From the November 2003 Idaho Observer:
U.S. lend/lease program helped USSR become a worthy Cold War adversary
During WWII, the U.S. military began administrating what became known as the lend/lease program. In this program, the U.S. gifted its allies with an array of military equipment and munitions -- including ships. The British, Italians and the communist Soviet Union recieved the bulk of this U.S. military largesse to help fight the Germans and the Japanese. After the war, the ships that were not sunk were not returned to the U.S., they stayed with the nation that had renamed them or were given to another nation.
from the research of Theo. Thesing
A list of 35 vessels transferred from the U.S. to the British navy, complete with class deisgnations, their numerical identifications, their originally christened U.S. navy names and their renamed British navy names have been assembled from official declassified U.S. government documents.
Of those 35, five are listed as having been sunk; eight are listed as having been transferred from Great Britain to the Soviet Union. Following are the names of those vessels as they have changed:
USS Cowell, DD-167 -- HMS Brighton -- ZHARKY
USS Crownshield, DD-134 -- HMS Chelsea -- DERZKI
USS Herdon, DD-198 -- HMS Churchill -- ex Churchill
USS Maddox, DD-168 -- HMS Georgetown -- ZHOTSKY
USS Twiggs, DD-127 -- HMS Leamington -- ZHGUCHI
USS Yarnall, DD-143 -- HMS Lincoln -- ex Lincoln
USS Fairfax, DD-93 -- HMS Richmond -- ZHYVUCHI
USS Thomas, DD-182 -- HMS St. Albans -- DOSTOINI
The U.S. also transferred at least five submaries to the British navy. Of those five, three were renamed HMS Unbroken, HMS Ursula and HMS Unison and were subsequently transferred to the Soviet Union.
The Light Cruiser USS Milwaukee became the MURMANSK; a list of 10 coastal minesweepers were given to the Soviets during and after WWII.
Approximately 44 sub chasers, class 47 and 46 sub chasers, class 497, were transferred to the Soviets.
Some 77 PT (motor torpedo) boats, classes 37, 71 and 103 were given to the Soviets. In the case of Vosper type PT boats, 12 were built in the U.S. for the Soviet Union in 1937 and 1938.
Through the lend/lease program, the U.S. gave four YMS calss 347 minsweepers and 10 136-foot hull minsweepers to the Soviets.
The U.S. also gave the Soviets several ships equipped to accomplish several specialized tasks such as weather watching, logicital support and surveillance.
U.S. Coast Guard ships USCG Eastwind, Westwind and Northwind became the ADMIRAL MAKAROV, the SEVERNY POLYUS and SEVERNY VETER respectively.
The Italians surrendered its navy in 1943. Many of the vessels it recieved from the U.S. in the lend/lease program, including battleships, heavy cruisers, light cruisers, and destroyers, were transferred to the Soviets. A total of some 51 of these ships and 15 submarines were surrendered to the allies. It was not reported how many were given to the Soviets, but the history of the lend/lease program, which appears to have been an elaborate scheme to quietly transfer U.S. military assets to the Soviet Union in preparation for the Cold War, indicates that most or all of them ended up in communist hands.
After WWII the Germans surrendered approximately 171 U-boats. To our knowledge, these submarines were not destroyed, nor were they transferred to the U.S. or Great Britain and commissioned by the armed forces of those nations.
Therefore, it would appear that the Soviets recieved these submarines after WWII with the blessing of the other allies.
Until the lend/lease program, the Soviet Union was not a naval power. With the help of the U.S. (under Franklin Roosevelt) the Soviets (under Josef Stalin) became a naval power.
The Cold War began almost immediately after WWII. U.S. military aid to the Soviet Union during WWII was either a geopolitical miscalculation of massive proportions or a treasonous process to create a worthy Cold War adversary. The secrecy of the lend/lease program indicates the latter is most likely the case.
In either event, for almost 50 years, millions of lives and billions of dollars were expended as the world aligned itself under the Soviet or U.S. political/military umbrella.
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