German–Soviet Credit Agreement (1939) - Later Events and Total Trade

Later Events and Total Trade

Further information: Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Invasion of Poland (1939), Nazi–Soviet economic relations (1934–1941), GermanSoviet Commercial Agreement (1940), and Operation Barbarossa

After the German invasion, to administer the economic blockade of Germany, the British Ministry of Economic Warfare was established on September 3, 1939 By April 1940 Britain realized that blockade appeared not to be working because of "leaks" in blockade with two major "holes" at the Black Sea and Mediterranean provided by several neutrals countries, including Italy.

Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania
1939 52.8 140.8 88.9 24.3 43.6 27.8
*German Imports in millions of Reichsmarks

On September 17, the Red Army invaded eastern Poland and occupied the Polish territory which held up to 70 per cent of Poland's pre-war oil production.

In October three German trade partners - Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – were given no choice but to sign a so-called Pact of defense and mutual assistance which permitted the Soviet Union to station troops in them.

German-Soviet tensions were also raised by the Soviet invasion of Finland started at November 1939. Several German merchant ships were damaged

Germany and the Soviet Union continued economic, military and political negotiations throughout the last half of 1939, which resulted in a much larger German–Soviet Commercial Agreement was signed on February 11, 1940. Under that agreement, the Soviet Union became a major supplier of vital materials to Germany, including petroleum, manganese, copper, nickel, chrome, platinum, lumber and grain. They also received considerable amounts of other vital raw materials, including manganese ore, along with the transit of one million tons of soybeans from Manchuria. On January 10, 1941, the countries signed an additional agreement modifying their 1940 commercial agreement, adjusting borders, and resolving other minor disputes.

During both the first period of the 1940 agreement (February 11, 1940 to February 11, 1941) and the second (February 11, 1941 until the Pact was broken), Germany received massive quantities of raw materials, including over:

  • 1,600,000 tons of grains
  • 900,000 tons of oil
  • 200,000 tons of cotton
  • 140,000 tons of manganese
  • 200,000 tons of phosphates
  • 20,000 tons of chrome ore
  • 18,000 tons of rubber
  • 100,000 tons of soybeans
  • 500,000 tons of iron ores
  • 300,000 tons of scrap metal and pig iron
  • 2,000 kilograms of platinum

In August 1940, Soviet imports comprised over 50% of Germany's total overseas imports, which declined at this time to 20.4 thousands of tons.

The alliance ended when Germany began Operation Barbarossa and invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. The various items that the USSR has sent to Germany from 1939 to 1941 in significant amount, can be substituted or obtained by increased imports from other countries.

Without Soviet deliveries of these major items, Germany could barely have attacked the Soviet Union, let alone come close to victory, even with more intense rationing.

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