did not think that Americans generally thought of in the war that took place in Russia.

  3. oh! We do. The great battle of Kursk. And the battle of Stalingrad. And the Battle of Berlin. All Soviet Victories.

  4. In June 1941 within weeks of the Axis invasion of the USSR. Britain proposed an Alliance to defeat a common enemy and immediately sent supplies along with 650 Pilots, aircrew and mechanics.

    By December 1941 Britain had delivered over 1,000 tanks and aircraft which German Military records show they came into contact with British tanks in Russia November 1941.

  5. In June 1941 within weeks of the Axis invasion of the USSR. Britain proposed an Alliance to defeat a common enemy and immediately sent supplies along with 650 Pilots, aircrew and mechanics.

    By December 1941 Britain had delivered over 1,000 tanks and aircraft which German Military records show they came into contact with British tanks in Russia November 1941.

  6. Marshal Zhukov admitted in his secret interview recorded by Soviet military intelligence that without lend lease and western aid "we would not have been able to create our strategic reserves" and "CONTINUED THE WAR". No need to wonder when about 60% of aluminium for aircraft building plus same share of aviation fuel came from America. So Studebaker is just one example how vital that help was. And actually Soviet heavy industry before the war was 2/3 Made in USA.

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