Almost immediately after the outbreak of hostilities on the eastern front, US President Franklin Roosevelt decided to include the Soviet Union in the Lend-Lease program of military and economic support. True, the main deliveries began only in 1943. Nevertheless, allied goods became, albeit not a decisive, but still an important help for the Red Army and the Soviet rear, thereby contributing to the preservation of a large number of lives of our citizens.
The Lend-Lease program was approved in the United States in March 1941. Great Britain became the main recipient of military, raw materials and food aid. Subsequently, China was included in the program. And 8 months after the start of the initiative, Roosevelt included the Soviet Union in it. About Lend-Lease today there is a lot of controversy between two diametrically opposed points of view.
However, underestimating overseas aid is just as unfair as overestimating it. The bulk of the supplies went to the Soviet Union after the onset of a radical turning point in the war, when it became clear that the USSR would definitely not lose to Nazi Germany, and at the same time it became obvious that the goods delivered through the Lend-Lease would not fall into the hands of the Reich. However, there were still almost 3 difficult years of war ahead, and therefore Lend-Lease, although it was not a decisive factor in victory, still helped to save hundreds of thousands of lives of Soviet citizens.
Most of all in the Red Army they appreciated the supply of American army rations. The share of food supplied from the United States to the USSR at various times was from 15 to 20% of the total amount of aid under the Lend-Lease. By the end of the war, the share of food supplied from overseas amounted to more than 4 million tons. This volume includes animal fats, oils, concentrates, sugar, chocolate, fish, grain, alcohol. There were also two more goods that gained the greatest fame in the army and the people.
The first is American stew. It is noteworthy that, according to the American businessman and US Secretary of State under Roosevelt Edward Stettinius, the American food industry received the recipe for stew from the USSR as a result of a special order. The second product is the so-called "Roosevelt eggs", so the people jokingly nicknamed egg powder, which was also very popular.
The Americans helped provide the Red Army with concentrates, including dry soups. Soviet citizens were already familiar with this product. They began to make their own concentrates even before the Finnish war, but they did not manage to develop their production seriously by 1941.
The USSR was greatly assisted by the supply of American grain. Thanks to the creation of collective farms, the Soviet Union was able to significantly strengthen its food security before the start of the war. However, the loss of the most important agricultural regions during the first years of the conflict with Germany, as well as the departure of a significant number of the population to the front, led to a serious devastation of reserves, including grain stored as seeds. Thus, grain was supplied from the USA mainly not for food production, but for planting it in Siberia and the liberated territories.
Separately, mention should be made of the delivery from the United States of such a thing as the "Ration D". It is a highly concentrated nutritional mass made from sugar, oat flour, milk powder and chocolate. Despite the extremely unpleasant taste, "Ration D" has a nutritional value of 1,800 kilocalories, which corresponds to the daily intake. Its supplies were held in case of famine. Also, part of the "Ration" was supplied to the army in the most difficult areas.
If you want to know even more interesting things, then you should read about what things did the German soldiers shoot in the first place? from the Red Army.