Military Review

And Australia that joined them ...


If it's even dominion

All British dominions, including the Australian Union, were involved in the provision of military-technical and food aid to the USSR from Great Britain. That was also humanitarian aid, sent as part of allied convoys to the USSR through the Arctic, through the Persian corridor or to the Far Eastern Soviet ports.

At the same time, Australian supplies to the Far East were almost constantly under the direct threat of destruction by the Japanese Air Force and Navy, because since December 8, 1941, Great Britain and its dominions - together with the USA, Holland and De Gaulle's "Free France" - were at war with Japan.

And Australia that joined them ...

For almost two years, in 1942-1943, Japanese troops were stationed in the immediate vicinity of the northern and northeastern coasts of Australia. They regularly shelled and bombed local military and civilian objects, including ports. But even in this situation, the flow of Australian aid to the USSR, it is clear that it was not the most powerful, did not stop.

The allied agreements between the USSR and Great Britain, signed in Moscow and London in July 1941 and May 1942, respectively, automatically extended to all British dominions. This was announced already on June 30, 1941 by the British government mission in Moscow ("June 1941: everything for the Union, everything for Victory").

Thus, Moscow's ally soon after June 22, 1941 was the bloc, which accounted for up to a third of the value of global industrial exports and more than half of the volume of grain exports at that time.

This is how Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described Soviet-Australian relations during the war period in 2017:

75 years ago, on October 10, 1942, an agreement was signed in London on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the USSR and Australia. On January 2, 1943, Australian diplomats arrived in the city of Kuibyshev to establish an embassy, ​​which was opened on January 26, Australia Day. The Soviet diplomatic mission appeared in Canberra on June 2, 1943.

Recall that the Australian embassy, ​​along with all the others, moved from Kuibyshev to Moscow in October 1943. Sergey Lavrov also noted that

we remember the support provided by the Australians to our country in the harsh years of the war against fascism. In Australia, a broad campaign "Sheepskin for Russia" was carried out, within the framework of which our soldiers received about 400 thousand short fur coats from the "green continent"; about 40 containers with medicines and medical equipment were sent to hospitals.

It is significant that half of these cargoes came to Russia not under the Lend-Lease program, but as free humanitarian aid.

Allied convoys, in which Australian pilots and sailors participated, played an important role in the defeat of Nazism, according to the Russian minister. Their merits were marked by F.F. Ushakov's medals, as well as jubilee medals timed to coincide with different anniversaries of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

About 2000 Australian military veterans received such awards in the 600s.

This is not forgotten

A campaign to help the USSR was organized in Australia in July 1941 by Julia Street (1893-1968), a well-known public figure. She founded at the same time the Russian Medical Aid Committee, which existed until October 1945 inclusive. At the initiative of the Australo-Soviet Friendship Society (headed by J. Street in 1941-1964), the Australia-USSR Friendship Congress was held in Sydney in October 1941.

The committee announced the collection of funds and other material resources to help the Soviet Union. On this initiative, supported by the Australian government, the total volume of assistance to the USSR on the same initiative exceeded in 1942-1945. 170 million US dollars (at average exchange rates for 1942-1945).

At the expense of these funds, more than 40% were paid for deliveries of grain and other foodstuffs, almost 40% - raw cotton, medicines and medical equipment, dressings, and up to 20% - wool, felt, their processed products and leather goods.

For example, in November 1941, the dockers of Port Kembla transferred their entire salary from loading the Soviet ship “Minsk” with lend-lease goods for the purchase of sheepskin for the USSR. In 1944-1946. The Russian public club in Sydney sent 1 boxes with shoes, food and other things to orphanage No. 13 in Smolensk to help orphans of the war; The Russian society in Melbourne sent 5 boxes of medicines and medical equipment for the children's hospital named after Rauch in Leningrad; on the collected by the Russian colony of Melbourne, baby food and medicines for Soviet children were purchased and supplied.

As you know, the military-political situation in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of 1941 turned out to be dangerous for Australia as well. But John Curtin (1885-1945), Prime Minister of Australia during the war years (in the portrait) stated on December 8, 1941 that
any Japanese attack on Russia will be met with forceful opposition from the British Commonwealth, regardless of the US position. And, at least, it will face maximum cooperation between these countries in the event of a Japanese attack on Soviet Russia.

It is unlikely that such a statement was made without prior consultations with London and Washington. Australia's position in relation to the USSR in those years is reflected, for example, in a letter from the Australian Foreign Minister (in 1940-1946) G. Evatt to the Deputy People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR A.Ya. Vyshinsky dated July 31, 1942,
“In sending you my personal greetings, I want to say that here in Australia we follow with very deep attention and admiration the heroic resistance of your brave sons, and we do not doubt your final victory. And we will continue to contribute to this.

G. Evatt, V. Molotov and translator Pavlov, London, May 1942

This was written in connection with the upcoming end of negotiations on the establishment of diplomatic relations. In the volume of lend-lease supplies to the USSR ("USSR and the allies: at the origins of Lend-Lease") the share of Australia was about 15%.

At the same time, the share of various types of weapons and spare parts for it reached 25%, and for foodstuffs, medicines, medical equipment and textile goods (including raw materials: wool, cotton, leather, raw fabrics) exceeded 35%, for non-ferrous metals, vehicles and double appointments ranged from 30 to 35% overall.

From Darwin and Canberra to Minsk and Samara

In connection with the 75th anniversary of the Victory in Samara, in the house where the first Australian embassy in the USSR was located, a commemorative plaque was opened on January 26, 2020 on Australia Day. Australian Ambassador to the Russian Federation Peter Tesch, who arrived at the ceremony in Samara, described bilateral relations during the war years as follows:

The main areas of work were, of course, related to the war. Our pilots and sailors fought in polar convoys. It was the Australian destroyer (Edinburgh in August 1941 - Author's note) that brought the first trade delegation from England to Murmansk for negotiations on Lend-Lease.
Our territory was also attacked: the Japanese bombed the city of Darwin, their submarines broke into Sydney Harbor. We also suffered in that war, but, of course, compared to the USSR, it was on a completely different scale. The main concentration of hostilities was on the eastern front.
In October 2016, I traveled around Belarus. You cannot visit this country and not feel the full scale of the losses in that war. This region was occupied for a long time, there was a fierce partisan war. We honor the memory of those who suffered, who died in the USSR, because the physical burden, the material burden, the human burden lay on this country for a very long time in connection with the violent hostilities.

Meanwhile, in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, operating since 1941, in the second half of August 2020, an exhibition was held on the role of the USSR in the victory over fascism. Photos telling about the struggle of Soviet soldiers against the Nazis and about life in the Soviet rear became exhibits in the exhibition hall of the memorial. Most of the archival photographs were provided by the Russian embassy.

Historian, political scientist and curator of the exhibition David Sutton said that "it is intended to remind Australians of the allies that linked a number of Western countries, Australia and the USSR, which lost 27 million people in the fight against fascism during the Second World War." At the same time, D. Sutton admitted that "the decisive role of the Soviet Union in the victory over fascism is now known in Australia to a narrow circle of those interested, and we want to expand this circle."
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  1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
    Kote Pan Kokhanka 3 October 2020 06: 17
    Earlier, I often quoted Sutton's Lend-Lease quotes! An interesting person, no less interesting is his book, published in 44! The most interesting thing is his fabrications (not without flaws) lie somewhere in the middle between 4-5% of Pikul and the new "if not America, then everyone is gone!"
    The truth is somewhere in between and is close to the slightly "naive" but kind lines of the wartime of the American capitalist and functionary Sutton. Which to the word "blood" always put above "iron and bread", but without the last two "blood" our Motherland shed even more.
    1. Ragnar Lodbrok
      Ragnar Lodbrok 3 October 2020 06: 30
      Quote: Kote pane Kohanka
      The truth is somewhere in between

      I agree, otherwise our opinions from a dismissive and condescending attitude towards Lend-Lease to some kind of elevation to the rank of a fundamental component of our Victory fluctuate along with the general line of the party in different historical periods of time. help, but we ourselves would have coped, albeit with great efforts.
      1. Boris55
        Boris55 3 October 2020 07: 56
        Quote: Ragnar Lothbrok
        contemptuous attitude towards Lend-Lease

        From 5% to 10% of Lend-Lease in our "GDP" is of course good, but not decisive in our victory, incl. it is not worth exaggerating their contribution to our victory, and taking into account the fact that we paid for it only in this century, even more so.
        1. Trapperxnumx
          Trapperxnumx 6 October 2020 17: 53
          Not defining. Certainly. Victory was determined by our desire for Victory and the aspiration of all the people for it. For France, no l-l could have helped in any way. Lend-Lease turned out to be that magic "wand-help" that very, very much helped us out and helped to bring this long-awaited Victory closer.
          But underestimating him according to the principle "what have they put there, garbage, we would have been easy without him" is also not true. Would you manage? Yes. But just how many more lives would be laid ...
          My opinion is that we did not pay for l-l with our blood, it was he who saved our lives and blood.
      2. Sugar Honeyovich
        Sugar Honeyovich 3 October 2020 16: 39
        The main thing to know is not victory thanks to Lend-Lease, but Lend-Lease thanks to victory.
      3. cat Rusich
        cat Rusich 3 October 2020 23: 27
        Lend-Lease was PAYED IN GOLD.
    2. cat Rusich
      cat Rusich 3 October 2020 23: 26
      "Lend-Lease" - was paid in GOLD. The USSR BOUGHT goods from the USA. The article says about the Port Kembla dockers who donated their monthly salaries for the PURCHASE of sheepskin - the sheepskin was not given "for free" BOUGHT - no $ - no sheepskin ... The USSR PAYED for Victory with "blood" and GOLD (paying for Lend-Lease) ...
      1. Trapperxnumx
        Trapperxnumx 6 October 2020 17: 47
        cat, how much can you post nonsense. Now all the information has long been open, we do not live in the Stone Age. You can also google and find the numbers how much they put and how much was actually payable. They paid, but a very small part of the supplies.
        1. cat Rusich
          cat Rusich 6 October 2020 20: 35
          Dmitry, the cruiser "Edinburgh", sank on April 30, 1942 on the way from Murmansk to Britain. On board "cargo" 5536kg GOLD ... "Cargo" was a payment for "free" "Lend Lease". Tell me - without gold the USSR would have received at least one convoy with cargo from the "allies" ... Port Kembla dockers paid for the sheepskin cargo for the USSR - why was this SHEPHERD not given to the USSR for free? - the dockers paid for it, and without money, who would provide the sheepskin? Russia wrote off billions of dollars in loans that the USSR gave - the debts on "Lend Lease" were NOT written off ... and demanded their payment until the very end of August 21, 2006. Why NOT DISCARDED? ...
          1. Trapperxnumx
            Trapperxnumx 7 October 2020 13: 18
            Kitty, in addition to Lend-Lease, there were also commercial supplies, they were payable, incl. gold. But these supplies are not Lend-Lease and should not be confused. Even this site (and other resources) has already dealt with this issue well enough, you just need to familiarize yourself with them.
  2. Kot_Kuzya
    Kot_Kuzya 3 October 2020 06: 31
    Well, in fact, even now, the Australian soldier takes the oath not to Australia or the Australian people, but to the British monarch
    Private oath

    I (last name, first name) swear that I will serve as (rank and type of troops) well and faithfully, in accordance with the law, to her majesty, her heirs and throne for (...) years, (...) days or until until my service is terminated early in accordance with the law. I swear that I will fight with her enemies and that in all matters relating to my service, I will faithfully fulfill my duty in accordance with the law. God help me!

    Officer oath

    I (surname, name) swear that I will be faithful and loyal to her majesty, her heirs and the throne. I will, as my duty obliges me, honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty and her heirs both personally and their crown and honor from all enemies and I will recognize and execute all orders of Her Majesty and her heirs, as well as generals and officers appointed me.

    And yes, the British monarch is the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian military. After all this, it is ridiculous to hear the assertions of the liberals that the British Empire collapsed long ago and it no longer exists, and Australia and Canada are independent countries. For example, Ottawa constantly comes out with anti-Russian speeches and proposals, although it would seem, what claims can Canada have against Russia, against a country located on another continent and which does not pose any threat to Canada, and moreover, which has never threatened Canada? But understanding people know that the voice of Ottawa is the voice of London.
    1. Engineer
      Engineer 3 October 2020 10: 57
      In July 45, Canada unilaterally announced the end of hostilities against Japan.
      This is on the eve of Olympic and Coronet
      Such is the dependence
    2. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 5 October 2020 14: 13
      Quote: Kot_Kuzya
      And yes, the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian military is the British monarch. After all this, it is ridiculous to hear the statements of the liberals that the British Empire collapsed long ago and it no longer exists, and Australia and Canada are independent countries.

      Australia is the best example of the queen's power over her subjects.
      For it was there that royal power was applied in peacetime: in 1975, during the parliamentary crisis, when the multi-party chambers of parliament blocked each other's activities, the governor-general summoned the current prime minister and first invited him to come to an agreement with the opposition. And when it didn't work out, then
      ... Governor-General Sir John Kerr used his powers and on November 11, 1975 announced the inability of the Cabinet of Ministers to govern the country, the creation of an interim government under the leadership of opposition leader Malcolm Fraser and the early dissolution of parliament and the holding of early elections.

      Such is the kind of democracy on the march: an unelected official from the Metropolis annulled the election results, dissolved parliament and dismissed the current prime minister. Moreover, as it turns out now, the Governor-General did not even have official permission from London, but worked within the framework of his powers and hints from London (London trusts his ability to take responsibility and believes that he will use his ability to dissolve the Australian Parliament only for constitutional and not political reasons), notifying the queen of what had happened post factum.
      On the day of Whitlam's resignation, Kerr wrote a letter to Buckingham in which he announced that he had not informed directly about his decision to dismiss the prime minister from office. According to him, the responsibility lies only with him, and for Her Majesty it would be better that way.
      1. Kot_Kuzya
        Kot_Kuzya 5 October 2020 16: 31
        Thank you, I did not know about this case. It is necessary to poke the liberals in this case, when they like to shout about democracy in Australia.
  3. Olgovich
    Olgovich 3 October 2020 06: 33
    The common misfortune unites.

    It's a pity that only trouble ...
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 3 October 2020 07: 52
    Somehow there were many articles about aid to Soviet Russia, the USSR during the famine in the 20s, during the Great Patriotic War, and there are no articles at all about sanctions, economic blockade, Western countries in relation to the USSR and during the formation of Soviet power.
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 3 October 2020 12: 54
      Good afternoon, Alexey! I would say that the articles on aid for the USSR are needed, but, in my opinion, they were not carried in one of them, but why was this help? Was this an action by the leaders or was this help taking place against the background of friendly relations of the population? What happened then in that helping country? Or did the population not know? How did the communist parties and other parties of those countries behave at that moment? I am sure, if this was a speech, the picture would be different.
      There is an interesting topic about Australia. In the last century, I watched on cable a film about the trip of an Australian communist to Moscow to meet with Stalin. At that time I watched cable all night long. I was a schoolboy. Honestly, I did not remember, or did not understand, maybe the tone of the film.
      1. Reptiloid
        Reptiloid 3 October 2020 13: 02
        Comments burst out. I continue I don’t remember tonality, but, it seems, nothing bad. There were words that after the Victory everyone literally bowed to Stalin. Everyone admired him. I found out about it then. In general, I remembered the film, but only now I found it in W.
        Title ---- CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION. Australian motion picture. Of course, the details of the plot ......... may not be liked by someone .. But there was about respect and admiration.
      2. Simargl
        Simargl 3 October 2020 19: 26
        Quote: Reptiloid
        why was this help?
        The more they fight "there", the less they fight "here".
    2. Okolotochny
      Okolotochny 4 October 2020 04: 03
      Here I agree with you.
  5. Lynx2000
    Lynx2000 3 October 2020 13: 13
    About the help of the Australians, of course. The specification of the cargo is clear. About the destroyer "Edinburgh" and the Australian pilots who participated in the European theater of operations, as well as the Canadian pilots and the Navy, it is known that Lend-Lease was not the reason for this.
    Interestingly, but the article does not reflect: in what way, and by what route such goods were delivered from Australia?
    Pickup? So I understood it based on information about the Soviet m / v "Minsk" under loading in the port of Darwin ...

    And I also wonder if there are articles in the archives of the VO about the assistance to the Soviet Union from Tuva, or citizens of the USSR?
    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka 3 October 2020 13: 59
      Quote: Lynx2000
      And I also wonder if there are articles in the archives of the VO about the assistance to the Soviet Union from Tuva, or citizens of the USSR?

      Greetings, for Tuva - there was a good article from 2016 "Black Death"! I forgot the author.
      1. Lynx2000
        Lynx2000 3 October 2020 14: 10
        Good afternoon! And someone is evening! Yes, I remember this article.
        However, more raw materials (wool, leather and meat) came from Mongolia. My paternal grandmother (she said that she was a Cossack), at the age of 15, she took part in driving livestock (sheep, horses and camels) from Mongolia along the Chuysky tract to the railway station in Biysk.
        It seems to me (without looking at the supply reports) that Australia, in comparison with Tuva or Mongolia for the supply of similar raw materials, was not close.
        I do not like when: "business for a penny, and talk for a ruble."
        And how many citizens of the USSR paid at their own expense for the production of tanks, aircraft, etc. ...
        This has not been remembered since the 90s.
        1. Not with you
          Not with you 3 October 2020 15: 41
          And my relative drove
          carts and herds of cattle and mrs
          along the Usinsky tract.
          In 1941-44 ....
          From Tuva to Russia.
          And other relatives
          gave all their livestock.
          Saved from hunger ...
          why did they do it))) ???
      2. Phil77
        Phil77 3 October 2020 15: 31
        Quote: Kote pane Kohanka
        in Tuva

        Hi Vlad, sheepskin coats were coming from Mongolia too.
    2. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 3 October 2020 14: 03
      It seems that 4 years ago there was an article about assistance for the USSR from Mongolia, Yemen, Tuva. I really liked the article. But ---- forgot the author and then could not find, no matter how hard he tried.
  6. Sergey Oreshin
    Sergey Oreshin 3 October 2020 14: 27
    Quote: parusnik
    Somehow there were many articles about the assistance to Soviet Russia, the USSR during the famine in the 20s, during the Great Patriotic War.

    And what is wrong with the fact that we thereby expand our knowledge?
    For example, I knew little about Australian-Soviet relations during WWII, now I have expanded my knowledge, thanks to the author
    Quote: parusnik
    and there are absolutely no articles on sanctions, economic blockade, Western countries in relation to the USSR and during the formation of Soviet power.

    You can write an article (or a series of articles) on this topic, read, discuss))