Lend-Lease Act Facts

Lend-Lease Act Facts
The Lend-Lease Act, which was officially titled "An Act to Promote the Defense of the United States," was a program whereby the United States provided food and fuel to countries fighting the Axis powers in World War II. The was passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Roosevelt on March 11, 1941. Lend-Lease was never a forgone conclusion and did not happen on a whim. Throughout the 1930s the Congress signed and President Roosevelt signed a series of laws known as the Neutrality Acts, which essentially kept American companies and the government from trading with belligerent nations in times of war. There was also a large isolationist movement in the United States at the time, led by Charles Lindbergh and others, who brought people from both the left and right-wings of the political spectrum under the America First Committee. As the war dragged on, though, pressure to take a side built until the Lend-Lease Act was passed, which nullified the Neutrality Acts, making it only a matter of time before the United States would be involved in actual fighting.
Interesting Lend-Lease Act Facts:
The Lend-Lease act allowed the United States to give Allied nations any materials to be paid after the war ended.
Lend-Lease passed Congress by a vote of 260 to 165. A majority of those opposed to the act were isolationist Republicans.
The U.S. spent over $50 billion on the Lend-Lease program, or more than 11% of its total war expenditures.
The British Empire and its colonies received more than $31 billion in Lend-Lease materials while the Soviet Union received more than $11 billion.
Reverse Lend-Lease was when the Allies provided the Americans with materials or use of foreign military bases.
Although Japan was at war with the United States after December 7, 1941 and targeted most merchant ships coming and going to the U.S. with its submarines, it was not at war with the Soviet Union until the very end of the war. Because of that, the Japanese often left Soviet transport ships unmolested.
Many Lend-Lease materials were flown to Siberia from Alaska.
Other routes the Americans used to get Lend-Lease materials to the Soviet Union went through the Arctic Ocean, the Black Sea, and the Persian Gulf.
The British repaid their wartime loans decades later, but the Soviets did not.
The British began giving material aid to the Soviets in 1941.
American aid to Britain was fairly straightforward, traveling via the North Atlantic. Once in Britain, the British would often forward some of the material to the Soviet Union through the Arctic or the Mediterranean.
The vast majority of American Lend-Lease aid sent to Britain and the Soviet Union were American made goods, but the president allowed a small portion of Canadian made goods to be included.
As soon as the war ended, the U.S. charged its allies for goods in transit, although often at a 90% reduction in cost.


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