Max Hastings’ Retribution (a very good read) talks at some length about the Soviet campaign in 1945 against Japan and I was surprised to find out how much FDR had bribed them with in order to do what any idiot could see they were going to do anyway; 1,000 aircraft, thousands of Dodge trucks delivered in crates by the U.S, to Siberia and all in one pop 500 Sherman Tanks and so on. Hastings then goes on to describe the amphibious invasion of the Kurile Islands by the Russians and I remember being doubly surprised that the Russians could mount such an effort – after all they didn’t have a Navy.
But just today that blank filled in when I finished Roosevelt’s Secret War by Joseph E. Persico (another good read) found out about Project Hula and realized most people don’t know the half of what FDR gave the Russians in the Far East well in advance of Japan surrendering.
Because he also gave them a navy.
You can Google the list :
180 ships – 30 Tacoma-classpatrol frigates, 24 Admirable-class minesweepers (AM), 36 auxiliary motor minesweepers (YMS), 30 large infantry landing craft (LCI(L)), 56 submarine chasers (SC), and four floating workshops (YR) and the training at a secret base in Alaska of about 15,000 Soviet Navy personnel to operate them.
Holy Donkey Dust!
And why don’t they teach that in school?