US gives the Soviet Union heavy bombers during lend-lease?

I found an interesting mention on the lend-lease Wikipedia page that the Soviet Union requested a total of around 600 heavy bombers over the course of the lend-lease program. Now, ignoring the fact that there is literally no chance the US would ever supply the Soviets with that number of heavy bombers, what would have happened if they did? Would it affect the war in any meaningful way? Would it disrupt German eastern-front operations? Would the Soviet Union use the B-17 or B-24 as the basis for a post-war heavy bomber instead of the B-29?
 

Capbeetle61

Banned
I found an interesting mention on the lend-lease Wikipedia page that the Soviet Union requested a total of around 600 heavy bombers over the course of the lend-lease program. Now, ignoring the fact that there is literally no chance the US would ever supply the Soviets with that number of heavy bombers, what would have happened if they did? Would it affect the war in any meaningful way? Would it disrupt German eastern-front operations? Would the Soviet Union use the B-17 or B-24 as the basis for a post-war heavy bomber instead of the B-29?
The performance of the Soviet heavy bomber force arm during World War II was far from stellar, to term it accurately.
 
B-24 and B-17 are just too small.
You really need something B-32 or B-29 sized, and it's hard to get there from the B-17, the most advanced early war bomber.
 
The performance of the Soviet heavy bomber force arm during World War II was far from stellar, to term it accurately.
Honestly, look at all the losses for everything the VVS flew, Sturmovik was the most built, with the highest loss rate.
That said, a few hundred long range bombers would have been very useful, had they been used in a strategic way, not tactical
They would probably get a B-24 'Monkey Model' no Norden and no turbo, similar to a Privateer to be used as a night bomber.
Its real close to the Yer-2 they had, but 20,000 pounds more payload and slightly faster.
The Yer-2 was mostly wasted in low level tactical attacks in 1941 and 1942
Getting L-L'ed PB4Y-1 gives them a chance to do strategic bombing in 1942-1945
 
They’d probably be used like the Yer-2 and other heavier-weight Soviet twin-engined bombers to strike keypoint logistical targets in the immediate rear of German during major offensives.

Getting L-L'ed PB4Y-1 gives them a chance to do strategic bombing in 1942-1945
It does not. Doing strategic bombing requires far more than just having a plane. One also needs organization, doctrine, equipment, personnel, and innumerable other things. The Soviets don’t have the luxury of hiding behind oceans to shield them from the main weight of enemy ground forces that allows their air forces to devote such attention to independent strategic missions. The Red Army is screaming for air support to first halt and then drive back the enemy now, not in the several years it will take for a strategic bombing arm to be built-up and start having any effect.
 

Capbeetle61

Banned
Honestly, look at all the losses for everything the VVS flew, Sturmovik was the most built, with the highest loss rate.
That said, a few hundred long range bombers would have been very useful, had they been used in a strategic way, not tactical
They would probably get a B-24 'Monkey Model' no Norden and no turbo, similar to a Privateer to be used as a night bomber.
Its real close to the Yer-2 they had, but 20,000 pounds more payload and slightly faster.
The Yer-2 was mostly wasted in low level tactical attacks in 1941 and 1942
Getting L-L'ed PB4Y-1 gives them a chance to do strategic bombing in 1942-1945
Sheer range is still a massive problem for the Soviet Air Force.
 

nbcman

Donor
In conjunction with Operation Frantic (shuttle bombing missions by the USAAF to/from Soviet airfields) preparations per wiki, General Arnold supposedly offered 300-400 B-24 bombers to Stalin but the offer was refused.

When a high-level US delegation led by United States Strategic Air Forces (USSTAF) deputy chief of staff for operations, General Frederick Anderson (accompanied by Colonel Roosevelt), visited Moscow and the bases in May 1944, conditions were such that the go-ahead for actual operations could be given. At the same time, Anderson let his side know that the ultimate goal was the establishment of a numbered American air force in the USSR and a switch to Siberian operations. For diplomatic reasons, this could not be revealed to the Russians. As it was, the Americans had to make do with a much smaller presence in the Soviet Union than originally contemplated.

Frantic also tied in with other US initiatives. At Tehran, General Henry Arnold (chief of the Air Forces) offered Stalin 300–400 B-24 bombers, but noted that they would require a large Soviet training program in the United States. Stalin did not take this offer; instead, American bombers making safety landings in Siberia were kept and copied by Soviet factories.
 
Did the USAAF and RAF need as many replacement B-17’s and B-24’s as could be produced?

Depends on the definition of 'need' here. We used all we built & used them fairly well. Could 600 have been diverted to some other use? There are people who argue they should have. The Allies ASW effort needed a more robust and more efficient VLR aircraft fleet 1941-42. Would hat have been more efficient than bombing continental targets that years?
 
I found an interesting mention on the lend-lease Wikipedia page that the Soviet Union requested a total of around 600 heavy bombers over the course of the lend-lease program. Now, ignoring the fact that there is literally no chance the US would ever supply the Soviets with that number of heavy bombers, what would have happened if they did? Would it affect the war in any meaningful way? Would it disrupt German eastern-front operations? Would the Soviet Union use the B-17 or B-24 as the basis for a post-war heavy bomber instead of the B-29?
IMHO the Soviets might have flown somewhat more raids against Berlin (and perhaps other targets in Germany) than they did historically. I suspect they still would have copied the B29 for post war use (assuming in this alternate time some USAF examples land in Soviet Territory...) I doubt the provision of several hundred B17's and B24's via Lend Lease to the Soviet Union would have changed much. I also doubt the US would have intentionally provided B29's.

Depending on when these bombers were delivered (and when the crews were suitably trained) in an alternate time line perhaps they get used in a tactical role or perhaps used over the Baltic but again I doubt much would change overall.
 
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nbcman

Donor
Why did they refuse ? B24 was not suited to their needs ?
The offer was in May 1944. By the time the Soviets could have received the aircraft and trained the crews, it would be sometime in late 1944 which isn’t good weather for bombing. Plus a few hundred more bombers with green crews hitting Germany late in the war was not of much use when the WAllies were performing larger missions with more experienced crews.
 

DougM

Donor
I would like to see the situation on this so called offer. Considering the interest the USSR would later put on building its own bomber based on a copy if the B-29. you would think the USSR would grab at something like the B-24 to get its foot in the door. Even if they didnt use it right.
Ir at all for that matter, The B-24 was pretty advanced for the time, Also when was this supposed to have happened? As LeMay was not trully in a position to make this offer surring the war. This kind if thing was frankly way above his pay grade at the time,

As for production, it was possible to ramp up production of B-24s or B-17s buy building another Willow Run style if factory for the production but that would have taken time and been a resource hog, But the other option is to cut back US use somewhere.

BTW we are talking something like 2 to 2.5 percent of all B-24s ever built. This is not a number that can just be ignored.
 
Weren't B-17s included in Lend Lease?

B-17s did land in Ukrainian USSR during Operation Frantic. Perhaps the USSR could have interned these planes.

It would have had looked like this:

As for B-24s and B-29s, the U.S. would not easily handover these equipment to the USSR. Especially since the technology was so advanced for its time. We saw what happened when B-29s were forced to land in Soviet territory after conducting bombings raids on Japan. The Soviets kept it, tore it apart, and successfully reverse-engineered it to the Tu-4 which caught the U.S. by surprise in 1947. The American crewmen were interned for some time before transferred a long way into British Iran.
 
It does not. Doing strategic bombing requires far more than just having a plane. One also needs organization, doctrine, equipment, personnel, and innumerable other things. The Soviets don’t have the luxury of hiding behind oceans to shield them from the main weight of enemy ground forces that allows their air forces to devote such attention to independent strategic missions. The Red Army is screaming for air support to first halt and then drive back the enemy now, not in the several years it will take for a strategic bombing arm to be built-up and start having any effect.
I don’t think many people appreciate the absolutely monstrous cost of kitting out a force of heavy bombers and all the skilled personnel and infrastructure they require. Which is before even getting to the first key step, having a few hundred bombers shot down while figuring out how theory differs from practice. Even just building a bomber airfield cost as much as a large destroyer.
 
I don’t think many people appreciate the absolutely monstrous cost of kitting out a force of heavy bombers and all the skilled personnel and infrastructure they require. Which is before even getting to the first key step, having a few hundred bombers shot down while figuring out how theory differs from practice. Even just building a bomber airfield cost as much as a large destroyer.
Yeah but the Soviets reportedly did actually bomb Berlin during WW2 so they evidently had some abilities in this area they could have built on if they wanted to. I realize a few raids don't equal a strategic bombing campaign. I seem to recall they also flew missions against German targets in Norway (but it has been decades since I delved into that.)
 
Why did they refuse ? B24 was not suited to their needs ?
The offer included several thousand Red Air Force personnel going to America for training on how to do Strategic Bombing, and operate the planes and build and design airbases for strategic bombing etc. Stalin didn't approve as he felt that they would come back brainwashed against communism. At least thats my understanding.
 
I like how people think not using the bombers in a strategic role is the ussr not useing them right, considering how little the strategic boxing actually did compared to how much it cost, carpet bombing tactical targest would probably been a better use of these planes even for the western alliance.
 
Yeah but the Soviets reportedly did actually bomb Berlin during WW2 so they evidently had some abilities in this area they could have built on if they wanted to. I realize a few raids don't equal a strategic bombing campaign. I seem to recall they also flew missions against German targets in Norway (but it has been decades since I delved into that.)
As far as I know they made a few ”small” raids with up to one or two hundred aircraft and pretty quickly came to the conclusion that the horrendous cost wasn’t anywhere near the results, and that playing their weaknesses against the Germans strengths wasn’t the best idea. After that they stuck to the odd propaganda raid.

For every Pe-8 and crew they could get roughly 4 crewed Il-2 (plus 3 spare guys) or 2 crewed Pe-2 (plus 5 spare guys) all which were far more suited to what the Soviets needed. Not least, being able to move around very basic airfields to stay close to the ground war and/or avoid the Luftwaffe.
 
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