WWII Lend-Lease: Bantam Jeeps sent to Russia

WWII Lend-Lease: Bantam Jeeps sent to Russia

November 2, 2010 11:40 pm

Dear Mac Gregory:

I have been looking at your website and I see you have a large content of Naval history of WWII. You may have some leads that will help me in my project.

I am a member of the Austin Bantam Society. The Austins and Bantams were a small automobile made in the US in the 1930s. The American Bantam Co. was the first company to supply the small scout vehicle to the US Army, known as the BRC (Bantam Reconnaisance Vehicle). Not long after the first deliveries the vehicle became known as the jeep.

After testing prototypes, preproduction orders for BRC jeeps were given to The American Bantam Co. As events unfolded in Europe in 1940, the US Govt awarded a contract to Bantam, Ford and Willys for 1500 each of the jeeps. We know most of the Bantam jeeps were given to Russia under the Lend-Lease program. Several of our club members are researching the history of the Bantams in the Lend-Lease program. I have been exploring the convoys that originated in the US, met in Iceland, then attempted to run the gauntlet through the U-boats to Archangel or Murmansk. I have read a number of sources that discuss the convoys and the loss of various ships. Some of the articles are fairly specific about the loss of personnel, tanks, aircraft and "war materiel." None of the articles I have read to date specifically mention the loss of "jeeps."

Can you suggest any sources that may contain more details about the manifests on the various ships that participated in the convoys from the west to Russia?

Mike Larro
Sebastopol, California


See this URL: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-vetscor/1242341/posts

Scroll down to find some reference about your Jeeps.

The list ^1 below is the amount of war matériel shipped to the Soviet Union through the Lend-Lease program from its beginning until 30 September
<http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/30_September> 1945

Aircraft         14,795
Tanks         7,056
Jeeps         51,503
Trucks         375,883
Motorcycles         35,170
Tractors         8,071
Guns         8,218
Machine guns         131,633
Explosives         345,735 tons
Building equipment valued         $10,910,000
Railroad freight cars         11,155
Locomotives         1,981
Cargo ships         90
Submarine hunters         105
Torpedo boats         197
Ship engines         7,784
Food supplies         4,478,000 tons
Machines and equipment         $1,078,965,000
Non-ferrous metals         802,000 tons
Petroleum products         2,670,000 tons
Chemicals         842,000 tons
Cotton         106,893,000 tons
Leather         49,860 tons
Tires         3,786,000
Army boots         15,417,001 pairs

Delivery was via the Arctic Convoys

the Persian Corridor
<http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Persian_Corridor>, and the Pacific Route. The Pacific Route was used for about half of Lend-Lease aid: by convoy from the US west coast to the Soviet Far East, via Vladivostok and the Trans-Siberian railway. After America’s entry in the war, only Soviet (or Soviet-flagged) ships were used, and there was some interference by Japan with them. The Alaska-Siberia Air Route, known as Alsib , was used for air deliveries and passengers from 7 October
<http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/7_October> 1942  <http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/1942>.

I could not find any shiping manifests.


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