Soviet motor vehicle availability depended on two sources those that were produced internally and those delivered via Lend-Lease from the US, UK or Canada. The Soviet Union had a combination of internally produced trucks such as the ZIS-5 (Russian: ЗИС-5) and its many variants; ZIS-6, ZIS-8, ZIS-10, and the GAZ-AA and its variants.
Additionally other motor vehicles such as tractors, passenger vehicles, utility vehicles, and motorcycles. A total of 265,600 army trucks were produced by the Soviets during the war years. Additionally, the Soviets received approximately 200,000 Studebaker-US6 out of a total of 637,000 other military vehicles (ordnance carriers, jeeps, trucks, etc.) supplied through Lend-Lease. The Soviets averaged 422,580 available noncombat motor vehicles during the war years ranging from 272,600 in 1941 to 621,300 in 1945.
Note 1: Availability does not equal number produced during the year. How to calculate: Number available on Jan1 of a given year = number available on Jan 1 of the preceding year + number received in the preceding year – number loss in the preceding year.
Note 2: 1941 availability numbers are as of the eve of the German invasion, June 22, 1941. All other availability numbers were as of January 1 of each of the following years.
The Soviet Union relied heavily on motor vehicles for the transportation of personnel, weapons, and supplies. While combat vehicles such as tanks and armored cars often receive the most attention, noncombat motor vehicles played a crucial role in supporting Soviet military operations.
The Soviet Union produced a wide variety of noncombat motor vehicles during the war, including trucks, buses, ambulances, and motorcycles. These vehicles were used for a variety of purposes, including the transportation of troops, supplies, and equipment, as well as for medical evacuation and other noncombat tasks.
The Soviet Union produced many noncombat motor vehicles during the war, with estimates that over 200,000 trucks were produced during the war years. Production of noncombat vehicles was a significant part of the Soviet Union’s war effort, and the country’s factories were often converted to produce vehicles and other equipment as needed.
Under the Lend-Lease program, the Soviet Union received over 400,000 trucks and other motor vehicles, which were used for a variety of noncombat purposes such as transportation of personnel, supplies, and equipment. The vehicles provided under the Lend-Lease program included a variety of types and models, such as the Dodge WC series of trucks, the Studebaker US6, and the Ford GPA amphibious vehicle.
As the war progressed, the Soviet Union made improvements to its noncombat motor vehicles to make them more durable and effective. For example, trucks were often modified with additional armor and improved suspension systems to better withstand the rigors of combat conditions. The Soviet Union also developed specialized vehicles for medical evacuation and other noncombat tasks, which helped to improve the efficiency of its military operations.
Katyusha Rocket Launchers
Trucks were often used as the platform for Katyusha rocket launchers during World War II. The Katyusha rocket launcher was a type of multiple rocket launcher that was developed by the Soviet Union and used extensively during the war. Katyusha rocket launchers were typically mounted on the back of a truck, with a series of rockets arranged in a launch frame. The rockets were fired in a salvo, with the launch frame tilting back to reduce the recoil of the rockets.
Trucks were used as the platform for Katyusha rocket launchers for several reasons. By mounting the launchers on trucks, they could be rapidly deployed to different locations and could provide mobile artillery support to ground troops. The use of trucks also allowed the Soviet Union to quickly adapt Katyusha launchers to different types of terrain, as the launchers could be mounted on a variety of truck chassis.
Noncombat motor vehicles played a crucial role in supporting Soviet military operations during the war. Without these vehicles, it would have been difficult for the Soviet Union to transport troops, supplies, and equipment to the front lines, and to evacuate wounded soldiers from the battlefield. Noncombat motor vehicles were a vital component of the Soviet Union’s military logistics and contributed significantly to the country’s eventual victory over Germany.
Soviet Motor Vehicle Availability 1941-45 Chart Data
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|wdt_ID||Motor Vehicles (1000s)||1941||1942||1943||1944||1945|
Source: “Soviet Causalities and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century”, Greenhill Books, London, Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania, 1997, Table 95 Section VI Motor Vehicles, Page 257 (selected data), Edited by Colonel General G.F. Krivosheev
Soviet Motor Vehicle Availability 1941-45 Data
|wdt_ID||Timeframe||Motor Vehicles (1000s)||Motor vehicles, all types|
|1||1941||No available 22.06.41||272,600|
|3||1941||Total stock 1941||477,500|
|5||1941||% of total stock lost 1941||33,300|
|6||1942||No available, 01.01.42||318,500|
|8||1942||Total stock 1942||470,700|
|10||1942||% of total stock lost 1942||14,100|
Source: “Soviet Causalities and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century”, Greenhill Books, London, Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania, 1997, Table 95 Section VI Motor Vehicles, Page 257, Edited by Colonel General G.F. Krivosheev
Other Soviet Availability Data
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