Courtesy Reuters

How Much Can and Will Russia Aid Germany?

HOW much can Soviet Russia aid Germany? How much will she? The precise answer to this double-barreled question, which may well determine the military outcome of the European war and the future course of world politics, is still unknown. Current estimates, in so far as they are not guesswork limited to specific items (e.g. oil), are based on the inadequate and often unreliable statistics of Russia's past economic performance. Russia's potential performance is contingent upon many political intangibles yet to be revealed, and upon such factors as the undetermined capacity of Germany to supply equipment and large-scale technical assistance for the reorganization of Soviet industry and transport. Information upon which to base final judgment is inaccessible. Nevertheless, so long as Germany and Russia continue to execute in good faith their treaties of 1939, speculation will be in order. For in the conduct of the war, and in any political action looking towards peace, the Allied Governments must use as a key reference some estimate of the nature, extent, and effectiveness of the Nazi-Bolshevik coöperation.

Many variables are important in the reckoning: the type of war in the West -- whether it remains a siege or develops big offensives which would increase Germany's expenditure of war materials; the length of the war -- for Russia's capacity to supply Germany will increase with the passage of time; possible political shifts in the lineup -- for certain ones might close certain routes between Russia and Germany (e.g. via Rumania and the Balkans); and, most of all, the variable of Russia's willingness to sacrifice domestic requirements of the Third Five Year Plan in order to help Germany gain victory, or a stalemate, in the West.

I. GERMANY'S DEFICIENCIES

Germany's imports in 1938 totalled 63 million tons. According to a British estimate, this total figure will be reduced 45 percent by the blockade.[i] There follows an analysis of Germany's more important deficiencies as created or aggravated by the blockade.

1. Foodstuffs

The 1939 harvest of grain will be sufficient

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